How to Make Money With a Blog for Beginners (Step by Step)
Many people ask whether they still can make money writing blogs. If yes, how can you make money with a blog for beginners if you really don’t know where to start? Let me answer your first question. Yes, you can still make money blogging. Look at my revenue stats for a 7 day period. To be honest, it was my best time in 2016 where I managed to generate 5-figure income a month.
Now, regarding the second question. This is a guide I have specifically written for those who have no knowledge at all about blogging.
Whether you want to become a stay-at-home online entrepreneur or to earn extra bucks a month, reading this guide you’ll be able to start a blog that can create an income for you and your family. One good thing about blogging is that you don’t have to quit your job to start. Just begin laying the groundwork for a more prosperous future in your spare time.
Keep in mind that blogging is not a get rich quick ordeal. However, if you do it right, you could make enough money to support your family and quit your 9-to-5 job. The amount of time and resources you commit to your blog will determine how much money you make.
How Much Money Can You Make From Blogging?
There are many successful bloggers who make money blogging. I mean good money.
For example, Neil Patel of NeilPatel.com makes $381,772 per month through his SEO website.
Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com made more than $80,000 per month through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is his single biggest source of income. Over the last few years, Pat has become one of the top affiliate marketers in the world. He is now making more than $150,000 per month.
These are good examples of how much you could earn from running a blog. I am not going to give you big promises that you will be able to earn the same amount of income by just reading through this guide. It may take you months or even years before you see a big paycheck. Anyone can make money online but it requires commitment and action for it to be realized.
How to Make Money With a Blog for Beginners (Step by Step)
Step 1. Choose a Niche
Before getting a website and start blogging, choosing the right niche for your blog is the most critical step.
Your online business should not feel like a day job. Earning money online should be fun, and it is fun. This all starts with choosing a niche that you are interested in and will enjoy working with. The more you enjoy doing something the less it feels like a job and the more productive you are going to be.
Your niche could be anything, but at the core of your niche selection it should be something that you “like”. Something you enjoy. Something you can talk about. Something you want to learn about.
In the simplest form, a niche is really a group of people looking for stuff. When you select your niche, you want to avoid being too broad with your niche selection. What people fail to understand is the fact that there are millions of people looking for stuff online within what seems to be the smallest of niches, but they really are not.
A few things that you should understand about niches are:
- You are going to be writing content within your niche
- You are going to be communicating within your niche
- You are going to be choosing products to promote within your niche
- You need to enjoy helping people within your niche
- Your first niche PROBABLY won’t be your last (so don’t worry about it being perfect)
- Any niche can become a “full time” successful business
Some say any niche can become a “full time” successful business but I disagree with it. Search through the internet and you will see lots of great ideas but are not properly vetted and thus failed. Just look at your phone and see how many apps you have installed and never use. You get the idea?
You need to know your target audience well and study the demand (interest) in your potential niche.
If you have no idea what to blog about and wonder what some possible profitable niches you can start with. Fire up Google Trends and check for ideas that are increasing in search queries. Google Trends tool shows to the trend of product/niche ideas based on total search volume, starting from 2004. Not only it shows the total search volume, but it will also display the countries and cities that the ideas are most popular in.
For instance, smartwatch/ fitness tracker is projected to exceed 110 million units by 2020. Ever since early 2012, it has gained significant interest from the public. World’s technology giants like Apple, Garmin, Vivoactive, Samsung Gear etc. have introduced their own smartwatches to be synchronized with their smartphones or other compatible devices.
Step 2. Name Your Blog and Get Web Hosting
Having your own domain name is ideal and gives you a huge competitive advantage when it comes to succeeding online. For example, if you owned your own domain it would look something like this…
yourwebsite (dot) com
For example, if your niche was “Macbook Air Cases”, your domain name would be:
macbookaircases (dot) com
Domain names will cost you probably $10 per year. You can register your domain at places like NameCheap or GoDaddy.
And your website name would be:
Macbook Air Cases
This is a fun part as your website name is your brand. It is how you will be remembered.
The second is web hosting. Web hosting is a service that allows your blog to be accessed through the internet. Without web hosting, your blog can’t be seen online. Without a domain name, your blog won’t have an address. The two are inseparable.
