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How to Start a Money Making Blog in 2022

Starting a blog is easy. Making money from a blog is harder. However, with this guide you'll learn best practices to grow and monetize a blog in 2022.
blogging

First off, I want to congratulate you on starting a blog.

You must plan and manage your time to build your blog and make it successful.

Who this article will help: people who are serious about making money from their blog.

My first objective is to set your expectation right. There is no guarantee that you will become a profitable blogger by reading this blog. However, many bloggers are making a great living from their blogs.

Your chances of success will improve significantly if you read this entire post and act on it.

I will provide you with concrete, actionable advice that will save you precious time if you try to research it independently.

Here is the outline of the subjects covered:

  1. How to find a blog niche
  2. How to select an excellent domain name
  3. How to host a blog on Bluehost
  4. How to create exceptional blog content
  5. How to generate traffic to your blog
  6. How to monetize your blog
  7. Blogging Best Practices

1. How to find a blog niche

Building a solid foundation is the key to the success of the blog.

What objectives must your blog achieve?

It must solve a problem for your readers. Describe the issue in the article’s beginning, and the rest of your article should focus on guiding your audience on how to achieve the goals.

Your article must address two things:

  • A problem that readers want to solve
  • Provide a genuine solution immediately

Here you will learn all about finding a niche for your blog. You may decide to write about one niche subject or several different topics. The choice is yours. Here are two examples:

Single Niche: Sooverthis

Multi Niche: Chasingfoxes

How to find your passion

The first step in the process is to analyze your skills and things you enjoy doing. Topics that interest you and you are passionate about. Your blog will not feel like a job if you like the subject you are writing about. This will help you find an appropriate niche.

Here are some examples of blog niches:

  • Personal Finance
  • Health
  • Beauty & Fashion
  • Food
  • Real Estate
  • Weight loss
  • Blogging
  • Specialty Travel
  • Career Advice
  • Side Hustles
  • Lifestyle
  • Women’s Lifestyle
  • Relationships
  • Parenting
  • Personal Development

If you are still unsure about the topic, use this technique to find topics for your blog. Make a list of your past jobs, experiences, places you have lived, friends & family, hobbies, etc. Now make a list of common elements, and you will start to see a trend. This will guide you toward finding the appropriate niche for your blog.

PRO TIP: You can blog about a subject that makes you money but is not your passion. You will develop love when you are earning money from it. But if it’s also your passion, then it’s a bonus.

I mentioned that tip so you are not stuck and feel boxed in that you can’t write about anything other than your passion.

Further, narrow your niche. For example, there are multiple sub-niches in the Personal Finance niche. For instance:

  • Saving & Budgeting
  • Frugality
  • Debt
  • Credit
  • Early Retirement
  • Regular Retirement
  • Making money
  • Investment
  • Minimalism
  • Millennial Finance
  • Home Ownership
  • College
  • Personal Banking
  • Taxes

This exercise’s purpose is not to get lost in too much information at the start. Narrowing down the list will help you begin to do topic research and not get overwhelmed by an avalanche of information.

There are three main benefits of this approach:

  • Save time on finding the topic to write about
  • Your confidence will grow once you have written a few initial articles
  • Your writing style will develop and improve with time

This does not limit you to staying within a specific sub-niche. You can endeavor into other related topics once you have written some articles on a particular topic.

An added benefit is that you will become an expert in a sub-topic.

PRO TIP: Stay focused on your topic and not get overwhelmed with information.

How to analyze your audience

Next, do some research on your target audience. For example, if you focus on Millennial Finance, you will have to find out more about this population segment. For example, what are their money habits, where do they spend the most time, and what are their general money-related issues?

Once you have found basic information about your target audience, you will be able to find topics that interest them.

PRO TIP: Your blog must serve a purpose for your audience and solve a problem or provide guidance.

How to deal with information overload?

Stay focused, and don’t get bogged down by distractions. You will realize quickly that it is overwhelming in the beginning. There are many things to learn for a new blogger; new terminology, tools, where to start, an extraordinary number of bookmarks, which technique to learn first, etc.

Here are a few tips that helped me:

Slow the pace – It does not mean stop progressing. Take breaks often. Take a walk or exercise to clear your mind.

