Do you want to know how to be a blogger that makes money? Well, welcome to the club. It’s undeniable that there are bloggers out there who are simply killing it with their blogs. There are personal blogs that make upwards of $100,000 per month or more.
There are even more corporate blogs that earn in the millions each and every month. If you want to learn how to be a blogger that makes money, then you simply need to follow a set of steps that take you from where you are right now to where you would want to be as a blogger.
How to be a Blogger that Makes Money – An In-Depth Guide
8 Steps to Taking Up Blogging as a Career – A Beginner’s Guide
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?
Make Money Blogging Through Affiliate Marketing – Get a Full-Time Income
The steps involved are pretty basic and straight forward. It’s the implementation part that’s the problem. I have been blogging for a while now and understand that the struggle is real. You need to get into this well prepared and in this article, I am going to give you a full guide of just how you can do that.
This is going to be a long post but I am going to do my best to cut out the fluff and give you a distilled, step by step blueprint that will give you the best chance of making it as a blogger.
The Mental Side Blogging
I have read hundreds, if not thousands of personal development books since the year 2000. What I discovered in all the reading and the many courses and audiobooks that I have listened to is that the mental side of things is much more important than the methods and systems.
We can give you all the guidance and tools you need to succeed but chances are, if your mentality is not right, you will not succeed. One of the best ways to get your mentality right is through visualization and vision boards.
I have a vision board and practise visualization of my goals often. I also use declarations and affirmations to solidify and imprint my goals deep into my sub-conscience. Have you ever noticed that it is relatively easy or certain people to reach their financial goals and not for others?
I have some people around me who don’t really struggle when it comes to hitting their financial goals. They simply come up with a plan and it seems everything opens up for them and they cruise towards their goals. I’ve always wondered why this was and, through my reading, discovered the reasons why.
It all has to do with our financial blueprint. You see, how we relate to money has a strong link to how we were raised with regards to money. When I was growing up, our family was middle class. We did ok in comparison to others but I never really got the bulk of the things I wanted as a kid.
Though my father would never admit it, we struggled financially from time to time and never really saved as a family as far as I was concerned. I would get a lot of promises that the go-kart was coming, that the bike or video game console was coming.
Most of the time, it never came and when it did come, it wasn’t the go-kart but a tricycle or the wrong pair of jeans, out of trend shoes e.t.c. As an adult, I discovered that I was making the same decisions and basically following the same patterns that I was exposed to as a kid.
My money blueprint was established early on and was impacting my decisions and outcomes as an adult. What I quickly discovered was that I could never really do anything significant with money even when I made lots of it because I kept making bad money decisions based on my blueprint.
I would always keep going back to what is known as my financial set point. This is a financial status at which we are most comfortable and if we surpass it, our minds will come up with very creative ways of bringing us back to it.
The best way that I have discovered to get past this is through vision boards, visualization, affirmations and declarations. This blog post will become a book if I was to get into the finer details of how to go about that but there are many blog posts and YouTube videos which will show you exactly how to do this.
You need to be 100% convinced that you will become a blogger that makes money and in order to achieve this, you need to act and feel that you have already achieved your goals. This sounds hockey, I know but I would rather be rich and hockey than cool and poor.
Treat it Like a Business
The next step in how to be a blogger that makes money is to treat it like it’s a business and not just a hobby. This point builds on the previous one where we need to deal with the mental side of things. If you treat it like a business then it will pay like one but if you treat it like a hobby it will like on too. I don’t know about yours but my hobbies don’t pay me anything.
What I mean when I say treat it like a business is that you need to plan and implement in a serious manner. From the get-go, you need to know which keywords you will be creating content for, how often you will be posting per week and follow through on these.
You need to document your journey and note when you made a post or effected any changes to your blog so you note what impact certain changes made to your blog for example. Having a clear understanding o all these processes will help you better understand things and enable you to get better results down the line.
I have learned my most important blogging lessons as I went about doing things. Most people find that they get better success with their second blog than their first because they now have a better understanding o how everything works.
I am planning on starting another blog soon and have now amassed a wealth of knowledge that I will be using to get results way faster than I did with this blog. Documenting your process helps you to know what has worked for you and in so doing, you can streamline the process so that you focus only on what will bring results.
