Presently, there are millions of people in the world making money from blogging. You, too, can join the train and start a blog business of your own to earn a stable source of income.
Several blogs are earning 6-digit income monthly. Blogs like ‘So Over This,’ Smart Passive Income,’ ‘EOFire,’ Melyssa Griffin,’ etc. earn more than $100,000 monthly (try calculating the yearly income). Other blogs like Finance Superhero, Ask Nick Foy, Recipe This, etc. earn within the range of $1,000 – $3,000 monthly.
What is a blog?
Blogs are websites with contents focusing on a wide range of issues like personal finances, automobiles, gardening, news, and celebrities, etc.
The primary purpose of starting a blog business is to create a connection with a group of audience, interact with your audience, and build their trust and loyalty. Hence, with good content, your blog should be able to attract a regular flow of traffic daily.
However, starting a blog business does not guarantee instant success. In several cases, it can take up to 24 months for your blog to reach its full potential with a regular daily flow of traffic. At this point, the income generated from your blog is sizeable enough to make you quit from a regular 9-5 job.
7 Steps to start a blog business
Starting a blog business does not require many technicalities, you do not need to be a programming expert to create and grow a successful blog, all you need is a passion for blogging, and a bit of creativity to make your blog unique.
I will be taking you through 6 simple steps of starting a blog
1. Select a Niche
A blog niche is the focal point of your blog. There are several niches to blog on, but before choosing a niche, especially if you intend to start a blog business, you should ask yourself the following questions.
How much do I know about this niche? Readers need helpful and accurate information about your chosen niche. Hence, you should focus on a blogging niche you are much knowledgeable about.
Can this niche attract paying audiences? If your goal is to start a bog business, you need to choose a niche associated with products or services that audiences are willing to purchase or patronize. To guide you further, you should ask yourself
Are there products or services relating to my chosen niche? E.g., if you’re blogging on gardening, there are several products and services relating to gardening, which can be a source of advertisement for your blog. Asides, more and more people are focusing on greening the environment to save our world from impending danger. If you’re blogging on gardening or green-related niche, you can be sure of a regular flow of traffic.
Are there e-books and magazines on my chosen niche with reviews present on e-commerce platforms? If yes, then it is a good sign your blog will likely attract a regular flow of traffic.
Are products relating to my chosen niche hotcake to advertising companies? To find out, search for your chosen niche on search engines, some of the search results should include companies advertising related products
What do people search online? This is where the keyword comes to play. I will be talking about keywords later.
How long can this niche stick around? Chosen a short-lived niche like business convention themes, sporting events, etc. can be detrimental to your niche, especially if you’re starting a blog for business. You should focus on a niche that will continually remain relevant.
How competitive is my chosen niche? A niche without a competition shows that you’re not likely to make money from such a niche. You can find out if your chosen niche is a trending topic on GoogleTrend.
If you’re confused about selecting a niche for your blog, you should ask yourself the following questions
- What is my passion? Blogs built around a passion have more tendencies to be successful. You should find out what you have a passion for and blog about it. You can start by listing out ten areas you’re passionate about, e.g., photography, gardening, education, automobiles, tourism, movies, music, celebrities, makeup, etc.
- What are my favourite activities, pastime, or hobbies? The idea here is to discover activities to blog on. You can create a list of your exciting activities, which might include movies, TV shows, organic gardening, camping, football, health, etc.
- What are my favourite books, magazines, or blogs? You can answer this question by making a list of your favourite books, magazines, or websites to give you a clear blog niche ideas to start. You can also include your past work, experiences, and achievements on the list.
If you’re still confused, you can check through the following list of niche below to help you come up with the best niche to focus on.
List of niches
- Automotive niche
- Arts and Entertainment
- Business Products & Services
- Career Services
- Clothing & Fashion
- Food & Culinary
- Health and Fitness
- Health Care & Medical
- Home and Gardening
- Home Services
- Make Money Online
- Personal Finance
- Pets & Animals
- Real Estate
- Sports and Athletics
2. Decide on a domain name for your blog
A domain name is your blog’s web address. It is the address at which your blog is located on the internet. To start a blog business, you need the right domain name with the following characteristics
- The domain name for your blog must be simple and easy to remember. It must be easy to spell, to make it easy for your audience to locate your blog online. You can try out your ideas amongst friends to see how well they pronounce, spell, and remember before purchasing the domain name.