Browser Bookmarks – keep reading information on the web and make bookmarks in the browser.

PRO TIP: Organize your bookmarks by making subfolders with specific titles. For Example, Blog Hosting, Marketing Tools, Starting a Blog, Email list building, etc. This will help you find the information quickly when you need it.

Write it down – Not all the information can be bookmarked. Or you have a quick idea that you want to research. Write on a notepad or in a word document.

White Board – Get a whiteboard to quickly write down information for the short term so that you can soon erase it when you are done.

Stay Focused – Don’t get distracted by getting lost in irrelevant information. If it’s helpful, then write it down to return to it at a later time.

Engage your audience – Now, you are ready to connect your passion with your audience.

2. How to Select an Awesome Domain Name

The very first thing you need to do is think of a domain name. This is very important, so do some brainstorming to come up with a catchy/exciting domain name.

Here are some suggestions to help you find a great domain name:

  1. Avoid complex and lengthy names
  2. Keep it related to your blog niche
  3. Create a new word or change the spelling of a typical word
  4. Use a combination of keywords
  5. Name it after your name
  6. Use Thesaurus to find a unique name
  7. Use a word in another language that’s easy to spell
  8. Use online resources to generate a cool name

3. How to host a blog on Bluehost

Here you will learn all about creating a blog on Bluehost.

However, before getting into blog hosting details, you should familiarize yourself with WordPress.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is the best platform for bloggers. There are other platforms to build great websites like Wix / Weebly / Squarespace. However, these are not a good fit for blogging. Over 60 million websites use WordPress as of April 2018. That’s almost 30% of the top internet websites.

Among many other benefits of using WordPress, I think the best features are ease of use and a large selection of plugins to choose from.

PRO TIP: Avoid hosting your blog on Blogger/Blogspot for Free. It’s not a good idea.

What is Bluehost?

Bluehost is a web hosting company founded in 2003. It is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world.

For beginners, among many other benefits, Bluehost offers free domain names and a one-click WordPress install.

Here are some of the advantages of using WordPress on Bluehost:

  1. In-expensive to host the blog on Bluehost. Hosting service starts at $2.95 per month
  2. WordPress is integrated with Bluehost and FREE
  3. You own the domain name that is also FREE
  4. SSL is included FREE
  5. Technical support provided 24/7
  6. You can easily monetize your blog
  7. You can run any type of advertisement
  8. You can port the blog to another host at any time

In addition, Bluehost also provides several marketing services. This can be a great help in the beginning when you are trying to generate traffic to your blog.

I suggest you start with the basic 12-month plan to keep your initial costs as low as possible. You can always upgrade to “plus” and “choice plus” plan later.

Also, check if you get a further discount if you want to go for a 36-month plan.

Another Item you should consider adding is “Domain Privacy Protection.” This will ensure the privacy of your contact information, including name, address, phone number, and email.

You can find the registered domain owner by going to ICANN WHOIS.

Here are the steps you need to follow to create your blog on Bluehost:

  1. Go to the Bluehost website and click on the “Get Started Now” button.
  2. Select the hosting package
  3. Signup for a new domain name or enter if you have an existing one.
  4. Enter account information and make the payment
  5. Enter a new password to get administrator access to your site. This password must be complex and hard to guess. You can also use the Bluehost password suggestion to select a hard-to-guess password.

PRO TIP: Bluehost will also indicate the strength of the password.

Remember this password and never share it with anyone. If you want to give administrator access to your blog, you can always make a new user with administrator rights.

Next, you should create an email based on your domain name. For example, [email protected] You will need this email address to link your website to other critical services like an email service (like gmail.com or outlook.com) and Google Analytics to confirm the ownership of your domain.

Now you are ready to install WordPress and build your blog.

Install WordPress

Simply press the install WordPress button. Once installed, it will look like this.

4. How to create exceptional blog content

In the blogging world – content is king. More specifically, unique and original content is vital for your blog’s success.

There are many things where an ordinary quality will do the job. Some sites and blogs are poorly designed and look ugly, possibly generating some revenue. However, our objective is to create a great blog that stands out from the crowd and makes way more revenue than the competition.

