If you are looking for a way to make money online, one of the best things you can do is to start a blogging business.
Blogging allows you to earn a passive income while doing something you love. If you are wondering what is a blog, why you should start a blog, how to start a blog, or how to make money blogging, you are in the right place.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about building a blogging business.
What Is A Blog?
Definition Of A Blog
The term blog refers to an informational website, web page or online journal that is updated regularly, with the content on the blog displayed in the order in which it was published, starting with the latest posts going back to the earliest.
“A blog is a regular record of your thoughts, opinions, or experiences that you put on the internet for other people to read” – The Cambridge Dictionary
The term blog is a shortened form of the word weblog, because the earliest blogs started as online diaries where people used to log their daily activities.
Benefits Of Blogging: Why People And Businesses Blog
People blog for various reasons. Here are some reasons why you might want to start a blog:
- You want to build an online business on the side of your day-job and generate a passive income.
- You are passionate and knowledgeable about a certain topic and want to share your expertise on this topic.
- You want to build a personal brand and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
- You want to make an impact by helping other people overcome a problem they are facing.
- You enjoy learning new things and connecting with new people.
- You want to expand your career opportunities and land your dream job.
- You want to use your blog as a portfolio to showcase what you can do and attract clients.
So, what’s your main motivation for starting a blog?
The Most Common Blog Structure
While there are a wide variety of blogs covering different industries, different niches, and different kinds of content, most blogs usually have a common structure with some standard features. Most blogs contain the following features:
Header: This is the top part of the blog. It contains the blog name, the blog logo, as well as the blog menu or navigation bar. For instance, below is the blog header for the Cleverism.com blog which we've grown to 1.3 million monthly visitors.
Main content area: This is where the blog posts are displayed.
Sidebar: This contains various blog widgets, such as opt-in forms, links to social profiles, links to popular content, and so on. The clearly visible part in the image below shows the sidebar.
The Difference Between A Blog And A Website
Sometimes, people get confused between blogs and websites. Is there a difference between a blog and a website?
A website and a blog are not the same thing. The main difference between a blog and a website lies in the kind of content posted on them. Generally, websites contain static content that remains unchanged for extended periods of time.
For instance, if you have a website with a home page, an about us page, and a products page, the information on these pages might remain unchanged for years.
With a blog, on the other hand, information is updated regularly – this could be on a daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. The aim of the blog is to present visitors with fresh information regularly.
Another key difference between a website and a blog is their approach to user engagement. Websites usually present information to visitors without any room for engagement, whereas blogs usually have a comment section where readers can share their thoughts and opinions on the content posted on the blog. Blogs are also written in a more informal and conversational style compared to websites.
It is good to note that sometimes, a blog can be part of a bigger website.
5 Examples Of Good Blogs
To make it easier for you to understand what a blog is, let’s take a look at 6 examples of good blogs that you might want to check out.
Cleverism is a career blog, which we started in 2014 and attracts 1.3 million job seekers every month with the aim to help people land their dream jobs and get paid what they are worth.
Hubspot is quite a popular blog that focuses on matters relating to marketing.
NerdWallet focuses on matters related to personal finance.
Art of Manliness is another popular blog whose focus is to help men become better, more centered versions of themselves.
Techcrunch is a tech-oriented blog that shares information about tech, tech startups, and the latest news in Silicon Valley.
What Is Blogging?
Definition Of Blogging
Blogging refers to the process of running and maintaining a blog. Blogging includes the process of creating blog content, publishing this content on a blog, promoting the content, and installing and maintaining any tools that might be necessary to make the blog content easier to find, consume, and share.
Why Is Blogging So Popular
Over the last decade, blogging has gained a lot of popularity. This can be attributed to a number of factors.
First, blogs provided people with a social outlet, and more and more people started creating blogs as a way of expressing themselves and sharing their thoughts and opinions with the world.
In addition, as the internet became more ubiquitous, more and more people started relying on blogs as a source of information, leading to increased demand for blogs.
As more people started relying on blogs for information, companies realized that they could also use blogs to educate, inform and engage with their clients, leading to the creation of even more company blogs.
Finally, the realization that people could earn a living and become millionaires through blogging has also been monumental in driving the popularity of blogging. The low barriers to entry and the possibility of making tons of money encouraged people to give blogging a try, leading to the blogging explosion that we can see today.
Some Blogging Statistics to Help You Start and Grow Your Blog
To put into perspective how popular blogging is, here are some blogging statistics from 2020 to help you grow your blog at lightning speed and earn money online fast:
- At the start of 2020, there were over 600 million blogs in existence. This is quite phenomenal, considering that in 1999, before the introduction of blogging platforms like LiveJournal and Blogger, there were only 23 active blogs. This explosion of blogging has been majorly driven by the fact that people today see blogging as a viable way of earning money online.
- Today, blogs are considered to be the 5th most trustworthy sources of information on the internet. This shows that, as a blogger, you wield huge influence over your audience.
- More than three quarters of internet users (77%) read blog posts regularly. If you don’t have a blog, you are missing out on an opportunity to reach all these people.
- Close to two thirds of Americans (61%) spend 3 times more time reading blog posts than they spend on email.
- There are over 31.7 million bloggers in the United States as of 2020.
- Businesses that have a blog attract two times more traffic on email compared to businesses that do not blog, which makes blogs a very effective way of driving traffic to your business.
- Adding a blog to your business website can boost your chances of achieving a higher ranking in search engine results pages by up to 434%.
- Blogs make up about 25% of all websites that are currently on the internet.
