How to start a new blog is the question that has been asked a million times. Search for how to start a successful blog site:quora.com and you’ll see about 162,000 results. That’s only on Quora. Being a successful blogger gives you tons of opportunities - from earning money to getting new friends all around the world.
But it’s a long way to become one. People see a successful blogger and they think Oh great, I’ll write a blog and be like him. Well, it doesn’t go that way.
There are dozens of questions you’re about to get answered, including the most frequent one - how to start a blog and make money. You are at the right place and after reading this blog post, you’ll know:
and basically, everything you need to succeed. The first step is to create your own blog.
This is your starting point, not the web hosting or anything else but this. In order to choose a right niche for the blog, you need to think about:
I share the opinion with Ashley Faulkes who said that you need to like what you do, otherwise you will not enjoy it.
It makes perfect sense. If you want to be a successful food blogger because your friend is, but you don’t enjoy cooking generally don’t have a clue about it, you’ll fail. Trust me, I’ve been there.
When I was writing about food and recipes I failed because I hated it. I couldn’t produce enough of quality content, even with a new Nikon Digital Camera.
With around 3 million food blogs you simply need a PASSION to breakthrough.
Now we’re coming to the next big thing - competition. According to SimilarWeb, earlier mentioned NicheHacks has almost 600K visits per month.
If I decide to write about niche ideas, I think it would be very hard to succeed because this blog is very competitive and it has the topic which is so narrow. Thumbs up, Stuart.
How to find top blogs in the specific industry or niche?
Here is what I did. I’ve searched for top food bloggers in Google and found the list of 32 must-follow food and nutrition blogs (this was the first result in Google SERP).
There are also a few articles about this topic on Huffington Post, so you can easily find other food bloggers and what they’re doing.
That’s how I’ve found a stunning blog called Naturally Ella! My first impression was I must go to eat something.
The strong first impression is exactly what we are looking for.
I’m not sure how much you’re familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but let me just say that there are 200 Google ranking factors and one of the most important is backlinks.
The more links you get, the better ranking you’ll achieve.
This is a general rule of thumb and it doesn’t include spammy links. OK, stop there... why're you talking about SEO now?
Put Ella’s site in Open Site Explorer and you’ll see how competitive her blog is.
Her blog has a domain authority of 63.
Basically, it tells me that Ella’s site is highly competitive. The competition doesn’t mean that entrance in this niche is impossible.
On the contrary, if you learn a bit about SEO and stuff like that, there is room for everyone. The competitive domain is also a chance for you to learn from them.
Finally, you need to know how you’re going to make the money. OK, it’s not about the money, the point is to write about something you love, but let me ask you: Why wouldn’t you do write your favorite topics and make enough money for living at the same time?
There are different models of blog monetization, from affiliate marketing, selling consulting services, to selling real physical products.
We will get back to this later. If you hit enough visits you’ll earn money and figure out what your audience want. Keep producing valuable content and make sure that a number of visits continue to increase.
Lesson: Write about something that you love. Check who are the most visited websites in targeted niche, so you can learn from the. Try to do similar or make something better.
When you start writing a new blog you need to know who is your audience. Do you plan to sell services to other businesses or consumers?
In other words, you need to figure out your business model. If you’re writing about something like digital marketing, you’re in B2B (Business-to-Business) model since your audience are other businesses (companies).
On the other hand, if you’re writing about themes like food your business model is B2C (Business-to-Consumer). Which model is better for blogging, B2B or B2C? Well, it depends. B2B marketing is different.
For example, B2C needs larger target market then B2B. Smaller business target makes the whole job much easier.
In B2B you’re building long-term relationships with your customers. You can build a blog in B2B and realize that your audience might be interested in some software your engineer have built.
This way, you’ll make long-term relationships - apps are being paid per month and average churn rate is less than 1% per month.
When it comes to Business-to-Consumer model (B2C) you need a lot of visitors to earn $100,000.
Specifically, in most consumer niches you’ll have to generate between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 monthly visitors to start seeing numbers like $100,000 a month in income.
If you check out this survey from ProBlogger, only 4% of people are able to earn more than $10,000 per month.
What do you think how many people are able to make more than $100,000 from the blog? I would say less than 1% but don’t let this scare you off from blogging.
