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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


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

  • -varies

  • -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, 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.

Keep navigation simple. And don't forget to add a search button. Make it easy for people to find what they're looking for. This is why design is so critical when starting a blog. But don't try to recreate the wheel.

Wix and WordPress themes can take the guesswork out of creating a visually appealing and functional design. Select a theme and design your blog. Customize your blog to make it your own.

Tap into Free Photo Resources

Don't worry about custom-designed images initially. You can find some beautiful images on free image sites. But do stick with very high-quality images that really improve the look and feel of your site.

Pexels and Pixabay are two of my favorites.

If you want to invest later in an illustrator who can create branded images, don't be afraid to go for it, as it can really enhance the uniqueness and memorability of your site. But this may not be the best place to spend your money starting out.

Get Your Blog Online

It's time to set up a blog and get to blogging. You have your blog site ready to go, so it's time to start creating blog posts and publishing them.

Don't expect magic after you publish your first post. Blogging is an activity that gains momentum as you publish each new blog post.

Plus, you'll need to promote it, which we'll get to soon. But for now, we'll focus on Learning How to Build and Manage Your Blog because you're going to want to have at least 5 posts on your site before it's worth your while to start promoting.


How to Write a Blog Post

Now, my favorite part--the actual writing. But know that you can build and monetize a blog even if you're not a good writer. Just outsource the writing part. It's very cost-effective and can help you grow your audience faster so you can make more money.

Write and Publish Content People Want to Consume

Before we get started, realize that if you can't create content people actually want, you'll fail to connect regardless of your goals. But how do you know what these topics are?

I'm going to show you how to unleash ideas within you and Brainstorm Blog Topics people want. With this method, you can publish a new and exciting post and instantly attract lots of traffic.

How to Brainstorm Content That Will Drive Traffic

So how do I come up with blog post topics?

You'll get nowhere if you're trying to develop a topic to write about each week. You can generate 100's or thousands of topics that will drive traffic in the same time it would take to generate one good topic. Just follow these steps.

  1. Spy on your audience. This is one step, but there are several ways to go about this. You can follow hashtags on social platforms using a tool like Hootsuite. Do keyword research with Moz Keyword tool. Or one of my favorites, visit Quora to see the common questions people are asking. Look at what's been popular on your site in the past. Can you expand on it?

  2. Create a keyword web. Use the above tools to start branching out related topics. Just start a list of all of the satellite topics around this topic. This will create massive inter-linking potential and help you quickly grow your following with a niche audience because you're giving them everything they ever wanted to know about X.

  3. Choose a Pillar piece. A pillar is a massive piece of content supported by 5, 10, or even 15 related pieces of content. It's easier to rank an enormous piece of content, but it's not cost-effective to make every piece of content 10,000 words. This gives you the benefit of both worlds. But hey, this wasn't my idea. HubSpot uses this strategy.

What should my first blog post be about?

Let's get to know each other.

  • Who are you?

  • What credentials, experience do you have, if relevant?

  • Why do you want to create a blog?

  • What is this blog going to be about?

  • Who is Your Target Audience?

  • What Do You Want to Achieve with Your Blog (from the audience's perspective), so not "generate leads" or "Earn affiliate dollars". Instead.... demystify personal finance for 20 somethings to help them build wealth.

  • What Can Your Audience Do to Get Involved? Try these techniques and share your experiences.?

This doesn't need to be a behemoth blog post. Make it concise and summarize it as your author blurb.

How to Write a Blog Post According to Science

When you start a blog, you'll quickly realize blogging is art and science.

Sure, you just want to let the words flow. And I recommend that wholeheartedly.

But without some basic "elements" (yeah, science) in mind when you start a blog post, you'll struggle to achieve your goals. So keep these in mind. Researchers have put a lot of analysis into figuring out what works, so have a good starting point.

Don't end here. You need to do your own testing because you know, SCIENCE requires controlled experimentation. But don't try to recreate the wheel starting out. Go with what has been proven to work.


It should be descriptive, clickable, and short enough that people don't have to overthink it. Your title should include your primary keyword phrase.

Tip: Use AMI's emotional marketing value calculator to enhance the emotional punch of your titles. But note that their tool doesn't think numbers are emotional when we both know that numbers can be compelling.

Example, "How Start a Blog and Make $1,999,871 on Your Blog" Is that emotional enough for you? Use this tool as a guide but realize there will be exceptions.


It should draw people in with a promise of good things if they keep reading.

Body with Subheads

Break your content up with shorter paragraphs, bullets, and subheads. Make sure your readability level matches your audience.

Subheads not only make your content easier to digest. Google algorithm also probably weights headlines greater than other text as it seeks to understand what your page is about.

Check Your Readability

Hemingway Editor
Hemingway Editor

A 6-8th reading level is comfortable for most people, even if they have a master's degree. But if you're writing a technical article to a technical audience, they may expect a 10th or even a post-graduate level of writing.

You can check your readability using Hemingway App, Grammarly Premium, or Yoast Content Analysis.

As much as I'm not a fan of the author, I really like Hemingway App. Unlike Grammarly, this free tool will offer you suggestions to make your content more readable, and you can instantly see how it improves readability.

Oh, the irony!

Hemingway App
Hemingway App

Links to Supporting Sources

Unless your blog is a straight opinion piece, show that it's well researched by linking to those trusted sources.

