“Make money online” is one of the most talked about and searched subjects. And blogging tops the ways to get rich for a determined and committed performer who makes it happen.
You will find thousands of guides about “how to make money with blogging” and each one is useful am sure.
What makes this guide different?
1. It is shortest possible yet complete to help you take right actions, right away. [Update: By the time I finished writing, it didn’t turn out to be a short one as planned. So, make up your mind to refer a slightly longer guide here]
We don’t want answers. We want FAST answers.
This make money blogging guide will serve that purpose.
2. This guide talks about the real action plans and tools that worked for me and helps me make over $1 million per year from this blog (and create 2 more blogs following a similar strategy)
3. I have been a skimmer and shallow reader (I confess). This guide will make a quick, complete actionable reference without any unnecessary information.
So, let’s get started.
- How to Choose Your Blogging Subject – Your Profitable Niche
- What All You Need to Create a Powerful Blog
- The Best Performing Content Types
- How to Promote Your Blog & Posts
- Top Ways to Make Money Blogging
- The BIG question answered
1. How to Choose your Niche
First thing first; you make money by selling anything that people need. Things that people want to buy and buy from YOU.
That means, what you love and passionate about – may not make money if it is not what people want to buy.
So, you need two things here to get started.
One – A large audience who wants to buy
Two – Things they want to buy
For example, I sell help about “blogging” and I know there is a massive audience who is looking for it.
So, figure out your niche. The subject that will attract a large audience to your blog and bring money.
When you’re blogging for hobby and fun:
- Make a list of subjects that interest you the most
- Now, shortlist the subjects you can write for the next 2 years without feeling short of topics.
- Once you’re done, bring it down to one or two topics that you can write about for the next 5 years without feeling monotonous. A topic you’re in love with. The one you love to read about and write. The one you’re knowledgeable about or want to be an expert on.
- Pick one of these topics and move on to step 2.
Note: Remember to follow the above steps only when you’ve decided to blog for hobby and fun. This may or may not make you money.
When You’re Blogging for Money
You’re going invest a lot of time, effort and money on blogging so you want to choose a niche that you don’t regret later.
A profitable niche is the one that people already read and follow. A subject that makes a difference in their daily life, that brings a better version in them, literally.
You might have read in many guides to make a list of topics you like. I am not going to suggest that. Honestly, I get passionate about a niche that starts showing me money.
So, I will ask you to pick one of the following niches and start building an outstanding blog around it. Here we go without any specific order.
1. Health and Fitness
One of the most competitive yet profitable niches it is. I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t look for some health information or solution once in a month.
This niche has a large audience and you can make massive money with affiliate marketing. I have my own Health Blog that makes over $3000 every month.
2. Beauty and Fashion
Have you ever seen someone who doesn’t want to look great and groomed? Beauty and fashion niche not only makes money but also fame and free invitations to the events in town.
You can expect a well-maintained beauty and fashion blog make $1000-3000 per month with 1 year of good work.
This is another interesting yet popular subject with a huge audience. I personally love to follow lifestyle bloggers and blogs on Pinterest. You got to be focused on this niche as a lot of bloggers go horribly wrong.
Under this niche, you can be blogging about home, minimalism, travel or gardening but don’t write about everything. Choose and subject and stick to it.
4. Self- development & Personal Care
This niche has recently got a surge in its audience. There is an increasing audience looking for solutions to improve themselves, deal with the stress and depression and more personal care concerns.
You can make good $1000-5000 with this niche in a year using affiliate marketing for self-help books, seminars, and other products.
5. Money & Finance
I kept the best for the last. How to make money online is actually one of the most searched words. You can imagine the audience and traffic your blog can receive if you’re giving them what they want.
However, I suggest you pick this niche when you’re confident about your interest. People usually follow by the example. They may want to see how much money you’re money you’re making before they trust your blog.
When done well, this niche can return an income of $5-10k per month with good work of 1 year.
Now, choose the niche that interests you out of these suggest 7 niches and gets started with the next step.
2. What All You Need to Create a Powerful Blog
Finding your niche is the biggest task. The next step is the making of your money blog. Here are the next steps (in order).
1. Deciding Your Blog’s Name and Domain
Finalizing the name is an important decision because this is your identity. This is what people will remember. You can decide upon a name.
1. Around the subject – Brainstorming a name that represents your niche is the easiest way. Think of some easy and popular words related to the niche and use them as prefix or suffix. You may not get those cool and exact business names anymore. So, think of an easy and catchy name with the closest possible words you may find.