There are plenty of web hosting companies to choose from. Prices generally range from $4 – $14/month.
If you’re just starting a new blog, I Bluehost. They are the biggest and most well-known hosting company and offer packages for as low as $3.99/month (that’s low). You can get BlueHost’s high quality hosting for $3.95 per month (36 months sign up).ecommend
To be honest, you really don’t need anything fancy at this stage. Once you hit over 25,000 unique visitors a month, you can consider upgrading, but Bluehost can scale with you.
Step 3. Install WordPress
Now you have a web hosting platform and a domain. Before you create your first content, you need a publishing platform. ManagingYourFinance.com uses WordPress, of which it is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHO and MySQL. In short, it is free, user-friendly and powerful publishing tool.
WordPress is the most powerful and widely used website platform in the world. It is used by over 30% of ALL websites (millions).
WordPress is installed on a web server. To install WordPress, please do the followings:-
Login to your cPanel hosting control panel. Install WordPress by clicking “WordPress Installer” icon
Select the domain that you wish to install WordPress.
Within a minute, you’ll have a fully functional WordPress blog up and running.
Step 4. Design Your Blog With a WordPress Theme
In the blogging world, WordPress designs are called themes. Out of the box, your blog will look something like this:
It isn’t the fanciest design out there, but it’s workable. There are thousands of themes to choose from. But, it can be easy to get trapped in “Shiny Object Syndrome” and not walk away with anything. You can swap out your theme any time, so don’t get too caught up with the bells and whistles.
First, you need to log into your WordPress admin. Here, you’ll need to enter your user credentials to log in.
To install a new theme, hover over the “Appearance” menu in the sidebar and click “Themes.” WordPress comes with a few themes. Click the “Add New” button at the top to get access to thousands of other WordPress themes.
Once you have chosen the one you like, you could get an instant preview of what you blog will look like. If you are happy with what you are seeing, click “Install” button.
Every new WordPress website that you install will come with “default” content. You want to get rid of this content before you can start creating content that is relevant to your niche.
The first thing you want to do is delete the default post that is added to each website.
Click on the
Posts button, within the side menu.
This will take you to the posts page where you will go to see a list of all the posts on your website. A post is simply a content page on your site (we will be explaining them in more detail later).
Simply “mouse over” the post area and it will reveal the post management buttons. You will want to then click the “Trash” button. This will delete the default “Hello World!” post. Do the same with the “Pages” link as well.
**Do note that there may not be default Pages or Posts and if that is the case, just move on.
Now we are going to do the same thing with Comments. There is one default comment with every WordPress install. To manage your Comments simply click Comments within the menu
Like the Posts page, this is where you will manage all of your websites comments. You will see the default comment showing there…
Like posts, you will simply “mouse over” the actual comment and the click the Trash button. This will delete the comment.
Step 5. Customize and Optimize Your WordPress Blog
Once you have your theme selected, you can make some customizations on your WordPress to optimize the functionalities and also the design of your site. To do that, you could alter or add extra features by installing some useful plugins.
WordPress plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to your website. They can extend functionality or add new features without having you coding.
Within WordPress, there are countless of customization that you can make. However, it is noted that the more plugins you install, the slower the site loads. Hence, only install the essentials.
When it comes to blogging, search engine optimization (SEO) is almost everything. SEO is essential as it optimizes your website to be ranked higher on search engine result page (SERP) like Google, Yahoo, and Bing for particular keywords and phrases.
Make no mistake, search engines want people to perform SEO because it can help improve their search results. Search engines provide help in the form of guidelines, blog posts, and videos to encourage specific SEO techniques.
Don’t worry if you are not familiar with this term at this stage. There are several great plugins that you can install to optimize the technical aspects of your blog.
You can get started by downloading a plugin called Yoast SEO.
Hover over the plugins menu on the side and click “Add New.”
Search for “Yoast SEO” in the search bar and it will be the first result that comes up.
Click the “Install Now” button. Then, hit the “Activate” button once the installation is complete.
You can access the plugin’s settings from the new SEO menu in the sidebar or by clicking the icon at the top.
From the dashboard, go to “Your Info” and set the foundations for your blog.
Make sure that your website name and tagline are correct. Then, identify yourself as a company or person.
Click the “Save Changes” button and we’ll move on to the next step.
