If you have an online business or are thinking of starting one, you must have asked yourself – “Should I start a blog?” There could be many reasons as to why you should start a blog.
And if you are not sure whether your objectives will be realized if you start a blog and whether your reasons are strong enough for being successful, then you must read this post.
Building a blogging business has great potential and many people have used it as a tool to not only earn a lot of money, but also add value to their personal as well as professional brand.
For instance, The Huffington Post earns around $2.3 million a month and Mashable earns somewhere around $600,000.
But while the number of blogs people start are increasing every year, the competition is steadily rising to a level where only few blogs actually succeed in grabbing user attention and making money.
Infact, the number of bloggers in the US are expected to increase to 31.7 million in 2020.
Therefore, having the right reason to start a blog is the most important first step that will decide if you make it or not.
So what are some of the right reasons and what are some of the ‘not so right’ reasons?
Let’s dive in.
6 Good Reasons to Start a Blog
Reason #1. You want to build an online business (and generate a passive income)
In today’s digital age, the internet has made many opportunities available for you to create profitable businesses online and a blog is one of ways to make it successful.
So, a good reason to start a blog is that it can help you augment income for an online business.
You can start something passively to generate side income and slowly build it to become a great success overtime.
While there are many great businesses that you can start online to earn great money, blogging business is particularly one of the best businesses because you can start it with less than $100 investment.
But before you can start making money, the two most important things to build are traffic and user engagement.
Traffic means the number of users who visit your blog and engagement means the average time spent per user.
Generating traffic will give you targeted leads who you can use to earn more. For example, if you run an ecommerce business you can write great content regarding the use of your products and nudge your customers into buying them.
Infact, 60% of customers are likely to search out a product after reading about it.
Therefore, it is only natural that companies today not only spend a lot of money on content marketing, but also see it as the future.
Once you have built enough traffic and engagement, you may choose to make money out of it.
In almost all cases you wouldn’t want to charge the readers directly for just reading your content, unless of course you run a subscription and readers are willing to pay for it.
But there are other ways to earn money from a blog. So, here are four ways in which you can monetize your blog.
- Advertisements: You can partner with Google ads, become a part of the network and choose what format of ad to show. Remember, there is a trade-off between user experience and number of ads as ads can irritate some users. You are then paid either for the number of impressions, which is the number of times users saw a particular advertisement or a pay per click setting where you get paid for each click on the advertisement.
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing means marketing someone else’s products with your content. You may be paid on a commission basis for the number of products sold, that can be attributed to your content.
- EBooks/ECourses: If your audience believes that you are an expert in a particular field, which can be demonstrated by the content you create for a particular topic, then you can create useful educational content in the form of ebooks or ecourses that you can sell for money.
- For ebooks, you can use simple softwares like MS Word or Apple Pages if you own a Mac to publish books in formats like PDF or ePub. For Kindle compatibility you will need a “mobi” format file.
- For this, Kindle Create is a great software available for free on both Mac and Windows that you can use.
- If you just want to sell an online course you can try Teachable to host your courses as well.
- Consulting/Freelance Services: There might be enterprises who are looking for solving problems related to domains that you are an expert in. But how do you market yourself so that they trust your skill?
A blog is a great way to showcase your skills and use the traffic you generate to get high paying consulting assignments.
Reason #2. You love to share your expertise on a particular topic
It is great if you already have a topic that you are an expert on and want to write a blog on it.
Having interest and expertise in the topic will not only give you a strong foundation to start the blog, but also allow you to increase your expertise as you further research to write great content.
In fact, with over 60%, interest in the topic is the second most cited motivation for blogging.
However, it is possible that the niche you want to write on is not very popular and does not have enough interest. This may hamper the extent of traffic that you can build. You can read this article to understand how to pick a blog niche.
Nevertheless, it is always worthwhile to explore a way to share your expertise in the most effective way. There are three main factors why this is a great reason.
It strengthens your expertise
Explicitly writing about your skills and experience further strengthens your understanding of the topics. This may be useful to you in pursuing your current job or business even better.
It makes you a figure of authority in your field
If people perceive you as an expert in the field, you become a figure of authority. If you are not vocal about your skills, how will your expertise be understood by your audience?
Hence, it is important for your credibility and reputation to find a way to share and in turn improve the expertise of your audience as well.
It helps expand your horizons
When you write a blog, your audience mostly comprises people who are interested in the topic. A number of times they happen to be experts themselves and comment with valuable feedback on your posts.
This gives you access to useful discussions and perspectives that help you hone your skills even more.
Reason #3. You are looking to build your personal brand
Whether you are a professional looking to find a new job, or a businessman trying to sell more of your products or services, personal branding today has become one of the most important ways to build credibility and drive results for yourself.
Do you know, 95% of the recruiters believe that the job market will grow more and more competitive with time.
This makes having a great online reputation extremely important for getting hired.
If your objective is to do more sales for your products, then personal branding becomes even more important.
Leads which are generated by employees through social media activities are 7x more likely to convert than other leads.
