Have you been thinking about starting your blogging business or just start blogging to support your existing small business but have no idea where to start?
Indeed, starting a blog is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to launch your own business on the Internet and earn an income online. You can start blogging regardless of your age, education, location or level of experience and still build a successful blogging business.
One of the biggest challenges businesses are facing is building an audience for their products or services. They then start blogging around their products with the intention to increase their customer base. New bloggers, on the other hand, often work backwards, building an audience first by consistently putting out good content and then exploring ways to monetize their traffic.
This post will walk you through how to create a blog of your own and provide you with techniques that can help you create attractive and high-quality content and turn your blog into a successful business.
Start your blogging business by following these steps:
Step #1: Pick your blog’s niche
Before you start producing content for your blog, you need to have a clear idea of your niche or topic. If you choose a topic that nobody is interested in, then you’re going to have a tough time promoting your content. Similarly, if you choose a very popular niche, you’ll face fierce competition and a hard time finding your way out.
Choose a specific niche meeting your passion or interests to focus on and create content that readers can’t easily find elsewhere. This latter condition will be your assets to help you stand out from the crowd.
Questions like the following can guide you:
- What are your passion/interests?
- What are your goals?
- What do people want to read and that you can offer?
1.1. What are your passion/interests?
Ensure to choose a topic that you are interested in writing about. If you are not passionate about the topic of your blog, it can be difficult for you to produce engaging articles and stay motivated in the long run.
To get started, you can look for inspiration in several places like:
- Your job
- Your hobbies
- Your favourite media
- Your personal experiences
- The communities to which you belong
In short, where and how you pass your time is an excellent indication of where to look for your niche.
Remember that a successful blog is the one that readers connect to and find solutions to their own problems.
1.2. What are the goals of your blog?
If your blog is your own personal passion project, there is more flexibility in choosing your topic.
However, if you’re interested in turning your blog into a business, you will need to consider what topic has the best chance of gathering a large audience and a high volume of page views.
Here below, the main motivations for creating a blog.
What are the major reasons to start blogging?
1.3. Is your niche trending?
It’s worth checking Google Trends to see how interest in a topic increases or decreases over time. Here’s an example for the term “Car SUV”:
If you’re interested in checking whether a niche is trending using this tool, I’ve written a detailed article on “Is Your Online Business Niche Trending? Check It With This Tool“.
1.4. Analyse your niche’s target audience
The most successful and profitable blogs also manage to shape their ideas to maximize appeal and readership. To do so, you’ll need to consider not only what you like to write, but what other people like to read.
Check whether your niche has an audience that you can sustainably serve with a steady flow of content ideas but, ultimately, you will also need to explore your blog’s monetization if this is your motivation to start your blog.
Take some time to build a picture (also called an avatar or a buyer persona) of who you are writing for and then tailor your content accordingly.
For this purpose, I’ve written an article “4 Steps To Create Your Customer Avatar For Your Online Business“.
The procedure described in this article is meant to help define your avatar, which is:
- A fictional person who represents your ideal reader.
- Having a personality and a life (education, job, family, friends, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses, aspirations, projects, failures and successes, fears, etc ..)
- Made up of the characteristics (key attributes) of your perfect reader
This persona represents the ideal reader you’ll be writing for. The clearer their image is in your mind, the more targeted your articles will be. And the better you’ll tackle the reader’s problems and write what they want to read, thereby increasing the appeal of your posts for your audience.
1.5. Analyse your niche’s competition
Take the time to do thorough research to know the competition, as this will help identify a gap in perspectives and filling it.
Competition analysis aims at identifying your brand’s main competitors and determining the best ways to surpass them. The purpose of competition analysis is to help you determine why your target audience chooses their brand and what type of unique value proposition could prompt them to buy from you instead.
Step #2: Define the brand of your business blog
2.1. Pick a name and a domain for your blog
The name of your blog is what readers will see first, so it should ideally represent the topic(s) you’ll be writing about.
While a catchy title can be extremely effective when done properly, your blog name must first and foremost tell readers what to expect when they arrive at your site.