Personally, I believe that it’s easier to succeed in B2B because you don’t need so many visitors. For example, Neil Patel says that for every unique 100,000 B2B visitors in should be able to make between $80,000 and $100,000 per month.
Assuming that you’re an accountant, you can give free tax advice for everyone and as a result, you’ll see how one small percentage of visitors gets interested in your professional services.
Lesson: In B2B model, you need 10x times fewer visitors to earn $100,000. B2C is harder but there is much more search volume. I prefer B2B, but that’s my cup of tea. You should follow your passion and find out in what industry or niche you can fit.
A couple of years ago, SEO was about keyword sniffing where people were buying generic domains instead of branded ones. The reason was desire to manipulate Google and get high ranks, even if it wasn’t deserved. For example, an NYC web design agency could buy nycwebdesignagency.com and get top rank. But that’s not the case anymore. If you don’t believe me, search for NYC web design agency and see the best rankings There is no nycwebedsignacency.com. The thing is that targeted keywords don’t have a strong correlation with rankings, while branded domains look great and professional. Keep in mind that you can always buy a domain that is on the sale. This way you can achieve better rankings much faster comparing to new, never used, domain. Take a look at Nutrition Secrets challenge, where Neil Patel shared his experienced with buying an existing one. In fact, buying new domain means a slower growth rate. Now, let’s see how to find a used domain. The biggest marketplaces are Sedo, Godaddy Auctions, and Flippa. Open Sedo, in the menu, go on BUY DOMAINS and click on Domain Search. With more than 1,000 domains you can buy, there are enough opportunities. On the left side, you can filter domains by specific criteria. I filtered by price range - decided to show domains that cost up to $1,000, but you can filter it by category or length, too. sitetraffic.com seems to be a great opportunity for people who’re going to write about digital marketing. On the flip side, the real threat is buying a domain that has been penalized by Google. So, we need to check links pointing to this domain. Firstly, I’ll open Ahrefs and type sitetraffic.com in Site Explorer. This domain has total 492 backlinks from 44 referring domains. I’ve analyzed some of the 492 backlinks and I couldn’t find any spams. Still, if I decide to buy this domain, I’d definitely spend much more time on the link analysis. Have a look at Open Site Explorer metrics for this domain. If you’re still wondering why buying a new domain might be a good opportunity, think about Domain Authority. It would take you a couple of months to achieve this DA. When you’re buying an existing domain, please keep in mind that you can also use Google Search Console to check if manual actions were taken from Google. In Search Traffic menu, go to Manual Actions. This suggests that domain from example has not penalized. Unfortunately, you don’t have an access to Google Search Console until you buy (and verify) a domain, so you can only do Ahrefs and Moz analysis. Never forget a wayback machine where you simply enter the domain and see what was there. For example, sitetraffic.com was a creative studio in the Houston. They were offering web design, logo design, 360-degree panoramas, etc. According to WHOIS record, the domain history says there were 127 records since December 2001. Very old domain, isn’t it? Older domains tend to rank higher in Google. On the other side, if you decide to buy a new domain, you still can succeed, but the journey will probably be longer. Now let's see how to check if the desired domain is available. Again, open GoDaddy or Enom, and enter desired domain. I'll open GoDaddy, enter a domain startinganewblog.com (this is an imaginary domain name) and click on Search Domain. It looks this domain is available, so I'll click on Select. Then click on Continue To Cart button, and Proceed to Checkout. If you’re buying a domain for the first time, you need to enter your billing information. After you’re done, you need to choose Payment information. Probably the most used payment methods are Credit/Debit/Prepaid Card and PayPal. Choose a preferred method and click on Place Your Order. However, before buying a new domain on GoDaddy (or somewhere else), I can use Whois Lookup from Domain Tools. I'll type jellymetrics.com so I can see what will happen. Obviously, this domain has already been taken, I’m writing about this because of the box you can see above domain information. It’s the box where I can see related domains for sale or at auction. There’s a domain saasmetrics.com which is great for businesses like Baremetrics or ChartMogul.
