All types of businesses start blogging to develop a loyal following. start a blog.
However, the opposite is also true; more and more bloggers are starting businesses as a side business to their blogs. and that is logical.
Building an audience for new business products is one of the main obstacles they confront. On the other hand, new bloggers often move backward, first building an audience by continuously publishing quality material and then looking for ways to monetize their traffic.
If you only want a side job, starting a blog is simple. However, you’ll need to be clever about how you set up your blog for success if you’re thinking about original ways to make money as a blogger in the future.
The information you need to start a blog and develop it into a source of traffic and money is covered in detail in this step-by-step manual. While our approach is geared toward people who haven’t yet launched a business, it also applies to any businesses that wish to enter the blogging world.
What is a blog?
A blog is a website that you frequently update with information that is generally centered on a single subject. Blogs often adopt a personal tone, which helps them establish a stronger connection with their readers as opposed to other publications and articles.
People start blogs for all kinds of reasons, including:
- To build an email list
- To make money online
- To teach others what they know
- A combination of any or all of the above
- To develop their personal brand as an expert
- To share their opinions, passions, or glimpses into their lives
Because of these factors, blogging is a commitment, but it can also be tremendously satisfying, particularly when total strangers start reading your content.
It’s crucial to stay as constant as you can, whether you publish daily, weekly, or monthly. This applies to both the frequency and the kind of content you publish.
To stay motivated in the beginning, keep in mind why you are blogging since it is quite unusual for bloggers to see benefits right away.
How to start a blog with no money as a beginner
The stages to start a blog that has the potential to become a business are as follows, which we’ll go through in this tutorial:
The most difficult part of blogging is finding the time and inspiration necessary to do it regularly. However, getting started is quite simple.
If you’re wondering why we’re talking about monetization first, it’s because to make this a successful endeavor, we need to think more like entrepreneurs than simply bloggers.
1. Find a way for your blog to make money
It may seem paradoxical, but if your goal is to generate money from blogging, you should focus on the financial aspect before the content aspect. What kinds of content you publish and how you develop it over time will depend on your monetization strategy. Therefore, you should begin by thinking less like an artist and more like an entrepreneur.
Depending on the type of blog you choose to start, there are several ways to make money from it. For instance, pairing a blog with a low-investment business gives a sustainable way to expand for little cost other than time and effort. But for some reason, a lot of people think that using something like Google AdSense is the only way to start earns money.
A lot of traffic is necessary before advertising becomes financially feasible, even though there may be profitable ways to make money from blogging. Fortunately, there is a tonne of alternative ways for new blogger to quickly monetize their work without needing a large audience.
Here are six ways to monetize:
1. Selling a book. James Clear is a great example of someone who has done this. To monetize his blog and leverage the information he had acquired over years of writing articles, James created the book Atomic Habits after writing a self-development blog.
This book, which was sold in both physical and digital formats, enabled his blog to become financially viable, and it also propelled him to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list.
2. Affiliate Marketing. You may earn a commission with this technique each time you sell a partner’s product. Affiliate commissions are a great way to generate passive income when handled correctly since they can quickly pile up.
Bases Loaded Softball, for example, uses gear reviews to attract users before mentioning an Amazon product in the content. The blog receives money if a reader purchases the product after clicking the link.
3. Digital products. A natural way for bloggers to monetize is via online courses. Successful bloggers are skilled content producers, and courses make use of your prior knowledge. To find inspiration from a blog that has already made the transition, go to CopyHackers.com.
4. Physical products. Tangible products are consistent with the brand’s message. One example of this is Glossier, a makeup brand that evolved from Into the Gloss, Emily Weiss’ fashion blog.
5. Services. If you want to start a blog, chances are you have a lot of writing talent and are an expert in a great field. The ability to monetize a blog through speaking, coaching, and consulting services is very great.
6. Subscriptions. Patreon is not just for YouTubers.Subscriptions are a great way to monetize a blog because when readers respect the information you offer, some may be prepared to pay a monthly charge to access premium content.
