Oh yay, another “how to blog” article.
This is awkward, so I’m going to keep it (somewhat) short.

Update: I did not keep it short.

Anyway, let’s dive in.


“Isn’t it too late to start a blog?”

So, chances are, if you’re looking to start your own website, you’re overthinking it like crazy. You’ll spend weeks, months, maybe even years reading up on profitability, niche selections, success stories, failure stories, while occasionally searching the term “is it too late to start a blog in *year*?” as you realize time is passing.

If you look at it logically, there’s no reason not to start a website in 2019, as long as it’s something you have even the slightest interest in.

Everything is happening online these days, people are craving communities and interactions more than ever, and the more the world goes to shit, the more people are coming together to find enjoyment and safety in pursuing their passions along with like-minded individuals.

Whether a blog is profitable or not, is really up to you.

Actually, the unofficial first step, is to stop searching for “is it possible to…” and start reading up on “how do I…”.

You decide your business, you decide your future, and it’s up to you to network with the right people and learn what you need to know in order to succeed.

Agree? Great.

So to summarize how to actually make a living off of blogging, article-writing, content marketing – whatever you want to call it – here’s a 6 step overview on how to get started the right way.


#1 Decide Your “Why”: Goals, expectations and direction

Before you even start worrying about hosting and niches, you need to clarify your “why”.

What is it you want to get out of blogging?
What is important to you, what are you willing to give up?
Do you want a high income, less hours, or do you want to be able to blog full-time and build a platform where you can share your passion?
Why are you doing this?

Once you figure out your why, you’re ready to take the scariest step. Finding hosting.


#2 Finding The Right Hosting For Your Blog

See, now you can worry about hosting.

If your plans are to treat your website as a business, to make an income, build a community or any of the sort, then you will need to get a self-hosted website where you are in charge.

I’m not going to go into the endless variants of websites and hosts, but let’s just say you will most likely end up with WordPress and Bluehost, because they’re just great.

These two companies also work together, so once you sign up for Bluehost you’ll get access to this amazing button that says “1-Click WordPress Install” and then you’ll have both.
It’s magical.

More than that, they’ll take care of you with 24/7 customer service, cover all of your future needs, and when everything goes to shit because you accidentally press the wrong button (trust me, it will happen a lot), there are endless resources online for any and every problem that may occur.
Literally so well known that there is nothing you can’t google your way out of.


Click here to get started with Bluehost now, only $3.47 per month.


By using this link you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee (in case you panic or it’s not for you, no one will judge you, I swear)

You’ll also get a free domain name registration, which usually costs $15, so you won’t have to worry about any additional startup costs.



#3 What’s Your What: Find A Niche

Ok, so you have your why, you have your hosting, now what’s your “what”?

What do you plan to write about?

Obviously this is pretty crucial at this point, as you’re about to register your domain, which is a bitch to change later on.

When it comes to niche selection, it’s really up to you how you want to do it.

Most people will tell you to pick a narrow niche, focus on only that topic, as this will make it easier to rank with SEO and later on monetize.

Well, I don’t really agree (shocker).

The way I see it, you need to stay sane, and this whole “single niche rule” is slightly bullshit.

There are plenty of sites that have 20+ articles within 5-6 wildly different topics, that earn $10K+ a month. This isn’t just for online magazines with teams of writers, you can easily do it yourself if that’s what you prefer.

An example of this is www.chasingfoxes.com, who is making $10-15K a month after less than a year, and her topics include Food, Career, Money, Men’s Fashion, literally everything.

The key to deciding your niche lies in the longevity of your interest in it.

The median blog that makes a full-time income is 36 months old, so the question is, are you able to write about your topic every single day for the next 3 years?

The next 10 years?

Honestly, I would jump out a God damn window if I had to write about Celery Juice for the next 36 months, which is why I chose several niches that make up the millennial lifestyle.

Which brings me to my next point, which is to write what you want to read.

Personally I want to stay updated on which spices to add to my morning coffee, but at some point I will also need a refresher in my negotiation skills before meeting up in the office.

There is nothing wrong with having it all in one place, because it’s all relevant to my target audience.

And I certainly will be bringing my celery juice into that negotiation, so clearly it’s all connected.

As you’re slowly figuring out where your passion lies, what you want to be writing about and researching for the next 3-5 years minimum, I’ll just mention that the most profitable niches at the moment are:

  • Health / Fitness
  • Finance / Making Money
  • Food / Recipes

…so while you figure that part out, I’m just going to move on to step 4.


#4 Setup: The technical stuff

After you’ve decided niche and domain name, you’re probably getting some ideas for content you want to be writing already.

That’s great, but now there’s also a lot of setup to do.

Again, here is where I disagree with most people.

It’s usually recommended to write up 20-25 articles minimum before “launching” your website, to ensure perfect user experience from the first visit, build your email list from day one, etc.