Once you’ve bought a domain, it’s time to think about web hosting. Setting up a blog doesn’t require expensive hosting because, in the beginning, you won’t have so many visitors and your bandwidth requirements will be very low. However, there are many things you should consider, like:
Price is extremely important because most of the bloggers won’t have any income in the first months. According to TopTenReviews, here is the list of top ten web hosting providers: Personally, I have some experience with Bluehost, GoDaddy, and HostGator. I’m not affiliated with any of these companies, but I’m mentioning them because I want to compare prices. As you can see, it starts from $1.99 per month. Price is not the only important thing. In an ideal world, it would be great if you pay hosting services a few dollars per month and get good support. Different hosting providers have different reviews. Some people have great experiences while others talking horrible things in the reviews. Anyway, a great support is necessary because sometimes there will be some issues with your blog. This is a support page from Bluehost. They offer WordPress Assistance which is definitely a big plus. If you decide to go with WordPress you should read WPBeginner hosting guide. It’s the place where you can get informed about WP hosting. Also, there are dozens of reviews that you can read, mostly from their customers. I strongly recommend to go with WordPress because it’s undoubtedly the best platform you can use today unless you decide to build something custom, but I think it would be the waste of your time. Here is the comparison from WP Site Care. If you’re still thinking about picking a right platform, I’ll talk about WordPress vs other platforms later. If you have some technical skills I’d suggest you think between Linode and DigitalOcean. I use both and I think they’re great. With a couple of clicks, you design a VPS as you wish. However, if you don’t have any technical skills it would be better to pick services like Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy, etc. DigitalOcean was founded in June 2011 and they had extremely high growth rate since. On the other side, Linode was founded in 2003 and they’re definitely a great choice. But, as said earlier, without technical skills, you should avoid them. Uptime is something that really matters. Always check what uptime guarantee a hosting provider offer. It’s not real to expect 100% uptime guarantee, but 99.99% is what we’re looking for. Here’s what Host Benchmarker says. Now, I’ll show you how to check uptime of your own website (once you get online). Open Uptime Robot and register there. After you register, click on Add New Monitor. There are four different monitor types:
I won’t explain each of them, I’ll just choose Ping type. I chose monitor interval for every 5 minutes and I chose to send an alert to notify me on my email. After that, just click on Create Monitor and monitoring can start. Now I can track whenever it gets down, so I can send a message to my server administrator. There are other commercial services like Pingdom who offers SMS alerts, which is also nice. Lesson: I’m not affiliated with any of these hosting providers, so I won’t make any suggestion. Whatever you choose, you won’t make a mistake. Just think about price, uptime, and support.
Again, WordPress is the most powerful platform and the most used in the world for a reason. The majority of the websites use WordPress as its CMS. For example, 206,005 of top 1,000,000 websites use WordPress. 29,120 use Joomla and 23,361 use Drupal. According to Google Trends, interests for WordPress, over the time 5 years, has always been in the first place. After that, comes Joomla and Drupal. Have a look at the chart above and these data from Google Trends - they definitely have a strong correlation. Here’s what WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal have in common:
WordPress is very easy to use and what’s more, it has strong SEO capabilities. In fact, 2500+ themes mean that there are very good chances that you’ll find something that fits your needs. If not, you can always buy a new theme and they’re not so expensive. In my opinion, Hooray is a beautiful theme. One of the most growing blogs in the nutrition industry, NutritionSecrets.com uses Hooray. Trust me, you don’t need to hire a web designer to get a WordPress page. Here are four steps:
It’s very easy! Please keep in mind, there are lots of providers who offer you 1-click WordPress installation. You should always update WordPress to the latest version due security reasons. But that’s not the only reason. Every version of WordPress is becoming faster and faster. Furthermore, every major WP release comes with new features and fixed bugs. Did you know that you can speed up a WordPress site as a non-tech? I’ve been writing about that. For instance, optimizing images may help your blog. Image compression lets you reduce file size and also keep the image quality. Extra tip: Never install too many WordPress plugins. They’ll make your website slower. Lesson: Choose WordPress because that is the best solution you currently have. Joomla and Drupal are good, but WordPress is the best.
Starting a blog without SEO is useless. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s a set of strategies and tactics of increasing search rankings. When I say SEO I only mean Google, not Yahoo, Bing or any other (sorry guys). Google handles at least 2 trillion searches per year. Every single second there are around 63,000 searches. Every minute 3.8 million and every hour 228 million. Huge numbers and huge opportunities. It has data centers all around the world. This is how one of their data centers looks. Currently, there are around 200 Google ranking factors, splitted into two groups:
Let’s see what you can do to achieve better rankings.
On-Page SEO is everything about the page you’re trying to rank, such as title, URL, content. This suggests that when we talk about On-Page SEO, you can fix everything about specific page because it’s all in your hands.