The fact is that there are more effective and efficient ways to monetize your blog that don’t require a tonne of daily visits. If you can develop a devoted audience instead of merely a large one, it is doubly true.
Who your audience is and how you’re going to serve them will be your top priorities, not just making money.
2. Pick a niche for your blog: What’s your “thing” going to be?
Content is abundant online. Although it may seem difficult to stand out, there are two ways to do so: by choosing a specific niche and by producing content that readers won’t be able to discover elsewhere.
It’s crucial to choose a niche that is a mile deep and an inch wide. This will ensure that you can continuously produce content without running out of ideas and will have an impact on the name of your blog (which we’ll discuss later).
You must also ensure that the audience your selected niche attracts supports your monetization strategy. What products or services would be of interest to this audience?
You can do this in a number of ways:
- Focus on a specific location (e.g., New York)
- Deliver your content in a different style or voice (e.g., humor)
- Compete with high quality (e.g., in-depth posts on a topic that no one else is willing to do)
- Focus on a specific segment within a larger category (e.g., not just recipes, but vegan recipes)
For example, BlogTO offers a wide variety of lifestyle topics but specializes in Toronto’s unique cityscape.
The audience you choose must be one you can sustainably serve with a consistent supply of content ideas, and the niche you select will ultimately influence how you explore revenue.
Consider what products or services this audience would be interested in purchasing. It’s an important topic to consider when choosing a niche for your blog, regardless of whether you want to monetize using display advertisements or one of the other methods we’ll discuss later.
After you’ve come up with a few niche ideas, analyze your competitors in that specific vertical market. To observe how content in this niche performs and to obtain ideas for future topics, use a service like BuzzSumo or Ahrefs.
Avoid skipping this final step. A study of your competition will help you develop your brand and find your own voice in the market. A successful blog relies on identifying and bridging gaps in viewpoints.
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3. Choose a blogging platform and template
You must set up your blog hosting and content management system before writing your first blog article. When deciding which platform to spend their time and money on, many aspiring bloggers find themselves in this bind.
The choice usually boils down either to a self-hosted or hosted platform:
- Self-hosted. Although you would still need to pay a monthly subscription to host the site yourself, and it needs some initial setup, these platforms often offer greater customization possibilities. If you’re thinking about going the self-hosted route, WordPress is the recommended open-source platform.
- Hosted. Your blog may be put up more quickly with a hosted site. For example, Shopify offers to host as part of all of its services. Some hosted websites, like Blogger or Wix, may restrict customization choices, in contrast to Shopify.
When choosing a platform, you will want to pick one that is:
- Easy to use
- Will be able to grow with you
- Doesn’t require coding or HTML skills
As your brand develops, your traffic increases, and you have more posts to arrange, there may come a time throughout your blogging journey when you may want to modify the layout and functionality of your site.
Additionally, you should make sure that it has a robust ecosystem of plug-ins and applications since they may greatly improve your site’s speed, execute site backups, promote your new blog, and make duties easier.
Because they provide you access to an active community of other bloggers and readers on the platform, some bloggers choose free hosting accounts on websites like Medium and Tumblr. It’s important to realize that you may republish your posts on these platforms to benefit from their audiences; you are not required to create your own blog on these free platforms to use them. We’ll talk about that in more depth later.
4. Choose a blog and domain name
When you’ve decided on your niche, think about purchasing a new domain name (e.g., yourblog.com). Through Shopify, you may find and register a domain name, or you can use a web hosting service like Bluehost.
If you sign up for a hosting package with a company like Bluehost, they’ll offer you a free domain name. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also available from Bluehost if you’re not satisfied with the service.
It’s an excellent time to think about your website’s name when searching for a domain. I advise against using your name as your custom domain unless you’re aiming to build a personal blog or portfolio site. Even if your name isn’t in the URL, you may still be the blog’s face. It’s also much simpler to build a personal brand when you choose a name that expresses your mission.
Look at Ashley Hicks-Rocha and Toni Carey’s Black Girls RUN! blog. Ashley and Toni’s brand name is Black Girls RUN, and the blog is a compendium of their personal experiences as black female runners.
