How to start a Profitable Blog
Starting a profitable blog can be easy if you follow advice that works and produce results. There is a lot of blogging advice out there. Some of it is outdated and unhelpful, and some of it is a gold mine.
When I first started blogging in 2021, I had no idea what I was doing and I made a lot of silly mistakes. I was nearly giving up before I found great advice from content creators like Dug Cunnington, Income School, Shaun Mars, Charlie (Passive Priority), LJ (Blog Sprout), etc.
I began to put together the pieces that I learned from these creators and it all began to fall in place. This is why I was written this guide to help you avoid some of the common mistakes most people make when they start blogging.
Blogging is a lucrative business, especially if you know what you are doing. It has the potential to give you financial freedom and replace your full-time job. According to DigitalNomad Wannabe, 14.5% of bloggers are making $5,000 a month or more.
But if you do not get good advice, you will give up in just a few months, I have written about my blogging experience in the article – What is it like to run a blog?
So, in this guide, I will save you the hustle of figuring out how to start a profitable blog on your own. I will provide the insights I have learned and other recommendations. Let us get started.
It is worth noting that in order to run a profitable blog, you must think of blogging as a business and not a mere hobby or a writing passion. From the very beginning, tell yourself that you are starting a business and you must invest your time and resources in running it.
CHOOSING A NICHE
The first step to starting a successful profitable blog is to pick a niche. Your blog should have a target audience. Do not make the mistake of writing about everything under the sun. you must have a specific group of people to whom you must provide solutions to.
Remember, most successful businesses aim to solve problems for a specific audience.
It is also worth noting some niches are more profitable than others but do not let this be a deciding factor for your niche. Choosing a niche solely for profitability can be a disaster. You must choose a niche that you understand and know better. If possible, one that you have experience with.
Picking a niche that you understand and you are interested in is important because it allows you to give value to your readers. Whether you will be outsourcing content or writing it yourself, you need to put out content that provides value.
If you don’t understand your niche, you will not be able to write a valuable article, and if your content is outsourced, you will not be able to tell whether your writers are doing a good job or not. Whatever niche you pick, you must study it carefully and stay abreast with recent developments.
If you choose a niche that you understand better and you are interested in, you will be able to know if you are you are giving value to your readers or if the content you are outsourcing is good enough for your audience.
So, go ahead and pick a niche. Here are some of the niches for perspective. Fashion, Food & Drink, Fitness, Finance, Sports, Entertainment, Computers, Electronics, Games, Health, Travel, Real Estate, Science, Shopping, Pets & Animals, News, Education, Hobbies, Leisure, Industrial, Business, etc.
Once you have chosen a niche, think of 10 ideas in your niche and write them down. This is just a quick exercise to see how much you know your niche. For example,
Write down 10 tips to lose weight in 30 days (Fitness niche),
10 dress ideas for parties (Fashion niche)
10 tips to make your dog learn faster (pet niche)
10 investment ideas for students (finance niche)
Do that for your niche and it will help you to get started. Now that you have chosen a niche, you can move on to choose a domain name.
CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME
Choosing a domain name for your website is the simplest thing to do. There are many people who stress about this process but you should not.
The only thing to bear in mind is that you need to choose a name that is broad enough to allow you to pivot in an event that you are no longer interested in your initial niche.
Do not choose a domain name that is very restrictive. For example, naming your website thelaptopreviewerguy.com (the laptop reviewer guy) may not be the best idea even if your website is about laptop reviews.
Consider using a general, easy-to-remember domain name. think about how some business gets their names, Dell, Google, Apple, Ezoic, Benz, Samsung, Zazu. Nothing in the name suggests what the business is about, yet they remain successful.
Point is, don’t stress about the domain name, just give it a shot, nice, readable domain name.
HOSTING AND DOMAIN
You have the niche and the name of your website, it is time to get web hosting and register a domain name. in order for your website to be online, you need web hosting and a domain name. getting hosting and registering a domain name is easy if you choose the right company.
You can start with shared hosting, it is easy and inexpensive. You can use Bluehost which comes with a one year free domain. Bluehost is one of the few companies recommended by WordPress. You can also use Namecheap.
I have used both of these companies and I have had no problems with either of them. Their support is good and the setup is straightforward.
Once you registered a domain you have got web hosting, you can install WordPress on your website. WordPress is an open-source content management system that makes it very easy to create websites.
WordPress is used by 37% of all websites on the internet. It is easy to work with and you will be able to create professional websites in just a few minutes. WordPress makes it easy to write and manage your blog posts. You can also extend the functionality of your website by installing plugins.
To get started using WordPress, you first need to install a theme on your website.
THEMES AND PLUGINS
A theme will determine the visuals of your website, themes also come with extra features and functionality. You can add more functionality to your website using plugins. Please note that some themes have a lot of features and some of these can slow down your website.