- A right domain name for your blog should not contain characters like numbers and symbols because they make it pretty difficult for your audience to locate your blog online.
- Your domain name should be unique and much related to your blog. A right domain name should give an idea of what your blog is all about. If your intended domain name is chosen, you can consider using synonyms or keywords related to your blog. You might need a dictionary for that. Use a domain name generator if you’re finding it hard to come up with a suitable domain name for your blog.
Example: www.amazon.com. The domain name amazon sounds more like amazing; short, unique, and easy to remember. It includes the alphabet ‘a’ and ‘z,’ symbolizing that you can find everything you need on amazon.
Having a domain name that ends with ‘.com’ is excellent for starting a blog business; however, there are other equally good options like .me, .biz, .org, .co.uk, .net, etc.
3. Choose a platform for your blog
Blogging platforms are the backbone of all blogs, and it is also known as Content Management Service (CMS). The most commonly used content management service for building blogs is WordPress.
WordPress has more than 60 million users, and it powers more than 300,000 top websites in the world.
There are two versions of WordPress:
- WordPress.org: WordPress.org offers you a free content management platform, but you will have to source for a domain name and a host for your blog. However, it is the most widely chosen option because of its wide range of customizable features, which include several plugins and themes. Sign up on WordPress now to start your blogging business.
- WordPress.com: WordPress.com is much simplified and also has an excellent combination of tools for producing an advanced blog or a simple blog. Its most significant advantage is that it offers you domain name and hosting services for a fee.
When starting a blogging business, there are several blogging platforms you can use in building your blog, but you should stick to WordPress.
Other blogging platforms available
- Squarespace (the right choice for rich multimedia contents)
- Blogger (free blogging platform from Google, however, not the right choice if you intend blogging to earn income)
4. Choose a web host for your blog
Web hosting providers give your blog an online presence. Hosting providers are comparable with book publishers that make your work known to the world.
When starting a blog business, one of the essential factor to consider is choosing a hosting provider for the following reasons
- A hosting provider is more like the foundation of your blog
- Your chosen hosting provider’s downtime also means downtime for your business, (choose a hosting provider with the least downtime)
- Choosing a hosting company with high-speed connectivity plays an essential part in building your audience base.
- A hosting provider with a wide range of features that makes it easy to customize your blog without having to source for additional themes and plugins.
Features to watch out for when choosing a web hosting provider
Using a free web hosting service does not work well if you intend to start a blog business because of a limited range of features, zero flexibility, and limited customizability.
If you are to make a choice from several blog hosting sites for your business, you should consider the following features.
- Security: The security of your blog should be of paramount importance to you. Before choosing a hosting provider, you should find out about its security feature and how well-protected you are from hackers. The security of your audience’s information is quite essential too. Your hosting provider should provide you with an SSL certificate to certify that sensitive data sent from your blog are encrypted.
- Cost of hosting: The cost of hosting varies according to your hosting needs. However, the hosting cost should be quite affordable for shared hosting. When starting a blog business, you should make provisions to cover hosting costs for the first six months, or you can take advantage of the yearly bonus offer to get a high percentage of hosting discount.
- Backups: Your hosting provider should also provide backup service. However, you can subscribe to additional backup services like BackupBuddy to ensure that your data is protected in the case of eventualities.
- Downtime: the downtime of hosting providers is an essential factor to consider when you intend to start a blog business. Web hosting sites experience downtimes, which, ideally, should not be more than a few hours in a year. Choosing a hosting provider with minimal downtime duration ensures that your blog stays available almost all through the year with very minimal downtime.
- Email: in some cases, you may need an email address that has the same domain name as your blog, along with other additional features. If that’s the case, you should go for a web hosting provider with an email feature.
Web hosting providers you can choose from.
- Bluehost: To start a blog business, you should use BlueHost as your web hosting provider for the following reasons:
- BlueHost is recommended as the official hosting provider by WordPress
- Free domain name registration and free domain name for one year
- Free SSL certificate
- Simple and easy WordPress installation with a single click
- Special offer of $2.95 per month for a complete hosting solution
- 24/7 accessible customer service personnel
- 30-day moneyback guarantee.
