To most of us, blogging seems like a dream job come true. After all, it means you get to work independently from anywhere you want – ranging from the comfort of home to while traveling around the world. A blogger is also not restricted to working office hours.
With all the amazing benefits it provides, it is no wonder some people may question if it is really possible to make a living just by blogging.
The short answer is yes – it is possible to make a living by blogging. However, it would be a mistake for you to assume that becoming a full-time blogger is easy and takes less work than an office job. Despite the flexibility it provides, blogging can be even harder work than most desk jobs.
If you want to make blogging a full-time job, this article may be helpful for you. It will discuss seven steps of creating, monetizing, and growing a blog.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
If you want to make a living by blogging, create a solid plan. This is especially important if you want to make blogging a full-time job and the main source of income.
Here’s how to make a plan before jumping into the blogging world:
- Determine the blog niche. You can create a blog on virtually any topic, but it is best to choose a topic you are passionate about or are an expert in. Narrow down the niche even further to provide unique content that makes you stand out from competitors.
- Decide on the blog’s target audience. Determining a specific demographic for the blog will help to create unique and relevant content. Keep the target audience in mind as you build the blog and tailor the blog’s content and layout accordingly.
- Research the ways to monetize your blog. There are many ways to monetize a blog, such as displaying ads, selling merchandise, and creating sponsored posts. In this article, I will focus on two specific methods of blog monetization: affiliate marketing and selling online courses.
- Create a financial plan. Estimate the blog’s income carefully, be realistic, and prepare emergency funds for the worst-case scenario.
- Set goals for the blog. Create specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals to strive for. For example, set a goal of posting three blog posts per month or receiving a specific amount of income from blogging each month.
- Formulate a blog-growing strategy. Create a plan on the specific steps to take for growing the blog and execute them within a specific timeframe. Examples include gathering email subscribers, creating social media profiles, writing guest posts, and joining communities related to the blog niche.
To build and manage your blogging website, choose a blogging platform that suits your needs. There are two main types of popular blogging platforms: content management systems (CMS) and website builders.
A content management system or a CMS is software for creating and managing a blog using a graphical user interface. The software runs in a browser and is suitable for blogs with lots of content. You don’t need coding knowledge to operate a CMS.
With a CMS, you need to configure your own web hosting. You can do this easily by choosing a reliable web hosting to host the website. I recommend using Hostinger as it provides affordable web hosting plans packed with numerous useful features.
On the other hand, a website builder is a user-friendly software for creating websites using a drag-and-drop interface. Just like content management systems, you don’t need programming skills to use a website builder.
Select a pre-made template, adjust the settings and customization options, and drag website elements into place. In terms of ease of use, a website builder may be easier to use than a CMS. However, its simplicity also means that it lacks the flexibility found in a CMS.
Unlike with a CMS, where one needs to set up their own web hosting, website builder plans usually already include web hosting as part of the paid services they offer.
Besides web hosting and the website building platform, the domain name is another crucial aspect of building a blog.
A domain name is the web address people type into their browser to access a website, like www.datarecovo.com.
Choose a domain name that is not too complicated, as people may find it difficult to remember or type. After coming up with a name, go to a domain registrar and register the domain name.
After building the blog, it’s time to create the content. It is essential to prepare several blog posts when you’re just starting.
After all, you don’t want people to come across the new blog only to find it empty. Give people a taste of what the blog is about and the kind of content it offers.
To create effective content, build a written blog content strategy. Although most websites have a content strategy, research shows that a documented blog content strategy is more effective than a verbal one.
Here are the steps on how to create an effective blog content strategy:
- Determine content goals. Think about what your content goals are. Be specific. Examples of content goals include driving traffic to your online store or educating people on industry trends or updates.
- Perform market research. Conduct two types of market research: target audience and competitive research. Decide on a specific target audience and learn about their likes, dislikes, and behavior. Learn from competitors and use that knowledge when running your blog.
- Conduct keyword research. Keywords are words people type into the search bar to find the content they want. Determining which keywords to rank for will help boost the blog’s search engine optimization and help in leading the right people to your content.
- Create an editorial calendar. Also known as a publishing schedule, the editorial calendar helps design an organized workflow in producing and publishing content. Make timelines and specify when to conduct research, write, edit, and publish posts.
- Begin creating content. After all the research and planning are done, begin creating content. Be consistent, trust the data, and stick to the content production schedule.
Search engine optimization or SEO is important in driving organic traffic to a blog. The higher a website or web page ranks on search engine results pages, the more people will see and click on it.
