How To Start A Blog
And Turn It Into A Money-Making Machine:
Step By Step Blueprint For Beginners
In this Step By Step blueprint you’ll learn every important part of building a successful blog such as:
If you are new to blogging and consider making a career out of it, here is a step by step blueprint that I prepared to help you achieve success and turn your blog into a money-making machine.
Blogs are informative, entertaining, and some are even enlightening. You might have been in a situation in the past where reading a blog was able to help you answer some questions you had, or helped you make decisions about whether or not to purchase a certain product – wait until you learn how writing them can actually make you money!
For some people, blogging is their way of expression and connecting with other people. Some uses it as an outlet where they can showcase the products of a hobby or their hobby itself.
While others find comfort in knowing that they were able to help someone in need by the knowledge and expertise they have shared on their blog.
There are so many reasons why we go into blogging that the examples I mentioned don’t even cover even a tiny spec of it.
But, do you know that blogging can also give you a serious amount of money?
You heard it right!
That is the reason why blogging is gaining popularity nowadays. It doesn’t only allow you to be free to speak your mind, or write something that you are passionate about, or share your hobbies.
It can also create a profitable source of income.
Unfortunately, not every blogger gets to earn through their blogs.
While some bloggers will argue that they are not blogging for money, it would still be great to derive an income for spending time to creating blogs. After all, a lot of bloggers are actually making thousands of it.
It wouldn’t be so bad if you could also gain profit from blogging, isn’t it?
You Don't Have To Reinvent The Wheel
All we need to do is figure out what these bloggers do that make them successful in this field.
Successful people always look up to other people who became successful before them. They study them. They let their story become a guideline that sort of mentors them.
So, this is what we are going to do – I looked into some of the blogs of the most successful bloggers online and created this blueprint that you can follow in order to create your very own blog so that it can bring you financial rewards.
In other words, we will copy what these successful bloggers do, and avoid the things unsuccessful or yet to be successful bloggers are doing wrong.
>>> So are you ready to reveal the secrets of six-figure bloggers and plan your own?
Is there really a secret on how bloggers make their blogs successful and able to earn a six-figure income?
Yes, there is!
But the good thing is that what they did or have been doing to achieve success in blogging is no longer a secret. It is out there for us to learn and apply to our own blogs.
What I aim to achieve on this article is to provide you with a complete guide on how bloggers earn thousands of dollars from building their blog and creating money-making contents.
This will be a blueprint that will walk you through every step on creating your own passive income-producing “online real estate”.
You will find this article continuously being updated to include brand new ways to help you build an effective blog so I hope that you continue checking this out.
So, let us begin unravelling the secrets to becoming a successful blogger!
Choose A Niche
“Why does my blog need to have a niche?
Can’t I just talk about anything I feel like on my blog?”
Sure you can do that!
You are the master of your own blog. You can decide on making a blog where you can write just anything that comes to your mind.
You can even make yourself your niche. There’s absolutely nothing wrong about making your blog your online diary because there are people who actually find interest in how some people live their lives.
However, that may not be a good idea if your target is making your blog a long term success.
Remember that what we aim here is to how you can build a blog that successfully generates an income.
Therefore, we do not want a blog that is scattered. We want a blog that will appeal to certain followers. We don’t want your regular readers to skip your blog because some of your topics do not interest them. We want your followers to consistently follow and read your blog posts.
And a niche helps make your contents become consistent.
A consistent blog boosts a steady number of followers.
That’s why you have to choose a niche. That’s why you need to have one!
What exactly is a niche?
Simply put, a niche is a group of people with a common interest and problem.
As it’s said:
“Where there is a problem, there is money to be made”
Or in other words…
Instead of chasing money, help people solve their problems, and the money will follow.
So, your blog needs to have a well-defined topic where your content will be based upon. A niche is what will kind of etch your blog into the minds of your readers.
For example, if your reader needs to suggest a car to a colleague who wants to buy one, and your niche is making car reviews, your reader can easily point the direction of his colleague to reading your blog. Your reader knows that his colleague will get loads of valuable information from your blog.
Just so you know, I can go on forever to make a point on how a niche is very important in monetizing your blog.
The real point is – choose a niche!
Let’s say you have finally realized that having a niche is the most important thing before you go ahead and start creating content.
The next question will be: How will I choose my niche?
These are the top 3 things that you should ask yourself when selecting your blog niche:
- What are my interests?
- Will it attract an audience?
- Is it profitable?
Let’s try to understand how these will affect your decision in finding a niche.
1. What are my interests?
Your niche should be something that you are interested in and passionate about, and have good understanding of it.
It will be totally pointless if you blog about something that does not interest you. Why? The content may be below par and you will find that writing content on your blog is becoming tedious rather than enjoyable.
The key here is that you have to write about something that you are passionate about, a topic that will not wear you out even after 50 or more blog posts.
