Think about this. What’s the reason why you read a blog?
Do they publish frequently?
Are the articles long and informative?
All those things help, but they are not the main reason.
You read the blog because you care about what they say. Creating strong content is what will bring you readers and help you to eventually make money blogging can be a very profitable venture.
This is why the first thing you need to do, is come up with content ideas that people want to read about.
Here are 3 ideas for finding content people care about, with examples.
Idea number 1: writing based on your personal passion
While there are some risks in choosing a blog niche based on your interests, it certainly doesn’t have to be a receipt for disaster. Using your own know-how to create interesting and valuable content can be extremely profitable.
For start, writing about your own passion can help you stay motivated because starting a blog and making money out of it, it’s not simple and you’ll have to overcome lots of hurdles and problems if you are deeply invested in what you are creating.
Do I need to start finding my niche early?
The example above suggest you don’t have to. You can write about things that simply interest you without a precise calendar or strategy to stick to. However, it’s advisable that you find a niche soon rather than later, the reason being that you inform your audience on how to find you and it’s easier for when you connect with other bloggers.
Do I need to learn how to position my website on search engine?
Idea number 2: consider your professional experience
Has working in a particular industry made you know the ins and outs? Maybe you have a skill set that is particularly attractive and you can use it to start writing about a particular topic?
Turning your work experience into a blog is a smart way to enter a market with a leg up that isn’t easy for others to copy and duplicate.
Idea number 3: read customers reviews on trendy products
Whether you already have a blog or not, there is a wealth of insight you can glean from customer reviews. If you already have an established blog that monetizes as a side income, you are most probably promoting other companies’ products and you can see what customers are saying about the products you promote. Are there are any trends or interesting bits of feedback you can use as inspiration to write about?
If you don’t currently have a blog, have a look at customer reviews for other brands and products in the industry you want to explore. What “wishlist” feedback is being shared about potential improvements to already successful products?
You pick and choose lots of products online and check if they have an affiliate program. If so, you join as an affiliate and write reviews for those products.
Andrea Pilotti is the founder of GuidaAcquisti.net, the largest Italian reviews website for households products. Andrea and his team review on a daily basis washing machine, fridges, technology products. Then they join the affiliate programs and with this type of content, without even having an online shop, they generate six digits profit per year.
Your official website is now ready to be published. Now you can really start to create contents.
Everything is exciting, beautiful…but what content should we write about? Use the list above on how to start with content ideas, this is a very good starting point.
But what if you come up with ideas that people are actually not interested about? Let’s say you are a mum with many ideas around solf play games with your children (I know about this because I have one child myself), but how do you know for sure that there is a demand for this type of topic?
This is when keywords research comes to help.
The starting point of your keyword research is exactly your niche. When you have a niche, try searching Facebook posts or head down to Quora.com to find out what are the most common questions. Let’s continue with the soft play example and see which common questions are frequently asked:
These actually questions that I have searched on Quora myself, so they are real questions people are asking.
Now, write down 5-10 questions and ideas including your own ideas and topics that you want to talk about. This is the base for your keywords research.
There are also other methods to find ideas for your content.
One of the most used tools is AnswerThePublic.com
Before starting this guide, I have searched “how to start a blog”, for example. As a result, you’ll find all the questions and searches people have made on the topic of how to start a blog. This can help when you’ll have to niche down your articles.
The more your articles will answer people’s questions, the more your audience will find them interesting.
Once we have found out about the topics, we need to think about numbers: this is when we check search volumes, which means how many times per month a keyword is searched.
The best keyword volumes for a brand new blog are those between 500 and 800 searches per month. If they have less searches there is risk that you won’t get enough traffic to your website. If they are higher than that, you’ll have to compete with much more established and powerful blogs and it will be really hard to climb on top of search engines.
I strongly advise you to start the 7 days free trial provided by SEMRush. This will allow you to explore it for a week at no costs, including all the premium functionalities.
If you decide you don’t want to use it, just download all the data you have found and cancel your free trial before the end of the 7 days. You’ll have enough material for at leat 1 year and you won’t be billed for anything. You can also keep using SEMRush for free in its limited version.
