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Is it really possible to make a living from blogging? Or is it just a myth?
Here's the good news: You can make money blogging. You just have to get it right.
Take my blog as an example.
Blogging played a crucial role in my success. However, reaching this point had a fair share of obstacles, mistakes and doctrines.
Currently, my revenue is $ 381,772 for 30 days.
That's a lot of money, especially for a blog.
But how can I do that?
I have been very dedicated and put a lot of hard work into creating useful and detailed content and using relevant images to deliver accurate and thorough information to my readers.
This helped me become a defining figure and thought leader in my niche.
And no, it doesn't take years to become a successful blogger.
It's great to know the art of consistently producing high quality content, driving search engine traffic, using social media, and generating leads. But you also need to know how to make money from your blog.
The process is certainly challenging, especially when the internet is painted with lots of bad advice.
However, this is not one of those articles.
In this guide, I'll show you exactly how to make money blogging by avoiding the mistakes I made on my 10 year journey. This will not only make your blog success easier, but also faster.
Excited? Let's begin.
Your 2 minute cheat sheet
The very first thing you need to start making money is come up with an idea and the name for your blog. Think about the topics that you want to write about frequently.
After that, sign up for the basic plan with Bluehost. Even if you don't have a big budget, this is practically a bargain at just $ 2.95 a month.
Set up your account and be sure to skip all of the add-ons except for privacy and domain protection. A few extra dollars in privacy and security is an investment.
And with that you have your own blog domain. Hooray!
In the next few steps you need to install WordPress and finally write and publish your first blog post.
Once you've posted a few blogs and attracted some visitors, you can work on monetizing them to make your first bucks.
You will need to sign up for a Google AdSense and Amazon Associates account to earn money from advertising or affiliate marketing. You can also sell your own products and services after successfully driving large amounts of traffic to your website.
That was the basics. Now let's get into the details.
Step 1: find out your blog's niche
The first item on the agenda is deciding what your blog is about. Whether you want to talk about marketing, CBD, veganism, or just random life stories, find out.
Remember, your idea doesn't have to be revolutionary, but you do need a unique voice.
Here are two tips for deciding on a blog niche:
Choose something that you enjoy
I know this sounds like a cliché, but there's no point blogging about it if you don't love the topic.
Never start blogging about something you don't love – it will show in your writing and your readers will know. Additionally, you can't consistently produce great content to build your audience and make money from it later.
Make a list of things that naturally intrigue you and enjoy learning about. Or, think about what your friends and family will come to you for advice.
Find out if a potential niche has a readership
The only way to make money from your blog is to have enough website visitors.
Let's say you've already figured out your blog niche and want to write about crafts.
You are making a wise decision to move forward and develop a blog devoted entirely to paper art or scrapbooking. While you enjoy writing about both topics, you might prefer to focus on one.
But how do you choose between the two options?
Answer: Do a quick Google search.
As you can see, there are far more results with paper art than with scrapbooking. Hence, it makes more sense to write about paper art that the audience is looking for.
I would also like to add that it is better to avoid broad or general subjects. Don't be afraid to get specific as long as you have people for it.
For example, if you want to create a food blog, don't use words like "food". Use "barbecue" or "vegan" instead.
Do you understand my point of view
Step 2: Name your blog
Once you have an idea, you need to work on naming your blog.
Does the name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ring a bell? I thought
But I bet Lady Gaga does.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is Lady Gaga's real name. She opted for a more catchy and easy-to-remember alternative that would better suit her music.
That is the power of the right name.
Choosing a blog name is equally exciting and daunting. After all, this will be your brand name and how people will remember you.
Don't overthink it and don't say anything random or offensive to your blog.
When choosing a name, consider the following questions:
- Does it reflect what your blog is about?
- Would your target audience like it?
- Is the name easy to say and spell?
- Is it short and to the point?
I chose my own name as the domain (NeilPatel.com) simply because Neil Patel is who I am and it's my brand too. You could do what I did or come up with something completely different.
Whichever name you come up with, make sure it's available as a website domain.