Now, our personal brand gets created from all the activities and posts we do online including social media. Infact, as most of us are on social media these days we are all using personal branding, sometimes without realizing.
One way to evaluate your current online personal brand is to simply google your name and see what you get. You will be surprised to know many people aren’t really satisfied with the results they see.
Of the 75% of US adults who Google themselves, nearly half say the results aren’t positive.
A blog offers you the opportunity to control this brand and have a great reputation online. This makes building a personal brand one of the important inspirations to start a blog.
One important thing to keep in mind, despite the channel you choose, (be it social media, wordpress or your own personal domain) is the name of your blog/social media handle.
A tool that can be of great use here is namechk. This will help you check the available names on all social media handles as well as domain names.
For example, if you want to check whether domains with the name “personalbrand” are available, simply type the name and see the results. The greyed out boxes show unavailable and the green boxes are for available domain name extensions.
Since, many people are sometimes competing for similar domain names it is better to check and block yours early.
Reason #4. You want to have a positive impact on many lives
When you share your learning and views about various things through a blog, you have an opportunity to influence your audience. Naturally, you may want to use a blog as a medium to have a positive impact on others' lives.
Having a positive impact may be your sole reason to start a blog or it may be a second reason along with making money or improving your brand image, either way if you can build a platform where people can learn something useful that improves their life, it is a win for you and your readers.
Do you know, around 77% of internet users regularly read blog posts.
And with the penetration of the internet and average time spent per user online increasing like never before, primarily due to mobile phones, this is only going to grow bigger.
This presents a great chance for you to pass on your ideas or advice to make people’s life better.
Infact, having an impact or doing something to help others is the third most popular reason people start a blog.
You may share advice on how to make money, or if you are a motivational writer, you may write about achieving goals or even a simple blog that shares funny stories can make someone’s day.
If you are a successful entrepreneur, you could share about the mistakes that aspiring entrepreneurs can avoid.
The opportunities are endless.
Reason #5. You enjoy learning new things and connect with new people
In order to add real value to your target audience you need to write content that is not only engaging, but also well researched, full of examples and references.
In fact, most bloggers feel that the quality of content that the reader is now demanding has increased a lot from a few years ago.
In order to generate such content, you will have to put in some effort and this effort will become a great source of learning for you.
The length of the content or the depth you cover is also a factor of your blog’s success. To cover such depth you will read from multiple sources, research what your competitors have written and work hard to put together a post.
After a few posts, you will realize that your learning, both intentional and unintentional, has grown by leaps and bounds.
Here are a few skills you will learn once you start blogging:
- Understanding keyword research and search engine optimization basics
- Empathy for your target audience and designing content accordingly
- Writing and presentation skills (In fact blogging can make you a better communicator)
- Basic analytics skills (since you will understand and improve the key performance metrics for your blog)
- Working understanding of tools like blogging sites (WordPress.com, WordPress plugins, Google Analytics or whatever tools you prefer)
Another, great source of learning and reason to write a blog is connecting with new people who will help you expand your boundaries and give you new perspectives.
According to a research, 30% of bloggers who have successful blogs cite their primary motivation for writing a blog as connecting to an audience and building relationships.
Most bloggers today collect email addresses of people who regularly visit the blog. Then there will be people who will comment on your posts with useful feedback and additional points.
The great thing is that this list comprises a user base who are interested in your content and thus, the relevance and value addition of the conversation you have with these people will be much more than any random connections you build elsewhere.
Therefore, if you wish to write a blog to learn a host of new things and connect with the right audience, blogging might be a great way.
Reason #6. You want to expand your career opportunities (and land your dream job)
You may be a consultant trying to look for clients, a freelancer looking for more assignments, an ecommerce business owner trying to sell more products or an employee trying to look for a new job.
Blogging can help you get closer to your goal by giving you visibility with the right audience.
It gives you a platform to showcase your skills and your knowledge. Do you know, the US alone has over 64.8 million freelancers and almost half of the working US population will turn to freelance work over the next 5 years.
This will make an effort to win clients even more necessary and if you are considering writing a blog to do that, you are right.
Now, take another scenario, say you want to get hired in your dream role. Today, especially for millennials, job satisfaction is fairly sub standard and more and more people think about switching jobs and look for other opportunities.
But do you know, on an average a corporate role attracts 250 resumes of which only around 2% get interviewed.
In such a scenario, you definitely need a tool to stand out. Given, most initial shortlisting and head hunting happens online, a blog is a great way to differentiate yourself from your peers and increase your chances of getting hired.
You could include the link to your blog in your resume, or the websites field on the job application page.
And all the content on your page will make the hiring person more engaged and aware of your skills. It will also give them confidence about how you will fit the job
3 Not So Great Reasons (Why You Shouldn’t Start a Blog)
While sometimes you may feel that the answer to the problem you are trying to solve or the goal you are trying to achieve may be to start a blog. But, unfortunately, it may not always be the case.
Here are three reasons we believe are not really right for starting a blog.
Not So Great Reason #1. You want to make money fast
If you are thinking, you will begin writing a blog and the money will just naturally flow in quickly, let’s be honest, the chances of that happening are slim.
