The world of blogging seems like a wonderland where everyone can make money and become an overnight sensation. Sure, just by creating some simple blog posts you could be making $100 per an article in no time.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is!
If you think that all bloggers are making millions of dollars every year, then I am sorry but the reality is much different than what you imagine (only 30% succeed).
If you want to start making money blogging, then do not follow the generic advice of so-called ‘experts.’ I am going to tell you how it really works and walk through step by step what needs to be done in order for your blog to become successful.
To make things easier we will break this up into a three-part process:
- Blogging Basics – How to Get Started.
- Marketing Your Business on The Web – Getting Traffic And Subscribers.
- Monetizing A Blog for Profit with AdSense or Other Methods Of Online Advertising
What is Blogging?
What is blogging? In a nutshell, it’s writing and sharing your thoughts with others online. It can provide you opportunities to share information on specific niches like fitness or making money. And if done right it can be financially lucrative!
Creating a blog can be used to generate income from advertising, affiliate, or product sales. The beauty behind blogging is that you can set up shop anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access.
Starting a Blog
The first step is learning how to start a blog. Decide what your goals are and figure out which blogging platform would best suit those needs. Is your blog more of a personal writing outlet or a way to generate income?
What you need to do or consider:
- Pick a niche (Pick an evergreen niche)
- Research what is popular or has traffic online
- How tough is the competition
- Get a domain name
- Pick your hosting provider
- Answer peoples questions in your niche to get ranked on Google and drive traffic
- How to make money blogging the top techniques
- You can hire writers or do the writing yourself
- Get backlinks to improve your site ranking
- Start an email list to make money with your blog
- Create a sales funnel/landing page to promote and sell
- We look at how much bloggers can make
The first thing you need to do is pick a niche.
Pick a Niche
This is where most newbie bloggers fail. The consensus out there is that you should choose a niche solely based on your passion, but this advice is partly the reason more than 70% of bloggers fail.
If you are into blogging to earn money, you will need to look at the competition, keyword ranking, and if the niche is evergreen. Evergreen niches are long-term subjects that never grow old. Some examples include:
- Make money
- Lose weight
Rather than passion, choose your niche based on the following factors – your interest in the niche, the popularity of the niche, competition, the sustainability of the niche (Evergreen), and profitability.
Write out a list of niches that you think you may want to create a blog about. Then narrow down the list until you have a winner.
“Society has become a consumption-driven machine, and you need to rise above the noise. But how do you rise up and get noticed? What do you need to do to stand out?”
What makes one article better than another, not much but the little things can make your website better than most other blogs.
Luckily, there are many ways in which you can determine if a niche is too competitive or perfect for you to dominate.
- Google Trends is the most common, readily available, and free tool for determining the popularity of a topic. Google Trends will show you whether the niche you are interested in has been decreasing or growing as well as how it compares with other niches.
- BuzzSumo this awesome tool can also help you find hot topics and influencers in your niche.
- Quora platform provides you with a customized information feed. You can search particular keywords and check the most popular content based on the “upvotes”, shares, and comments.
- SEMRush is one of the simplest ways you can learn about the popularity of a niche or topic is to check out SEMRush and see how competitive and popular the niche will be.
How competitive is the niche that you want to venture into? One of the things many new bloggers fail to consider in choosing a niche is how competitive the niche is.
For obvious reasons, you do not want to choose a super competitive niche like weight loss because you may never rank. If you do not rank on the first page of Google no one will go to your website.
This however should not stop you from exploring the niche further and discovering the best way to enter the market. One thing you can do is niche down and maybe look at a niche such as how to lose weight using the HIIT program.
You do not have to dismiss niches with strong competition, rather find ways in which you can get a smaller piece of the market. What you want to do is shrink the niche down to a smaller more focused niche.
Instead of doing weight loss niche down:
- Best weight loss supplements – Very competitive KD score is 74
- Weight loss for men – Low competition KD score is 27
- Weight loss for kids – Medium to hard KD score 56
- How to lose weight after pregnancy – Medium to hard KD score 42
You want to get between 1 and 30 on the KD score. The closer to 0 the easier it is to rank for that keyword.
Look at the established blogs and identify the gaps you could take advantage of with the keywords they do not rank for on their blog. Is there a sub-niche that these sites are ignoring?
