When you search for “how to make money blogging” keyword on Google, you will find a gazillion number of articles. There are a lot of bloggers giving you advice about how to build a great blog from scratch. But most of the advice is useless.
90% of them suggest, try affiliate marketing, AdSense, sell ads etc. That’s not how you really build a successful blog. To really make money from your blog, you need a strategy.
You need to follow certain steps to launch a better blog and this article covers 6 vital steps you need to take to launch a blog that makes money in 2017 and beyond. Are you ready to discover? Let’s get into the details.
How to launch a profitable blog from scratch?
Step 1: Brainstorm different monetization methods
Few websites use Google AdSense ads to make money while few other sites use affiliate marketing. There are a TON of ways to monetize a website.
It doesn’t matter what niche you are in, you can find multiple ways to make money from your website audience. So before even starting your blog or website, identify different ways to monetize your site so it becomes easier for you to how to treat your audience.
To find the perfect monetization model for your site, first ask yourself questions like
- Who’s my target audience?
- Where they usually hang out online
- What problems do they have?
- Which products or services they might buy to solve their problems
By knowing answers to the above questions, you can easily figure out which monetization platform you can use (either selling online products, promoting affiliate products, offering services or using platforms like AdSense etc) to make money from your blogging efforts.
Also create a sales funnel for your blog or website.
A sales funnel is what turns normal blog visitors into email subscribers into buyers. Here’s what it generally looks like.
As you can see the sales funnels usually follow the tactic called AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action). If you can use your content to create awareness and email list to get people interested in your stuff, you can easily make sales from your sites.
That being said, here are few tips to convert normal visitors into customers.
- Use landing pages. Offer a free guide or video for free to collect emails from your blog visitors.
- Create an email series to nurture your email subscribers and educate them about your products or services instead of hard pitching.
- Once you have enough bond with your subscribers, you can start recommending your products or services to make money.
- If you are using other platforms like AdSense or selling banner ads, make sure to focus on creating keyword rich content to drive more traffic from search engines. The more search traffic you get that more income you can make from ads.
Step 2: Create a content strategy
Content is the first step to building a profitable blog. Observe any top in any industry and you will notice that their content is top notch. Great content is the only way to build thriving audience around your blog or website.
So it’s extremely crucial for you to lay out a solid content marketing strategy that helps you build backlinks, social shares, traffic and sales. If you are wondering how to develop a content strategy for your blog, here are few incredible tips for you.
- Do keyword research before writing any post. Come up with a list of keyword ideas that you can use to grow your traffic and sales.
- While coming up with ideas for your blog posts, always ask “what’s my target audience are searching for on Google”. That way you can come up with great ideas that suit your target audience wants and needs.
- Use tools like Buzzsumo to find the most popular content in your industry. It helps you find content that got more shares and backlinks in your industry so you can come up with winning post ideas for your future blog posts.
- While writing content, research A LOT. Spend more time in doing the research and your content quality also improves. Outline the post with subheadings and it becomes easier for you to fill them up.
- Analyze how other bloggers are crafting their content. Find out their content frequency and length. If they are getting better results with in-depth content, try the same. It takes time to create detailed content but it can generate you more traffic, social shares and links in the long run.
Step 3: Analyze your competitor’s
Competitor analysis is extremely important. You must know what’s working in your industry before launching a blog in any niche. Without knowing your competition, it’s hard to see a rapid growth in your online business.
So how can analyze your competitors?
You can use tools like SEMrush to estimate their website traffic, find their backlink sources and know their best performing keywords. Or you can simply use free tools like Buzzsumo to know their popular content.
Once you analyze your competitor’s keywords, traffic and content – you will get a better idea on what works and what doesn’t work in your niche. That’s what you need to build a successful blog from scratch.
Here are few things you need to remember while analysing your competitor’s.
- Find out their current content strategy. Analyze how many posts they are publishing a week along with their content length. Know more about their SEO strategies. Are they doing keyword research? Are they promoting other products while writing content? Make a detailed notes and start implementing them while creating content for your own blog.
- Figure out how your competitors are promoting their content and products. Are they using email marketing, SEO or social media?
- Find out if there are gaps to fill in your competition. If all your competitors are doing textual format of content creation, think about doing video content or podcasts. Try to create a unique selling point for your own blog if you want to stay unique from the beginning.
- Last but not least: find out from where your competitors are getting backlinks to their sites. You can use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs to do backlink analysis. Try to connect with those bloggers if you want to attract quality links for your own site too. Remember that, backlinks play a vital role in SEO.
Step 4: Your website appearance, speed, rankings play a HUGE role
Web design is the king in 2016. If your blog’s design is not unique or compelling, you can’t give a long lasting impression to your first time website visitors.
The key here is to spend time and money on making your design appealing. Make sure you are using a clean sidebar, widgets and logos. Always give top priority to your font size and style.
As a rule of thumb, keep your font size between 14 to 16 px so it becomes easier for your audience to read your content. Also focus on your website speed. Your web hosting service plays a crucial role. Make sure to use a reliable and affordable hosting that gives better experience to your users.