In fact, writing a blog requires hard work and while the success stories are fascinating you may take 1-5 years before you start making steady income from your blog.
Do you know, around half the bloggers who took part in an online survey said that they earn less than $100 from a blog?
And only about 10% claim to have earned more than $15,000.
This information is not to demotivate you or imply that blogging is dead, but just to set the expectation right that success will not happen overnight.
It takes the right strategies and tactics to build the required traffic and engagement for your blog. But the good thing is that if you follow the right methods you can be assured of results.
You can read our article on how to make money from your blog for some tried and tested tips and tricks.
Here is a successful example of how perseverance paid off in the log run for “The Savvy Couple” blog.
So, instead of starting a blog for quick money you should see it as part of a larger business plan.
The blog may serve as a lead generation tool to get more prospects or may be just to engage a loyal set of customers. In fact, many businesses add blogs to their site only to increase SEO.
This enables them to stay relevant in search results and get more and more customers to their website.
Your expected ways of monetization for your blog should also be clear because that will decide who your target customers will be; what your niche will be; how will you get traffic as per your expectations; and how you will measure success.
For example, if you want to earn money through advertising, you will need a substantial number of buyers to get to a level where the advertisements pay you the amount you are looking for.
On the other hand if you want to use your blog as a platform to showcase your skills then your traffic requirements will be completely different depending on your market.
The required investment in terms of budget for paid advertising to get traffic for your blog will also differ according to your business goals.
Hence, it is extremely important to be absolutely clear about what it is that you are trying to achieve.
If you still want only fast ways to make money, then the blog may not be the answer, you may want to look at some other ways instead.
Not So Great Reason #2. You want to write about your life
Back in the 90s when blogging was not as evolved as today, people started a blog as a way to share their life or experience.
The term ‘blog’ was coined by Peter Merholz by breaking the word ‘weblog’ into ‘we’ + ‘blog’, meaning an online record (log) of one’s experiences.
However, today, the concept has evolved to something much more than that.
Today blog has become a way through which people try to answer questions on the most pressing problems for their audience. It has become a way to enrich someone’s life with a strong value proposition.
While there is no harm in writing about your life, a blog becomes successful only if it has readers.
Unless you are a celebrity or an influential figure who is already famous and everyone wants to read about, or you have had a very very fascinating life, it may be difficult to drive interest.
Additionally, if you are also thinking of earning money with this strategy, this approach of writing about your life may not really be fruitful.
One of the issues with writing about your life in general is that it has a wide scope.
To be a successful blogger who also earns money you need to concentrate your energies on some specific topics instead of a ‘one blog fits all’ approach.
You could pick out something from your life like a hobby, your career skill, your education or anything specific to write about. Be sure to do your research before you decide on what you are going to write about.
But if you feel your objective is just sharing about your life with others and not any of the above, social media might be a more relevant thing for you. You can slowly build followers on Twitter/Instagram to post about your experiences.
If you are only looking to maintain a diary online you can try online journals instead. Especially if privacy is a concern, for a personal online diary, you could use penzu.com.
Not So Good Reason #3. You want to get free products
If you are excited with the idea of getting free products from various brands or free vacations to resorts in exchange for a review or a coverage on your blog, and consider this as a primary reason to start a blog, maybe you should think a little more.
The thing is brands or companies give out free products in return for marketing that comes with the reach of the blog.
Hence, you will need to put in all the work to reach a level of quality content, traffic and influence where it makes sense for brands to approach you with free products.
And once you have put in that effort, the return in the form of free products may not be adequate with regard to the amount of hours you devote.
You may get some free products like small gadgets or books in the beginning, but nothing too valuable until you have already established yourself.
In fact, free products should be nothing but a side benefit in addition to your bigger goal. Once you have a few thousands visitors or readers, you can yourself reach out to brands to get free products for review or even better become an affiliate to earn some commission.
This way you will always have more ways to get money or other things out of your blog and free products will be a small supplement to other things.
Having said that, your getting or not getting free products will be a function of demand and supply. The demand for the niche you write and the supply of the number of influencers or bloggers already established in that domain.
Only if you make a space for yourself in all this competition, will you get a good chance of getting free products.
6 Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting A Blog
It is great if you have decided to take a step to start a blog or a blogging business.
However, it is important that you have answers to some very important questions before you can devote your precious hours and hard work to the blog.
Here are some key questions that you need to ask yourself before you start a blog.
Critical Question 1: Have you picked a profitable niche you’re passionate about?
The first important question to ask yourself before you dive into creating a blog is what niche will your content be centered around?
Niche refers to the specific field to which your blog would belong or the set of topics you will write or publish content on.
Basically, this is the domain you operate in.
For example, consider these famous companies.
- Instagram: Visual social media
- Youtube: Videos
- Investopedia: Finance
- Oracle: Enterprise software
Similar to them, you will also have to choose a specific field for yourself.
Here are a few other examples of famous online businesses and their niche.