Use keyword tools like SEMRush or Longtail Pro to find keywords that are less competitive.
Or perhaps you can approach the same niche with a different voice or style. The truth is, there are plenty of ways you can differentiate yourself in a competitive niche.
Sustainability of the Niche (Is it Evergreen)
Can you be able to sustain the topic for the long haul? Will weight loss for men be around for 20 years. The Atkins diet is a fad which after 5 or 10 years will fade. You should avoid trendy niches.
Make sure you can come up with more than 20 to 40 ideas for topics in the niche that you decide to go with.
The Profitability of the Niche
Since your goal is to make money, you should find a niche that is easy to monetize. There are a few ways to tell if a niche is profitable.
Google Ads – Search on Google for topics in your niche and find out what types of ads Google is serving. Google will show you if advertisers are aggressively targeting these particular ads.
Another way to identify the profitability of a website is using AdWords Analysis. This is pretty much related to the Google Ads research above. With AdWords Analysis, you will be able to check how much advertisers are willing to spend in AdWords.
SEMRush – You can see by doing keyword research what the CPC of each keyword is for running ads. (CPC is Cost Per Click)
Google – Do a Google search asking what are the highest paying niches?
You want to pick a niche based on it being evergreen and if it can make money.
You Need a Domain Name
A domain name is a crucial part of your blog as it creates the first impression.
Your domain is also the URL of your blog, so when picking a name, make sure it is a name easy to spell and remember.
Tap into your wordsmithing and come up with a domain name that will represent your blog for years to come.
To help you come up with a great domain name, try to answer the following questions:
- What is your blog about?
- What is the tone of your blog?
- Who is your audience?
Be sure to come up with a name that is as close and relevant to your content as possible, as this will go a long way for people to know what your blog is about.
You Can do Exact Match Domains:
Has two or more keywords in the domain.
Partial Match Domains:
Only has one of the keywords in the name.
Brand Name Domain:
Talks about the general health of the body not weight loss like the other domains.
You can even learn from your competitor’s blog name.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but looking at your competitor’s domain name can give you a clear idea of what kind of name will work for your own site.
Another way is to use a website name generator.
This website called Nameboy allows you to generate an infinite number of domain names. Then narrow down to the names you think will stand out.
We use NameCheap to buy our domains.
Set Up Hosting
Web hosting plays an important role in the success of your blog. The wrong hosting can slow down your site, crash your entire blog, or cause security concerns.
Additionally, switching web hosting from a bad one to a good one, can be a pain in the neck.
When choosing web hosting for your blog, there are three important factors to consider.
Speed: A great hosting should allow your blog to load quickly
Uptime: This refers to the time your blog is available to the users over a specific period of time. While ideally, you want your uptime to be 100%, the standard percentage is 99.9%.
Customer support: A good hosting company should have excellent support that responds to any concern you have.
The best web hosting companies for your blog include:
- Hostinger Our number #1 overall choice
- Bluehost Best hosting for WordPress
- WPX Great hosting for speed and no downtime, but expensive
- DreamHost I use for VPS on my sites (Virtual Private Servers)
- SiteGround Great for shared hosting plans
To make money with your blog, your site should be able to answer people’s questions!
Solve People’s Problems or Issues to Drive Traffic
Just like any other business idea, your blog should be able to solve a certain problem that your targeted audience has.
If you can solve a problem, you will be able to make an instant and lasting impression on your readers. Those readers are highly likely to come back again and read future topics and are likely to share your blog with friends.
Sometimes solving readers’ problems starts with solving your own problems, so look within and you will find that the same thing that bothers you bothers other people too.
Just sit down and brainstorm your previous problems, write down how you overcame the problems in your niche.
You tell people what you have learned, and what you could have done to avoid them, and so on.
You can also check the comment section of a competitor’s blog and see what readers are complaining about or recommending the author’s cover next.
Provide answers to what your potential readers are looking for on the internet. How do you know what they are desperately looking for?
Thankfully, there are many great tools that can help you make a sense of what your potential audience or readers are searching for and why.
Google has a section in the search:
People also Ask:
Go on Google search and look up a question like the image below. Use this to get an understanding of the types of questions asked for the keywords you are targeting.
Related searches are at the bottom of every search you do on Google. See what Google suggests and use this to help people.