According to Hubspot research, website navigation plays a crucial role. See the image below.
If your site is not mobile responsive yet, use free plugins like WPTouch. It quickly make your site mobile friendly and you will be bringing more traffic and sales from mobile visitors. Make a note that, Google penalizes the sites that are not responsive.
If you are on a budget, you can give an appealing look to your blog’s design by using theme frameworks like Genesis, Elegant themes etc. They are really affordable and you can make your design unique by making small tweaks to your design elements such as header, footer, sidebar etc.
Step 5: Offer services from day 1
Did you know the fastest way to make money online? It’s offering services. Freelance writing, coding, SEO services – these are all great for quickly making money from your own sites. Just make sure to have a dedicated landing page for offering your services.
Also use testimonials from your clients and showcase any links or videos if you’ve offered your services for big clients. Social proof can really help you get more clients from your own blog.
Here are few things to remember while offering services.
- I know monetising a site is hard. Use landing pages. Show social proof. Offer your services in various pricing packages. All these things convert your visitors into your customers really quickly.
- Build a portfolio. If you want better results, offer your services free for big companies or product developers. That way you can build some reputation.
- Make it for people to contact you. Analyze how others are using their services page to get more leads and customers.
- Build an email list. Use it to educate your audience about the products and services you promote. You can make more sales by adding value.
Step 6: Don’t ignore SEO
Search engine traffic is the king of all traffic sources. Ignore SEO at your own risk. Learn to implement simple SEO basics like keyword research, backlink analysis, site audit and they can save you a lot of bucks and time in the long run.
Observe any top blog in any industry and they get majority of their visitors from search engines like Google. You don’t need an authority site to get massive traffic from Google but you do need to implement certain SEO strategies from day 1 to boost your traffic and sales.
That being said, here are few essential and easy SEO tips you should implement.
- Always do keyword research. Find long tail keywords that fit into your content strategy. Instead of keyword stuffing, use relevant keywords while creating content. This can alone help you get better rankings for most of the keywords.
- Keep an eye on Google latest updates. You can check out Moz updates to know whether there are any fresh updates released by Google. If you see a sudden traffic drop in your sites, make sure to do a site audit to find and fix your website SEO related issues.
- Whenever you write a new post, make sure you are adding links to other relevant sources. Let other bloggers to know you’ve linked to them. Sooner or later you will also start getting links from others.
- Use an SEO friendly plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast. It’s free and extremely easy to optimize your posts for search engines.
Final thoughts on launching a profitable blog
Most people think WordPress is a search friendly platform. Yes, it’s true but using WordPress platform alone won’t help you in getting better rankings in Google. You have to do keyword research, optimize your posts and offer specific services to build a blog that makes money.
Also make sure to spend your time to creating a solid content strategy that helps you build loyal readership around your blogs. Be patient and analyze your competitor’s to see growth.
So what are your thoughts? Do you have any more questions? Do let me know if you’ve any more tips to launch a profitable blog in 2017 and beyond.
Advanced Blogging Tip: Have a Poor Link Memory
I create oodles of content daily. One tip to being prolific is to have a poor link memory. I forget what I published content-wise and link-wise to keep publishing content frequently. Do you know how most bloggers publish one blog post, include a link to a product and/or service, and keep checking the post again and again, to see how the link performs as far as clicks and conversions and sales and profits and money? I never do that. I have no time and energy to check how my links perform because I have a terrible link memory. I am always on to the next piece of content to create and the next link to place and the next person to help because I have a poor link memory. I forget links. This works perfectly for me; makes me super duper prolific.
Most bloggers attach to and cling to particular business links. What happens if you attach to a link? You give attention and energy to checking the link again and again instead of creating more content from a generous, prolific energy. How can you appear to be all over your niche if you check links regularly throughout the day and if you are not creating helpful, new pieces of content? You cannot be super successful if you are not prolific and you cannot be super prolific unless you have a poor link memory. Be generous, abundant and detached by forgetting links you place in posts; especially links pointing to business opportunities.
I link to my blogging course quite a bit but never get attached to any one link or blog post or guest post through which I link to it. Why? I have more fish to fry. I have more content to create and more bloggers to bond with and more folks to help and more bloggers to connect with and heck, after converting 50 more of my eBooks to paperback, I will have over 200 products about on Amazon, under the Blogging From Paradise umbrella. That is a lot of products to promote! We need to have a poor link memory to forget the prior link we promoted so we can move forward and promote more links, more content and greater blogging success. Envision yourself having an abundant mindset. What happens if you do not feel like anything seems short, scarce or running out? Being prolific is what happens. Being generous is easier if you are not burdened by any link to promote, to review and to assess regularly. I am not opposed to scanning metrics if doing so feels good and relaxing but most bloggers never take the time to assess their genuine feelings when it comes to how they feel promoting links.
I do. I am ruthless in assessing, observing, embracing and moving along my energies because watching your energy is the key to blogging success. Blogging from abundance, relaxation and trust leads to success while blogging from fear, scarcity, tension and anxiety leads to failure.
Which road do you prefer to take?