- Digital-photography-school.com: Digital photography
- Scarymommy.com: Parenting
- Cleverism.com: Career improvement
- Moz.com: Search engine optimization
When it comes to a blog, only your interest in the field may not be enough to drive results. It is a combination of various factors that will determine your success.
While there are certain niches that are known to make more money than others due to demand, you can still create a profitable niche for yourself if you find your focus and add real value to customers.
If your goal is to make money with your blog, there are three important aspects which you can use to decide your niche.
- Passion for the topics
- Expertise and skill in the subject
But how do you ascertain whether your chosen topic stands good on these grounds? What should you know before you decide?
#1: Am I Skilled and Passionate?
It is important to be skilled in the area in which you wish to start a blog. Or if not skilled already, at least easier to acquire that skill.
This is because in order to engage your audience and make sure they derive value from your blog they need to see you as someone with credibility in the field.
Having content that demonstrates expertise will also help you drive more traffic to your blog as other websites backlink to your blog for the corresponding topics.
These backlinks are used by Google in its algorithm to return the address of your blog when someone searches for the relevant keywords.
While validating the list of niches you believe you are expert for, answer the following questions:
- Do you have a knack for the niche? Something that makes you good at it.
- Do you have a list of achievements or results that demonstrate your expertise in the field?
- Does your professional experience give you credibility in the niche?
- Do you have educational qualifications/training or certifications related to the niche?
For example, say you want to write on digital marketing as you believe that you are naturally good at it.
Some of the accomplishments you can highlight in this regard are:
Increased the traffic of a website from 1K users per month to 100K users a month, or,
increased the traffic conversion percentage by 50%.
You can highlight your credentials like various certifications like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics etc.
Such things will give confidence to your customer and give them a strong reason to trust your content and services.
While these points help you define whether you are skilled in a particular field, it is also essential that you are passionate about the chosen niche.
Remember, building your blog will take a few hours of work everyday for you and it will be until some time, maybe a couple of years, before you start earning real money.
Hence, it is important that you are passionate about your niche and continue to invest in it without losing motivation.
Passion also helps when it comes to content. You will create much more powerful content and products if you are interested in your niche and the same will be visible to your audience when you talk to them through your blog.
#2: What’s my target audience?
The key element that drives success of a blog is traffic, that is the audience which visits your blog in order to get some value.
Since you will choose a specific niche for your blog it is important that you clearly know who your target audience is and what value they can expect from your blog.
Target audience is the set of customers for whom you want to make your blog most relevant.
To arrive at a target audience you have to first divide your customer base into specific groups or sections known as segments.
The idea is to start from a bigger base and slowly narrow it down to reach your target segment.
Here is how you can start.
The first thing you have to be clear on is whether your customers are individual consumers or other businesses. This will establish whether you are a B2C (Business to Customer) or a B2B (Business to Business) business.
|Market||Larger Base||Smaller Niche|
|Sales Process Timeline||Short||Long|
|Buying Process||Single Step||Multiple Steps|
|Key Driver||Brand Awareness||Expertise; Similar work in the past; Recommendations|
|Average Revenue Per User||Lower compared to B2B||High|
|Example||Grocery retail, blogs for parenting etc||Enterprise software|
There are certain key differences between the two formats and you should be aware about what would suit you.
Sales cycles in B2C are typically shorter and sometimes the products may even qualify for being impulse buys. On the other hand B2B has a longer sales cycle wherein the decision to buy is taken after vetting the products or services thoroughly after multiple steps.
The payment cycle or the number of days since the delivery of service to the payment is also typically longer and generally on credit for B2B. However, the average revenue per user is high in case of B2B.
If you are already a recommended industry expert on something, B2B might be easier, but if you want to play on brand value, content quality and direct engagements we would recommend a B2C blogging business.
Once you are clear about whether you want to be in B2C or B2B, the next thing that follows is dividing your target audience into specific sections.
This is because the needs of some sections will differ from others and your blog may be able to add better value to some segments.
Two major factors you consider before choosing a target segment are:
- Ability to pay
- Willingness to pay
The ability to pay means whether your target audience has enough budget or money available to afford your products and services.
And given they have enough budget, will they be willing to pay for it.
Demographics can give you a good idea of the budget (ability to pay) available with different sections of customers.
The Cambridge university defines demographics as:
Some examples of demographic data are:
- Age and gender of population
- Average monthly or annual household income
- Employment type
For B2C, income statistics and employment type (permanent/part time) of individuals can give you a good idea of whether your target can afford your products or services or not.
For B2B, the profitability and scale of the business you are targeting will indicate their budget. Typically, if the company registers high revenue and margin, budget should not be not a constraint.
For the willingness to pay aspect you can use Psychographics. This part is slightly trickier than the budget and requires a deep understanding of your customer.
Psychographics answer questions like the interests, values, religious beliefs, opinions, personality, lifestyle and usage patterns of your customers.
- How do your customers spend most of their time?
- What do they do on weekends?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- What are their religious inclinations?
- Are they heavy users or light users of your products?
To gather data for the characteristics of your user you can either do primary research (directly researching about your customers through questionnaires, surveys or interviews) or secondary research (using the data collected by others).
