Today, I wanted to write this huge idiots guide to blogging to help new bloggers understand what it actually takes to create a profitable blog. I’m in no way calling anyone an idiot, but so many people make it harder than what it actually is.
If you really want to create a successful blog, the most important thing to focus on is content, content, content. You’ll do much better if you write content that is focused on a particular niche. I’m going to share the results I’ve seen with this blog and my new blog that is a little over 30 days old.
Focus on content that helps your audience and is targeting keywords that will eventually rank on Google. (I’ll cover this more in detail later on)
How to Make Money Blogging: And Eventually Quit Your Job
Most people who start a blog, want to eventually earn money. I started this blog with the hopes of walking away from my WordPress freelance business. I’ve been able to achieve, now I am working towards making more so I can live life without worries and save for retirement.
Yes, there are some people who start a blog as a hobby. But running a blog costs money. There’s no shame in trying to monetize and make money. I’m going to share what you need to know to actually start making money.
I’ll also share some of my biggest mistakes that have kept me from seeing success as quickly as I would’ve liked to see.
So let’s get started.
10 Blogging for Beginners Tips You Need
If you’re serious about creating a profitable blog, you’ll want to make sure that you follow these basic tips. Forget everything else that you read online and stick with these tips.
#1 Choosing The Right Blogging Platform
Start with a self-hosted WordPress blog, read this if you don’t know the difference. Once you buy a domain, get started with a reputable hosting account like SiteGround. I recommend that you sign up for 2-3 years in advance, you won’t have to worry about paying high renewal fees.
Regardless of what you’ve heard, it takes time to grow a blog. Some niches will grow faster, but you should give yourself plenty of time without worrying about paying for higher hosting fees.
#2 Don’t Worry About Design or Logos At the Beginning
It still amazes me when I see new bloggers spend hundreds of dollars on their design in the very first month. Yes, we all want our blogs to look great, but that’s not what’s important at the beginning.
Instead, focus on writing high-quality content as quickly as you. That’s what I’ve been doing for my second blog, I started the blog last month on the 6 and have written 28 blog posts so far.
My goal is to write 50 posts in the first 3 months. I’ve been using KWFinder to help me find keywords that I actually have a chance to rank for. Here’s the post I’ve written that will walk you through how to use KWFinder to do this.
Check it out, my blog is already starting to rank for some keywords. I have no doubt that my second blog will grow a lot faster than this blog. I haven’t even started to promote it via Pinterest yet.
According to Serpwatcher on KWFinder, the second blog is already starting to rank for 10 keywords. It took forever for this blog you’re reading to start gaining traction with Google.
#3 Choose A Topic of Interest
If I can tell you one thing that will stick with you, is to choose a niche you’re interested in. I’ve started several blogs, just chasing the money. What I can tell you from experience is, if you’re not interested, you’ll just end up quitting.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a good possibility that you’ll have a huge learning curve to go through. If you’re not making money six months in, it’ll be much easier to quit if you’re not interested in the niche.
Ask yourself, can you work for free for your first full year or longer? I’m NOT saying that you won’t make any money in your first year. But there’s a good possibility that it can take you that long.
Are you interested enough in the topic to keep blogging if you’re not seeing results? If NOT, then you need to choose a different niche.
#4 Don’t Blog About Blogging
I’ve read so many blog posts about people saying that beginners shouldn’t blog about blogging. Especially, if you don’t want it to take forever to start seeing results.
I totally have to agree with this statement. While I love blogging about blogging because it’s the one thing that I really know and interests me, I can tell you, it’s been an uphill battle to grow this blog.
Yes, I did a lot of things wrong from the beginning with this blog. My second blog has nothing to do with making money or blogging. I’ve written 27 articles in a little over 30 days and I know that it’s going to grow a lot faster than this one.
The blogging and MMO (making money online) niche are so competitive, it’s not the easiest niche to have success in. I’m NOT saying that it’s impossible.
But if you are planning on starting your first blog, you definitely need to consider something that is NOT so competitive. I know a lot of people want to start in the MMO and blogging niche because you can make a lot of money.
I’d recommend starting in a totally different niche. Once your first blog starts to have success, you can then use what you learn from your first blog and create a totally different niche in those competitive niches.
It will be a lot easier for a beginner to grow a blog in some off the wall niche like “bowling for kids” or “prepper gear” than the MMO and blogging niche.
I’m NOT saying that it won’t take a lot of hard work. But if you play your cards right and do things properly, then you should see growth quicker.
#5 Narrow Your Blog Focus
We hear it all the time from big bloggers, you’ll see faster success if you narrow your blog’s focus. On this blog, I blog about WordPress, blogging, making money, affiliate marketing and etc.
It’s not as niche as it could be, but I really enjoy writing about these topics. So, I plan to keep writing about them.
With my new blog, I decided to write about one niche and keep it as focused as possible. I can’t believe how quickly that blog is starting to see rankings and I am starting to see traffic to it.
The best part is that I haven’t even done any promotion. My goal is to get a total of 50 posts written in the first quarter of the year. Once I do that, I’ll turn to promote the content.
I can only imagine how quickly the blog will grow once I actually start working on the promotion aspect.
Based on my personal experience, I can tell you that keeping your blog focused has made a huge difference.
#6 Learn SEO From The Beginning
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is so vital for anyone who wants to make money from their blog. As a beginner, there’s a good chance you’re not going to know what it means.
Don’t worry, we all start without any knowledge of it. I recommend reading these sites to start learning:
- The Complete SEO Checklist for 2018 (this post helped me change up my content strategy)
- SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide
Those 2 articles will help you get a better understanding of what type of content to write about. Don’t overthink SEO, it’s not as hard as you might be thinking.
#7 Sit Down and Write
There’s no way around it, you’re going to need to learn how to love to write. This means that you’re going to have to make writing a habit.