Get your blog started on Bluehost today by visiting www.bluehost.com
Other Web Hosting provider include
5. Choose a WordPress theme
When starting a blog business, a blog theme is a significant factor you should consider. A theme makes your blog responsive across multiple devices and OS platforms. It also determines the appearance of your blog.
There are several thousands of WordPress themes to choose from. Before selecting a theme that is in line with the objectives of your blog, you should consider the following
- Find out if the theme you intend choosing has all the features you want; you should ask yourself if the theme has the right design for your blog. Do you want a flexible headier for your blog? Do you want your blog to have multiple columns? What are the features I want for my blog? These are some questions you should ask yourself before choosing a theme for your blog.
- Avoid choosing a theme with cluttered features. Themes with many more features than you can need slows down the performance of your blog. You should only install the required features that are in tandem with your blog for the best of performance.
- Go for a responsive WordPress theme: a responsive WordPress theme for your blog should optimize your blog across all devices and OS platforms easily. It should be able to translate images to mobile platforms easily (smartphones) and should have menus and widgets to make your blog an easy-to-navigate blog.
- Colour is essential: when Choosing a WordPress theme, consider Choosing a WordPress theme with customizable colours and appearance. Also, You should stick to lighter colours when starting a blog business because brighter colours enhance the readability of your blog. You can also consider choosing a colour that enhances the visibility of your logo or supports the contents of your blog.
- Use captivating fonts: fonts attract and keep readers to your blog. Blogs with simple, readable, and captivating fonts make your blog user-friendly and quite easy to navigate.
- Use Theme Check to test your theme to find out if it meets up with WP’s requirements before committing to a WP theme.
- Buy a premium WordPress theme: Premium themes are ideal for starting a blog business because premium WP themes have a wide range of customizable features that makes your blog quite attractive and unique from other blogs in similar niches. Below are some of the popular WP themes to buy when you intend to start a blog business.
6. Start creating contents for your blog
Now that your blog is all set to roll, it is time for you to start filling up your blog with the right content. Before deciding to start a blog business, you should have decided on the niche you want to focus your blog on.
You should bear in mind that content is king. Content determines the traffic flow to your blog; content determines how much your blog earns. Now that you know how relevant content is to the success of your blogging business, you should focus more on creating captivating content for your blog.
There are two types of contents
Pages are static information on the menu. Usually, when starting a blog business, you would want to take your blog pages serious because they tell your audience about you and your blog.
A blog for business should contain the following pages in its menu
- About Us: The ‘about us’ should be the first page a visitor encounters on your blog. It should tell the visitor about you, your blog, and its mission/objectives.
- Services/products: the services/products page should tell your audience what the blog is focusing on, the main objective of creating the blog.
- Contact info: The contact info page should provide contact information through which your audience can reach you.
Posts: blog post is the central theme of your blog. It is what attracts traffic to your blog. Therefore, to attract a regular flow of traffic, you need superb content that will meet up with the need of your audience. Here are some criteria you should consider when creating contents for your blog post
Five Criteria for creating fantastic blog posts
- Planning: As part of the preparation for starting a blog business, creating blog posts requires much more planning and careful attention to details. Your plans for creating blog posts should include the following
- Choosing a topic that is in line with your niche
- Developing an outline for your topic
- Researching your chosen topic
- Doing your fact check
- Your headlines should be captivating as well as informative.
- Create unique content optimized for search engines to boost your blog’s search index ranking on search engines. Note; your content should be tailored to suit your audiences’ needs, and it should be 100% error-free and unique. You can use tools like Grammarly and Copyscape to check for grammatical errors and plagiarism.
- Use keywords to improve your blog discovery on search engines.
- Your blog should contain images to improve the quality and flow of your post.
- Keep things simple. Make your blog posts simple and easy to comprehend. You can do so by making it readable using short paragraphs and sentences. You can also use images to enhance comprehension and illustrate complex points.
- Edit your post: read your post multiple numbers of times to check how well your audiences are likely to flow with your post. Ask families and friends to read and give you feedback about how well they can flow with your blog post.
