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For many peeps, running a website or owing a blog has only been a dream or a wish.
It is a fact to state that many aspiring bloggers are yet to understand the nitty-gritty of how they can start their journey into the blogosphere NOW rather than later.
To others, it seems unachievable because they have failed in their previous attempt to crack down the ‘How’ of making a living out of blogging.
If you find yourself in the mentioned categories, I have painstakingly put together this comprehensive guide to take you through all you need to get started as a newbie blogger and earn a living out of it.
But before I walk you through this guide, permit me to share my novey-dovey 3 years’ experience as a full-time blogger.
Unlike many, my journey into the blogosphere wasn’t a deliberate choice or decision, rather, it happened by chance in late 2016.
A childhood friend of mine got the idea about blogging from his friend who has successfully built a blogging empire that rakes in at least $10,000 monthly.
Together with his new bride, he traveled down to his friend’s location to get trained on how he can make passive income from blogging even though he was reluctant to commit to it on a full-time basis due to his Architecture profession.
Afterwards, he realised blogging demands a lot of commitment and equally time-consuming which invariably prompted him to think of someone he can trust to handle his newly established news blog.
He recognised I’ve got some decent writing skills to produce fresh contents and quite available to commit more time to the blog than him.
He put a call through and intimated me about his blogging ideas and how he thinks we can make it work and earn a decent living from it.
We had a lengthy discussion about the sharing formula and other important issues that are often contained in a partnership deed.
Then, I kick-started my journey into the blogging world and in two years, a lot has changed from being a total blog novice to an SEO Consultant.
In this guide, I will provide more insights into all I’ve learned along the way as a full-time blogger.
What Is Blogging?
Blogging is the act of providing informational or inspirational blog contents on a hosted website, mostly with the aim of reaching out to a target audience on specific topics or niches.
What Is A Blog?
A blog or weblog is the medium through which information or contents are published in form of blogposts, images, infographics, videos, podcasts and webinars.
The blogosphere is a constellation or community of all online blogs across the World Wide Web.
Why Start A Blog?
I can tell you this for free, there are no wrong reasons to start your blog today.
That said, I will give you some quick reasons why you should start a blog Now rather than later.
#1. To Share Your Thoughts And Be A Voice
Psychologically, it is a valid saying that there are millions of productive thoughts that go through the mind of everyman daily, yet only a few get voiced.
Therefore, if this assertion resonates with you, I believe you should launch a blog to share your thoughts with the waiting audience who are looking forward to getting an answer or a solution.
Your decision to start a blog today will arguably position you as a problem-solver to a waiting audience.
#2. To Showcase Your Passion
Yes, if you know how to create helpful contents about anything you’re passionate about, you need to start a blog immediately.
Do you think you’ve got some passion for IT, Music, Teaching, Preaching, Writing, Project management, Herbal Medicine, Sports, Entertainment, Design and Interior decorations, Childcare, Humanitarian, Governance and many more?
Why not start a blog today and showcase your talents and passion to the global audience?
#3. To Build A Personal or Corporate Brand
You must consider operating a blog on your official business website if you are a budding entrepreneur or a business owner-whether a Start-up, Small-Medium Enterprise [SME] or a Quote: d company.
Operating a blog on your website will aid in brand promotion through your blog contents and content marketing.
For example, if your entity sells high-tech products such as drones, it is essential that your marketing department reach out to potential clients about the importance and usage of drones.
Even though there are other paid mediums like Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Google Ads and Facebook Ads [to mention a few] through which a product be marketed to the public, yet, operating a blog helps in promoting the product for free using search engine optimization techniques.
When Should You Start A Blog?
‘’The best time to plant a seed was two decades ago, the second-best time is NOW’’-Old Chinese Proverb.
Yeah! The blogosphere has evolved over time and the competition is getting more keen than usual.
With frequent changes in search engine algorithms from Google PageRank to Google Panda, Google Penguin to Google Hummingbird, it is clear that the understanding of these algorithms will further deepen your skill to beat off some existing competitions in the search engine.
Therefore, no need to wait any longer, Create a blog NOW!
What Are Profitable Blogging Niches?
One common blogging mistake we made as a newbie blogger was our inability to understand the importance of focusing on a niche, especially a profitable blogging niche.
In my opinion, we ventured into some categories of niches that was already saturated and has a low ROI until we discovered that if we keep doing the same thing, we will continue to get the same result.
Although we were left us frustrated and discouraged the moment we acquired the understanding that if we are really interested in succeeding as a blogger, we need to reset our blogging journey.
Hence, it is important you pick a clue from our mistake and get things right before you invest a lot of time and resources into your new blog.