Since a blog is a web-based publication, it is also essential to consider that the name of your blog will also become your URL (your domain, like myblog.com). This is how people will reach you, so you need to be sure that your blog’s name still makes sense when the words are strung together into your web address.
When choosing a domain name, aim to make it:
- Easy to spell
2.2. Design your logo and brand
Your identity must extend beyond a compelling name to become a strong and recognizable brand. By brand, we are talking about your
- logo design,
- font choices, and
- all of those visuals like graphics and photography.
Building these strengths from the start is important. They will help you boost your advertising, build a more cohesive website, social media and e-commerce experience (if you choose to go that direction), and inspire beautiful packaging and paperwork.
As a small business, you can try making your logo yourself or with the help of a friend using simple graphic design tools available in the market. At Dreamed Lifestyle, we used Canva to design our logo. If you prefer to have an experienced designer, visit sites like Fiverr or UpWork to hire a designer at an affordable rate.
2.3. What’s your tone?
The tone of your blog is the voice or personality you bring to your writing. Your tone should be based on your subject matter, your audience, and your purpose.
If you plan to provide serious, professional advice, your writing style should reflect this. Similarly, a blog meant to entertain should have a tone appropriate to that goal. The name of your blog sets the tone and lets readers know what to expect from your content.
2.4. Is the domain name (URL) of your name still available?
Once you have some possible names on your hands, check whether the corresponding URL is still available.
There are many tools to help with this. I personally use Name.com.
For more on choosing your name, visit this section of my ad-hoc article: “Choosing the name of your online business.”
Step #3: Get your blog online
In this section, you’ll learn about the essential elements you need to have in place to ensure your website is running smoothly so that
- Visitors have an enjoyable user experience when visiting your site
- Search engines can crawl and index your blog.
3.1. Select a Web hosting and a blogging platform
To make your website visible and accessible on the Internet, you need a “host.” The host keeps all your website files safe, secure and makes sure that people can access your blog when they click on a link or type in your URL.
Selecting a reliable web host should not be taken lightly. If you choose a poor web host (and there are many out there), then you’ll suffer setbacks and frustrations, mainly in terms of page loading speed and/or availability. And, more importantly, if your visitors have a miserable experience, then they’ll move on to your competitors.
On April 19, 2021, Google announced that the Page Experience ranking factor will roll out gradually starting in Mid-June 2021.
There are several great web hosting providers you can use to host your blog. Regardless of which company you choose, focus on looking for a web hosting company that prioritizes
- support and a
- reliable track record.
I personally use WordPress as my website platform hosted by Name.com. WordPress is a free publishing platform since 2003 and now powers more than 60% of all blogs on the Internet.
Mind the loading speed of your site
Nobody likes hanging around for a slow loading website. In 2017, Google announced that page speed would be a ranking factor in its mobile-first index. The Google algorithm assesses whether a page provides a good experience to the user and deserves to appear on the front page.
Research by Google came to the conclusion that 53% of mobile users will leave if a webpage takes more than 3 seconds to load.
This result clearly shows the importance of choosing the hosting system for your blog.
However, even if you have good hosting, there are still a few tweaks you can make. For example, you can find free plugins for WordPress for enhancing the loading speed of your site.
3.2. Set up your site and choose the look and feel of your blog
The first part of the setup is selecting a template. Like your blog’s name or logo, its look and feel will be an important part of its personality.
The most efficient way to get your blog up and running is to choose a pre-designed blog template.
During the setup, WordPress offers you a series of default themes from which you can select the best that fits the look and design of your blog. Remember that you can customize it later if you wish based on your preferences.
Step #4: Focus on your website optimization
Now that you’ve found a niche, picked your blog name, got your site live, let’s review some essential elements you need to have in place to ensure your WordPress site is running smoothly.
4.1. Site crawling and indexing
You guess that for your blog to be successful, it needs to be findable by your readers. This happens through Google and other search engines being able to crawl and index your site.
This is crucial since, as I guess, you want your content to pop up in search results.