If you believe that your blog answers some very pressing questions for a need or a key interest your consumer has, then your customers may be willing to pay.
However, to make the customer really pay for your services or products, you need to deeply understand what customer demands and offer something that your competition currently isn’t.
Which means you will have to differentiate yourself and create a unique position in the minds of your customer.
#3: Do I know what key result my audience really demands?
In order to serve your customers well, you need to understand them deeply.
You may be in a business where your services can be highly personalized for each customer (consulting/freelancing) or you may have a common product for a variety of customers (one ebook for many customers).
Either ways, understanding the customer, then tailoring the product to best fit their needs and communicating the benefits effectively will lead to success.
Here are two ways to understand your customers better.
Questionnaires and surveys
You can create a simple questionnaire for your customers and then invite answers.
Google forms is one of the easiest ways to create a questionnaire and you can share the link easily to collect the result in a spreadsheet.
While designing a questionnaire use the following checklist to get the best results.
- Keep the questions simple and easy to understand
- Don’t use technical terms
- Avoid ambiguous questions or options
- Do not probe your users to some answer by leading them
- Be specific
- Make sure to not make it very long
Spending time with your prospective users is one of the most useful ways to understand their motivations and requirements from a product.
While talking to your customers, make sure they feel comfortable and free enough to share their thoughts. Keeping the discussion open ended will help you get the best results.
Remember, motivations can be subtle and a customer may have very different expectations from the same product.
For example, say you decide on starting a blog on fitness. Some customers may associate fitness to an energetic body that keeps them bubbly through the day, while others may see it as a way to look great.
For a sportsperson, fitness may have yet another meaning and use.
#4: What’s my audience revenue potential?
Depending on what kind of blog or online business you choose to do, your business model will differ depending on the number of visitors you require and the average revenue that you can expect from each visitor.
The best situation is to be in a scenario where both your number of visitors and revenue per visitor are high (top right quadrant).
For instance, a high selling online course that is also expensive.
On the other hand, there are successful blogs that have comparatively low revenue per visitor but their number of visitors more than make up for it.
For example, a blog that makes money through ads (cost per click) and has a million visitors every month.
However, you totally want to avoid a situation where you lack on both fronts (visitors and revenue) because it will not really earn anything for you. You don’t want a situation where advertisements are your source of revenue and you get very few visitors a month.
Let us take a look at how you can thrive in these environments.
Driving traffic to make your blog successful
Broadly speaking there are two ways to drive traffic to your blog.
- Organic: When traffic is driven by search results and you do not pay for getting visitors.
- Inorganic: When traffic is driven by paid advertisements.
So, how do you choose and prioritize between the two. Well, it totally depends on your budget, timeline and kind of audience you are targeting.
Here are a few ways to drive traffic and how to choose depending on your expectations.
Search Engine Optimization for building organic traffic
Search engine optimization or SEO is making your content and blog rank higher in the search algorithms so that more and more people visit you when they search for relevant keywords.
SEO is extremely important in a world where 68% of online journeys begin with a search.
Do you know, around 91% of content gets no traffic from Google search.
So how do you make sure that you are among the 9% who are actually able to drive traffic to your blog?
Your rank on a search engine result page (SERP) will be driven by a few factors.
- Quality and layout of your blog
- Page load timings for your content
- Relevant keywords
- Backlinks to your blog or website
Quality and layout as well as page load times are more or less taken care of by the platform you use for developing the blog for example WordPress or Blogspot. (unless you create a website from scratch).
While backlinks will slowly develop overtime as your blog becomes famous, for relevant keywords you can use a tool called SEMRush.
It not only gives you the search volumes and relevant questions related to the keyword, but also the cost per click that you can expect in case you wish to put an ad on Google for the same.
While SEO doesn’t cost you much and is very important for long term success, keep in mind that it may take around a year or more for you to get to a point where it gives you solid results.
Inorganic traffic through Advertisements
Today, there are various platforms and options available for you to display ads and drive almost immediate traffic to your blog.
Here are some of the most popular platforms
This makes GoogleAds one of the important platforms for your ads.
Each click on your ad will result in a visitor for your blog.
The great thing about ads is that it leads to traffic building up immediately on your website. However, since it is paid you will have to shell out some money.
As long as the returns you get because of this investment are positive, you should try this option.
Facebook today has almost 2.7 billion monthly active users and is one of the largest social media platforms.
Most likely, you must have used this platform for personal reasons. Hence, you can imagine the reach that it can provide if you choose to advertise here.
One great thing about advertising on such platforms is that you can target your customers very effectively.
Take a look at this image.
LinkedIn is one of the largest networks of professionals all over the world. In fact, people working in several companies at various positions create their profiles on LinkedIn.
This makes it easier for you to search and reach people belonging to companies relevant to your business domain. You can reach decision makers and schedule calls with them to further talk about your offering.
If your target customers happen to be in the B2B domain then it is one of the best platforms for you. In fact, LinkedIn is used by many marketers today as a major lead generation platform for their B2B business.
In order to make the right decision consider factors such as reach and return on investment.