Doing a keyword search for your blog posts
Keywords play an essential role when you intend to start a blog business. Keywords are words or phrases commonly entered in search engines by users when searching for information, products, or services in your chosen niche.
Doing a keyword search helps you to:
- Discover popular words or phrases commonly used by users on search engines
- Create blog posts that improve the ranking of your blog on search engines
- Improve traffic flow to your blog
- Stay ahead of your competitors by having a fair idea of what your competitors are up to.
Keyword Research tools:
One of the tools you need to start a blog business is the Semrush Keyword search tool. The Semrush tool is ideal for doing a keyword search for your blog posts.
To use this tool, all you need do is enter a keyword or your blog’s URL. SemruSH displays the search volume of the keyword you entered, and Cost Per Click (CPC). It also presents an overview of keywords matches and related keywords you can use for your blog posts.
The Semrush also allows you to view each of the keyword reports to give you a fair idea of how your blog can rank on search engines.
Now that you have a list of keywords, you should use the keywords in your
- the permalink (the page URL)
- main and sub-headings
- image alt text
- meta description and in your blog contents.
Here’s is a step by step guide on how to do proper blog keyword research for a detailed guide.
Lastly, when starting a blog business, you should also focus on the main objectives of using keywords, which is to discover what your audiences are always searching for online, and use it in your blog to improve your blog’s search index ranking.
7. Monetizing your blog with Adsense, and Affiliate programs
When you choose to start a blog business, your main focus is to make money leveraging on Google’s Adsense and Affiliate marketing.
Using Google’s Adsense
Google Adsense has been enriching several bloggers over the years, and you can start making money from Google Adsense. You can apply for Google Adsense right from the first day of starting a blog business.
The Google Adsense program is an advertising platform designed for blogs. Once you get the Google Adsense code running on your blog, Google starts showing targeted ads tailored to your audiences’ needs on your blog. Also, the more advertisers bid to place ads on your blog, the more income you will earn as a publisher.
You earn money from Google Adsense in two ways: (passively; when readers visit your blog and actively; when readers click on adverts placed on your blog).
Getting started on Google Adsense
- Visit Google’s Adsense page and ‘Get started’ with your Gmail account
- Activate your account by entering your payment details where required
- Use the ‘insert headers and footers’ plugin to add the Adsense code to your blog
- Wait until Google reviews your application. Google can take three days to review your account
- Once your application is approved, head back to your Adsense account and select the ‘Auto ads’ or manual ads option under ‘Ads’ in the taskbar.
Tips for getting Google Adsense approval
- Ensure that your blog complies with Google’s Adsense policies.
- Do not publish contents prohibited by Google Adsense
- Use a premium WordPress theme that makes your blog user-friendly with a fantastic user experience
- Getting approval for Adsense has nothing to do with traffic flow, but on great blogs with the right features and functional designs.
Monetizing your blog with Affiliate marketing
If you want to make money starting a blog business, affiliate marketing is the way to go.
Affiliate marketing works by promoting a product or services on your blog using referral links. As a blogger, you can earn a stable source of income from affiliate marketing. For each product purchased, or services rendered through your link, you earn a commission.
if you want to start a blog business, you should consider signing up for the Amazon affiliate program. You can also join other affiliate programs like ShareASale, Creative Market, Rakuten, FlexOffers, Shopify, etc.
Reasons to choose an affiliate program to start a blog business
- With an affiliate program, you can monetize your blog right from the first day of creating your blog. You don’t have to wait for months to grow a massive audience before earning as the case is with Google’s Adsense
- All you need do is to make sure you are attracting the right flow of traffic that is interested in the product you’re marketing. Unlike Adsense, where you will need to draw a massive influx of traffic to your blog to earn money.
- Your earning is based on referral. This is quite a valuable consideration to make when considering starting a blog business.
Starting a blog business is a cool way of making money online. Although it requires much work, commitment, and dedication to build a massive audience base.
As a blogger, you can use the social media tool to build a large audience base for your blog. You can do this by creating a Facebook page, a Twitter handle, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts for your blog where you can actively engage with your audience.
If you still find it confusing to start a blog business, please consult me or drop your concerns in the comment box below.
We hope to hear from you soon about the success of your blog.