I will make a bold claim in this post, if you follow everything as detailed in this post, you can start from zero and make money blogging in 2019. In this post, I will detail how to create a blog that makes money.
This is going to be a detailed post. I do recommend that you bookmark it so you can refer to it from time to time as you implement them on your site.
How do you find a niche? When trying to get a blog niche, it’s easy to be tempted to follow your passion. Your passion could be hunting for the Bigfoot so you go ahead and start creating content around Bigfoot and where its foot-print was last spotted. This will be loads of fun because you love it.
It’s your passion, but you will struggle to turn that passion into a successful online business.
Can you really make money blogging while the following passion? Yes, you can but in most instances, you are joining dead-end niches that will be harder to monetize.
I will tell you the fastest way to make money blogging. Its starts by getting the niche right. Getting it right needs some groundwork in the name of keyword research. Below is an example of how to go about this.
Let’s say you love vegan food and have embraced the vegan lifestyle. The first thing to do is go to the Google keywords planner and search for the word “Vegan Food”
This is a super lucrative niche to start a blog around. The idea is always to choose a keyword with very high search volume and low competition.
The keyword “Vegan food” has very high search volume and very low competition, hence if you start a blog around this you can get massive traffic fast and turn your blog into a business making a five-figure income.
Compare this to competitive niches like make money online as indicated below:
The keyword “Make money online” is highly competitive and hence starting a blog in the make money online niche will be very difficult and will take you ages to turn it into profitable online business.
Take your research a notch and look around for top money making blogs in your niche. There are probably a ton of bloggers in your niche that is already making money online blogging. Most bloggers publish their income reports.
Go within your niche and check bloggers who publish their income reports and study them.
Check those income reports. How are they making money online? Blogger earnings will not only motivate you, but also paint a clearer picture on how others in your niche are earning their buck
The snapshot above shows income reports from Pinch of Yum blog. Pinch of Yum blog about food and make a ton of money doing it. Check out as many money making websites in your niche as possible.
Well, now you have selected a niche with high potential and low competition. Secondly, you have verified its viability as an online business model through other bloggers already crushing it in the niche.
Great. Your niche selection and qualification are done. Now you need to choose a domain name. A lot of people will overthink this part and procrastinate for ages about how to include the keyword as part of the domain and all.
All this doesn’t matter much if you know what you are doing. Just go get one that’s easy to remember and is short.
I actually do recommend that you use your name as the domain name if you want to build a blog linked to your personal brand. of course, this is not ideal in the case you want to create multiple blogs.
Having your name as part of your blog builds you up as an authority in the niche. So, people don’t talk about blog XYZ know they stuff, they say Katie knows her stuff. That makes a huge difference down the line.
In some cases, you might find your name already taken up. Very common. Just get creative with it.
As recommend you get A2 hosting. You can buy a domain and hosting all on A2 at the click of a button.
Choosing a hosting service is very important and good hosting service will cost you. Most bloggers do recommend hosting services they would not even use themselves just to get the affiliate commissions.
A terrible hosting service will slow down your blog. A slow blog results in terrible user experience and hence most people will bounce off your website.
If your user experience is bad google takes not and drops your rank. So, you need a good hosting service.
I highly A2 hosting which I personally use on my sites.I also tend to recommend only stuff I use.
After trying a few hosting services I settled on A2 hosting. It’s a high powered with up to 20X faster web hosting service at super affordable prices for beginners as well as seasoned bloggers.
Literally one of the best decisions I ever made for my blog.
My website is super-fast and been loving it. I highly recommend it and you can buy your domain alongside the hosting at a go.
Get your A2 hosting service here.
The cool thing about A2 hosting is that it will come ready with WordPress already preinstalled. All you need to do now is install all the plugins you will need to run a great site.
Plugins make it very easy to do amazing stuff with your blog. I do warn you though, it’s very easy to go plugin crazy and install way too much on your blog.
DON’T. Too many plugins will slow down your blog and if you want to make money blogging, you need it to be fast. Very fast.
So below I give you all the plugins I have on my blog:
Yoast SEO plugin makes it easier for Google to crawl your site and appear in the search engine results pages.
It helps by helping you to improve meta info, headlines, post length etc. It generally helps you optimize your content for SEO.
