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Are you looking to start a blog but don’t know how or where to start? I have put together a step-by-step guide on starting a blog, and not just any blog–you can create a blog that earns money.
Blogging is one of the easiest and fasted ways to earn money on the internet. That’s why there are over 600 million blogs on the internet. Every day, more than 2 million blog posts are published, most using it to attract traffic.
In this guide, I will go over what are the different types of blogs available, how to generate income from these blogs, and how to start blogging for beginners. So are you ready to start a new hobby that you can earn from? Let’s begin!
What Is A Blog?
Before we get into specifics, what actually is a blog? What is the meaning of blogging? Blogging generally refers to self-published online content. It can be written or visual in medium, but video blogging is often referred to as vlogs.
The word “blogging” came about as an abbreviation for “weblogging.” Blogging usually has an informal yet diary-like tone to it, so it’s a casual and personal kind of read.
Types of Blogs
In digital marketing, there are types of blogs that make money, and there are those that don’t. So what are the different types of blog content and blog posts?
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Perhaps the most common type of blog is the personal blog because that’s how blogging began anyway. Personal blogs are entirely at the discretion of the blogger. The type of blog content that appears there is anything and everything the blogger enjoys: hobbies, experiences, adventures, thoughts. There is usually no other objective other than sharing one’s life on a personal blog. Sometimes, the challenge is coming up with new blogging ideas.
Brand blogs are one of the types of blogs that can make money. Whether it is your personal brand or your business’s brand, a brand blog focuses on building a legitimate and trustworthy image of your brand.
If it is your personal brand, you are likely aiming to be an authority or a voice regarding a niche topic. If it is a corporate brand, then the brand blog talks about the brand’s products and campaigns in a casual and accessible manner.
Niche blogs are usually classified into video genres: fashion, lifestyle, food, sports, films, games, arts and crafts, you name it. These blogs are meant for readers within that niche. While they don’t inherently aim to make money, there are ways that niche blogs can earn money, such as through affiliate marketing; but we’ll get back to that later.
Niche blog content usually involves information, tutorials, opinions, and advice on their chosen niche.
A blog for services is similar to a brand blog by attracting customers looking for help with problems that services can solve. For example, appliance repair services or plumbing repair services would host a blog with tutorials on fixing an appliance or a sink. Alongside writing step-by-step guides on the topics, they would also include a call to action to contact their service to help you.
This blog is perhaps the most popular money-making blog out there because it’s the perfect mix of a brand blog and a personal blog. Affiliate bloggers write about product experiences and include affiliate links that earn commissions from sales and clicks.
Affiliate blogs often partner up with brands or acquire brand sponsorships to get their product reviews. This way, the brand reaches the audience of the blog organically. This type of freelancing brings in sponsored blog posts, long-term or short-term partnerships, and brand ambassadorships.
How To Start Blogging
Now, the grand question: How do I start blogging? How do I even write a blog? Well, the short answer is, writing a blog is entirely up to you. Just focus on the information you want to deliver to your audience and put your personality into it.
How To Start A Blog for Free
To create a blog for free is a slightly different question. Making a blog website involves finding the right platform to support that content and media you want to post while being easily accessible to readers. Thankfully, there are a lot of free blogging options out there, from social media blogging to web 2.0 blogging.
How to Start a Blog on Facebook
A lot of people opt for Facebook blogging pages because Facebook has its own advertising and promoting scheme. To start up a blog on Facebook, create your own Facebook page. There, you can add your icon, banner, and text posts alongside media like photo albums and videos. Facebook even has a streaming option to complement your posts. To get Facebook’s analytics suite, choose the page option for “Business Page.”
How to Start a Blog on Instagram
Instagram blogs are also popular, with the image format and allowance for lengthy captions. To make an Instagram Blog, you create a new profile and choose “Business Account” or “Creator Account.” We highly recommend using the Business account option for the analytics. There, you can post high-quality photos and write your insights in the caption.
