So you’re ready to start a blog and make some money online. You may have heard that making money with a blog is as simple as throwing up some words on a webpage, selling advertising space, and waiting for the checks to roll in. Well, it’s not quite as simple as that. But with a few tips to point you in the right direction, you’ll find that online blogging can be fun and interesting, and yes, can even involve a paycheck.
Provide Something That People Need
The first thing you need to do is to think about what you can provide that no one else can. No business can survive off of selling something that nobody needs, so why would a blog work that way? Take a look at some of the most popular blogs on the internet and think about what they provide to their readers. Now think about you can provide that’s different from what’s already out there.
Find Your Niche
One of the beauties of online blogging is the ability to find incredibly specialized audiences. This is a great way to find a group of loyal readers right out of the gate. Remember, the more general your blog content is, the more competition you will face. Find something that no one else is writing about and write about it well.
Choose Your Blogging Platform
So you’ve done the brainstorming and figured out what your product and your niche are. Now you’re ready to start blogging. There are several platforms out there that can help you to get started in just minutes. Check out the most popular free blog hosting sites like WordPress.com, Google Blogger, and Tumblr and see which one works for you. Or, for a more customized blog, consider using wordpress.org, the self-hosted version of wordpress.com. You will have to pay for a web host with this platform, but in return will have a site that is as unique as you want it to be rather than a basic template that someone else is already using.
Make Your Blog Stand Out Using SEO
Once you start putting content on your blog, you want to make sure that people can find it. If you use it properly, search engine optimization (SEO) will make your blog appear higher in web searches. The basic idea is to think about what people will be searching for on Google, and use those phrases in your blog. Google has some useful tools like Google Trends that you can use for free to see what the most popular search terms are. Be careful, however, to avoid the temptation to simply plug your blog with keywords and search terms. Google knows the difference between human writing and robotic writing, and real people know the difference, too.
Start Making Money
Now that you have a blog that people can find and want to read, you’re ready to make money online. There are several options for this. The simplest is to put ads on your blog using a tool like Google AdSense. Another way is to use your blog for affiliate marketing. This is where you promote certain products or services on your blog in exchange for commission from companies. Many bloggers will also sell their own products or services (books, t-shirts, photography, et cetera) through their blog. Plus, once you’ve become established, you can write guest posts on other blogs and get paid. If your blog is popular enough, other bloggers will benefit from having you write a guest post or two, so don’t be afraid to charge for this service.
These are a few tips to get you started. You may not become a millionaire right away, but as long as you’re smart about generating revenue, and having fun along the way, you should see online blogging turn into money in the bank in no time.