How to Start a Blog & Monetize in 2022 (Complete Guide)

Now is a great time to start blog and monetize it. Generate consistent revenues and build a business around it. It doesn't matter who you are or whether or not you have lots of startup capital. Learn how successful publishers monetize their blogs and how you can adapt their strategies to build wealth.

Reasons You Should Start a Blog

  1. Businesses who blog have 400% more pages coming up in searches. (FORBES)

  2. 89,409 Google searches happen per second (SEMRUSH)

  3. Blogging attracts 3X the qualified leads versus more traditional methods. (CMI)

  4. 90% of search traffic comes from your existing blog articles, not your new ones. (NEIL PATEL)

  5. Over 409 million people view more than 20 billion blog articles each month

  6. 75% of people prefer reading articles under 1,000 words

  7. Bloggers who earn over $50,000 per year say their most popular posts are long-form (2500+)

  8. Publishing 2X week increases blog return on investment (ROI) by 57%

  9. 46% of people regularly take the advice of bloggers

  10. 34% of people say they've immediately bought something they didn't even know they needed after reading a blog about it. Wow!

But this isn't just about starting a blog and making money. How do bloggers make that money? And How do the start blogging their way to this kind of influence and outrageous profits? That's what this guide will show you --How to achieve monetization faster, more efficiently, and with less work.


What I'm not going to do is tell you there are 5 simple steps to monetizing a blog. There are more steps. But what you'll walk away with here is a solid understanding of blog monetization and how to do it yourself. Attract people. Grow and Audience. Gain Influence. Monetize that Audience.


Short on time? But want to learn the best way to start a blog and monetize it? Download this complete guide for easy offline reading anywhere. Take it with you and share it with your team.




Start a blog and monetize it
Start a blog and monetize it


In this Guide, You'll Learn:



10 Ways to Make More Money Blogging

Define Your Goals

Choose Your Niche

Research Your Audience

Choose Your Blog's Platform

Pick a Domain Name

Identify Endless Traffic-Driving Topics

Write a Blog Post

Optimize for Google Search (SEO)

Develop a Content Strategy

Install Analytics

Promote a Blog

Build an Audience

Monetize

20 Tips to Improve Your Blog

 

How to Make Money from a Blog (10 Ways)


To make money blogging, you have to have a plan to monetize your blog. And there are so many ways to do this. Your blog monetization channel depends on if you already have an existing product or service to promote. Or if you plan to monetize by having the blog take center stage.


However, in some Business models, you may want to tap into multiple blog monetization channels as long as those channels don't detract from your ability to meet your overall blogging goals.


If you're a lawn care services company, you could certainly choose to sign up for AdSense and put ads on your blog to make a little on the side. But this may turn off the leads you were trying to generate for your lawn care service, which is probably more valuable to you.


Let's look at 10 proven ways to generate consistent blog income.


1. Generate Leads

If you have an existing business, blogging is a top way to generate leads for your company, second only to video, especially if you're marketing business to business (B2B). Business decision-makers use blogs to understand their company's challenges and evaluate the possible solutions for those problems.


You can position your B2B blog as a helpful resource for these buyers. You'll use your blog to attract your target audience (business people who need what you sell) and guide them through the Buyer's Journey.


But even here, The way you use your blog to generate leads can vary.


You may direct readers to a contact form on your contact page. You may offer them a free download in exchange for their email address. Or you could provide a free audit, service, or trial for your product.

2. Sell Advertising Space | Use Google AdSense

Get paid to show ads for companies who are related to your niche. When someone clicks that ad, you get a few cents for each click. But this adds up once you have 10,000 or 50,000 people visiting your blog each day.

3. Sign Up for Affiliate Programs

Review and recommend affiliate products and get paid through their affiliate programs. Provide your honest reviews and sign up for their affiliate advertising program. Anytime someone clicks on that link, you share a percentage of the sale.


4. Sell Your Own Products and Services

Some businesses need to generate leads that they nurture to the point of a sale. Other products don't take much forethought. If you don't produce anything to sell yourself, you can make money with dropshipping. You build the audience. They send the products, manage returns, etc.


You can use your blog to promote these kinds of products or services directly.

5. Sell Digital Downloads

Maybe you have an eBook you want to promote. Blogging is a great way to give your audience just enough for free, so they want to buy the book.


Similarly, you might sell:

  • Templates

  • Infographics

  • Photos

  • Apps

  • Complete How-to Guide

  • Original Market Research

6. Launch a Profitable Online Course

Blogging can also be a great way to share your knowledge, so people want to sign up for your course.