Here are profitable niches that will see you get a massive audience and a higher ROI if the right effort is invested.
Health & Fitness Niche.
Search Engine Optimization Niche.
Dating or Relationship Niche.
Money Making Niche.
The listed niches above are blog niches you should consider before getting started.
However, much more than the listed niches, it is important for you to discover that niche where you can easily find your voice and create helpful blog posts.
This is because blogging has a lot to do with creating contents and you need to show some good grasp of a niche to frequently create useful blog contents.
Common Mistakes To Avoid Before Launching Your Blog
The success of a new blog starts with getting the little details right and avoiding these common blogging mistakes from the word ‘go’.
#1. Niche And Not Niches
Back in 2016 when we launched our news blog, we had little insight into some basic information that rightly positions a new blog for success, one of which centered around creating blog posts for a niche rather than different niches on a single blog.
The reason why it is advisable to concentrate on a niche is that it obviously allows a new blog to get easily and quickly identified by the search engine robots or crawler.
Ooh, you might think that creating contents for web pages on different niches will allow you to extend your reach and ultimately drive more audience from different sphere of interests.
As reasonable as this claim seems, it simply doesn’t work that way in the blogosphere.
You need to know that a blog niche often has sub-categories for example; A fashion blog could be sub-divided into the following blog pages…
Men’s Fashion, Women’s Fashion, Corporate wears, Native wears and Kid’s Fashion.
All these are sub-categories under the umbrella of a Fashion niche.
Therefore, there is no reason why you cannot reach a larger audience when you focus on a niche.
All you need to do is to have a blogging strategy on how to reach out to all the sub-categories enlisted on your blog.
#2. Failure To Optimize For Search Engine.
This mistake is most common among newbie bloggers, yet it has a lot to do in helping your blog gain authority and visibility.
Before launching your blog or e-commerce website, I will advise that you should take an e-course about search engine optimization (SEO).
This important move will expose you to a lot of information on how to create a well-optimized content to rank your contents on search engine results pages (SERPs) using Keyword Research and link-building techniques.
#3. Not building An E-mail List.
It is very important that you collect e-mails from visitors who landed on your website home page.
This is because research shows that daily blog visitors are mostly new and do not return to keep abreast with the fresh contents published.
Therefore, to establish an immediate chord between the new visitor and your brand, you need to keep an effective e-mail list anytime you realize your blog is getting some reasonable number of daily visitors.
Furthermore, an e-mail list is an asset to your business and helps in promoting any product offer or services to a waiting audience.
You can consider integrating the popular e-mail marketing brands like MailChimp or Convertkit to help build your blog e-mail list.
#4. Not Diversifying Our Monetization Stream
This point is reasonable to get you to understand the need to diversify the monetization of your blog.
Moreover, you will soon find out that blogging requires some financial investment if you are serious about getting it done the right way.
Therefore, I’ll like to consider that you are aspiring to own a blog not only to offer a voice in your area of interest but ultimately to make money and earn a decent living.
I always admonish newbies to create two income possibilities for their new blogs using Google AdSense and Affiliate Marketing. [As you read on, I will soon offer more insights into these blog monetization methods].
#5. Choosing a Wrong Domain Name, Blog Theme, and Web Host
Nothing is more frustrating than operating a blog site that showcases a poor user experience.
Before starting a blog, you need to choose a domain name, Content Management System and Web hosting platform.
I advise that you avoid free blog themes or free web hosting packages. You’ve got to know that things offered for free do not give total freedom in the real sense.
Therefore, you’ve got to spend some dollars to install a good web host, responsive WordPress theme, and a domain name.
In hindsight, we fell short of this important point when we started our news blog back in 2016.
Starting from the domain name to the website theme and blog hosting, we never really did anything right in this aspect.
In our quest to cut our start-up expenses, we choose a cheap web host that frustrated most of our early efforts as a new blogger.
The downtime of this web host is on the high side with a very poor customer support which took days before getting a response.
For our blog theme, it lacked responsive features and never really did well on mobile devices.
This made our blog experience a high bounce-rate which often results in keeping our income analytics low.
Lastly, it is important to avoid registering a domain name that is not related to your brand or business.
The reason for this is because your domain name should resonate with your brand and create a brand identity when a new user hops into your landing page.
For example, if you are in a food niche, you can target to create a domain name like XYZFoods.com, XYZDishes.com, XYZCuttleries.com or XYZTaste.com.
The idea is to ensure that your choice domain contains a generic phrase that rightly defines a food niche.
However, if you are building a personal blog identity, you can use your name or initials to get started.
How To Drive Traffic To Your New Blog
After setting up your new blog, the next hurdle and quite important to all bloggers is how to drive blog traffic.