Internal linking

Don't forget to find places to link to other posts on your site.

Natural use of keywords

When people look for something in Google, they communicate what they're trying to find with a query. A query is a string of words.

We call these keywords in SEO. To make your content more findable in the search results, make sure you're using the words that people use in their queries.

You find this out by doing keyword research. Use the most important keywords as early as possible in the piece and your headings. But never force keywords or overuse them. This detracts from readability, which will not help you meet your blogging goals.

SEO meta tags

People view your meta title and meta description in the search results. Make them clickable. A meta title should be no more than 60 characters and a description no more than 160. But these could still cut off, so I recommend that you check your metas using a tool like AHREFs meta analysis tool to see how they will appear in search.


Break up the content, show what you're talking about, and make the information more visually appealing with images every 200-300 words. Give your image and alt image title, which helps Google understand the image's relevance to your page.

Rich snippet opportunities

Keep in mind how Google pulls information to show in the search results and design your content so that Google can understand and organize it into an information card. More on this when we talk SEO.


Your slug is the part of your page's address that gives the page name—for example, "Start a blog" is your slug. Ideally, this should be shorter than your title, have a primary keyword phrase, and have no dates. You should never change a slug after publishing, or you risk breaking links and creating 404 errors. So take time to get it right before you publish.

Conclusion and CTA

Do have an ending that wraps it all up. And even if you're not selling something, you need a compelling Call to Action (CTA) that tells people exactly what you want them to do next. "If you like my blog, please like, subscribe, share."

Editing and On-Page Optimization

I use Yoast Real-time Content Analyzer and Hemingway App. Yoast also offers an SEO plugin or two you may want to check out for your WordPress theme. These help you look more objectively at your work to see how others may see it.


Please proofread. And realize, it's hard to proofread your own stuff. In my opinion, anyone planning to start a blog needs Grammarly Premium. It's only a little over $100 a year.

It not only proofreads. It also identifies places you can improve your writing. But like AMI's tool, it's not perfect. Sometimes it suggests things that put errors into your work. Or it tries to remove transitional and emphasis language that gives content personality.

When you start a blog, you must connect with your audience. Dry content is rarely the way to go.

Grammarly has 242 suggestions for me. Not surprised.

Plagiarism Checker

The paid version of Grammarly will also check for possible plagiarism. And yes, it's a good idea to do this.

But with this tool, you may also need to put your thinking hat on. Every time you happen to say something like someone else, that's not plagiarism. It's just common ways of saying things.

Look, I'm 3% plagiarizing this guide. But if you look at the sites it says I plagiarized, most have nothing to do with any topics I covered.

Hmmm. Martial Arts. Air Fryers. Taxes. Yeah, I think I'm alright.

If the sites in the list were on similar topics or I was up over 4% I would need to fix these. But you can waste a lot of time fixing things that aren't broken in this business.

Duplicate Content
Duplicate Content

I'm comfortable that I did not plagiarize "And there are so many ways to do this", so it's staying in here.

With that said, real plagiarism is serious business. Don't do it. It's not right and will hurt your SEO and your reputation.

Click or Search Intent Alignment

Does the blog post live up to expectations, and is it delivering what the searchers or clicker was looking for? Is it clear from the hook that they're in the right place?

Depth for the Audience

Does the content cover the stated topic in the right amount of detail? Is the information you're providing interesting and helpful? Ideally, someone should always walk away from a blog post feeling they learned something new.

If you start a blog and just regurgitate, this won't happen.

The Right Length

This depends on the piece. If you promise an ultimate guide, then writing 1000 words and calling it a day isn't going to cut it. To get an idea of how long a piece should be, see what's ranking on page one of Google for this topic.

For example, this post is around 14,000 words + images/gifs, comparable to others ranking for this topic. Does that mean Google ranks it page one? No. But my word count is comparable to others on page one for this topic.

Not every piece of content needs to be long-form though. If you could say it in 1000. Then that's probably all you need. This is a complete guide, so it needs length and depth. Could I go into more detail? I could. But then you'd have 50,000 word complete guide to read before you can start blogging for money. Besides, Wix just informed me my blog is too long. To learn more click subscribe to get notified when I publish more content on how to make money blogging.

If you feel the above elements take the fun out of blogging, realize that you'll find these become second nature when writing blog posts as you start a blog. You can choose your blog topic, structure. And flow quickly and easily with a bit of practice.


Optimize Your New Blog for SEO

Obviously, I've already covered some of this when talking about writing your blog. But in addition to the on-page SEO, I've shared so far. You have off-page SEO.

These are the things you do behind the scene to improve your success with search engines.

How do I optimize my blog for search engines?

What is search engine optimization (SEO)? It's the act of optimizing something so that a search algorithm is more likely to recommend it. That's what search rankings are.

They're recommendations.

Search engines exist all over the web. YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest--These all use search engines to deliver up the most relevant content to their users. You can SEO for all of these. But here, we'll focus on Google Search.

SEO is often misunderstood. It's commonly thought of as a series of SEO tactics employed to increase the ranking of some piece of property in the search, so it becomes more visible. But SEO is a lot more.

I like to put it this way.

Focus on Search Engine Alignment (SEA) instead.