How to install WordPress
Go on your dashboard under the scroll to the plugins-Add new-the search Yoast as shown below
Proceed to Install Now then Activate. The SEO button will appear on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard.
You don’t need to upgrade your Yoast plugin just yet. The free version will do the job well.
I came across a detailed Youtube video on how to optimize your Yoast plugin so you can start getting the full capability of this amazing tool.
Apart from quality hosting, the other best thing you can do to your blog to improve load times is to install a caching plugin.
Caching plugin speeds up your load times by serving static files instead of rendered WordPress content. Your server, in this case, has to do less work hence serving content faster.
Remember the faster your site loads, the more likely it is to rank highly on Google.
MosterInsights is the best google analytics plugin for WordPress. This will help you track all the visits to your website.
You cannot grow what you can’t measure
Knowing your analytics and is key to growing a money making blog.
Google now rewards well detailed and helpful content. That takes a lot of words to put together.
To make the content easy to navigate and improve user experience, it’s important to have a table of contents so the reader can easily navigate to their preferred sections of your post.
You Create this experience through the use of Easy table of contents plugin.
Once installed you need to access it in from your WordPress dashboard go to the plugin and press settings.
From there you will be able to adjust display position when to show, toggle view among other things.
WordFence protects your blog from hacks and malware. That’s all you need to know to know about WordFence.
This is one of my favourite plugins and has done greatly improved my load speeds. It has some pretty cool features like lazy-load images where your images only load when in view. Before you get to them they don’t load.
If you wanna easy on plugins then has to be one of those must-haves.
I came across a great post on how to configure Autoptimize
When monetizing your blog at an advanced level, you will need Facebook ads.
Anybody will tell you Facebook gets interesting when you start retargeting and other advanced Facebook ads techniques.
To do all this well, you need the pixels and this is what this plugin is about. It Installs Facebook pixel on your WordPress website.
To make money blogging, you need to know a little about Facebook ads. I will cover this in another post
You really need to check subscribers out. It does a great job of growing your traffic and revenue with push notifications.
Additional plugin*: I also highly recommend having Akismet on your blog.
Many people do not give this the attention it deserves, but blog design is very important. Blogs that are well designed have great user experience and mainly convert way much better than non-designed ones.
To make your site look beautiful you will need a content builder. There are a couple in the market including Divi, to Elementor, Clickfunnels etc.
I personally use Thrive Themes because this is possible the best builder and most affordable in the market.
If you don’t want to design you can still proceed to blog with the free WordPress themes and still be able to monetize your blog. So, don’t pressure yourself.
A designed blog just gives you a professional outlook and your audience can see you are taking things seriously.
You can get my content builder I use here. It comes with full tutorials on the thrive university dashboard so you can DIY everything. You don’t need some techy know how to do your blog.
By being a Thrive theme member you also get access to a ton of free courses and tutorials on how to grow your email list, how to create landing pages, writing better copy and of course building your site.
All step by step DIY stuff. So much value for so little amount. Get thrive theme here.
Google console helps you measure your blogs search traffic and performance. Its high lights issues on your site that are affecting your traffic so your site can rank well.
I found a great video tutorial on how to get this installed here. Please check it out and check this off your to-do list today.
Once you are done with that you need to submit your sitemap to google so google can index it.
This is a quick process as well which is better explained in the video I found on YouTube so get this out as well and soon you on your way to creating a money-making blog.
You have done great. Time to put up that first blog post. Most people will just put up anything and be like “Make money WordPress”.
Well, here to tell you that if you do your content right then you will eliminate the guesswork and make money blogging.
To continue getting great content ideas I advise that you look out for great content that’s already working within your niche. Do a better version of them and promote.
Getting posts that are already working is easy. I use a tool called Buzzsumo. All you need to do is enter your niche keyword and it will pop content that’s getting most attention currently.
I recommend this strategy because when starting out because you do not have data on what kind of content works best.
As you keep tracking, you will be able to tell what your audience likes so you can give them more of what they like. Give them what they are already loving.
After your initial posts, you will need to take your content strategy a notch. Remember the idea is to make money blogging and to do that, you need more traffic and also start to build backlinks.
Backlinks are awesome as you are able to break new audiences with your content through referral traffic.