When choosing a domain name, aim to make it:
- Fun to say
- Easy to spell
While choosing a blog name might be difficult, a strong brand name will stick in readers’ minds and let them know what to expect from your business.
Building a blog on Shopify
With the aid of add-ons like hundreds of plug-ins and applications, Shopify is a hosted platform that combines an ecommerce website builder with a blogging platform to allow you to sell and start selling physical and digital products and services right away. Your free trial of three days may start right now.
Once that’s settled, you’ll need to pick a blog theme.
A “theme” is only a template for your website’s blog design, layout, and functionality. Regardless of the platform you choose, many great Shopify themes are free and easy to set up. In your Shopify dashboard’s Themes area, under the Online Store menu, you may choose a theme.
However, if you’re dissatisfied with those choices, think about shelling out the one-time cost for a premium theme since it would significantly improve the overall user experience.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and engagement metrics for your blog content may both be impacted by the site’s design. Readers quickly determine a website’s credibility depending on how it seems and functions.
Consider the house Lars built. When you first visit the interior-design-and-crafts blog, you can tell it’s going to be enjoyable.
If you’re interested in arts, crafts, and design, you’ll undoubtedly find it appealing due to the short load time, soft hues, and humorous pictures.
The majority of us can also recall arriving at a site that was badly designed and leaving when it was difficult to find what we were searching for. When selecting a new theme, give it some thought since it may drastically affect how well your blog runs.
For bloggers, some Shopify apps—plug-ins that increase the functionality of your site—include:
- Related Blog Posts, to suggest relevant posts and increase site engagement
- Blog Studio, to spruce up your blog posts with a drag-and-drop article builder
- G2D Page & Blog Maker, to convert blogs from Google Docs
- Philyra, to create stylish product pop-ups based on keywords in your blogs
- Yoast SEO for Shopify, to improve your website’s SEO
Building on WordPress
For new bloggers, self-hosted WordPress is a fantastic blog platform. Please keep in mind that WordPress is only free if you use the.com extension.WordPress.org requires you to pay for hosting and your own domain, while Shopify allows you to do both for free.
The hosting panel of a Bluehost account allows you to install WordPress immediately. You may pick a theme from WordPress.com if you wish to start a blog. You may select from a wide variety of free WordPress themes, including those for blogging.
Click “Skip for now” at the top of the page if you don’t want to pick a theme right away. You’ll be taken to a new page where you can start a blog.
Click Name your site, then fill in your information and click Save settings.
In your WordPress dashboard, find a free theme by clicking the Appearance tab in the sidebar, as shown in the screenshot below.
Alternatively, great WordPress blogging themes can be found on sites like ThemeForest or ThemeIsle.Go to Appearance, then Themes, and click Install theme to install an external theme from a site like ThemeIsle. You can use a variety of WordPress plug-ins to install your blog pages.
Want to make a small e-commerce site out of your WordPress blog? For only $5 a month, you can sell products on any WordPress site or blog using the Shopify Buy button. All you need to get started is a product to sell.
5. Plan your publishing strategy
Every blogger needs to ensure a steady flow of ideas, and it helps to plan to ensure you never run out. To keep track of your ideas, use a content calendar (and keep yourself on track, too).
You may create a basic spreadsheet to plan your content schedule, but Trello is free and a great way to dump and organize ideas.
Your content calendar should include:
- What content you’re creating
- What audiences you’re targeting
- Which distribution channels you will be releasing on and on what date
You may plan your content schedule using a simple spreadsheet. But there are many more powerful tools at your disposal. Trello, Airtable, or Asana are great choices since they simplify the process of organizing content.
It’s great to consider your content mix to understand the breadth of your blog and choose what categories and tags you may use to organize everything as you continue to produce quality content in the future.
Some types of blog posts to include are:
- Evergreen content. This type of content caters to a specific demographic. At its core, evergreen content is informative.
- Topical content. Topical content makes use of hot topics or occurrences. The great thing about topical content is that, when done properly, it can spur rapid development on social media platforms. But don’t make this the mainstay of your strategy. Utilize topical content wisely, but don’t rely only on it to drive traffic. It changes at random.