Begin by listing down all the things you like doing or reading about or something that you are probably going through right now or that you have overcome.
For example, weight loss. If you had struggled with it in the past, you can use your experiences to create content for your blog.
Your readers expect to learn something from you. You need to give them value through the contents that you write so make sure that you are knowledgeable about your topic.
Being knowledgeable doesn’t mean that you should be an expert on the subject matter. Having expertise may give you an edge but it is not a requirement that you should have when starting a blog.
You can always research your topic. Even the most successful bloggers still spend considerable time researching on their topic. You can definitely do this as you go along with your blog.
What’s important is that you are interested enough in your chosen niche to stick with it even after writing several blog posts related to it and that doing hours of research will not be so daunting of a task for you because like what I’ve said, research is necessary if you want your content to be more insightful. So, you should choose a niche that excites you.
Broad or Narrow Niche?
In choosing a niche, you don’t want it to be too broad or too narrow.
A niche is broad if you can still break it into smaller, more specific topics.
For example, “education”. If you are going to blog about education, creating contents about “early childhood education” or “specialized education” will bring your blog a more targeted audience than simply blogging about “education”, which is a very broad niche.
You can’t choose a niche that is too narrow either because it will be too limiting that you will find yourself running out of ideas after some time.
So, you better choose a niche that can be found in the middle spectrum, not too broad or too narrow. Make it specific but has flexibility enough to make room for future growth.
2. Will it attract an audience?
Your niche should be something that a good number of people are interested in.
Now that you have listed down ideas of the niches that you are interested in, cross-check these with your potential audience.
You don’t want your blog to end up unseen in the corner of the room, collecting cobwebs. You want it to be seen by a good number of audiences. You want your niche to have a good number of followers.
How do you know if there is an audience in the niche that you chose?
Begin by doing market research!
*If there are books, magazines, or published articles about the niche.
*If there are numerous products for this niche being sold at Amazon.
*If there are advertisement banners in social media for this company.
*If there are reality shows.
Companies will not pay a hefty amount of money on publishing, product placement, and advertisement if there are no demands for their products. The presence of these products in the market is a good way to tell how big the market is.
Another way of knowing if people are interested in the niche that you chose is to check its internet search volume.
Google alone is a good way to know what most people search for on the internet within the niche you have chosen. If you key in words in the search bar, Google will offer you words that are commonly being looked up by other people.
It can also display other searches people have made that are related to your search, these are done by a system called LSI or the Latent Semantic Indexing:
Google has Google Trends, which analyzes the popularity of top search queries that Google receives. It displays results using charts which you can compare to other keywords.
Google Trends is helpful in allowing you to see the behaviour of your audience towards your niche over a period of time.
How big should your audience be?
Niches also differ in the number of their audience shares.
A big niche is one that is too crowded. You do not want to compete in this niche because obviously, big websites will drown you out in terms of ranking and web traffic.
When you are starting a blog, pick a niche that is within the small to medium-sized markets because this is where it is easier for beginners to make a mark for themselves and have the potential to become big.
3. Is my choosen niche profitable?
Let’s talk about how your blog can generate an income.
Your niche must have an audience that is willing to spend money or have companies that are willing to pay you commissions for selling their products.
How will you know if your niche will create a profitable income for you?
One trick in knowing this is to check if there are companies that are advertising using your keywords.
You may check e-commerce sites such as Amazon for the popular tags and item descriptions being used on products in your niche.
Then do what affiliate marketers do. Affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable ways on how you can create an income online.
If your niche is “home exercises for weight loss”, you can join affiliate programs like Amazon’s to promote products in your blogs.
The content of your blog may include gears, apparels, and gadgets that you can make reviews of. When your readers click your affiliate link from your blog and purchase a product on Amazon, you will be entitled to a 5 to 10% commission. Over time, it will generate a good amount of money for you.
There are so many companies out there that offer an affiliate program where you can join in.
Get A Brandable Domain For Your Blog
Once you have decided on your niche, it’s time for you to create your home or an address in the world wide web.
A domain name is not just the address where Internet users will go to when they want to read your blog. It becomes your identity, your person on the internet.
That is why selecting a brand name is as important as choosing your child’s name.
Why should you make your domain brandable?
A brandable domain is more than just a name. It involves hard work to turn a name into a brand. You will put hours and effort to work on your brand so you need to choose a domain name that you can see yourself using and will best represent you in the years to come.
Here are some characteristics that you should consider when coming up with a brandable domain.
While there is no problem with a descriptive or keyword name, I suggest that you make your domain name as unique as possible.
Descriptive names may turn up easily on searches but so does tons of other similarly named brands. For example Bridaldresses.com, Dress4brides.com.
The problem with having descriptive names is that they are too generic that they hardly stand out and they can often be mistaken with other brands carrying the same descriptive words.