Years ago, there was a strong correlation between ranking position and title of the page. Today, the correlation is very low, almost non-existing. Google became smarter over the time and it can understand every piece of content. Although there is no strong correlation, the title is still important. It’s because it influences on CTR in Google SERP. In other words, your job is to create the most attractive title.
This is definitely the most important On-Page factor. Period. Content is the king. The better content you have, the better ranking you achieve. If you create a wonderful content, you’ll rank high. Trust me on this. Great content attracts quality backlinks, and they’re still the most important ranking factor. It’s the Off-Page factor, by the way. Notice how you should write +2,000 words articles to reach high rankings.
Firstly, your site needs to be fast because of your visitors and secondly because of search engines. Use different tools to test your site speed. For example, open Pingdom and enter your site’s URL. After a couple of seconds, you’ll see the results.
Google rolled out the mobile-friendly update in April 2015. In fact, this update affects only search rankings on mobile devices and individual pages, not entire websites, and all languages. Even Facebook revenue comes mostly from mobile advertising - 78% of their advertising revenue. This was unthinkable a few years ago. Checking if some page is mobile optimized is very easy. Open Google Mobile-Friendly Test, type the URL and click on Analyze. This isn’t what we don't want to see. This is what we want.
Off-Page SEO is something that is hard to influence.
I strongly believe they are the most important Google ranking factor. Think about backlinks as a vote from page A to page B. Now it may seem that you can get lots of backlinks within a few hours. A few years ago, maybe. Not anymore. Today, you can’t just visit different forums and paste links. No spam. Your site might get penalized. What can I do? You can produce great content and find out what pages link similar content. Next, you can outreach them and ask for the link. 3 - 4% of people will link you back. If not, here are two main reasons:
You need to go step by step. Creating different tools attracts much more backlinks than normal articles. I’ve created a Readability Test Tool, where you just paste your text and get readability scores:
It’s great for content marketers because readability has a solid correlation with ranking positions. This tool brought me links from sites with Domain Authority of 100, 75, 65, 55 and so on. That increased my rankings.
When someone visits your site and go back without further interactions, we identify that user as someone who bounced. Your blog will have a bounce rate between 70 - 98%. The less bounce rate you have, the better ranking you get.Simple as that. It’s actually a signal to Google that visitors are satisfied with your content. If they open your page, and go return to a search engine, and they click the next result, it means that result is probably better than yours. You can’t influence on bounce rate like influencing on the title, but what you can do is to create amazing content.
The number of shares and likes don’t directly affect on ranking positions because Google doesn’t use it in its algorithm, but there are many benefits of social media. When you get many shares and likes, your content may become viral and the reason for new backlinks. Create a shareable content and you’ll definitely see SEO benefits. Moz correlation study shows us a solid correlation between social and brand features. As you can see, social shares will definitely help your brand and generally SEO rankings. Remember, correlation is not a causation. Lesson: Creating great content will always be a path to the success. People love great content and they link it and links are still the most important Google ranking factor.
Now, when we were talking about creating great content, we need to see how to handle ideas. That’s the reason why I’ve written the article called How To Generate More Content Marketing Ideas For Your Blog. However, I haven’t written everything about generating blog post ideas in that article. I saved some tips for other blog posts. Now, let’s open Content Idea Generator and type head term related to your business. I’ll type email marketing into the text input. This is the idea I just got: What Experts Are Saying About Email Marketing. The truth is that this phrase has 0 searches per month, but remember, it’s not about the title. It doesn’t correlate well anyway. The key thing is content that you’re going to write. If you interview 150 experts and collect all interesting quotes on email marketing, I bet you’ll rank high for terms like email marketing quotes and quotes about email marketing. There is no such article that has +150 expert quotes. The whole idea is creating something that adds value and because of that, Google will reward you. Earlier, I mentioned that creating a tool is a great way of attracting new backlinks. This tool has attracted +9,580 backlinks from +3,000 domains. I don’t think there are so many articles that can do this. Another way of generating ideas for the blog post is HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator. There are three fields with terms (preferably nouns). I’ll type email marketing in the first field and click on GIVE ME BLOG TOPICS! Here are five topics I just got. Specifically, I like the third topic because I think it’s possible to create a great article about biggest problems in email marketing. For example, earning new subscribers in the biggest challenge and also, increasing open rates. I think now you understand how these tools can help you with generating new ideas. Also, the latest blog topic is great because quizzes are great for collecting new subscribers, which we’ll talk about a bit later. Finally, a third way of generating new ideas is BuzzSumo. With BuzzSumo, you can easily find the most shared content across different social networks. For example, if I search for Fitness I’ll get something like this: The most shared article is about fitness motivation. When I realize that people are interested in fitness motivation, I can create the next blog posts like:
Personally, I just need one topic to generate tons of ideas. It’s something that comes over the time and it might be difficult at first, but trust me, you won’t have any problems either. Lesson: Generating new ideas will be easier over the time. At first, you can use different tools which will definitely help, but later you won’t need anything.