To do that, simply go to www.google.com/webmasters, sign into your Google account, whether that’s your Gmail or Drive account.
Once you’ve logged in, click the “Add a property” and type your domain name.
Click “Alternate methods” tab and select “HTML tag.”
A new drop-down will appear with your search console meta code. Copy the alphanumeric string without the quotation marks.
Next, paste your meta code into the Google Search Console text box and click “Save Changes.”
Finally, click the “Verify” button.
As you tinker around in Webmaster Central, you’ll gain a wealth of data-driven insight, such as keyword phrases you rank for, errors on your blog and the ability to give Google a nudge when you publish a new post.
Next, go to the “General” tab and start the installation wizard.
Yoast will take you through a series of 10 quick steps to optimize your WordPress blog.
One of the things I love most about Yoast is the simplicity of the setup. After going through the above-mentioned process, you already have Yoast installed and activated. Now, you have to configure your XML sitemap. An XML sitemap is a file that lists the URLs for your website.
Select the “User Sitemap” tab and toggle “Author/ user sitemap” to enabled. Don’t forget to save your changes.
Setting Up Permalinks
The word permalink is a portmanteau word, meaning it is made up of two other words. Portmanteau is a linguistic blend of words like “smoke and fog” forming the word smog. PERMALINK IS CREATED FROM – Permanent and Link =Permalink.
The permalink structure will determine how each URL on your site is structured, what is important to remember is Google does not see websites it sees only web pages, to Google every page or post on your website is unique that’s why it’s called an URL (Unique Reference Location).
Why is the permalink structure so important? The structure is important for the following reasons:-
- You can get your keyword in the URL by using a keyword in your post title
- Your visitors like human-friendly looking URL’s
- Most people fear URL’s that are full of symbols and numbers, they think it screams spam or scam and they are usually right.
- Google has billions of URL’s indexed in its servers, so the simpler the better, google prefers URL’s that are simple as it helps to index and display.
I will now show you an example of a permalink structure so you can see exactly what it looks like
domain = www.mac.com
Here is a permalink for one of your product reviews
So the structure is made of this website domain address and the name of the post. You will have to specify this prior to publishing your first post.
In the left sidebar, mouse-over “Settings” and choose “Permalinks.”
There are a few options to choose from. I use the “Post name” structure on my blog which uses keywords from my title to create a unique permalink.
Save the settings after you’ve selected it.
Step 6. Create Two Main Pages for Your Site
Task 1: Create Your “About Me” Page
Your next task is simply to create an About Me page. This page can evolve over time so please do not try to perfect it now. You ideally want this page to accomplish the following:
- Connect with your audience by offering a relevant story
- Have a personal image of you or at the very least, something relevant
- Tell them why you are interested in helping them in your respective niche
- Offer them help if they have any questions or comments
You are likely seeing a theme here. Relevance! Although your page is about you, it is really about your audience and how you can connect with them.
It is like walking into a discussion with someone you have never met and having something in common with them. You are much more likely to hit it off. If you can create this connection of similarities, they will like and you trust your opinions and recommendations much more.
Go to “Pages” and “Add New”.
Write “About Me” in the title and start introducing yourself. There are a few tips I would like to share when you write about yourself.
- Write to your dream audience.
- Highlight the kind of work you want to be doing.
- Tell the truth in your own voice.
- Read it aloud to make sure it sounds like you.
- Treat it as a draft. Share it early and update it regularly.
Once you are done with this page, click “Publish”.
So in essence, it tells your visitors how you are going to use their data. Although people will likely never read this, it is a requirement to have on your website for many affiliate programs, many PPC networks, and advertising programs like Google Adsense.
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Step 7. What Topics to Write About?
After going through all the six steps above, your blog is all set up and ready to go. Here comes the content generation. The majority of your blog posts will come from personal experiences, passions, successes, failures and new learnings.
People use questions as search queries, like:
- What should I write about?
- What to blog about?
- Should I start blogging?
You might be getting a sense that content is important. However, it doesn’t have to be tough and it should feel completely natural to write.
The biggest fear people have when writing is not being perfect. I can tell you from personal experience that perfect doesn’t convert.
In fact, it doesn’t even exist. What you write, what ideas you have, and how you form your content is RIGHT…and it will work for you.