Thus, making it difficult for people to look for you amidst the sea of similarly named businesses.
And you definitely don’t want it to look like you are sharing a brand with another business.
What you need is something that will make you stand out from the competition so make your domain name as unique as possible, not to make it look like a copycat.
Catchy, Memorable, and Short
Your brandable domain must be catchy enough to draw attention. People tend to notice brands that are cleverly thought of.
How can you make a catchy brand name?
Here are some techniques that you can use:
- Create mash-ups
- Use acronyms
- Get inspiration from mythology and literature
- Use foreign words
- Play with your name
- Use a symbol
- Come up with an alternative spelling
There are more ways to make your brand catchy. Be creative.
Then, your domain name should also be easy to recall.
Who wants a domain name that no one can remember?
Make a domain name that is easy to spell. As much as possible, keep your domain name short and simple, and has good retention to memory.
Your domain name must be closely related to the purpose of your blog. It doesn’t need to contain the keywords of your blog, although it can be a great idea too, there should be a connection between your domain name and what you blog about.
Although there are known brands that don’t seem to have a connection with the product they have, such as in the case of Apple, etc., it is still ideal that the domain name has a strong connection to your blog niche. Like for example, Microsoft, which was derived from the products that the company is developing: MICRO-computers and SOFTware.
If you choose to create a blog about technology or computer applications, the domain name should somewhat pertain to technological advancement. If you blog about food, it would help to come up with a name that sounds delicious.
The domain name you choose should be credible.
Avoid choosing silly names because they may catch the attention easily and be good for a while but some people might not take you seriously at all.
Stay away from names that may be associated with a scandalous past. You don’t want to keep explaining the dissimilarities. Others may not give you a chance and not ask at all, they will just assume that you are one and the same with your notorious namesake and that is enough for them to walk away from you.
If you have difficulties coming up with a good domain, look around on Squadhelp, where you can find a bunch of valuable ideas.
Choose And Set Up Your Blogging Platform
So, what have we accomplished so far?
You have already decided on your niche and chosen a brandable domain name.
The next thing you need to do in order to start blogging is to subscribe to a Hosting Service, and choose a Blogging platform.
First things first, let us define them and know the difference.
Hosting Service (BlueHost)
Think of a blog host as a library where all your books or files are stored. When a user types in what they need from your blog, your blog host gets it from their file and gives it to your user.
My recommendation for a hosting service is BlueHost because of its user-friendly interface. Its cPanel is very easy to navigate. Aside from its ease of use, they also offer the following:
- Free domain name for the first year
- Free SSL certificate included
- Easy WordPress installation
- 24/7 support
Their packages are also affordable:
Not only that they have affordable rates, but their prices are also discounted on your first year of subscription, giving you the ability to maximize your savings.
How do you create an account with BlueHost?
The 4 simple steps in signing up with BlueHost
1. On the BlueHost website, click “Get started”
2. Select the best plan that you want for yourself
The most recommended plan that has the most value is the Choice Plus, but you can opt to get a lower plan like the Basic to begin your blog.
3. Set up your domain name by typing in your chosen domain name, then click “Next”
What is good about BlueHost is that you will be able to create your domain name absolutely for free.
If you are still undecided about your domain name, you can choose to create it later by clicking “I’ll create my domain later”.
4. Fill out your account information
You will be asked to fill out your account information on the “Create your account” page. You will also need to indicate your chosen hosting plan, and enter your Payment Information.
Don’t forget to click the terms of service checkbox before you click “Submit”.
After you have successfully created an account, you will be able to access your account within a few minutes.
You will also receive your account information on the email that you provided. It will contain all the information that you need in order to prepare your website.
Blogging Platform (WordPress)
Similarly, you will need a software where you will build your blog.
I recommend WordPress because it has the lowest level of complexity as compared to similar platforms. While it supports multi-faceted designs for bigger companies and more experienced users, it also includes features that can be used by beginners who do not have coding or programming experiences.
Here is how you install WordPress in 6 easy steps:
Step 1. Once you are in your BlueHost Cpanel, go to the Website panel, then click “Install WordPress”.
Step 2. You will have to select the domain where you want to install WordPress to. Click the domain box and it will show you the domains that you have created previously.
If you only have 1 domain, then it will only show that. Select the domain name. Then, click “Next”.
Step 3. Add the Admin Information by typing in:
- Name of your website,
- The email that you want to use for this website, this will also be your login name for this WordPress site.
- Your admin username
- Your password.
Then click “Next”.
Step 4. Once the installation is complete, click on “view credentials here”. You will then be able to see your Domain URL, Username, and Password on the Installation Details.
Step 5. Clicking on your Domain URL will bring you to the WordPress login page.
Step 6. Log in by entering the username and password you have created. You will be able to see your WordPress dashboard, which is hosted by BlueHost.
