A blog is a website that presents information as a set of sequential entries. The entries can be about anything; there may be comments of the author, descriptions of events, photographs, videos. Blogs are usually interactive - readers can leave comments under posts or send messages to the author. The blog may talk about a narrow or broad topic. The choice is yours! Creating a personal blog is fun, but it can also make money.
Method 1 of 5: Getting Started
Step 1. Explore the main blogging genres
There are many types of blogs out there, and you need to figure out which one you are interested in. Remember, for you to be able to make money, people must read your blog. Below is a list of the most popular genres:
- Personal blogs. When a reader follows a good personal blog, they feel like they know the author. He can imagine going to lunch with the author and look into a separate day in his life. If you know how to express yourself on the Internet, this genre is for you.
An example is a blog called "The Bloggess", which is run by a social anxiety woman with fun and humor
- Blogs on a specific narrow topic. These blogs provide tips and tricks for your favorite hobby. They talk about specific activities that are of interest to others. This genre is for you if you can talk about something special in this area.
- An example of such a blog is Curly Nikki, a black woman's magazine that helps other women love their natural hair.
- Another example is the famous and very popular blog "Perez Hilton", which publishes gossip and revelations from the life of celebrities.
- Industry-specific blogs. These are specialized blogs about any industry. Start such a blog if you are an expert in any field and can share your knowledge. Since you will need to maintain your position, you will need to regularly study new information and monitor the development of the industry.
For example, there is a blog "The Copybot" run by copywriter Damien Farnworth. He talks about how to write copy for websites, and provides many examples and tips
- Political blogs. If you have a deep knowledge of political processes or want to communicate your political views in interesting language, a blog about politics may be the right place for you. Often the authors take a certain side in their texts, but this is not necessary.
- For example, the Pulitzer Prize-winning blog PolitiFact.com (owned by the Tampa Bay Times) checks facts on the day's high-profile news posts and then assigns truth points to the posts to show any inaccuracies.
- Another example is Michelle Malkin, a blog run by political columnist Michelle Malkin. The blog reveals the author's political views in a fascinating way.
Step 2. Choose a theme
The authors of good blogs write about what is close to them. A topic can be any thing that might interest other people as well. The best thing to do is to occupy a niche in which there is no one else. When choosing a genre, it is important to remember the following:
- Who is your target audience? There are millions of blogs in the world, so it is important to know who you will be writing for in order to be able to interest those readers.
- What does the audience want? For example, if you decide that your readers are mothers who stay at home with children, you need to think about the possible interests and needs of this category of people. Don't make assumptions. Check out other blogs on similar topics to find out what to write about.
- How qualified are you? Authors of good blogs know their topic and can talk about it. If you can't come up with at least 25 topics for a new blog, you may not be proficient enough on the topic yet.
- How important is your topic? It is necessary to choose a topic that will be relevant in the future. You will need to make regular blog posts, so you should avoid topics that are too narrow - you will quickly run out of material.
- Do you have a lot of competitors? Research your competitors to see who else is writing about this topic. People love to read celebrity gossip, but there is a lot of competition in this area and your blog can get lost.
- What is your peculiarity? To stand out from the rest, you will need to offer the reader something new and original. Perhaps you focus on interactivity or absurd daily news. Whichever you choose, develop an interesting presentation approach and regularly release interesting posts.
Step 3. Read popular blogs
Your blog can be about any topic, but if you choose a specific area, for example, celebrities or motherhood, you will need to browse similar blogs. Pay close attention to design and themes.
- For example, the blog “Tom + Lorenzo: Fabulous & Opinionated” started as a small magazine dedicated to criticism of the reality show “Project Runway”, that is, from the very beginning, the site had its own audience. The blog has grown to be a pop culture site, where millions of readers come to review TV shows, movies, fashion shows, and celebrity news.
- A good example of a successful personal blog is The Pioneer Woman, a three-time Bloggie Award winner. The author of the blog, Ri Drummond, is now hosting his own show on the Food Network due to her ability to present recipes and stories from life in an interesting way.
- The blog "Camels and Chocolate", which also won three Bloggie awards, describes the travels of journalist Christine Luna and her husband. A pleasant tone, beautiful photographs and interesting stories transport readers to other countries.
- Blogging can be done in a very special way. For example, the blog "Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund" won a Bloggie Award in 2014. The blog is run on behalf of the dog, and readers have the opportunity to learn about the adventures of the dog - the cute dachshund Crusoe.
