How to Make Money Blogging | Big Little Secret to Success
I made all the blogging mistakes so that you don’t have to. Below you can find my biggest secret to blogging success, the actual steps you need to do to make money blogging, and one year plan for success.
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Let me tell you this: making money blogging is real. You just have to do it the right way. Tons of beginner bloggers fail because they misunderstand how the whole concept of blogging works.
I almost quit blogging because my annual blogging earnings were around $50 two years in a row. Sounds discouraging, right? Luckily I’m a stubborn one, so I did a ton of work, revised my attitude, the way I work, the instruments I use, the quality and quantity of content I create.
As a result, today I make more money per day than I did for the first two years of blogging combined.
Don’t waste two years making mistakes as I did. Start blogging the right way and make money. And let me share my big secret about making money blogging.
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Here is the big secret:
Don’t write about what you want. Write about what people want. Not what you think they want, but what people really want based on the research.
The keyword here is research. If you fail this step, no matter how pretty your blog is, how many posts you have, or how many hours you spend on Pinterest. Therefore, no one will need and read your blog because you don’t write about what people are looking for.
Why most of the bloggers fail and make no money
This is my biggest blogging mistake.
The reason why most blogs fail is that people have no idea what to do. They hear that making money blogging is easy. Then try it without proper research, education, or knowledge. Fail and blame blogging as a scam. Don’t be like that. Educate yourself. It is not that pricey.
If you think you can write a couple of posts about your hobby or passion, add affiliate links, gain traffic, and receive affiliate income and ad income when you’re in trouble. 99% that you’re gonna fail. Most blogging guides tell you to do exactly this: set up the blog, write content, and wait. But no one tells you how to do these steps in a way that will lead you to make real money.
Never start a blog or write a post based on your own interests. I started a blog about what I thought was interesting, but no one else did. I had zero traffic and zero dollars. This mistake cost me two wasted years.
Research what people are looking for and find a niche. Don’t just randomly pick what you like. Research what people are looking for and give them that.
It may sound as simple as it is. But it is very important to do proper research.
There is one blogging course I recommend taking. The rest is optional and can be found for free or in this guide. But this one will rocket launch your blog and save your time.
Here is this course: Stupid Simple SEO, by Mike Pearson.
Think of it as learning to drive without an instructor. Of course, you can watch a lot of Youtube videos, read about it. But you need an experienced driver to tell you what exactly to do and not to do.
Therefore I strongly suggest taking paid courses to speed up the process. But be aware, not all paid courses are the same. I don’t encourage you to spend money and buy any paid course you can find. Below I recommend only the courses I took that helped me reach blogging success.
Actually, you can start blogging on your own with all the free information out there. If you succeed, that’s great! If not, I can send you a reminder with this post so that you can revise the steps that lead to making money blogging. Just enter your email below.
How to start a blog and make money in 6 steps
Here are 6 simple steps that will take you to make 6 figures:
Step 1. Find the niche
Research and find what people are looking for. It is very important to write about people want, not you want, because people generate traffic.
If you have trouble deciding what niche to choose, do research on what people are looking for. What are the passions and hobbies that people ACTUALLY have.
I highly recommend taking at least one of these courses because Mike shares priceless information to speed up your success. In less than a week, you can find a niche, research what content people are looking for, create content plans, and even run the blogging business.
But be aware that these courses are not always open for enrollment. Therefore, I strongly suggest joining the waitlist, and once enrollment is open, take either Niche Academy or Stupid Simple SEO. Meanwhile, learn how to set up the blog and/or make extra cash to spend on these courses.
Step 2. Set up the blog
Don’t waste too much time on the color scheme, brand philosophy, or fancy tag line. People need information, not a brand book.
If you don’t understand something, don’t get frustrated. Google it! Most of the questions you have are already answered online. And even if you don’t find the answer to your question, you can always ask tech support to help you figure out the issue.
Here are the steps to set up the blog:
1. Choose a Domain Name.
A domain name is basically your blog’s name. So pick up something short, close to your topic, and easy to spell.
2. Choose a Web Host.
In other words, a web host is a platform where your blog will live.
3. Choose a WordPress Theme.
To put it simply, WordPress is a blog. Think of it as a blog template that you can customize with different themes to make it unique. Upon choosing a theme, make sure it is mobile friendly because a lot of traffic will come from mobile devices.
Of course, you can do a lot of additional work like branding, making the blog look nice, adding awesome pictures, promote social networks accounts. But from what I see, the only thing that works as a charm is good content that people are looking for. The rest is a fancy packaging no one pays attention to.
Step 3. Write high-quality SEO ranking content
Research the content, write good quality posts. You will need at least 50. That is a ton of work, but it is totally worth it. And do the research. For example, I did 50 posts without proper research, and no one needed them. So it was my time wasted. Therefore I almost quit blogging, thinking that it is a scam and not for me. But I was doing blogging wrong. Don’t be like me.
Moreover, based on my experience, if you want to make money, no matter if you monetize your blog by affiliate income or by ads, you need people who will read your content. Therefore you need content that people are looking for. So, before even thinking about what I should blog about, do the research of what people are looking for.
If you wonder how to do research, how to find what people are looking for, let me tell you that: there is no short answer to it.
You will need to find what keywords have high search and traffic volume and low competition. Therefore you’ll know what people are looking for and where you can compete.
No doubt that you can spend a lot of time researching how to find this information. But here is a speed up train: Stupid Simple SEO course by Mike Pearson. Literally, this is the only course that helped me make money blogging. I wasted almost a year trying to figure out blogging by myself. Unsuccessfully.
FREE SEO training by Mike helped me create a content strategy that reshaped my blog. Now I make a living blogging. And all of this is thanks to that course.