Primary components of a blog post

  • Headline – Must be catchy and the ideal length is 6 to 8 words
  • Introduction – Used to grab the reader’s attention
  • Main Body – Provides details related to the main subject
  • Sub-headlines – Used to divide content into digestible sections
  • Conclusion – Summarize the main idea and should trigger a subtle call to action

The best is to work your way backward when writing a blog post. What I mean by that is to identify the message you want to convey to the reader in a single sentence. This is the end goal you want to achieve. The next step is to create an outline of your blog post.

Create an outline of your blog post:

Write down all your ideas on paper. Then organize these ideas, stories, and thoughts logically where they might fit best in the introduction, body, or conclusion blog post sections.

How to create attention-grabbing blog titles?

The blog title is significant. No matter how well-written your article is, if the title does not entice readers to click on it, you are guaranteed to lose a lot of traffic due to only this factor.

Use Long Tail Keywords in titles:

You might wonder, “How effective are long tail keywords for SEO?”. Long tail keywords are very effective. Long tail keywords are highly targeted. Therefore they can be very effective in search engine rankings.

Engaging titles – The blog post title must be catchy. Exciting and captivating blog titles will attract more readers to your blog.

Use attention grabbing words in blog titles – Use “How to”, “Ultimate”, “Best”, “Awesome”, “Killer”, “Exceptional”, “Phenomenal”, “Impressive”, “Inspiring”, “Extraordinary”, “Remarkable” “Rocking” in blog titles.

Include current or future year in the title “Ultimate list of best places to visit in 2018”. This will give confidence to the readers that the information they are reading is up to date.

Here are some examples of how to use a long tail keyword in the title:

  1. Long tail titles – “11 Great travel hacks – travel sites did not want you to find out”
  2. A title that reveals a secret – “8 Best kept money-making secrets revealed”
  3. Start title with a number – “10 destinations for a traveler on a budget”. You might have noticed that successful bloggers use many numbers in their titles because humans naturally pay more attention to numbers in a sentence.

How to create a great first paragraph?

The blog’s first paragraph must inform the reader what the rest of the article will be talking about.

The introduction paragraph must engage the reader. The purpose of the first few sentences is to make the reader continue reading.

How do you engage your readers?

Several different techniques can be used. For example, start with a story that resonates with the target audience. Then, ask a question or provide an interesting fact. You could also present a new idea.

Be yourself – Write the way you feel comfortable like you are talking to your audience. Be creative, and don’t stop to edit your work. Instead, do one task at a time. If you are writing, then only write until you have finished writing.

When you are writing, make sure that you are in a comfortable area with no distractions. Our phones can be a big distraction, and we feel compelled to answer calls or check our messages.

I like to turn off the phone and remove any distractions when I am focusing on writing blog content.

Create high-quality content – Several components of the blog post make it high-quality: Content must be unique and original.

Provide a solution to the reader or comprehensive information on a topic

Blog posts should be at least 500 words. A typical post should be between 1500-3000 words

Make sure you have no grammatical errors. Grammarly is an excellent tool that can help you in achieving that goal. There are free and paid versions if you think your content requires more than the free service.

  • Create general pillar articles
  • Provide links to other posts in your blog for details on a specific part
  • Include illustrations (Images / infographics) as needed
  • Content can also be in audio (podcast) or video format – This is a prevalent format.

Here are some common tips:

Use list format – Readers like information presented in a list format. It’s easier to organize and has better readability.

PRO TIP: Readers tend to respond better to blogs that are in list format.

Use small paragraphs – Break down content into smaller sections. Make sure the paragraphs are not more than three sentences.

PRO TIP: Long sentences can be stand-alone paragraphs.

Keep content fresh – make a habit of checking your past posts and make sure the information is still accurate. The information like price, contact, or web address link might be inaccurate or outdated. Internal or external broken links make your blog look unprofessional and look untrustworthy.

Rotate Blog Topics – I mean to ensure you don’t write a series of articles on similar topics in a row or in a short time span. This will bore your readers.

For example, if you have a finance blog, avoid writing about retirement topics in a row. Instead, mix it up with credit, savings, side hustles, etc. This will ensure your blog is not getting too niche and keep your readers coming back for various topics.

Conclusion paragraph – Last paragraph should do two things. First, it should summarize the main blog idea in a few sentences.

