A blog is no longer just a simple online diary. Nowadays, it’s an excellent platform to establish authority, attract an audience, and generate income. In fact, bloggers earn an average of $33,510/year.
However, becoming a successful blogger doesn’t happen overnight. You have to build a well-designed blog, produce top-notch content, and consider suitable monetization strategies.
Start your blogging journey by following the seven steps we outline below. Then, follow our useful tips and tricks to build a successful blog that’ll last long term.
1. Pick Your Niche
Having a niche is an important part of running a successful blog since it’ll affect your content and marketing strategies significantly.
In blogging, a niche means a specific topic or interest group, like traveling or gaming. You may also target content towards a niche audience, like young parents or sports fans.
Here are several methods to pick a niche for your blog:
- Identify your interests. Evaluate activities you’re passionate about and how you like to spend your free time. If you love watching movies, consider blogging about movie reviews and recommendations.
- Use your professional background. Create a blog about your occupation to build credibility. If you’re an architect, for example, share design tips or methods to create building blueprints.
- Follow market demand. See whether a niche is popular and profitable by using tools like Google Trends and Statista.
2. Choose Your Blogging Platform
Next, it’s time to choose between a free or paid platform to create your blog.
Free platforms like the hosted WordPress.com is popular among beginners since it’s quick to start with and includes web hosting. However, free platforms come with downsides too, such as unremovable ads and limited storage space.
Another con is that your blog’s domain name won’t be custom and will instead include the platform’s name, such as yourname.platformname.com. Not only are lengthy domain names not ideal, but they also look unprofessional and amateur.
Instead, consider investing in a paid platform such as a website builder like Squarespace or a content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
These options offer you more control over the look and feel of your blog. Opting for a premium platform can also convey professionalism since you can register a custom domain name.
To do this, choose a blog name and learn how to buy a domain name. You can purchase a domain together with a hosting plan if you’re using a CMS like WordPress. Alternatively, many website builders provide the option to register a domain upon purchasing a plan.
If you opt for a CMS, make sure to find a reputable web host. This helps to ensure you get better resources and security features, like SSL certificates and regular backups.
3. Set Up Your Blog
Depending on the blogging platform, start your blog by registering an account with a website builder or installing a CMS via your web host’s control panel.
Then, design your blog layout by choosing a blogging theme or template that automatically displays posts in reverse chronological order instead of static content.
Next, create web pages such as About and Contact to help visitors navigate important information and get to know your blog better.
For WordPress or other CMS users, install some plugins to extend your website functionality. Popular ones include:
- Yoast SEO. Helps your blog’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance.
- Displays site analytics and provide security measures like real-time backups and malware scans.
- Easy Social Sharing. Encourages visitors to share your blog’s content to their social networks.
4. Create and Upload Blog Content
After setting up your blog, it’s time to create your first post.
Start by brainstorming a topic. Some bloggers write an introductory post informing readers about themselves, their niche, and the reasons they blog. However, consider writing an informative post instead, like a tutorial or listicle, to capture the audience’s interest.
Then, perform keyword research using tools like AnswerThePublic to discover trending questions around your niche. Type in a topic or keyword, and it will generate popular phrases and questions which you can use to guide your blog posts.
After that, outline and write your post. Before publishing, proofread it with tools like Grammarly and check the post’s readability with apps like Hemingway Editor. Also, add relevant images to help visualize your post and make it stand out.
5. Optimize for Search Engines
Now it’s time to optimize your blog with good SEO strategies. This will help attract organic traffic and improve your website’s ranking on search engines like Google.
Pay attention to these aspects to improve your SEO success:
- On-page optimization. Includes keyword research and density, site performance, and internal linking.
- Off-page optimization. Occurs outside your blog, such as backlinks from other websites and exposure on social media.
- Technical optimization. Includes a good blog structure, mobile-friendliness, and fast loading speeds.
6. Build a Solid Community
To have a successful blog, you need to develop and maintain a community of active readers.
There are multiple benefits to this. For example, your community members can increase social shares, which helps attract more traffic to your blog and improve SEO performance.
In addition, a large audience base and active readership can also convey your blog’s authority and high content quality.
Here are some popular ways to build a strong blog community:
- Use email marketing. Encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter, inform them about new content, and ask for their feedback.
- Share on social media. People use social media for around two hours Create a strong social media presence to build your blog’s brand and connect with people within your niche.
- Create engaging content. A blog is only as good as its content, so write engaging posts that people want to interact with.
7. Choose Monetization Methods
Most bloggers start generating money after six months. Still, how quickly and how much money you get will depend on various factors, including niche, traffic volume, and monetization strategies.
Let’s take a look at four practical ways to make money blogging:
- Sell ad space. Join advertising networks, like Google AdSense and Mediavine, and display ads on your blog. Alternatively, sell ad space directly to brands. You’ll earn money once people click or see the ads.
- Write sponsored posts. If you have top-quality content and high traffic, some brands may reach out to sponsor a blog post. Alternatively, find companies relevant to your niche and pitch a sponsored post to them.
- Join affiliate marketing. Earn money when people click or buy a product from your referral links. Some top affiliate programs are from Amazon and eBay. You can also join a niche-specific affiliate program. For example, book bloggers can enroll in Book Depository’s affiliate program.
- Sell your own products and services. Create products like an eBook or online course and sell them on your website. Some bloggers also offer consulting services and speaking gigs.
Blogging is an excellent way to expand your personal brand or business. Not only can you use it to connect with others, but blogging can also improve your online presence and become an extra source of income.
Create a profitable blog by following these steps:
- Pick a niche based on your passion, professional work, or market demand.
- Choose a blogging platform.
- Set up and design your blog.
- Create and upload your first blog post.
- Optimize your blog for search engines.
- Establish a strong community using social media and email marketing.
- Pick monetization methods.
To have a successful blog, remember to consistently create high-quality content and regularly track your blog’s performance. Good luck!