The best thing to do is to initially try multiple platforms and then put more money in those which yield the best results.
Another great way to generate traffic and more so engagement is through webinars. Webinars are live video sessions that you can have with your audience.
The engagement levels are high because the audience can ask live questions and receive answers then and there.
Webinars could be a great way to initially set context and invite the audience to your blog.
You can host webinars on your website or through a platform.
We recommend using WebinarJam as it offers both paid and free webinars, access to a large audience and also a feature where 5-6 people can together participate in delivering the webinar.
One of the things you should definitely do is overtime create a list of emails of visitors who are really interested in your content.
Once you do that you can send them newsletters, content and other posts to keep them engaged.
A great email marketing software to use here is Convertkit.
Convertkit is great not only because it is fairly priced, but also because it lets you send emails as a broadcast or even different email content based on the action taken by your subscribers in the past.
It can also help you collect emails by offering different templates for landing pages.
Podcasts are audio versions of content that you can deliver to your audience.
This format enables you to deliver your content and the listener does not have necessarily look at their screens and can instead hear it in their cars or simply by plugging in earphones at home.
Here also, you can either use your own website, or use a podcast hosting service.
We recommend using Buzzsprout. The platform gives a great audience and a way to create, track and promote your podcasts.
These were some great ways to drive traffic to your blog and engage with your audience and are more suited to areas where you have a high requirement of traffic.
Low Traffic High Revenue Potential Monetization Ideas
You can also operate in a model where your blog makes a high amount of revenue through a comparatively lower number of visitors. In this case the traffic requirements will be lesser.
Some of these ways are:
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate Marketing is one of the best ways to make money these days for bloggers. All you need to do is drive purchases for someone else's brand in your niche and earn a good commission for it. If your conversion rate is high and the commission good, you will need fewer traffic than say an ads model. Revenue per thousand visitors: 60-200 USD
- Freelancing/Consulting: If you want to use your blog for freelancing or consulting services, then all you need to do is showcase your skills and expertise through your content to a few interested customers and you can win great long term assignments. Revenue per thousand visitors: 30-400 USD
- Online Courses or Digital Products (ebooks): If you feel you are great with teaching online courses or creating an ebook that delivers great value for your customers, then a few thousand orders for your course or ebooks can contribute good money. Revenue per thousand visitors: 40- 500 USD (Online Courses), 5-25 USD (ebooks)
- Software products: Offering SaaS (software as a service) is yet another way to earn good money with comparatively lesser traffic. All you need to do is create a software on the cloud that can be used by your customers. You can charge them a monthly or yearly subscription price. Revenue per thousand visitors: 40- 1,000 USD
Critical Question 2: Will I Have Consistent Time and Energy to Blog?
To make a blog successful, the right strategy is important. However, what’s even more important is the effort on your part.
It takes consistent hours for a few years to make a blog really successful and start earning money.
You can calculate the effort required in the following way.
The average time spent per post may range for 3-6 hours for content which yields actual results.
Hence, if you are looking for posting regularly the effort required will be around 21 hrs every week (3 hrs * 7 days).
So, if you think you can devote this amount of time for a year or more will you start seeing the results you desire.
Therefore, before starting a blog it is important to ask this question and then commit yourself to your goal accordingly.
Critical Question 3: How Do I drive traffic to my blog (and engage with my readers)?
Depending on your objective and monetization strategy you will need a certain size of audience to achieve your goal.
For example, if the average revenue per customer is $100 for you and you want to make $10,000 in a month, you would need 100 paying customers.
Assuming the conversion rate for visitors on your site in 5%, you will need at least 2,000 visitors to achieve your goal.
Hence, you should be clear about how you will reach this number.
To drive traffic to your website you can use either organic or inorganic ways.
Organic methods are those which naturally increase the traffic to your websites without you having to pay for it and inorganic methods employ paids ads which are shown to prospective visitors.
Organic methods like SEO or search engine optimization are extremely important for the long term success of your blog. However, they will usually take time before they yield results.
When it comes to keyword research tools, you can use SEMRush or Google Keyword planner in order to plan for keywords that will help improve the visibility for your blog in the search engine results page.
For example, if you want to write regarding meal delivery. This is what the sample results on Google Keyword Planner would look like.
On the other hand, if you are looking to generate traffic quickly, paid methods would do the trick.
You can publish sponsored ads for your blog on:
- Google Ads
- Niche Platforms like Stackoverflow.com
You can use the user demographics and interest data on these websites to choose where your target customers mostly spend time.
Here is a snapshot.
The most important thing about these platforms is that they offer a wide variety of options you can choose from in order to target your customer specifically.
For example, say you own a gym and the purpose of writing your blog is to attract customers to it. You can easily target say men in the age of 25-40 who are based around your area.
The quality of your content typically drives engagement with the users. You should enable comments and collect emails of your visitors so that you can discuss your posts and directly email them the content as required.
Critical Question 4: How will I make money blogging?
If your goal is to make money with your blog, you need to be clear about what monetization method you will use.
Hence, it is important to ask this question before you start your blog and narrow down on one of the monetization strategies.