Step 4. Choose a domain name and a title for your blog
Domain name and title is what you will be recognized by. The blog title will not only give readers an idea of what to expect from your site, but it will also help indexing systems find your site, which is very important for traffic and income.
- The name of the blog should correspond to the theme of the site. For example, if you are going to have a blog about celebrities, stop using too strict and business-like phrases. If you're writing about a business, the title shouldn't be too lightweight.
- It's important to choose a good keyword. Search engines are based on search engine optimization (SEO), which ranks search results for keywords related to a user's query. Don't get carried away with search engine optimization, otherwise your readers will feel that the site exists only to attract traffic. It is best to create a memorable blog image so that readers will want to read it.
- For example, the site name "haircare.com" tells the reader what the blog is about, but does not explain exactly what issues it is talking about. The name "Frizzfighters.com" also refers to hair care, but in an original way it explains what will be the key topic, and the name is easy to remember (simple, unusual, humorous).
- It is also important to choose the right extension for the site. The extension is ".ru", ".com", ".net" or ".org" after the site name. There are many different extensions, but for Russian sites it is better to use ".ru". Unless you have a non-profit organization, do not choose “.org”.
Step 5. Select software
There are several popular blogging platforms including Blogger and Wordpress. Most experts recommend Wordpress because it makes it easy to monetize your blog.
- Many people choose WordPress.org because it doesn't require web design skills. Every fifth site is powered by WordPress. Please note: WordPress.org is a full blogging hosting service, however you still need to register a domain name and buy a web hosting subscription. Wordpress.com has only a limited set of features, and you are given a domain name with.wordpress for free, but you can place an ad or link to your site there.
- Blogger is owned by Google Corporation. This is a free hosting site that only requires a Google account to work with. Blogger's design is not as nice as WordPress.
- You can also use SquareSpace and Wix, which are website building platforms where you can also create a blog.
- Find out if your chosen platform allows you to use your own domain name. On popular platforms, you can use your domain name and blog integration is not a big deal.
- Each platform will have step-by-step instructions for creating a blog.
Method 2 of 5: Design and Build Your Blog
Step 1. Develop a design that matches the image of the blog
It is important that the design reflects the essence of the blog. All elements of the site, from colors to fonts, should be in harmony with the theme of the blog.
- For example, funny fonts and pictures would work for a parenting blog, but would be redundant on a serious marketing blog.
- At the very least, consult a professional designer to design your logo and page header. You only have one chance to make a good first impression.
- Many blogging platforms have ready-made "themes" that you can apply. They can also be modified to customize your blog the way you want.
Step 2. Decide what elements to include in the design
Many sites have common pages such as "About the Author" and "Archive" so that readers can view older posts as well. Most often, the following sections can be found in the blog:
- About me
Step 3. Make navigation easy
Don't overload the site! It should be easy for readers to find what they want. Side menus and links to popular posts can be helpful.
- You can make the site header active to make it easier for new readers to navigate. Place a banner at the top of the page with the most important entries and a quick overview of the site.
- Add the To Previous Record and To Next Record buttons. This will make it easier for your readers and they will be able to read more posts.
Method 3 of 5: How to Start Blogging
Step 1. Write articles that people will want to read
On good blogs, authors honestly and openly write about what interests them. Be yourself and share your ideas with the world!
- Be professional. Even if your blog is about your life, make it enjoyable for the reader and avoid mistakes in text and design.
- Be helpful to the reader. Build your site content around the reader, not around you. This means thinking about what the reader will take from each of your posts. Think about a problem you can write about, a question you can answer, or a story you can tell. Throwing out your emotions about politics in five pages will make you feel better, but for the readers this text will be useless.
- Keep it simple and personal. It is customary to write in blogs simply and openly. Abstruse academic language is not suitable for them. Readers usually prefer blogs, which can be perceived as a conversation with the author. Develop your own style and stick to it.
Step 2. Make your notes readable
If there is a wall of text in front of the reader, he will simply close the site. Break each entry into separate blocks that can be viewed.
- For example, you can list text or break it up into small paragraphs. If you have a lot of text, enter subheadings and indented quotations.
- You can use other means of drawing attention to keywords: bold or italics.