But let’s come back to where we were.
Below you’ll see, for example, the results for the keyword research “how to start a blog”. Especially if you have basic skills, I advise you to opt for some keywords that have a low Keyword Difficulty, because this way you have better chances of positioning your blog on Google.
I can assure you it’s very frustrating writing dozens and dozens of articles that nobody will ever read.
In this case how can you choose a keyword that has a lower Keyword Difficulty? The answer is very simple, just opt for the long and medium tail keywords.
What are the long tail keywords?
These are the search engine optimisation tools that I advise you to use regularly:
Taking a step further: how to brainstorm smart blog post ideas (using keywords research)
You have to do smart keywords research in order to generate the right blog ideas that will actually bring you readers.
Here is how you can come up with keywords ideas:
Once you have nailed keywords research, it’s time to prepare your editorial calendar. I don’t think there are any definitions about editorial calendar, so I’ll make up mine own:
“An editorial plan is a document (Excel, Word, etc,) that helps us to create an editorial strategy for our blog and in which we include all the keywords we want to target, related keywords data, blog titles and other info so that we can build a strategic plan for the blog.”
That’s because a blog is, most of all, a business and you should approach it that way. You would never trust a company that doesn’t plan, right?
I have even prepared an editorial plan that you can use for your own projects. It’s the same plan that I use with my clients and it’s very useful whether you delegate writing to content writers or you write them yourself.
Next Pro Tip: many of the guides that you’ll find on the web stop right here. But I have decided to go an extra mile and explain you some of the things that you need to start and run a blog, if you want your blogging business to be successful and sustainable.
It’s hard to find such a detailed, long and valuable guide elsewhere. Most of all, it’s hard to find a guide that really generates revenue for you. I don’t do any theory or fluff, but I share my experience of 10 years in digital marketing, of which 8 building and growing blogs with thousand of visitors per day.
Before you get too far down the road of creating a blog post, laying down your content calendar and writing your first blog post, you need to answer one simple question… Why?
Writing a blog post headline that encourages readers to click through
One of the reasons you chose to start a blog was to attract readers, right? Well, it pays dividends to put some effort into learning how to write a headline that’ll entice readers and most importantly—deliver on the promise of what your article is actually helping readers to accomplish.
So let’s say you’ve determined that your hiking blog should start by breaking down some underrated walks in Southern Hampshire. Next, click into the “Add title” bar on your new post page and type in a title like…
“15 scenic walks you have never heard of in Hampshire”
As a starting point to writing a strong title, learn by observing the headlines of other successful bloggers in your niche:
Check out a few of the most recent headlines from my blog so you can get some inspiration on how you might want to structure your headlines.
If you’re still unsure about how to title a new post, then do a Google search for the target keyword phrase you’re going after and gather inspiration for the ways other titles are written—be sure not to directly copy other bloggers, but that’ll point you in the right direction.
Now that your editorial plan is ready, it’s finally time to start writing your first WordPress article. Go to WordPress and click to Posts > Add New Post.
To write an effective post that can check all the boxes for Google and your readers, you should pay attention to a few things.
First of all, you always have to write quality contents that could make a difference. I know this is something you’ll see everywhere in the marketing world, but look at how many blogs you have out there that are simply rubbish. Here are my personal opinions on what makes an article “valuable”:
In the first 10 months, my blog generated $28,799 in revenue as a side hustle, while I was working full time.
I share this not to brag, but so that you’ll understand I know what I’m talking about when it comes to starting a blog and making a generous side income with it. Moreover, I’ll be the first to tell you that these kinds of income figures are typical with blogging—and that it’s taken me less than 2 years to reach this point in my blog business.
Even if monetisation doesn’t come quickly, especially if you start your blog from scratch, it’s good to have an idea of which ways you’d like to make money blogging as you go into this new adventure. Some of these monetisation strategies will be easier than others to implement while your readership is still growing.
When it comes to my favourite techniques to generate money, I tell you right now that I don’t use any Google AdSense and that I have a few affiliate links in my blog as I have joined only 5 affiliate programs so I almost generate no passive income.