Ways to Make Money Blogging
When it comes to making money blogging, there are a number of ways you can achieve your goal. There are ways you can monetize your blog and earn even up to size figures a year.
Here are some of the methods to monetize your blog:
Affiliate marketing is basically when you recommend a product or a certain service to your audience using unique tracking links, and then earning a commission every time someone purchases the product through the link.
But if you want to benefit from an affiliate marketing program, you want to make sure the content you share is related to the product you recommend.
This is different from ads (more on ads later.)
Affiliate sales are the most common way bloggers make money, particularly if you don’t intend to directly sell products or services.
You get a unique link called an affiliate link, from which user clicks are tracked using cookies.
Speaking of cookies, you will come across the phrase ‘cookie life’ or ‘cookie length’ which is a term that describes how long the cookie will be tracking the online activity of the user after they click on the link.
For instance, a cookie can have a 30-day life, which simply means your referral should buy the product within 30-days after clicking your affiliate link otherwise you will not get paid because the link will not be trackable.
There are different types of affiliate programs, but a blogger program is what you should be looking for.
You can find a comprehensive list of products to promote from sites such as:
To maximize your earnings, be sure to look for affiliate products with higher price points
Put Ads on Your Site
Ads are another way you can make money with your new blog.
The caveat is that you need to have a considerable amount of traffic. If you have enough people visiting your site, just signup for an ad network to display ads on your blog.
Most Ad Networks use Targeted Ads
In a targeted ad, the ad change depending on the person viewing the blog, the viewer’s recent search words on the internet, or the content of the blog.
You as a blogger will be paid through two methods – paid per impression and paid per click.
Paid per impression ads the user doesn’t need to click on it for you to receive earning. Instead, you earn per impression, thus the number of times the ad is seen. This is usually calculated on a per thousand basis.
On the other side of the coin, we have paid per click, where the ad has to be clicked by the viewer in order for you to earn.
The most common ad companies include Google AdSense, Mediavine, Adthrive, and Sovrn.
You will have to learn where ads should be placed on your blog for maximum results. Ideally, the following areas are most suitable for ad placements:
- Over images
- Sticky footer
- In post after a certain number of words
If you want to make money with ads you need a bunch of traffic. Many ad networks will not let you sign up until you are at 25,000 page views every month. Mediavine is around 60,000 page views a month.
Top ads networks:
Write and Sell e-Book on Your Website
Do you have in-depth knowledge of your chosen niche? How about packaging it into an e-book and selling it to your readers via your blog?
If you have a substantial audience, you can charge your book from $5 to $40 depending on the length.
Avoid selling it on sites like Kobo or Amazon as you will have to charge less.
Get leads to doing coaching and charging for the coaching
Rather than putting it up into an e-book, you can use your knowledge of the niche to coach people.
But to be able to command trust and authority, coaching accreditation and a license would help with showing you are highly trained.
Put together packages you can offer to your audience – DIY packages, hourly coaching, unlimited email advice, and so on.
Create a Lead-gen Website
You can also build enough audience and sell the leads to companies. Some of the highest paying industries are lending-related, including insurance, mortgages, and money lending.
Customers in this area are worth thousands of dollars to companies, and so they will pay a fortune for leads.
Home services and remodeling is another area where leads selling can fetch a high dollar amount per lead. Build a website to generate leads and sell those leads to businesses.
Remodeling companies usually make quite a lot of money, meaning the companies can pay the top price for qualified leads.
The legal field can be highly profitable if you can get leads for lawyers or law firms. Legal leads however span a wide range of niches including tort, family law, and divorce.
Sell Memberships on Your Website
Another way to make money using your blog is through memberships. This is different from selling premium content like an e-book or coaching.
Here I am talking about pay-gated content, where you put your content up behind a membership-only website and anyone interested would need to pay for access.
Sell an e-Course
You can also design and sell online courses on your blog. There are many plugins you can use if the blog runs on WordPress.
Example: Create a course in SEO (Search engine optimization).
- You create the course and market it online through your website
- Drive traffic to your site by using ads, SEO, YouTube, etc
- Create a sales page
- Convert leads into sales
For example, you can check out plugins such as Zippy Courses and LearnDash.
