Blogs are very popular on the internet. There are millions of people around the world that have a blog and share their knowledge, hobbies, or all types of content through this platform, from cooking recipes and news about celebrities to advance engineering.
The reason for that popularity is simply because anyone can have a blog. You don’t need to invest a lot of money or be a programming and design expert to have one.
If you are thinking about starting a blog or if you already have one, but you still have no idea what topics to address or what the approach will be, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, I’m going to tell you how to create valuable content for your blog and increase your conversions. Ready? Let’s get started! First of all, let’s start with the basics.
Table of Contents
- WHAT IS A BLOG?
- WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING YOUR BLOG?
- RECOMMENDATIONS TO START A BLOG ON THE RIGHT TRACK
- WHY SHOULD YOU START A BLOG?
- BEST WAYS TO EARN MONEY WITH A BLOG
- BEST PLATFORMS FOR BLOGS
- BEST WEB HOSTING PROVIDERS
WHAT IS A BLOG?
A Blog is a webpage or a website where content is posted periodically to achieve certain goals. This content that is being posted is commonly called “articles” or “posts”.
More or less, we all know what blogs are; however, we need to be clear that this is a website where you need to post, and these posts need to be chronologically organized depending on the subjects you are going to cover. Your audience or readers can also leave their comments about the post or article as well, so you are going to receive feedback from them if you know how to use it properly.
These topics can be ideas, opinions, personal or professional information, experiences, etc.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING YOUR BLOG?
That special environment is the secret of success for a blog, a kind of website that is warmer and much more personal than traditional media, and there is where the magic of blogs relies on.
This is an environment that plenty of readers enjoy, allowing anyone to have an audience if the topics that are being posted are interesting, making them able to build a trustworthy relationship between the author and the reader, something that it’s not only beautiful, but that makes it so much easier for you to offer a product or service to your public.
If we add to this the fact that you can potentially reach a lot of people, consider the potential of having 1,000 or 10,000 readers who read your posts regularly, along with hundreds of potential new readers who will come to you through social networks, and who trust you as well.
Now that you know what’s a blog and the benefits that you can obtain from it, next I will describe the steps for you to start creating your blog, and to make money with it as well. Ready?
RECOMMENDATIONS TO START A BLOG ON THE RIGHT TRACK
1. FIND A TOPIC THAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT.
A blog requires a lot of sacrifice. You will have to write continuously about one or several topics. Therefore, if you choose a topic that does not excite you and encourages you to write, sooner rather than later, you will abandon the initiative, wasting all the initial effort.
So, choose a thematic area that you know will not make you feel tired, that allows you to talk about many different things that may interest people and in which your knowledge can provide additional value.
2. REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN
If you’ll write in English then getting .com is a must. Use local domains only if you’re going to write in that language. And be creative with your domain name… something short and catchy…
3. KNOW AND FIND YOUR AUDIENCE.
This is where many people ask themselves, “but if I have not yet started to set up the blog, how will I know what audience I will have?” Well, although the question makes a lot of sense, the truth is that it’s not so difficult to answer. Today, you have many communication channels that can help you estimate the personality of your visitors to know them better.
On the other hand, you have social networks, forums, and other online communities. Access them and look for information on the theme you have chosen for your blog. I’m sure you can identify who are the main actors (the influencers), how things are communicated (more or less formal communication, for example) and which topics they like more or generate more controversy.
The important thing is that you are always active and keep studying your audience. The better you know them, the easier it will be to generate more content for them, which will also be more valuable.
4. USE AN ATTRACTIVE DESIGN.
All kinds of people will go to your blog. They will take a quick look at your website, and if they don’t like the style, they may leave never to return again. Design matters more than you think. Make the test yourself. Very quickly make a list with 6 or 7 blogs that speak on the same topic as you. I’m sure you’ll find designs of all kinds, some more modern and others that seem taken from 10 years ago.
The idea here is that you choose an intermediate point. You don’t have to go to the extreme of wanting to set up a blog with a design that uses the latest CSS news, that has 1000 effects and hundreds of animations.
If you decide to start your blog, you will find a lot of very flashy themes, that don’t bother or hurt the reading. Another tip is to use a font that is easy to read, and that has a large enough size that is comfortable to read for anyone.