Many factors determine which websites or web pages get ranked higher, but search engines tend to prefer relevant, credible, and well-structured content.
Here are some tips for optimizing blog content for search rankings:
- Optimize site speed. Make sure the blog has excellent load time. Research shows that the ideal site load time is two seconds. If the blog takes a long time to load, people may click away to look for other sites.
- Incorporate keywords into blog content. After conducting keyword research, make sure to place them strategically within the blog content, such as inserting them in the post title, text body, headers, and image alt text.
- Use categories and tags. Also known as taxonomy, categories and tags help to group and structure blog content and improve site navigation. Categories group content in a hierarchical manner, while tags do not.
- Include internal and external linking. Internal linking means linking to other pages of your blog, while external linking means linking to other trustworthy websites or blogs with relevant content. The former improves interconnectivity and site navigation, while the latter improves credibility.
- Edit the URL slug. A good URL is typically unique and explains what the content of the page is about. Some tips when optimizing URL slugs for search rankings include avoiding numbers and special characters, including the focus keyword, and keeping the URL short and simple.
There are many ways to monetize a blog. In this section, we will discuss one of the most lucrative blog monetization methods: affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a marketing system where an affiliate receives commission fees for promoting a certain company’s products or services.
In this case, you as the blogger will be the affiliate, even though affiliates can consist of more than one person.
The other party is the customers, which in this case is the readers of the blog. These are the people to whom you will be promoting the company’s products or services.
Once your blog has become established enough and gains a substantial following, some companies will probably reach out and offer an affiliate marketing partnership.
If you agree to collaborate, the company will give you a special link or banner to be placed on your blog or within your blog posts. This link or banner will lead to the company’s website or page where people can purchase the promoted product or service.
You will receive a commission or referral fee every single time a blog reader clicks on the link or banner and purchases the product or service.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn passive income. The more readers the blog accumulates, the more money you will gain.
Another way to make money through blogging is by selling online courses. These are a series of educational lectures or lessons people can access online.
Online courses come in various shapes and sizes, including exclusive blog posts, videos, audio recordings, and eBooks. There are also various online courses on practically any topic imaginable.
Creating and selling online courses can help establish your brand and build a loyal following. Here are the basic steps to creating and selling online courses:
- Choose a topic. Since you will be educating people through online courses, make sure that the topic chosen is one that you are an expert in or knowledgeable about.
- Conduct research on the topic. Even though you are knowledgeable on the subject, conducting research is still necessary. Get information from multiple credible sources and think about the categories and subcategories to discuss.
- Outline the course. With the data gathered from research, begin creating the outline of the course in a logical and easy-to-follow order. Make sure to use the funnel approach, discussing general and basic information first before getting down to the specifics.
- Determine the course goals. Think of what specific information the students should understand or what activity they should be able to do after finishing the course. Keep these goals in mind as you create the course.
- Make the content. Create the content based on the research and outline.
- Market the course. Just creating the content is not enough – you need to market it too. Promote the course by linking to it in relevant blog posts or displaying an ad on the blog homepage. Give out some free courses to entice people to purchase more courses.
Building your network and social presence is an important part of growing your blog. The more well-known you are, the more people will visit your blog. More traffic means an increase in earnings.
Develop your network as a blogger by connecting with other bloggers in your industry or niche. Join communities relevant to your blog niche and make friends. Offer writing services to create guest posts on other blogs.
Create social media profiles on various social media platforms. Try to claim usernames that are similar to your blog name. Promote the blog through those social media platforms by cross-posting the link to blog posts, maybe accompanied by short snippets.
Encourage engagement with followers. Respond to comments and create polls to actively engage with your readers, which will also help you learn their likes and dislikes.
In addition, you can try to make use of email subscribers and an email automation system to notify readers every time a new post is published.
It is possible to make a living by blogging. Blogging provides more flexibility and independence compared to a traditional office job, as a blogger can work from anywhere and whenever they want.
Like any other job, however, blogging requires dedication and effort. It is not easy to become a successful blogger.
In this article, we have discussed seven steps of creating, monetizing, and growing a blog:
- Create a solid plan.
- Build your blogging website.
- Create blog content.
- Optimize blog content for search engines.
- Monetize the blog with affiliate marketing.
- Create and sell online courses.
- Build a network and social presence.
If you follow the steps above, work hard, and stay consistent, you may realize your dream of becoming a successful blogger in no time. Good luck.