There, you are now subscribed to a blog host and have created your website. The next thing you need to do is to set up your website.
On your dashboard, go to your website by clicking the site title, which you will see on the left corner of your page, just above your menu panel.
You will notice that your new website already has content in it – images, website information, and other generic stuff – even if you have not gotten started with it yet.
The reason for this is because your website has a default theme. The theme provides the features of your website. If you want to customize how your website looks like, this is what you need to do:
Step 1. If you are still on your webpage, click on your site name on the upper left corner. This will bring you back to your dashboard.
Step 2. On the side menu, click “Appearance”, then click “Themes”
Other available themes will be displayed on your board. If you want to change your theme and use any of these existing themes, just click on the theme then click “Activate”.
You can also use other free themes that you can find on WordPress.org by clicking on its button on the upper side of your dashboard.
Tons of themes will be displayed on your screen.
Step 3. Go through these numerous themes and when you find the one that fits your liking, click “Install”. This will take only seconds, then click “Activate”.
When you go back to your website, you will see that it has already changed its appearance.
Customizing your Blog Page
Of course, you want to make your website your own. Therefore, you want to tweak it a bit to your own liking so we will go to the part where I walk you through customizing your blog page.
There are two ways to go to the Customize panel:
(1) On your blog page, click “Customize” on the top menu bar; or
(2) On your WordPress dashboard, click “Appearance”, then click “Customize”.
On the Customize panel, you can see the theme tab where it shows the theme that you are using. You can easily change it by clicking the “Change” button of your Active theme.
The other tabs following the theme tab will allow you to make changes on your blog page’s design.
You can change your Blog or Site Title and Tagline on this tab.
The Site Title is what will appear on top of your blog page, this is basically the title of your website.
The Tagline is the line that goes under your Site Title.
Fill out the spaces provided for. You can already see the changes on the page as you make the modifications.
When you’re done typing in your Site Title and Tagline, click the “Save & Publish” button.
Click the back arrow button to go to the Customize panel.
You can change the colour of your Header, which consists of the Site Title and Tagline, by choosing a colour under the “Header Text Color”.
You can see the changes instantly because it will be applied on the page as you make any actions on the menu.
Once you have chosen a colour, click the “Save & Publish” button. You can always go back to the default colour by clicking the “Clear” button.
You can do the same with your background by changing the colour under the “Background Color”.
You can choose to entirely change the look of your header by putting an image or your logo instead of your text header.
Simply click on the “Add new image” button to upload your image. Then, click “Save”.
Similarly, you can also put an image to your background. Click “Add new image”, then “Save”.
These are the basic menus that you should know in order to customize your blog page and give it your own personal touch. You can always explore other customization menus as you go along.
Aside from the customization menu, you can also make other modifications on your website that will make it look more organized.
If you want to add a page that is entirely dedicated to showcasing the blog owner’s credentials, or a page where you want to put your contact information, or a page with all the products you are promoting, you can do this by simply adding pages on your blog’s homepage.
Step 1. On your dashboard, click “Pages” on your sidebar menu.
Step 2. Click “Add New”.
Step 3. Type in the “Title” of your page.
Step 4. Type the content of your page. If you want your page to have a more distinctive look, you can customize it by adding images, just click “Add Media”.
Step 5. Once you are done, you can click “Publish”.
When you click the Pages menu, you will see the different pages you have created. Going back to your blog homepage, you will see on your menu the pages which you have added.
You can also customize your blog page menu by adding and removing pages. You can arrange the pages in an order that you like.
Step 1. On your dashboard, click “Appearance”, then “Menus”.
Step 2. Create and type a Menu Name on the space provided, then click “Save Menu”.
Step 3. The pages you made will be shown on the “Menu Structure” panel. If you want to remove any page from your website, click the drop button then click “Remove”. Then click “Save”.
Step 4. If you want to add a Homepage, click “Custom Links” on the “Pages” panel. Add your URL then add the text of the menu that you want to be displayed. Click “Add to menu”, then it should appear on your Menu Structure panel.
While you’re on the Pages panel, you can drag the pages in the order of how you want it to appear on your menu tab.
Step 5. If you want to make a previously removed page to reappear, just go to the “Pages” panel, select the page you want to show on your blog page, then click “Add to menu”.
Always remember to click “Save” every time you make changes in your settings.
When you go back to your Homepage, you will be able to see the menus you created.
When you create a blog post, which steps I will give you on the next section, a URL will be assigned to every blog entry you make.
You can see this URL on the Permalink line that will appear below the title of your post. The default name of the link is mywebsite.com followed by the date and the name of the post.
As much as possible we want to keep our URL clean and simple like this:
You can add, remove, or change an item in your permalink as long as you haven’t published the blog post yet. Otherwise, it will be a permanent URL.