You can use Bluehost's Domain Name Checker for this purpose. Enter any name you can in the search bar and click check availability knowledge.
I would recommend going with a .com if possible.
Do not buy an available domain at this time. I have something up my sleeve so that you can get it for free.
Step 3: Sign into a web host like Bluehost
You need to sign up for a web hosting service in order to get your blog live, along with a registered domain name that will serve as the address of your blog.
I recommend Bluehost as one of the best web hosting companies – not to mention affordable ones – that guarantees excellent service and a free domain.
And did I mention that as a NeilPatel.com reader you are getting an extra discount?
Go to Bluehost.com and click the green get started now Button.
Next, sign up for the basic plan. You can always upgrade later. However, since you are just starting a blog, it is better to stick to the basic plan.
Register the domain name you came up with without paying anything extra. Just make sure the drop-down menu is set to .com before clicking Next.
Then you need to sign in with your Google account. You can also enter your personal login information manually.
Scroll down to choose your registration duration. This can be either a 36 month, 24 month, or 12 month agreement. To get the best deal ($ 2.95 per month), you need to get a three-year contract.
It's not over yet.
You can find package options like Domain Privacy + Protection, Codeguard Basic, Bluehost SEO Tools, Microsoft 365 Mailbox Trial, and SiteLock Security Essentials.
In my opinion, you only need Domain Privacy + Protection to protect your contact information from fraudulent callers and unsolicited email. Ignore the others.
Finally, enter your payment information, read the terms and conditions and click Submit.
This is where you will have your blog!
Follow any remaining instructions to set up your account, and then proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Install WordPress CMS
You have your web host, next you need blogging software.
I trust WordPress to run all of my blogs because it's easy to use, feature rich, and free. Plus, you can install thousands of free plugins to make your blog more functional and customize it the way you want.
After signing up with Bluehost, you'll have a free domain and hosting account. Sign in by entering your credentials and then clicking Install WordPress.
Ta-Da! You now have a fully functional WordPress blog ready to roll.
Step 5: design your WordPress blog
In order to design a blog, you need to choose an attractive and affordable WordPress theme.
Why do you need this? Now that you've signed up for WordPress, your blog will look something like this:
Not exactly what you would call elegant and inviting, is it? The way your website looks can help generate more website traffic, which in turn can help you make more money.
Fortunately, WordPress has thousands and thousands of themes to choose from. I've even rounded up some of the best. Here's how you can choose a WordPress theme:
- Log into your WordPress account.
- Click on Appearance in the sidebar menu of your dashboard.
- Select from the drop-down options subjects.
- Go to Add new, is at the top of the screen for access to thousands of fancy WordPress themes. You can also click Function filter to filter your search and see options that better suit your tastes.
You should choose a theme that suits your personal style, but should also be in sync with your blog niche at the same time.
- Preview the topic to see what it will look like.
- If you like the insight into a certain topic, click on To install and then activate.
With a nice new theme, your website gets a much-needed upgrade that will make it attractive to visitors.
Step 6: come up with interesting blog topics
If you want to increase your website traffic or encourage more email signups, you need to offer interesting content to your readers.
My tip is to make a list of questions that you get frequently. Trust me, you can create a range of potential blog topics in just 30 minutes. Your priority should be to look at things from your reader's perspective.
You can also focus on higher-level questions.
For example, let's say you want to create a parenting blog for mothers who stay at home. Below I've made a list of questions you can ask yourself, as well as a list of answers about the mother blog.
Q1) What could be a fascinating or exciting topic of conversation for your readers?
For mothers who stay at home, topics related to sleep training, homeschooling, and budget-friendly meal ideas could be a good place to start.
Q2) What are your reader's weaknesses and challenges?
Common household challenges for staying home mothers could be planning meals, understanding development milestones, etc.
Q3) What are the characteristics of your readers?
Mothers tend to be patient and caring, and appreciate a sense of humor.
Q4) What niche topics would your readers address most?
A child's mental, physical, and emotional development could be an attractive topic of conversation for mothers who stay at home.
Q5) What topics would your readers hate about my niche?