- Every single day, bloggers publish about 5.8 million new blog posts. With so many posts being published daily, you need to produce high quality content in order to cut through the noise.
These stats show how significant blogging is, and you can expect that as more business and commercial activities come online, blogging will become even more popular.
What Is A Blog Post?
A blog post refers to an article or piece of content published on a blog.
For instance, what you are reading at this moment is a blog post published on the FounderJar blog. Blog posts are the meat of your blog. Without blog posts, your blog is as good as dead.
Blog posts come in a wide variety of formats such as…
- Listicle blogs
- “How to” blogs
- Infographic blogs,
- FAQ blogs
- Interview blogs,
- Review blogs
- Resource list blogs
- Case study blogs
Despite the differences in blog post styles, good blog posts typically follow a common structure. A good blog post should have:
- An engaging or curiosity-inducing headline.
- A featured image (optional).
- An introduction that motivates visitors to actually start reading your masterpiece.
- A body section with subheadings to make it easier for readers to skim through the article.
- A conclusion that ties together everything the reader has learnt from the article.
- An invitation for feedback or call-to-action telling the reader the next step they should take after reading the article.
If you want your blog posts to attract a lot of readers, you should make them both informative and entertaining.
To write an informative blog post, this means you need to do thorough research, gain a good understanding of the topic you are writing about, and then write the best piece of content you can about the topic.
At the same time, you need to make sure you write in a fun and informal manner, otherwise your readers will get bored and abandon the blog post midway.
Who Is A Blogger?
Definition Of Blogger
A blogger is someone who owns, operates, or publishes content on a blog.
It doesn’t matter whether you do it professionally (you earn a living from your blog), or whether you blog just for fun, but provided you have a blog where you regularly publish blog posts, you can be termed as a blogger.
Over the last couple of years, more and more people have gotten interested in becoming bloggers because they have realized that it is possible to have a lucrative career as a blogger while living the digital nomad lifestyle where you can live and work from anywhere in the world.
Highest Paid Bloggers That Went From 0 to $100,000+ Per Month
One of the biggest reasons why people start blogging is because they want to create a source of passive income.
If this is the reason why you are considering starting a blog, you must be asking yourself one question: is it possible to earn a full-time living from blogging?
The bad news is that out of the hundreds of millions of people who have active blogs, only a handful earn a full-time income from their blogs.
However, most bloggers do not earn enough money because they don’t approach blogging the right way.
The good news is that with the right approach to blogging and some hard work, you can make good money from your blog.
Bloggers earn money from their blogs through a number of ways, such as:
- Selling their own products and services
- Publishing paid posts
- Selling physical products in their own Shopify store
- Selling ad space on their blogs (e.g. Google AdSense, Monumetric)
- Affiliate marketing
- Online courses
- Digital software
- Membership subscriptions
To show you that it is indeed possible for you to make good money through your blog, and to inspire you even as you start your blog, let us look at a few of the highest paid bloggers to learn from.
Most of these bloggers started from scratch, earning nothing, and built their blogs into money minting machines that bring in $100,000 (and sometimes millions) each month.
Here are some of the highest paid bloggers:
Tim runs the blog TimothySykes.com, where he teaches people about investing and stock trading. Tim has been blogging since 2007, and earns money by selling his investment training courses on DVD. Today, Tim makes over $1 million every month from his blog.
Melyssa is the founder of the blog MelyssaGriffin.com, where she has been blogging since 2013. Melyssa’s blog talks about matters related to entrepreneurship and how to make money online. Melyssa earns money by selling her training courses and advertising courses by other coaches. Her blog brings in $238,000 per month.
Pat runs a blog known as Smart Passive Income, which he founded back in 2008. The blog is dedicated to teaching people how to earn money passively. Pat makes money through affiliate marketing, selling his published books, and marketing other people’s online courses. Smart Passive Income brings in $200,000 per month.
Jeff is the founder of Good Financial Cents, a blog that focuses on matters relating to finance and investing. Jeff makes money through selling online courses, selling digital products, selling ads and sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing. His blog brings in $135,000 per month.
Alborz is the founder of an Australian car site known as Car Advice, which he started back in 2006. Jeff’s blog reviews different car models and gives readers advice relating to cars and their maintenance. Jeff makes money through advertising and brand sponsorships. The blog makes $125,000 per month.
Jon Morrow runs the blog Smart Blogger. The focus of the blog is helping other bloggers to achieve success with their blogs. What makes Jon’s story even more inspiring is the fact that Jon has been able to build such a successful blog despite being paralyzed from the neck downwards.
Jon makes money through selling training courses, other digital products, and affiliate marketing. His blog brings in about $100,000 every month.
Rosemarie is the founder of Busy Budgeter, a blog that is focused on moms and teaches about everything, from running a household effectively to home organization, meal planning and budgeting.
Rosemarie earns by selling her own products, affiliate marketing, selling ads, and sponsored products. Through her blog, Rosemarie makes about $86,000 per month.
Darren Rowse runs the blog Pro Blogger, where he teaches people how to start and operate successful blogs. Darren makes money by selling training courses, advertising, and holding small scale conferences, which allow him to make about $40,000 per month through his blog.
Holly Johnson runs a blog known as Club Thrifty. The aim of the blog is to help people travel on a budget. Holly makes money from the blog through affiliate marketing, which allows him to make as much as $21,566 per month.
Gina’s blog goes by the name Horkey Handbook. The blog focuses on teaching people how to make money as a virtual assistant. Gina makes money from selling courses and VA memberships. Through her blog, she makes $20,000 per month.