2. Go abstract – You’ll seriously feel frustrated with unavailability of most names you’d think of. So, choose to go with a random, abstract but easy to speak, spell and remember the term. If your blog becomes popular, the exact name doesn’t matter.
3. Your own name – This is the last option but first for those who choose a niche that belongs to them. For example, a health coach can start a health and fitness blog under her own name. And it works very well.
- Speak your blog name and observe the fluency or friction. Go with something smooth.
- Prefer a .com
- Avoid hyphenated domains
- Check for trademarks or name copyrights.
- Buy from a reliable and popular registrar such as name.com, godaddy.com or Namecheap.
2. Choosing The Best Blogging Platform
You might have heard of blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, Joomla, Typepad etc.
I personally recommend WordPress for its easy and user-friendly interface and several features even tech-phobic bloggers can use to run a great blog.
You can start with a Free Theme or choose to buy a premium theme that gives more features and of course a professional look to your blog.
3. How to Select the Best Blog Hosting Service
Just spot these features when you look for the best hosting plan for your blog. A lot of companies are offering special WordPress hosting that works twice better than a generic shared hosting.
1. The uptime, server speed, and space – Extremely important because your blog will have at least one visitor at a time and you can’t afford to have your blog down or take forever to load. Settle for nothing but 99.9% uptime. 100% is even better.
More than 79% of online users never use a website that loads slowly. A large percentage abandons your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds.
Make sure the server provides you enough space to keep your blog running with plenty of visuals and videos.
2. Customer Support – You’d need customer support often during the first year of your blogging. So make sure the hosting company has prompt, helpful and knowledgable customer support. Read reviews and never ignore this point. Test the customer support by asking the most suitable plan that serves all your needs.
3. Security and backup – Blogs are most vulnerable because of the traffic and visibility they receive. Make sure that your hosting plan has malware and spam protection along with automatic data backups.
3. Cost – Usually, a good hosting plan for new blogs or blogs receiving 100-500 visitors every day come for $2-6 per month. Make up your mind to pay this and prefer buying a 3-year hosting plan to save good money.
4. Design & Set Up
I have always been a fan of simple blogs with minimal design and enough white breathing space.
You can choose to customize your blog yourself or you can hire a WordPress developer to do so. I strongly suggest to leave the job to the experts and let a good developer set up your blog. Your focus should be on blogging and working with content. You can use sites like Fiverr.com to find someone who can do your blog set up for $50-100 at the max.
- Choose a theme based upon the content you’ll share the most. Will you post more of videos or text and visuals. Choose a theme that showcases your primary content in an outstanding manner.
- Keep the blog super simple with a minimal design, simple and readable font family and size, and minimal color scheme.
- Get an impressive and simple logo that reads your brand name in less than a second.
- Make sure that your blog is responsive. It has to be mobile friendly to retain traffic.
- Get the essential plugins configured. They are the backbone of your blog. I suggest;
Yoast SEO, Sucuri, Akismet, Sumo, ClicktoTweet, Shortcode
You can use the help of a strategist or a blogging coach to get the right design and set-up for your blog. This is an investment worth each penny.
Unless it is found in the search, your blog is invisible to your prospects.
Optimization makes your blog ready for visibility and likeability both in search engines and people.
These 5 steps are enough to optimize your blog as a starter.
Speed Optimization – Your blog must load within 3 seconds. Period. Have you developer make your blog the fastest loading blog. Your visitors would love it. If you’re working on it yourself, follow this tutorial.
Do keyword research – Keyword research gives you the phrases people are using to find your blog. Don’t just assume. Head over to a good keyword popularity tool to identify the keywords that will drive the maximum traffic. Use this guide to do this research yourself.
URL Structure – Dump the default URL structure. Go with a custom URL structure such as yourblog.com/post-title. If you’re more than confident of posting regularly, you can add dates to the URL, else, keep it simple.
Meta Data and Content Optimization – Make sure that you write proper meta title, keyword rich description and focus keyword. Using plugins such as Yoast SEO will make this job easier. Use the relevant keywords in the content of the page and posts. Having the keywords in the first 15 words, in the middle of content somewhere and in the last 20 words pumps your website to higher rankings.
6. Essential Pages & Elements
Readers will come looking for information from search engines and social networks. But what converts them into your paying customers is a great set of money pages. These are the pages your readers visit to know more about and your offerings.
I wrote this post for Entrepreneur.com and it just serves what you need to write great money pages.