First, make sure your site is indexed on Google. This means informing Google that your blog exists. Among multiple ways, you can do this by submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console.
To determine whether your site is already included in Google’s search index, do a quick site search using your domain name. If your blog pops up in the search results, then your site is already indexed.
In my case, it looks like this:
See more about site crawling and indexing in the FAQ at the bottom of this post.
4.2. Manage your website’s links
a. Add external or outbound links to your references.
External links allow users and search engine to move from site to site. Similarly, internal links allow your readers to get from page to page on your site.
When writing your pages or posts, you certainly do your research and visit various articles on the Internet. By including outbound links to relevant, high authority sources, you can boost your own reputation in the process.
b. Use internal links to link your articles to each other.
When you publish new content on your blog, remember existing posts and pages you could link to. And also existing posts and pages that could link to your new content. This operation is critical for your readers to find related articles and search engines for the indexing and ranking of your site.
c. Fix broken links
Few things are more frustrating for a reader than hitting “page not found error” on your website. Even search engine robots do not like such errors either. These errors hurt the quality of your site. Fixing them is a must. So it would help if you make time to find and fix your broken links.
This article will help you do it: Website maintenance: Check and fix 404 error pages.
d. Change obsolete URL in your site using “Redirects”
One of the solutions to broken links might be replacing a link with another one. There are free plugins for WordPress. If your site is still small, you may prefer doing it manually for performance reasons if you are comfortable with it. This is because each additional plugin to your site is an additional risk of increasing your site’s load time, which neither users nor search engines like at all, as you now know.
4.3. Optimize your blog structure
Without a systematized structure, your blog is just a random collection of pages and articles.
Why does a clean blog structure matter? Well, it’s crucial for enhancing SEO. An organized hierarchy of pages optimized for search algorithms allows crawlers, and readers, to better find your pages.
For more, I invite you to read this article: SEO basics: What is site structure and why is it important?
4.4. Analytics tools
Analytics Tools help you understand how people are interacting with your website. They’ll also help you to know which content is most popular and what promotion method drove visitors to your site.
I personally use free Google Analytics (and most bloggers do the same) to track my website data, but there are other tools available.
We’ll show in section 6.6 how to use Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic.
Step #5: Create quality content
Now that your site is alive, it’s time to start writing. In this section, we’ll review different aspects that you want to give deep attention to on every single page to meet the expectations of your audience and also to maximize the chances of the best ranking by Google and other search engines.
Remember the purpose, the mission of your blog
Before starting writing, remember the top goal for your blog content (which might be, for instance, build brand awareness, capture email subscribers, boost SEO, blog promotion strategy, social media strategy, blog monetization strategy, etc.).
This will help ensure that the content you’re going to write is in harmony with the mission and the strategy of your blog.
5.1. Keyword research
Keyword research is a driving force in your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, helping you optimize your content to improve a web page’s position within search engines results. By strengthening your site’s organic performance, you’ll be able to reach a much wider audience.
Identify the keyword of the subject of your post by following the steps below:
a. List a few keywords relative to your new post
First, you’ll need to come up with a list of words (keywords) or phrases (keyphrases) people use when searching for the topic you’re preparing to write about.
For example, if you want to write about “bamboo utensils”, hereafter a list of keywords users may use while searching for articles about this topic:
- bamboo kitchen utensils
- bamboo utensil holder
- bamboo cooking utensils
- are bamboo cooking utensils good
- are bamboo cooking utensils safe
- bamboo cooking utensils review
You can also use Google Keyword Planner to get suggestions for new related keywords.
b. Analyze the listed keywords with keywords research tools
Second, you’ll want to analyze your findings by looking at their traffic potential and intent to find the best fit for your content.
There are many tools on the web to help find keywords related to your business, but Google Keyword Planner is arguably the most powerful. The best part about this tool is that it’s completely free for anyone to use. All you need is a Google Ads account.
Below is the Google Keyword Planner result of the search for the keyphrase “bamboo kitchen utensils”.