Recognize what Google's goals are and align your interests with theirs as you start your blog and continue to improve it. I call this SEA. Search Engine Alignment. Stop trying to outsmart Google's algorithm. Start allying yourself with the #1 search engine on the planet.

So what are Google's Goals? Well, we all know Google wants to make money. They sell ads to do that. But there's a reason that Google search results aren't just pages of ads. They've built their own following that they could monetize by making the Internet a more searchable place.

They want to deliver the best answer to a query as fast as possible. They know they've done well based upon searcher behavior. So they get an A+ when the searcher:

  • Finds what they're looking for without having to refine their query

  • Clicks on the first page (ideally, 1-3)

  • Doesn't back out to search

  • Stays on the site they clicked on and visits a few pages

How can you help them with that? You can start a blog that:

  • Loads almost instantly

  • Has intuitive user design

  • Answers the questions people are asking (search intent)

  • Quickly demonstrates they're on the right page

  • Delivers answers in a digestible way

  • Meets expectation of the clicker

  • Helps them explore the site to find more content effortlessly

  • Networks with other trusted people online

That describes SEO in a nutshell. But instead of thinking about it as a competition, we're focusing on our audience's needs because when their needs are met, Google is happy.

Google moves you up in search because you're what's best for the searchers. Websites like yours keep people coming back to Google. And Google makes money with ads, among other revenue streams.

Look! If you're going to start a blog, shouldn't you do it for the right reasons? Because guess what, when you do that, you can build a significant and loyal audience.

I'm certainly not saying to abandon your spirit of competition in SEO. But you'll find less need to compete when you're focused on the audience's needs.

You need details. So let's look at some SEO strategies you can apply right now to boost search engine visibility.

Getting Organic Traffic from Search Engines

An estimated 91% of websites get no traffic from Google (AHREFS). That's a problem because over 50% of all website traffic comes from Google. If you're not working to increase your visibility through SEO, you're missing out on significant traffic you could monetize.

So even if you're using other channels like social or pay per click to drive traffic, your long game should be search engine optimization (SEO), so the other half of your target audience can find you.

Use Keyword Research Tools

Yes, keywords still matter in 2021.

Now, the Google algorithm has come a long way. It's better at understanding context and doesn't wholly rely on the number of times I say "How to Start a Blog & Monetize It" to understand what this post is about. It's complicated.

But together, the words you use paint the picture about what you're talking about and how well you explain it. This is called latent semantic indexing (LSI). Semantics is how humans use words together to share ideas. Search engines use machine learning to understand how we humans use language to understand better what we're looking for in a search.

In part, Google uses this understanding to make sure your website shows up in the most relevant search results.

Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz Keyword Explorer

In this example in Moz Keyword Explorer, I can see that the blog volume for "start a blog" is nearly 10K a month and it has a high 55% click-through rate in organic search.

It has mid-level difficulty at 56. This tool also suggests other related keywords I'll likely want to include in an article.

Perform Competitive Analysis

There are many types of competitive analysis. Here, I'll focus specifically analysis that helps you improve blogging.

You can do this by Googling a primary keyword and then analyzing each post you'll be competing with for page one. You need to look at the ranking factors as they apply to those pages.

  • Are the top posts speaking to the same audience you planned to speak to? If not, pick a new key word. Google may not consider this keyword relevant for your audience. Your blog idea doesn't align with searcher intent. That's a no-starter. This can save you some time targeting the wrong keywords.

  • What topics do they cover in a single ranking post? You can focus mostly on H2 and H3

  • What keywords do they use the most? If you have Chrome (I don't because Apple has banned Chrome from Macs for some reason), you can download a free extension that help you find this out quickly.

  • How long are the posts?

  • What reading level do they write in

  • How do they use images, video, gifs, etc.

That's a lot. I know. A much faster way to do this is pay for a tool like ClearScope or Use Topic. These tools aren't cheap. But they basically gather all of the above for you, tell you what you need to perform well in this search. They then provide you with instant feedback on how well you're aligning with the searcher's intent.


Moz, SemRush, AhRefs have similar tools but they may be out of your price range as your starting a blog.

In this example from ClearScope, you can see that it answers all of the above questions all in one place. It analyzed top ranking content for "Company Newsletter Ideas" and tell you exactly what you need on the page to have a chance to rank on page one.

Choose The Right Topics

Once you've done some keyword research, you can begin to create content people search for on social and Google. By far, this is the most crucial success factor when you start a blog.

When choosing topics, consider:

1. What Character Traits Do My Readers Possess? - Always think back to who your audience is and what they want from you.

2. What Excites, Intrigues, or Stirs Passion in My Readers? - Tap into emotion to connect on a deeper level and keep people coming back. You can develop a loyal and dedicated following that wants to help you get the word out.

3. What Common Challenges Do My Readers Face? - If your blog solves your audience's problems, they keep coming back for advice and tell their friends.

4. What Do My Readers Love About My Niche? - Tap into their passions and expand their understanding

5. What Do My Readers Hate About My Niche? - You can use what they hate to relate to them. "Tax time is rolling around again. Don't panic. Here's how to survive another tax season."

Attend to Technical SEO

The devil is in the details. If your website doesn't meet basic standards, it doesn't matter how good your blog posts are. Technical SEO involves the aspects of SEO that determine a visitor's user experience and how Google understands that experience.

