Blogging is one of the most popular online activities across the globe that allows the people to freely express their thoughts. There is a massive number of blogs dealing with diverse subjects ranging from social matters to business oriented topics. In fact, many bloggers are earning a huge income out of their blogs. So, if you are a passionate writer and want to run a blog then most possibly you would love to know the different ways of monetizing your blog.
This post will offer you a step by step guide to starting a blog, costs involved and how to earn a regular decent income from your blogging career. For the best benefits, we would start with the bare basics.
How much does it cost to start your own blog?
In fact, there are a number of free blogging platforms available over the net like wordpress, blogger etc. You don’t have to pay anything for creating your profile, using the templates/add-ons, uploading media or publishing the blogs. That said there is one key drawback of using such free services- lack of control.
Limitations of free blogging platforms
- You get a limited storage space that may limit your capacity of posting media rich blogs in the future.
- On the commercial front, you can partner with only those ad agencies that are approved by your blogging platform.
- Likewise, you also have to follow the similar restrictions when it comes to choosing the type, number, and frequency of ads.
- The similar restriction may also apply to joining affiliate programs, selling products/services other commercial activities related to your blog.
- Instead of using your independent domain address like www.abc.com you will have to use a subdomain like www.abc.wordpress.com that negatively affects your branding
- For the best benefits, it is advisable to go for a self-hosted blog with the independent domain name that is really affordable.
Initial Cost to Set Up Blog:
• Domain Name: $2-$8 (Average)
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• Shared Web Hosting: $3-$5 per month.
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• Premium Themes: starting from $30
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Process to Optimize Blog:
First Phase: Choosing the topic and Content
How to choose the Blog Topic?
Just like any other creative job, the full-time blogging is very demanding and hence you should be careful while choosing the topic on which you want to start a blog. Don’t make the mistake of choosing the topic that is solely based on commercial feasibility without considering your personal interests/expertise. You might end up choosing a topic that does not interest you. It not only results in shallow content but such blogs also fail to connect with the readers. Rather, you should choose your favorite topic you are expert at. It allows you to write an authoritative content with expert insights and practical tips. As a result, you can easily build a good reputation over a reasonable period of time.
Next, it comes to the key question- the content. As you have chosen the topic that interests you the most, it wouldn’t be really difficult to write on the same. However, the real challenge lies in offering your readers the content that can interest them and offer them specific benefits.
Actionable Tips and Solutions
The content offering quick actionable solutions is liked by many readers.
- So write quality content on practical tips, troubleshooting and overcoming bottlenecks.
- Use step guide and keep the language jargon-free.
People also like the informative content so you can also write detailed educational posts with deep insights.
- If possible include original research to add a distinct character to your content.
- Supporting the content with facts and figures adds authenticity to your presentation.
- However, such content can easily become boring after a certain point. So don’t forget to garnish your content with wit and humor at appropriate places.
- Use of images and videos can also help a great way in making your point clear
- In such posts don’t forget to include something that can allow your readers o enjoy competitive edge over the others
Similarly, you can also write the entertaining content that can lighten up the mood of your audience and bust the stress.
- Such relieving content is also favored by many users.
- Use the best of your humor while creating such content.
- Add a good amount of media especially cartoons.
Similarly, people also love him content that can result in monetary benefits or special deals
- Write useful, actionable guides for saving the money, enhancing revenue or getting better value for the money spent.
- Be as specific as possible and include the maximum details.
- Use figures and clear, easy to understand processes that can allow your readers to practically enjoy the maximum benefits out of your content
You can also write educational content making your readers aware of the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities.
- Try to bridge the content with interests of your users. For example, you run a B2B blog on hotel industry then you can write about the latest trends in the hotel industry and the practical ways in which the hotel owners can use those trends to augment their revenue.
- Such posts should offer step by step guide including the opportunities, initial formalities/estimated investment, links to related sources and how to gain commercial benefits.
Productivity-Boosting or Time Saving
You can also offer the blogs about boosting the productivity or saving the time of operation.
- In such blogs, you can write extensively on various tools or strategies for streamlining the work while minimizing manual efforts.