Now that we have laid a foundation, it’s time to play. Where is the money?
That’s our next step.
3. Creating Compelling Content That Converts
Content brings traffic but money lies in the BEST CONTENT.
Your blog might be another run of the mill site if you’re not planning your content framework. You got to publish only the best posts written on the best subjects to top your prospects’ interest.
And that requires planning.
- You have already worked on your keyword research (hopefully). Now, use it.
- Make a list of 100 best topics people are searching.
- Arrange these topics in basic to advance order. For example, I would start with “how to set up an impressive blog” to write my second post on “How to promote your blog posts” and so on…
- Make sure that each post you write provides the best, latest, accurate information in the simplest and easy to implement manner.
- Be a merciless editor and keep only useful text in your posts. Use tools like Hemingway app and Grammarly to hone your writing skills.
- Be consistent in your posting frequency. If you have a bandwidth of posting only once a week, make sure you POST ONCE A WEEK.
- Make writing and blog one of your top three priorities in life. (No joke, it will seriously bring money that way)
- Settle at nothing less than best in what you post and share.
4. Set Up Your Email Subscription
A blog is destined to fail if it is not focusing on building the email list from day 1.
Yes, DAY 1.
A blog is as successful and profitable as the size of its email list.
Do anything and everything to make your readers and visitors subscribe to your blog. Each subscriber means $1 per month. Now, decide how much you want to make per month and make your email list building as your top priority.
The best ways to get visitors to give their email address are:
- Share a free resource
- Add a call to action at the end of each blog post
- Pitch subscription with a downloadable pdf version of your long posts and guides.
- Try pop-ups (exit pop-ups are worth a try) with best value promise.
5. What Kind of Posts Perform The Best
It usually varies with the niche and subject but these posts have been performing the most in almost every niche.
- List Posts
- How-to Posts
- Mini Guides
- Review Posts
Write 3 posts for each content type and track the performance. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Mouseflow, Hotjar, Sumostats.
6. How to Promote Your Blog
Everything comes down to traffic in blogging. If you’re receiving traffic, you will make money. So, your next step is to figure the best ways to get more traffic every day. I repeat; BEST WAYS.
There are over 25 ways to promote your blog and brand. You’d even find posts that suggest 100 ways.
It may take years to start getting 5 digits traffic using free methods and invest all our time or we speed up using a few smarter ways, invest some money and achieve that number sooner.
Let talk about only 5 ways that have worked for me and most of the successful bloggers.
1. Optimize for Search
Getting organic traffic means keeping yourself safe in long run with a slow and steady pace. However, I do not suggest to completely rely on just one source of traffic.
#1 position receives the maximum traffic for a term followed by #2 and #10 position. Your blog can receive good traffic if you can manage to have 100 keywords on page 1. Considering it is a blog getting regular fresh great content, the is possible in less than a year when done right.
Ensure that you optimize each blog post and page for targeted keywords, compress images, use alt-tags, take care of URL structure and make the best use of your data from the search console.
I use this data every month to update my old posts only to find the rankings and organic improved next month. I have got several blog posts up from deeper pages to top 5 positions.
The process is slow but totally worth your time in the long run.
2. Invest in Facebook Advertising
You can use your Facebook network and page to promote your blog and posts for free. That means showing your posts to a couple of hundreds of people and leaving them to a choice to read. Considering the organic reach of Facebook has dropped to officially zero, this is least likely to give you the kind of traffic you want.
Make up your mind to invest in using advertising to boost your blog posts and keep them out there unless it is saturated.
You can start with as less as $2 per day per post and run the ad for a week to a targeted audience.
Monitor your results and run the retargeting campaign to improve your conversions and subscribers’ base.
3. Commenting on Other Blogs
When done right, commenting makes a brilliant way to show your expertise and build your brand.
Commenting has benefits beyond traffic.
- You get new ideas for your own reading others content
- You get readers to your blog following the comment left on others’ posts.
- You’d have an idea what other bloggers in your niche are up to.
- You’ll develop good relationships with bloggers in your niche and opening doors for guest blogging opportunities.
- You’d get recognition by showing interest in others content and helping them with feedback and opinions in comments.
You must schedule a fixed time slot to write insightful comments on popular blogs and any blog that creates great stuff. And encourage more comments on your own blog by responding and acknowledging comments on your posts.