The level of technical SEO you perform will depend on your skills. The site hosting your blog may attend to much of this for you, but make sure they do.

Some technical SEO housecleaning you should certainly attend to as you start a blog are:

  • Creating a shallow and easy to navigate website

  • Making sure the site is as fast as possible

  • Optimizing image sizes

  • Seeking out and fixing any broken links (404 errors). I like ScreamingFrog for this.

  • Developing a system to prevent 404s.

  • Creating rich snippets

  • Avoiding coding redundancy

  • Preventing duplicate content

  • Getting pages indexed with Google and tracking pages that Google De-indexes to determine why. You can find out through Google Search Console, another free but indispensable tool from G.

Build a Backlink Profile

Call it what you want--link-earning or link building. It's not a dirty word. You must have links for Google to pay any attention to you. Even though you may drive initial traffic through social or ads, you need a game plan to build links without running afoul of the Google Algorithm.

One of these most up-and-up and straightforward ways to generate links is the HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Reporters are always looking for people to provide quotes to add substance to their articles.

In return, they'll often link back to your site. You can build a partnership with certain journalists who report on your industry to get even more links from reputable news sites.

Some other techniques include:

  • Guest posting on high authority websites. These could be local websites, industry sites, news, education, charity, or any site that would have a legitimate reason to link to you. Avoid sites that do excessive outbound linking. Use the free Moz Site Explorer to evaluate the spamminess of the site.

  • Networking with influencers through outreach

  • Interviewing people

  • Doing original research and analysis

  • Hosting charity events

  • Create very linkable content like interactive content, infographics, map-o-graphics, online tools and calculators, industry awards, updated studies, definitive guides, tutorials, courses.

  • Ask people to link.

Avoid Excessive Outbound Linking

Certainly, cite your sources. But avoid oversaturating a page with outbound links. Not only does this look spammy to someone skimming your content. Google may peg you as a spammy site.

Some believe that outbound links also drain link juice off your website. Whatever the reasoning, the excess will impact SEO.

Use Internal Linking

The kind of linking you'll probably want to do more of is internal linking. If you have a blog post on a related topic to another post on your blog, chances are you'll have an opportunity to work a link in.

This demonstrates your expertise and promotes a great user experience. It can also help the other page rank a little higher in search. The boost isn't as significant as getting links from outside your blog, but it's enough to be well worth your while.

Make it a habit.

Use Social Media to Gain Traffic

Social is one of the best ways to increase traffic and make more money. It's also important for SEO. While Google has confirmed that social doesn't directly impact SEO. It does allow you to show off your blog and gain fans who will follow you and come back to your site regularly.

This will improve your rankings over time as the Google algorithm does pay attention to the amount of buzz a website generates through other channels when evaluating its relevance to those searching in Google.

Social includes both organic and social. Don't be afraid to run some ads and boost posts to get the attention of your audience. As long as you deliver once you have their attention and have a content strategy to retain them, whatever you pay for that traffic pays you back exponentially.

Post Consistently

Google looks for relevance and recency. If you rarely post something new, your ranking will drop. But when Google sees you regularly posting and generating some social traffic, it will take notice.

Optimize Old Posts

Freshen up and optimize older posts. Give them a second shot at greatness and keep the content on your site up-to-date and relevant. Tools like ClearScope, Topic, and Surfer SEO help you evaluate specifics you can add or subtract from old posts to make it even better.

This serves the dual function of reducing the work it takes to run your site. Within 6-12 months of publishing once to twice a week, you'll have ample content you can return to and make better to improve your SEO continually.

Work to Earn Rich Snippets | Information Cards

Rich Snippet Example
Rich Snippet Example

What is Google's rich snippet, and how do I rank there?

In blogging, think of rich snippets,(information cards), as the best, most concise answer on the web. Google finds this best answer and displays it at the top of the search, above the ads, and in the organic search results.

And you don't even have to be ranking in position one to earn it. You just have to be the highest-ranking site with the best answer. And very often high ranking sites really miss the mark here, allowing lower ranking blogs to snatch this spot and gain a foothold in the search results (SERPS)

Google uses structured data to understand what your website is about.

You can create all kinds of rich snippets for different websites. But you want to start a blog, so we'll stay focused there. In blogging, you don't have to understand schema markup to earn this prized position.

Just clearly and concisely answer questions in your new blog.

Let's look at the two best ways to earn rich snippets on a blog.

Steps and Lists

  1. You created a post called "10 steps to build a treehouse."

  2. Using H2 Headlines, you give each step a number and a short description of each step. You then add paragraphs under each H2 further explaining each step.

  3. Someone searches for "How do I build a treehouse."

  4. Google shows them your H2 Headings that outline each step minus the paragraphs underneath each headline.

  5. They want to know how actually to do each step, so they click your website address that appears under the information card.

The same thing could have with a list post in which the H2 are each an item in a list. Google could also pull an information card from a subsection or list your bullet points in much larger posts like this complete guide.

Directly Answer Questions

  1. The searcher asks, "What Causes a Rainbow?"

  2. You very concisely answered this question at the top of a blog post on rainbows on your weather-related blog. You said, "What is a rainbow? A rainbow is caused when sunlight enters water droplets and that light reflects off the center of the drop..."

