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Do you want to start a blogging career but don’t know where to get started?
People message me on Facebook and visit my office to talk about working online and especially how they can start off blogging to make money online.
Keeping that in mind, I decided to write a comprehensive blog post on starting a blogging career even for those who don’t know much about it.
Do you want to make money online?
If that’s the motive, let me tell you something: you got to love the thing you want to pursue; otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated at some point.
So, think about it before even considering starting a blogging career.
I’ll share some necessary steps that will help you start a blogging career.
Please be advised that these suggestions/tips are my personal opinions. I could be wrong at this; so I urge you to do some due diligence before doing everything I say.
Here are some steps that will help you start a blogging career:
1. Understand blogging at the core
You can’t win at this if you don’t understand the game. I can talk all day long about niche selection, content strategy, affiliate marketing, monetization, and search engine optimization but it won’t matter unless you know the basics of blogging.
I implore you to start off by understanding the blogging process. In blogging, we choose a specific niche that we like or have an in-depth knowledge of to publish content on a regular basis. The idea of blog writing is that you share your experience, expertise, and skills through content and help bring change in others’ life. There is no point in publishing content if it doesn’t help anyone.
Niche is a blog type that every blogger chooses to start a blog. The concept is to stick to the specific niche and create content without being distracted by other niches. Once the blog starts to grow and gets traction, the monetization opportunities start to pop up. The newbie bloggers often choose Google Adsense (PPC Ad Program) to start off the monetization on the blog. Some of them go for affiliate marketing in which they earn commission on the successful sales of the products they refer to the readers. Some bloggers step into direct ads, and they sell banner ads on their blogs.
The point isn’t what specific monetization strategy you would choose. Instead, you must test out different strategies at times to find out what works best for you.
2. Find the niche made for you
A lot of bloggers would guide you in choosing the best niche to blog. I won’t go into the best blog niches debate. Instead, I would say that the best niche is what makes you passionate about writing; you must feel attached to it. Choosing the blog niche is an essential part of the process, and the majority of bloggers make a mistake at this point. They go for a blog niche that others like instead of what they like. So, never underestimate the power of your passion.
If it’s tough to figure out your passion — then try to find your strength because that could work as well. I’ve chosen the blogging tips niche for this blog because I have worked in this niche before and it’s one of my favorite blogging niches. You should find your favorite blogging niche before starting a blog.
3. Choose the blogging platform
This step is crucial to your blogging success. Choosing the blogging platform could be intimidating for a lot of starters. New bloggers always come up to me and ask which platform to choose to get started with blogging.
According to an estimate, WordPress empowers 27% of the total websites in the world. Now, WordPress has two types, wordpress.org and wordpress.com. WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform, which means it provides you with the source files and you upload them to your hosting server to launch the blog. There is a cost involved in it, for example, you would have to purchase a web hosting account, a WordPress theme, domain, and a few plugins.
As far as the WordPress theme is concerned, I’m using the fastest WordPress theme for a blog.
WordPress.org is an open-source platform, which shouldn’t be scary at all. It’s quite simple to set up and launch a fully-functional blog or site. The latter is a ready-made platform, which has free and paid plans. You don’t need to install or tweaks anything in that.
You can launch your WordPress blog through this tutorial. However, there are other blogging platforms like Medium, Blogger, and Tumblr, which are also popular but the pro-bloggers prefer self-hosted WordPress mostly.
4. Opting the useful tools
The use of some great tools is imperative to the growth of a blog. Consider no harm in finding useful, affordable, and recommended blogging tools to use on your blog.
You might be thinking: why do I need the tools in the first place?
Let me explain this: there is always a combination of items that work together to create a solution. In an office, for example, there are computers, furniture, printers, stationery, folders, and other stuff that help the organization in making things possible. Similarly, a blog has so many components that work together to put out an eye-catching product. A blog has a domain, web hosting, CDN, plugin, analytics tool, optins, landing pages, and more tools like that to run the blog perfectly. Some tools are compulsory while others are optional. However, it depends on a blog that what it requires essentially.
I use the following tools on and off the blog:
- Search Console: It used to be the Google Webmaster tools. Now it is called the Search Console. It tells a lot about your search engine traffic, popular keywords, popular pages, and much more.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics is an in-depth site analytical tool that shows the detailed analytics of the site. Different bloggers use Google Analytics for various reasons. Some of them want to keep an eye on the real-time traffic, whereas, a lot of bloggers want to track the popular blog posts and keywords.
- iThemes Security: I have always been concerned about WordPress security. Ever since I got iThemes Security Plugin, I’m no longer worried about the troubles some bloggers go through.
- BackupBuddy: Manual backups are boring and mundane, which is why I always procrastinated. Thanks to BackupBuddy, I don’t have to worry about manual backups now because it does automatic backups for me.
- WP Super Cache: It’s a cache plugin that I use for caching. The caching is a system that records the dynamic data into the static data and saves a copy of the static data to display upon the request. The caching system reduces the burden on the database when the server doesn’t have to send the request to the database every time a visitor lands on a blog post.
- Bloom: Bloom is an opt-in tool for WordPress. It solves all your email list building problems. It provides you with beautifully-designed opt-in forms to get started with email list building.
- Monarch: Monarch is a social media sharing plugin for WordPress which allows you to put the social media sharing buttons on your blog posts and pages.
- Social Locker for WordPress: It’s an excellent social media sharing tool for locking content on WordPress. It pushes readers to share the content to unlock it.