5. CHOSE QUALITY BEFORE QUANTITY.
How often should you publish new content? This is a very good question. And everyone will tell you that the best thing you can do is publish a new entry every day. But the truth is that, can you maintain such a strong publication rate?
“It’s much better to write a little less than you would like, but getting more quality entries.”
You know better than anyone what you can do and what you cannot do. If your audience fails to perceive the value you generate through your content, they will stop visiting you. There’s nothing more to that. Therefore, make a commitment between publishing more and publishing better.
6. BE DIFFERENT.
Think about this: Why should anyone visit YOUR blog and not any other blog? If you don’t know the answer to this question, it might be difficult for you to achieve your goals.
On the internet, there are millions of blogs about all kinds of topics. Yours it’s only one more. Being different from your competitors is an essential requirement to succeed, so don’t do the same everyone else is doing. Study your competitor and find different forms to make your posts stand out. I know, saying it is much easier than doing it, but trust me, it will be worth it.
7. BRAINSTORM AND KEYWORDS
For your content to be successful, you need to make sure to follow a strategy for what you are creating, and avoid falling into the trap of just reacting.
Now, to truly know the specific content you are going to write about, you need to research the keywords. What can you do? Start brainstorming about topics and terms, and write down as many ideas as you have, about what could be interesting for your audience.
Once you have your keywords, you can use tools such as Google’s keyword planner, Moz, KeywordTool.io, or any other, to know how many times these words have been searched online, for example. Summarize your content, take your main keywords and describe the content that Will work for your goals, the needs of the readers, and keyword orientation.
8. PROMOTE YOUR BLOG ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
These days, it is practically impossible to separate your content strategy from your social media strategy. Social networks have become an integral part of your content to be in front of the right people.
Many social media platforms are moving to a “pay top play” model. Meaning, that even if you have a big number of followers and a big commitment, you must invest in advertising for your content to have a greater scope reaching more people.
When you are just starting, and you develop a new content strategy, it might be a little bit scary to invest in paid ads. However, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can start with just 5$ for example, to do some experimentation, especially on channels such as Facebook Ads.
WHY SHOULD YOU START A BLOG?
At the beginning of this article, I told you about how starting a blog can be hard work. But if you are decided to have your own, I will tell you about the many benefits you can obtain. You’ll be able to meet a lot of new people, you will have the possibility to give your opinion about the topics that interest you, you will learn a lot about communication, and you will create a public image for yourself that can help you professionally. Besides, with a little luck and a lot of work, you can even monetize your blog and earn money from it.
I’m sure you are now wondering, I can also make some money with a blog? And the answer is YES! Here is how you can do it…
BEST WAYS TO EARN MONEY WITH A BLOG
There are different ways to monetize and earn money through your blog; let’s start with the most popular among most bloggers around the world.
Even though some people have the idea that with advertising, you can’t have a high income, this generalization is not entirely true: it depends on the thematic of your blog and the volume of visitors.
For example, a blog about saving tips will probably get less income than a blog about financial investment, because its audience won’t be too predisposed to spend money on anything.
There are many ways to make advertising online, but the most popular ones are AdSense, CPA, and private announcers.
It is Google’s PPC advertising network, the largest in the world.
AdSense owes its popularity to its simplicity, ease of implementation, and several advertisers. You sign up, and once Google has approved your application, you can start placing ads on your blog by inserting a small code.
PPC stands for Pay Per Click, which means that every time a reader clicks on one of these ads on your blog, you receive money.
Also, with AdSense you don’t have to choose what kind of ads will appear on your website: Google is responsible for doing it automatically according to the subject and the profile of the reader, since Google has a lot of information about your readers, showing them the most relevant ads for them.
CPA (Cost Per Action)
In CPA advertising, the advertiser does not pay you when the reader clicks on the ad, but when they perform an additional action, such as filling out a subscription form to receive more information or sign up for a raffle.
Logically, the effectiveness of this advertising is less, because, in addition to clicking on the advertisement for your blog, the reader must do something else on the page where he lands. But that’s why the commissions are much higher.