Martin Luenendonk and Anastasia Belyh
Ana and I also run another blog known as Cleverism.com, where we help our readers to land their dream jobs and increase their lifetime salary by over $200,000. On Cleverism.com, we make money through selling online courses, advertising using Monumetric.com, and from our online resume builder. Cleverism.com brings in $21,000+ per month.
A Brief History Of Blogging
You might be thinking about starting your own blog, but how exactly did blogging come to be?
If you were born before 1993, you have been around for much longer than blogging has. While there is no certainty about the exact year when the first blog was launched, it is estimated that blogging started sometime between 1993 and 1994, when a guy known as Justin Hall created the site links.net, where he posted links to interested websites he had visited.
It is believed that links.net was the first blog to be published. Back then, the term blog didn’t even exist. However, owing to this site, Hall ended up being christened “the founding father of personal blogging.”
In 1994, another guy known as Claudio Pinhanez also created a site where he posted short logs about his day. Claudio termed his site as an Open Diary. Blogs continued to be referred to as open diaries and web diaries until 1997 when another guy by the name Jorn Barger came up with the term weblog.
In the period between 1998 and 2001, weblogging started becoming a bit popular, and programmers started creating resources for bloggers. The first one, which was launched in 1998, was aptly named Open Diary, since it encouraged an open, community based approach to blogging.
In 1999, three other platforms geared for bloggers were launched. These are Blogger (launched by Pyra Labs, before later being acquired by Google in 2003), Xanga, and LiveJournal.
Somewhere around this time, the term weblog was shortened to blog by a programmer known as Peter Merholz.
In the early 2000s, blogging started really taking off. In 2002, TheMommyBlog.com was founded by Melinda Roberts, kickstarting the rise of mom blogs, which are still very popular to date.
In the same year, it was predicted by Newsweek that traditional media would be eventually replaced by blogs. Gawker was also launched in 2002.
In 2003, Google launched AdSense, a platform that made it possible for bloggers to place advertisements on their blogs. This was a very significant development. Blogging became a viable business idea.
Bloggers realized that they could now actually make money through their blogs, and a lot of bloggers started taking their blogs more seriously and turning them into businesses.
The launch of WordPress and TypePad in 2003 provided even more platform options for bloggers, further fueling the growing popularity of blogging.
From there, the popularity of blogging continued growing organically, and in 2012, blogging went even more mainstream with the launch of blogging platform Medium. By 2016, blogging had become so popular that WordPress decided to come up with a .blog domain extension.
Today, blogs have become an everyday thing, with the majority of people reading blogs regularly. You also have the chance to become part of the history of blogs by starting your own blog.
Reasons Why You Should Start A Blog
Many people start a blog for the wrong reasons. Let’s check out some good reasons why you might want to start a blog (and it’s not only about making money).
1. To Build Your Personal Brand
Blogging is a great way to build your personal brand. It allows you to showcase your expertise in a particular field and establish yourself as an authority.
For instance, when blogger Ramit Sethi started teaching people about personal finance, no one knew him, and no one attended his free personal finance classes. Ramit then started blogging about personal finance, and today, he has become a household name in matters pertaining to personal finance.
Just like Ramit, blogging allows you to position yourself as an authority in your niche and build your online brand, which you can then leverage to make money and open doors to various opportunities.
2. To Make Money Online
Wouldn’t you love an opportunity to make money from home?
One of the major reasons why most people start blogging is because they see it as an opportunity to earn money online, either as their main source of income or as a side hustle. Once you have built a significant audience for your blog, you have multiple options for monetizing the blog.
For instance, you might decide to create and sell your own products, you could dabble in affiliate marketing, you might decide to install and earn from Google AdSense, you can publish sponsored posts, productize your knowledge and sell online courses, and many more.
As we saw earlier, it is possible to make very good money from blogging, if you focus on picking the right niche, focus on the right marketing channels, and think about the right ways to make money blogging. I gave you examples of bloggers who make hundreds of thousands of dollars every month, and sometimes millions from their blogs.
3. To Open Doors To Other Opportunities
Once you start blogging and build your online brand, this can help you open doors to several other opportunities. For instance, through your blog, you might get
- Brand endorsements and partnerships
- Opportunities in the media
- Speaking gigs
- Book publishing deals
- Career opportunities
- New job offers
- Your dream job
4. To Be Your Own Boss (Start An Online Business)
Another great thing about starting a blog is that it allows you to become your own boss.
Instead of being answerable to someone and working according to their schedule, having your own blog gives you the freedom to decide how you want to work, the number of hours you will work, the number of times you will publish content on your blog, how you will market your blog, how you will monetize it, and so on.
This freedom is part of what makes starting a blog such an appealing line of work.
5. You Want The Freedom To Work From Anywhere
A lot of people have dreams of traveling the world. However, many are unable to act upon these dreams because they are tied down by their day jobs. What if you had the freedom to work from anywhere in the world?
Imagine working from the beach somewhere in the Caribbean while sipping on martinis and mojitos, then traveling to Bali the following week, and then to the Maldives the week after, all this without affecting your work and with money flowing to your bank account every day?
Since you can run your blog from your laptop, blogging gives you the freedom to work from anywhere, which means you can finally act on your dreams of traveling across the world without worrying about losing your job.
6. To Make An Impact On The Lives Of Others
Do you ever wish for opportunities to make a positive impact in the lives of others?
Another great thing about starting a blog is that it allows you to make an impact in the lives of others. For instance, if you blog about fitness, your blog can touch the lives of hundreds or thousands of people and help them achieve their fitness goals.