Most Importantly, it should include a call to action. Your objective should keep the reader engaged, so subtly ask them to act. For example, it could be to signup for your newsletter, make a purchase or leave a comment.

Here is an example of a subtle call to action, “Now it’s your turn. Is there anything you would like to know more about – leave a comment below”

This is also an ideal place to insert a link to your squeeze page.

The terminology you should know – You will often come across these terms in your blogging life. Here I added basic information for you to understand the difference.

Understanding these will also come in handy to monetize your blog. Specifically knowing about squeeze and landing page.

What is a home page?

It’s the first page of your blog website. The primary purpose is to provide links and easy navigation to different sections of your blog.

It includes blog posts, popular posts, services, about us, contact, and recommendations pages.

What is a squeeze page?

A squeeze page is mostly a short form that has only one goal. For instance, to capture an email address.

Usually, it’s not a stand-alone page. Once the visitor has opted-in, it is followed by a thank you message.

What is a landing page?

A landing page can have multiple goals and can be long or short form. It usually has details about a single product/service. It can include testimonials and a call for action at the end of the page.

The best use is to offer a high perceived value give-away, for example, an eBook, free information download, video, webinar, etc.

There are no navigation buttons. Instead, the visitor has two choices either signup for the offer or close the page entirely.

PRO TIP: Focus both on readers and search engines when writing content.

5. How to generate traffic to your blog

In this section, I will provide you with a list of main traffic generation methods as you will need to do further reading on each traffic source separately.

Establishing Your Brand

Convey your message to your audience across all channels in a consistent way. For example, if you have a travel blogger whose niche is adventure travel, make adventure travel your core message.

Use the same logo, tagline, and colors across all channels. Consistency is the key to the brand establishment.

Pinterest 

This is the game changer for bloggers. It will get you off the ground faster than any other technique. If I had to pick one social medium, it would be Pinterest. It is fast growing and provides much-needed traffic to your blog.

You must master Pinterest.

There is a little learning curve with Pinterest, and you will need to put some effort into learning this resource, but I promise it will be worthwhile.

Note: Most Pinterest traffic will bounce from your blog. This is typical. On the other hand, it gives you visibility and potentially a return visitor.

PRO TIP: Make sure to include pins from others, not just your own. You risk your account being suspended.

This is the reality.

One of the tools that I use to schedule my pins is Tailwind. It can be used to manage Pinterest and Instagram.

Social Media Presence

Like Pinterest, your blog’s presence on social media is critical. Work on building a social presence and network gradually rather than going full force in the beginning.

Social Media Resources:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Yummly (Food)

Email Marketing

Critical to your long-term success. There is nothing else that you can rely on more than email marketing. The reason is that all other traffic sources can change, and you have no control over that. For Example, Pinterest might change its business model and adversely affect your blog traffic.

The email list is yours and portable. These are your loyal readers, and you can market to them repeatedly.

You will need an email management service provider to capture all your subscribers and to auto-respond to them.

Email Management Resources:

  • ConvertKit
  • MailChimp
  • EmailerLite
  • ActiveCampaign
  • MailPoet
  • Aweber
  • MadMimi
  • CampaignMonitor
  • Constant Contact
  • GetResponse
  • Litmus

The challenge you will face is how to keep growing your email list fast. You have worked hard to attract a visitor to your blog. You should make every effort to keep them coming back. The best connection you can develop is via email.

The solution is to offer something of value and benefit to the visitor. Here are some ideas for your free offers:

  • Free Email Series Course
  • Workbook
  • eBook
  • Cheat sheets
  • Podcast
  • Access to exclusive resources
  • Printable Materials
  • Paid Advertising – Explore this avenue to promote your blog on Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon) to help drive traffic to your blog.
  • Submit blog to online directories:

– Best of the Web Blog

– EatonWeb Blog Directory

  • Social Bookmarking – Same as directories and might not be very effective. However, you should not ignore them either, as every visitor counts.
  • Delicious
  • Mix (formerly Stubmleupon)
  • Reddit
  • Bizsugar
  • Growthhub (Growth.org / formerly Inbound.org)
  • Growth hackers
  • Blog engage
  • Triberr
  • Managewp
  • Blog Promotion Networks – These networks help promote your blog.
  • Triberr
  • Social BuzzClub
  • Viral Content Bee

6. How to monetize your blog

This is where everything comes together. All your hard work must translate into revenue unless you have a hobby blog.