Other more general options like Medium or Weebly are options too. But right now, the universal blogging platform that beginners start blogging with is WordPress.org.
How To Start a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
Remember not to confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. You want the .org one because it is a powerful self-hosting blogging platform that is open source. Everything you post on your own WordPress Blog is your property and is not subject to anyone else’s terms of service other than your own.
WordPress blogging even has ad options that allow you to get 100% of its revenue, making profitable blogging very viable. WordPress.org also allows you to use your platform and customization for free. Yes, I repeat, WordPress blogging is free, meaning the only thing you’ll have to pay for will be the domain hosting. So here’s how to start a blog in 2021:
Step #1: Select a Niche for Your Blog
Before anything, be sure you know what your blog will be about or its type. Keep your objective in mind to have a clear plan of how you want your blog to look. You don’t want to go into blogging without a plan, or at least an objective.
Step #2: Choose a Blogging Platform
Given your niche or blogging focus, what platform is the most suited for you? Although we are going to guide you through making a WordPress blog, you should be sure first that WordPress will fit all of your needs. Otherwise, you might be better off choosing a different blogging platform instead.
Step #3: Pick a domain name
Your domain name will also be your website’s main URL and the name of your website. Take note that it should be memorable and ideally the name of your brand; it’s what your audience and readers will most know your blog by.
Step #4: Get a Web Hosting Account
Web hosts aren’t a visible part of your website, but it does cost money to host your blogging site. Web hosting is usually affordable for beginner bloggers, but costs can go up once the traffic on your blog starts to increase. Suchuch affordable web hosting sites include Namecheap and BlueHost, which provides your domain name for free alongside affordable hosting, at less than $2 per month. Simply make an account there and enter your chosen domain name.
Step #5: Install WordPress on your Hosting Account
After making an account of your hosting app, you will have to install WordPress through it. That might confuse you at first because, on WordPress.com, it claims you don’t have to download and install anything, and you can begin blogging right away. However, WordPress.org works differently and allows for complete customization, hosting, and set up through your hosting software, like BlueHost or Namecheap. Follow the installation steps to get the WordPress editor installed.
Step #6: Install a theme and plugins
The WordPress editor gives an excellent customization interface. You can completely set up your website theme, plugins, and blog designs through this editor. You can even switch between HTML and CSS editors if you have those styles ready.
Don’t be afraid to take your time on this part. Designing your website is a vital part of your brand. You want readers, visitors, and customers to immediately get the feeling of you or your brand as soon as they land on your page.
Step #7: Create Basic Pages and Categories
At this point, you will need to create some basic pages to ensure you stay on the good side of Ad server networks. These include:
- About Us
- Contact Us
Its easy to create these, as there are generators and templates available to make it a breeze.
Also, this is a right time to create different categories for your blog articles. Categories ensures your articles are grouped in a way that readers can follow them easily.
Step #8: Create Header, Menu, Footer, and Logo
Next is to create a header for the blog. The header is the area at the top of the website that contains the Menu. It also contains the site name or logo, so you will need to design a logo for youe blog here.
Then head over to the menu area in the admin and create a Menu. You may need to create different Menu for the top and footer areas.
Next is to create the footer, which is the (usually) black area at the bottom of websites that contain links to various parts of a website.
Also its time to create a logo and a favicon.
Step #9: Write and Publish blog content
Here’s where it gets real! Your first blog post! When you start writing your blog posts, everyone has to start somewhere. Especially if it’s a personal blog, don’t be afraid to take your time in learning your writing style. It might take a while before your blog starts seeing traffic, but don’t be discouraged. Once you’ve gone through the drafts of your posts, hit that “publish” button.
Step #10: Optimize your blog content for SEO
Do you want to start seeing significant traffic on your blog? Especially if you’re providing informational and helpful content, the next step is to optimize your blog for SEO. That means focusing on SEO keywords, which we have a whole guide for. SEO doesn’t stop with keywords either; this will eventually involve sitemaps, device optimization, link building, and much more. Although this is a significant step to take, it will take your blog to the next level.