This is because you can create a good and helpful blog post but if no one is clicking to check it out, it becomes a toothless weapon.
Hence, its high time you understood how to get your contents out there to the waiting blog readers.
Majorly, your new blog can get traffic using the following methods;
Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO).
Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
Social Media platforms like; Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Community Forums like; Reddit, Nairaland, Quora, and StumbleUpon respectively.
However, let me state clearly that you need to understand where your blog niche audience hangout in relation to choosing the most effective platform to share your blog contents and drive traffic.
Also, avoid trying to incorporate all these mediums into your content marketing strategy.
All you need do is to gain a mastery of maybe one or two at a time and when you’ve carved a presence for your brand, you can then opt to explore other platforms to expand your content reach.
How To Monetize Your New Blog.
Earlier in this guide, I revealed that it is important that you create monetization streams for your blog to maximize the ROI.
After setting up a blog, there are effective blog monetization methods which will see you earn money from it.
These methods include;
Selling Advert Space.
Selling E-courses or product.
Google AdSense: This remains a veritable monetization method for any new blog. All you need is to apply for Google AdSense website monetization through this link.
However, your site should have some reasonable and helpful content coupled with a seamless user experience to get approved according to the Google AdSense policy guidelines.
Affiliate Marketing: This blog monetization method is globally used by the newbies including the established bloggers.
It entails an Affiliate partner getting a pre-agreed commission on every product bought by a customer or blog visitor through an affiliate link which has been embedded on a blog content.
There are popular brands like Amazon and Clickbank offering some huge commissions through their Affiliate programs.
However, it is important you establish a very good understanding of affiliate products you need to promote in order to realize huge turnover.
There are some affiliate programs that pay as high as $18 per product sale and you could even receive $800 in commission if your niche features some high paying products like Automobiles, sophisticated Gadgets, and high-tech products.
Selling Advert Space: If you’ve got some reasonable number of traffic monthly, you can decide to offer your audience some Ad space on your blog to promote their products or services.
The rate at which you’ll charge for each Ad space depends on the number of traffic you generate and the size of the Ad banner.
Selling E-courses, Product or Services: Many bloggers also sell their know-how through e-courses and charge a subscription fee.
If you’ve got some reasonable number of customer base on your e-mail list, you can strategically create a product or e-course towards helping them acquire a better understanding on a subject matter related to your niche.
This monetization method gives you the freedom to set a revenue target on a monthly basis.
How To Create Contents For Your New Blog
Content creation is a vital tool employed in building trust with your audience and blog visitors.
You must understand that creating helpful content for your blog will help promote your brand and weblog.
In creating blog contents, you need to have a good grasp of carrying out a Keyword Research and SEO Copywriting.
Gone are the days when bloggers loosely churn out contents that have no real significance to users. If you are serious about blogging the right way, you should get some basic training in Keyword Research and how to write for SEO.
The reason for engaging in Keyword research before creating a blog post is to ensure that your keyword resonates with what the users are interested in and not what you think would please or interest them.
You’ve got to understand also that the motive behind every post you create on your blog is to help your audience and not necessarily to soothe your feelings or sentiments.
Furthermore, it is important that you install plugins like Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress website which will help you properly optimize your blog content for the search engine.
In the body texts of your blog, it is equally important that you include some images, video, infographics or webinars which are relevant to the choice keyword on your content and optimize the ALT tag, meta tags and meta descriptions appropriately.
You can get new blog images and infographics using stock photos websites like Canva, Shutterstock, and Pexels.
How To Get New Content Ideas for Your Blog
As you advance in your blogging career, you should expect to experience moments of blankness in terms of content ideas that would interest your audience.
Hey! Don’t fret..this happens to everybody.
To always ensure your blog offers fresh contents, you need to understand how to get topics and interests that will keep your blog readers coming back.
Therefore, you can join Facebook, Quora or Reddit community forums focused on your niche.
Also, endeavor to check out influencers in your blog niche and follow the trending topics they focus on from time to time.
On a Final Note…
Your level of success in blogging is determined by many factors ranging from the amount of information available to you to get it right, finance, skill amongst others.
However, the major factor why many failed as a blogger is that they assume it is a cash-cow industry that rakes in huge returns in the short-term.
Well, if you understand how to get it right from the word ‘GO’, you can make some huge profit from it at the turn of a calendar year like Alex and Lauren of Createandgo and Avocadu.com did in their first year of blogging.
Much more, you must be dedicated to learning and finding new ways to beat off your competition in a very dynamic blogosphere.
I wish you all the best in your blogging career.
Good stuff, pls is there any means of contacting you(pm) maybe mail or something. Thanks!