If you blog about personal finance, you can, through your blog, help thousands of people get out of debt, learn to invest, and live their lives in financial abundance.
There is no limit to the kind of impact you can make in people’s lives through your blog. One of the greatest feelings for bloggers is receiving positive feedback from someone about how you changed their life for the better.
A Proven 4-Step Process To Start Your Own Blog And Make $5k Per Month In 9 Months Or Less
Having gone through some of the reasons you might want to start a blog, I believe you are excited about starting your own blog. However, you might have questions like:
- How do I get started?
- Can I set up a blog if I don’t have the technical skills?
- How do I drive traffic to my blog?
- How will I make money from my blog?
If you are wondering about any of these things, don’t worry. Now, I will show you a proven process that will help you get from no idea to building a successful blog and making over $5k every month within 9 months or less. Let’s get started.
Step #1: Pick A Profitable Niche
One of the most important factors when it comes to building a successful blog is to find the right blog niche. When creating a blog, most amateur bloggers start with a general purpose blog where they publish anything that comes to their minds.
The problem with this approach is that it is impossible to build a loyal audience, because people don’t know what to expect from your blog, and it is unlikely that you will find people who are interested in everything you post on your blog. Therefore, you are more likely to achieve success when you focus on one blogging niche.
However, simply finding a niche for your blog is not enough. You also need to make sure that the niche is profitable, otherwise you might build a blog that has a significant audience, but still be unable to monetize the blog, because your chosen niche is not profitable.
So, the question is, how do you choose a successful and profitable blog niche?
Once you go through our 4-step process to picking a profitable niche, you'll get a table like this:
|Skills & Passion||Target Audience||Key Result||Audience Revenue Potential||Ranking|
|I am great at...||… which helps...||… get...||...so I’ll earn...|
|Facebook Marketing Campaigns||Small Businesses in the U.S.||$4 for every $1 marketing budget||$1m||1|
|Losing weight healthily||Obese women between 30-49 with at least $80k annual income||Lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks||200k||4|
|Growing organic potatoes on autopilot||Hobby gardeners with at least 4 acres of land||Grow organic potatoes at 80% costs and saving them 90% of time||500k||3|
|Bookkeeping||Tech Startups in the U.S.||I deliver 100% bookkeeping accuracy on time||800k||2|
Step 1: Identify Your Skills And Passions (Be The Expert)
Your blogging niche should be something you are both an expert in, and something you are passionate about.
Being an expert in the niche makes it possible for you to provide valuable, informative content to your audience and solve their problems.
Being passionate about the niche, on the other hand, will push you to keep bettering yourself and get your audience to believe in you and your content. It will also motivate you to keep blogging even if the money has not started flowing in.
To find out where your skills lie, ask yourself the following questions:
- What Am I Naturally Good At? These are the things you find yourself able to do easily, and the things people usually ask you to help them with.
- What Personal Goals Have I Achieved? Identifying the traits that helped you achieve these goals can also help you identify what you are good at.
- What Are My Academic Qualifications? Attaining an academic qualification requires certain skills, and therefore, if you have been able to attain certain academic qualifications, this shows that you already possess the skills required to excel in that field.
- What Is My Professional Experience? If you have been working in a professional capacity in a certain field and have excelled in that position, you can also leverage the skills gained in this position to come up with a niche for your blog.
To find out where your passions and interests lie, just think of the things you enjoy doing, or things you enjoy learning about. How do you spend your free time? The things you do even when you have no obligation to do them are your passions.
Step 2: Identify The Right Target Audience
The next step to choosing the right niche for your blog is to identify the audience your blog is going to target. Your target audience refers to a segment of customers who share the same problem and who are willing to and capable of paying someone to solve that problem for them.
If you target an audience without a problem, they won’t be willing to pay for your solution, because your perceived problem doesn’t bother them.
On the other hand, if you target an audience with a problem but without the capability to pay for a solution, you won’t make any money.
To ensure that you are targeting the right audience, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Am I Targeting Businesses Or Individual Customers?
Most businesses have budgets to solve their business problems, and therefore, if your target businesses, you can be assured that they have money to spend.
However, businesses are more careful about where they spend their money, which means that you will need to work extra harder to convince them that you can actually deliver results. Once you convince them, however, you will start making good money.
Individual customers, on the other hand, make their purchase decisions a lot faster than businesses, which means that you will start making money from your blog a lot faster.
However, individual customers don’t have deep pockets, which means that you won’t make lots of money, at least until you build significant traffic.
Do My Customers Have A Budget For This?
If someone tried to sell you a Bugatti today, would you buy it?
Probably not. Sure, you would definitely love to drive around in a Bugatti, but you don’t have the money for it.
The same thing applies to your blogging audience. It doesn’t matter if you have the best solution in the market, but if your audience doesn’t have the budget for it, they won’t pay for your solution.
This is why it is very important to find out from the very onset whether your target audience has the budget for what you are offering.
For individual customers, you can determine their ability to spend by checking their demographic data, such as their age, income, employment status, marital status, and so on.
For businesses, you can determine their average budget by checking the kind of products and services they sell, or their target market.
If their products are highly-priced, or if they target the high-end market, then this means that they probably have a big budget.
On the other hand, if they produce low priced products for the mass market, they probably have an average budget.
Are They Willing To Buy?
Your target audience might have enough money to spend on your products and services, but are they actually willing to spend on what you are selling?
For individual customers, you can determine their willingness to spend by checking their psychographic data, such as their values, their interests, lifestyle choices, personality, attitudes, how and where they spend their free time, and so on.