If you’re a new blogger, you’re going to have a hard time writing. In fact, you’ll second guess yourself if you’re posts are good enough. Those thoughts may even stop you from hitting publish.
I’m here to tell you, don’t let that stop you from hitting publish. The great thing about blogging is that you can always go back and update those old blog posts once you become a better writer.
We all put out crappy content at the beginning. I’m not saying that it’s not useful content, I’m saying that if we go back to our old content, there are a lot of improvements that can be made.
That’s why so many bloggers will update their old posts. They are constantly learning and improving every day.
So don’t let the fact that you don’t know how to properly write a blog post stop you. You can always go back and update those old posts.
#8 Don’t Worry About Link Building
Everyone’s opinion will vary on this. I personally have stopped worrying about building backlinks for this blog and I am NOT going to build any for my new blog.
I’ve decided to stop worrying about it because I don’t want to do anything that will get me in trouble with Google. Plus, I have so much to do with both of my blogs, I don’t have time to worry about building links.
If you’re providing great content, you won’t have a hard time getting natural links. People will find your content useful and they will link to your posts.
These are the types of links that won’t get you into any trouble. Don’t do anything that can get you into trouble with Google. I’ve done that before and it isn’t fun to watch all your hard work go away in a flash because you were trying to game the system.
#9 Promote Your Blog Posts
At the beginning stages of your blogging journey, it’s important to get out there and promote your content. It takes time to start seeing traffic from Google, so you don’t want to sit around and wait.
I recommend starting a Pinterest business account and work on creating amazing pins. Use Tailwind to help automate the process and get your pins out there.
You won’t see results overnight, but Pinterest has been known to help bloggers grow quickly. Keep in mind, some niches do a lot better than others on this platform.
If Pinterest doesn’t work for your niche, then see if a different platform works better for you.
#10 Grow Your Email List
As you work on growing your blog with content, focus on growing your email list at the same time. The people who sign up for your email list are the ones that will eventually buy from you.
They won’t approve your account if you blog about making money, I tried to get an account with them for this blog.
#10 Give It Time
I wish I could tell you that it will only take 6 months to see your first penny online. Unfortunately, it’s different for every blogger and every niche.
All I can tell you is that if you keep doing the right things, you will eventually see results. The only reason that blogs fail, is because people want to see instant overnight results.
I get it, no one wants to work this hard and NOT see any results. I’ve been one of those people who has quit and started again several times.
All I can tell you is that there is NO MAGIC BULLET. You’re going to have to develop the patience and persistence to keep going, especially, when you’re not getting any results.
Think of blogging like dieting. You’re never going to lose the weight you want if you keep quitting and starting.
Focus On Content
One of the biggest things that have helped me start seeing growth on both of my blogs is focusing on the right type of content. Start writing content that will help your targetted audience and that will eventually rank in Google over time.
While I can’t tell you what type of content is going to help your audience, I can share what I’ve been doing to start seeing traffic from Google.
Start Seeing Traffic From Google
One of the biggest mistakes most beginners make is targetting keywords that get thousands of searches on a monthly basis. I get it because that was what I did at the beginning with this blog.
I wrote content on keywords that were so competitive, those old posts will never rank on the first page of Google. Heck, I don’t even think they are ranking at all.
This means that I wrote over 100 blog posts that were just too competitive to drive any traffic.
Now that I’ve changed to my new strategy, I am finally starting to see my organic traffic grow. Here’s exactly what I am doing.
First of all, I am using this keyword tool to spend time brainstorming some keywords I can write about. I love this tool and I can definitely see how much of an improvement it is helping me make with organic traffic.
Here’s what my organic traffic looks like compared to the same time frame last year. You can see, I was barely getting any organic traffic because I was doing it so wrong.
Last January, I was only getting around 320 organic visits from January 1 – January 13. This year during the same time frame, I’ve been getting over 3,000 visitors from organic traffic.
If you don’t do it correctly from the beginning, it can be the difference between seeing results in your first year or waiting 2-3 years to start seeing an income.
Don’t worry, I’m going to share exactly what I’m doing so it won’t take you as long as it’s taken me to see results. This is the strategy that I am using with my new blog and I’m already starting to see quicker results.
My New Content Strategy That’s Working
For the past several months, instead of focusing on keywords with lots of searches, I’ve been focusing on the ones that don’t get a ton of searches.
I know what you’re thinking.
Why would I take the time to write content for keywords that don’t get a ton of searches? Well, most big bloggers with high DA scores are NOT going to chase these types of keywords.
It’s just not worth their time, they’d rather write content on keywords that get 1,000’s of searches every month. But for you and I who have new blogs, it’s totally worth our time.
These keywords will have less competition, which means that it will be easier to rank for them. I’ve seen some of my articles start ranking within 2-3 days.
Yes, I still find myself writing articles for keywords that take a lot longer to rank for. But since I’ve started focusing on those keywords with less monthly searches, I’ve seen a huge increase in my organic traffic.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t ever want to write content for those high search volume keywords. It’s okay to write some of that type of content, because eventually, as your blog starts to gain authority, you’ll be ready to rank for those types of keywords.
But to see the quickest results from SEO, you want to focus on those keywords with less competition. Especially, if your blog has no authority.
Final Take Away
Blogging is hard work, but there is no secret to becoming a success. If you can follow these steps, and keep your head down and keep working, you will eventually see success.
The best way to ensure success is to choose a topic that you absolutely love. This is one of the best ways to assure you don’t quit when you’re not making money at the beginning.
Hand Picked Articles for You
- How to Earn Money Online at Home With Your Blog
- How to Make Money Blogging At An Level What I Takes
- 59 Best Blog Ideas for Beginners to Help You Make Money
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)