- Envato Marketplace: It’s a one-stop-shop for buying WordPress themes, plugins, and other web templates. I’ve bought many plugins and themes from the Envato marketplace. I highly recommend trying this.
- Namecheap: I’ve been sticking to Namecheap for domain purchasing for a long time, but last year I decided to start using the Web hosting of Namecheap as well. So far, my experience is excellent.
- Grammarly: I’m obsessed with this tool. It’s the best grammar checking tool. I’ve tried a few before Grammarly, and I can say that it’s the good one.
- ShortPixel: Page loading is an essential element of on-page SEO. If blog post images are heavy, they’d slow-down your page loading. Therefore, I use ShortPixel to reduce image size. It does a great job for me.
The purpose is to share that there are some essential tools that a blogger requires to run a blog. Not every tool works for everyone, which is why it’s recommended to look up the reviews and ask for recommendations before making any purchase.
I call them useful tools because they’re essential for my blogs.
5. Make a blog monetization plan
I know you wanted to skip past the whole blog post and read this part, but trust me, everything I’ve told before was super necessary to me. There is no point in publishing a blog post if you’re not committed to delivering something valuable to the readers.
So, here comes the monetization plan. It is probably the most important part of the blog post. I want to keep this part very simple because it shouldn’t be overwhelming for starters who don’t have any experience of blogging.
Look, don’t go very aggressively with your blog monetization plan. You don’t have to choose six different items, let alone on different platforms to promote at the same time.
Here are my recommendations for blog monetization:
1. Start with testing the options: Most of the bloggers start off blog monetization with Google Adsense. Let me tell you that you can survive without Google Adsense. You don’t have to start your blog monetization with Google Adsense. One of the primary reasons is that you won’t have massive traffic in the beginning. I want you to be realistic and practical so that I could help you.
The numbers of daily visitors and monthly page views don’t matter. You can make money off of your blog even if it doesn’t have huge traffic. Here comes the affiliate marketing. A couple of years ago, I started a blog that I didn’t continue running, but I managed to get my first affiliate sales in the first month when the blog has had three visitors per day on average.
2. Try the product before promoting it: Don’t ever start promoting a product without using it. In fact, if you continue to use it on your blog or any other website, then you should promote it; otherwise, let it go and find a better one. The reason is that people you’re talking to through your blog would feel comfortable if you’re using the same product that you’re recommending to them.
3. Don’t join multiple affiliate marketing programs: You might stumble upon a bunch of affiliate marketing programs along the way. A lot of them would be paying a good commission on successful referrals, but it doesn’t mean you keep on adding the products to your affiliate marketing channel. You have to be patient in this regard because that’s how it works.
4. Sell your service: You can offer your freelance service through your blog and cash in on the freelancing opportunities that you come across. As I told you before that it takes time to build traffic, therefore, Adsense doesn’t pay off quickly. So test out different strategies and see what works for you.
5. Create your product: I won’t recommend this to a blogging starter, but you deserve to know that this is also an option that you can utilize down the road. Consider working on your product like an eBook, webinar, or an e-course, at least, after one year of experience. Make sure you’ve gathered some achievements and milestones that you can share with the audience (in your product).
Therefore, blog monetization is a vast topic to cover, but I have tried to share some small bits of it so that you exit this blog with a clear mind. Let me end this part of the blog post by saying that blog earning is a byproduct, you’ll ultimately find the right combination of the content + monetization option, but don’t prioritize the money-factor over the passion for blogging, the money will eventually come running.
6. Get social with the community
Once you’ve figured out the passion, niche, tools, and monetization plan, the next thing that is important to me is focusing on building up a community. Use every possible way to build a community around your blog. For instance, in your blog’s comments section, a private Facebook group, or your Twitter account, there has to be continuous communication with your audience.
A lot of people will discover your blog through social media and become a part of the blog’s community. Don’t aggressively join the social networks; you don’t have to be everywhere on social media. Choose a select number of platforms where you can come over on a regular basis and build a connection with the audience.
I’ve seen bloggers try to accomplish on 5 or 6 social media networks at the same time and end up frustrated. I don’t do this, and I won’t recommend it either.
7. Analyze, tweak, and test
Over the course of months, you would have gone through various experiments on your blog, from choosing the niche topics for writing the blog posts to test out the monetization options. It means at that point; you’ll be able to see which category of your blog post is doing fine and what kind of topics are performing well. You should push hard on the topics that are gaining traction by creating similar content and linking to that popular content along the way.
You may want to test new affiliates down the road. Do it!
If you’re using Google Adsense, you could replace it with the affiliate ads for a specific period to analyze the outcome.
If you’re using the affiliate ads, you may want to add “direct ads” as an additional income stream on your blog.
Maybe, you should try to get sponsored blog posts as well.
The options are countless. It just depends on how you shape your blogging strategy and where you want to reach.
Keep analyzing, tweaking, and testing.
You’ll learn a lot along the way.
I know most of you want to start a blogging career.
I specifically kept this in mind while sharing everything in this blog post.
Let me tell you something important: persistence works.
There is a success pattern that you’d uncover in the process.
Success would come in the small pieces so keep collecting those bits.
START because you want to — cut off everything else that’s stopping you.
It’s true that you don’t have the experience to run a blog.
Well, it’s time to gain that experience.
Ask questions in the comments below, and I’ll try to help you out.