There are many ways to legitimately earn money outside of your full-time job. One of the popular go-to strategies is starting a blog and making it profitable.
Monetising your blog is a long-term commitment and it may take months or even years to gain loyal followers who are willing to spend money on the products or services you offer. Producing the right content and executing the right strategies are crucial to earn a decent income to supplement or replace your main income-producing activity.
Here we explain how you can follow in the footsteps of successful bloggers and begin earning a decent amount of money with your blog.
How to start a blog
You may have encountered successful freelancers and entrepreneurs whose extra income come from running their blog. Whether you believe it or not, these individuals invested a lot of time and effort into making their blogs profitable.
Here’s what you need to consider before launching your own blog to gain attention and make it profitable faster.
Decide the content of the blog
The first thing you need to establish is what your blog will focus on and the size of your target audience.
You can be the expert about a certain topic, but without a large audience who are willing to spend time and money on your blog, your potential income may not meet your expectations.
Many say that, when it comes to blogs, content is king. However, there are other factors to consider to ensure that your content has a wide reach and can become profitable. Consider the following:
- Authority and authenticity: Prove your knowledge in the topic
What topics will you be writing about and how knowledgeable are you about the intended content? How will you show your audience and competitors that your topics are things you know, understand and actually like writing about?
- Demand for the content: Many people should be interested in the topic
How relevant is your niche? Do you have an audience for your intended content and is there a call for such content to be made?
- Competition: Size up your competitors
How competitive is your niche and how good are your competitors? How hard would it be to gain audience attention? Is there anything new that you can bring to the table?
- Target audience: Identify who you will cater to
Who is your target audience and do you have an idea about your their financial capacity? Is your audience willing to spend their money to avail your products or services?
- Content strategy: Decide how to best get your messages across
Based on your answers to the factors above, how do you plan to capture the attention of your target audience? How do you plan to convince existing audience and new people to become interested in your content, products and services?
- Marketing/promotion: Identify the best media to gather your audience
What strategies will you execute to get a sizeable share of the audience? What tools or media would best spread the word about your content, products and services?
Choose blog’s name and domain
Once you have decided on your content, think of an appropriate name and domain or address for your blog.
Your blog’s name should ideally be personal and catchy, and it should give an indication of what the target audience would find in your blog.
Your blog’s name and domain should be unique, yet simple enough so that it will be easy for the audience to remember. It’s also advisable to incorporate keywords so that you can rank higher in search engine results.
Select a blog hosting
Look for an appropriate blog hosting site that can give you both freedom and support. For this part, you may opt for free or paid hosting.
Free blog hosting typically means that your freedom to manipulate the blog is limited. For instance, your blog’s design may be limited to a selection of five basic default offerings but with the option to unlock other designs for a fee.
You can also look for a free or paid blog host yourself or consider the ones that your blog suggests. Some affordable blog hosting providers have a 24/7 support and quick platform installation and set-up. They may also incorporate the domain name into their fees.
Choose a media platform: Blogging platform v CMS
Choose an appropriate media platform to use for your blog. There are two options you may wish to consider: blogging platform or content management system (CMS). Here’s how they differ:
|Hosting and domain||
Hosted by the provider
Fees vary depending on the host you choose
Your domain is independent (e.g. nestegg.com.au)
You can design however you wish
Hosting provider runs the ads unless you pay to remove them
|You have full control over ads and other income-generating options|
|Optimisation||Typically doesn’t allow plug-ins or have limited options||Typically provides SEO features|
Many successful bloggers suggest using a CMS platform from the start despite the fees involved as the income-generating opportunities make up for the expenses. However, it’s best to choose a platform based on your own blogging goals.
Design the blog
Customise your blog with an appropriate design based on what you will write about and your target audience.
For instance, you may need to exercise restraint with colours and images if your target audience are retirees, but you may wish to make a more lively and youthful design if your target are teens.
If you wish to launch your blog with a personalised design already, you may consider hiring a professional to design the site for you. Look through freelancing sites to find one who can best create the design you want and whose rates you can afford.
Develop a successful content strategy
You can publish as many articles as you can in a day, but you may not rake in a significant cash flow without a good content strategy.
Create main pages
According to a user-based experience research by the Nielsen Norman Group, readers often leave web pages between 10 and 20 seconds. This means that the first impression your blog gives can be crucial to acquiring and growing your audience.
Your blog should be able to capture the attention of the audience from the time they open the page and pique their interest enough to explore more content.
A static home page may contain a content sampler or a selection of most-read content in each category. You may add important information about your blog such as what readers can expect to gain from your content.
Likewise, you may wish to consider properly categorising your content to give potential readers an easier time exploring your site. One way to do this is to create landing pages that double as a directory of related content on specific topics.
Ensure regular publishing schedule
You don’t necessarily have to publish several posts a day to become a successful blogger. What you need, however, is a regular publishing schedule so that your readers know when to expect new stories.
The frequency of your posts is up to you – you may even publish posts every other day or twice a week. There’s no single correct response as to the perfect publishing frequency: publishing posts one after the other may interest or annoy your readers, but long breaks between posts could drive them away. You will have to figure out the right timing based on your audience as you go along.