Google Keyword Planner search results for a keyword with high competition
You can see that the competition is “high”. High competition keywords are going to be more challenging to rank for because many people are running paid ads for these words and phrases.
However, if you go for a longer keyword, like “bamboo cooking utensils review”, the competition, as shown in the Keyword planner result, is reported to be “low”, which might be a better direction if you want to have a chance to appear in an interesting position in Google search results.
Google Keyword Planner search results for a keyword with low competition
c. Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for
I recommend you consider opting for longer keywords, called “long-tail keywords”.
Long-tail keywords, like “bamboo kitchen utensils review”, are more specific and less commonly searched for compared to shorter or, as usually, called “head keywords” like “bamboo utensils”. They focus on a niche or even a sub-niche. The longer and more specific search terms are, the easier it will be to rank for them since there will be less competition. Even though fewer people are searching for these terms, they might be more users motivated to buy, subscribe, sign up or whatever you’d like them to do.
5.2. Write an engaging headline
A headline, aka title, is like a brief summary of your article. It should be able to communicate to your audience what the article is about, by just reading the title. A headline is the first impression we give to users. And this impression is the trigger for visitors to click on the title or not. It doesn’t matter how good your writing is if your headline isn’t captivating enough to get anyone to click and read your story. And what’s the point of spending so much time and effort on your content if people aren’t even reading it, right?
In fact, boring headlines can lead to up to 80% loss of your audience. This is to show you how important it is to take the time to write a compelling headline for your post.
“Remember, when someone reads a headline, they are making a decision, right then, whether what you have to say matters to them,” Ronn Torossian said. “If you can give them something or tease something in a headline, you will grab their attention. If not, they will quickly click away.”
There are plenty of ideas on the net about the way to write the perfect headline. However, I’ve tested many of them and here are those that I (and many bloggers) recommend following when writing the headline of your post:
a. Include your keyword in your headline
In the above section, we learnt how to select the best keyword for our post. Now we’ll use it in the headline.
Including the keyword or its variation in the headline is both for SEO purposes and to give your readers a real taste of what to expect in your post.
b. Start with the “5W”: “What”, “Why”, “Where”, “Who” or “When.”
When looking for an answer to a question, we usually type in the search engine one of the words “How”, “What”, “Why”, “How”, or “Who”, “When”. It is the most intuitive way to formulate questions. This formula can guarantee your content’s popularity, as this title indicates that the content responds to the user’s real needs.
Example: Why You Should Target Your Goals And Stop Dreaming About Your Wishes?
c. Start with “How” or “How To“
These headlines are popular because they promise to teach something. The reader is going to learn how to do something they really want to do.
Example: How to start a blog and turn it into a successful business
d. Harness the power of numbers in your headlines
Studies show that headlines with numbers perform better across all verticals. In fact, 36% of readers prefer “number” headlines.
Headlines with numbers have the highest preferences
Headlines with numbers are also called “List headlines” or “Listicles”.
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e. Create urgency
Having a sense of urgency propels people to act now rather than later. One effective way to stir this emotion in your headline is by adding time-sensitive phrases like “now, today, this week, or limited time.”
These words trigger fear to regret it when they miss out on an opportunity (FOMO=Fear Of Miss Out). Words like “free, exclusive, better” tend to induce such a feeling and push to take immediate action.
Example: 5 Things You Can Do To Increase Traffic To Your Website Today.
f. Use the power of superlatives
Positive superlatives lead to a strong and emotional headline, while negative superlatives appeal to fear and doubt. Note that negative superlative perform better than positive ones.
Example: 5 worst methods to lose weight
Superlatives help to get the best results in your headlines.
g. Use headlines backed by science.
People trust science and are willing to accept what is reported to come from scientists.
Example: “Doctors prove two out of three women can have more beautiful skin in 14 days”.
h. Use power words
Power words, like “abandon, collapse, deadline, sinful, barrier, battle, nightmare, reward, crime, scary, horrific, death”, not only spark an emotional reaction, but they are also persuasive and call the great attention of the reader.
You can find a list of power words that can make the difference between a click on your headline and a click away to the next post.
Example: The crimes we commit against our stomachs.
i. Add an emotional dimension
Remember that humans carry their own specific sets of needs, pains, and emotions. These emotions are conveyed by words like: “horrible, hurtful, intimacy, intolerable, joyful, killer, lament, lamentable, naked, naughty, nervousness, painful, rare, scandal, sinful, six-figure.”
CoSchedule analyzed over one million headlines in their database and found out that headlines with higher emotional value actually get TEN more social shares than those with a lower emotional value.
Posts with a higher emotional value get more shares
Get here a list of 180 emotional words you can use in your headlines.
Example: Did you know you can earn a six-figure income online in six months?
j. Use questions (“?”)
Many people type questions right into search engines. If your headline matches a popular question, then it will be seen by many people. They will want to click through to find the answer to their question.
Example: Human Jobs Threatened by Technology? Have You Thought About It?
k. State a problem. Suggest a solution
Your readers are looking for a solution to a problem. By stating the problem and offering a solution in the title, it’s a smart way to tell the reader “I know your problem and I have the solution”.
Example: Do You Want Success And Better Life? Do What 99% Aren’T Doing.
l. Write different headlines and choose the best
1. Write as many headline versions as you can that match your keyword and some of the above criteria. Joanna Weibe recommends writing at least 50 headlines for every piece of content before deciding on the one. Personally, I start with half a dozen titles and create new versions later as I write my copy.
2. Eliminate the worst of them
3. Start writing your copy
4. Once you have a good draft of your copy, revisit your best headlines and pick the one that best matches the content. Because now you know exactly what you are talking about. Then finalize your copy ensuring that there is a perfect match between the headline and the content.
5.3. Write a great copy
Quality content is by far what your blog needs to attract readers. Remember that users come to your blog because they are looking for solutions to their problem. Offer what they are looking for and you’ll gain their trust.
Remember that the quality of your copy has a direct impact on the time readers stay on your page.
A recent study shows that 55% of users who view a web page spend less than 15 seconds looking at it. Use these 15 seconds to catch their attention, give them a reason to stay and keep reading.
a. Use your keyword in critical places of your post
For increasing your ranking positions in the search engines results, there are places where we recommend using your keyword or their variations.
- Use your keyword in the headline, as already said in 5.2.a. above.
Example: How to start a blogging business in 6 steps – Complete Beginner’s Guide (keyword: How to start a blogging business)
2. Use your keyword in the URL of your post. Also called “slug”.
(keyword: How to start an advertising business)
3. Use your keyword in the meta description of your post. Write meta descriptions that spark curiosity and attract people
Example: When you decide to start an online advertising business, your main objective is to persuade your targeted audience to engage in a specific action like making a purchase or simply filling a subscription form.
(keyword: How to start an advertising business)
4. Use your keyword in the image
- file name
- title and
The graphic below shows that articles with images have more shares than those without.
To avoid negative images’ impact on your site speed, I recommend you compress them down to the followings values:
- File size: less than 100KB
- Display size: 600 x 302 pixels
- Alt text: Keep it concise (i.e., under 100 characters, if possible)
5. Use the keyword in the main headings (H1) and subheadings (H2), if possible
6. Use the keyword in the first paragraph. This is meant to send signals to search crawlers.
7. Use the keyword in the copy. Try to use your keyword or its variants naturally in the copy. Yoast, my preferred SEO provider, recommends a keyword density (number of times the keyword appears in the copy) of 0.5-3%.
8. Use the keyword near the end of the copy. This is to bookend the copy with references to the target phrase.
b. Add internal links to internal posts/pages
Add links to other published posts and pages on your site by adding relevant hyperlinks to them.
c. Add outbound links to support your researches’ results
As said above, outbound links are links from your website to other sites. Ensure the external links open in a new window to keep readers on your site even if they click a link to another website.
Try to include the keyword in the anchor text, as this is beneficial for your ranking in search engines results.
d. Show. Don’t tell
Support your text with your feelings, own experience, results and references of your researches, visuals, graphics, numbers, etc.