Writing a blog post requires putting a lot of efforts on research because you need fresh and accurate information. But, before that, let’s see what is the best tool for writing blog posts. Personally, I write my blog posts in Google Docs because I don’t need to worry about backups or spelling. One of the biggest benefits of Google Docs is that you can easily share documents with your colleagues, so they’ll easy collaborate. However, there are other tools as well. For example, Zoho Writer is also a great app with supporting various formats including ODT, HTML, and docx. You can even embed YouTube videos if you would like to add YouTube videos in writing documents. If you’re still an old-school computer user and a lover of Microsoft Word, then you should try with Office Online. Basically, the app is identical to desktop version, and the only difference is that it’s in the cloud, which makes collaboration and backups easier. When it comes to writing your first blog post, my suggestion is to create a structure of your future blog post firstly. This way, you’ll know how your blog post is going to look like, even before you write a single word. For example, if you’re targeting +2,000 words, you can split your blog post into a few headings:
Introduction Heading 1 Heading 2 Heading 3 Heading 4 Heading 5 Conclusion
You can leave 250 words for introduction and conclusion which means you have 1,500 words left. It means you need to write 300 words per heading. Please respect this because it’s not the best practice if you have 3 headings with 350 words, and two with 225, for example. Small deviations are fine. Check this photo from Venture Accelerator Partners: Note this Download Now. Including Call-to-Action is always a good thing. For example, content upgrade or downloading an eBook will increase your email conversion rates. Plus, you should always include lots of images in your blog posts and also share authority links. Why? It’s because when you include authoritative external links your ranking will increase. Yes, there is a correlation but more than that, visitors will be thankful and know that your site is the place of useful sources. Always think about your target audience and their needs and be accurate. Never share something that you’re not 100% sure. You need to be a trustful source of information. When starting sentences, I often use phrases like:
Using I & You makes your blog posts more personal. You’re not writing an essay for your school homework. Write in the first person. You should always press enter after a few sentences. Don’t write paragraphs with too many sentences. As for me, the best app I use when I do blogging is Grammarly. It helps me with grammar and spelling. After I finish writing in Google Docs, I just copy the text into Grammarly, so I can see if there are some critical issues. An extension for Google Chrome and Firefox Mozilla is also available, but unfortunately, it doesn’t support Google Docs. One of the ways I check how many words I wrote is pressing CTRL (CMD) + SHIFT + C. This way, you’ll always be introduced a number of words. If you don’t like shortcuts, you can always go to Tools - Word count. Lesson: Use apps like Google Docs for writing your blog posts, write in the first person and never create too long paragraphs because they are hard to read.
Now that you’ve written your first blog post, it’s time to make your audience see it. Even if you got the right keywords and valuable content, it will take some time to reach high rankings. Good news is that you can speed up the process. Acquiring quality backlinks will give you that boost. But it’s not that simple. To get the backlinks that count, you have to do precise and efficient promotion. This is where social media marketing will show it’s all glitter. Here is how B2B and B2C businesses are using social media. So, what this comparison means to your promotion? If you are writing for other businesses companies, you should give the top priority to LinkedIn, while Facebook is more suitable for a wider audience (non-business customers). Again, don’t think for a second that only one marketing channel is enough. This stats is just showing results of the Content Marketing Institute research that give you initial directions. Now, let’s see how to promote blog via social media.