- Remember, readers don't like long texts on the Internet. Keep your notes short without sacrificing meaning.
Step 3. Come up with catchy headlines
You may have the best articles in the world, but if the reader is not pointed out, they may not read them. Headlines are especially important because many people read content in RSS (like Google Reader) or sites like Digg. They may only see the title at first, so it should spark interest.
- Use headings that create a sense of urgency. You want readers to open the article as soon as possible.
- Play on the emotions of your readers. You can ask questions or write something unexpected that will surprise your readers. Some sites do it masterly - here's an example of a headline from UpWorthy: "Most of these people get it right, but what about those guys behind? I'm ready to yell at them!" Headlines like these contain entire stories and promise an unexpected ending.
Step 4. Publish a few entries before making the site publicly available
Don't advertise your blog when it only has two articles. To get started, you need 10-15 articles. Keep another 10-15 articles in line for publication so that they come out regularly.
- In the business of promoting a blog, consistency and quantity of content are important. If you have few texts, readers are unlikely to want to come back.
- You need to publish posts regularly. Write texts and queue them up for publication so that they come out later. This will allow you to keep track of the frequency of your articles.
Step 5. Consider the possibility of subscribing to a blog
Many readers include blogs in their RSS feeds, allowing them to follow all new articles. Place a button on your blog so readers can see how they can follow you.
Step 6. Create good copy and be firm in your intentions
Having mastered the basics, you will be able to develop and learn new things. You may not have a large audience right away, so be patient and keep working.
Method 4 of 5: How to Promote Your Blog
Step 1. Leave comments on other blogs with similar topics
Sign up with a name that matches the name of your blog to attract new readers to your blog.
- Leave a link to the blog in the comments on other blogs if there is a dofollow option - this means that search engines will see the link.
- Don't just spam other blogs by leaving a link to your site there. Comments should be interesting and insightful. Remember: you are now forming your first impression of yourself!
Step 2. Make guest posts on other blogs
If you are good at writing and have something to say, write an article for another popular blog - it will make you more visible. Find out which popular blogs offer guest posting options.
If there is no information about this on the sites, do not despair. Check the blogs to see if there have been such posts before. If you have, contact the author, explain who you are and what you want to write about. If not, you can still write to the author and offer cooperation
Step 3. Mention the names of famous people
Mentioning the names of people known in certain circles will accomplish several goals. You will let your readers know that you are directly related to these circles, and you will also attract the attention of important people to your blog, and they may even want to show your post to their readers.
- Do not throw around names just like that. You need to use them so that they look organic in the text. For example, if you are writing about moms who blog, mention a blogger you like or whose blog you are interested in.
- Let's links! Link to the blogs you like. Many bloggers track where people came from, and they may come to your site or even write about you.
Step 4. Use social media
In the modern world, everything develops in such a way that if you are not on social networks, you deprive yourself of a large audience. Post a link to the article on your Twitter page, ask people to retweet your posts, or link your site to your Facebook page. But don't duplicate all of the material all the time. Write long and interesting articles on the blog, and on social networks, give links to the most interesting. The most popular sites include:
Step 5. Arrange the distribution of gifts
This is a great way to drive traffic. Readers love free stuff! Such promotions usually involve free advertising, so write to several companies that could sponsor the giveaway and offer them cooperation.
- You can write to another blogger who runs such promotions and ask him for the contact details of sponsors.
- It should be easy to participate in such a promotion. Ask readers to comment on the ad post with name and contact information, or repost your article on social media posts.
Step 6. Attract new readers with direct marketing
Newsletters seem like an outdated way of advertising, but they still work. There is nothing like direct contact with people. Try something from this list:
- Add a link to your email signature to get people to visit your site.
- Send a link to your blog to everyone you know who might be interested in it. You should not send it to all contacts - it is important to give it only to those people who could become your readers, especially if you want to later ask them to share your blog with others.
- Meet other bloggers in real life.
- Join LinkedIn Groups. If you have a business blog, LinkedIn posts can help you reach the right audience.
Step 7. Optimize your site for search engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is very important, but it is not limited to the use of keywords on the site. You will need a title that will appeal to search engines, for example, starting with the words "How to …" or "Several ways to do …" Use keywords in the text, but do not overdo it.
Google and most other search engines don't just use SEO principles. They rank sites for content quality, which means you need good copy with valuable content and links to other trusted sources of information
Step 8. Do video marketing
Recording a promo video is much easier than you think. It is best to use the Animoto app for this.