So let’s change the default URL and make it shorter by probably removing the dates and just leave the title of the blog post. Click “Settings” on your menu bar, the click “Permalinks”
You will be provided with various options on what to include in your URL, you can either choose from any of those or you can also provide a Custom Structure by clicking it, then by typing your URL format.
Most bloggers just want to keep their URL simple so they just put the post name on their URLs. You can select this option on the common settings. Then, click “Save Changes”.
There is also an option for you to set categories for your blog posts. You can set that on the Optional section.
Create your first blog post
So, you have chosen a niche, registered a domain name, and set up your blogging platform.
You are now ready to create your very first blog post.
What should you do?
You may be surprised to know that creating a blog is not that hard after all. WordPress is pretty easy and simple to navigate.
But, for your convenience, let me walk you through this step by step guide on how to create a blog post.
Step 1. First things first, you should log in to your WordPress account.
Step 2. On your WordPress homepage, click “Posts” on the left menu.
Step 3. Click “Add New” button to create a new post.
There you go, you are now ready to type your heart away! But before that, let me familiarize you with the fields in your Add New Post window.
Blog Title and Content
Enter your blog title on the text box that reads, “enter title here”. Remember to include keywords in your title. Make it searchable.
Then, go ahead and type your contents in the content box.
Text Editing and Adding Media
Of course, you want to make your blog post as exciting, bold, colourful, and vibrant. Therefore, you can edit your texts using the text edit panel just above the content box.
Furthermore, you can add images to aid your readers visually and sometimes, just for the heck of it.
To enter an image, click the “Add Media” button. If you are going to use an image that you have used before, it should already be in your image library so you just browse through the images and select the image, then click ”Insert into post”.
If you’re going to use a new image and have not uploaded it yet on your WordPress site, click “Add Media”, then click the “Upload Files” tab.
Open the location of the file in your computer through windows explorer, then drag and drop the image from your window explorer to your website page.
Your image will then be uploaded on your library. Once it’s there, click “Insert into post”.
In the “Category” section on the right menu, click the “Blog” checkbox to make the post appear in your blog.
It is important to have a Featured Image set on your blog post. A Featured Image is a thumbnail image that appears next to the link of this blog post in your blog homepage.
To set this, click “Set featured image” on the right menu. You can either upload a new image or select an image from your WordPress library.
You can even make your own featured image so that it can relate to your blog post better.
Then, click the “Set featured image” button.
Before you publish your blog post, you would want to see how it will look first. So, click the “Preview” button.
A new tab or window will appear in your internet browser and it will show you how your page will look like when it’s published.
This is a good time to note of those extra spaces between words, or between paragraphs that you really don’t need, and which you can edit out on your content box.
Always remember that your blog post must give your user a good experience. If your blog is properly put together, by that I mean visually appealing, your reader will have a great time reading your blog. If it appears to be too messy, your reader will lose interest in your blog despite it having a high-quality content.
Publishing Your Blog Post
When you’re done with the preview of the page, close the tab or window of the preview page and go back to the browser window or tab that has your WordPress open.
Go through to the content of your blog. Make your final changes.
When you are satisfied with your content and are ready to show your post to the world, click the “Publish” button.
You can go to your site to see your latest blog post by clicking the “View Post” button. Your latest post will appear on your blog’s homepage.
Remember that you can edit or update your posts anytime you need to.
Create Content That Is Easy To Rank For
Why does your blog need to rank on search engines?
Ranking on search engines will give you the advantage of sending a higher traffic volume to your blog.
Some bloggers wonder why their blogs don’t perform the way they expect them to be. The answer is that they are not doing things the right way.
When creating content, always base it on keywords that are easy to rank for.
Instead of targeting competitive keywords, Use Long-Tail Keywords
You will find that Long-Tail Keywords have less search traffic but it also has a higher conversion value because they are specific searches and people who search for something specific are usually those who are ready to buy what they are searching for.
Long-Tail Keywords are keywords that consist of more than 4 words. These usually include keyword modifiers that create a more specific keyword.
For example, instead of just saying “leather shoes”, you can add modifiers like “black formal” and “for men”, therefore, making your long-tail keyword “black formal leather shoes for men”.
To create a Long-Tail Keyword, you must first know what your audience wants. You can do this by simply using Google Keyword Planner or Jaaxy that is one of the best keyword and research platform developed by affiliate marketers FOR affiliate marketers.
So, if you have chosen a long-tail keyword for your post, make sure to include it in the following places:
Always include the keywords in your title
It’s an ongoing battle whether including keywords on the title is a good idea or not.
Bloggers will advise you to do so because top search results are always those that include keywords on title. However, there are a growing number of readers that find it tacky and sneer at the idea of it.
My POV? I think it’s just a matter of how you use your keywords in your title. Realistically-speaking, you need to get your blog as high up the ranks and if a way to boost that is to optimize your blog title by including keywords, then why should it stop you?