- Curated content. The way you’re curating content for your original content strategy might be quite great. The internet is a vast space, and readers prefer well-chosen content that matches their interests and ideals.
- Feature pieces. To build substantial content editorially, interviews might be a great way. Readers are taken inside the minds and lives of amazing people in feature-length pieces that tell a tale. As you establish some credibility by association, interviews with well-known people may be a great way to build authority.
- Visual content. All bloggers should include visual content in their strategies. Search engines favor blog posts with unique graphics, videos, and photos.
- Interactive content. Quizzes may be a great way to boost engagement, such as time spent on a page, and uncover more details about your audience.
To provide your audience with a general notion of how often new content should be released, try to plan your blog posts at least one month in advance and publish them on a regular timetable. If a feature article comes up and has to be published right away, you may simply adjust the schedule.
outline before writing blog posts. Although some bloggers could choose to skip this step, writing an outline is a useful way to hit all the topics you need to hit. It will ensure that you use all important terms and keep the end goal in mind so that you can focus on the excursion.
Here are some quick things you should do after writing your blog article before clicking “Publish”:
- Edit your work. Having a human editor to bounce ideas off of may help take your blog posts to the next level, even though going back with fresh eyes and using a program like Grammarly can help identify syntax and punctuation issues.
- Ensure you have organized the information under a hierarchy of headings. Subheadings improve readability and make the article feel more approachable to readers.
- Workshop headlines and social sharing images. Your distribution might succeed or fail based on your title and picture. While we don’t recommend making clickbait, it’s important to use headlines and photos that stick out on social media and pique interest if you want people to read your writing.
Keep in mind that audience growth is gradual. There will be some successes and failures, but perseverance is the key to growth.
6. Get people to read your blog consistently
Usually, once we start publishing, we discuss expanding our audience. But even before you launch, you need to start thinking about how to build momentum rapidly.
I think there are two reasons why many bloggers struggle with the distribution:
- Within their publishing process, they lack a clear, dependable distribution strategy.
- Even if publishing is a nerve-wracking process anyway, expanding your reach just makes it scarier.
While the latter is something you ultimately get over, the former calls for some preliminary thought and a time commitment before you embark.
So let’s go through some strategies for planning for development and making the most of each article you write.
Start collecting emails as soon as possible
No matter what blogging platform you choose, your main goal should be to increase your email subscriber base. Every new subscriber is evidence that you’re on the correct track and represents a prospective repeat customer who is within easy reach.
Your email list follows you everywhere you go, even if you later decide to switch platforms or start a new road.
Nevertheless, just having a subscriber list is insufficient. Contact forms help you collect these emails since you need to do so constantly.
Including contact forms with a call to action to subscribe directly to your content or site is a smart habit to get into. To turn website visitors who are leaving your site into subscribers, you may even incorporate one in an exit pop-up.
You can easily design and use these forms with many email marketing tools. In your blog posts, social media posts, and email signatures, you may even create a link that points to a different contact page.
Keep in mind that if you don’t ask and if it’s difficult for them, people won’t subscribe to your blog.
You should email your list every time you press the publish button. Once you have the hang of things, you can automate this process.
Brainstorm opportunities to go after search engine traffic
You may estimate the search volume for certain search queries in your blog niche by doing keyword research. The greater the number, the greater the demand for a topic and the potential long-term increase in traffic.
The simplest way to achieve this is to use Ubersuggest and try to search phrases from the viewpoint of your audience to unearth intriguing post ideas. Start with queries that start with “how to” or “best.”
You will have a content concept with a demand already established, even if you don’t rank on the first page of search engine results. However, you may learn more about SEO if you want to aim high. Additionally, think about optimizing your posts using the free SEO checker app if you use Shopify.
Set up your social media strategy
Being active on every social media platform can at first seem like a good idea, but doing so quickly becomes difficult to manage and isn’t always productive. Instead, concentrate on the platforms where your audience is most active. Do they sign up for specific forums or communities? Do they use Facebook or TikTok? Your selection of channels will vary based on your niche and your available resources.
