Blogging has become one of the most popular means of spreading news and information on just about anything. By doing so, bloggers not only make people more informed and insightful, but they also earn from their writing, turning it into a full-time gig.
With this, most people think that it is a no-brainer to write blog posts for money. So, they pretty much dive right into the blogging world without really knowing the essentials.
After publishing a few posts, reality hits them, and they begin to ask, “Why am I not earning? How do bloggers make money, in the first place? This is harder than I expected.” Sounds familiar? Every blogging newbie knows how that feels like and quickly realizes that there are a strategy and know-how to the world of blogging.
So, if you are dead serious about starting a blog, there are certain things to understand to start right and guarantee success.
Blogging for Beginners: The Preliminary Steps
Without a doubt, your first blog post is important. But what’s even more important is to choose the right niche for your blog. A “niche” is another term for “topic,” which answers the question, “What should I blog about?
You need to have a topic for your blog that is something you are truly passionate about. Why? Because once you start, it will take a lot of your time and consume a lot of your wits. So, if you’re in this for the long haul and are planning to earn, then a niche is critical to have.
Once you’ve figured out what it is you want to talk about, research popular blogs that are similar to your niche. Learn all you can from reading their work and studying how they do things. Have your takeaways and apply what you feel works well with who you are as a writer and influencer. When you’ve gotten comfortable after doing that, you can write your first blog post with greater confidence.
How to Write your First Blog Post
Okay, so you have your topic, and you’ve done the groundwork. Now, it’s time to write. To start, free write what comes to mind about the topic you are working on. Don’t stop, don’t hesitate, just let the words flow. If you are finished, read over then organize your ideas into paragraphs that can be grouped into subtopics.
Create subheadings for the paragraphs you arranged. Of course, be sure to write an introductory paragraph and a conclusion. The intro and conclusion consist of about two to three sentences. Proofread and keep editing until you are satisfied with your writing.
To have a better structure to your writing, choose a keyword phrase that sums up the idea of your article. That keyword phrase you decided on will be included in the heading, as well as the subheadings, if at all possible.
A blog post would usually have three to five subheadings or subtopics with two to three paragraphs in each. The keywords you choose are extremely important because it has a lot to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is how your writing appears in search engines. Knowing the basics of SEO is a must so read on.
Basic SEO Copywriting Tips
The Huffington Post says that words have influence and they can either make or break businesses. Without strong web content that is search engine optimized (SEO), a site will not get any attention.
SEO copywriting allows your site to appear in top searches on Google and allows you to speak directly to your target audience. With SEO, you’ll also be known for having quality content on your site, and you avoid getting penalized by Google. In other words, SEO makes your website stronger.
Note that SEO copywriting should be subtle. The flow of your content should feel natural and never forced. This can be tricky, especially when you have to include keywords in your content. But there is a way to write that is Google-worthy. New Breed Marketing offers some tips on SEO copywriting.
- Write a headline that captivates your audience and sets the tone for the topic. The keyword should be in the title. Know that numbers in titles are appealing because people naturally like lists, bringing more clicks into your site.
- Make your article easy to read with subheadlines, short paragraphs, and bullets. Having these elements guide your readers through the content and also increases digestibility. If readers can digest your writing, they will share your article. Your SEO ranking shoots up this way.
- Use the active voice and prefer power words. Power words are energetic words that exude influence. Using the active voice in sentence structure makes your writing more persuasive and direct, which is good for SEO.
- Do not overuse keywords. Too much of something is not helpful at all. The key here is that everything should feel natural.
- Write Meta descriptions. These are short descriptions you read under the title when your page pops up in search engine results. Meta descriptions are only 160 characters. Be strategic in including keywords.
- Include internal and external links. Linking your content to other sites adds value to the reading experience. It also increases the crawlability of your site which is what search engines like seeing.
How to Make Money by Blogging
Earning an income through blogging involves a lot of research, some knowledge of blogging platforms, and a lot of patience. In time, you can reap the fruits of your labor. The Beginner’s Guide for WordPress lays out some “proven” ways to make money by blogging that you can try. One way is to display Google AdSense on your site.
All you need to do is add a script from Google to your website and ads will start displaying. Every time a user clicks on the ad, you earn.
Affiliate Marketing is also one way to earn money from your blog by recommending a product or service to your audience using special tracking links. You get a referral commission every time someone buys after clicking your link.
You can also sell sponsored blog posts or get paid to write reviews. If, for example, you are not interested in sponsored posts or selling ads, you can create a paid membership website where your loyal readers would pay to access certain areas and content on your side. Setting up a Members Only Content is a perfect example of this.
Other ways of making money through your blog are to sell Ebooks or online courses on your site. You can also host a paid webinar which is similar to an online course. Try launching a freelance writing service as an expert in your niche.
Another option is to start a consulting business or become a life coach. Setting up an E-Commerce Business on your site like drop shipping, or getting affiliation with an Amazon Affiliate site is possible.
Naturally, people will engage your site because of the products you have on sale. Finally, have your blog accept donations. With so many options, you’d need to determine which way is best for your niche.
In conclusion, as a novice writer, these blogging tips will surely get you started. Remember that as you build yourself up and your site in this venture, always show your personality. Write as you talk, back up your writing with facts and data, blog consistently, never plagiarize and always write well.
As people become more and more interested in what you have to say, you’ll establish your market and earn from your work on time. And of course, don’t forget to enjoy it!