There are many available for you to choose and the right method will depend on your niche, your objectives, target audience’s budget and willingness and the service you offer to meet customer needs.
Here are a few methods that you can choose from.
Selling online courses is a great way to make money online. All you need to do is create valuable material on the skill you associate with which also solves a key problem and adds real value to your customers.
One platform we recommend for selling online courses is teachable.com. It is an easy to use platform that offers you a wide range of students to sell your courses to.
An average instructor earns around $5,426 per course on Teachable.
Another platform that you can use is Thinkific.
In fact, users on thinkific have earned a combined $200 million so far since the launch of the site.
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn commission for each product whose sale you influence through your post.
You will need to collaborate with other brands in order for this work. So, you will essentially be selling someone else’s products through your blog.
However, you will need to have a certain influence in your niche and some amount of traffic before brands or other companies will see value in collaborating with you.
If the content you offer is very premium and the readers are willing to pay for it, you can monetize the service through membership.
Under this model you would collect a subscription fee and then distribute paid content only to the members who have signed up.
Another way to earn money is by showing sponsored ads. While those seeking space for ads may not approach you themselves in the beginning. What you can do is use Google AdSense.
Google AdSense is a great product that helps you generate money through sponsored ads.
You are then paid either for views, that is the number of visitors who saw a particular ad or you are paid for a pay per click when the visitor actually clicks on the ad.
If you are a freelancer or consultant and are looking to showcase your skills and generate leads, a blog is a great way that will help you monetize your services.
A blog is a testimony to your skills and instills confidence in your reader about your expertise.
Hosting paid webinars is another great way to earn money through blogs. You can host a webinar or your own website or use a third party tool for the same.
We recommend Webinarjam as a platform that you can use to host your webinars.
The great thing about this platform is that it not only offers you a huge audience to target, but also provides easily integratable payment gateways to facilitate paid webinars.
Software as a Service
If you believe that you can create a software that you can run on the cloud and provide useful service, a software as a service is a great way to earn good money.
In fact, you can expect to earn a large amount of revenue per customer in this model.
Typically, such services earn from 40 – 1,000 USD per 1,000 visitors, making it one of the most profitable monetization methods.
However, the effort required in developing a great software may also be high.
And last but not the least, you could sell physical products through your blog.
For example, say you write a blog on home decor. You can create/design some products of your own that you can then sell through your website.
Critical Question 5: Content Strategy: What type of content will I create (and how often)?
A blog’s main factor for success is the content and its quality. While your research and expertise regarding topics, keywords and subjects will drive the main theme of your content, you also need to clear about what form of content you will create.
While articles work great, you also need to enrich them with images and videos in order to make for a successful post.
Then there are guest posts, interviews, podcasts or webinars that you can use to drive results.
All in all a good mix of all types of these will be useful in keeping your audience engaged and your content relevant.
Here are the types of content that successful bloggers used in their content strategy.
Another important thing we recommend is to have more and more evergreen content published on your blog, because blogging statistics have shown it's performing best.
Evergreen content is the content that is not time sensitive and always remains relevant. This will increase the life of your post.
For example, say you are writing on the Covid pandemic, while it is important today, it may not be very relevant two years down the line when the effect of pandemic tapers. On the contrary, content on managing personal finance will stay relevant for a longer duration.
The next important question you need to answer is the frequency and length of this content.
Pushing in too much content may compromise your quality and your customers may not spend the time you would want them to on your posts, on the other hand too little content may decrease your SEO ranking.
So, what’s the correct frequency?
We would recommend at least one post every week, and if possible one every two days since it resulted in around 70% of bloggers who were able to acquire customers published more than weekly.
On the length aspect, while publishing articles, try to keep them longer than 2,000 words for best results.
Critical Question 6: Blogging Metrics: How will I measure whether I’m succeeding?
What gets measured, gets delivered. Hence, it is extremely important that you track the right metrics that will help you measure the achievement of your goal and give you information about things that are not working.
We can divide these metrics into three major heads
- Revenue metrics
- Engagement metrics
- Visit metrics
These KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are important to track the revenue generated by users who visit your blog.
- Revenue Per Mille: Revenue per mille measures the average revenue generated per thousand visitors on your website.
- For example, say your total revenue was $10,000 and the number of visits recorded to your blog was 200,000. Then on an average your RPM would be $50.
- Conversion: Conversion refers to the total proportion of visitors who became paying customers or purchased your service/product.
- So, if 100 customers visit your blog and 5 end up purchasing your ebook your conversion rate would be 5%.
- Average time per visit : This metric tells you how much time an average visitor spends on your blog. The higher this number the better it is for you. It is only when a visitor sees value on your blog will he or she stick longer.
- Average number of pages per visit: Another metric to track is the average number of pages per session. This will give you the number of pages visited by someone from the time of visit to leaving.
- Unique Visits: This will give you the total number of unique visitors for your website.
- Total Visits: This measures the total number of visits irrespective of unique visitors.
- Visits/customer: Number of times the same visitor visited your address.