What is important is that you maintain the quality of your content so that your blog will always be in your readers’ minds.
Photos and designs
You may also wish to consider adding photos, images, designs and even videos to your posts. These visual cues may help emphasise the portions you want your readers to focus on, as well as give their eyes a break from texts.
However, make sure to only include relevant visual elements in each post to avoid disharmony.
Publish and promote blog
No blogger earned hundreds and thousands of dollars within the first month of launching their blog, so don’t set the bar too high when you launch yours. To start making money from your blog, you have to put in effort into publishing content and promoting your blog.
There are many ways to promote your blog, but it’s important to note that what works for a similar blog wouldn’t necessarily work with yours. Just like with publishing schedule, you may need to experiment on the platform and scheduling for promotions.
It is inadvisable to simply focus on one platform when promoting your blog. Try to promote your blog using a variety of platforms to reach a wider audience who may be interested in the same topic but doesn’t know yet where to look.
For instance, you may share your content on Facebook and Twitter for the younger demographic, but you may also reach out to professionals through LinkedIn. For those who prefer visuals, you may consider creating a summarised slideshow version and posting it as a video on Youtube and similar sites.
How much money can you make from a blog?
A number of bloggers claim that their blog can replace and even surpass the income they earn from a 9-to-5 job with a steady paycheck, but just how true are such claims?
A statistical research study conducted in 2018 revealed the six most profitable blogging niches.
Blogging niches that make the most money
The niches below are listed according to the median monthly income of bloggers.
- Food ($13,144.95 or US$9,169)
- Personal finance ($13,046.03 or U$9,100)
- Lifestyle ($7,449.14 or US$5,199)
- Mum ($7,383.19 or US$5,150) - blogs made by mums for mums
- Travel ($7,186.15 or US$5,000)
- Marketing ($6,120.17 or US$4,269)
It was noted, however, that there were more personal finance bloggers who were making over $2,867.26 (US$2,000) a month. When the US$2,000 monthly income and other income from within the blog (i.e. ads, courses and ebook sales) are taken into consideration, however, personal finance tops the list.
Blogging niches that make the most money and with bloggers making at least $2,867.26 per month
- Personal finance
The reported revenues were produced by using a variety of marketing and sales strategies, including but not limited to ads, affiliates, courses and ebooks sales, sponsored content and consulting services.
Ways to earn money with your blog
There are various ways to earn money with your blog, but each one gives a different result and monetary reward. Below are some ideas that can help you generate more income through your blog.
Most, if not all, bloggers earn an income by incorporating advertisements in their blogs. These ads generate income through the number of clicks they receive.
The most common types of ads bloggers place on their blogs are cost-per-click (CPC) or pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-mille (CPM) and private ads.
- CPC or PPC ads
CPC and PPC ads typically refer to banner or small advertisements that pay the blog owner a small sum each time someone clicks the ad displayed on their blog.
- CPM ads
CPM ads are similar to CPC and PPC ads – the only difference is that the host blog is paid for every one thousand impressions or clicks.
- Private ads
Private ads are contracts between you and an advertiser. You will have to determine the size, placement and cost of the ad.
Affiliate programs refer to a marketing strategy that allows bloggers and other media personality to receive commissions for the products they promote. There are many companies in various industries that offer affiliate programs, so make sure to compare them before choosing an affiliate for your blog.
If you have grown your audience and are simply looking for ways to monetise your blog, you may consider creating your own digital products. Some products to consider are ebooks, video tutorials and online courses.
You may also consider using content marketing tools for selling products and services in order to expand the reach of your products and potentially reach interested audience from other parts of the world.
You may also consider selling memberships once you have a large audience base. Memberships may refer to access to premium version of your digital products that are exclusive to members of your site.
How many views do you need to make money blogging?
Monetising your blog may seem like a tedious task considering all of the work involved in order to make it noticeable enough. You may start to question if the monetary rewards that blogging offers can make the effort worthwhile.
How much money do bloggers make?
Depending on the type of products and services, as well as content and strategies that a blogger executes, they can earn somewhere between a few dollars to over $10,000 a month.
According to the 2018 Blogger Survey answered by 130 bloggers who monetised their blogs, 24.1 per cent of respondents earned US$69.77 ($100) or less and 14.8 per cent received US$69.78 to US$348.87 ($100 to $500) income from their blogs. About 39.8 per cent earned between US$348.88 to US$2,093.19 ($500 and $3,000). Finally, the remaining 27.8 per cent of respondents successfully earned between US$2,093.20 to US$6,977.30 ($3,000 to $10,000).
There’s no single formula to creating a successful blog
The success of your blog depends on the time and effort you put into it, as well as the strategies you execute in order to address your objectives. A profitable blog is similar to an investment – you need to do due diligence in order to make informed decisions and steer your blog in the right direction.
It’s also important to remember that it may take time before your blog starts to show signs of profitability so you should be prepared to receive minimal to zero income in the first few months from your launch.
Explore Nest Egg for more ideas to earn money
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We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians
About the author
Join The Nest Egg community
We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians