Learning how to make money blogging is easier than you may think — making it actually happen, however, is a different animal. It’s all about execution, patience, and passion.
Despite your initial enthusiasm, success usually doesn’t come overnight. With time, a nuanced approach, and the right technologies, you’ll be on the right path to profitability.
Starting an online business requires a lot of patience before any significant money starts to roll in. For most people who want to start a blog, the eventual goal is to get regular readers and build up some cash flow; getting there is a matter of dedication and strategy. Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Find a Profitable Niche You Love
Before you start your blog, it’s important to research and find a niche that is in demand and profitable. This will give you a target audience to focus on and create content for and help you identify potential sources of income.
If you’re going to commit to writing a blog, you should be in it for the long haul. That means the topics you blog about should be ones you care about and know very well – enough to keep up with for many years to come. Posting regularly, especially when a blog is new, helps develop a continued, loyal readership and attract new readers.
Make sure you have the drive and knowledge to write continuously and passionately about your chosen topic and write regularly to get out ahead of your publishing schedule. That way, you’ll have material that’s ready to go in case an emergency takes you away from your computer.
2. Choose a Web Host with Free Blogging Tools
Once you’ve identified a subject matter, you’ll need a web host to publish your ideas online.
One advantage to blogging as a business is that it doesn’t have to have a lot of up-front investment. Anyone can start a blog for free using a platform like Wix. It’s as simple as entering your signup information. Other free blog software options include WordPress.com, Blogger, and Medium. These platforms are set up for even the novice to quickly start blogging without worrying about the hardware or software behind their web operation.
Ideally, however, you should invest less than $3 per month in an affordable web hosting plan that comes with dozens of free blogging software options, ranging from Weebly to WordPress and beyond. These companies invest much more money in modern technologies and larger support teams that are available 24/7 to help you with any issues. You’ll likely get your blog online just as quickly and just as easily — but have an immensely higher ceiling.
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3. Create Valuable Content
You have a niche and target audience, and you’re backed by one of the most trusted hosting providers. The next step is to create high-quality, valuable content that will attract and retain a loyal audience. This could include blog posts, videos, podcasts, or other forms of content that provide value to your readers and helps them solve their problems or meet their needs.
Google recommends creating content that is educational, helpful, and interesting. The search engine coined the E-A-T principle, which stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, a core tenet of its content quality evaluation process. This means that your content should be created by an expert in the field who is authoritative on the topic and trustworthy when it comes to providing accurate information. So, while it’s tempting to choose a topic based solely on its profit potential, your greatest chances of success lie in writing what you know.
4. Build Your Audience with Social Media and/or Email Marketing
When it comes to marketing your blog, social media has the potential to make a big impact. Using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets to promote your posts and complement your blog will diversify and expand your following.
Social media works for gaining new followers but is also a great place to add value for those who are already reading your blog. Using social media for marketing differs from using it for personal communication. Many free online resources are available to help you get started, including Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Social Media and Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Marketing podcast.
A blog is not an island. Many people who start a business may feel as if they’re alone in their efforts. However, bloggers are a different bunch who are generally good communicators and value relationships with other bloggers where they can join forces to support one another mutually.
Work your network by offering to share content and cross-promote posts with other bloggers in similar and related niches. The blogging community is strong; you may be surprised who will help you.
5. Monetize Your Blog Through Multiple Streams
Content alone doesn’t make money. A blog needs a stream of income to generate a profit. Income sources on a blog can be sorted into three categories:
- Advertising: money from paid ads and clicks from ads on the blog
- Affiliate marketing: commissions received for referring visitors to certain companies
- Products & services: money from products and services offered by the blogger
Bloggers who make money have at least one of these sources of income embedded in their site, and the biggest earners incorporate all three. Content’s role in making money relates to its ability to bring visitors to the site. The more people who view your content, the more people click on ads and buy products and services marketed on your site.
How Much Do Beginner Bloggers Make?
The amount of money a blog can make ranges from zero to millions of dollars (which is very rare but possible!). This number depends on a broad spectrum of factors, from blog topic and audience to networking and marketing efforts to sources of income. The average blogger can expect to make roughly $45,000 annually once their site is established.
Many blogs don’t make any money, but that shouldn’t dissuade you if you’re determined. It’s possible to make a good living with a blog. Many blogs make several hundred to several thousand dollars per month. It’s rare to make more than that, but it’s been done and can be done again.
What Kind of Blogs Make Money?
The top moneymakers in the blogging world start to grow their earnings after small beginnings. Some of the top-earning bloggers bring home $40,000 per month writing about topics ranging from entrepreneurship and personal finance to productivity, cooking, and parenting.
Some profitable niches include:
- Personal finance
- Cooking or baking
- Any self-help or how-to content specific to your industry (e.g., email marketing or frontend development)
Other lifestyle topics, such as home decor, fashion and beauty, and dating, are fun but highly saturated niches. Beginners may struggle to break into these markets.
As you can see, various content niches hold the potential for prosperity for blogging. To move toward making it happen for your own site, you’ll need a blog host, a topic you’re passionate about, and great content. Go forth, blog, and prosper!