Doubt has long overshadowed the concept of blogging for money. People right and left have portrayed making money online to be a scam and a venture not worth pursuing. Whatever picture your friends or relatives may have painted of blogging for money is likely incorrect and something worth proving them wrong over. The facts are that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people running networks of blogs that net them a six or seven figure salary per annum.
Although reaching this income range does require some work and dedication, it can be done. This article will walk beginners through what they should do to begin making money by blogging. Remember that you control the degree of success you achieve. Those not willing to work are not going to fare well in the “blogging for money”Ł world.
Host your blog
Before we can begin selecting a topic for our blogs – or even a domain – we need to choose where we will host our site. Some people prefer to start their blog on a free platform, such as Google’s Blogger platform. This is fine for blogging for money if you’re on a tight budget. However, Blogger limits user control in regards to customizability.
Further, Google has the power to modify or delete your blog at their discretion. While such actions rarely happen on a legitimate blog, it is something to keep in mind. The best route to take is undoubtedly that of paid hosting. Remember, blogging for money is a business – you should treat it like one. There are numerous reliable hosts that charge a reasonable monthly fee for hosting services. You want to ensure that the host you choose offers a sufficient amount of bandwidth as well as diskspace. Most users should expect to pay $7-$10/month for their hosting plan.
A profitable topic for our blog
We can’t proceed with choosing a domain (and thus begin blogging for money) until we’ve found a profitable topic for our blog. The first rule in choosing a topic is to veer away from the MMO (make money online)/internet markeing/how to blog niche. Many have fallen under the misconception that there is money to be made in the MMO sector. Rest assured that this is not the case. Those who begin blogs in this niche tend to either abandon them (or sell them), and afterwards leave the “blogging for money”Ł world (as they are led to believe there is no money to be made).
You don’t want to follow down this path. Now, in selecting a good niche to work, we need to begin by writing out a list of things that interest us. It’s recommended that you stick to services (ie. car detailing) or activities (ie. golf) when compiling this list. Jot down some 100 things that interest you. Don’t be too specific! With the list completed, head over to Google’s keyword tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal ).
This tool will give us an idea as to what sort of competition exists for our keyword in the Google Adwords program. High competition in Adwords for a niche is usually indicative of a solid niche. Begin by typing in your first item of interest.
The tool will return a list of related keywords. Head over to the drop down menu that says “Hide/Show columns”Ł and select “Show CPC.”Ł This will append a $ value to each of the listed keywords. This $ value tells us what advertisers are paying (on a per click basis) to appear in paid search listings or in listings found on Adsense-affiliated sites. You want to aim for a CPC that’s $5 or over. This will make your invested work more worthwhile. If you choose to monetize your end blog with Google’s Adsense program (which displays Adwords ads on affiliate sites), you should expect to make (on average) $2 a click (Google usually pays affiliates 50% of the click on a properly configured site).
In the list of keywords the tool has returned for your query, you want to choose your main keyword. If your topic ends up having a low CPC, move onto the next topic you have on your list. The keyword should have a good amount of monthly traffic, as well as a good CPC. Don’t worry about how long or short it is. We won’t be ranking one for the main term off the bat, thus competition in the search engines for the main keyword isn’t too much of an issue. Write down the main keyword somewhere for later reference. Now, scroll down to the bottom of the first list displayed on the keyword tool and click text. Your browser will ask where you want to save the file. Save the file to your desktop. We will be using it later on.
What sort of domain you want
Once you choose a host and your topic, you need to decide what sort of domain you want. Domain registrars (such as Godaddy) offer domains with various extensions (.com, .org, .net) as well as features (private registration, etc.). Most people will find a suitable .com name for their blog. However, if you wish, you can choose to purchase a .com or .org. While many might prefer the new domain route, it’s usually a better idea to purchase a pre-owned domain when starting out blogging for money. Pre-owned domains have the advantage of being aged – something search engines like Google place a good amount of emphasis on. Most new domains that Google and other search engines index tend to tread on thin water in their first year of existence. Google’s algorithm places these domains in what many call the “sandbox.”Ł
A domain in Google’s sandbox is not able to rank for its targeted term (something we will get to later on in this article) up until it accumulates a sufficient number of quality links to escape the sandbox, or is simply released after several months to a year. The sandbox can make it extremely difficult for a beginner to drive organic (search engine) traffic from the right keyword. Thus, if you can, stick to a pre-owned domain. A site offering such domains is Freshdrop.net. Aim for domains that are 2+ years old. Once you purchase your domain, you need to point the domain’s DNS to the appropriate servers. Both domain registrars and hosting providers provide information on how one can go about doing this.
