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The ultimate guide to profitable blogging

How to make money with a blog

Can you make money blogging? Yes, if you take it professionally. There is much more to starting a blog than writing about your passion every now and then. However, if you are strategic about your blog and follow the right steps you will be able to work from anywhere and earn money from the internet. Here is a free step-by-step blogging guide on how to start a successful blog.

How to start a blog to make money? Blogging for beginners 

Choose a specific niche 
Pick a name
Define your target audience

How to set up a blog? Get technical

Blogging platforms: free and paid
Blogging with WordPress
Creating a blog on Wix
Create an outstanding design
Structure your blog

How to write a blog? Create an amazing content

Create a content plan
Talk to your target audience
Optimize your content to get found on Google
Take care of your metadata
Diversify your content

How to promote a blog? Get noticed

Stay active on social media
Build your email list
Invest in paid advertising
Write guest posts
Analyze performance

How do bloggers make money? Monetize your blog

Sell ads 
Join affiliate marketing programs
Write sponsored posts
Become a freelance blogger
Offer paid memberships
Sell an e-book or online course
Offer coaching or consulting

 

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Blogging for beginners: how to start a blog to make money

 

Choose your niche and be specific about it 

While you may have many hobbies and interests, you need to choose one to start with. The one you are most passionate about. The more you narrow down your subject, the easier will it be for you to promote your blog  later. So, rather than focusing on just food, which is too broad, try narrowing it down “healthy eating habits” or “traditional Italian food”. Do some online research to make sure somebody is actually looking for the information on your subject. You do not want to waste your time writing articles that nobody will read. 


Pick a name and make it memorable 

You can use your name and/or your last name, descriptive word combinations or abbreviations. Take time to brainstorm and write down all your ideas. What is your personality about? How would you describe yourself to your audience in two or three words? Avoid hyphens and numbers, because then you will have to explain it every time you are giving your blog name to somebody. Besides, if you need to add numbers this probably means that the word combination you chose is already taken. You do not want to copy somebody else’s brand name. First of all, it is illegal. Second, your audience may get confused. Avoid clichés - you want your name to stand out, right?


Define your target audience 

While you are just writing for fun, you might be just writing for anyone who is interested to read your blog. But if you want to be the lucky owner of one of the few successful blogs you need to think like a marketing pro. 
So if you have a food blog, this does not mean that your target audience is just anyone, because everybody eats. Try to imagine who your reader is. Perhaps, a stay-at-home mom looking for new recipes for Sunday family breakfast, or a student looking for the best pizza in town, or a foodie traveler looking for gastronomic adventures. This is what marketing professionals call “a customer persona”. Once you have determined your customer persona, you can give them a name and write for them. Do not try to target everybody. Focus on the specific audience.

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How to set up a blog. Get technical
 

Blogging platforms: free and paid
You do not need to be a technical wiz to create a blog. Luckily, the internet offers many tools for you. The most popular out there are WordPress and Wix. To make a profitable blog, I do not recommend using Blogger or Blogspot or running it only on social media. While Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest can be a great asset to promoting your blog, it is important to have your own identity online. Having a website is necessary to earn money online. The best sites for blogging are Wix and Worpress, let’s see which is a perfect fit for you.

Both of them are very good platforms, both have plenty of loyal users, they just have a slightly different focus. Word press was the first platform, targeting particularly bloggers.I was the first platform to introduce ready-made blogger solutions, like built-in comments, for example. Naturally, by now about 80% of all the blogs are done on WordPress. Wix came into the picture much later as a website building platform. It focused on creating a user-friendly interface and great design. They later created a platform devoted especially to blogging which can be added to your website or used alone. I am in love with Wix! This is my personal favorite, but to be fair let’s consider both.
 

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Blogging with WordPress

 

While you may have many hobbies and interests, you need to choose one to start with. The one you are most passionate about. The more you narrow down your subject, the easier will it be for you to promote your blog later. So, rather than focusing on just food, which is too broad, try narrowing it down to “healthy eating habits” or “traditional Italian food”. Do some online research to make sure somebody is actually looking for the information on your subject. You do not want to waste your time writing articles that nobody will read. 

