How to Start a Blog for Money: Quick Guide
By Chris Harper
Blogging is a great way to express your thoughts, feelings and ideas for the world to see. But blogging can also be a great way to make money. If you don’t already have a blog and are looking for how to start a blog to make money, this quick guide is for you. Just follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way.
Step 1: Pick a Niche
Before you can begin to blog you will need to know what you are going to be writing about. Maybe you have a passion that would make a good theme for the blog. Or perhaps you are an expert in something or have a business and want to write about your field.
Keep in mind that you are going to be writing about this topic for a while. So be sure to choose something that you won’t get tired of easily.
Regardless of what you choose, be sure to spend some time defining what you want the overall theme of the blog to be about before you dive into the rest.
Step 2: Set Up Your Blog
This step probably goes without saying. After all, if you are starting a blog to make money, you need a blog, right?!?
But don’t overlook this step because it is an important part of the process. Setting up your blog the right way the first time will ensure that you are optimized in the future so that the money will come more easily.
If you are looking for the actual steps to starting the blog itself, check out our guide to starting a blog. And also be sure to check out the beginning blogger mistakes that you will want to avoid at all cost.
Step 3: Write!
Like these guys…
Setting up the actual nuts and bolts of the blog is just part of the story. Next, you’ll need to do some writing, and lots of it.
When writing your blog, try to be as authentic as you can. Even though you are about to start a blog for money, you certainly don’t want your readers to also come to that realization.
In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes that people make. New bloggers start thinking about how much money they are going to make with their blog. But if you look at most of the successful bloggers out there, they started their blogs because they had a passion and wanted to bring value to the web on a particular subject.
Instead of thinking what you are going to name your yacht, first think about how you are going to provide value to your readers. This is the only way that people are going to keep reading your blog, and of course, contribute to you making money.
All that said, you should still be smart about how you write. Take time to optimize your posts for SEO and keywords so that they can get the most traffic. Research what people are searching for and bring value to those searches.
Step 4: Build an Audience and Keep Them
In short: you can’t make money without people to read your blog. Therefore, your focus should be on those people at all times. You need a plan.
There are plenty of guides out there to help you get noticed and get people to visit your blog. Blogtrepreneur’s 4 Potent Ways to Promote Your Blog is one you should check out.
But in the interest of summarizing all of this for you, here are a few items to add to your checklist as you get started.
Write More Content
In general, more content equals more traffic. Plus, Google gives sites with the most up-to-date content preferential treatment in the search results.
If you don’t already have a presence on social media platforms, now’s the time to do it. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great for building a following quickly and then cross promoting your blog.
Write Guest Posts
Find other blogs that could be related to yours and offer to write a guest post. Likewise, offer your blog up to other trusted bloggers for them to write guest posts. This builds your network and helps to drive traffic.
Build Your Mailing List
In many ways, email remains the best online marketing tool. Capitalize on that yourself by making sure you have the tools in place to get people to join your list. Once you have a list, no matter how small, send relevant, helpful content to your subscribers.
Of course, building your audience is only part of the picture. Once you have people visiting your blog, you need to keep them engaged and coming back.
If you are writing content that people want to read, there will undoubtedly be people with questions. And any time you have an audience of involved readers, you are going to find people who disagree with you. These are both good indications that people are reading what you are writing and you are making them think.
Make sure you have the commenting feature turned on for your blog. Allowing people to agree or disagree with your posts gives them an opportunity to become invested in what you have written and gives them another excuse to keep coming back.
Make a point to respond to as many comments publicly as you can. This shows you are authentic and it will keep people coming back. After all, more traffic typically means more money!
Step 5: Pick a Way (or Ways) to Monetize Your Blog
When starting a blog to make money, the blog itself is really only half the battle. Once you have your content and readers in place, you will need to decide how you plan on making money.
There are plenty of ways to use your blog for income. Some ideas are below; as you read them, keep in mind that you can use multiple methods to increase your income.
Using tools like Google AdSense you can place ads on your site and get paid when your readers click the ads.
You can use your blog to promote products and services. These could be items from Amazon or even individual products and services that others in your industry provide. (Tip: Search Google for your blog’s topic and add the word affiliate at the end. The results should show you any affiliate opportunities you might consider.)
You can easily turn your ideas into content that is typically longer than a standard blog post, produce a PDF file and sell it on your website. This is a fantastic way to repurpose older content and a great way to show off your expertise.
You can set up a membership-only section of your site and sell subscriptions to visitors. Maybe this area provides premium content, an exclusive members forum or special access to you to answer questions. This is a great way to set up recurring revenue, but be sure that people keep getting value for the money they pay so they keep paying you.
If you have built a good audience and are seen by your readers as an authority on the topic at hand, chances are pretty good that consulting may work for you. Think of how you could provide one-on-one help or advice to people and then offer a way for them to contact you to set up a consulting agreement with either a one-time payment or recurring payments over a period of time.
Hopefully you have seen here that there’s not too much to it when you start a blog for money. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take hard work and dedication. Be sure to keep your focus throughout the process and keep your eye on your goals and, in time, you should be able to reap your blogging rewards!