HOW TO START A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY FROM IT
Starting a blog is easy, generating traffic and making money from it isn’t.
I’m sure we have all thought of starting our own blog; a friend of mine did actually start a blog but it wasn’t really going as he thought it would. He came to me for some insight and the first question I asked him was; do you know what it takes successfully build a blog that is generating income? Loads of people have tried but only a very few has successfully generated a substantial income from their effort.
The first step to building a successful blog is writing. If you’re not passionate about writing then you are as well wasting your invaluable time. There is no formula to starting a successful blog, all you need is a deep passion for your craft because there are lots of challenges waiting ahead for you.
Building a blog can be straight forward but generating traffic isn’t. You need an audience, and this requires persistence and focus and also, this takes time so don’t be in a rush. There is a common saying among bloggers which goes; “Any blog can die.” For a blog to be successful, it needs to be consistent and for it to keep being successful, it requires more consistency.
A successful blog requires time, effort and consistency over a long period, probably years, after which you can most certainly generate a substantial income online.
Steps to starting a blog
If you have made it this far, then you’re serious about starting your own blog or probably having the knowledge about it. Here is a step-by-step guide to starting your own blog:
Be clear on what you want to write about. Define a topic or niche, and design all your content around those things. This will help you to not only laser-focus your writing, but also to build digital products and services that compliment your content.
This allows you to attract customers in, enticing them with your highly-informative posts, then tempting them with a lead magnet before dropping them into your sales funnel.
Currently, WordPress is by far the most popular platform for blogging. There are others out there that can be leveraged such as a micro-blogging platform like Tumblr, Medium or even blogger.com. However, if you’re serious about your blogging efforts, you’ll likely want to go with a self-hosted WordPress installation on a custom domain.
While you could setup a blog at WordPress.com with a subdomain such as myblog.wordpress.com, you’ll get more traction with a self-hosted solution, and then be able to use subdomains on popular platforms for your content-marketing efforts.
A Domain Name
Custom domain names are important if you’re serious about making money from the blog you start. Rather than relying on a third-party-hosted subdomain, find a short but relevant keyword- (“money”- if possible) domain name that’s descriptive of your intended topic, industry or niche. Use Godaddy hosting or any other number of domain name providers to source your domain.
If you’re at all concerned about things like SEO, when selecting your domain name, you should adhere to the following suggestions:
- Use a known top-level domain (TLD) such as .com or .net
- Keep the domain short, no more than 15 characters or so
- Try not to purchase a domain name with hyphens, since they’re more often associated with spammers
- Avoid using self-hosted sub-domains to rank or categorize posts
A Good Web Hosting Company
There are loads of good hosting companies out there. If you’re starting a WordPress, self-hosted blog, there are a near-endless amount of options. The important thing is to do your due diligence and pick the right one that’s suitable to your budget and to ensure that the service-level and up-time guarantee is there.
At the beginning, you’ll likely want to start out with either a Managed WordPress solution or a Virtual Private Server (VPS), and scale from there. Eventually, you’ll probably need a dedicated-hosting solution with a CDN (below) once you break through a few thousand visitors per day.
Caching and Content-Delivery Networks (CDNs)
A CDN is a system like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache used to ensure that you speed up the delivery of your webpages. In the beginning, this might not seem as important. But as you grow and your traffic increases to thousands of visitors per day, this will be critical. Use Google’s Page Speed Insights to test things before and after the installation.
It’s also important that you setup a CDN, which will speed up the global delivery of your content. For example, your page might load relatively quickly in the United States, but what happens when someone in Australia tries to load your content? CDNs replicate data across multiple repositories around the world, and make content delivery ultra-fast.
This is important for the user’s experience because most people who are forced to wait even a few seconds for a page to load, often abandon the website and go to the next one in the search results. W3 Total Cache integrates with Amazon’s AWS and MaxCDN, two very good options when it comes to CDNs.
In WordPress, you should enable permalinks before getting things off the ground, which will give you nice canonical URLs that are SEO-friendly. Permalinks are located within the settings > permalinks section of your WordPress admin and select the post name option.
Install the AMP plugin
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an initiative by Google to speed up mobile accessibility to a large degree of their content. Read more about AMP Specification, it helps to thin down a webpage to its basic structural components with scaled-back JS and minified CSS code, makes for lightning-fast page speeds.
Install Google Analytic
Install Google Analytic so that you can keep track of your efforts while building out your blog. This is a great way to keep track of your results while using the URL campaign builder when dropping links in social media and other places so that you can effectively determine where your traffic is coming from.
Setup Google’s Webmaster Tools
Anyone who’s serious about building a blog and making money, needs to leverage Google’s webmaster tools to see what keywords they’re ranking for and any messages that would impact their ability to rank. This will also allow you to submit an XML sitemap and track keyword impressions along with click-through rates. This is one of the most useful tools for growing your site or blog through constant analysis of your efforts.
Learn SEO the Right Way
Although you shouldn’t start a blog with the intention of optimizing it to oblivion, you most certainly should understand the fundamental principles of search engine optimization (SEO) so that you pay attention to the key aspects that will impact your ability to rank on search engines like Google. Begin with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and digest and implement that information. Learning SEO is a long and drawn out journey. You should always be increasing your knowledge and expanding your skill set.