Any blogger who is willing to spend money to promote their content should have a Facebook page. As opposed to Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are likely to offer a lot more free interaction for a budget-conscious food blogger. To promote your blog posts on any topic, you may also make short films on TikTok.
For example, Oh Happy Day, an online retailer of party supplies, makes use of its increasing base of more than 1.7 million followers each time it posts a new blog list.
Don’t forget about your personal networks too; your loved ones make excellent early audiences.
Reduce, reuse, and resurface your content
You can’t put up large posts every day. To maximize the usefulness of their content, a skilled blogger knows how to reuse and repurpose it.
So, here are some post ideas to keep in mind as you go forward:
- Using free tools like Canva, turn current posts into “micro-content” for social media.
- Post a compilation of previous blog posts with a unified theme, such as “Our Best Posts of 2022.”
- Transform blog posts into different content formats, including infographics or quizzes.
- To acquire additional early exposure, often republish your content on blog platforms with built-in audiences, such as Medium, LinkedIn, or Tumblr. If you want to boost the likelihood that people will come back to your site, include a link to the original post title at the top that reads, “Originally published on youblog.com.”
- When a significant amount of time has passed, it is sometimes necessary to update and republish outdated content to improve your Google Search ranking. The phrase “10 Lazy Halloween Costume Ideas” is a great example of how this works with seasonal content.
- Once you’ve begun to grow a following, you may want to start accepting guest posts. This content will probably be distributed to the audiences of the guest writers as well.
- Within your posts and at the conclusion, provide links to pertinent content. (If you use Shopify, install the Related Blog Posts app for free.)
- Join a podcast as a guest and talk about a couple of the blog topics you’ve previously covered.
When time is money and blogging is your business, you need to continually wring out more value from your efforts.
Understand analytics to understand your audience
The best opportunities are hidden in your data.
You’ll have various stats to look at depending on the platform you pick, but you’ll at least see how many people have seen it and where they’re coming from, which may tell you a lot about how well you’re doing.
Regardless of whether you’re using the Shopify platform or a WordPress blog, spend the time necessary to set up Google Analytics on your site (it’s free). You may get more detailed information, such as the average reading time per reader, the reader quality across sources, and even the number of real-time readers.
Data may be used by bloggers as well. A big advantage that increases the likelihood that others will want to work with you or obtain access to your audience is the capacity to demonstrate the volume of traffic you generate.
How much money do bloggers make?
Writing online content may help full-time bloggers maintain a comfortable lifestyle. According to the financial blog Millennial Money, bloggers may boost their traffic to more than $100,000 after building readers and subscribers. Additionally, it says that in your first year of blogging, you may expect to make between $500 and $2,000 each month.
Get started now and make money blogging
Whether you’re doing something for the first time or a million times, the effectiveness of your efforts ultimately depends on your audience. You’ll see an increase in traffic and reach as you put more effort into expanding this audience and regularly uploading new content.
Check out the following sites to discover more about blogging:
- How to Make Money Blogging: Ultimate Guide
- How to Create a Photography Blog on WordPress
- How To Make Money From Travel Blog: 22 Affiliate Programs
- How to Make Money From a Food Blog: Ultimate Guide
In addition to being enjoyable and satisfying, blogging is one of several paths to business success. Building a valuable audience that will sustain your business for a long time is possible if you approach the launch of your blog with an entrepreneurial mindset and set ambitious growth goals.
How to start a blog FAQ
3. Online courses
4. Affiliate marketing
5. Publishing an ebook
6. Selling digital products
7. Selling physical products
1. Choose a blog name.
2. Register your blog through a hosting provider.
3. Choose a free WordPress or Shopify theme.
4. Start writing and publishing your first post.
5. Promote your blog.
6. Monetize your blog.
1. Start collecting emails as soon as possible.
2. Brainstorm opportunities to get more organic traffic.
3. Set up a social media strategy.
4. Repurpose your content.
5. Understand your audience and analytics.
Your costs might range from $65 to $240 in the first year, depending on the type of blog you wish to create and your hosting plan.