Checking Grammar and Uniqueness
With Google paying a focused attention to the content quality, you cannot afford to make frequent grammar mistakes. In fact, to get the competitive edge you need to write a crisp content with indelible impact. It is quite tough to handle the creative and linguistic aspects of your blogs simultaneously. So, you can rely on powerful tools like Grammarly to take care of the grammar part while you can concentrate on creative aspect. Secondly, plagiarism can completely ruin your blogging career along with attracting some dreadful penalties. Many times while taking inspiration from other articles you could unintentionally start copying the writing style that sums to plagiarism. Fortunately, you can always check your posts with a Copyscape to confirm the uniqueness of your content.
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Second Phase: Acquiring Traffic and building reputation
How to use Social Media to get traffic to your blog
A number of direct and indirect benefits closely depend upon the traffic frequency and strength of your blog. So, you need to employ the strategies that can multiply your traffic. Social media can help you a great way. By appropriately placing social media buttons in your posts you can encourage your readers to share like and tweet on your content that can eventually increase the traffic while at the same time offering you a strong social media position.
The best social media platforms
- Facebook is no doubt the most popular social media platform. Besides, you can find a number of diverse groups on Facebook right from general topics like education to very narrow fields like WHMCS. Hence Facebook is the best media to share your content.
- Besides, if your content includes extensive use of media then the platforms like Pinterest and Instagram can work wonders as they are media-first platforms.
- Adding a provision for tweeting or retweeting can do a marvelous job in creating quick awareness about your content.
- Google plus is also gaining fast traction so you can also use Google plus for better results.
- For B2B blogs or the blogs that cater to the specific industry, you can reach the corporate world and acquire relevant traffic with the help of the LinkedIn community.
- You might also offer special perks for sharing your content as a thank you gesture for your audience who share the posts. You can offer them free downloading of premium content, special discounted deals (in case if you are selling products on your blogs) or other similar perks.
- You can also invite the other bloggers to like, share or comment on your blogs. For that, you first need to visit their blogs like and share across the relevant groups. Then you can tell them about your blog and request for their feedback. Also, request them to like/share the page if they really enjoy your posts.
- As many bloggers have a huge number of followers on different platforms, getting your page liked or share by such personalities can help you a great way in making the reach to a wider number of audiences across the world.
- You can also use the social media to discover the people who can derive direct benefits from your posts. Joining relevant groups and industry forums are the best ways out.
- After identifying such people you can then make a connection with them and invite them to read your blog and offer their feedback.
- Better still you can follow the relevant forums to know about the solutions sought by the people and offering those free solutions using your expertise. It will help you to make an organic reputation that builds loyal followers who trust you.
Learn, Learn, Learn
Learning never stops and always helps. So keep on sharpening your skills, have a close eye on the latest trends of your industry, recognize the diverse ways in which you can benefit your readers and keep on improving your presentation skills. It helps you build an authority, and enjoy a distinct reputation. Besides, it will also improve your blogs thus attracting the cream traffic.
In case you are not very good at editing skills you need to hire a proficient editor and proofreaders for enjoying a cutting edge over your competitor. Besides, you need to rely on original media and may frequently need to use your own sophisticated camera and/or video equipment. Besides, you would also need to hire freelance services of web designer and developer for installing apps, making creative changes in the design, social media graphics and logo designing
• Media Equipment: Greatly varies depending on the type of equipment but the general cost is $65 and upwards
• Writing/editing or proofreading services: Starts from $30 per page
• Hourly costs for a good web designer: Starting from $30
• Hourly costs for a good web developer: Starting from $50
• Hourly costs of a good SEO professional: Starting from $75
Note: You can almost eliminate all the above costs if you are not aiming at a media-rich blog or can independently handle the designing aspect
Third Phase: Earning a decent income out of your blog
Start with the most feasible option- Google Adsense (or similar ad programs)
Now as you have finally established deep roots and gain some reputation, it is the time to focus on the commercial aspect of your blog. There are multiple ways of generating income but it is always better to start with the easiest option. You can go to Google ad sense. It automatically places the ads on your blog to align with your blog topic. However, due to the guidelines of Google Adsense, you might need to wait for some time until Google can approve your blog for ad sense account. Meanwhile, there are other similar platforms that allow you to earn a good income.