You can also create courses with:
Add a Donation Button
Add a donation button using PayPal or any other online money transfer service and fund your efforts without having to sell anything.
To use PayPal, signup for an account and head over to PayPal Donations to get a code that will link to your PayPal account.
Copy the code and paste it on the sidebar of your blog so that it appears on multiple pages.
Getting Your Blog up Quickly
To make sure your blog is up and running quickly, you will want to outsource some of the tasks, including content creation and backlinking. These are tasks you can do yourself but it will take longer to get your site up and running.
Outsourcing your content creation and backlink building can free up some of your time. This will allow you to focus on other important things in the business.
How to Find Writers
Luckily for you, you can easily find writers online in just a few clicks. Freelancer writers are independent contractors who you can hire to create content.
Examples of platforms that you can search for writers include:
How to Get a Backlink
Linking building isn’t that hard and even as a beginner you can build some impressive links for your blog and skyrocket your SERP.
One of the simplest ways of building backlinks is guest posting.
How to get backlinks the basics:
- Find sites in the same niche
- Reach out by email
- Offer to write a guest post
- If they are interested, then send a sample writing over
- If the accept then writ the post and submit
- Make sure to add a backlink in the article or your author bio
The site you want to do a guest post on should have good domain authority. They should have a DA of at least 20 or higher.
You can also use a free service called HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to build white hat backlinks for your new blog.
Stay away from black hat SEO practices like buying links from PBN (Public blog networks).
Create an Email List
It doesn’t matter what niche you chose for your new blog, if you want to have recurring visitors, you need to create an email list.
Many studies have found that email subscribers carry more value compared to the typical social media user.
Set up an email autoresponder to allow you to send your subscribers a series of scheduled follow-up emails.
An email list is the pillar of a successful blog and it is so easy to build and use that you cannot afford not to have.
The best email marketing software companies:
To learn more about the eMail marketing companies listed you can check out our detailed review.
Create a Sales Funnel or Landing Page
In order to make money from your blog, you need a sales funnel. A sales funnel will allow you to close the deal and helps to upsell them.
You can use your sales funnel to optimize your affiliate marketing, sell an e-course, membership plan, or sell any other digital product.
The best sales funnel/landing page builders:
How Much Can a Blogger Make?
If you get everything right, there is no limit to how much you can make from your blog. The highest-earning bloggers currently are:
- HuffPost – $500 million per year
- Engadget – $47.5 million per year
- Moz – $44.9 million per year
- Copyblogger – $33.1 million per year
You just need to focus on making your first $100. Most bloggers will make an extra $1,000 a month to $50,000 a month. Depends on you and the niche you go into.
Create a Plan and Stick With It
Blogging is not always easy. You will require a working plan in order to keep things going and avoid stopping.
If you want to hit your goals in the shortest time possible, use the following simple strategic plan:
- Always have a plan before writing an article. Write out the first 50 articles you want to put on your blog.
- Give extra value by answering their questions. Don’t just provide abstract principles to your audience. Go the extra mile to provide extra value to them so that they don’t have to look for solutions elsewhere.
- Include call to action (CTA) buttons or links on your blog. What do you want your reader to do when they finish reading your content? Leave a comment, buy an e-book, subscribe, or join your email list?
The CTA button should be visible and easy to click.
There you have it the how to make money blogging overview. We gave you every method we know to start making money on your blog once you start driving traffic.
Get started today on building your website or blog.
How do I get started?
Here is a quick rundown:
- Pick a niche
- Get a domain name (NameCheap)
- Find the right hosting (Hostinger)
- Install WordPress
- Pick a theme (Astra)
- Build your website on WordPress using the theme
- Add your first post (Post twice a week)
- Optimize the posts (SEO)
- Add social media accounts
- Keep working until the traffic comes
Do I have to hire people to write the articles?
You do not have to hire anyone, but it will take longer to get enough content on the site to get the site to authority.
How long should my article be?
Look at the top three competitors for the keyword you are writing on and add 10% more than the competition average.
Do I need an email list?
To start you do not but once traffic starts coming in, I would definitely get it set up.
When should I look at adding ads to the website?
You need to have some decent traffic to really make any money with ads. You can add Google Ads until your traffic gets high enough for the larger ad networks. A good time to add Google ads is when you have 1,000 pageviews a month.