Blogging can be a great way of building up a passive, or a little less hands on money maker. Allowing you to potentially step away for a bit and still earn money, with little to no imput, but it can be tricky. So I came up with 10 things to know before you start a blog to stop you falling to the same holes I feel into.
1. At First, You Will Earn No Money
Yes, sorry to say this, but we figured it would be easier to say it now than later.
It’s okay to feel a little miffed by this.
It is NOT okay to give up on your dream and quit. Says Forbes, the beginning of any blogger’s life is one that has no money involved-it’s going to take you a while to climb the chain, but your hard work will pay off.
Some bloggers are able to turn their new sites into money making machines in as little as a few weeks, but most take a good few months before you start to see a return on your time.
If you want to get started on the right foot, check out BlogFocused, a step by step guide to creating your own affiliate blog.
2. Choose a Great Niche
Some argue you should not blog in a niche that has no following. This is sound advice, as the appeal of your blog is only as large as the sum of your global audience in your blog’s language.
Bear in mind that some things just do not have a huge audience.
Mass appeal is what will take you places and having a small audience to begin with is not going to help you.
For example, you don't see many websites or blogs documenting different types of toilet bleach, but you do see lots of blogs and YouTube channels devoted to gardening, making money, stocks, DropShipping and of course fitness.
Because people are always doing those activities and want to learn more about it.
If you are stuck for ideas, check out our other Blog posts 6 Awesome Ideas To Blog About.
3. Name Your Domain Well
Domain names are in high demand nowadays.
Stay with a good old-fashioned dot com extension (or do as we did and throw in a .co.uk - They still throw a lot of weight around).
Try not too go too far down the rabbit hole, like .us, .ca, .social or the hundreds of different extensions available these days.
They don’t have the same appeal as a dot com domain does.
And do your best to make it less than fifteen characters to optimise your Google search results.
You can grab cheap domains from NameCheap and they also provide alternative suggestions if your favourite domain has been taken.
4. Get A Good Host
You must select a hosting provider that works for you.
Remember, this host is going to be your partner down this blogging path, so choose with care. Look for the uptime of the provider, if they’ve had any major issues, and read reviews. Ensure they have a WordPress plugin.
We always recommend Bluehost as they offer WordPress specific hosting that comes with WordPress installed and ready.
What more could you want?
5. Learn WordPress
Pro tip: If you do a free blog through WordPress.com, remember this: You do not own that blog, so there are some limits to understand.
It would be best to opt for a self-hosted WordPress blog, and by purchasing a hosting, a domain name, and installing the WordPress platform. (Hosts will install this free plugin for you if you ask/get their WordPress hosting)
Select a theme that is good for your content but is responsive for tablet and phone users as desktop is not as popular as it once was.
You can grab a whole host of themes from places such as ThemeForest or even from WordPress's own marketplace.
For those who hate using the new WordPress layout, I would recommend checking out Thrive Architect.
6. Learn and Understand Keyword-Focused Posts
Your content should be keyword focused and done on a repeated basis.
It’s going to do you good to learn about SEO, or search engine optimisation writing.
There are loads of rules about this type of content, so settle in and do some learning or find a mentor to guide you.
One of the best free places to learn about how to write blog posts is AMNinjas. Warren is a master of copy-writing and creating high converting blog posts, so definitely check him out.
You are NOT going to get a lot of traffic in your first year-fair warning.
Just stay on the path and create your posting schedule. Then stay with it.
Make your posts top quality and relevant to the niche while including appropriate keywords.
Be sure to checkout our KeySearch review to find one of the best platforms that any blogger should use to find high quality keywords to focus on.
7. You Will Need to Spend Money (At Least A Little)
You have to spend money to make money, says the old saying.
Blogging is no exception. It is not free, but diligence, patience and hard work will pay off.
Be ready to pay for the following expenses as you create your space online:
- Ads and marketing
- Custom web development
- A/B Tests
- Hiring other authors
- Superior web hosting services
- Custom designs
These are a few common and some uncommon costs bloggers may encounter.
Keep in mind that you do not need to shell out a lot of money to be successful!
My costs for this blog are under £30 a month or around $50. For a business that is a brilliant return on investment.
8. Be Proactive (and Don’t Be Shy!)
Some of us look to blogging as a way to work from home in a relatively serene environment, happily posting about our niche and just expecting traffic to flow in.
In a perfect world, yes.
In reality, NO WAY!
You can get traffic by being proactive and using social media to promote the posts you’ve made.
Shout out your great content. You can buy some traffic too-create some ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for example.
And don’t be ashamed of sharing the same post more than once, you can drive traffic that way.
Avoid spamming, however.
9. Choosing Your Revenue Stream
Many people choose affiliate sales, as you won’t make a lot money with Google ads (or any ads for that matter) unless you sell private ads on your blog for a fixed per month cost, and that will be a few dollars at best.
Weave that revenue stream into your content and posts and make it a focal point on your blog. However, do not overwhelm readers with ads or loads of links.
Use tact and good manners when integrating them into your content.
Look to use apps such as PrettyLink or EasyLinker to make your affiliate links a little, nicer. People hate seeing long strings of awful numbers and letters.
For example, would you click on a link that said this;
Also be sure to only focus on a small number of offers or platforms that you promote at the start, as you can sometimes become overwhelmed with writing content for so many different products or niches.
Focusing is never a bad idea at the start.
10. It’s Not Going to Be Easy
You have a goal and a dream in mind, and there are heaps of people on the Internet willing to sell you the secret needed for supreme blogging success.
Most bloggers fall off in about 6 months to a years’ time.
But remember, the blogs that make money are the ones that never gave up on their dream.
Traffic is going to be very slow in those first years, but it will get better so long as you stay with it.
Ensure that you keep to a regular pattern, write articles, answer questions, post to social media and reach out to other bloggers to see if you can offer advice!
Blogging is going to be a great way for you to earn a passive income, but it’s not going to happen overnight or even in a year.
You will have to work hard at this and not give up. Be sure to share your content on social media and avoid those frustrated feelings from the early days of low traffic.
Continue learning all you can, network with other bloggers, and understand you are capable of success as long as you put in the effort.
If you want to learn more about Affiliate Marketing, or ways of increasing traffic via SEO, then I would recommend checking out our Savage Affiliates review.
I started this blog around 2017, after realising that I wanted to let people know about all the different ways someone could make money online. From DropShipping, Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing and more.
This blog has now grown to review and explain a variety of different tools and platforms, in the bid to help you.
This blog contains affiliate links, and I will get a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t change anything for you and will on occasion save you money! Enjoy, James.