If you aren’t ready to pay money, here is FREE SEO training from Mike that can boost your blog traffic.
Step 4. Learn Pinterest.
I used to be a fan of it, but recently Pinterest implemented a series of updates that resulted in a downturn in the traffic. Therefore I’m not a fan anymore. But again, maybe I’m doing it wrong.
The whole point of my suggestion to do Pinterest is not to put all the eggs in one basket. You can skip this step if you want to promote your blog with any other social media, like Facebook, or Instagram or don’t want to use social media at all.
The only thing I ask you to do is to learn how to use the tool right before using it, no matter what social media you choose.
For example, take the course called Pinterest Traffic Avalanche. It will teach you how to drive thousands of unique visitors per month using Pinterest.
I took other courses by Alex and Lauren. Therefore I can say that they give really useful information.
Step 5. Monetize the blog.
The most exciting part: monetization. Here are the sources of your potential blogging income:
- Affiliate marketing. Make money as a commission while promoting other people’s services or goods. The most popular affiliate company is, of course, Amazon. Just make sure to provide high-quality content and don’t just throw affiliate links all over the blog. The reason is that readers need to trust you to follow your lead. Therefore promote only the products and services you truly believe in.
- Ads. Paid advertising is a great monetization instrument. But only when you have enough traffic. So think of ad revenue as a potential income source once your blog is established.
- Your own product or service. Selling products can be a huge part of your blogging income way to make money blogging. It can be a digital product, like a course, an e-book or a tutorial, or a real product or a service. Think of it as a way to make money with a passive source of income.
Step 6. Create backlinks.
This must be the most challenging part.
A backlink is a hyperlink pointing back to your blog.
The reason it is important is because search engines like Google rank websites based on the quality and quantity of backlinks.
Backlinks are a sign of trust. If a website links to you, it’s a way of saying “we trust you”.
Some examples include:
- Guest posting on someone else’s blog
- Submitting your website to directories
- Writing an article for a magazine
- Creating a press release
- Writing articles and mentioning your site
How do you get free backlinks?
There are a lot of different options, but they all basically boil down to the following:
Create content that other sites want to share.
One of the greatest instruments to create backlinks is to join HARO. It is a free program where you get asked for pitches on numerous themes.
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a free service that connects journalists and content creators with sources. It connects aspiring journalists and writers with sources that are relevant to their story ideas.
If you are a HARO user, you can add your expertise to relevant inquiries by submitting a pitch.
Resources you’ll need to make money blogging
Bluehost is one of the top web hosting companies, where you can start a blog that is easy to manage even if you are not a software engineer.
Google Analytics will show you the number of visitors, page views, and some other metrics. It the beginning, the only information you’ll need is the amount of visitors.
The whole set up process is very easy. Here is a simple action plan on how to start with Google Analytics.
Tailwind lets schedule posts to Pinterest and Instagram, which saves time and gives the opportunity to post with constancy. It is a very handy instrument if you decide to run Pinterest and Instagram account.
I’d say so far, ConvertKit is the most challenging instrument I use, but it worth the hustle. And the reason for that is that I would like to be connected with people who read my blog and follow up with the audience.
If you’re not planning to connect with your audience, you can totally skip this instrument at the beginning and focus on the content creation.
Here is a simple and shortlist of goals you need to achieve to make money blogging:
- Find the niche
- Set up the blog
- Write 50+ posts with affiliate links
- Create a Pinterest account (optional)
- Create a product (optional)
- Join ad network (optional)
You can put this in your notebook, put on a sticker on your desk, and start accomplishing them.
1 year plan to make money blogging
You will make money blogging by the end of your first blogging year (if not sooner) with this plan.
Week 1: Find a profitable niche.
Week 2-4: Do a research on what content people are looking for.
If you skip this step, I can’t guarantee that you’ll make blogging right and actually make money. These are the courses I wish I took sooner: either Niche Academy or Stupid Simple SEO. Instead, I wasted my time thinking like I’m a smart one and can find all the information I need on my own. It is better and faster to take someone else’s better practices and implement them.
Week 5: Create posts plan. Based on the research, create a list of posts you will create to fill your blog with good content.
Week 6: Set up the blog. Don’t waste too much time on small things like color scheme or logo. The point of a blog is to be a platform where you will share information. Again, information and content is what’s important. Not branding.
Week 6-52: Post 50 posts, about 1-2 posts per week. After each post create and add pins to Pinterest (optional).
Stay calm and carry on blogging
Write at least 20 posts for the first couple of months. The reason is that you need to see if the posts or niche is bringing you traffic. To do that, you need to give Google time to index (see or understand) your content. It takes a couple of months. So I suggest creating a decent amount of posts asap to see if it works.
The sooner you create them, the better, because Google takes a couple of months to range the new posts. You can do posts in 6 months (approximately 2 posts per week). Or you can do more if you can. Well searched, because my first 40 posts were useless in terms of traffic and therefore monetization.
After all the 50 posts are posted, watch the traffic and monetization (3 to 6 months in my experience).
If there is no money coming in, then do the research all over again and make changes. Don’t waste your time. Of course, there will be people who will fail to open a door even with the key given – not talking about people with disabilities here (because I know people with disabilities who make good money).
But I’m 100% sure that if you have a clear head, decent and open mind, ability to look for answers (aka the ability to google questions you may have) and set to success, then you’ll definitely make money blogging.
Again, if you had 50+ posts, waited a couple of months after the 50th post is published (3 to 6 in my experience) and the traffic is low (less than 1k per day), then start the research all over again.
But it won’t happen if you properly do the steps above.
You may have heard that making money blogging is a thing and some people actually earn decent money with blogging. You may also think that blogging is either too hard for you, or it is unreal to make real money blogging nowadays. Neither is true, based on my experience.