This social network is all about business, so for B2B it’s a must-have but it can be useful for B2C too. Firstly, make your profile professional but personal. Include links to your website and blog. Join the different professional groups where many might be interested in your blog posts. Among 1.5 million groups on LinkedIn, you’ll find your niche. Let’s assume that you’re working that industry and see how to join to nutrition industry groups. In the search input, type Nutrition: You can find jobs requiring nutrition skills, people with nutrition skills and finally, groups about nutrition. Here are groups about nutrition: As you can see, there are 1,794 groups that contain Nutrition in its name. From these 1,794 groups, 1,702 groups are in English. Simply join these groups and contribute. It’s the perfect place where you can answer on different questions, help other people, join discussions, etc. The most popular group has 53,178 members. Click on Ask to join and post your articles regularly and provide useful links to other sites as well. Be careful not to be marked as spam. Become an authority, remember? Lesson: LinkedIn is great for B2B but it can be useful for B2C, too. This requires tons of work, but if you’re without funds, you don’t have other ways of increasing your traffic. In your first days of being a blogger, you won’t have so many visitors from Google.
Ego Building is a strategy where you need to mention influencers in your blog post. Once you mention them, you can send them a message and ask for a tweet. For example, I’ve created a guide on making an interview with influencers. This is the result of reaching out Jeff Bullas. This is how I did it. I mentioned Jeff in my blog post and after publishing, I just sent a message to Jeff where I asked him to tweet it. He did it. It’s because I’ve shown Jeff as an expert (he truly is). What can I do? You can interview influencers in your strategy. If you’re not sure how to find influencers, I suggest you reading this blog post where you’ll learn everything about this topic. Lesson: Ego building strategy works great. Trust me, I’ve tried it several times and I know it works perfectly. Go for it.
Quora is the biggest Q&A website where you can find questions about everything you can even imagine. In fact, it has more than 270M visits and +419,000 news questions per month. For example, if you’re writing on Fitness topic, you can open that topic at Quora and find questions that are waiting for answers. Specifically, Fitness has more than 47,000 questions. Once you publish a blog post, you can easily find out questions where you can mention your blog post. Please keep in mind that you shouldn’t do copy & paste of your blog post. You’ll always write at least 200 words answer and insert the link into the answer. Here are some questions that you can answer. Don’t worry if there are other answers too. It doesn’t matter because one question can get lots of visits from Google, too. I know this is a huge job, but it’s also a huge opportunity. This is especially good when you don’t have any budget to spend on Paid ads. I really mean that it’s better to hire someone whose job will be answering questions on Quora, instead of paying ads, for some cases. Lesson: Quora is a goldmine of generating traffic for your blog posts. You can build a huge number of referral visitors from Quora, but also you can build followers and authority.
A total number of email accounts is increasing over the time. It’s estimated that by 2017 there will be up to 4.9B email accounts, including 1.13B business accounts. Email marketing has a lot of benefits:
Email marketing is something you need consider seriously. It takes a lot of efforts to build the list. Now, let’s see some of the ways for increasing number of subscribers.
When someone comes to your blog, you can ask him Do you want to be the healthiest person in the world? If he clicks No, it doesn’t matter. Ignore it. But, if he clicks Yes, and a huge percentage of people will, you can ask him to sign up for your daily (or weekly) newsletter. The 2-step modal dialog is much better than asking someone to sign up immediately. A big rule is to offer something in exchange for an email. You can’t just simply say: Sign up to my newsletter and learn everything about cooking. Why would someone sign up? Give him a reason. You need to add a new value. That’s why eBooks are so great for capturing new emails.
A modal dialog is not the only way of getting new emails. Bombarding your visitors with offers is the key to successful email collection. Showing slider boxes in the right (or left) corner of your page is also something you should think about. Do you remember Naturally Ella blog from earlier? This is how she capture emails with a slider. She offers dinner inspiration, ingredient ideas, and pantry tips, once a week.
Have you ever been thinking about creating a quiz? For example, Nutrition Secrets has a strong offer, on every page within the blog - Which Diet Is Right For Your Personality? This way, Nutrition Secrets will collect many emails because people are curious. When visitors spend a couple of minutes on answering the question, you should ask for an email in exchange for the results. Maybe it’s not the nicest thing to avoid showing results without an email, but that’s a great way of lead generation. Tools I recommend you to start collecting emails as soon as possible. You can use different apps, and some of them are free. Here are some tools that you can use:
All of them are great and they all have a free version, which is great for reducing costs when starting a new blog. Lesson: Be creative and connect as much as possible emails. I mentioned only a couple of ways, but there are many others. Test different versions of CTAs and learn what works the best.