You can also think about joining affiliate programs. As an affiliate, you join specific website (called merchant website) and send them the traffic or help them sell their products. As a blogger, you can link the relevant portions of your blog or posts with your affiliate page. Any sale made via affiliate link can offer you a specific commission. Here is an example:
- You are a travel blogger and joined Canada based ABC hotels as an affiliate.
- After confirming your registration, the ABC hotel will give you a specific affiliate URL that you need to place on your blog
- You wrote a post about Canada and linked some keywords with your affiliate URL. The reader clicked on the link, was attracted by the current discount and decided to make an online booking.
- As soon as he makes the booking and transfers the booking amount the ABC Hotel will automatically credit your account with a specific commission.
Collaboration with local vendors
Likewise, you can also form a personal relationship with local industries/businesses s industries and collaborate with the other clients. You can use your blogs to exhibit their ads and charge them a specific amount.
- You are a travel blogger and have collaborated with local travel agent
- You display the ad of the agent on your website and charge him $100 per month
- As a travel blogger, you attract many serious travelers and it gives a targeted exposure to the local travel agent
- The current discounts, schemes or sheer need of traveling makes one of your readers to click on the ad and make an online group booking with the agent. The best thing is that the agent does not have to give you any commission and he can keep the 100% amount earned by selling the tour package
The ads presented in a highlighted display form are called display ads and they closely resemble the display ads we see in newspapers. As the visitor click, you can either earn when someone clicks on the ads.
The bloggers with entrepreneurial zeal can also use their blogs to sell the relevant items or expertise/ skills /you can also sell products/service or expertise over your blog
You can also write the sponsored post where you can include contextual details about the local businesses. For example, you can write a travel article and include the excerpts from a local travel agent and the key details about his business. You can as publish guest so by another vendor on your blog guest posts.
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsored posts
Some important tips for ideal blogging career
- In fact, the professional bloggers with serious income objectives always rely on multiple sources of income instead of putting all the apples in the same basket. However, some of the revenue earning options are more feasible and to a certain extent promise a regular income like Google Adsense. Besides, professional bloggers have multiple strategies as well as Plan B (C, D etc.) to use in case the primary plan ceases to produce expected results.
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- Established bloggers are well aware of the power of branding and hence they are really choosy when it comes to various nuances of blogging right from content till the images, Meta tags, and presentation. One of the major mistakes to avoid during the initial phase is to consider quantity of posts as the sole yardstick for measuring success. There are a number of blogs over the net with hundreds of substandard posts that “irritate” the readers with shallow content. You would surely not like to join them if you are looking for a long-term blogging career. So, instead of piling up your blog with loads of posts, you should better invest a good amount of time and attention for creating the useful quality posts that can win you, loyal readers.
- Understandably, as a full-time career, you have some serious commercial expectations from your blog but you need to cultivate deep roots in order to achieve substantial long-term benefits. So, quick income shouldn’t be the driving force or sole aim behind your blogging activities. Instead, try to make a connection with the visitors; leave an indelible impact by offering them the content that actively benefits them with the help of practical tips, deep insights or purpose-specific solutions. Last but not the least; actively interact with them by inviting comments and feedback. In fact, successful bloggers have a well-defined strategy to conclude their posts in such a manner so as to initiate a long series of communication in the form of comments, replies, and feedback.
- The successful bloggers are neither too dull to copy other bloggers, nor too impractical to wait for eternity till they come across the 100% unique out-of-the-world idea. Instead, they take the golden mean. After a deep research of relevant blogs, they put their own creative inputs and formulate a localized, well-rooted strategy for their blogs like the theme, presentation, targeted readers, income models, length and frequency of posts, SEO strategy and traffic acquisition. Instead of focusing their entire attention to earn quick monetary gains, they value the branding and their efforts are more focused on building a regular reader base.
- There is a reason why professional bloggers are more concerned about building a strong reader base. It helps them to grow their art and hone their content presentation skills by inducing a feeling of responsibility. Besides, they can intently focus on writing the content that caters to the intellectual demands of a specific reader group. This endeavor eventually gives a well-defined character to the content. This is the reason why a keen reader can recognize the blogger behind a particular blog post by examining the nuances like the writing style, presentation, flow etc. That is the power of branding. In fact, the readers of such blogs actually develop a deep connection with the blogger and would acknowledge their authority over a specific subject.