With such information, you make the reader part of the experience since they can analyze the information your share and comes to the conclusions you want. This way, they adhere to those conclusions more easily because they feel they are theirs.
e. End with a call-to-action (CTA)
Since your blog post is written with a goal in mind, end with a call-to-action that tells the reader what action to take and how to take it.
The call-to-action can be
- a suggestion for further reading. Example: “Learn More”,
- a kind request to readers for their contribution by sharing comments. Example: “Your comments are welcome”,
- an offer to subscribe for free service. Example: “Love learning about blogging and want to learn more? Subscribe now so you never a post!”.
The CTA can be
- a simple text with a hyperlink, or
- a clickable button
- a form (like a subscription) to fill
- a survey
- or any way that requests the user to take some action.
f. What’s the ideal length of your copy?
The graphic below from Hubspot shows a clear correlation between high performing pages within organic search and word counts of over 2,250 words. The same study found that articles with a word count superior to 2500 get a high share on social media.
However, this applies only when the length is needed to get to the point of the post.
Articles with a word count between 2,250 and 2,500 earn the most organic traffic.
The list of hints and tips that I’m sharing with you here is not meant to be an exhaustive checklist to create the winning copy but rather the result of my experience and used by many other bloggers. There are plenty of other ideas about ways to craft your dream copy. I’d recommend testing them and see which works best for you.
g. Publish regularly
Choose a posting frequency so your readers know when to expect the next article. Whether it’s once or twice a week or even once a month, the most important is regularity. Take a cadence that gives you plenty of time to produce detailed content instead of rushing around and delivering shoddy articles. Protect your credibility with your readers.
Bloggers with a higher posting frequency get better results.
To avoid running out of post ideas, I keep a list of new posting topics on Trello, although any other medium you choose would be fine for the job as well.
List of my new post ideas
h. How your efforts in copywriting pay off
Research from Orbitmedia found that the different criteria contribute as follows in increasing your chances of success:
The Ultimate Blogging Strategy
With these results, you now know where your efforts will be more effective.
Step #6: Promote your blog
Multiple options are available to bloggers to promote their content. Among them are the following:
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Content curation, content syndication, content repurposing
- Influencer marketing
- Paid marketing
Let’s go through each of these methods below.
6.1. Email marketing
Along with attracting new visitors to your blog, you’ll also want to make sure your current visitors come back. This is where email marketing plays a big role.
By collecting your visitors’ email addresses (with their permission, of course), you can then notify them when you post new content to your blog. This keeps people coming back to your blog, which not only gives you more readers over time but also allows you to build a closer relationship with your visitors.
Email Marketing has a surprisingly high ROI
a. Collect your readers’ emails
For collecting emails, you need two things:
a) A sign-up form that your potential subscribers will be invited to fill to give you their emails
b) An important reason to join your list, usually called “lead magnet.”
At Dreamed Lifestyle, we use a home-made sign-up form that collects emails. As a lead magnet, we offer free training that teaches how to start an online business.
Our Signup form & Our lead magnet – Start your online business free training
b. Email your subscribers
Emailing your list of contacts is one of the best ways to start driving traffic to your latest blog post. But don’t leave it there. Ask them to comment, like, and share it with their community so that you can reach a wider circle of people.
And it stands to reason that if someone is already a subscriber, they’ll be more likely to share your content with their followers.
Every time you hit the Publish button, consider emailing your post to your list – a process you can automate later once you’ve gotten into the thick of it.
c. How to create a successful email marketing strategy – A 7-step guide
If you’re interested in this topic, I’ve written a detailed article on “How to create a successful Email Marketing strategy – A 7-step Guide”.
6.2. Social media marketing
Sharing your content on social networks is still a great way to gain more visibility and ultimately increase traffic and shares. But it’s not just about posting once on Instagram and then moving on. I recommend that you have a social media marketing strategy that revolves around the following aspects:
- Focus on the social networks that are most relevant to your blog.