Another important thing is to use as few plugins as possible because having a lot of plugins can slow down your website.
On this website, I use the Zakra theme, it is lightweight and fast. You can get premium, lightweight and faster themes on Envato.
WORDPRESS BASIC SETTINGS
Before you continue with other things, make sure that you make a few changes within WordPress to make your website better. Firstly, change the permalinks of your posts to make them appear more beautiful and professional.
By default, your posts will appear with the date in the URL like yourwebsite.com/2022/04/06/your-post-title/. You can change this to yourwebsite.com/your-post-title/. You can do this by going to Settings -> permalinks -> then select Post name.
You can also install a plugin for image compression. Preferably, you can compress your image before uploading them to reduce the number of plugins on your website. You can use a free Image compression tool here. Compressed images will help your website load faster.
SEARCH CONSOLE AND ANALYTICS
Once you are done with all these WordPress setups, you can go ahead and integrate Google Search Console and Analytics to your website. This allows you to track the number of visits, sessions, page views, and more.
Google Search Console helps you to see how many times your website is appearing in search results and how many clicks it is getting. It also has many other useful metrics to help you analyze your website.
You can also use Bing Webmaster Tools to see the metrics for users who are using Bing to visit your website.
These steps are important, before you write any post, make sure you have properly integrated these platforms with your website.
At this point, your entire website is set up and done, ready for new blog posts.
Before you write any blog post, make sure you do thoroughly keyword research. Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of blogging. This is the biggest part that I missed when I first started blogging. If you do your keyword research well, you will have plenty of topics to write on.
However, if your keyword research is bad, you will have struggles getting traffic and growing your blog. In order to conduct good keyword research, you must use good Keywords and SEO tools. Some of the popular ones include Ahref, Ubersuggest, Keywords Everywhere, and Semrush.
These tools will help you to find keywords, check monthly search volumes, check keyword difficulty, do competition analysis, and more.
When you are getting started, it is important to go for low-competition keywords that most of the authority sites in your niche are not targeting. Low-competition keywords can help a new website rank faster.
You can make a simple spreadsheet for your keywords, something like this below. This will help you keep track of your keywords.
|10 best stocks to buy now||5 600||Published|
|Top 10 Netflix Series||18 000|
WRITING YOUR FIRST BLOG POST
Now that you have your keywords, you can go ahead and write your first blog post. Make sure to give it a nice title that shows exactly what your article is about, possibly, use the exact keyword as your title.
Do not fill your article with unnecessary information just to make it long. Be precise and stick to the topic. Provide answers as soon as possible if your article is informational.
Write short paragraphs that are easy to read and digest. Write in a way that is so easy to understand even by someone who is not highly educated. Make sure to add necessary subheadings and images to add more value.
Always remember that you are not writing to win an essay competition, you are writing to help your readers to get answers in the plainest and simplest way possible.
You should also consider using tools like Linguix or Grammarly to help you with spelling, punctuation, and other word formatting or sentence construction.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization is very important for the growth of your blog. Although SEO is a hard subject to fully understand, there are some basic SEO principles that you must implement for your website.
Basic SEO strategies aim to help search engines to understand the content and structure of your article. Make sure you have a clear unique title, clear meta description tag, subheadings within the article with heading tags, topical image names, topical alt text for the images, good navigation, etc.
It is worth noting that your articles must focus on people first. Google discourages focusing on search engines first. So, the best practice is to focus on people first and then follow the basic SEO strategies.
MONETIZING YOUR BLOG
There are many ways to monetize your blog. If you focus on informational content, you must monetize with display ads. Ezoic is one of the best platforms to monetize your blog with display ads. Ezoic also provides other technologies to help you with site speech and SEO.
The other popular way to monetize your website is through affiliate marketing, especially if you are focusing on transactional articles. The Amazon Associate Program is the best place to start. You can also find affiliate programs in your niche and make partnerships directly with the companies.
Affiliate networks like Impact Radius, Commission Junction, Share A Sale, Rakuten, etc. are also great and provide many opportunities to partner with many brands.
Once your site has grown, you may consider selling your own digital products, courses, physical products, sponsorships, and other forms of monetization.
GROWING YOUR BLOG
At this point, you will have a fully working website that is generating income. You need to consistently and patiently work on your blog to help it to grow. Blogs take time to grow and become profitable, do not give up. It will take at least more than six months to see any significant growth.
You must also spend time learning from other bloggers and content creators on Youtube, Twitter, or Facebook. Strive to make partnerships and don’t shy away from investing in your blog financially. You will learn more from those who have done it before than from trying to figure out everything yourself.
It is also important to use other platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, and Youtube to share your knowledge about your niche and funnel users to your blog. These platforms can be great sources of traffic if done right.