Literally when your link appears in some other blog with good domain authority then like juice flows to you.
Readers of that blog will follow the link and get introduced to your content but also google takes not and ups your ranking. Win-win stuff
Am going to show you a strategy to build backlinks fast.
Strategy 1-Ego baiting
Ego baiting is all about leveraging on human emotion. It’s pretty simple actually. You write something super flattering about someone then you tell them about it.
Start by coming up with a list of top websites you want to get backlinks from. Then after you post a piece of content they are featured in, drop them a message on Instagram or e-mail telling them.
Make a request if they would share or link back to your site. Powerful stuff.
Strategy 2-Guest posting
This is straight forward. Look out for websites that accept guest posts, or simply write to blogs in your niche requesting to guest post on their blog.
Link it back to your blog and you have acquired a backlink. Simple stuff.
But can be the hardest part of blogging you may have to do.
The length of your content will determine how well you do in the blogging scene. A few years back you could simply write a 500-word article and you would get traffic.
This is because not so many people blogged then. Now the algorithm rewards the most detailed helpful content and as a standard don’t post anything under 2000 words.
Sounds like a lot of work, but if you are about turning your blog from a hobby to business and make money blogging, then this is the rule of the game.
Done right, blogging could be the best way to make money online.
You did keyword research when starting your blog. Now you know all about keyword research. Capitalize on this to rank your content. Let’s say today your post of the day is “How to make money from home”. You go ahead and choose “make money from home” as your keyword.
Then you should go ahead and sprinkle that phrase at least 5–8 in your 2000-word blog post. Try to have the phrase in your post URL, headline and first paragraph then sprinkle the rest in your post.
That’s how you start ranking for keywords when people search them up.
A key adds on is to search for the phrase on Google and scroll to the bottom for related searches and sprinkle those as well in your article.
Write headlines which compel people to read further. I use a great free tool to analyzer my headlines called Coschedule.
Coschedule headline analyzer is a free tool that will inspect your headline and give it a quality score between 1 and 100.
Take advantage of this free tool to optimize your headlines.
Whenever you write new blog posts, find ways to link relevant content you had developed on the same.
If you post is about nurturing an e-mail list, you can link up that post you had written weeks back into it.
You want those link juices flowing. So, link up some other blogs that you feel have valuable content and can help your audience gain further knowledge on the subject matter.
Pass as much link juice as possible. It’s good practice and it will come back to you. Not mentioning it makes you a good sport.
Now pay attention to this one. There is a way to post images on your blog that helps with SEO. If the image was downloaded or taken with your camera, chances are the file name is 456653.JPG or something of the sort.
Never post them this way. Google algorithm can’t see images but it can read. So always name your files as follow:
If the image is that of a dog swimming, then change the file name to dog-swimming.jpg
Always separate the words with a hyphen the way I have demonstrated, that’s how the big algorithm likes to read it. Serve it that way.
A few videos on your post are great for SEO. Just remember to host all your videos on YouTube or Wistia and link them to your site.
I don’t need to overemphasize how much Google loves videos.
I will demonstrate through one of my best performing content how I went step by step in optimizing if for SEO.
As a blogger thing can really get all techy with SEO. This example is an SEO guide for Non-SEOs.I literally describe for you all the things you need to know about SEO without the geek stuff.
I recently posted an article about the 7 reasons why some online entrepreneurs find success faster than others.
The blog post performed very well gaining 2000 organic views in under a week on this one article only.
I will give you a breakdown on everything I did to get that kind of results for this article.
Here are the steps that I took when writing the article:
I wanted to rank the article for the keyword “blogging tips”, so I went on the google keyword planner and searched for the phrase “blogging tips.
I evaluated the competition and checked out the long-tail keyword. Basically, all other related stuff people are searching for.
I then searched for the term blogging tips on google search and scrolled to be button to note “related searches” and listed then down
I then searched to see related content with the keyword on google. The idea is to see what ranks top and then do something better than them and longer.
I did my research and began writing the article while sprinkling the related searches I noted throughout the article
I included the Keyword “blogging tips” in the Headline, first paragraph and about 8 more times throughout the article
When done publishing I also included the keyword “blogging tips in the URL of the article.I Ensured the article was over 1500 words. I do recommend writing articles with 2000 words and above
I optimized the images as I had indicated earlier with descriptive names so google crawlers can know what the article is about. I used the Yoast SEO tool to ensure it was well optimized for SEO. Publish.