If you decide to use WordPress, you should be ready to do some learning. WordPress was originally designed as a content management system, “build a site in 5 minutes” was never their motto. Luckily, WordPress is the most popular choice and you will have the access to multiple forums, which are of great help to beginner bloggers. Installing WordPress is much easier with a BlueHost account (see below) If you ever need help with setting up a blog, you can always hire a top-rated freelancer at the world’s leading digital services platform Fiverr

 

WordPress: free blog

You can start a blog for free on WordPress, however, there are some restrictions to a free blog maker: no own domain name (your website address will be yourname.wordpress.org), you cannot sell advertising on your site, install plugins or custom themes. This may be a good way to try the service, but if you are determined to make money online as a blogger, you need to look professional. 

To create a money-making blog on WordPress you will first need to:

 

Set up your hosting 

What does it even mean? Complex made easy: hosting is like paying rent for your space online. All the valuable information you create, including texts, photos, and videos is stored somewhere on a server so that people from all over the world can access it. It is like opening a shop: you can decorate it yourself and sell any goods you want, but you still need to regularly pay the rent to the property owner. While there are many hosting companies, The best provider to start a blog on WordPress is BlueHost. It is very affordable and it is an official WordPress partner, so setting up a blog is very easy. Furthermore installing WordPress software is very easy when you have a BlueHost account. Once this is done, you can log into your WordPress with your new account and start making money online.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great resource for WordPress hosting is WP Engine. As you can tell from the name it was built especially to make your experience with WordPress better. It offers awesome packages of hosting, themes, and digital experience solutions.

Choose the domain name 

The domain name is the name of your website. You probably already have an idea of what it should be. In BlueHost you can check the availability of your domain name. If your business is international .com is always the best to go for. If it is taken, there are more trustworthy extensions like .org or .eu. If your audience is local, better to choose a local extension like .it or .gr.

 

Learn WordPress

With plenty of user reviews online, most note that when it comes to WordPress the learning curve is an issue. However, there are some free tutorials that will help you to master this useful tool:

  • WordPress has free tutorials

  • If you become a client of BlueHost, they have their own awesome library. Ask the customer support about the Blue Flash.

If you ever have problems with mastering WordPress, you can always get help from professionals on Fiverr

 

Download a professional theme

As you start your blog on WordPress it comes with a few standard themes. They are ok to start with, but if you want to become a professional blogger and make money on a blog, you will need to purchase a professional theme. Of course, the best WordPress themes for blogs are not free. The average cost of a professional blog theme is about 50 USD and will greatly improve your blogs’ look-and-feel and performance. ThemeTrust also offers a great selection of professional themes

Wix: create a blog

If you feel like all of the above is just too complicated you will love Wix with their ready-made solutions. Wix is a one-stop-shop for all you need if you are blogging for money. You do not need to go to a third-company for hosting or install the software. If you create a blog on Wix, you can get everything done in a few minutes in your favorite browser. This is why this website is made on Wix - I just love the user-friendly interface and how they make the complicated set-up process so easy.

 

Wix: free blog

On Wix, you can also start a blog for free. Just like with the WordPress above, if you make a free blog you will have the Wix logo showcased at the bottom of your website. You will also miss very important promotion and analytics features available with the premium version. It is a good way to try the functionality and see what it is like, but when starting a money-making blog you need to look professional. To create a free blog with Wix click here.

 

 

 

How to start a successful blog with Wix

To create your profitable blog on Wix you just need to register here. Then follow the steps. They literally do everything for you. In my opinion, Wix is the best website for blogging. Your hosting will be included in your premium plan, so you do not need to worry about it. So as you start a blog on Wix you just proceed to create a premium account.

