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Over the last 15 years, blogging has taken the world by storm. Everyone has something to say and wants an audience to hear it, and there’s no better place to tell your story than the Internet.
There's also a significant amount of money to be made — some bloggers make six-figure incomes by simply talking about their hobbies, interests and daily lives. How fun would that be? Getting paid to do what you love is always incredible, and it can fit around working full time, too.
But getting started with blogging isn't as easy as it's chalked up to be. It takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication to build up an audience and make money from your blog. James Clear, one of the most successful bloggers of the 2010s, took over two years to earn a single dollar from his blog (though he makes millions through book sales and presentations now).
Numerous technical hurdles can slow down or even stop you from beginning your blogging journey — search engine optimisation, ad placement and website design can be confusing and difficult to navigate.
We've spent hours analysing and dissecting the process of becoming a blogger to deliver you a simple, straightforward guide — a roadmap, so to speak! So, if you’re in the middle of career planning or simply want to learn how to become a blogger, this is the article for you.
Ready to learn how to become a blogger? Let's go!
Starting a blog may seem simple at first glance, but there are several things you need to keep in mind to make sure your blog is successful. In this section, we'll walk you through starting a blog and provide some tips for the less technologically inclined.
Choosing a blogging platform
You’ll need to make several considerations when choosing a blogging platform. Speed, size, cost, and features are all important factors to keep in mind. You'll also want to choose a platform that is easy to use and has a supportive community if you need help troubleshooting problems.
By far, the most popular blogging platforms are WordPress, Squarespace and Tumblr. We'll talk a little about their pros and cons below.
WordPress is a fantastic platform for bloggers because it’s free, easy to use and versatile. As of the time this was written, it powers over 39% of the web.
The benefits of using WordPress are more exhaustive than the following list, and the statistics speak for themselves. They offer numerous packages that are suited to all kinds of blogger, but here are some pros and cons to consider.
- You can create a website or blog for free.
- It’s easy to use, even for beginners.
- WordPress is incredibly affordable for those that want to upgrade to a custom domain, with monthly costs routinely offered at lower than $15 (£11) per month.
- There are thousands of plugins and themes that you can use to customise your site.
- It’s SEO friendly, which means your site has a better chance of ranking in Google.
- WordPress can be slow if not optimised correctly.
- It can be challenging to work with custom themes and plugins if you're not technically oriented.
There is a lot of noise in the WordPress community, making it difficult to stand out from the pack.
Despite these drawbacks, we highly recommend using WordPress. It's a solid, vetted choice with hundreds of thousands of successful case studies you can learn from.
Squarespace is an up-and-coming contender in the website builder market. It offers a wide variety of templates and design tools, making it easy to create a professional-looking website. Squarespace also has some great features that don’t come as standard with other providers.
However, Squarespace can be expensive, and its templates are not as customisable as those of some other builders. Additionally, its customer support can be difficult to reach, and many users have noted that its templates are not as mobile-friendly as they should be.
- It has templates and tools that make it easy to change the design of your blog.
- It has built-in SEO and eCommerce capabilities.
- Great features that can be adapted.
- Can be expensive depending on the package you choose.
- Templates aren’t as easy to customise as other builders' templates.
- Customer support can be difficult to reach.
- Templates not as mobile friendly as advertised.
Tumblr is a reputable blogging platform with millions of users and a wide variety of features. It can be used for anything from photo blogging to full-blown website creation, and it’s popular with people of all ages and walks of life. More recently, Tumblr became a hotbed for internet memes and social justice issues, with many users using the site to share their thoughts and opinions on current events.
There are a few pros and cons to keep in mind before starting a Tumblr blog.
- Easy to use platform. It’s intuitive and doesn’t require any coding knowledge.
- It’s completely free to use.
- Very popular with a wide range of users. Depending on your target audience, this can be a pro or a con.
- Known for being a breeding ground for memes and social justice issues. If you’re not interested in either of those things, Tumblr may not be the best platform for you.
- The platform can be quite noisy. With millions of users and billions of posts, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.