This is a Long Term Game
Blogging is a long term game. If you are going for a passive income business that pays you for years to come with little to no maintenance, then you need to focus on getting traffic from the search engines. If this is your approach, there are basically 2 ways for you to do this.
I will get into these methods further down in the article when I talk about SEO but I will give a summary of how it all works. When you write an article for Google, you need to do keyword research so that you write about things which people are actually going to be searching for.
The most common approach is to use keyword research tools to find keywords with very low competition. Low competition keywords also usually come with the tag of low traffic as well-meaning that there are a few monthly searches for that keyword.
If you use this approach, you will need to create a lot of content in order to get sufficient amounts of traffic to your blog.
Another way of doing keyword research is to use Google’s search suggestions. Search suggestions show you the most popular terms being searched for according to Google. Go for long-tail keywords or 4 or more words.
Once you’ve done this, open the search results and look at the top 5 results. Are the pages there big authority sites or normal blogs. Well known brands and institutional sites are usually very hard to compete against.
If you can see relatively weak sites on the first page, this is a good sign. The next thing you do is open the results one by one and look at the depth of the articles and the word count. Next, write the best piece of content for that keyword. Write a better and longer blog post.
With the first method, you can start seeing some search engine traffic trickling in anywhere from the 4 to 6-month mark then a sharp rise between the 8 and 12-month mark.
With the second method, it usually takes around 8 months for your traffic to start ranking and in some cases as many as 18 months. The benefit with the second method though is that, even though it takes more time to rank, you will get more traffic from fewer blog posts because you are going for search terms which are popular according to Google themselves.
As you can see from both examples that I’ve cited, this is definitely not a short term approach. You need to work hard at the onset but once you do the work and results start coming in, you can get months and years of passive income because the traffic keeps coming in from the search engines.
You can cut this time significantly though by incorporating other traffic sources like Pinterest and YouTube and I will cover this more in-depth further down in the article.
The Benefits of Blogging
So, why blogging in the first place? I know that because you are reading this article, you want to learn how to be a blogger that makes money and not be part of the majority who are making nothing to very little. Your primary benefit, I would like to believe, is monetary. You want to make the paper.
What are the other benefits though of starting and running a blog? Out of experience, I have discovered that there are a lot of benefits that I have derived from blogging. I will talk about some of them here.
Long Term Passive Income
Starting off with the obvious, one of the biggest benefits and the major reason for blogging is to earn income but not just any type of income, passive income. When you get an article to rank on Google, it will usually bring in traffic for months or years meaning that it can generate passive income for you.
Passive income is money which keeps coming to you month after month-long after you’ve done the work. This is the beauty of blogging. You can choose to take a break and move on to another blog or continue to create more content thereby growing your income.
A point to note though is that today’s blogging environment is very competitive and there a lot of spying tools that people can use to find out what content you are ranking for and come after your niche. You must continue to create more content or look at diversifying your traffic sources.
What you Learn
The more you do something, the more that you learn about something. As I am doing and learning, I am also discovering other opportunities to grow and network with fellow bloggers and clients. My sphere of influence keeps growing and so does my earning potential.
Opportunities in consulting and further monetization by creating a course have presented themselves. You can say that I have grown into these the more I implemented. Who I am when I started this blog is a whole lot different to who I am now all because of my blogging journey.
A blog is a great way to brand yourself. Your personal or corporate brand can best be described as what comes to peoples’ minds when they hear of or see you. I plan on getting into the seminars down the line and there are few ways of branding that compare to blogging.
I have gotten consultancy work without actively looking for it all because of blogging and will be structuring my business to specifically take advantage of that.
Being Able to Impact Lives
I strongly believe that a major part of my purpose is to build people up and this blog, In a way serves that purpose. When I get positive comments on my posts or emails from people thanking me for how the information here has benefited them, it brings me a great sense of fulfilment.
Step By Step Guide to Blogging
Now that we’ve covered the mental side of blogging, let’s now look at the step by step road map to help you get up and running in your blogging journey.
Pick the Right Niche
A very important part of blogging is choosing the right niche. A niche can be described as a small market segment within a bigger market. The “Big Three” niches which are guaranteed to be profitable are Health, Wealth and Relationships.