Weeeeell…. Not sure what personality type you are, but that sure as hell would never work for me.

Yes, there’s a lot of setup to be done, but the great thing is that you can change themes and add plugins whenever you want. Even if you were to design the perfect website from scratch, you’re probably going to spend countless hours changing it and making improvements regularly.

So I recommend finding a theme you can deal with for the time being, whether you want to start out with a paid one or a free one doesn’t matter, then start getting some content out there.

It makes it a whole lot easier to design your website when you don’t have to imagine the articles there, just get them out and go back to setting up when you feel like it.

No offense, but no one’s really going to be reading it in the beginning anyway, so you actually are free to whatever you feel like doing in the order you feel like doing it.

Welcome to being your own boss.

It’s great.


#5 Build Content

As for content, just start writing.

It’s useful to understand the different types of content you’ll be producing, and deciding your own style.

Some prefer to have a low amount of 10K+ word posts that rank high in SEO, literally feels like you’re reading an ebook on your phone, yet others prefer more light-hearted articles that are 5-800 words and more regular.

Both are great, so just figure out how you prefer to present your topics, and get started.

More than this, it’s good to understand that different types of content will increase your website’s value in the eyes of our master AKA Google.

Read up on the value of cornerstone content, using inbound and outbound links, writing seasonal content for higher traffic, etc, and start playing around.


#6 Monetize

When you’re finally getting a hang of steps 1-5, it’s time for the fun part, which is actually making money off of blogging.

There are many ways to do this, but here are the most used and trusted ways.

Affiliate Marketing

You’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing, so in short, it’s when you work with a company who gives you commision when you bring them new customers.

Read: The 8 Affiliate Networks You Need To Join In 2019

There are thousands of brands who will be willing to work with you, even without traffic, as they don’t spend money until the customers do, so it’s a great way to get started with monetizing.

I recommend joining a few affiliate networks as most of them have hundreds of brands working with them, so you won’t have to approach them individually.

It will make it a hell of a lot easier to keep track of your income if it’s in the same network, and it’s also easier to find the products you use and want to promote.

A great example of this is Amazon affiliate program.

Basically you won’t have to look ways to sell a certain product, but instead just write about whatever your topic is, and whenever you refer to something you like, add an amazon link to it.

I swear, they have literally everything.

Ads

Apply for an automatic ad network like AdSense, Mediavine, AdThrive, etc., or even go as far as selling your ad space individually to companies and brands.

This doesn’t produce much in the beginning, but is the most consistent form of monetization, as it’s based on traffic and click through rate.

Product sales

The most popular products to monetize with are usually digital ones, such as webinars, ebooks and ecourses.

This will require a lot more forethought than simple ads, but can also be more profitable than any other form of monetization.

It’s recommended to wait until you have loyal readers who are email subscribers or previous customers, as they won’t get their social proof the same way they will when buying something through your Amazon affiliate link.


So.

Although I could make this ten times longer, this is a quick run-through of what your startup process should look like.

Also, if I don’t stop writing now this will turn into a fucking ebook, which I’m not here for because it’s 4:30am and I have to be at work in three hours.

So I guess my last advise for anyone looking to start a profitable website, is learn to live off of caffeine ASAP. You will need it.

 

Categories: Blogging

7 Comments

6 Steps To A Profitable Blog

  1. These are very insightful and helpful tips. I enjoy blogging and what I write about-personal finance/student loans. However, I”m lacking the know-how and skills in building an attractive website to appeal to the masses. Where could I turn for help with this

    1. Glad you enjoyed!
      When it comes to building an attractive website, you will definitely learn a lot from just jumping into it and getting experience.
      In the beginning you might spend 10-20 hours a week working on your design, testing free and paid themes, uploading plugins only to delete them again, etc.

      Of course you can hire people online to set everything up for you, but I recommend pouring a glass of wine and just learning by experience.
      It won’t take more than a few weeks until you’ve got it all down!

      PS: let me know if there’s anything specific I can help you with as well x

  2. Thank you for the reply, blogging is definitely a grind. I would like to find out how to improve traffic to my site, your recent articles help tremendously. It all seems daunting, I guess I will just have to make more time for writing and trying out new themes.

      1. Honestly, it’s just about getting content out there, regardless of quality. Remember, you can always go back and edit if it’s not good enough, but often you’ll find that you’re your own worst critic!
        Just write what you’re passionate about, what you know, publish it, and whenever you read it back and don’t like it, you can always edit your articles and make them even better.

        Shit articles are better than no articles, but consistency is always key!
        You standards will rise with experience.

    1. No worries – it all comes with experience, so it’s up to you how fast you want to gain said experience.
      I’m happy to write up some articles going more in-debth on traffic increase, there are so many strategies that are easy to implement.
      After all, providing quality content is only 20% of the work, the marketing aspect is where the fun starts!

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