7. Write Blogs for Someone Else

You can make a decent blogging income by blogging for others who are monetizing their blogs. If you plan to monetize this way, you'll also find this post helpful. You can just think about this guide in terms of your client's website instead of your own, and the skills you'll learn here will help them get the most out of their blog, which will increase your income.


If you're making money by selling your blogging skill to others, you can alternatively skip to section:

How to Write a Blog Post



8. Gate Certain Content

You can set your site up to offer some content for free. This content appears in search engines. Gated content typically does not,


But if you ungate a portion of the page it might. New York Times articles appear in search this way, even though most are gated.


What is Gated Content? Similar to a gated community, gated content is behind a login and/or paywall, you require visitors to log into your site to access your prime content. There may or may not be a nominal subscription fee like $3.99/mo. If you're a big-name news source, you can charge more obviously.


This content is hidden from search engines and generally inaccessible to the general public.

You can choose to have a free paywall as well. And you may be wondering how you make money if it's free. Simple.


First, every time this person logs in you can track how they interact with content. This can provide you with insights you wouldn't achieve if they freely accessed content.


Second, because they're now a member of your site, they're on your subscriber list, so you can increase the number of times they revisit your site to increase ad revenues.


This is one of the more stable ways to generate revenues because you have more power to increase visits through email.

9. Offer an Ad-Free Experience

You can also offer subscribers an ad-free experience. This would be similar to Hulu or YouTube offering you no ads if you pay a monthly fee. The fee paid fully off-sets any ad clicking they might have done.


You will hit the sweet spot on this fee when it's high enough that people see the value and come back, but low enough that they forget about it on their credit card statement. So they don't unenroll.


You can also offer levels. The first level free subscription has ads, paid level doesn't have ads.

10. Host Sponsored Blog Posts

Offer to publish blog posts written by businesses and influencers who want to tap into your audience to promote their followings. This serves a dual function. They pay you for the opportunity to publish. And they become a source of content for your audience.


They may also pay you to create the content and publish in on your site under their name (or yours as a content sponsor). This is similar to a YouTube Influencer creating a video sponsored by a brand they use.


But be sure to set down some ground rules. If you publish everything, you'll lose your audience's trust.


Now that we've looked at the many ways you can make money with a blog, I know you're ready to dive right in.


Want to help others Help others learn how to start a blog and monetize it? Don't forget to link to this page from your website.

 

Define Your Goals


With the above monetization channels in mind, it's time to decide what you want your blog to do for you. It needs a primary goal. This will drive your overall strategy. But you'll also define and track some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).


These are the things you regularly measure so you can compare performance month to money (oops: I mean month) and year to year to grow your blogging success.


Let's say your goal is to generate $100,000/year from your blog within three years.

What KPIs do you need to track to tell you you're on your way?

For your website:

  • Daily traffic

  • Repeat visitors

  • Search rankings

  • Time spent on the page

  • Time spent on the site

  • Number of pages viewed

  • Monthly revenues

You'll set other goals for social like:

  • Net Follower Increase

  • Views

  • Various Engagement Metrics

  • Clicks

Whatever goals and KPIs you choose to track, make sure you have the analytics tools to track them consistently and as efficiently as possible. Make your goals SMART so you stay clear about what you want to achieve and can compare them month to money.

Set SMART Goals

Smart Goals are:

  • Specific - They clearly state what you're measuring

  • Measurable - You have the tools in place to measure them

  • Attainable - They're not pie in the sky. They're practical. You can undoubtedly set stretch goals. But move in the right direction and gain momentum. Set goals you can achieve soon. Make $100,000 your first year. That may not be attainable for you unless you plan to put in 80 hour weeks. But in year 2 or 3, it may not be out of the question.

  • Relevant - What you're measuring helps you achieve your big goal of making money. Tracking things like how many likes you get may not be appropriate if you can't correlate it to increased revenues.

  • Time-Bound - You set a specific time by which you'll meet this goal. It's SMART to set goals for the month, quarter, year, and 5-year, starting. These might change as you learn what you're capable of. But it's essential to have some time-bound goals to keep you on track.


 

Choose a Perfect Niche for Your Blog


To rock the world of blogging, you must have a suitable niche. You'll use this to develop a clear idea of your proposed blogging niche's market volume, pricing, and economic potential.

Even if you already have an established business you plan to promote using a blog, you need to have a clear vision of what your blog will be about. In that, it's essential to consider your existing business' target audience and work from there.