4. Guest Blog
Contributing to popular blogs in your industry comes with 4 benefits;
- Drives tremendous referral traffic to your blog
- Makes your brand visible
- Attracts more guest blogging opportunities effortlessly later
- Helps you rank higher in search engines
However, use guest blogging primarily for first 3 benefits. Let 4th benefit return as a bonus and never pitch for links. Aim at creating twice as great content for guest posts than you do for your own blog. Blogs would love to host your post. Work on your pitch.
Start with a goal of making 1 guest contribution every month to a popular blog. Consider reading this article to master guest blogging
5. Use Communities
I have used bloggers communities like viralcontentbee, triberr and indiblogger to share my content and received crazy referral traffic. Buzzsumo is another popular channel used and highly recommended by successful bloggers (including me) for massive traffic.
Start with these methods and the results will motivate you to try other ways to promote your blog.
6 Ways to Make Money With Blogging
Now that you’re ready to welcome visitors on your great base blog, it’s time to know how to monetize your efforts and traffic with these 5 ways
1. Sell Ad Space
This is the easiest and one of the first most popular ways to make money blogging. You can choose to sell ads directly to the brands and advertisers or you can sign up with Adsense, mediavine etc. to start getting automatic ad placement.
If you choose to sell directly, create a good media kit and put it on a prominent position on your blog for advertisers. Ensure to put your pricing and traffic details, every detail that convinces a brand to buy from you.
Advertising works with traffic. The more traffic you have, the more money you make. This is the reason why it makes little money for new bloggers.
If you’re in a more popular niche such as health, beauty, and technology etc, it would be easier to generate significantly large traffic and make money.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Most successful blogs make 6-7 figure income with affiliate marketing. You write reviews and recommend products to get commissions.
In bloggers’ world, advertising brings peanuts and affiliate marketing brings almonds.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you make good money even if you’re not receiving massive traffic. As long as you’re writing great, you will make sales to the recommended products on your blog.
Consulting can be a lucrative and easier way of making money from your blog if you’re confident of being able to help people with something. What is something you’re best at?
Home décor, astrology, creating designs, travel arrangements, business, find your strength and consider creating a consulting plan.
Note that consulting means establishing yourself as an expert, someone who has achieved a milestone becomes a live proof success and goodness and is trusted.
You can charge $50-5000 per hour based upon the value you can deliver and the market you’re serving.
Over 50% of my business comes from consulting and it wouldn’t be possible without my blog.
4. Sponsored Posts
Anyone would want to take advantage of the traffic your blog receives. You can charge for the content if someone wants to publish it. Remember a few things.
Don’t overdo it. Prefer charging well and publishing one sponsored post a week instead of doing cheap sponsored every other day.
Make sure the sold content is brilliant enough to provide good value to your readers. Ensure that you’re promoting your blog and blog posts regularly so that you attract more of such sponsored posts opportunities.
5. eBooks, Workshops and Courses
All of these make huge money and most of the successful bloggers make 90% of their passive income from ebooks and online courses. It requires a good deal of expertise in your chosen industry though. Take your time to create a few courses and ebooks that people can’t resist to buy. The more useful things you create, the more money you make with direct and referral sales.
People need help but more than that they need things done. Freelancing makes more money than anything but it can take a toll on your time and life. It’s demanding and time-consuming. Among multiple sources of your income, you can try keeping a few hours of freelancing and make great money.
There is a good demand for writers, bloggers, designers, developers, and visual creators. See what you can help with.
Now that we have covered pretty much everything from start to launch about making money blogging, the ball is in your court. Before I leave you to take actions, I want to answer a last and burning question.
Can we really make money blogging and have a luxury life of freedom?
Indeed. It IS very much possible and already proven by hundreds of millionaire and billionaire bloggers.
Blogging works for you only when you work for blogging. The journey is rich but demands patience and investment of efforts, time and money. It’s certainly easier than many other professions.
If you take it as your primary focus and priority, it will deliver results like anything. Make up your mind to invest 3-5 dedicated hours every day to make it a massive success.
Find a blogging coach, get trained, practice as much as you can, master your art, aim to be among the best in your niche and nothing can stop you.
If I am able to do things I always wanted, travel around the world, make a 7 figure income working 1-2 hours a day, it was all possible because of blogging. I trusted myself and my decision of choosing to blog.
Let me know if I can help you in any way.
You have got a blog? I would love to review.
You’re struggling to make money out of it? Let’s talk about coaching you.
You have got a specific challenge? Think of one session with actionable solutions.
Or just ask your question.
Let’s make this work 🙂
See you soon