CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUL. 29, 2014
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How to Create a Blog That Can Generate Income

Whether you’re a professional writer, or simply have a passion for it; blogging can provide you with some additional income. There are many blogs that successfully generate income. For those that do generate profit, it’s a win-win. You can write about a topic you are passionate about, while potentially making money.

There are professional bloggers that make a comfortable living, sharing their ideas and passion with others. If you have a topic that you’re interested in, why not take it to the next step? Turn your interests and passion into a money-making project.

What Exactly Is Blogging?

Blogging is much more than an idea or a passion. Although passion is highly beneficial, various skills are required when approaching the world of blogging. The following skills allow blogs to succeed:

  • Understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Marketing within social media
  • Both writing and editing skills
  • Ability to publish posts
  • Designing and maintaining a website

You can write a blog on any topic that you are experienced in. Common blogging topics include; food and drink, politics, web design, business, technology, sports, and so much more. There are plenty of niche blogs that do well based on the level of expertise and passion behind the topic. For example, soap making or craft beer.

How to Generate Money Blogging

When starting out, take the following steps. As long as you have the required skills and passion, there is no reason that your blog won’t be a success.

1. Write Down Your Passions and Interests

If you’re writing about something you enjoy, you’ll have a much easier time in terms of making money. When you write about something you love or know a lot about, it comes more naturally. Write down anything that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about; hobbies, interests, your career, etc.

2. Narrow Down Your Topics

Now that you have your list, narrow your topics down in terms of potential profitability. You need to focus on topics that have not already been exhausted by others. Although many focus on a specific niche, your niche still needs to be fairly popular. You want to target a large enough audience, allowing your content to reach a profitable amount of people. 

Be specific when choosing a topic, do not focus on a broad subject. For example, instead of writing about fitness, focus on hot yoga. Instead of food, focus on recipes that are entirely gluten-free. Look into what has been done before and how you can reinvent it. It’s most beneficial to be unique, providing readers with something new and fresh.

If you would like to reach a wide audience, your topic needs to appeal to the masses. A slightly broader topic may be required in this case. For example, relationship or financial advice as your main topics. You could then focus in on a more specific area such as ’saving for your future while attending college.’ These broad topics allow you to continually build your blog, while focusing in one more specific area. 

Once you have selected your topic, test your knowledge. Write down all the possible article headlines before you create your blog. You should be able to think of at least forty topics. It’s also great if it’s something that will always have new available content. For example, blogs that focus on news will always have an ongoing choice of articles. Technology or health are also great options, these topics are always advancing. With these advances, comes new, fresh content. 

3. Research Similar Blogs

Now that you have your topic of interest, search what other blogs are out there. Simply go to Google’s search engine and type in your topic. Look into the most popular blogs. These popular blogs will be high in terms of search ranking. This is a great way to see how many people are interested and what has already been thoroughly covered.

If you do not find any blogs, this is not necessarily a good thing. You may be thinking that your topic has been untapped, but it may mean that there’s no interest there. On the other hand, you may find blogs that cover your topic perfectly. Be careful with this, as it may be hard to compete. You may need to slightly tweak your topic, which will allow you to complement similar blogs instead of trying to overtake them.

4. Choose a Platform

Now that you’re ready to create your blog, you’ll need a platform. A free blogging service is your best bet to start. Some of the available options are WordPress.com and Google Blogger. If you struggle with web design, these are great options. The only downside to these platforms are their limitations in terms of making money. Make sure you’re aware of the terms and conditions.

WordPress.com for example only allows limited links and advertising. You will not be able to have third party ads, banners, or affiliate links. Google for instance offers many great benefits, but it also is limited in terms of use. If you are excessive in terms of your affiliate links, Google may move your blog much lower in search rankings. This will cause your traffic to diminish. When you create a blog, make sure you read the conditions regarding ’Monetizing Your Blog.’

5. Hosting Your Own Blog

This will require you to purchase your own domain name. You will need to pay a hosting service fee either monthly or annually. Although you need to pay a fee, you have much greater control and freedom in terms of customization.

If you do not know much about web design, you should have someone assist you. A knowledgeable friend may assist you, cutting costs. Your domain name should be easy to remember. If it’s too complicated, readers won’t be able to find you. Use something simple and catchy, if possible, you may even use your own name as you’re the author of the blog (e.g. yourname.com).