Step #11: Monetize your blog
Once the traffic starts creeping in, it’s time to consider monetizing your blog. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available for this step. We’ll go over them shortly.
How To Earn Money With Blogging
Are you looking to make money online by blogging? After starting up your blog and maintaining it, there are ways to earn money with a blog. These methods either involve a personal blog, a brand blog, or a niche blog.
Host Ad Space
Advertisements are one of the easiest and most common ways of generating income from your blog. However, ads are best used when your page gets hundreds to thousands of views since ads often earn around $2-$50 per 1000 views, depending on the niche.
There are lots of ad networks out there, with Google AdSense being the most widely used. Other blogging platforms can automatically enable ad space on your page too. You have to remember that earning through advertisements usually depends on ad views as well as clicks.
Sell Digital Products
A more effective way of earning through your blog is by selling digital products. Digital products include ebooks, online courses, online coaching sessions, or even a special membership subscription to exclusive content.
These are great options if you are a niche blogger, a services blogger, or a personal brand blogger. You can post advice or guides on your blog, with the rest of the information saved in your ebook or online course. After all, expertise often doesn’t come free; if you are a great teacher, coach, or expert in a field, blogging is a fabulous way to invite clients.
Secure Sponsorships and Affiliate Links
Like we mentioned in affiliate marketing, sponsorships and sponsored blog posts are a way to earn from your blogging. Although affiliate links and sponsorships are two different things, they often come hand in hand. Sponsorships involve a brand or business paying you to blog about their product. Just keep in mind that sponsored posts should be fully transparent, informing readers that they are sponsored.
On the other hand, affiliate links and codes are links and codes your users can use upon purchasing a product from which you will get a small percentage earned. These deals will also come from the brands themselves. You can even promote affiliate links and affiliate codes by building your email lists.
You can start up a membership subscription blog that charges a periodic amount for members to access content in the blog. This is usually done on niche websites where members are eager to keep receiving content on the platform.
Sponsored Blog Posts
Sponsored blog posts are blog posts made by third-party authors on your own website. This serves a dual purpose – for the writer, its a source of traffic to his own website while for the website owner, its a source of revenue
Depending on the host website traffic and popularity, the fees for allowing sponsored posts on your blog is enough to defray most of your expenses, and even make a profit.
Build Email List
An email list is priceless in online marketing. When you build an email list, you can sell to them repeatedly and it will become a steady source of revenue for you the blog owner.
You can use your blog to attract visitors, collect their emails and use to recommend products and services to them. When these email subscribers buy the products or services you recommend to them, you earn money.
Blogging for Beginners – Mistakes to Avoid
Blogging is a skill, but there are some mistakes beginners should avoid when they start. There are mistakes you need to avoid if you must be successful as a blogger. Here are some simple tips for new bloggers:
One of the most common mistakes is blogging about topics that are not useful or user-friendly. Even though bloggers put their own twist on their content, they still write something that readers can apply to their own lives, whether about a product, service, or a solution to a problem.
Another problem is having inconsistent content or inconsistent posting. You want to have a posting schedule so that readers know when to expect the next post. You want readers to be able to depend on you.
Finally, a common mistake for bloggers is that they don’t link to more content. When a reader finishes your latest blog post, you want them to stay on your blog. You can do this by linking to a past post of yours that they likely haven’t read yet, or making a call to action; ask them to comment on something or their opinion. You want to grow loyal and engaged readers.
Dangers of Blogging
Blogging can come with risks. If you reveal too much information or data online, there is a possibility of it being used against you. Also, when it comes to sensitive topics, you have to be careful about what you write. The internet is full of opinions nowadays, and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a strong one.
Blogging is an excellent way of earning money online. It’s also a wonderful hobby to have that can provide a lot of joy for readers online. If you’re looking to freelance, earn another source of income, or simply enjoy your hobby while making a bit of money along the way, we highly recommend you try blogging. We hope you’ve learned enough to start up that blog, so don’t hesitate any longer!