Blogging is a side hustle that does not have a cap to how much money you can make from it. When done right, it can also be a reflection of you, your interests, and your skills. When determining how to start your blog, there are six key steps to follow to launch and monetize.
At its most basic sense, a blog is an online, public journal where you share your thoughts on a particular topic. For people who love writing and want to establish a public presence, writing a blog could begin as a passion project and end up being developed into a side hustle or business. In my case, my first blog has now become a multi-six figure business, after seven years. When asking yourself how to start a blog, there are six key things you will need to do:
1. Select A Niche
A niche is the topic that you write about most often. For it to be a niche, it needs to be specific. For example: for a food blog, your niche wouldn’t be “food.” It could be something like “Southern Mexican food,” or “keto snacks for on-the-go.” Specific, narrow topics. Maybe, it can even feel the most authentic topic to write about. Ask yourself:
- What is easy to write at length about?
- Who do you want to be speaking to?
- What do you want your audience to walk away with?
2. Choose A Blogging Platform
We use WordPress: it’s easy to start a blog and customize with endless plugins. We have a list of ten of our favorite WordPress plugins. While this is definitely not your only option, the key point to remember is that if you intend on making any money, you need a self-hosted blog with your own domain name. You own it, as opposed to you renting it. Only by owning your domain would you have the ability to:
- Customize it however you want
- Monetize your blog
3. Pick A Domain Name
This will be your unique address online. When thinking about this, also consider what you will name your business. Some key things to consider:
- Make the name brandable
- Keep it short and simple
Once you establish your domain, there will be an annual fee of $10-15.
4. Get A Web Hosting Account
This is where your site lives. It is what allows you to be connected efficiently to the rest of the internet. If you use WordPress (which is what we use), you will need to find a web host provider that supports free installations of WordPress. Examples of web host platforms include BlueHost, SiteGround (this is our web host), BigScoots, Dreamhost
5. Write Content And Promote Your Blog
Write consistently. There are 3 main rules for writing great content:
- Optimal length is 2250-2500 words,
- Blog headline should be about 11-14 words
- Educate and provide info to your readers
When you center quality, your content will reflect that. And once you write the content, make sure to submit your blog to search engines, network with others in your niche, get active on their platforms, be active on socials, work on building an email list, and consider paid traffic (ads).
Get more eyes through: keyword searches & SEO optimization
6. Monetize Your Blog
The first step here is ensuring you own your domain (refer to point two). Once you’re here, you have several options of working towards monetization:
- Placing external ads on your site
- Using affiliate links
- Creating and uplifting sponsored posts
- Selling digital products
- Selling physical products
The beauty of monetizing something like a blog is that there is no limit to how much money can be made off a platform like this. Your options are endless.
As a business coach, my number one piece of advice is to just start. We spend so much time thinking and planning that we don’t actually execute—we don’t immediately start the blog. Seven years ago when I started my blog, it was nowhere near the level of success it is at right now. I have reached this point today because I got started, and tried to take each “mistake” as a learning lesson. Just start.