One of the reasons why you’ll succeed with your new blog is measuring. It’s also the reason why you maybe won’t succeed. Here are some questions you need to know:
Answer on these questions is possible with Google Analytics. If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, I suggest you take a free Digital Analytics Fundamentals course from Google, where you can learn a lot about measuring. What’s more, this is one of two courses that is enough to pass Google Analytics Individual Qualification exam. The second course is Google Analytics Platform Principles. Once you prepare yourself, you can take the exam. Google exams are free of charge and they’re expiring. Specifically, the validity period is 18 months. You have 90 minutes to answer 70 questions with 80% passing score. If your native language is not English, you can take it in simplified Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. Next, if you wish to practice in Google Analytics, you might be thinking that it’s impossible because your blog doesn’t have any traffic. Yes, that was a problem until Google recently announced that GA data for their Merchandise Store is available for everyone. Now, let’s see how many visitors come from search engines. In the menu, go to Acquisition - All Traffic - Channels. Here is what you’ll see. There are 25,288 organic visits (sessions) every month and all these sessions have a solid bounce rate - 41.64%. In other words, 41.64% visits will come and leave without further interactions. Now, if we click on Organic Search, we can see what are top landing pages from that channel and how much revenues these landing pages generate. Basically, we can analyze everything on the website, blog, e-commerce, etc. For the blog, you simply need to check out what content type (lists, definitive guides, quizzes, etc), brings the most visitors from search engine and what percentage converts into email subscriber. Did you know that you can see for what queries your site rank? Go to Acquisition - Search Console - Queries. Here are search queries: This is actually data from Google Search Console, and it’s with 3-days delay. If you want to see this data, you need to link your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts. Go to Admin - All products (Product linking section). After that, you’ll see the list of Linked Products and the list of Unlinked Products. In this case, Search Console has already been linked, but when you create your Google Analytics account, you’ll see it just as you see AdSense - in the group of unlinked products. Lesson: Measure, measure, measure. That’s the key to creating success business. You should always do some changes, measure and after that, learn from the data. Otherwise, you’ll fail.
How to make money from your blog is the question asked so many times. Finally, I’ll tell you everything about. Here is the algorithm how to make money from the blog. Firstly, you get visits with the content you’ve published. There are several channels:
and a few others, less important. After that, you just need to capture emails - it’s possible to have a lead rate up to 5% percentage. Next, when you publish new blog posts you need to send a newsletter. This way, you’re building a trust. Finally, offer a product or service to your subscribers. Here are some types of things blogs can sell:
The hardest type is physical goods because you need to worry about logistics, shipping, returning policy and many other problems. I suggest you to avoid selling physical goods unless you have a lot of visitors so you can handle this with hiring additional people. If not, better focus on producing great content. As you know, I was writing about differences between B2B and B2C blogs. For example, professional services (Financial, Programming, Design, Copywriting, Marketing) is something more related to other businesses. On the other hand, if you’re writing in nutrition space, which is B2C, there are great chances to sell seminars on weight loss topic, and so on. Everything depends on your niche (you can sell seminars in B2B, too), but these are some general thoughts.
If you think you’re not ready to offer your own product, you can always earn money with affiliate marketing. Have a look at affiliate marketing definition:
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.
Amazon has the largest affiliate program in the world. The whole idea is to promote Amazon products and get paid for that. Specifically, for general products you can get a commission rate up to 8.50%, depending on volume. Writing in travel industry brings lots of opportunities. For example, if you add Booking.com ads, you can expect up to 40% commission rate (from Booking.com commission). In fact, for 501 bookings or more, per month, you will definitely need huge traffic. Anyway, 25 - 30% is also a good commission rate. Expedia gives a great opportunity for promoting products like airline tickets, where you get $3 per transaction. They will also pay you for hotel transactions - 5.5% to 6% per transaction based on monthly Merchant hotel sales. Once your traffic goes up you can do whatever you wish. You can always learn what your audience is interested in, what they’re buying, what are they needs, etc.
Starting a new blog isn’t hard. Building a successful one is, but not impossible. I gave you lots of examples, from buying a new domain vs buying an existing one, to choosing a web hosting. However, the most important things are:
Again, build +2,000 words articles because that’s the only way to rank high on Google. If you create a blog post with 300 words, the chances that you’ll see s