Readers will not mind it as long as your keywords blend well in your title. What readers find tacky is if you do this: How to create a blog for beginners: A blogging guide for beginners who wants to create a blog.
Don’t be too crazy about your keywords. Make it simple and natural.
Another way to give your title a break and not to make it look like a dumpsite of your keywords, but still be able to rank is to make sure that your keywords appear as near on your title as possible.
Put it subtly in your introduction. That can work!
Use the keywords several times within your article but do it tactfully
Although this is one trick that may lead Google to favour you on the rankings, you must do this in good taste.
Just like on titles, nothing annoys people who will read your blog posts than reading the same words over and over again.
Always think that it’s not Google or any other search engines that will pay you for your blog posts so consider what your readers want to see and read on your blog. Give them a good user experience and not annoy them with repeating words even if that is beneficial to your ranking.
Again, I’m not saying that you cannot do this trick because it actually is a good one if done correctly. So if you have to, do it naturally throughout your blog post. Include as many repetitions as long as it occurs naturally and make sure that your keyword appears at least once near your title.
Include your keywords in your URL
If you insist on being crazy about keywords, do it in your URL. At least your readers will not mind seeing this when they click your link on search results.
Set your URL to include your keywords and not just the default URLs where you can see lots of characters that actually don’t mean anything to anyone who sees them.
Make sure that your meta description includes keywords
Google displays a meta description on its searches. Take advantage of this! Create a meta description that will not only tell Google that you have a high quality and relevant content but will also show the readers what they expect to get from your blog.
The meta description also helps convince the readers to click on your post especially when they see a very relevant description.
Create high-quality content
The best way to rank is still to create high-quality contents.
Google is always coming up with ways to filter websites according to the most relevant and high-quality posts. It keeps improving its algorithm that ranks or gives scores to pages. And believe me, those algorithms are getting smarter! You can no longer fool Google.
So, what can make your content high-quality to deserve Google’s top-ranking position?
*Create longer content!
In most cases, longer is always better. Even Google prefers blogs with longer contents on their ranking.
Of course, not all lengthy blog posts are guaranteed to rank. The minimum requirement is still high-quality content.
One way to making your content longer, without boring your readers with an article that holds no value, is to add more details to your content. Be detailed and give them more specific information about your topic.
*Create “how-to” contents
Guiding your reader about step-by-step procedure also helps in making your content high-quality. When you introduce something that is new, give them a detailed instruction on how to go about it. Add images to help them visualize what you are talking about.
When you create a content that is educational in nature, it adds value to your blog post and Google recognizes this, giving you a fairly good chance of ranking.
Similarly, your reader will find value from your content when you are able to provide them with solutions to their problems. So, find a problem or maybe a potential problem in your niche and present a way to solve it.
Keep your blog posts updated
Understandably, Google will not rank your posts from years ago. It will favour blog posts that are updated.
Therefore, make small updates on your blog posts. Review them once in a while if the topics you have created a few months back still hold relevance to the present time.
You don’t have to rewrite your entire blog post. You only need to update it by appending developments that happened between then and now.
Optimize your blog for search engines
When you want your blog to generate an income, your goal is to drive web traffic to your blog posts and in order to do this, your blog must have a place on the first page or be within the top 10 rankings of the search results.
It would be very convenient if your blog posts could just land on top of search engines by themselves, right?
However, that’s not the case.
It needs intervention. It needs optimization.
A well-optimized blog post can easily land on top searches and bring your blog page a good number of organic traffic.
Let’s talk about SEO, probably one of the most popular acronyms in the blogging sphere.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is simply defined as a methodology used to increase the amount of organic traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to your website.
These search engines do not come up with searches randomly. They use a sophisticated algorithm to rank blog posts according to their relevance.
So, how do we convince Google, for example, to rank our blog post in its searches?
It always sums up to the content of your article.
What makes optimized content?
- It can easily be understood by search engines
- It should hold relevance
What are the steps in optimizing your blog post?
- Find the most relevant keywords that people search for
- Find out how you can offer a solution or give value to these queries
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer and think of what you want to search for in a given situation. Then enter those keywords in your tool. You will then see the search volume. And this will give you an idea on whether you have chosen a good keyword or if you should change or add some words into it.
There are also a number of SEO tools, such as Jaaxy, that will not only show you the search volume of your chosen keywords but also keywords that are associated with it that has higher search volumes.
You have to use these keywords properly. You can never trick Google by just throwing these words into your posts for the purpose of ranking high in the search.
And for instance, let’s say you were clever enough to make Google favour you in the rankings, remember that it’s not Google who reads and sends money to your blog.
So, when you fill your blog post with repetitive keywords, you will not make your readers, who are your target market, happy. Write to your target readers, not for Google.
Optimized Title and Meta Description
The Title is the first line that will appear when your search returns.