How to Get Over the Fear Nobody Will Buy Your Product
Promote the heck out of the product. Unearth fears. Feel fears. See fears come true. Release fears. Sell your product. More and more folks buy your product only if you face, feel and release fears aligned with the product. If you hold the fears ya ain’t selling the product. Even if you publish a blogging product – like my blogging course – and sell it for a little bit you will not generate big sales until you fail enough to finally feel fears triggered by failure. Feeling fears clears fears which clears resistance which helps you inspire more people to buy the product.
Getting over this fear is messy. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete loser? Nope. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete fraud, or huckster, or embarrassed or ashamed? Nope. You hate trying so hard and then, no freaking people buy the course you promoted 10,000 times but doing so and feeling fears triggered simply makes it easy to promote the product, because feeling and getting over the fear makes you promote the product like you breathe. Being in that space, plenty of people see the product and more folks buy the product.
I promoted my blogging course to the tune of 8,000 page views before someone bought it. 8000 page views was nothing. I had to clear fear-resistance during the 8,000 page views to show the world how fun, freeing and inspired this course was. Fear cleared, more people bought it at 10 times the initial price versus the initial cheapy price. Raising the price ten fold? Yep; another fear for me to conquer. But I did it, and far more people bought it at $350 than at $36. See how funny fear works? You fear something, refuse to feel the fear, and struggle. But feeling the fear and doing it anyway leads to increasing success. Buy the course for a fun, entertaining, inspired blogging guide. Tis the season for celebration and joy and love and fun, helpful blogging courses.
I have no tips for nudging into fear save meditating and doing yoga frequently. Following each habit expands your awareness which helps you become intimately aware of your fears, so you can feel fears and release fears. Feels rough but this is part of the blogging journey if you want to get over the fear of selling your stuff. Hey; do you want to hurt people, mislead people or lie to people with your blogging product? No? Then just sell the thing already. Ship it. Publish it. Fear is so insidious. Fear makes you do what you do not want to do, if you trust fear. Fear causes you to tune into an alternate, illusory universe, where nothing is true and everything is lies, smoke and mirrors. Do you really want to take that road? I did not think so.
All I can do is be a cheerleader. You need to be the athlete on the court, not the fan on the sidelines. Get on the court. Publish your product. Promote your product. You will eventually face, feel and release all the fears you need to release to become a successful blogger and to sell your product successfully, too. Get in the game. People will buy your product when you get clear on it.
Pro Blogging Tip: Release Expectations
Am I asking you to be a Blogging Buddha? Nope. Not really. No one save enlightened beings completely releases expectations but us mere mortals clinging some to a worldly life can largely release expectations, to become successful and to enjoy the blogging journey. 10 minutes ago, I checked my email. I received a few. I clearly make it difficult to get in touch with me through email because I want to give most attention and energy to building a passive income empire. Every second I spend in email, I could be spending creating content and building connections. Knowing this, it feels good to receive few emails because it helps me scale and move forward from an abundant energy.
Unfortunately, most bloggers have heavy expectations when it comes to receiving email. Bloggers expect a chock filled inbox, with all types of clients, Paypal payments and sponsored post deals. What happens if you get 3 emails daily, all responses to comments? Your expectations not being met levels you, depressing you, making you sad, sapping your energy. If you expect some sweet outcome and reality is not delivering you the outcome to fulfill the expectation, you eventually lose your blogging motivation and quit. Or you make the massive mistake of quitting after seeing your expectations fall short, then, you begin blogging again, quit again after expectations are unfulfilled, and you suffer through this vicious cycle until you fail and quit for good.
Release expectations. Begin blogging with an intent to live your dreams but let go the anchor of expectation because either you feel hopeless after not getting what you expected or you feel average when expectations line up or you feel super high and excited after exceeding expectations, leading to an imminent crash after your emotions settle down. Expectations are anchors, pulling you down, holding you back, preventing meteoric blogging growth. I expect little to nothing blogging-wise because my day is about having fun helping people to blog successfully. I cannot go wrong whether I sell a copy of my blogging course or not because I have no expectations; I just promote the course in a seeming billion places (coming soon) and leave things at that.
If anything, allow a little part of yourself to desire some expectation but make it tiny. Why? If the expectation does not come true quickly, you will keep blogging from an energetic, relaxed, abundant vibe, positioning yourself to succeed. Harboring wee expectations means you remain unstirred if the expectations do not manifest; no crushed, hopeless feeling. Meanwhile, most bloggers with grand, wild expectations often slam into tons of resistance because no spectacular dream comes through and manifest overnight. Living your dream life through blogging requires years and thousands upon thousands of hours of generous service.
Blog for an absolute love of blogging. Be passionate about the blogging process. Release largely on outcomes because weighing yourself down with expectations slows you down. Imagine desiring big blogging bucks only to see an empty inbox for the next 3 months? 90 plus days, zero dollars. After the 90th day, most bloggers quit blogging for good, because they came up so short on their expectations, being frustrated, disgusted, and tired of wasting their time.
Fall in love with the process – not outcomes – to fuel yourself for your blogging journey.
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