Once you have generated some traffic to your blog, it’s time to convert this traffic to generate revenue. The good thing is that there are multiple ways to monetize your blog. It comes down to your preference. You can use a combination of these methods on one blog to generate revenue from multiple sources.

Advertisement Networks

In this revenue stream, you will signup with companies that place advertisements on your blog. You are paid by these companies based on impressions or clicks.

Here are a few online advertisement companies:

  • Google AdSense
  • Media.net
  • Mediavine (minimum 30,000 / month pageviews)
  • AdThrive (minimum 100,000 / month pageviews)
  • Propeller Ads
  • Infolinks
  • Chitika
  • Bidvertiser
  • BlogHer

You will need to apply and get approved before displaying ads on your blog. Every company has its criteria for approval.

Please do your research on each company for their application process.

Note: Some companies require a minimum number of visitors or page views per month to be accepted for their advertisements.

This can be a good revenue stream for any new blogger.

PRO TIP: You should target 100,000+ monthly page views before expecting any decent ad revenue.

Direct Advertisements

This method has a direct link to the advertiser. Either you reach out to a company for an advertisement, or a company contacts you directly to place an advertisement on your blog.

This can be a great source of revenue because you have fewer restrictions and can negotiate a lucrative rate for placing the advertisement.

Affiliate Marketing 

This can be a great revenue source. Here you can market products or services provided by other reputable companies. For example, you can be an affiliate marketer for Bluehost. I use Bluehost for my blog hosting. The earnings are based on commission, and these can add up.

Some excellent affiliate marketing sources:

  • Bluehost
  • Swagbucks
  • Republic Wireless
  • Airbnb
  • Ebates
  • $5 Meal Plan
  • StudioPress
  • Tailwind
  • Flexoffers
  • Awin

Sponsored Blog Posts

This is one of my favorite methods. This involves placing an article sponsored by a business or company. The sponsoring company pays you for publishing an article that provides them exposure.

Sponsored Blog Post Resources:

  • Izea
  • Find your Influence
  • Selling Online Courses – This can be selling your courses or other people/companies’ courses. The concept is the same as affiliate marketing. The only significant difference is that here instead of service, you are promoting a course.

Selling Online Courses Resources:

These courses are usually online courses that are delivered via companies like:

  • Teachable
  • Udemy
  • Kajabi
  • Thinkific
  • Selling eBooks – This can be very lucrative once you have created a loyal following and a decent email list.
  • Amazon Affiliate – This is different than affiliate marketing. Here, you only promote products on Amazon instead of promoting other vendors.

First, register with Amazon as an affiliate. Once affiliated, you are given a unique link to use on your blog. When a visitor clicks on this link, they are directed to the Amazon webpage, and if they make a purchase, you will receive a percentage of the purchase. It might not be a lot in the beginning. However, it can add up quickly to a decent amount.

  • Promote Your Own services – Promote your service through your blog. Some of these services include Virtual Assistant, Freelance writing, Social Media management services, Blog management services, and Staff Writer.
  • Recommendations Page – The bloggers usually overlook this. However, if used correctly, it can generate a lot of revenue. Here you aggregate all of your affiliate links with a short description in a list format.

7. Blogging Best Practices

Follow these general best practices to maintain and grow your blog:

  • Post regularly – Target 1-2 articles per week and spend time promoting your blog.
  • Network with bloggers – Build a network of bloggers, preferably in your niche.
  • Comment on other blogs – Find the best blogs in your particular niche and leave comments on their posts. This will give you visibility and build relationships with bloggers in your niche.
  • Guest Post – Guest post on other blogs to gain visibility.

Now you know the entire process from start to end. You have the whole blueprint for starting your own blog.

It’s your turn. Share your blogging experience below. Let me know if you want to learn more about any specific section.

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Hi, I’m Crosby Jeffler. This blog will discuss my methods for creating multiple income streams. I generated over $2M of sales in the past two years, and I’ll share how I did it.