  1. Register here

  2. Pick a blog template. There are plenty of stylish customizable blog templates to choose from. You can also build a website with Wix ADI, where you just need answer a few simple questions and Wix will create a blog especially for you

  3. Get hosting. If you make a blog on Wix you will automatically get 500 MB as soon as you publish your blog.

  4. Connect your domain. You can connect your domain if you already have one or purchase a domain on Wix. To do so 

    1. go to site dashboard

    2. Chose to buy a new domain

    3. Type in your domain name and check if it is available

    4. Pick the registration period and fill out your info

    5. Add your payment details

    6. Write your first blog post

To create your first blog post go to the blog manager and select “add post”. Now add your awesome story and make it stand out with pictures and videos. Note, you can also add code to your blog post which allows you to add advertising widgets later and monetize your blog. Here is how you write a good blog post 

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Create an outstanding design
Do not overlook this important part of starting a blog. Design tells your personal story and is a big part of your online identity. Think about what you want to express with your design. Luckily Wix is a true wizard when it comes to design. No wonder most of the artists, musicians, and designers choose this platform. Take advantage of stunning customizable templates and website color schemes to enhance your message.

Structure your blog

Remember, once a reader is on your website, you want to make it easy for them. Make sure that your blog is well structured and organized with intuitive website navigation. A good blog structure will keep the users on your website and may even increase the reading time. For example, you can add a section for the most popular posts to showcase your best content. Make sure to add cross-links between different pages on your website, to keep your reader on your website longer. Add categories to make the navigation even easier. For example, if you are starting a makeup blog, you may want to add such categories as eyes, lips, and so on.

How to write a blog? Create an amazing content

 

Create a content plan 

When starting a blog you are very enthusiastic and happy to spend time on it. However, just like with any other work enthusiasm will fade away at times. This is why it is important to create a content plan and stick to it. If you want to earn money blogging, consistency is the key. To develop a blog, create a weekly or monthly schedule, set realistic goals, and diversify your content so that you cover all your categories. 


Talk to your target audience 

To earn money from a blog you need to know your audience and speak their language. Adopt your tone of voice to your target audience: teenagers use different language from corporate lawyers, and a stay-at-home mom uses different wording than an entrepreneur.


Optimize your content to get found on Google 

Optimizing your content to get noticed by the search engines is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In order to be found on Google, you need to start thinking about your SEO before you actually write a blog post. Google ranks your website based on the keywords and phrases that you use. Keywords are the words that people type into Google when they are looking for something. The more of these queries you include in your blog post, the better. Keyword research will also help you to understand your audience better and create more useful content. Make sure you use the keywords in the title of your blog, throughout the text, and alt text for the images. 

Take care of your metadata

This important step is often overlooked. The most important metatags are the title of your page and the description. Once your blog post is ready you need to tell the search engines what it is about in a few simple words. You can do this by writing a description in the metadata - this description does not appear on the page, but your readers will see it in their search results in a small font under the title. The description and the title need to include keywords, so that you get found on Google easier and start earning income from blogging. If you start your blog on Wix and get a premium plan you will have a very good built-in SEO tool, so doing your metatags will only take you a few minutes. And just like any other tool on Wix, it is very user-friendly.

 

Diversify your content

There are many ways to tell your story. Here is what makes a good blog.

 
 
 
 

Sell ads on your blog

Add display advertising spaces to your blog and easily collect revenue from each click. All it takes is to set up an account with an online ads platform and add your website. Join Google AdSense - the most popular online advertising platform operated by Google. Its biggest competitor is called Media.net - an online advertising platform operated by Yahoo! Bing network. Create an account, define the industries and categories that match your audience’s interests, and start making money with a blog in a few clicks. 

 

Affiliate marketing

Add affiliate links to your blog. Affiliate links will take your reader to your partner's website, where he or she can make a purchase. If they buy something you will get a small commission. Choose affiliate programs that match your niche. If you want to start a profitable fashion blog, add affiliate links to popular brands like H&M. If you have a beauty blog, you can add affiliate links to cosmetics companies like Avon or Yves Roches. Here are the most popular affiliate networks

 

Sponsored posts

The new brands often approach popular bloggers asking them for a sponsored post, an article, or do a video with their product. In this case, the brand company will pay you a fixed sum of money, regardless of whether your readers buy something or not. To be fair to your readers make sure to mark such posts as #sponsored. To get more sponsored post requests join influencer networks like Upfluence or AspireIQ.

Become a freelance blogger and get paid to blog

It may take time to grow your blog and get a stable income from it. The good news is it can start bringing money as your writing portfolio as soon as you start publishing. Make sure to post and repost your blog posts on your social media and register as a freelance writer on a freelance network like Fiverr

 

Offer paid memberships

While most of your content should be free and available, you can create exclusive pages only available to paid subscribers. It is important to make sure your new paid content offers added value to clients. 