For instance, let’s assume you are selling mountain biking equipment, but then you target an audience made up of retirees who are interested in trucks and spend their free time playing golf or fishing.
These people might have the money to spend on your mountain biking equipment, but they won’t be willing to buy, because this is not within their area of interest. However, if you sold fishing or golfing equipment to them, they would willingly pay for it.
Step 3: Identify The Result Your Target Audience Are Chasing After
“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” – Seth Godin
The point of this step is to help you intimately understand your target audience’s biggest pain point. What is their biggest problem? Understanding your audience’s pain point will make it possible for you to provide an effective solution, which is crucial for your success as a blogger.
To find out what result your target audience are looking for and provide the best solution, you need to:
- Conduct customer surveys
- Research the solutions that are currently being offered in the market
- Develop your Unique Selling Proposition, which is the key result you will help your audience to achieve
Step 4: Determine The Audience Revenue Potential
The aim of this final step to pick a profitable blog niche is to help you determine whether your blog will make good money, or whether you are in the wrong niche.
If your niche is capable of attracting high traffic and bringing in high revenue per visitor, this niche has high audience revenue, and is the kind of niche you should aim for.
If your niche has low traffic and can only bring in low revenue per visitor, this niche has low audience revenue potential and should be avoided.
If a niche has potential for high traffic, but can only bring in low revenue per visitor, or can bring in high revenue per visitor, but doesn’t have potential for low traffic, this niche has medium audience revenue potential. You can make money in such a niche, but you should find ways of either increasing your traffic or your revenue per visitor.
Your audience revenue potential will also depend on your chosen revenue generation model. Some business models will drive more revenue than others, even with the same number of visitors.
To estimate your audience revenue potential depending on your revenue model, you should use a metric known as revenue per mille (RPM), which gives revenue estimates for every 1,000 visitors on your blog.
Based on our experience, here are the different RPMs for different monetization strategies ranked from highest to lowest monetization potential:
- Physical products: $100 – $2,000
- Software: $40 – $1,000
- Webinars: $40 – $800
- Coaching: $40 – $600
- Online courses: $40 – $500
- Freelancing: $30 – $400
- Affiliate marketing: $60 – $200
- Paid memberships: $15 – $90
- Sponsored posts: $10 – $40
- Digital products: $5 – $25
- Ads: $2 – $10
- Donations: $0.50 – $50
Most In-Demand Blog Niches 2020
If you are having trouble choosing a niche for your blog, we have compiled for you a list of some of the most in-demand niches in 2020.
Go through the list and pick one that you are passionate about and highly skilled in and start building your blog around it.
The most in-demand blogging niches include:
- Personal finance and investment
- Fashion and beauty
- Health and fitness
- Personal development
- Music and entertainment
- Home decor
It’s good to note, however, that these niches are quite broad and have lots of competition.
Therefore, if you want to quickly grow your blog and start making money, you should focus on sub-niches within these main niches.
For instance, within the travel niche, you can pick a sub-niche like budget travel, adventure travel, motorcycle travel, boating, traveling with pets, honeymoon travel, spiritual travel, medical travel, shopping tourism, sports tourism, food tourism, and so on.
Similarly, under the fashion niche, you can pick a sub-niche like handbags, men’s fashion, women’s fashion, lingerie, men’s shoes, women’s shoes, eyewear, hats, plus size fashion, wedding fashion, corporate fashion, thrifted fashion, runway fashion, celebrity fashion, and so on.
The point here is that once you have settled on a broad niche category, try and find ways to narrow down into a smaller niche with less competition.
Pick A Domain Name
Once you have decided the niche and sub-niche you are going to blog about, you can now go ahead and come up with a domain name for your blog, which should also act as your blog name. Your chosen domain name should be related to your niche and should give your visitors an idea of what your blog is about.
Your domain name should also be highly memorable, and should also describe the tone of your blog.
Step #2: Launch Your Blog
Now that you have settled on a niche for your blog and come up with a suitable domain name, it’s time to set up your blog. Setting up your blog involves two steps:
- Setting up hosting for your blog (we recommend Bluehost, because it’s super easy to install and affordable)
- Installing and setting up your content management system (we recommend WordPress and it can be installed in Bluehost in 1-click)
Setting Up Hosting For Your Blog
Before you can create and launch your blog, you need to find a home for it. This is exactly what a host is. A host provides your blog with a place to live on the internet. Without hosting, you visitors cannot access your blog online.
I chose Bluehost because their prices are affordable, they have easily scalable packages, their CPanel offers a wide selection of tools and functionalities, and their support is excellent. Purchasing a hosting package from Bluehost gives you a free domain for a year.
Setting up your hosting account on Bluehost is quite easy. Follow the steps below to purchase and configure your hosting account (and your blog is up and running in less than 10 minutes).
- Head over to Bluehost and click on ‘Get Started.’
- This will take you to another page where you will be asked to select your preferred hosting plan.
- Once you pick a package, you will then be asked to enter your domain. Enter your preferred domain, and if it is available, Bluehost will register it for you for free.
- From there, you will be asked to create a Bluehost account (if you don’t have one already) or sign in to make the payment for the hosting package.
Installing Your Content Management System
Once you have paid for your hosting, the next step is to install a content management system (CMS).
While there are many different content management systems you can use on your blog, the best and most preferred CMS for your blog is WordPress, which is what I am going to focus on in this guide.
Below are the steps for installing WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account:
- Login to your Bluehost account.
- Navigate to the “Website” section and then find and click on “Install WordPress.” This will take you to the WordPress installation tab.