Many blogs will support a small business, providing content that educates the readers. In this case, you can choose your business for your domain name. The content of a business blog will provide support in terms of the products and/or services available through that business. For example; a site that sells natural health products, may include a blog that relates to health. These blog postings should encourage readers to take better care of themselves. In turn, you will be able to sell your products more effectively. Not only will your blog name be easy to remember, it will help promote your small business. 

6. Start Creating Content

It is now time to create your blog, adding compelling content. If you are new to blogging, you are probably using a free service. Take advantage of the tutorials and guides available. These will take you through the steps you require.

If you decided that you’d like to host your own site, you will need some web design experience. This will allow you to effectively customize your blog. WordPress.org will allow you to use free services within your own site. This can help you create a more visually appealing site. I would suggest sticking to a free option until your blog creates enough traffic to move forward.

7. Write Interesting, Unique Content

If you are using other blogs to generate your core ideas, there won’t be anything unique about your content. Create your own topics, writing all of the content yourself. Copying and Pasting will not create a successful blog.

The whole point of providing a blog is to provide your readers with unique, fresh content. If you are just re-using someone else’s content, then what’s the point? You will also want to continually update your blog. Making money will not occur if your blog is simply sitting, not producing any new content.

Set a goal for yourself. Perhaps you post once a week to begin. You should not only be fresh in terms of content elsewhere, but fresh in terms of your own content. Make sure you’re writing about subjects and areas that you have not covered before. The whole point is to bring readers back, wanting to see what you’ll offer next.

8. Utilize Keywords

When you write a blog post, generate a few keywords. These words will be important regarding the content. They should relate to your main topic, as well as the sub-topic you have chosen to write about.

When you choose your keywords, think about what people may search. For example, you may be writing about hiking trails in Canada. Possible keywords would be ’outdoor hiking,’ ’hiking in Canada,’ and ’Canadian hiking trails.’

Make sure that your keywords are in appropriate places. Include your keyword(s) in your title, your headers, and a couple times within the content itself. Some blogging software allows you to tag your keywords, take advantage of this.

You can also use the Google Keyword Research tool. This provides you with an estimate regarding keywords and how much they’re worth in terms of advertisers.

9. Marketing is Key

Get your blog out there. Let people know that you have something interesting to say. Utilize social media, getting your blog out there. Use Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media that you’re active in. Once people are aware, your interesting content and knowledge will do the rest.

You can follow other blogs and approach other bloggers regarding cross-linking. You can advertise each other’s blog and articles. If there is an overlap in subject matter, readers will be interested in both blogs. You can help each other reach success. Once again, if you’re using a free hosting service, check to see the terms and conditions.

Before you make money, you need to build your audience. Therefore, continually share your content on social media outlets and raise traffic through effective SEO techniques.

10. Now Start Making Money

Now that your audience has grown, you can start to make money. A great place to start is Google AdSense or WordAds. These ads will be created based on the size, amount, and placement you specify. The ads will match the content in which you write about. The amount of people that click on those ads, will determine how much money you make from the advertisers.

Be careful when choosing an ad service, as some allow pornographic material. You do not want any ads that do not match the message you’re trying to portray. Ad services tend to use the keywords in which you use to match appropriate ads. If you are using keywords that are not relevant or inaccurate, ads will not match your reader’s interests.

Some create an online store that promote items related to their blog. For instance, many art/craft bloggers will also have an Etsy account. This allows them to guide their audience towards their artwork. Not all blogs will allow you to do this, but if it fits, then go for it. You can make money regardless of an affiliated store. In order to receive money, you may want to set up a PayPal option on your blog.

Look into affiliate programs, which will pay you to provide links to a company’s product. These programs will pay you a set amount after each purchase is made, based on the link you provided. Make sure you’re choosing affiliate programs that your readers would actually be interested in. You have a greater chance of making money if you do not flood your blog with irrelevant products.

Give your readers honest and open reviews of products that you enjoyed. You want to be reliable and trustworthy regarding your audience.

As mentioned, start with a free blogging service. After you have effectively researched, planned, and taken action, there’s no reason that you cannot create and maintain a successful blog. If you’re skilled and passionate, the sky is the limit.

Make money while increasing your own personal knowledge. You can share your passion and ideas with others. Making some money through your blog is possible. If nothing else, you will build a supportive audience. You can learn as you go, adapting to what your readers want. 

 

 

Photo Credit: Flickr

 

 

 

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