  3. Google shows them your answer.

  4. They want to know more, so they click on your site.

I'll also point out here that you don't have exactly match the query to earn a rich snippet. Google is way past that! Even though Google's algorithm still can't read exactly what's on the page . It has a better understanding of language and can deliver up answers even if they use slightly different wording.

Ask your Audience | Put Yourself in Your Reader's Shoes

As you begin to increase your traffic, run surveys and ask people what they'd like to see more of on your site. This can also increase engagement and reduce bounce rate--both good for SEO.

If there's anything about your site that would really turn you off if it were on someone else's site, fix it.


Develop a Blog Content Strategy

Feel free to get your blog up and running. You can start blogging at this point. Getting that first blog out there is good practice. It will help you hone your style. But before you can make money, you need to content strategy.

What is a blog content strategy? It's a written plan that outlines your goals and approach to reach them. It involves elements like:

  • Customer Personas - Don't skip this step! HubSpot has a great tool for this.

  • Style Guide - What is the look and feel of your blog. This is especially important to get in writing if others are creating content for your new blog.

  • Publishing frequency - People should be able to anticipate and look forward to when your new blog post drops. That's how you build an audience.

  • Promotion strategy - You may plan to build an organic social following, use Outbrain, etc.

  • Audience-building strategy - How will you increase fans and retain them? Email marketing are remarketing are essential here.

  • How you measure and track performance - Make sure you have the tools to track month to money.

  • Tools you need to do this efficiently - Don't be afraid to pay for some tools. The right tools can pay for themselves in the time you save and in the form of faster results. Time is money.

  • What you'll outsource - Outsourcing can be a powerful tool. You're good at some things and not others. Trying to do it all is a recipe for disaster. Identify what you want to manage and then outsource. You can outsource blog writing, social marketing, link building, SEO, etc. It's wise for you to have some understanding of these things, and you certainly will. But you can start a blog and get it to profitability faster if you selectively outsource.

  • What you'll automate - Explore social and content management automation. For example, Wix allows you to automatically send an email to your subscribers when you publish a post. That's one less thing to think about.

  • Process ...What's your day-to-day look like? Strategy is just strategy. You have to have an idea about how you'll execute it to succeed.

  • Growth plan - As you continue, you may need to bring in 1 or more employees. Start more blogs. Leverage more revenue streams.

Planning to start a blog and just publish content doesn't work, even if you employ a top SEO strategy when you set up a blog.

Your blog will not attract an audience until you get your blog in front of people. People will forget about your blog unless you have a way to stay top of mind.

We've already covered a lot of the elements you need to build a content strategy, so this is really about putting it all together into a plan that works for you.

Create an Editorial Calendar

How often will you publish and distribute? I recommend you get into a routine by creating a content calendar. Identify the work that goes into each piece.

In addition to creating articles for your blog, you may need to create supplementary content like:

  • Meta

  • Images

  • Graphics

  • Social media headlines

  • Short Videos

  • Marketing emails

  • Ads

  • Title optimization

You can make your editorial calendar as complex or simple as you need it to be, so don't overcomplicate things for yourself. But do create a system to keep yourself on track.

Start simple and add lines as needed.

Schedule Blog Posts

Here's where automation can really help. Let's say your schedule is such that you have a lot of time one week and none the next. Or this is still a side gig so, Saturdays only.

Schedule your post to drop at a specific time. Synchronize this with social posts (with Hootsuite) that notify your followers and an email that notifies subscribers. Check out the tools on the blogging platform you plan to use. It will likely have automation tools.

Time these events based upon your research into when posts get the most action. This will depend on your target audience. If you have no idea, spy on competitors.

Tuesday, right before lunch, is a popular time to drop a post. So you might start here and experiment with other times to see when posts perform best.

Now, it doesn't matter when you had time to create that post. Your fans can expect a post from you at the same time every week.


Install Google Analytics (GA)

You must be set up to track website, social, and email performance from the start. Compare your performance over time. Learn how people interact. And optimize.

Start with GA.

Create your Accounts

You'll create an account with Google, get a tracking code, and add it to your site. Most blogging platforms will have an easy user interface to do this. Or you may need to insert it into your code yourself.

It's easy to get overwhelmed with GA, so I strongly recommend taking a beginner's course to understand the most important things to measure and how to do it.

Some metrics you can track in GA include:

  • Page Load Speed

  • Total Traffic

  • Repeat Visits - Are people coming back?

  • Traffic Source - Where does traffic come from (Google, Facebook, a link on someone else's blog)?

  • Bounce rate - Percentage of people who leave without clicking on anything. This is naturally higher for blog posts because often, people find what they're looking for and go. But it's crucial to develop strategies to encourage clicking and exploring.

  • Conversion Rate - If you set up a conversion funnel, which you'll learn how to do in a beginner's GA course

  • Pages Per Session

Build KPIs around these to improve them over time and increase your money-making potential.

Install Google Search Search Console

Google Search Console
Google Search Console

Next, everyone should have Google Search Console set up. This tool gives you:

  • Keyword ranking - What keywords your website appears in search for and at what position?

  • Impressions - Which pages appear in search results and how many people clicked?

  • Click-through rate - What percentage of impressions result in a click to your website.

  • Found External Links - What links has Google found leading to your website? And what anchor text is used? As a general rule, you want anchor text to be descriptive of the page or part of the page it's linking to. No good, "Click here". Better, "Find out how to Start a blog."