Home mothers don't want others to look down on them. So you could blog about how society sees them and their impact.
Likewise, you can use the questions above to come up with ideas for your niche. Don't forget to create a catchy headline that will get the reader to click on your blog right away.
Step 7: optimize your blogs for the SERPs
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a critical step in making money blogging. This is where you optimize your website to rank higher in search engines for certain keywords and phrases.
If you've been following me for a long time, you may already know how SEO is my trump card.
By including certain keywords and phrases, I have successfully driven more than 30 million visitors to my website. Shocked?
That is the strength of SEO.
On WordPress, you can optimize your content and blog by downloading a plugin called Yoast SEO.
Go to the Plugins menu and click Add new. Search for Yoast SEO in the search bar and install the plugin.
Don't forget to activate it to complete the installation process.
You will find that this plugin gives you all kinds of improvement tips and suggestions based on the keyword you selected to help you optimize your content. I would recommend including as many suggestions as possible to improve SEO and content readability.
Step 8: Sign in to Google AdSense
Setting up ads is the best way to monetize your blog. But you have to be smart.
The biggest mistake people make is bombarding their websites with blinking ads. Avoid this at all costs.
Instead, focus on using targeted ads that engage your customers without bothering them.
To make money from ads, you need a Google AdSense account. Go to the AdSense page and click Join Now. If you don't already have a Google Account, you'll need to set up a new one. If you already have a Google Account, just sign in.
Fill out all relevant information before submitting your application. The AdSense team reviews every application. If all goes well, you are in!
Next, do the following to set up your account:
- Go to your AdSense dashboard and click My ads > New ad unit.
- Select the size of your ad and the type of ad. When you're done, choose Save and retrieve code.
- You will be given a code to copy and paste between your pages Keywords. This is what it will look like.
- Once you've pasted the code, your ad will start running. Your AdSense dashboard has all the information you need about your earnings. So check them regularly.
You can use ads for as many ads as you want. However, I'd recommend starting with just one – possibly a maximum of two – to get an idea of how your target audience will respond to it.
If your dashboard shows a higher bounce rate, you should reposition your current ads for better results.
Step 9: Create an Amazon Associates Account
You may have heard of affiliate marketing by now. If you want passive income, it is best to harness the power of partners.
You can first sign up for Amazon Associates. So you can start making money right away via referral links, display ads or Amazon-based shopping carts.
When your visitors use your referral link or click on the display ads, you will receive a small commission.
To sign up for Amazon Associates, all you have to do is visit the website and click Sign up now for free.
This can be very effective. Check out these receipts from Brendan Mace for definitive proof.
Amazon Associates isn't the only affiliate program.
You will be happy to know that there are many companies with their own affiliate programs, some of which pay higher commissions than Amazon. Just make sure you do your research before signing up as an affiliate for any brand.
However, I also want to emphasize the importance of only promoting the products or services that you have used or that you really believe will help your audience.
Step 10: offer a product or service for sale (optional)
Many people think that advertising is the only source of income for bloggers. This may be true for some, but you will also find that many bloggers make some money selling a product or service.
Of course, this only works if you already have a loyal readership with steady website traffic like Nomadic Matt. Once you are at this stage you shouldn't be afraid to take the plunge.
Here are some things to sell:
- Training courses
- Video courses / webinars
- Coaching services
- Consulting services
Next, you need to figure out how you intend to sell your product. Services like Shopify or WooCommerce plugins on WordPress, Amazon or Etsy are great options for digital products. If you're selling a physical product (such as a phone case or clothing), you need to set up a more comprehensive ecommerce store.
Finally, let your audience know about your product or service by sending them email. You can also consider developing lead magnets such as recorded webinars, PDFs, and white papers to build your email list.
There is a difference between a simple blog and monetizing a blog. To make this transition successful, you need to take a more proactive and focused approach.
You got that!
Just stay focused and work consistently to keep improving your blog and building trust between you and your audience. Follow my steps above to go on the right track.
Make sure you stick to what works and you will have a winning formula.
Have you tried blogging yet? Let me know about your experience.