These are proven money makers and will continue to make lots more money in the foreseeable future. Because they are so profitable, they are also very competitive and just about everyone, their aunt and dog want to get into it.
There are players who have established a foothold in these niches and aren’t letting go anytime soon. What this means then is that you will need to be smart if you are entering this field. Let’s look at an example.
If you Google “weight loss”, you will get millions upon millions of search results. This can be described as the main niche. It has sub-niches such as:
- How to lose belly weight
- How to lose bum weight
There are more examples of course but let’s work with these 2 for now. Even if you were to choose the 2 sub-niches, it would still be very competitive for a new blog. You need to niche down further. Using the first sub-niche, you can come up with:
- How to lose weight from 60 years onwards
If you do this, you have niched down to a very specific category that you can go for. The simplest way to go about it is to use Google’s search suggestion tool to show you which terms people are already searching for.
Simply type in the first 5 words then “A”. Google will give you keyword suggestions for the letter A. Next move to B, C, D until you get to Z. Note down any ideas that stick out and put in a word document or notepad.
Choose one of these as your main niche then use the other keywords on your list to research article ideas. I would recommend coming up with an initial list of 50 article ideas. Doing this at one sitting will mean that you won’t have to sit down and research each time you want to do an article.
The Big 3 niches aren’t the only niches you can go for but they are the ones that have been proven to be profitable. Let’s now look at the criteria to use when you are researching specific niche ideas.
Go for Your Passion or Area of Expertise
Are you passionate about something? Do you have a qualification or experience in a certain area? These are great ideas to look into if you are looking for a niche to start a blog on. Use the search suggestion method to establish if the searches are popular on Google.
Is it a Buyers’ Market?
Next, you need to establish whether it’s a buyers’ market. Are people willing to buy products in that market niche? It can be something that you are passionate about with thousands or maybe millions of searches per month but can it be monetized.
There are a few ways that you can establish this. First, go to www.clickbank.com and log in/sign up. Once you are inside, go to the marketplace and use your keyword to search for products. If there is a product in your niche, then great. The next thing you need to do is establish the gravity of the product. Anything with a gravity of 10 or more is a good bet. 20+ is even better.
The other way is to enter your search term in Google. Look for private blogs (owned by an individual and not a company) then go through the site to see how they have monetized it. Are they using ads? Do they have an e-book or course? Are they promoting affiliate products?
If you see one or a combination of these on the site, this is a good sign. The last thing is to establish how long the blog has been around for. You do this by going to the earliest post on that blog. If they have been around for 2 or more years and are still posting content to the blog then you most likely have a winner.
The next thing that you need to do is establish trends in the market. A particular niche may be profitable right now but could be on its way down so you need to be on the lookout for this. To do this, go to Google then do a search for “Google trends”.
Click on the first URL that comes up. It will open Google’s trends tool. This tool will show you the movements in specific trends over a specified period. Some niches are seasonal while others are generally consistent throughout the year.
When you are in the trends tool, look at the graph over 2 or more years to establish the seasonality or general upwards or downwards trend of a specific market. What you want is a consistent line or a general upward trajectory over a number of years. This is a good niche. If the trend is downwards though, it’s generally not good to get into that niche.
Choose a Blog Name
The next step as far as how to be a blogger that makes money is concerned is picking your blog name. Once you have your niche chosen, you now need to decide what to call your blog. Ideally, you want your blog name to be something that describes your niche like Trim After Sixty or something like that.
Your domain name, if it’s available will be something like www.trimaftersixty.com. Come up with a shortlist of different names that you can use and then see if the domains are available. Ideally, you want a name with two or 3 words in it.
A longer domain name will be difficult for people to remember and you won’t get the benefit of return visitors who visit your blog directly.
Buy Hosting and Register Your Domain
Now that we’ve taken all the previous steps, the next step in the process is to purchase hosting and register your domain. I use and recommend Bluehost for this because they are newbie-friendly and easy to set up. You can use any other hosting package that you want to use.
If you do choose to go with Bluehost, you can register here.
When you’ve chosen your niche and registered your domain, the next thing you need to do is keyword research. I’ve already touched a bit on it before and am going to go a bit more in-depth here. Keyword research is one of those make or break steps in this process.
Once you have your niche and established that it is in a buyers’ market and that there is a consistent or upward trend, registered your domain and set up your hosting, you are now ready to do keyword research.
