Our blog guide will give you all the information you need to start your blog and make it successful.
The decision to start a blog is a very bold one, considering the hype on the internet about blogging and how you can “easily” make money from blogging.
Almost everybody wants to start a blog and make money from it. You might have read a series of blog posts on how easy it is to start a blog, how “fast” you can make money blogging e.t.c.
The truth is always bitter, but then believing lies is still very painful, and it also comes with regrets.
So I must share the fact with you and if you think it’s what you can put up to, then let’s dive into it and see what blogging entails.
The conventional theory on deciding what to blog about is that you should blog about what you love.
I have a contrary opinion to this, but I would try my best to analyze my theory on what to blog about.
It’s essential to understand where the money is coming from before you can make money from your blog. Having a proper understanding of the source of the funds will give insight into how to make money from blogging.
How Does A Blog Make Money?
There are various ways of making money from a blog. The most common ones include; Ads, sponsored posts, product reviews, affiliate product promotion, and personal product sales.
As regards to the ads, there are various types of ads. You can use an in-house ads platform on your blog. Or you can join one of the popular ads serving platforms and display their ads on your blog to earn money.
For all the methods of monetizing a blog, advertisers would pay the publishers (you) either directly or indirectly (through ads serving platforms like Google AdSense).
Somebody is paying you to display ads on your blog, that’s the basics of what brings the money to your blog.
There was a time when blogging was not very popular as it is right now. Then advertisers don’t have many options as to who can display their ads.
But as of today, the total number of blogs online is millions, and the number keeps growing every day, giving advertisers a wide range of options.
What this means in simple terms is that advertisers are looking for a blog with a more targeted audience. They want their ads displayed to the right audience rather than a broad audience.
It explains why ads serving companies create a keyword-based targeting platform. The platform allows advertisers to choose keywords that would trigger their ads, so only blogs with the keyword would display their ads.
You should also know that competition from advertisers is increasing daily. They want to get their ads in front of the right audience, which means they’re spending more on online advertising.
Based on research, it’s been affirmed that some companies would invest more money on ads than others, mainly because of the profit earned by conversion.
For about five years now, one of the most profitable niches to start a blog on is the health-related and insurance-related niche. Health and insurance companies are investing a huge amount of money in promoting their products and services online.
It means a blog that, discusses health issues or insurance issues would eventually earn more money from ads compared to a blog about a baby’s toy or old novels.
What To Blog About?
I said earlier that I have a controversial opinion on choosing the niche of a blog. It is because my reason for blogging is to make extra income to support myself and other offline businesses.
It makes it very important for me to create a blog that would attract quality ads to my blog, in the long run, make the blog as profitable as possible.
If you’re not really after the money like I am, then it’s not a bad idea to blog about your passion.
Many bloggers started out blogging about what interests them, and they are also earning moderate income from the blog (this may take years of hard work).
But they are not after the money; they’re just blogging about what interests them and when the money comes along, they enjoy the reward for their hard work.
If you’re after the money, then you would have to shift out of your comfort zone. Create a blog about what is trendy and what is bringing in the money.
Facts About Blogging
In a bid to reveal the truth about blogging, I would probably show you how to make money blogging, the probability of failure as a blogger, and the level of hard work blogging entails.
1. Not every blog would make money
Even if they do, not all blogs will make enough to cater to their hosting account or domain renewal. With that in mind, I would be a little bit controversial about the idea of blogging about what you are passionate about.
Meet John Bull, a lover of the old novel who wants to start a blog about his passion for the classic book.
Hello? I love reading old novels, and I have read tons of them, well maybe I should start a blog where I review those novels, that’s the idea, right?
But then how will he make money from writing reviews of old novels?
There are a bunch of people out there; they’re probably old people, maybe they don’t even know how to use the internet. Well perhaps they do, but then would you get a thousand visitors searching for old novel reviews on your blog every day?
Will they use your affiliate link to buy books from Amazon? Or how do you intend to monetize the blog?
I mean books are sold at giving away price on Amazon, and then you earn per sale, probably a 4% commission. When you start selling frequently, you get a raise to about 6%.
Do you love mathematics? If yes, let’s do some elementary calculations.
Let’s imagine you have a well-established blog on old novels, getting about 1,000 page views per day.
Then you’re promoting a book on Amazon, probably sold for $10 (am just being generous), for every sale, you earn a 6% commission (am also being generous, your commission starts from 4%).
If for instance, you make five sales per day (am being generous too), that’s about $50 of items sold, now let’s do the math of how much you earn as an affiliate marketer from your sales; ( $6/$100 * 50) = $3.
For all your hard work, you earned $3! That’s peanut! Because it’s barely enough to cater for your lunch.
Now, let’s imagine you make $3 every day, let’s multiply it by 30 (days of the month). You will be making $90 every month.
How much do you pay for broadband internet subscriptions in your area anyway? How much are you paying for electricity? How many work hours did you dedicate to keeping the blog active?
Sorry, the return on investment is terrible because you’re not going to make any serious money from that blog of yours.
2. Get your hands dirty
To make good money from blogging, you must know what people are regularly searching on Google and other search engines.