1. Freelancing (selling your services)
All you really need in order to land a freelance client, is a strong enough pitch, which is where choosing to start a blog (first) will help significantly. You’ll want to build out your key pages (About, Contact, Hire Me) and showcase at least a couple examples of the type of work you’ve done that you’ll soon be pitching freelance clients on.
This example from entrepreneur.com is a great one:
“For example, if you’re running a fitness blog, you can easily sell affiliate health, weight loss, or body building supplements. Since the content is already attracting people that are interested in fitness, selling these types of products helps you to create a near-automated stream of passive income.”
eBooks are another great way to make money online because you can write them yourself and sell them yourself.
Essentially, your blog is already one big eBook, but now you can expand a bit more on some of the topics that you frequently write about for your most interested readers.
You can even promote your eBook through your blog posts by saying something like, “if you’re looking for some more information on this topic, I recently wrote an eBook that goes a bit deeper. For just $Xx.xx, you can purchase it here!”
eBooks really are great because you can get people to not only subscribe to your blog, but to get on board with what you have to offer. From there, you can begin to use that eBook to not only earn you money, but to generate leads and build up your following.
4. Online Courses & Workshops
If you write about a technical or practical skill on your blog, it would be a wise idea to offer online courses and workshops. Not only would this be a fantastic way to market your brand, but it’ll also be a good way for your followers and readers to really get to know you as a person. It’s one thing to get to know someone by reading their writing, but it’s something entirely different to actually hear their voice and learn from them – even if it’s done remotely and at the other end of a screen.
For example, if you publish a blog on photography or design, it would be a good idea to create a course or a workshop based around a specific skill like lighting and printing, or even a Photoshop or Illustrator crash course.
5. Advertisements & Sponsorships
This one might be a bit harder to take advantage of because it’ll require you to have a clear and proven following for your blog.
Again, it’s not impossible, but it’ll certainly require some leg work to build up your blog from the ground up. You’ll want to have a web designer or developer build in some advertising space on your blog, but you’ll also want to ensure that it doesn’t disrupt the experience of your readers.
After all, how often would you return back to a blog that was difficult to read because an ad would pop up on the screen every 5 minutes or so? You wouldn’t!
However, it is worth considering that these types of advertisements and sponsorships can be quite lucrative, but you’ll have to make it work in a way that makes sense. It’s all trial and error.
This is a new one that we’re only recommending because it’s clear that the podcast craze is more than just a craze – it’s a full-blown industry, and it’s growing quickly. The best part about podcasting is that it takes relatively little effort to create or to publish, and you can certainly turn a nice profit if you’ve got a following of people willing to read and listen to what you have to say.
For instance, your blog could be a space where you introduce the topics that you plan to talk about later on in your podcast. With a short blog post, you can easily lay the ground work for a two hour podcast that your readers would have to pay for if they want to listen. Not to mention, you can also use your blog as a place to promote your podcast and to have your listeners continue the conversation. It’s a great way to stay modern, current, and on-trend too.
While this might seem overwhelming for most, starting your own agency is not difficult. Here is the process that you could use to get started and earn £3,000/month with your first deal:
It’s time to monetise your blog
Now that you’ve heard all about our top 6 ways to monetize your blog, it’s time to put them to the test. If you’ve already got your blog established, it should be as simple as picking the strategy that works best for you. From there, you can hit the ground running.
We are at the end of this long guide on how to create a blog and monetise it. The information I have provided is really a lot and maybe you’ll feel a bit confused right now.
Don’t worry, it’s a normal process, you’ll always feel overwhelmed when you learn new information.
Ultimately, growing a successful blog all boils down to being excited and engaged with your new blog. If you want people to read what you’re writing, you need to give them a reason to.
Write exciting content, connect with people in your niche and enthusiastically share what you’re working on.
The traffic, monetization and everything else will follow.
I wrote this guide because starting a blog has been one of the most empowering, life-changing decisions I’ve made in my life.
And I hope that by now you feel confident enough to go out there and start a blog of your own.
Quick summary of how ti start a blog in 2021:
Will you take the leap and start your own blog this year? Drop me a line in the comments below.