When it comes to keyword research, there are 2 common methods that I follow. I will cite what they are and any advantages or disadvantages associated with them.
The Income School Method
I follow a website and YouTube channel called Income School. What these guys teach about building blogs that bring in a consistent income runs contrary to what a lot of other authorities tech on the subject.
The content that they offer on their website and YouTube channel is, in my view, phenomenal. They have built many successful sites using their methods and through their training program, Project 24, has managed to help thousand build income-generating websites.
They call their keyword research keyword analysis. Their method consists of using Google’s search suggestions. They enter the key phrase then start going through the alphabet from A to Z and through this method are able to get keyword ideas. They call this, the alphabet soup method.
You then enter those keywords into Google one by one and analyse the strength of the competition. The next step they take is to write an epic post which is better quality than what’s already on offer and longer than any of the other posts on the first page.
Through this method, they are consistently able to to get a lot of their posts to rank number one to three for their main keyword. They state that when you follow this approach, you should start to see some traffic from around the 4th month but a spike in the traffic by the time you get to the 8th month if you have chosen your niche well and done keyword research the right way.
When they started teaching this method, they taught that you should build a website with 30 t 45 posts within a period of one to two months then let that site sit. Within a year, that site would be making around $1,000 per month according to their road map.
These days, because of the changes in the Google algorithm, they recommend that you keep adding on more content. When you follow this approach, you give yourself a greater chance to get more content to rank thereby getting a whole lot more traffic and subsequently, income.
The guys at income school do not use keyword tools in the way that everyone else uses them because they have seen that the data that they provide is usually not accurate.
They have done keyword research on terms that were giving them thousands of monthly views yet the keyword research tools would be stating that there was little to no traffic for that term.
They also don’t do build any backlinks as what other SEO experts advocate but insist on writing great content that will attract links naturally.
What Everyone Else Teaches
Everyone else teaches keyword research in the following way; look for low competition keywords and write content for them. Build backlinks to them and with time they will reach the top of search engines. Although this is true, Google wants backlinks to be built naturally and there is a risk that sometime down the road, people will get penalized by a Google algorithm update.
You can still get great results using this method and when you do it right, you can get a relatively new site to rank well without necessarily building any backlinks. Here is a method that you can use to get some really great keywords and drive massive traffic to a new site.
If, for example, you are in the dating niche. Go to Google and type in dating advice. Look at the number one result on the page them copy the URL up to the .com or whatever extension they are using.
Go to Google and type in Uber Suggest. Click on the first result and when Uber Suggest opens up, enter the URL you copied and press enter. Uber Suggest will do an analysis of the site. On the left-hand panel, click on keywords then it will show you all the keywords that site is ranking for.
Look for all the keywords with a KD that is in green. KD stands for keyword difficulty. If your site is brand new, Go for 5 and below. Take each keyword then analyse the page one results and write a post that is better and longer than all the other content on page one.
This method is a numbers game and the more content you write the greater the chance of it ranking well in the search engines and bringing in traffic. To get better accuracy with this method, use AHrefs keyword tool.
Creating Your Content
Once you’ve done your keyword analysis and have put together a list of 10 to 50 keywords, it is time to start writing. I am going to show you how you can create amazing content each and every time.
Create an Outline
The first step you are going to take is to create an outline. Just like in writing an essay, you need to have an intro, a minimum of 3 points then a conclusion.
Here is what an outline will look like:
Filling in The Outline
In the introduction, make sure that you include the keyword that you intend to rank for within the first paragraph.
The answer paragraph is where you answer the question that the seeker is looking for an answer to. Summarize this answer and highlight it in bold. We do this in order to increase the chances for our content to get the featured snippet at the top of the search results.
The featured snippet is known as result zero and has been responsible for driving a lot of traffic to my blog.
The next thing you need to do is develop your minimum of 3 points as you explain the topic in depth. A blog post that has a high chance of ranking well on Google has to have a minimum of 1500 words. Your introduction and answer post should be anywhere between 100 to 200 words.
If you are short of ideas on what to make your main points, you can Google your keyword and scroll to the bottom of page one where you will see suggested searches. Look for any that make sense to add to your article and write on those.