  • Internal Linking - What internal links do you have, and what anchor text is used?

  • Indexing- How many and what pages does Google have indexed? If Google has de-indexed one of your pages, they're also nice enough to tell you why in this tool. Fix it and then request re-indexing.

You also need access to this tool to do some other website housekeeping:

  • Choose whether you prefer www. or without in front

  • Request that Google index your new pages or de-indexed pages you believe you've corrected

  • Disavow any links that you think come from spammy sources and drag your site down (be very careful with this! It can do more harm than good.)

  • Test your site speed

At this point, I'd like to thank you for sticking around. You're well on your way to being about to start a blog that makes money. Don't forget to download, link, and share this guide with others.


Promote Your Blog and Get Readers

The users who know your web address URL - (uniform resource locator) can simply type it. Other people will find your website via Google or Bing or by following a link you or someone else adds to another website.

If none of these conditions exist, then no one can find your website. You're unlikely to get any traffic at all, so you need a plan to promote, market, and grow your blog to make money.

I will cover 5 promotion channels you can tap into as you start a blog and work to increase traffic. While the possibilities here are many, I strongly recommend that you pick 2-3 to focus on starting so you can get your systems down. Then branch out.

And of course, you can outsource this part of it, if you prefer. But it's essential to have some real engagement with your fans. After all, you're the one they're here for.

Use Social Media Organically

To use social media organically, you engage with your followers here. To grow your social media presence, you'll need to engage in some social activities with your audience and influencers they trust. To get started, employ social strategies like these:

  • Post each time you publish

  • Share the content of others (curating)

  • Comment on the posts of influencers

  • Respond to comments and messages

  • Run contests

  • Ask your followers questions to try to start a conversation

  • Network with other influencers to share each other's content and collaborate

  • Follow hashtags and learning more about your audience (social listening)

  • Pay attention to how your audience uses social media and adapt your strategies.

  • Encourage and share user-generated content through branded hashtags

  • Track engagement and net follower increase to understand how invested your followers are

All of this is great. But what if you have 0 followers right now. Almost no one sees your content. You can certainly grow your following organically. But this is about how to monetize fast.

To do that, you're going to spend some money strategically.

Advertise on Social Media

Advertising on social media is pretty simple. You can choose target audience characteristics that align with your personas. Then create an ad that entices this audience to check out your blog. When using social media advertising, make sure you pay attention to ad relevance. If, for example, Facebook thinks you're showing an irrelevant ad to people, they'll charge you more for each click and show it to fewer people. Be as relevant as possible to win.

I'll suggest you start with two types of social media ads for promotion. Then we'll talk about another one under build your audience.

  • Boosted posts - Boosted posts are sponsored posts that go out to a target audience. If you currently have no following, they're a great way to begin building your following.

  • Link click ads - These are the cheapest ads on social media (around $0.15/per click in 2021. But they're exactly what you need.

Advertise in Search (AdWords)

AdWords Text Ad Example

Use AdWords to entice people in search. With AdWords, you'll create text ads that drive clicks to specific posts. Search ads are keyword-based, so you can specifically target the primary keyword phrase in your post.

With AdWords, keep in mind that Google will constantly recommend new keywords to add. Many of these won't be relevant. So don't assume it is.

With AdWords, Quality Score is important. Like The Ad Relevance Score, if it drops, your cost per click will go up. Your ad will become less visible over time. Eventually, advertising on AdWords will become cost-prohibitive.

But there are some ways to keep your Quality Score up and prevent this.

Promote a specific article, not your blog. This will allow you to get hyper-targeted can't provide the most relevance to the searcher.

How to Improve AdWords Performance Instantly

Pay attention to ad performance. Never set up an AdWords campaign and just let it run. You need to know quickly if something isn't working. If you have a meager click-through rate, your quality score will drop quickly.

Google will add a premium to the ad bid price. Inversely, if you have a high response, then Google actually gives you a discount on your bid price. So someone else could bid higher, but they give the ad space to you because they like how well you know your audience.

Use Google's Ad Variations tool to test ad text variations, CTAs, and more and improve your ad performance. This allows you to see in real-time how making small changes and the order of your words or phrases can make a difference and click-through rate.

Also, consider using negative keywords. These keep your ad from appearing in searches that are less relevant to your article.

For example, if the keyword I'm targeting is "How to start a blog", I want the ad to appear when someone searches for "how to start a successful blog" or "how to start a blog and monetize it."

But certain words would make my article no longer relevant to the searcher. For example, "how to start a blog for my kid" or "how to start a blog post."

Advertise on the Web (More Paid Traffic)

When you advertise using AdWords or Facebook, you can choose to have your ads shown around the web. This allows people to see your ad in multiple places, so they're more likely to click on it.

These ads can be text, video, or imagery and appear on Google properties and mobile devices and show up on Google Partner sites. A Google Partner is a website that signs up for AdSense. They show the ads that businesses set up in Google AdWords.

See how this goes full-circle.

Google doesn't approve AdSense for all websites. They must get enough traffic and meet other quality standards, so you know your ad has the potential to reach a wide but quality audience.

Google allows you to target your audience by having your ads shown on sites that appeal to certain interests and demographics.

Here also, the better you target, the higher your Quality Score and the lower your per click ad costs.