Sell an e-book or online course

The good thing about the blog is that over time you build a loyal audience who trust you and rely on your expertise. If you develop a paid piece of content, be it an e-book or online course, these people are much more likely to purchase it than a “cold audience” who have never heard of you. Learn how to create and sell online courses

Offer coaching or consulting

By running a blog you establish yourself as an expert in a certain field, which makes your advice more valuable in the market, and of course more expensive. Work on developing your personal brand, participate in online and offline events, and stay open to potential clients.

01

Add visuals

Vivid visual content is much more likely to get shares and reposts. Add beautiful photos, interesting videos, and informative infographics to keep your audience engaged. Here are a few content ideas.

02

Add value

Think of your audience's main questions or concerns and address them in your blog posts. You can find such questions in Facebook groups, forums, or Quora. Offer solutions to their problems rather than providing general information.

03

Tell a story

Tell your audience about your friend, a happy customer, a funny situation that happened to you.  People love stories! Storytelling is an art worth mastering if you want to become a professional blogger.

04

Ask your audience

Ask your audience what they want to read. As simple as this: instead of making assumptions just go to people and ask them directly. You can collect questions in the comments field, do a poll on social media or send out a survey in Google Docs.

Promote your blog

If you want to make money with a blog, you need to ensure that your posts reach as many people from your target audience as possible. 

 

Get active on social media 

Share every post on all your social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest you name it. Include a link to your post and a compelling image. Add a call to action - encourage your followers to comment and share, so that you can get more visibility. Your social media will bring you the most readers, especially at the beginning. While managing several social networks may get challenging, use automation resources like PromoRepublic - they make it so easy to plan and schedule your content, connect with your audience, and track your results.

 

Or choose from these 11 best social media automation tools
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build your email list

While social media following is a great asset, building an email list is essential for making money online. Add a lead form to your website and stay in touch with your audience by sending them recent posts, useful tips, and entertaining content. If you are using Wix as a blog building platform, you will have a built-in tool for mailing. It is called Ascend. There are a few emails included in your premium plan, but once you start earning money as a blogger you will need to send out a lot more emails. You can purchase additional emails from Wix or use a dedicated emailing service. I recommend GetResponse - an amazing email marketing automation platform that you can try for 30 days for free. 

Or take a look at these email marketing tools and choose what works best for you


Paid advertising 

As your blog grows from a side online hustle to your main income source, you can use pay-per-click advertising to attract people to your website. The two most popular ways for PPC ads are Google ads and ads on Social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest). Another name for this advertising is targeted ads because when setting up an advertising campaign you can determine your audience, based on age, gender, locations, interests, and behavior. You can learn how to do PPC advertising yourself or hire a freelancer to manage your advertising campaigns. 

Guest posts

Guest posts are a great way to attract attention to your blog and improve your SEO ranking. When a trusted blogger shares a link to your blogpost, his or her followers are more likely to take your content seriously, than if they simply came across your post on social media. But not only people believe the word-of-mouth. Google and other search engines consider your information more valuable and rank it higher for future searches. Socialize with bloggers at the relevant events, like and comment on their posts on social media, come up with interesting ideas for a guest post - securing a guest post may not be easy for a beginner, but it is totally worth it.

 

Analyze performance

It is important to track your results to understand what is working and what isn’t. The ultimate free tool for you to measure your performance is Google Analytics. This will give you all the necessary information: how many website visitors do you have, how much time do they spend on your website, where do your visitors come from, and much more. Wix also has a very good built-in analytics tool for premium users. It is much more user-friendly than Google Analytics, which could be confusing for a newbie, and gives all you the necessary statistics. Learn what is working and what is not, focus your efforts on the best practices, and grow your blog to make money with it.

How do bloggers make money? Monetize your blog

 

So you now have this beautiful blog, that you enjoy writing, and a loyal tribe of followers who love you! Unfortunately, love does not pay the bills. The question that many beginners ask “how much do bloggers make” - anywhere between zero and six-digit numbers per year. It all depends on your monetization strategy and how much effort you are willing to put into it. Here is how to make money blogging.