- Interact with people on these platforms.
- Join social groups to expand your reach on social media.
The graphic below shows how social media are essential to reach your potential readers.
Global digital population – January 2021
For efficiency reasons, you may want to focus on the channels where your audience spends the most time. Depending on your niche and your resources, your choice of channels will vary.
6.3. Leverage your content
Once your blog post is written and published on your blog, it’s not done yet. You can go further and leverage your content by different content marketing methods and get it in front of a larger audience.
Studies have shown that marketing strategies that emphasize content promotion are 13 times more likely to generate a positive ROI (return on investment). Since almost all successful businesses are using content marketing to attract traffic to their websites, you need to use all available content promotion methods to stand out of the crowd.
Among various ways of leveraging content, let’s mention three of them:
- content curation
- content syndication
- content repurposing
As per the graphic below, content curation and content syndication totalize a share of 35% of the standard marketing mix.
Content curation and Content syndication in Your Content Marketing Mix
a. Content curation
Content curation is the process of finding, organizing, annotating and presenting the best pieces to your target market. Unlike content creation, curation is not about creating your own content. It involves researching, discerning and selecting the best content from third parties, adding value by additional perspective and insight, and sharing information from other experts of your field that your audience will appreciate and respond to. Like all other aspects of marketing, content curation is meant to add value to your brand and creates lasting relationships with your customers.
Hereafter are tools that can assist you in sorting through the abundance of online content to find the most pertinent information that meets your audience needs:
In addition, some of these tools will even allow for creating original content and curating content at the same time.
Content syndication allows your content to reach a wider audience. By working with content distribution partners, digital publishers, or industry influencers, you can promote your brand’s awareness to a larger group of individuals. In some cases, third-party sites might syndicate all of your content, while in other cases, they might publish a specific snippet or an edited version.
Many content creators republish and repurpose their content for the following benefits:
- Reach a bigger audience. Your content will be more visible by allowing your content to be syndicated on larger, more popular sites. Not only is this great for extending your reach but also for confirming your content’s authority.
- Create backlinks to your website. Once your content is published on a third-party website, it will link back to your website, which is great for your ranking, as said earlier in this post.
- Speed up content production by promoting repurposed content. Indeed, repurposing is easier than creating new content.
If you wish to have some examples of syndicated posts, you may use Google search with search terms like: ‘medium.com: “originally appeared on”‘
Example of a syndicated post referenced by “originally appeared on”
c. Content repurposing
Each time you write a blog post, you write it with a specific intent, publishing platform (usually your website) and audience in mind, but these can change over time.
This is when repurposing comes into play. Repurposing content involves adding to or heavily revisiting your content to add more value or to adapt it to a new platform, like the case of content syndication.
Content repurposing can also be turning your initial blog post into another format like an infographic, a video, a podcast or a Slide presentation. In fact, textual blog content like blog posts might not always be the most appropriate medium, depending on the topic, the audience and the platform.
Repurposing existing content into visual format (like infographics and videos) have proven to perform better than textual content. The figures below are decisive in this regard.
BuzzSumo compared the number of backlinks and social shares of articles categorized as follow:
- “Success” in title
- “Guide” in title
and they came to the conclusion below.
Video and Infographic content on the top
6.3. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves connecting with and asking influencers (i.e. individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche) to help promote your content to their audience rather than trying to reach that audience on your own.
There are multiple ways bloggers use influencers to promote their content, including
- Mention influencers in your posts
- Interview an influential blogger
- Invite influential bloggers to contribute to your blog
According to a survey conducted by Mediakix, 89% of marketers said ROI from influencer marketing was comparable to or better than other networks.
6.4. Paid marketing
So far, we’ve used ‘free’ blog promotion tactics that will consume much of your time. But there are some paid alternatives to promoting your content.
You’ll have to consider:
- the best social network for your campaign; i.e. where your audience hangs out
- the best advert format; e.g. images, video, text
- the costs per network and your budget
For more information, you may want to visit my post: Paid Traffic vs Organic Traffic: How to make the right choice?