If you are proactive, something I recommend if you want to be successful with your blog, is to put yourself in contact with companies to offer advertising spaces on your blog, where they can place their banner with the ad.
Normally these ads are placed in the header, in the sidebar, or within the content itself. Advertisers usually pay per impressions, that is, for the number of times that readers have seen that page with advertising.
It would be the equivalent of an advertisement placed in the newspaper or on a billboard. The more visible, the more expensive the ad will be, so the more traffic your blog has and the better places you offer for the ad, the more money you can ask for it.
2. AFFILIATION MARKETING.
Actually, affiliate marketing is nothing more than a form of CPA where the action is to buy. Thus, you will earn money every time a reader buys one of the products you recommend.
Along with AdSense, it is one of the forms of monetization preferred by many bloggers for its simplicity. You don’t need to create your own product and you benefit by recommending third-party products.
Some companies offer their own affiliate programs, such as Amazon, that are integrated into affiliate networks with many more advertisers, such as Shareasale and Awin.
The amount of the commission depends on the company and the type of product. In general, the cheaper it is, the less the commission. Amazon is around 3 and 10% for its products, while Clickbank offers between 30 and 70% for its digital products.
Here you can read how I’ve got my amazon associates account closed and what I did to get it reinstated.
3. SALE OF PHYSICAL PRODUCTS.
Selling physical products through your blog is another excellent way to generate income, since, the margin will be greater than with the affiliation or advertising and you will not be so limited to the volume of visits you have.
Of course, it doesn’t make sense for all blogs to sell products, but if you have a strong personal brand, surely there will be people who will want to buy your merchandise or books. Otherwise, you will have little success.
But the biggest drawback is that, as a general rule, you will have to take care of storing the products and making the shipments, which implies an associated cost and prevents this form of monetization from becoming an automatic entry (which is what it’s really interesting about online business).
4. SALE OF DIGITAL PRODUCTS
If you have an audience and have managed to generate a trustworthy relationship with the contents of your blog, you have an excellent opportunity to sell your own digital products.
This is probably the most profitable way to make money with a blog. And my favorite. You minimize the commissions, you avoid intermediaries, and you eliminate the physical distribution costs. Also, you can convert it into automatic passive income and earn money even while you sleep.
However, creating your own product requires time and dedication, as well as a good sales strategy.
So, for you to have a clearer idea about what I mean with digital products, here are some examples:
- Digital books.
Selling an eBook is an excellent way to start automating a selling process. Once you have written the content and prepared the system, you can forget about the rest.
- Your own digital products.
If you are a photographer, designer, or webmaster, you can sell your creations through your blog.
- Online Courses.
This is probably the most lucrative form of monetization that exists today because once you have created an online course, it costs you the same to sell one then two hundred. It hardly has creation expenses and no distribution expenses.
- Exclusive areas of your blog.
You can also protect certain areas of your blog, and offer there, exclusive content for users with a monthly subscription.
This is a typical strategy of some digital newspapers that only let you access to the full content if you are a paid subscriber; however, there are several blogs now using it.
5. OFFER YOUR SERVICES.
Once you have established certain authority with your blog, offering your services is one of the fastest ways to start earning money; the key is to position yourself as an expert with the content you post. With time, you’ll be able to gain more experience and increase your knowledge, and in the end, you’ll find a lot of people that are willing to pay for your services or advisory.
Here are several forms to offer your services with a blog:
- Conferences and workshops.
- Online advisory via email or Skype.
- Face to Face advisory.
- Personalized projects according to your area of expertise.
- Content writing.
- Content translation.
- Online classes.
Lately, it has become trendy to accept donations or sponsorships from individuals with platforms such as Patreon.
Although you may be embarrassed to ask, you will be surprised by the number of readers who will have no qualms about giving you a small tip for sharing your content with them for free.
Yes, it is always more effective to sell something, but don’t underestimate donations as a source of additional income, at least until you have your digital products.
BEST PLATFORMS FOR BLOGS
Now we have reached the point of knowing how to monetize your blog let’s start with which is the best platform to create your blog on and the one that best suits your needs…
WordPress is the most used and known platform to create blogs and has a version in which you don’t have to pay anything for hosting (WordPress.com). And although this free version of WordPress is fine I wouldn’t recommend you to starting with it because you will outgrow it very fast and will have to migrate all content to new domain and basically start over.