A few suggestions I have for you when you sit down to write your content:
- Don’t constrain yourself, come up with the ideas first and then write it out.
- Break a page down into smaller ideas, then write it
- Don’t try to perfect your content.
- Enjoy what you are writing about and have fun with it.
- Exercise or get some fresh air before your write content (trust me on this one)
Writing and the creation of content is going to be quintessential to your success when getting up and running with your business. Content leads to rankings, branding, trust…traffic…and ultimately success. So being able to sit down and write content without worrying about perfection is important.
I want to leave you with a famous quote today before we get into the tasks.
“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
This should apply to your writing. Don’t fear a failed article, focus on your desired success. The only thing that you can do to move closer to perfection, is practice. So write regularly, write fearlessly, and write from your own perspective!
No need to worry. It’s not complicated and it won’t take very much time.
#Read what others write
To be a successful writer, you should be an avid reader. Without it, you are broke.
While reading some of the great articles in your industry, you involve. You link the things you know together. It gives rise to new ideas.
#Watch YouTube videos
Watch videos related to your niche. Watching videos let you go through into the topic. You will start to get some unique blog topic ideas.
Quora has been evolving as a blogging platform. It has a huge potential. It is a goldmine of blog topics. Properly leveraging Quora helps you get great blog topic ideas and helps you gain a plethora of traffic.
To get a head-start, answer the following questions and try to come out with a topic.
#Explore forums and communities
There will be forums and communities for blogs in each and every niche.
In order to search for forums in your niche, you can make use of BoardReader. It’s a forum search engine.
#Make use of Pinterest
Pinterest is basically an image sharing platform, where pinners share images of blog posts to their boards.
#Use topic suggesters online
There are a number of topic generator tools online. They help you to find effective topics to blog about.
One of the fairly new ones is the HubSpot blog topic generator.
#Ask yourself these questions
- “What excites, intrigues or stirs passion in my readers?”
- “What are common challenges my readers go through?”
- “What character traits do my readers possess?
- “What do your readers love about your niche?”
- “What do your readers hate about your niche?”
By just answering the above five questions, you will be able to come out with several topics you want to blog about. Try to come up with a catchy headline that will draw your readers in and then throw them a one-two punch in the rest of your content.
Step 8. Write Your Post
Your site should be really coming a long at this point and you should be getting the hang of the process of building out your site.
Making Your Content “Beautifully Readable”. Content needs to be readable. People are becoming less and less inclined to read “novels” of content these days, so by keeping your ideas a bit more brief, controlled, and allowing the eyes to have white space is going to help with readability.
Remember, if someone doesn’t read your content, then you lose all the benefits of creating content. People that engage in your content will convert.
Here are 6 things that make up a quality page or post:
- Small Paragraphs
- Separate your ideas with HEADING tabs (h3 or h4, read post)
- Black or dark grey text on white background
- Use conversational speak
- Use a captivating headline
- Use a relevant image within the first fold of the page
Your goal should be to show people something within your content, not tell people. There is a big difference when you think about it. Let’s look at an example:
Option #1: Show people how you use the website builder at WordPress by using screenshots and imagery associated with the process.
Option #2: Tell people what the website builder at WordPress is and how it works
What do you think would have a greater effect and reveal more benefits to the reader? The “showing” will have a much greater impact and make your content much more credible.
When you build out your content your ultimate goal should be to help people. We always emphasize that if you can help someone, regardless of the niche, you can build a business doing so. When you SHOW someone something versus just telling them about it, you have taught them and built trust in the process. Trust equates to conversions!
Now, to create your first post, click on “Posts” in the left sidebar and click “Add New”
You’ll be brought to the editor and you can begin blogging.
Add one of the titles that you developed in Step 7 in the title text box. Immediately after, WordPress will create a permalink based on the keywords used in your title.
You can start typing the body of your article in the large text area and write until you feel happy with your content.
You can add images to your post too by clicking “Add Media”. Images always help engage readers and illustrate better than a bunch of words.
After you’ve completed your article and before you publish your post, you can view what your blog post will look like by clicking the “preview” button at the top of the page. Before you hit that publish button, you want to make sure that your entry looks and feels the way that you want it to.
Voila, you have just posted your first post on your website!