You can also use services like Taboola and Outbrain to accomplish the same thing. These all have similar mechanics. These ads appear on sites like Bloomberg, NBC News, and MSN.

Promote Your Content Through Other Platforms

There are some other ways to get the word out that can keep ad costs lower. But they may take more time to execute and scale. So they probably shouldn't be your primary plan. Note that these methods can serve the dual function of generating backlinks, making doing this worth your while.

  • Guest Post on Quality Sites in Your Niche - What Are Guest Posts? They're opportunities to have another website publish something you wrote on their site. Look for sites that allow you to add an author bio and link to your blog in the bio in addition to a backlink to use guest posts for this purpose. You're reaching a new audience on someone else's site. In order to do that, they need to know the post is yours.

  • Pay for Sponsored Content - What is Sponsored Blog Content? A sponsored blog post is anytime you pay to have someone else publish a post you've written on their site. These should generally say "Sponsored" when published, but they won't always. There is some overlap between sponsored content and guest posting that causes blurred lines. If you're paying, just make sure it's clear what you're paying for.

  • Be Active Within your Niche - Join groups, comment on other Blogs, and become a part of communities related to your blog. These are not the places to directly promote. But people in these groups learn who you are, and you can indirectly guide them back to your blog. Comment on Other Blogs.

Let everyone Know about our Blog YOUR WAY

As you can see, there are many ways to promote your blog. Some of these may sound less appealing depending on the personality or money you have to start your blog.

I encourage you to get outside your comfort zone because a combination of these can be very effective.

Don't force one method if it feels like you're going against the real you. Gravitate towards others to find the best way to run your blogging business your way.

For example, the idea of running ads may seem over commercial or bad for user experience. But you're very active on social and know how to attract people to your energy. Focus on organic growth.

The opposite may be true, so you invest more in AdWords or OutBrain. This is your blog. Do it your way, or you'll start to hate your new blog, and it never reaches its true potential.


Build an Audience to Make More Money from your blog

You're promoting all over the place. And traffic is coming in. But unless you want to have to pay every time someone clicks your content, eating into your monetization plan, you have to retain the audience and build it.

Get people coming back. This is where the big bucks come from.

Here, I'm going to focus on three important audience-building tools: engaging, email, and remarketing. Similar to promotion strategies, find the ones that work for you. You don't have to be all things to all people.

I'm not going to talk much about push notifications because I personally think they're overused. Unlike email and remarketing that target people when they're hanging out on social media or checking their emails, notifications hit people anywhere at any time.

You can certainly explore those as well since this is about blogging in a way that works for you. It's just my choice for my personal blog.

Engage with Your Visitors

It's a no-brainer. If people feel like you're having a one-sided conversation with them, then they may not come back. If people comment, comment back. Be social on FaceBook. Track mentions and share them.

Interact with your audience to grow audience size and loyalty.

Start Building Your Email Subscriber List

This is a permission-based list. That's the only way this works. The ROI on a permission-based email is 44:1. That means for every dollar you spend on building your list, keeping people subscribed, email marketing, you earn $44. That's some serious profits.

Email can achieve this because:

  • People generally like email and use it every day

  • People click relevant content in emails

  • They know they can unsubscribe anytime, so no one feels forced to stick around

  • You can get more data on what's popular with your fans and use it to improve your email and site

  • You have a little more control over traffic because you can use email to bring people back

  • You can make your site even more relevant to different segments of your audiences by segmenting your list through email automation and showing each segment the most relevant content for them.

  • You can automate delivery and redelivery if they didn't open the email the first time. This will free blog writers up from having to think too much about email.

Several blog hosting platforms have email automation built right in. So check them out when you launch your blog.

Mailchimp and ConstantContact are also free or relatively low priced. HubSpot, SalesForce, or Admiral are getting into the higher price range. But they also have more features to save you time and grow your audience, so you may want to check them out after you start a blog and gain a little momentum with it.

How to Build an Email Subscriber List

First of all, producing blog content people see value in. Use analytics to better understand which content people consume the most.

Then employ some of these proven methods. Just ask for an email to gain access.

  • Offer a free download

  • Offer a newsletter subscription

  • Gate some of your content

  • Create a tiered ad-free experience

  • Offer a free trial, audit, or discount

  • Get them to contact through your contact page

How to Reduce Unsubscribers

The best way is to:

  • Develop a frequency that people respond to positively

  • Deliver the most relevant content to each person

  • Increase open rate by improving your email headlines

  • Do A/B testing on smaller populations

Keep an eye on your email analytics and use that data to improve your emails.

Run Remarketing Campaigns

What is Remarketing? Remarketing is the use of retargeting ads to bring people back to your website or social page. In the case of your website, Google uses cookies to track who visited your site.

Then after they leave, you can show them ads that appear around the web. Facebook and Instagram can also help with this using pixels (Facebook cookies).

Now, Facebook knows when someone has visited your site and can show them retargeting ads. You can also remarket to people who visited your profile through Facebook.

Like push notifications, remarketing can also be done the wrong way and irritate the very people you're trying to lure into your loyal fanbase.

So set reasonable time parameters and frequency for your ads.

Remarketing is very cheap compared to other ads, but it does rely on you getting their attention through other means first. That's why it's an audience builder, not a promotion tool.

It can keep people who have visited coming back to your blog more often.