- Click on “Install.” Since you only have one site hosted here, your chosen domain will already be selected. However, if you have other sites, you will be asked to choose the domain where you want WordPress to be installed.
- Click on the checkboxes next to the license and service agreements.
- Click on “Install Now.” This will automatically install WordPress on your site. Once the installation is complete, you will receive a notification that WordPress has been installed successfully.
That’s it! Installing WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account is as simple as that. Your blog now has a home on the internet, and people can view it by entering your domain name in their browsers.
You can also access your WordPress backend dashboard by navigating to www.yourblogdomain.com/wp-admin.
It’s good to note that while your blog is now accessible online, it doesn’t look anywhere as good as the other blogs you see on the internet.
To get your blog at par with the other blogs on the internet, you will need to ensure that your blog has a great design.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a designer in order to make your new blog look attractive. You can easily build an attractive looking blog by installing a WordPress theme.
A theme is a template that allows you to change the design and layout of your blog with a few simple clicks. The good thing is that there are thousands of free WordPress themes to choose from, which gives you the guarantee that you will find one that suits the look and feel you want for your blog.
To install a theme on your blog, navigate to your WordPress dashboard (www.youblogdomain.com/wp-admin) and click on “Appearance.” Click on “Themes” and then select “Add New.”
WordPress will now take you to the themes directory where you can preview and install themes.
Scroll through the directory and find a theme that is best suited for your blog. When choosing a theme, consider things like the location of the navigation menu, how the theme displays posts, the layout of elements on a page, the kind of header on the theme, and so on.
Don’t get caught up on elements like fonts and colors, since you can always customize these later.
To see how a theme will look on your blog, you can click on it and then click on “Preview.”
Once you find a theme you like, click on “Install” to install it on your blog.
Next, click on “Activate” to make the theme active on your blog. This step will change your blog design to match the look of the theme you just installed.
From there, customize your theme by clicking on “Appearance,” and then click on “Customize.”
This will bring up the theme customization tab, where you can change things like colors, fonts, key in your blog’s title and tagline, upload a logo for your blog, add a header image, change the background image, and so on.
Once you are done customizing, your blog is now ready to accept its first visitors, and you can now go ahead and start writing your first blog post.
Step #3: Grow Your Blog
“What you do after you create your content is what truly counts.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
One of the most important factors that influence the success of your blog is how aggressive you are when it comes to marketing your blog content.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best content in the world, or if you have the best designed blog in the world. Without marketing your blog to attract traffic, people won’t find it, and you won’t be able to make money from it.
That said, you also need to make sure that you are consistently publishing high quality content on your blog. Marketing and promotion might bring you lots of traffic, but if you don’t have high quality content on your blog, these people won’t stick around.
So, how do you drive traffic to your blog?
Let’s check out some of the most effective marketing channels you can use to grow your blog and build significant traffic in just a few months.
Email Marketing For Building An Engaged Audience Ready To Buy From You
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels for growing your blog. It is also a very effective tool for converting visitors into paying customers.
Once you have collected your visitor’s emails, you can easily reach them any time you want, either to notify them about new posts on your blog or to promote your products and services.
The best way to grow an email list is to create an incentive for your visitors to give you their email address. The incentive comes in the form of a lead magnet, which is something that you give to your visitors in exchange for their email address.
The lead magnet can be a free eBook, access to a training video, a content upgrade, a free email course, a checklist or worksheet, and so on.
For your email marketing efforts to be successful and effective, you have to make sure that you are using the right email marketing software.
We recommend ConvertKit, a powerful email marketing platform that allows you to easily automate and personalize your marketing emails. This is what we use at FounderJar to manage our email marketing campaigns.
Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization to Attract More Google Traffic
A lot of people are searching for keywords related to your niche on search engines.
If your blog was among the first search results when someone searched for keywords related to your niche, you would get free traffic from all these people who are interested in what you have to offer but do not know where to find it.
Fortunately, SEO allows you to do just that. SEO involves optimizing your blog for search engines, such that people can find your blog whenever they search for terms related to your niche. Actually, organic search accounts for more than half of all internet traffic.
While content marketing involves multiple strategies, one of the best ways of boosting your blog’s SEO is to conduct keyword research to find the terms that your audience are searching for, and then create high quality content that targets these keywords.
When it comes to conducting keyword research for your blog, we highly recommend that you use SEMrush, one of the best keyword research tools available online.
For instance, when you search for a keyword like “Mountain Biking” on SEMrush, you get information about the search volume for the keyword, as well as other related keywords that you might want to target in your blog posts.
SEO is one of the most effective ways of growing your blog, and all high-paid bloggers focus on this.
Social Media Promotion on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and More
Social media platforms started as a way for people to keep in touch with and interact with their friends and family, but today, they have turned into powerful platforms for business purposes, and they can be a great source of traffic for your blog.
Actually, most bloggers depend on social media to drive traffic to their posts compared to any other marketing channel (With content marketing and email marketing becoming more important).
To drive traffic to your blog from social platforms, create profiles for your blog on the different platforms where your target audience spend most of their time, and then share your posts on these platforms whenever you publish a new post to drive traffic to the post.
Here is a video showing the best times to share your blog on different social media platforms.
In between promoting your posts, you can also focus on interacting with and engaging your followers to build loyalty, and encourage them to share your blog with their friends and followers.
Use Paid Ads to Attract Visitors Fast
If you have the money, you can supercharge the growth of your blog by using paid ads.
With paid ads, you basically pay money to a platform to get your content in front of a wide audience.
You have probably come across posts tagged as “Sponsored” or “Promoted” on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These are examples of paid ads.