- Frequently changes its features and layout, which can be frustrating for users who are used to the platform’s quirks.
Overall, Tumblr is an excellent platform for bloggers at all experience levels. It’s easy to use and has a ton of features, but it can also be noisy and frustrating. If you’re looking for a platform that’s popular with a wide range of users, Tumblr is a fantastic choice.
Choosing your domain name
Domain names are essential for bloggers because not only is it the first piece of information people receive about your blog, it’s their key to finding it. Therefore, you want to choose a domain name that is relevant to your blog topic and easy to remember.
That said, don't spend too much time agonising over the perfect domain name. The most important thing is to get started. Additionally, while not recommended for SEO purposes, you can always change it later if you decide you don't like it.
Also, keep in mind that not all domain names are available. If the one you want is taken, you may have to get creative or use a different extension — like .net or .org.
Once you’ve chosen your domain name, you can pick your desired platform from the list we described above and get started.
Keyword research is an integral part of blogging. Ideally, you'll find keywords that have a high search volume and low competition. This will help you rank higher in the search engines and get more traffic to your blog, but they need to be relevant to the topics you plan to write about. Don't just optimise for a bunch of isolated keywords — build a theme and a story for maximum results.
There are several tools you can use for keyword research, including the Google AdWords Keyword Planner and the Google Search Console. You can also use paid keyword research tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to organise your keyword research and automatically find low competition phrases.
Creating a content calendar
Now that you’ve got your keywords in place, it’s time to get to work.
Consistent, regular blogging is the key to becoming a successful blogger — Google and other search engines like updated websites with fresh content. Ensuring you post on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis will help you rank higher and win more of your readers’ hearts.
One way to make sure you're consistently blogging is to create a content calendar. A content calendar is a content marketing strategy where you plan out your blog posts for the upcoming month or week. This can be as simple as writing down the topic of each post and the day it will be published. These types of calendars can help you map out your posts in advance, ensuring that you have plenty of ideas and topics to write about, and preventing you from writing the same thing twice.
Bloggers also approach the process of content planning differently — some come up with topics for each week or month in advance, and others will outline each post in detail, including the date it will be published and the specific points they want to cover before writing.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to include the following information:
- Title of post
- Scheduled date of post
- Summary of post
- Links to any relevant articles or resources you plan to mention in your post
Adding these details to your calendar will help your ideas 'bake' and make it easier to write about your topics when the time comes to do so.
Now that you've built a strong blog with interesting, informative content, it's time to promote it. This is one of the most crucial steps in our how to become a blogger guide. We're going to discuss the following three methods:
- Social media marketing, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Post automation
- Guest posting
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a fantastic way to promote your blog posts. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram can help you connect with other bloggers and potential readers. The use of hashtags to find relevant conversations and posting interesting content encourages others to follow you. Digital marketing really helps get your blog out into the world to your target audience, and here are a few tips to help nail your social media marketing campaign:
Use a variety of social media platforms
Don’t just stick to one platform — use a variety of social media sites to promote your blog posts. This will help you reach a wider audience, and it also gives people the opportunity to follow you on the social media site that they prefer.
Use relevant hashtags
Make sure to use relevant hashtags when promoting your blog posts on social media. This encourages people to find your content, and it will also show potential readers that you’re engaged in the conversation around your topic of interest.
Post interesting content
Don’t just post links to your blog posts — post interesting content that will encourage people to click through and read your articles. Your thumbnail image is important, too, so make sure it stands out and catches the reader’s attention. You can do this through interesting imagery, videos, or even just a catchy headline.
Automate your blog posting
Use next-generation tools like If This Then That (IFTTT) or Zapier to post links to your latest blog posts automatically on your social media accounts as soon as they go live. This way, you don’t need to spread yourself thin by posting manually on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. every time you finish an article.
Not only will this help you keep your followers updated on your latest content, it will also increase the likelihood that someone will stumble across your blog posts through a social media search. Both are crucial to developing a strong blog following.
Guest posting is an important strategy for promoting blogs in 2022. When guest posting, you write a post for another blog, and in turn, that blog owner features your post on their blog. This is a great way to get your content in front of new readers and build relationships with other bloggers.