Learn about those things and start a blog about it, stop getting fooled around by the idea of writing about what you love doing.
Nobody wants to read about your personal life else you are a celebrity. Nobody cares if your cat purrs after eating the whole salami or not.
Nobody cares about your divorce issue; have you ever searched for that kind of stuff on Google before?
If you haven’t, what makes you think other people would search for it? And as far as blogging is concerned, if you’re not getting looked upon by Google, you’re not making a dime.
3. Choosing your blog niche
It’s called Niche and Keyword research.
Thanks to Google and other popular tools, getting to know what people search for online has never been so easy.
With various free and premium tools, you can quickly look behind Google and see what people are searching for.
You can also know the exact words people type into the Google search box and how many people search for such a topic.
This information is available on daily, weekly, and monthly sorting, either by region or other demographic details.
I love getting my hands dirty, and I have a mentor when it comes to doing extensive research on niches and Keywords.
Have you ever been to a construction site before? Do you notice how strong the foundations of buildings are?
Do you notice that enough amounts of time and resources are put into ensuring that the foundation is OK?
Top-notch and super strong, that’s necessary because if the foundation is not strong, then the building may collapse before the end of construction or a few years into its usage.
In the same way, niche, and keyword research are synonymous with the foundation of your blog, if you fail to get it right from the inception, you might as well stop trying to make it right along the way. So scratch it and let’s move on.
There are various ways to go about conducting proper keyword research. You can either make use of free tools or get a premium tool for your keyword research.
I won’t write extensively on how to conduct proper keyword research or the best tools to use, but I have to say that you can either do it yourself or get a pro to do it for you.
Proper keyword research cost less than a hundred dollars. If you’re lazy, and can’t do the keyword research yourself, then getting an expert to do it would probably suffice.
But then, who in his right mind would invest $100 into a one-time service, when you can get the tools yourself, and master the art for less than $100?
My favourite tool for Keyword research is Long Tail Pro. It does not only allow you to analyze specific keywords, but you also get to analyze your competitors too and see if it’s a keyword you can easily rank for. There are other premium tools perfect for keyword research.
4. Becoming passionate
Once the keyword and niche issue are settled, you can move on to acquiring knowledge about the niche.
I learned this from Richard Marriot’s blog when he was about to venture into his niche challenge (he is determined to build a niche site that would make $9000 per month, He’s there already).
After making a comprehensive list of the keyword he would be targeting, he invested a couple of dollars into buying books about the topic on Amazon.
He bought a bunch of them and dedicated about three weeks to cracking the books and becoming a pro about the topic.
You can become passionate about any topic. Screw the idea of blogging about what you know already because you can always know what you don’t know right now.
Learn about your desired topic and write about it extensively. Buy some books on Amazon, crack them open and understand your niche as soon as possible.
Once that is settled, we can then tackle questions on how you intend to monetize your blog.
5. Authority bloggers can still be poor
“Don’t start a blog without a solid plan on how to monetize it.”
There are several ways of monetizing a blog; the truth is most of them offer peanut for your blog, which means the proper ways of making money from a blog are pretty low out there.
But once you know your options, you can make a nice income or a living from an established blog.
At the time of writing this, the most popular way to make money with a blog is arguable from the Google Adsense program.
If you do your keyword research the right way, you might end up earning about $0.2 to $5 per click.
Some keywords can make you $50 per click, but trust me, it’s too late to target those keywords because the competition is fierce and you may not survive it.
The problem with monetizing a blog with Adsense is the need for traffic. If you don’t have massive traffic coming to your blog per day, then you won’t earn enough.
Do you remember the Amazon affiliate mathematics we did earlier? In Google Adsense, if your traffic is not massive enough, you need to do your homework, ensure that you have enough visitors, and place the ads in the proper position.
Then you can relax and see your earnings reach the threshold at the end of every month.
If the traffic coming to your blog is not massive enough to earn a reasonable income from AdSense, you can explore affiliate programs.
There are tons of affiliate products out there, ranging from service promotion to products sales. The money from this program is very attractive once your blog is created around a targeted keyword.
Find useful items around your niche and promote them through your blog, you can promote services too.
It might not necessarily be an Amazon affiliate product; you can check out click bank, or source for affiliate program directly.
For instance, the Bluehost affiliate program pays $65 once a hosting account is purchased from your link.
Now that’s a nice income, let’s imagine you refer five purchases per month, that’s some nice income for a starter.
You can also sell ads space on your blog, mostly to advertisers that are willing to pay handsomely on a monthly or weekly basis, a standard space on the right sidebar can be as high as 100$ per week, depending on how authoritative your blog is on the topic you’re writing about.
How To Create A Blog
Over the years, creating a blog has become very easy. No matter your budget, you can get a blogging platform that will suit your demand.
The most popular blogging platform is WordPress. If you want to learn how to build a self-hosted WordPress blog, we have an article on that. You can read it up here How To Create A WordPress Blog – Step By Step Tutorial.
If you want a free blog, a kind of blog where you won’t spend a penny setting if up, or managing it. Read it up here: How To Create A Free Blog In Less Than 2 Minutes.