WordPress is considered the best content manager for search engine positioning. It stands out for its ease of management and is also designed for mobile devices.
The free version hosts 3GB of storage space. In the same way, it offers a wide variety of themes and plugins, although there is a payment catalog as well (Premium). On the other hand, the platform allows you to create your blog and even customize it much more if you install it on your server and use your own domain (the paid version wordpress.org).
This Google platform allows you to create blogs without having your own hosting. Besides, you can use your own domain (or not) just like in WordPress. Both WordPress and Blogger can have it all for free or pay for a domain, although a Blogger does not allow the option to use own hosting as blogs are hosted on Google servers.
Blogger is a free service in the cloud that does not have as many functionalities, nor is it as complete as WordPress, but it is very used even by businesses that have a low budget. There is also the possibility of making money with this platform since you can enter advertising on your page showing AdSense ads and other services.
It is another solution to create a free blog in a totally intuitive and personalized way that is based on the “in the cloud” system. Upon entering, you can choose what type of web or blog you want to create that best suits your needs.
Wix is committed to a secure hosting, simple tools to manage SEO, more than 500 templates, and a large bank of high-resolution professional images. It allows integrating the HTML code to add surveys, forms or other options.
A platform to create blogs initiated by the co-founder of Twitter, Evan Williams, in which you can make your own blog taking into consideration that the only important thing, in this case, is the content, so the customization options on this platform are limited.
Medium is a very social platform. It was founded in 2012 and has evolved into a kind of community where writers, bloggers, journalists, and experts publish. Therefore, it is a good option if you want to reach a greater number of people with interests similar to yours.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform where you can write, place links, videos, quotes, images, and much more. It is simple and intuitive, although of course, it is not as complete as some of the previous options.
It is similar to Twitter but with greater possibilities to make a blog. As in the case of Medium, in this platform, it is much easier to find or connect with contents or profiles that are in harmony with your interests.
Weebly also belongs to the group of free blog platforms. It has a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to integrate the elements of the site in a very simple way, while you only worry about the contents. Although, more advanced users can modify the CSS and HTML if they wish.
In the same line, it proposes a wide range of possibilities: it has adaptable blog templates, 500MB of storage, free hosting, free or paid domain, and also advanced options for managing comments. Also, it allows full customization of categories, labels and sidebars.
BEST WEB HOSTING PROVIDERS
Now, if what you are looking for is to improve the performance of your blog to store information such as files, images, video, or any content accessible online, you must hire a web hosting service.
Next, I will recommend 3 of the best web hosting companies analyzed so far and with a great price/value relation.
Siteground is one of the best hosting companies without a doubt. The 362.9ms of minimum response are impressive as well. And the price of 4.78 €/month of their Startup Plan is a great offer with very good value for the money.
- Unique in-house WordPress speed and security solutions
- Fast and secure
- Best 24/7 support in industry
- Data centers in USA, Europe and Asia
- FREE Domain Name for 1st Year
- FREE SSL Certificate Included
- 1-Click WordPress Install
- 24/7 Support
HostGator is also very popular hosting more than 8 million domains.
- Free 1 Year Domain Registration on Select Plans
- 1-Click WordPress Installation
- Free SSL Certificate
- 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- 24/7/365 Technical Support
In this post-guide, which in the end has become practically into a mini-blogging course, you have all the information you need to create a blog with everything important.
Don’t feel overwhelmed, I know it’s a lot of work, but you can do it with a little organization, patience and working without haste, but without pause. I assure you that, if you follow the steps of this post to delve into the details, you will not simply have a well-done blog, but you will also have a professional level blog.
Remember and always keep in mind that everyone, with any level of knowledge, can create a blog. I would absolutely like that not only you learn how to create a blog, but that you go much further, acquiring a solid vision and knowledge bases for everything that will come later.
And finally, to finish, I need to ask you a favor: if you think something is missing in this post, anything improvable or that you consider it is worth commenting, please help me with your feedback in the comments. With this, you will help me to improve this guide more and more every time, and both readers and I will thank you very much.