The Meta Description is the set of words, about 155 characters in length, following the title tag in the search page. This is used to give a brief description of what your article is about.
A Meta Description helps to give your readers an idea of what to expect in your article. Make sure not to use any generic descriptions. Use interesting words that are of course true and not something that you just made up only to attract readers to click on your title.
If the readers don’t stay long in your blog page, Google will know that there is no relevance on your article in connection with the keywords that were searched. Thus, your article might be ranked lower the next time.
Also, consider that the search engine will display your meta description only if the keyword that was searched appears in it. Therefore you have to make sure that your meta description is optimized as well.
Aside from the Title and the Meta Description, you should also take note of how you present the content of your article, such as the placement of the title, what you should write in the heading tags, what are the images that you will use. Always remember that the contents of your blog should be relevant to the keywords that you used.
Always include the keywords in your headings.
An optimized image may also result in a good placement in the rankings. You can optimize the images in your blog by doing the following:
===>>> Change the image’s file name to include your keywords
Search engines do not just search on the text in your articles, they also look at images and other media you put there.
So, instead of leaving the camera-default filename of your images, change them to include your keywords so that your images may also turn up on searches.
·===>>> Alt attributes
Alt Attributes are the alternative text provided to describe an image if it cannot be shown.
The idea here is to give your readers a verbal description of the image since they cannot see the actual image.
You may also optimize your Alt Attribute by including your keywords together with descriptive words.
===>>> Size your images properly
As a reader myself, I prefer larger images over smaller ones because it makes me better appreciate the details of the image.
However, large images may not be good for your blog. It affects the loading speed of your page and you don’t want your readers to lose patience over waiting for your page to load.
Your blog page may not display the actual size of your image after all. It automatically resizes your image dimensions according to its source code so why waste your loading time for the huge image file size that will not be viewed in the scale you want them to be seen?
Instead, make your webpage images smaller then create a pop-up image on a separate webpage.
Monetize Your Blog
There are tons of ways on how you can make your blog generate an income.
My #1 recommendation is Affiliate Marketing.
What exactly is Affiliate Marketing?
It is a process of promoting a business and earning commissions from every sale the business makes through your promotional efforts.
This is a good source of passive income because once you get your system in place, you will have the potential to earn on every click your readers make.
How does it work?
Most online companies have what we call an Affiliate Program. When you join this program, you will be assigned your own Affiliate Link, which you can use on your blog to promote these products and direct people into where they can purchase these particular products or services.
When your reader purchase items or avail of services on these websites through your link, you will be paid a commission.
Amazon.com is one of the biggest companies who have an in-house affiliate program. For tangible items, the commission runs from 4 to 10% of the actual price. That percentage may go higher (usually from 30 to 90% ) if you are promoting services or online products.
But hey, think of someone buying a gadget that is worth $2,000, you easily get $100-$200 from that sale. What if that person keeps on buying more accessories for his gadget? You will still earn commissions from that! Sweet!
On top of that, imagine that you promote and online training that costs $2000. If someone buys it through your affiliate link, you can easily get 50% commission back, what is $1000!
How cool is that?
Affiliate Marketing is a perfect way to start your business online because the risk in doing this business is very minimal to none at all. You don’t have to create your own product or service and go through the nitty-gritty of conceptualizing, producing, and prototyping an actual product.
What you do at a bare minimum is to share a product with your family, friends, followers, or just anyone that needs or might need the product which you are affiliated with.
You don’t even have to do anything right after your readers click your Affiliate Link. It’s the company or the product/service website owner who will take care of the order processing, deliver the goods, provide customer support, and other after-sales services.
You are merely an endorser who earns an income – a passive income!
How is Affiliate Marketing a win-win solution to the product owner, the affiliate, and the readers/customers?
===>>> The product owner benefits from the affiliate’s promotional efforts that send traffic to the product websites and this raises the potential to increase their sales volume.
===>>> The affiliate is rewarded with commissions for ever sale his readers’ purchase. The program helps the affiliate to earn money with the least amount of effort and exposure to business risks.
===>>> The customers will be able to purchase a product that is probably a solution to an ongoing concern.
What do you get here? A three-way win!
Another good thing about this program is that you are not limited to the products or services, and brands that you can promote, as long as they are related to your blog niche.
If you’re in the health and fitness niche, you can write a blog review about different fitness programs, and promote programs that you are an affiliate of. Aside from the program itself, you can also promote complementing products like food supplements.
In a nutshell, it’s like having a business venture with several companies where your only task is bringing visitors into their site.
Aside from Affiliate Marketing, you can also monetize your blog in these different ways:
Google AdSense is a program being run by Google that allows website owners to make an advertisement space on their website. Google AdSense fills in those spaces with advertisements for its target audiences who may be your readers or someone who just happens to pass by your page.
When people click on these advertisements shown by Google AdSense on your page and purchases from the advertising company, you get to earn a commission.