Examples of paid ad campaigns that you can use to market your blog and promote your blog posts include Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, Google AdWords, and Pinterest Ads.
The good thing with paid ads is that they allow your posts to reach a very wide audience. In addition, they are not costly. You can set up paid ad campaigns with just a few dollars per day.
Guest Blogging to Build Relations and Boost Your Search Engine Rankings
This marketing strategy allows you to leverage the audiences of other successful bloggers in order to grow your own audience.
Guest blogging involves getting in touch with successful bloggers within your niche and offering to create free content for their blog, with a byline linking back to your own blog.
If you create high-quality guest posts on already established blogs in your niche, some of their audience might also want to check out your blog, thus helping you to drive some free traffic to your own blog, and if they find great content on your blog as well, many of them will stick around.
In addition, the backlinks you get from the blogs you are guest posting on will also help you boost your rankings on Google and other search engines.
Guest blogging on a couple of established blogs can help you grow your own audience within a short time.
Tap Into Niche Forum Marketing
You can also tap into a lot of traffic by marketing your blog on niche forums.
Niche forums are online platforms that bring people together to discuss and share issues related to a specific niche. For example, Car Forums is a forum for people who are enthusiastic about cars.
When it comes to promoting your blog on niche forums, the key is to go through the forum, provide high quality answers to their questions, and then let them know that they can find more information about their issue on your blog.
When marketing on niche forums, however, it is important to realize that different forums have their own rules on self-promotion and posting, and failure to follow these rules can get you kicked out from the forum.
Step #4: Monetize Your Blog
“Making money from blogging requires you to do only two things: drive a lot of traffic, then maximize the income from that traffic.” – John Chow
Now that your blog is up and running and has started attracting significant traffic, it is time to implement a monetization strategy for your blog.
Actually, you should have a monetization strategy in mind even before you start your blog.
When it comes to monetizing your blog, it is often advisable to start with selling your time (e.g. freelancing, coaching), then move into promoting other people's products (e.g. ads, affiliate marketing), Eventually, in order to make the most money, you can then move on to developing your own products (e.g. digital products, online courses, software)
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular money making ideas for monetizing your blog.
This is probably the most popular revenue model for most blogs. With this strategy, you basically charge advertisers money to put their ads in front of your audience.
You can either get paid simply for putting up an ad on your website, or get paid every time that ad drives a certain action from your visitors, such as clicking on the ad. Google AdSense is one of the most common ways of earning money through selling ads.
Another great platform for making money through ads is monumetric.com. If you want to make good money from selling ads, we recommend using Monumetric. On Cleverism.com, our career blog, we increased our ad revenue by 7x simply by switching from Google AdSense to Monumetric once we hit over 10,000 monthly visitors.
While this revenue model is quite simple to implement on your blog, it requires you to have tons of traffic if you want to make good money.
This revenue model involves making product recommendations and earning a commission every time someone from your audience buys something you have recommended.
With this revenue model, you will be provided with an affiliate link (that you'll get when you join an affiliate program) that will be used to keep track of all sales made through your recommendations.
Statistics from ShareASale show that affiliate marketing is set to grow in 2020, with over $7 billion expected to be spent on affiliate marketing in 2020. You can get a share of this $7 billion cake by implementing affiliate marketing on your blog.
For this revenue model to be effective, you should only make recommendations on high quality products within your niche. You can start affiliate marketing by joining affiliate networks such as Amazon Associates, JVZoo, ClickBank, Commission Junction, and so on.
Selling Online Courses
This monetization strategy involves identifying a problem that a huge portion of your target audience struggle with, developing a course that provides a solution to this problem, and then selling it to them.
For instance, if you realize that your audience struggles with job interviews, you can develop and sell a course aimed at helping them ace their job interviews.
Creating and selling your online courses on these platforms gives you a wider reach than selling directly on your blog and the tools that would otherwise cost 10,000’s of dollars to develop.
This strategy is quite similar to selling online courses in that it involves helping your audience overcome a problem they are struggling with.
However, unlike online courses where you simply provide the training material to the student and leave them to progress through the course on their own, coaching involves some level of personal attention from you.
This means that you will regularly check in with your client to see how they are progressing, and hold one-on-one or group sessions to help in case your students get stuck.
These sessions can either be conducted in person, or through teleconferencing platforms. You can also customize your coaching to meet the client’s specific needs.
Selling Digital Products
This is another very popular strategy for monetizing a blog. Once you have built an audience for your blog, there is no shortage of digital products that you can sell to them, depending on your niche.
Examples of digital products you can sell on your blog include eBooks, digital assets, web elements like themes and plugins, templates, software and applications, music, digital photography, fonts, and so on.
You should consider starting by selling eBooks, which are the fastest growing digital product category, with sales set to hit $29 billion this year, representing 16% annual growth over the last five years.
Selling Physical Products
You can also use your blog as a platform for selling physical products. Once again, there is no shortage of physical items to sell on your blog.
You can sell books, backpacks, customized t-shirts, caps, shoes, mugs, laptop covers, or any other item that your audience might be interested in.
To do this, you will need to install an ecommerce platform on your blog. A good example of such a platform is Shopify.
To give you some ideas on what physical products you can sell on your blog, check out this graph showing some of the top selling product categories on Amazon.
You can also use your blog to advertise your freelancing services and provide potential clients with a way to get in touch and hire you.
For instance, if you are a freelance photographer, you can showcase your photography skills on your blog, and clients who are interested in your services can reach out to you and hire you.
This graphic from Upwork shows some of the highest paying freelance skills in 2020.
