Blogging space is ever green and a growing market. As the reach of internet expands so does the audience and hence the need for new and quality content.
Any business that grows captures the existing market by eating share of the existing players, creates its own niche market segment or captures the percentage share of the growing market. That is what we need to do as bloggers, business.
Do You Plan to Earn Money Blogging? Think Business!
The best and most profitable way to earn money blogging is to start your own website, your own business. A well structured and planned approach is required to get into online blogging space and start a revenue generating blog website.
Here is the 9 step guide to start your own blog website right from scratch and growing it to a substantial level for a regular income.
#1 - Mindset and Planning
Blogging for regular income is going to take good amount of effort and time, you need to get into the right mindset and plan like an entrepreneur. One advantage here is that you do not need to invest big money.
Getting into blogging needs basic understanding of this space, so read about the basic concepts around content writing, content marketing, search engine optimization, advertising models, website analytics etc. Read success stories of other bloggers and look at their income reports to get motivated.
Prepare yourself to spend dedicated time for blogging daily.
You have decided to compete in the market where anyone can get in without any specialized qualification and become your competitor. To ensure that you stay ahead in the competition in the long run, do proper planning upfront.
The next to do item in your plan should be selection of the blog topic, your niche.
#2 - Select Your Niche
Select a topic for your blog. It always helps to start blogging in the area of your expertise since you would be able to write naturally, faster and high quality content. List down all topics that you can blog about and figure out what topics are related and can fit together on a single website.
It always helps to spend some time pondering over what you can blog about. Give yourself at least a couple of day’s time to take this decision.
Whether you need money or fame, you need to be convinced on the topic that you choose for your blog.
Tip – If you are doubtful of producing good content on the topic that you are selecting for blogging, try to list down 15 titles you can write about. Are you able to make such a list? If yes, then this might be the topic for you. If it is taking too much effort and research to list down just 15 titles, it might be tough to produce content for your blogs for the selected topic.
#3 - Domain Name
Now that you have decided to get into the business of blogging and are sure about your blog niche, it is the right time to select the domain name. Domain name is going to represent you and your blogs in the world of internet.
What should be the name of my website?
Finding a domain name for your professional website or personal blog is very interesting and a challenging task at the same time.
Be thoughtful about the domain name selection and ensure that it -
- Relates to your Blog or Business
- Contains the Relevant Keywords
- Reflects a unique brand name
There are many tools available online to help you generate domain names for your website or blog. I personally like panabee.com and NameMesh.com websites to search for domain names for my own blogs. I researched below two domains using these online tools.
coinsradar.com - This domain contains the keyword "coins" which is the blog topic.
thenextwiki.com - This domain more represents online content hub of any kind.
#4 - Blogging Software
There are many open source CMS (Content Management Systems) platforms available for free usage. Wordpress is one of those and the most prominently used CMS platform especially by bloggers. Almost around 18% of the total websites in the world use Wordpress.
You can download wordpress for free, It is simple to install and easy to configure and within a matter of an hour you get ready with the blog website without having to write a single line of code.
Another good option is Drupal. Drupal too can be downloaded freely, installed and configured within matter of hours. However, it provides technology oriented people with better options to develop and customize websites. If you plan to go beyond just blogging and build other specialized features on your website, then Drupal is the way to go.
Both these CMS systems have tons of free and premium themes available for free use. It is just matter of clicks to install and configure these themes and build your website the way your like it.
#5 - Hosting Selection
There are many cheap hosting options available that support one click installation for both Wordpress and Drupal. To start with, you really do not need to purchase a costly hosting service since you do not need too many server resources.
Yo can start with the basic hosting package, but ensure that whichever hosting provider you select, it should support growth of your website and be able to upgrade the plan as required.
The simple reason to go for basic package is to save on money, you are not going to get millions hits in the first month itself. You should track the traffic growth of your website and upgrade to the better hosting plan as and when required.
It is just a matter of asking your hosting provider to upgrade your plan and paying the differential amount.
#6 - Blog Setup and Theme Selection
Like I said above, most of the hosting providers have one click installation for both Wordpress and Drupal. So, going up and running with your website is fairly easy task.
There are thousands of free themes available for both Wordpress and Drupal based websites. Search for those and select one that fits your niche. You can spend some efforts on the configuration to change the look and feel that suits your blogs.
You can go for premium themes as well. Premium themes are always better since the look and feel is more professional and you get quick support since you pay for those. Themes are not very costly and it is not a bad idea to spend some money purchasing the theme that actually goes with the mood of your blog or website.
Tip – Keep your website in the offline mode till the time you ensure rest of the points below as, otherwise a half cooked website might give a bad impression to the very first visitors of your website.
#7 - Create Evergreen Content for Your Blog
Before you get your website online or come out of the maintenance/development mode, you need to have some quality content ready.
I recommend having at least 10 articles prepared before hand to be published on day one so that website or blog doesn’t look empty. Don’t under estimate those few initial visitors because they are the ones who will add up to your motivation greatly.
Once your website is live, you should target to post at least one article every two days and I think that is the maximum you would be able to produce in the initial days without compromising with the quality.
Since your target is to grow big, so the effort needs to be there and quality should be of high standards. Ensure that you write the content keeping in mind your prospective readers and the search engines alike. The initial few articles will set the tone for your blogs and may result in repeat visitors.
TIP – Keep SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind while writing your content. You do not have to write the entire article or blog around search engine optimization, however, it helps to keep in mind the SEO basics while writing the first cut draft of the content.
#8 - Website Health Check
Are you getting impatient to see your website online?
Doing a thorough health check up before actually moving online is one of the most important steps. There are many free tools available that can be used to check your website thoroughly. One such tool is Screaming Frog SEO Spider which is free for a month and is good to get started.
You can manually do a quick quality check by verifying below -
- Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation – Check for all the content on your website including "About Us" page.
- Page Load Times – Check if pages are loading fast enough, else apply performance tips.
- Browsers Compatibility – Check for website compatibility with major browsers and mobile devices.
- Broken Links – Check if all links are working.
- Title Tags and Meta Tags –Ensure that every page has title and Meta tag descriptions. This is required for Search Engines.
- Social Media Integration – Ensure that social media buttons for sharing the content are available on all pages and are working.
- Availability of Site Maps – Ensure to include a site map.
#9 – Website Launch and Monitoring
You are now all set for the go live with the initial set of blogs. Your goal should be to drive traffic to your website by all means while continuing to publish a blog every alternate day.
Regular new content is very important, this keeps the readers coming back to your website while acquiring new readership. Keep your patience levels high as it takes time to establish the blog and get some real traffic.
Be consistent in publishing the new content and see your website grow day by day. There always comes a threshold level where your website will break free and start getting the traffic that will motivate you for growth and continuity.
Keep an eye on the website analytics including page views, time spent on the website by the visitors, social media shares, comments posted by users and spend efforts in areas where your site is performing poorly. Connect with your readers by replying to comments, emails, participating along on social media networks and enjoy the growth of your blog and success of your website.