Doing this will give you the added advantage of ranking for these keywords as well thereby giving you more traffic to your post.
Look at your 3 points as mini 500-word blog posts that will give around 1700 words when you add the intro and answer paragraph.
Finally, add the conclusion and you are done. Just remember to add your keyword in the conclusion.
When you are starting out, it should generally take you around 2 hours to research and write a 1500 words post. As you get better at this though, it will take you around 1 hour.
This is the fun part if you want to be a blogger that makes money. This is how you actually make the money. There are a number of ways of making money from a website. I will cover some of them here.
Perhaps the simplest way of making money from your blog, ad revenue is relatively easy to implement. Once you have around 10 articles on your site, apply for the Google Adsense program. Google Adsense, however, will not make you a lot of money but is a great way of starting out and earning something from your blog.
Once you hit 10 000 monthly views, you can apply to premium ad networks that pay a lot better than Adsense. When you are accepted into any of these ad networks, you paste a code that they give you into the header section of your site and ads will auto-generate on your site.
When someone clicks your ad, you get paid.
Affiliate marketing is when you post other people’s products on your site and when your audience buys through your website, you get paid a commission. The most popular affiliate network for physical products is Amazon and it’s pretty easy to apply to be an Amazon affiliate.
There are other physical product affiliate programs out there like Share a Sale and you can find others through a simple Google search. If you are promoting digital products though, I recommend Click Bank, Commission Junction, Warrior Plus and others.
Digital products tend to pay higher commissions ranging from around 40% to as much as 80% per sale.
You can monetize through offering consultancy work. If you a specialist in a field or have some experience, you can charge people for your expertise. This is great especially if you are starting out but the bad thing is that you can hit an income ceiling and it will be very difficult to scale.
As your blog grows, it is common to be contacted by brands who want you to write a sponsored post for them. A single sponsored post can earn you hundreds or thousand of dollars depending on the size of your audience and your negotiation skills.
If you are in a specialized field like finance or offer education consultancy, you can gather leads which you can sell to companies who need those leads. This can be a great way o monetizing a relatively new site and make a lot of money through.
The beauty of it is that no one has to buy anything and you get paid. All they need to do is enter their information and you get paid.
Product creation is by far the best way to monetize your blog. Unlike affiliate marketing, you get to keep all the money you make and not have to share it with another party. Product creation is usually the next logical step once you have built up an audience who like you and trust your opinion.
Here is a list of products which you can sell from your blog:
Promotion/ Driving Traffic
The final step in this whole process is driving traffic to your blog. There are many ways of driving traffic to your blog and I will go through some of them here.
Search Engine Traffic
Long term, this is the best type of traffic that you could hope to get. It is the holy grail of traffic, if you will. I’ve already shared some ways of getting search engine traffic and in this section, I am going to get into the technical side of things.
For you to get the best results from search engines, you need to optimize your content for them. There are generally 2 ways of optimizing your content, these are on-page search engine optimization (SEO) and off-page optimization.
When you write your content, it needs to be optimized in a certain way. You keyword needs to appear in the post title, the opening paragraph of your post and in the post a specific number of times relative to the length of that post.
A simple way to do this is to use a WordPress Plugin. I use either Yoast SEO or All in One SEO plugins for this purpose. They scan through your post and tell you what you need to fix in order to help your content rank for the keywords you want it to.
Off-page SEO is usually related to link building. As already mentioned in this post, links are a really important factor in determining how well your articles do especially in very competitive niches. People do this by writing guest posts for other bloggers then linking back to their sites or just asking other website owners to link back to them.
This works but I have a feeling that Google will start penalizing this behaviour down the line. I don’t practise link building but I allow it to happen how Google intends; naturally.
If you are not willing to wait the months it takes for Google to rank content and want traffic fast, Pinterest is definitely a great way to drive traffic to your site. Many have used it to make about $4,000 in as little as 4 months after starting their blog.
It’s a great way of building a massive stream of traffic if you know what you are doing.
YouTube is another great way to drive traffic to your blog. You can build a channel which presents a video version of your blogs then link back and imbed in your blog post. Google will also rank this content higher when it sees people actively visiting the blog from YouTube.
So if you wanted to know how to become a blogger who makes money, I trust this blog post has answered your questions. Let me hear your thoughts and comments below.