Method 5 of 5: How to Monetize Your Blog
Step 1. Place ads on the site
This is a great source of income. If your visitors click on your ad, you can get paid for every click. For this to work, you must have a large base of readers who would like to come to you. Here are some examples of sites that pay to place ads:
- You can use a system where you pay for the number of times your ad is viewed, even if the reader does not click on it. Usually the unit is a thousand views.
- If you don't have 10 thousand unique visitors every month, you won't make a lot of money from advertising. This is why it is important to engage readers with marketing and quality content.
Step 2. Get into affiliate marketing
This is a very popular monetization method as it is built on the trust of the readers. If you publish quality content, readers will be willing to follow your recommendations for products and services. You can link or recommend certain products and receive a commission for this.
- Amazon Associates allows you to display a banner on your site with products that might be of interest to your audience, such as diapers on a parent site or art supplies on an arts site. If people click on the link and buy something, you will receive a small percentage of the purchase. Amazon commissions range from 4 to 15%.
- Amazon is a giant in this industry, but it's also worth looking for smaller companies and people who make products that appeal to your audience. For example, if you have a popular food blog, you can contact small sauces firms and offer partnerships. You will make money and they will receive free advertising.
- You can participate in special affiliate programs. Search the internet for opportunities in your area.
- There is a VigLink aggregator service that can automatically insert links to partners in the text. The service charges a higher commission for its services compared to others, but the convenience is worth it.
Step 3. Write promotional articles
If you have a lot of readers, you can write a paid article. Most often, advertisers find the bloggers they need on their own, but there are other ways.
- Be aware that some sponsors use these articles to improve the ranking of their own sites. This is prohibited by Google policies and may negatively impact your Adsense earnings.
- Check out the sites Blogvertise, Social Spark, Review Me.
- Avoid the dominance of advertising copy on your blog. Remember, readers come to the blog for your articles.
- Only publish promotional articles that may be useful to your readers, otherwise people may think that you are a front man for a large corporation.
Step 4. Work with a brand or company directly
This will drive traffic and make money. Many companies, especially publishers, are willing to pay bloggers to attend Twitter parties, blog tours, and giveaways.
- For example, if you write reviews of romance novels on your popular blog, contact publishers and ask if they are willing to pay you for a review or event like an interview with an author.
- Collaborating with agencies can also be helpful. There are several popular networks.
Step 5. Bring clients to other companies
You don't need to sell a product or service to your readers - you need readers to provide their information to your partner and allow him to contact them.
For example, if you have a popular blog on how to do something with your own hands, you can enter into an agreement with a construction hypermarket. If your readers agree to transfer their data to the store, you will receive money for new customers
Step 6. Use your blog as a portfolio
You can use the example of a blog to demonstrate your work. In addition, you can not only sell products through a blog, but also post a page with your portfolio there.
- For example, if your blog is about photography, post your best photographs on the site and advertise your services as a photographer. Readers will know what you are doing because they will see your work.
- Blogging is helpful even if you have a full-time job. Let's say you are a lawyer. In this case, you can write articles in which readers can find useful information by law, and the blog will prove that you are a professional. It will also create a sense of personal acquaintance, which is very important for future clients.
Step 7. Create paid content
Once you have a loyal audience that is willing to trust you, you can start creating paid content. Try recording a special podcast or writing a book and selling them for a small amount.
- You can also sell training courses, consulting services.
- In addition, you can sell products with your brand through dedicated online services. The author of the blog "The Bloggess" does this every week, using jokes from previous posts.
- Consider a paid subscription that would allow users to watch exclusive content or come to your events for free. WordPress has special plugins that will allow you to add such a service to your website.
- Pay for additional content. For example, if you record podcasts, you can make short recordings free and extended long versions paid. Dan Savage's blog "Savage Lovecast" uses this model: short episodes are available for free, while long episodes without ads have to be paid for.
- Many bloggers write books. The authors of "Cake Wrecks" have published several popular books with photographs of failed pies, and the author of "The Bloggess" has published two books about his adventures. The authors of "Tom + Lorenzo" have written a book on how to become a celebrity.
- Remember, anything of value you have to offer readers may come at a cost. But do not overdo it with paid content, because this will make your blog lose its appeal in the eyes of readers.