This is a simple basic process you can start following when uploading your content when you are getting started blogging for money.
You can advance your SEO skills as things improve but this process alone will put you ahead of so many bloggers who just write content without optimizing then for SEO.
To get massive traffic and make money blogging, you need not only to create great content. You also need to optimize it to be found by google crawlers.
That’s how you steadily start ranking your content and rise to the top.
Now I feel like I need to get super preachy on this part. Majority of bloggers will post and then wait for traffic to come.
They expect Google to do its part and rank their post so traffic can start coming in. Well, …it’s not that simple. Like any other business, you need to promote the hell out of your content.
I will show you a few ways to promote your content;
Here is what I recommend on Facebook. The first thing is to open a Facebook page for your blog or your own Facebook if your domain is your name. Don’t go into this with your basic Facebook profile.
Secondly, join as many Facebook groups in your niche as possible. Join groups that already have a considerable following and start engaging.
You can use the group search button to see if people have asked similar questions to your latest post. Reply to them and inform them you had actually created a helpful content on the matter they should check out.
Do this frequently while at the same time posting the latest stuff on your page.
Occasionally do promote your content through ads.
Twitter is a broadcast platform. So, make regular posts with links back to your article.
Check hashtags that are popular in your niche and incorporate that in your tweets. I also recommend checking out related posts on twitter, check out people who commented and tag them on your posts about your content.
These are small interventions, but when done at scale and consistently can get you some great traffic numbers.
These are very powerful mediums to promote your content and break into new audiences. You should definitely incorporate this into your make money blogging strategy
Every day millions of people turn to the internet looking for answers. Thousands of those will fall on the major Q&A forums of the internet. You need to be there waiting when they do.
Go through these platforms and do a search on people asking questions related to stuff you just covered in your content.
When you come across these questions, you will notice most people serve very low-quality answers. Turn the tables and give very detailed answers.
Then go ahead and link them to your piece of content in case they want to learn more.
The trick is in the numbers, Thousands of people searching answers for the same question on Quora or Reddit will land on your answer.
Over time the traffic from these platforms will pile up quick.
Again, be consistent on this over time and you start being an authority even the Q&A forums themselves.
Pinterest is an amazing traffic source for blogs. There are amazing tools like Tailwind that you can use to start scheduling your pins.
I do recommend you check out Melyssa Griffins Pinterest course if you want to start playing at the top level and drive massive traffic to your website.
How do over 30,000 visitors to your website sound over just some pins put in the right boards? That’s how amazing Pinterest can get.
Your blog is now up and running and you are getting traffic and your aim to make money blogging is looking up. Then it’s a good time to start thinking funnels.
Funnels have become a buzz word in the make money online space but its actually really simple.
A funnel basically the set of steps a website visitor needs to go through before they can convert and become your customer or join your e-mail list.
The marketing funnel mimics your acquisition process or sales process so, it’s nothing complicated.
A good funnel for a blog would be to collect their emails ,then nurture them over a longer period out time and give them the best value during that window with the hope of them buying from you in the future.
Miles beckler has a great video of how to create one from scratch using thrive themes
That whole system of how you transform them from your reader to opting into your e-mail list and finally converting to a customer is what is called a sales funnel or marketing funnel.
You need a few tools to make this whole set up a reality. The most important is being able to create great landing pages.
Secondly is having a system to collect e-mail addresses and send out emails in mass because you cannot do this manually.
I personally use thrive architect tool from Thrive themes to create my landing pages and MailChimp to collect my e-mails. As my list is growing fast,I have been considering crossing over to Convertkit.
A landing page is where you drive your readers to so they can take a specific action. You need to optimize your landing page for conversions by constantly testing copy colour and design.
This will ensure over time you have a highly converting landing page hence you can bring more prospects into your sales cycle.
Thrive architect from thrive themes is a great tool to create high converting landing pages.
The copy on your landing page decides whether a prospect will convert by opting into your process and moving on. Give this a lot of thought and ensure your copy compels people to act.