Set your remarking up in AdWords or Facebook Ad Manager.

Monetize Your Blog

Which monetization channels did you choose in the 10 Ways to Monetize section? Now, you have the ability to begin turning a profit.

Start with one or two monetization channels that do not conflict with one another. At this point, this is really just as simple as signing up for AdSense or something like that. Choose where you want to display ads, set them up within the ad platforms parameters, and go.

Remember to always put user experience first. You may be able to make a quick buck off your blog with annoying ads that jump around, come 10 to a page, and get clicked by mistake. But these will damage your search rankings and reputation.

Launch Your Blog into the Stratosphere

We can argue all day if Richard Branson of Virgin fame really traveled into space. But your blog is going places.

You have everything you need to develop a clear path to monetization and growth. I look forward to hearing about your successes and questions. Drop me a line in messages. And subscribe to get useful tips, hacks, and strategy right in your inbox

How to Start Blogging as a Beginner (FAQ)

Before we get into the details, I hear some common questions from beginners wondering if they can really make money with a blog in 2021 with all the big blogs already out there.

If you're already convinced, just skip to 10 Ways to Make More Money Blogging .

Is it Free to Start a Blog?

Yes. You can start a free blog. Creating a blog is easy on a blogging platform. If you choose not to buy a custom domain for your blog, it would be free to start a blog. There are some drawbacks I'll discuss, but why not try it before you buy it.

It's also important to note here that you will probably need to spend some money to promote your blogging brand so you can grow your audience quickly and start making money. This doesn't require a ton of money, but if you're blogging to make money, you'll probably be spending some money.

Is blogging still profitable in 2021? Is Starting a Blog Worth It in 2021?

I'll show you TEN different ways you can make money after you start blogging. Some of the most profitable blogs have multiple revenues streams you can tap into without significantly increasing your blog running costs. That equals more profit.

Blogging can become a profitable business with minimal startup costs and unlimited income growth potential that builds over time.

Ultimately, blogging is a business, albeit a fun one for anyone who loves writing. If you treat it like a business and follow this guide, you can achieve profitability. You need to develop and implement a content strategy, plan to consistently create content people want, and clearly define how to make money with your blog.

You can undoubtedly blog as a hobby. But Money Blogging is not a passive income, as some like to suggest. It takes work, And as you do it, you'll get to the point where your blog is doing a lot of the work for you. You can cut back your 40 hour work week and still rake in money. This is where the idea of passive income comes in. And you can certainly get there. Just follow this guide.

How Do I Build a Successful Blog? How often should I blog post?

Follow this guide. It's all here.

Most successful bloggers post at least twice a week.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Blog Up and Running?

You can get a new blog up and running in as few as 24 hours after reading this complete guide. Many platforms could have you writing your first post within 10-20 minutes.

If you plan to run a self-hosted blog, that takes a bit more technical know-how and time.

How do I monetize my blog? How much time to start making money?

That's really up to you. If you execute a clear content strategy to publish, promote, and monetize, you can start making money on a blog in a month. So month to money.

As always, individual results will vary. But you will now know how millions of bloggers and other influencers are making their money. But money blogging isn't as hard as becoming Internet Famous on TikTok, IG, or YouTube.

You can replicate this for yourself.

There are many ways to monetize, which we'll explore in detail in this post.

Can I start a blog without any technical experience?

These days, you don't need significant technical experience to start a blog. You need computer skills and writing skills.

On top of that, it would help you know or teach yourself some:

  • Social marketing

  • SEO

  • AdSense

  • AdWords

  • Google Analytics

  • Networking

  • People skills

You can learn all of this online in less time than you think. For example, HubSpot Academy and Google Academy offer some fantastic free courses. But there's always more to learn, so I recommend you get started after you finish this guide. Then build those skills as you go.

Do I have to pay taxes on my blog income?

Yes. Income is income. And this income will be very traceable. Do your part. Pay your taxes, and don't get the IRS breathing down your neck.

While this post isn't designed to give you tax advice, I will say:

  • Keep good records of your expenses to reduce your tax bill

  • Pay your estimated taxes quarterly to avoid penalties

  • Don't get behind on your taxes. Back taxes can hinder your ability to build your blog.

What Makes a Blog Successful? Why Do Blogs Fail?

A profitable blog consistently meets the goals you've established for it. These goals vary depending on what you want blogging to do for you.

Does running a blog sound like your dream come true? I'm going to take you through it step-by-step.

There are currently 31.7 million bloggers in the United States (SemRush). And chances are some of them are competing for the exact audience you are. You must develop a blogging strategy to get noticed and grow your audience to give your blog a chance it needs to thrive.

I'm going to share exactly how to do that.

What are the challenges of starting a blog?

You'll have a few big ones to overcome.

First, building your blog audience from scratch. This takes strategy and dedication. But I'll walk you through it.

Second, when you start blogging, it can seem like topics are endless. You have so much to write about. After a while, you may feel you're running out of ideas. There are some super simple fixes for this.

Third, consistency. I'll show you how to get on a schedule that works for you, automate the bland side of blogging, outsource specific tasks to increase your efficiency and money-making potential.


Leigh Clayborne is a Hubspot certified freelance content marketing / SEO content writer & strategist with 10 years of healthcare management experience on 15+ years of creating content. She is a strong proponent of creating the right customer experience to meet business goals.

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