There are numerous methods to employ when guest posting, but this one is the most popular:
1. Find high-quality blogs to pitch your ideas to
Do some research via Google, Ahrefs or SEMRush, and make a list of blogs that have topics relevant to your own blog. Make sure the blogs have high traffic and an engaged audience.
2. Craft a strong pitch email
When emailing the blog owner, make sure to introduce yourself and your blog, provide a brief summary of the post you’d like to write, and explain why you think their blog would be a good fit.
3. Wait for a response
Once you’ve sent your pitch, wait for a response from the blog owner. If they’re interested in having you write a post for them, they’ll let you know and will give you further instructions.
4. Write an amazing post
Once you’ve been given the green light, it’s time to start writing!
Finally, we come to the crux of our article on how to become a blogger: monetisation.
Monetising your blog is the process of turning your blog into a source of income. Blogging is a business strategy and making money (as much as we’re loath to admit it) is often the goal of most bloggers.
While it can seem daunting at first, monetising your blog is actually considerably easier than most people probably think (as long as you have the traffic).
Below, we'll cover three of the most popular ways to monetise:
- Affiliate marketing
The most common way to monetise a blog is through advertising. This can be in the form of banner ads, text links or even sponsored posts. Ad networks like Google Adsense and Media.net will place ads on your site and then pay you based on how many people click on them, and it can be a fairly passive form of income.
However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before diving into advertising:
- Make sure your site has a lot of traffic. Ad networks generally won't work with sites that get fewer than a few thousand impressions per month.
- Choose the right ads. You want to make sure the ads you're displaying are relevant to your audience and that they provide a good user experience. Banners that take up too much space or are disruptive can actually cause people to leave your site.
- Don't overdo it. If you have too many ads, it can be off-putting to your readers and cause them to leave. Try to keep it to one or two ads per page, and no more than three or four on your entire site.
Sponsorships are a great way to make money from your blog. Essentially, a sponsorship is an agreement between you and a company that pays you to promote its products or services on your blog. Often, sponsorships will include some type of co-branded content, such as a guest post or video.
To land sponsorships, you'll need to have a healthy audience size and high levels of engagement. Additionally, you should be able to demonstrate that you can generate tangible results for your sponsor, such as website traffic or leads.
If you're interested in pursuing sponsorships, start by reaching out to companies that you think would be a good fit and send them your media kit. A media kit is a document that outlines who you are, what your blog is about, and how you can help the sponsor achieve its marketing goals. Then, follow up with the interested companies and negotiate the terms of the sponsorship agreement.
Sponsorships are also a great way to get free stuff! Many companies will send you free products or services in exchange for promoting them on your blog.
Affiliate marketing is a process by which you promote someone else's product or service in exchange for a commission on any sales that you generate. It's quite similar to sponsorships, except you're usually linking people directly to a product and using a referral code to bank a cut of their profits.
It's a great way to monetise your blog, as you don't have to worry about creating your own products or services, and it can be a very lucrative source of income. However, there are numerous affiliate programs available, so it's important to do your research and find the ones that are relevant to your niche.
Once you've found some good affiliate programs, the next step is to create compelling content that will encourage people to click through and buy the products or services that you're promoting. Again, this might require a bit of trial and error, but with a little effort, you should be able to create content that is both useful, engaging and makes people more likely to buy the product you're promoting.
Ultimately, becoming a blogger is challenging, rewarding, and financially fulfilling.
It's one of the most popular ways to share your thoughts and ideas with the world, and there’s a reason for that. Blogging is a great way to communicate with others, learn new things, and make money simultaneously.
There are certainly hurdles you'll need to overcome in order to become a successful blogger. However, time and time again, we've found that the most important thing is to be passionate about your topic and then put in the hard work required to make your blog stand out from the competition. As long as you're persistent and continue to produce quality content, you're well on your way to becoming a successful blogger.
Join the conversation! Are you interested in becoming a blogger? Do you already have a successful blog? Post your biggest tips in the comments below!