A natural question is what metrics are most important for you and how do you measure them against your targets?
It would totally depend on the space you are operating in. For example, the total visits for a blog that monetizes through ads should be very high so as to generate a decent income.
On the other hand a niche that attracts few visitors but high conversion rates will have a completely different set of numbers for these metrics.
As an example, say you are in a blogging business which generates money by selling affiliate marketing.
The average product price is $100 of which you make 5% commission. In order to generate $1,000 a month, you need to sell $20,000 worth of products.
Now you have noticed that on an average the conversion rate is 10%. So, one out of every 10 visitors makes a purchase.
In order to achieve your targets you would need 200 customers and thus 2,000 visitors.
This is how you will set your objectives.
Now say, the conversion rates are falling below 10%. Then in order to make up you will either need more number of visitors or improve your conversion rates.
Such metrics will drive your day to day decisions and give you a great way to track progress. You can then adjust your strategy if the situation demands.
Should I Start a Blog FAQ
If your objective is visibility and/or money, starting a blog is a great way to generate traffic and monetize it for gains. In fact, many people have built great blogging businesses earning more than $10,000 a month consistently.
Today, 20% of all internet time is spent on content. This presents immense opportunity for content creators to start blogging businesses that can eventually turn profitable.
However, not all bloggers will become successful. It will require good planning, time and effort. So, as long as you are willing to give it the effort it requires, starting a blog is a good idea.
Bloggers make money by one of several ways like showing ads, selling ecourses, freelancing, consulting, affiliate marketing, selling products, webinars or selling software.
Beginner bloggers can use the same methods, however, you need to build traffic on your blog before you can make good money which may take from a few months to a year.
Services like freelancing and consulting through blogs can yield results faster even for beginner bloggers if you have the right expertise and recommendations.
To start a WordPress blog, first create a domain on Bluehost.
Bluehost will host your domain on the web and store all the content of your website. The platform is great as it is extremely easy to use and has been recommended by WordPress since 2005.
Once done, you can install wordpress with just a single click.
Now that your domain is hosted and linked to wordpress, you can select one of many templates available on WordPress for setting up.
After these steps are complete, all you need to do is create posts, articles or other content and start publishing.
It’s that easy.
Whether or not, blogging is a good career totally depends on your objectives and the time that you can devote to it.
Many people start a blog as a side business to generate passive income and only once it becomes successful do they devote full time to it.
Having said that, if your objective is money and flexible working, then blogging can be a great career for you. But keep in mind that it may take up to a year or more before you can expect any real money from your blog.
To be a successful blogger you need to carefully pick a niche and zero down on a monetization strategy.
Once you have decided on the niche, all you need to do is create great and relevant content that adds value to your target customers and helps you differentiate yourself from your competition.
You can build traffic for your blog through organic (SEO, word of mouth, backlinks) and inorganic (search engine and social media ads) methods and once you hit a sizable number of visitors you can expect good money.
Remember to measure key metrics like revenue per mille (revenue per 1,000 customers), average time spent per user and number of users and adjust your tactics to reach your objectives.
With 86% marketers using blog posts in their content strategy and 31.7 million bloggers in the US alone, blogging is far from dead.
On the contrary, blogging is actually thriving and poised for growth.
Today, it has become an important way to drive traffic, and impact sales of products and services and it is only going to increase from here on.
If your objective is to make quick money, write about your life or only get free products, then blogging may not be worth the effort.
In fact, a blog takes the right strategy and consistent effort to make it successful. It does not become a success overnight.
Hence, if you think you cannot devote such kind of time, then blogging might not be for you.
Successful bloggers earn anywhere from $5,000 a month to more than $100,000 a month.
The sad part is around 69% of bloggers make no money at all and only 2% earn more than $150,000 a year.
But don’t worry, if you want to be among the 2% who do great all you need to do is follow a careful strategy and step by step tactics. In fact there are various ways to make money online.
If you are consistent and patient and follow the right monetization strategy for your blog, you can make good money both as a side hustle or a full time career.
Should I Start a Blog? Making the Final Decision
If you reached this far then you have certainly evaluated your motivations to start a blog and made sure they are strong enough to make you successful in the blogging business.
So, if you want to earn a good amount of money, create a personal brand for yourself, expand your career opportunities and share your expertise and at the same time have a positive impact on people then blogging could help you meet your goals.
Imagine the lifestyle you can have if you make your blog successful and the money it generates will make you truly financially independent.
Also, by reading the article you would also have got a fair idea of the niche you want to operate in and what will be the content and monetisation strategy for your blog.
While certain learnings will come as you continue in your journey, the most important thing is to get started.
The fortunate thing is that the internet today provides great infrastructure and tools to start a blog.
The first thing you need would be a hosting service. This service provider will hold the contents of your website onto its servers and provide you your domain address or simply the name of your website.
We recommend Bluehost for all your hosting needs. The best thing is that it is easily compatible with WordPress, which is the most popular blogging service on the internet and has also recommended Bluehost since 2005.
It’s simple to use and the service will make you ready to go in no time.
So why delay, get your online business started today and take the first step towards success!