Virtual Conferences And Webinars
You can also monetize your blog by hosting virtual conferences and webinars that talk about problems your audience are struggling with, and then charge a fee for people to attend these conferences and webinars.
Alternatively, you can use the virtual conferences and webinars as a strategy for building your email list, and then marketing your other products and services to people in your email list.
If you decide to use this monetization strategy, we recommend that you use WebinarJam, a great and beginner friendly platform for hosting webinars. WebinarJam is easy to use, fairly priced, and contains a ton of features that you can use to market, host, and manage your webinars or even online conferences.
Anyone can start a blog, regardless of your educational background, your job profile, your interests, your age, or your language. In addition, you don’t need to be a programmer or an exceptionally good writer. You only need basic writing skills, passion for your chosen niche, and a commitment to work your ass off, since blogging is not a get rich quick scheme.
The key difference between a blog and a Wiki lies in how information gets added and updated. On blogs, content is usually published by one (sometimes two or more) authors who have access to the blog’s dashboard.
With a Wiki, on the other hand, content can be added, modified, or deleted by a wide variety of authorized users. In other words, blogs are editorial, whereas Wikis are collaborative.
In addition, whereas content on a blog is displayed in reverse chronological order, the content on Wikis is accessed through search.
This site where you are reading this article is an example of a blog, while Wikipedia is an example of a Wiki.
A blog can be used for a variety of uses. It can be used as a tool for self-expression, as a way for showcasing your expertise and building your online brand, as a way of driving traffic to your website, as a way for marketing your products and services, as a way of making money, as a tool for making an impact in the lives of others, as a tool for learning, and so on.
There are several ways of making money through a blog. You can sell ads, sell sponsored posts, sell digital and physical products, engage in affiliate marketing, sell coaching services, online courses, your freelance services, virtual conferences and webinars, and so on. You can also make money by selling your blog.
A good blog is one that meets the following characteristics:
– It regularly and consistently provides great content.
– It has useful and valuable content that enriches the lives of its readers.
– It passes information in a unique way, rather than regurgitating what everyone else is saying.
– It compels its readers to want to share its contents with their friends.
– It leaves its readers looking forward to reading more helpful content
– It is built around a specific niche.
Here are five reasons why every website needs to have a blog:
– Your blog content provides you with content to share on your social media pages.
– A blog gives a deeper look into your brand and your company, helping to humanize your brand.
– A blog helps drive more traffic to your website by boosting your SEO performance.
– A blog helps you to build credibility and authority within your industry.
– Through blog commenting, a blog makes it possible for you to interact with your clients in a way that is not possible through your website.
Pages are pieces of static content on your blog that do not need to be updated regularly. Pages don’t contain information such as author, publishing date, and so on. In addition, your blog visitors cannot leave their comments on pages. A good example of a page is the “About” page or the “Contact” page.
A post, on the other hand, refers to the main blog content that you regularly publish for your readers. Posts are displayed in reverse chronological order, with older posts being pushed further down as you publish newer posts.
Posts usually contain information such as author, publishing date, tags and categories, and so on. Posts also allow blog visitors to leave their comments, though it is possible to turn off comments.
The main purpose of a blog depends on your goals and objectives. The purpose of a blog can be to drive traffic to your website, to make money, to build your online brand, to open doors to other opportunities, to make an impact on the lives of others, to market your products, and so on.
Blogging can be a waste of time if:
– You are not creating great content that your readers love.
– You are not promoting your content to the right people.
– You are creating content for the wrong audience.
– You are blogging within the wrong niche.
– You are only regurgitating what everyone else is saying instead of providing new information.
– You don’t have a blog strategy.
The answer to this question depends on what you term as being successful, and this depends on your goals for blogging. However, assuming that being successful means generating a full time income for the owner (since most people are blogging for money), only a small number of blogs are successful.
Various surveys show that less than 10% of bloggers earn a full-time income from their blog, because the majority of bloggers don’t pick the right niche, don’t think like a business owner, don’t focus on content marketing and SEO, and neglect using high-paid monetization strategies. However, with the right approach, you can be part of this 10%.
Here are 5 things you should know before you start a blog:
– Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Like any other business, it takes a lot of time and effort before the money starts rolling in.
– Starting a blog is not a guarantee that you will make money online.
– Don’t start blogging without choosing a niche.
– High quality content is the most important thing if you want to be successful.
– Don’t start a blog without a plan.
Yes, blogging is still worth it in 2020. However, there is a lot of competition, and if you want to build a successful blog in 2020, you should have a plan, and you should be ready to put in lots of effort into building your blog.
The best and most popular blogging platform is WordPress. WordPress gives you total control over every area of your blog, it allows you to add all kinds of features and functionalities, it gives you access to thousands of free themes and WordPress plugins, and it is very friendly to search engines.
When choosing a blog idea to blog about, you should choose one that:
– You are skilled in and passionate about.
– Has a target audience with a problem that they are willing to pay someone to solve.
– Allows you to provide a unique solution.
– Has a high audience revenue potential.
Start Blogging Today And Earn Money Online Fast
It is our hope that this guide has provided you with all the information you need to build a blogging business and grow it into a successful online business bringing in thousands of dollars every month.
Remember, the steps to starting and building a successful blog that makes over $5K per month in under 9 months are…
- Pick a profitable niche
- Launch your blog on Bluehost
- Market your blog to drive traffic and grow your blog
- Find effective ways to monetize your blog
You should also keep in mind that starting and growing a successful blog is quite an undertaking that will take you a couple of months, and therefore, you can bookmark this page and regularly refer to it as you reach different milestones in your blogging journey.