Thrive themes membership comes with a ton of courses on how to write high converting copy for your landing pages. Get Thrive themes and delve into creating a high converting landing page.
To get people to opt into your mailing list, you need to give them an incentive. People will just not voluntarily opt-in because they felt like it.
This where the lead magnet comes in. A lead magnet is something you give your readers in exchange for their e-mail address. A great example is as follows:
Let say you blog about weight loss. You can create a quick resource of a meal plan that can help someone lose weight fast. Package it into a pdf and offer it to your readers for free.
A great example is that of Amy Porterfield who offers her audience the strategies for building an email list and online course starter kit.
If you are interested in building an e-mail list for your online business, you will want this resource by entering your e-mail address. Amy gets your e-mail and you get a valuable resource to build an e-mail list. Win-win.
You have probably heard the phrase “money is in the list” before. You need to believe this at face value and prioritize building an e-mail list right from the start.
Without an e-mail list, your business will never go to some greater heights it will stay a hobby thing you love to do in your free time.
If you want to make money blogging, then prioritize list building now. I have taken you through the process of creating a system to collect e-mails and build your e-mail list.
The work doesn’t end there, once you start building an e-mail list, you need to nurture your mailing list and keep in touch with them by constantly offering them tons of value for free and that’s where the tools come in:
There are dozens of tools you can use for your e-mail marketing. I am just going to advise that when getting started it’s safe to start on MailChimp. Well because it’s free up to 2000 subscribers.
When you starting out you don’t want to spend on tools as you are still not making much money so keep the expenses low whenever possible.
The major email marketing tools include
Now you have set the systems and selected your e-mail marketing service provider. But how does your audience opt-in?
You can do this through create pop-ups, including your landing page URL within your post and ask people to claim your freebie/lead magnet among many other ways.
Thrive leads comes with the thrive themes membership is a great way to start creating compelling ways to collect leads.
Again, thrive themes has a great resource for this.
Check a full tutorial I created on how to set up MailChimp and start using it for list building.
Finally, you are ready to monetize your blog fully and make money blogging.
It’s important to note that there are a lot of ways to make money online with a blog.
I actually did a post where I discussed the 16 proven ways to make money blogging.
Today however am going to focus on 3 best ways to make money with your blog.
AdSense is the best way you can start earning money immediately from with your blog. It’s pretty straight forward, you sign up for Adsense, put a code on your site and then google ads will start appearing on your website.
You earn a fee whenever someone clicks on the ads placed on your site. Easy right.
To be completely honest you will not make a ton of make with your blog through AdSense, but at least you will get enough to keep your blog running in terms of basic expenses like hosting costs.
As your traffic grows you can opt to other ad serving platforms like Adthrive and Mediavine.Just know that you will need around 25,000 monthly visitors to be accepted on Mediavine and 100,000 visitors per month to get accepted on Adthrive.
They, however, pay significantly higher compared to Google AdSense. So, work your way up, but Adsense is a great place to start.
This is a great way to make some good money with your blog. If you use certain tools of courses or products. You can recommend them to your audience and get paid a commission anytime a member of your audience makes a purchase through a special link.
All you have to do is check if your favourite tool offers and affiliate program or join major affiliate platforms and sign up and use a special link provided when recommending the product to your audience.
I personally only recommend tools I use personally and you should stick with the same rule in your online business.
Never recommend to your audience products or services you would not use personal or have never used. That’s how you lose your audience when they have a bad experience.
E-books are another awesome way to monetize your audience. Create some e-books which provide top-notch value in your niche as sell them on your site for say $10.
There are amazing tools like Sendowl you can use to start selling your digital products online and make money blogging.
At this point, you have multiple streams of income from ads as well as eBooks and your business should be growing. Now you want to take it from a 5-figure a month and above business.
The best way you can scale your blog out of the pack into a six-figure business is through the sale of online courses.
Create a great online course and start selling it at a premium. Selling courses can be draining and at this point, you will able to get some help since you can afford to hire.
Get someone to run your ads as well as do your copy. Always reinvest into your business and bringing outside help to take care of things you are not perfect at is a great way to put back into the business.
Now go out and make money blogging.
I’m Tim, I teach online entrepreneurs the profitable action steps for starting and scaling their Youtube channels