With the domain and hosting squared away, it’s now time to install our blogging platform. Self-hosted blogs almost always use WordPress. WordPress is undoubtedly one of the most flexible blogging platforms available, and one of the best to utilize when blogging for money. It turns out that is pretty SEO-friendly right out of the box. What makes it even more lucrative is that fact that it’s freely available. You can choose to download WordPress and install it yourself (directions available at wordpress.org), or you can have your hosting provider install the application for you (you can initiate an install via your hosting control panel).
Once installed, you should configure WordPress to your liking. Directions for doing this are widely available online. Makes sure your main keyword makes up part of your blog’s name and can be found several times throughout your blog. Some of the important things you need to do include turning on permalinks, downloading SEO plugins such as the All-in-one SEO pack, etc. Also, register for a site analytics program. A free one that uses real-time tracking is Statscounter. Follow the appropriate directions for installing the analytics software.
With the blog essentially setup up, it’s time we begin writing up our content. Go ahead and open the keyword file you saved to your computer earlier. It should contain your main keyword (which you noted down earlier) as well as several other related keywords. What you need to do is group these keywords (~ 5 Keywords per group) based on similarity. For each group of keywords, we will be writing a blog post. When you’ve finished grouping the keywords, its time you get to writing your posts. Make sure you include each keyword of a specific group a few times in the post for that particular group. Don’t worry too much about the brilliance of the post. Repeat the writing process for each group of keywords. When you’ve finished, go ahead and post each article to your blog.
Among all the steps we’ve been through above, this is one of the most important. Once you’ve posted to your blog, you need to build links. A lack of proper link-building is the prevalent reason for failure in the internet marketing industry. Most preach that writing quality content is key. However, without backlinks, you won’t drive search engine traffic to your blog. You need to building links if you’re interested in blogging for money! Focus less on the content, and more on the links. For each article you’ve written, you want to build some backlinks. How can we go about doing this? You will write up some articles relevant to your niche (don’t worry about the specific keywords used, etc.) and submit them to article directories. Article directories allow for links at the bottom of submitted articles.
We will include links to the inner pages of our site using the article directories. One of the most popular article directories currently online is EzineArticles (ezinearticles.com). Take your total blog post count, and divide it by two. That’s the number of articles you will have to write and submit. You should write an additional one for a link to your homepage. On each of your articles, include a link to two inner pages of your site (the anchor text of the link should be one of the group keywords used in the post). Rinse and repeat this process until finished with all the articles.
Within days after completing your submissions (and hopefully having them approved) your analytics application should begin to report visits to your site. We are mainly interested in the visits originating from search engines, specifically, Google. When you begin to notice that a particular keyword is sending you traffic, even though it may be a long-tail keyword (ie. weight loss quick pill cherry), write it down. When you’ve accumulated several of these long-tail keywords providing you with semi-consistent traffic, write a post using them several times (as you had above with the keywords from the keyword tool). Do an article submission for that post using the keywords as the anchor-text. If you keep replicating this process, you will notice your traffic continue to climb.
Advertising your blog
While rinsing and repeating the process described above, you will want to garner some links for your homepage. You can do this by commenting on other blogs (try to comment on blogs that are “dofollow”Ł), submitting your site to directories, submitting articles, requesting links from other sites, etc. Make sure that in getting these links, you use your main keyword as the anchor text. Be sure, especially with commenting, that you don’t spam other sites.
Sometimes, site owners will approve of using your keyword as the anchor text. Other times, they won’t. Be diligent in trying to spot the appropriate cues that can point you in the right direction. If you can build homepage links as you develop your deep links using article submission, you will be well on your way to blogging for money.
If you repeat the content development and link building tactics described above, targeted traffic to your site will begin to soar. How you choose to monetize this traffic is up to you. As earlier research indicated, your site should be ready to be monetized with Adsense. Simply modify the code in the appropriate WordPress file to have an Adsense block float to the left of your post content. Be sure to turn image ads off – these don’t covert as well as contextual advertisements do (on the majority of blogs). If Adsense isn’t for you, or you wish to get even more of a return of your blog, you can utilize a plethora of affiliate programs.
These affiliate programs may pay you on a CPA (cost per action) basis, per click basis, per lead basis, etc. You need to experiment with ad placement and such to get maximum return. Be sure to refrain from monetizing your site until you have a sufficient amount of traffic. You don’t want to slap up ads the minute you launch your site. This could indicate to search engines that you’re looking to merely cash in. Be patient and build those links! Until traffic comes, your blog should be completely ad free.
Overall, blogging for money isn’t as much of a complicated enterprise as some make it out to be. Sure, it does involve a bit of a time commitment and a little dedication. However, if you’re consistent and continue putting in time, you will succeed.
Remember that writing content is never enough. Build the right kind of links to your content and you will begin to see results. Blogging for money is neither a scam, nor an easy way to make money. Start a blog with the process outlined above and down the line, you’ll be glad that you did.
Best of luck!