Selling Digital Products
Digital products are a common commodity online. You can sell e-books, instructional videos, training courses, and others.
Sell your own Ad space
Leveraging your web traffic, you can approach people and companies that advertise their products online and offer them a space to advertise on your website.
Selling Physical Products
If you have your own products, you can definitely sell this online by adding e-commerce functionality to your blog.
Promote Your Blog
Now that everything is in place –
*you have chosen a niche;
*you have a domain registered;
*you have set up your blogging platform;
*you have created an optimized blog that will rank on search engines; and
*you are ready to monetize your blog.
The next step you have to do is to promote your blog.
Unlike celebrities who already have a good number of followers and fan base, you have to work doubly hard in making your blog known.
Even if you have chosen the best keywords for your content, and have optimized your blog posts, you will realize that you will not be ranked immediately on search engines.
It will take time. Most new domains take 5 to 6 months before they get good rankings. You need to be patient. The rankings will come eventually as long as you follow the tips that we discussed earlier.
The good news is that while waiting for Google to take notice of you, there are other ways to draw visitors to your blog and I will share with you three of the most common ways.
Social Media Marketing
Being on social media is definitely an effective way to promote your blog. With 3.2 billion populace in the world who are actively using social media, it is one of the most powerful platforms where you can create a buzz for your blog.
When you’re in social media, you cannot just promote your blog then leave it there, only to return when you need to promote another blog post. It doesn’t work that way.
Social media is a two-way channel, you need to connect with other people by liking, commenting on, and also sharing their content. Never just turn up when you have a new blog post to share because you will always appear as a stranger to your social network.
If you want social media to take notice of you, you need to maintain a regular presence on your chosen social network and post consistently. You can leave comments on other users or share links. Anything that will make the other users feel that you are part of that network.
The saying “no man is an island” also applies to blogging.
You have to be connected to a network of bloggers. Build a relationship with the right people.
Promoting your blog content will be more effective with the help of other people that you should also be willing to help.
It’s all about a give-and-take relationship. Scratch someone else’s back and they’ll definitely return the favour. Working with other bloggers will help you get to your goal faster than you working alone.
So, how do you promote your content with help from other people?
Influencer Marketing/ Blogger Outreach
Influencers are people who have the power to affect other people’s decisions because of their authority or relationship with their audience. Influencers often have hundreds of thousands of followers, which can be your potential audience, too.
Influencer Marketing or Blogger Outreach is basically connecting with influencers and asking them to promote, or merely mention your content to their followers.
You can even invite them for an interview that will appear on your blog, so that he or she can promote this interview to his or her own readers.
You can offer your services to write free content on another blogger’s website in the same niche as yours.
Actively comment on other bloggers’ posts.
When you make a comment, don’t make it appear that you are only there to promote your blog. Leave a substantial comment and feedback, then leave your blog link on your signature, that will be less offensive and more subtle than making a suggestion that they visit your blog followed by your blog link.
Please, if you are going to promote your blog by leaving comments on other people’s blogs, do it tastefully.
A big group of people still prefer to use email as their primary way of communication, that is why it is important that you build your mailing list because we will be needing that list on this section.
Here are some tips on how you can build your mailing list:
- Using a sign-up sheet
- Trade emails with fellow bloggers in the same niche
- Offer a sign-up form to allow them to receive your newsletter
- Be a part of an online community
- Arrange for a contest where your readers need to sign-up using their email add
- Offer free giveaways such as e-book copies or instructional materials in exchange for an email address
Once you have built your own email list, you can start sending them emails.
Sending emails to your list regularly is a good way to drive traffic to your blog.
You can send them updates about what’s new in your blog, or upcoming activities. Just make sure that you drop them an email once in a while. It doesn’t have to always be about your blog, you can sometimes send anecdotes or relevant information to your niche that you might find on another website.
The good thing about emails is that it feels personal so you can ask the recipients to visit, like, leave a comment, and most especially share your emails.
If you are sending emails to your contacts, like your family, friends, and colleagues, make sure to ask them to share your latest blog post. You can definitely do this with people who you actually know and who will not mind doing you a favour as simple as sharing your email that contains snippets of your blog content.
But beware not to do this on your every blog post as your contacts might get annoyed and eventually consider your email as just another spam.
Always include the link of your blog on the contact particulars of your business card and be generous in giving it away.
You can also ask for the other person’s business card when you hand him yours, which can further expand your mailing list.
Hold blog contests to attract readers.
You can choose any kind of contest that you want to do as long as it is easy for your readers to join in. Do not make it complicated because your goal is to draw readers to your blog and not to frustrate them.
Part of your contest mechanics should be that they must like, subscribe, and share your blog to their wall.
Of course, you need to come up with a covetable prize for the winner.
There you go.
By simply following these simple steps, you are now equipped to create your own blog site and make money from it!