But if you don't have an existing business, you'll work in the opposite direction. Choose some candidate niches and then evaluate who your target audience for that niche is.


Unclear about what niche to choose? Ask yourself these three questions.

1. Do I Enjoy Learning About This Topic?

Don't start a blog because you think this is what people want if you're not already passionate about it. This topic should either be something you know absolutely everything about or something you cannot imagine yourself ever getting tired of learning about.


Because when you plug into a niche, you will be hitting the niche topics from every possible angle, inside and out, left and right, no dark corner unexplored.


If you could see yourself getting bored with this niche and abandoning your following in the future, do everyone a favor and write about something else.

2. Are Others Interested in The Same Things?

But with that said, this has to be something people are interested in. Otherwise, how are you growing your audience? So I suggest you start with the passion and explore a popular or underserved niche that aligns with it.


Underserved is tricky. Sometimes it's underserved because it's not profitable. And sometimes, it is just because no one thought of tapping into it. You can determine which it is by social listening. Follow some prominent hashtags, and listen for sub-concepts people are talking about.

3. Is it already oversaturated? Confirm Market Demand

Now, this doesn't mean you have to abandon this niche completely. But you certainly need to develop a game plan to grab the attention of people who are already invested elsewhere. What is something new you can bring to the table? How can you make this niche your own?


What's currently missing in the content already out there?

 

Research Your Target Audience


You've started doing this already to choose your niche. But now, it's time to dig deep.

Who are they? What are their common characteristics, interests, goals, and challenges?


Do they tend to trust or interact with specific sources online? Where do they spend time online?


You need to know what your target audience is looking for in Google and what they engage with on social. You'll use what you learn to develop topics that your audience will appreciate and engage with.

Unsure about your audience? Do some undercover work.


Put yourself in your audience's shoes and interact with them on social platforms to see what they're talking about.


Create a buyer persona for each target. This is a fictionalized representation of your ideal reader. When writing imagine you're speaking directly to this person...because in a way, you are.


 

Choose a Blogging Platform


The last thing you want to do is launch a blog in one place only to have to move it later. Don't let offers of a free domain name or other perks influence you. This is a decision you need to be able to live with.

When evaluating blogging platforms, you'll need to consider:

  • Domain privacy protection

  • Blog hosting limits

  • Site speed

  • Customizability

  • Ease-of-Use

  • Content Management Tools

  • Whether it aligns with your technical skills

Where is the best place to create a blog? Here are some of my top picks for blog hosting.

  • Wix - How much does it cost? It starts at $23/mo, which you can pay annually.

  • Weebly - Starts a $12/mo. You get what you pay for. Weebly is much less customizable vs. Wix. But it may meet your needs, so why pay more if it does.

  • Substack - varies

  • WordPress.org -varies

  • WordPress.com -varies

Get a Web Hosting Account

You can set up a free web hosting account on any of the above. But free options will limit your ability to rank the sites in search and control the site. The free web hosting company will show ads to your audience, which detracts from your own money-making potential.


So I would certainly consider paying for your blog hosting, which isn't expensive.


Starting a blog on WordPress? You also have the option of a self-hosted WordPress blog, etc. You buy hosting from BlueHost account, GoDaddy, etc., and install WordPress software and a free WordPress blog theme to build your new blog there. This does require a bit more technical skill.


Don't take on more than you're comfortable with unless you plan to outsource web design.


 

Pick a Domain Name for Your Blog


Your custom domain name will form the basis of your online identity, whatever your niche. It is yours as long as you continue to pay an annual fee. That's around $10 to $15 a year for a .com.


How to Choose a Domain Name:

  • Make it easy to type and remember

  • Keep it as short as possible

  • Use keywords people may use when searching your niche

  • Make it memorable

  • Make sure it's available

  • Don't encourage brand confusion

  • See if your blog hosting company offers you a deal before buying one.

Choose a Name for Your Blog in 2021

The name of your blog may be identical to your domain name. But not always. For example, you may have an existing business, and you start a blog to generate leads if you sell software to Finance Industry professionals. Your domain name may be FinSoft.com, but the name of your blog may be "FinSoft Financial News & Insights".


If you're trying to build a personal brand as an influencer, your new blog name and domain name could be your real name, so Neil Patel.

Go for Simple and Familiar User Design

The look and feel of your blog are important. But keep it as simple as possible, so people can easily navigate and understand what your blog is all about.


Choose colors for your new blog that are easy on the eyes since you want people to stick around and come back.


But do try to define your look with a custom logo and consistent use of colors, fonts, imagery, etc., from page to page.