Many bloggers out there are already experts in their field when it comes to writing, publishing, and earning online. There are thousands, if not, millions of “How to Start A Blog” tutorials out there that will aid anyone who basically wants to start a blog, and this is yet another one of those. However, in this article, I will present a way on how to start a blog and earn residual income for yourself, as well as monetize your blog for profits. As a bonus, I will also present tools and techniques on how to up your blog by targeting your ideal “niche” and empowering your blog with keywords that convert. Most importantly, be able to start from scratch and eventually grow your blog into a professional website without spending a fortune and at the very most, having expenses for only less than a few bucks a year.
Lay Out A Plan
Before getting started, you will need a plan to help you all throughout the process. However, this is entirely optional but helpful. Feel free to skip and move along if you feel like this is not necessary.
What You Need
- A content management system of your choice.
- A domain of your choice that matches your chosen niche.
- A deep passion and interest for your chosen niche.
- A nice and professional or presentable design for your audience.
Content Management System (CMS). There are hundreds of content management systems that are available for free. Two of the most popular ones are Blogger and WordPress. Content management systems are literally what they are – they are for managing your website or blog content such as your blog articles, blog photos, etc. Other content management systems are listed down below (feel free to explore your options and preferences). From left to right: Drupal, Joomla, Wix, Weebly, and Tumblr.
There’s a total of 172+ content management systems that I can name, but those above are the least expensive (at the very most, free) and widely used systems across the globe. I highly suggest the use of WordPress (for those with money to spend) because of the fantastic features that it boasts as compared to other sites; Blogger for those who are on the frugal side of life. Note that both have pros and cons, and so choose according to your priority.
Domain Name. Domain names are basically website names (e.g. www.blogger.com, www.wordpress.com, etc.). They are usually priced at $12 per year. Some would offer special discounts such as $0.88 for a year and then about $15 thereafter. If you want something like this, Namecheap would be an ideal domain name provider/store for you. I have one website that is currently hosted with them, and I have to say that they are not only affordable but way better than my first ever website hosting provider (which I am still currently with), Bluehost.
Take note that most hosting providers offer an all-in-one solution for prospective clients. Meaning, a bundle would often contain a hosting service topped with a “free” domain name and other offers. For the purpose of this article, I am here to guide you into creating a weblog that has the least annual expenditures. Other providers are listed below in no particular order. Want something a little bit more comprehensive? Check out my post on Web Hosting Providers.
✔ Go Daddy
Your Chosen Niche. According to Cambridge University’s online dictionary, a “niche” is “a job or position that is very suitable for someone, especially one that they like.” Moreover, the site also indicated that it “is an area or position exactly suitable for a small group of the same type.” The first description pertains to you, the author or blogger; while the latter pertains to your audience or readers.
Your Branding. One of the key components of having a successful blog is a good brand with a good design. Readers would prefer a well-organized blog that is user-friendly and appealing than an ad-cluttered and horribly designed weblog. Your blog should complement your overall identity and design. Try to limit your colors to as many as four or five and your fonts to as many as three or four.
Not every blog contains helpful, genuine, and quality content. This is where you come in. With your layout plan on how to start a blog that earns, the next step is to create interesting, helpful, and quality content that people will love. Your goal is to convert visitors into loyal readers in order to enhance your readership and eventually create conversions that earn.
The ideal article count is usually above 300 words with SEO, aka search engine optimization in mind. You cannot just create a thousand 300-word article and expect your ranking to go up in front of Google search. There are intricacies that must be taken into consideration SEO-wise. Keyword research is most often neglected by passive bloggers, which is actually an important part of being online. If you are going to establish an online presence, then might as well start a blog that earns, right?
I remember reading the phrase: “Content is king, link is queen”. I always try to remember such wonderful and inspirational quote. And you too should keep that in mind. Also, when creating content, incorporate your affiliate links on outbound URLs. Better yet, mask these affiliate links with a good and well-trusted affiliate link cloaker. The main online affiliate link cloaker software I use for my WordPress sites is called Pretty Link and what it does is that it basically transforms your regular affiliate links into your very own domain name links. In order to start a blog that earns, affiliate links are the key! Oh, and there’s also another great affiliate link cloaker called Thirsty Affiliates. It works basically the same as Pretty Link and goes second on my top affiliate link cloaker list.
Content without affiliate links is just an online diary.
You may be wondering, “why do I need to cloak my affiliate links?” The answer to that is because you want readership trust. If you are like me, who is very keen when it comes to link-clicking, you wouldn’t just click on some random link a website or blog has recommended, right? You would rather make sure that the link appears to be legitimate and trustworthy because of the many virus-laden websites that are lurking in the world wide web. So, consider using a good affiliate link cloaker in order to start a blog that earns.
The second question that you may be asking is, “where do I get these affiliate links?” One of the popular affiliate marketing networks is called Share A Sale. It is a great and well-known affiliate marketing network to sign up with because they have popular brands with them that pay a good amount of incentive. There’s also Commission Junction – another affiliate marketing network that’s great to partner with. One of the popular ones too is ClickBank and basically, focuses on digital goods from affiliate and internet marketers alike. However, there are a lot of variety too, so do check it out as well. Grow Sumo is one of the newest ones and I really love the user interface they provide to their users. They may not have a lot of products to offer affiliate marketers, but their directory should be growing as the years go by.