6.5. Which promotion channels are the most used by business blogs?
According to Orbitmedia, the top promotion channels that are the most used by bloggers to drive traffic to their blogs are:
- Social media
- Search engines
- Email marketing
Hereafter the relative weight of the most used methods.
How bloggers are driving traffic to their content
Nota: For SEO, see the definition in the FAQ at the bottom of this post.
6.6. Monitor your blog business performance
In Section 4.4. related to your website’s installation, we advised you to set up your preferred analytic tool installed to capture your website activity data and allow you to understand your blog’s trends and performance.
Google Analytics is one of the most preferred web analytics tools in the market. Among other benefits, it helps you understand your visitors, identify the reason behind their visits, see the pages they viewed, how much time they spend, and track whether they converted or not. It also helps to see which content and website elements are performing well and which aren’t.
In Google Analytics, you can check the ‘Acquisition’ section and ‘Channels’ to see where your blog visitors have arrived from:
Google Analytics: How to check your website traffic by channel
You may wonder what the above channels mean. If this is the case, you may refer to this article: What are Channels in Google Analytics?
Step #7: Turn your blog into a successful business
If your website has attracted a large enough audience, it is an asset that can generate stable income. The most intuitive solution is to figure out how to sell advertising spaces on your website. The digital marketplace offers several models to sell advertisements; each has a different monetization method and technical requirements.
For more information on advertising online, you may want to check my post: How to start an online advertising business?
7.1. Sell advertising space on your website
Once you have a popular blog, advertisers will turn to you for an opportunity to advertise. For selling ad space on your website, you’ve got the following options:
- do it yourself
- use Google AdSense
a. Selling Ad Space Yourself
This method excludes the middleman (ad networks, ad exchanges, affiliate networks) and allows publishers to make direct contact with media buyers, earning significantly more money, choosing which brands to work with, establishing unique business partnerships that are both long-lasting and lucrative. The trick is that selling ad slots directly means finding advertisers manually and personally negotiating terms with them. This process may be daunting, especially for small and medium websites with average traffic.
b. Work with Ad networks (e.g. Google AdSense)
Google defines AdSense as follows: AdSense acts as an ad network, providing you access to demand from advertisers and helping you set up your ad inventory. AdSense is best for publishers who want more automation for their ad solutions, and have a small dedicated ad management team.
Google Adsense lets website owners make money by placing targeted ads on their sites. As a website publisher, you get paid per click (PPC) when visitors click on (or view, in some cases) the ads.
Google AdSense finds the advertisers for you, takes all the hard work in the process, and cuts you a check.
It’s simpler for the publisher, you, but, as you can guess, you have to share the profit with Google AdSense.
Choosing between selling ad space by yourself versus delegating the whole process to Google AdSense or other Ad networks comes down to how you want to use your time for. Both options have their pros and cons. Be wise and pick the best for you.
7.2. Join an affiliate program
An affiliate program is a commission-based way to advertise. When one of your readers clicks on a link on your blog, they get sent to an advertiser’s site, and you earn a commission if they purchase.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best advertising methods a blog can rely on to make money. If you create a blog that offers quality content and has a large base of loyal readers, you will gain their trust. That means that they will value your opinion and be open to taking suggestions from you and your blog posts.
7.3. Selling Products, Softwares and Services
Opening an e-shop on your website by selling your own products, software or services directly on your blog is a great way to increase your income.
Bloggers usually sell also ebooks, video tutorials, and e-courses. With little to no overhead and no shipping cost, you can keep the price low and attractive.
Ultimately, this comes down to solving your blog readers’ problems.
Whether you opt for standard e-commerce or dropshipping, my posts below may help you to start:
7.4. Selling subscriptions
Creating membership options is another way to monetize your blog. This allows you to offer members more exclusive content only available with a paid membership.
For example, you could offer private content available to members only, a private network or forum where community members can mix and mingle, free one-on-one consultations, private seminars, unlimited downloads of digital goods.
7.5. Choosing how to monetize your blog
As seen above, there are many ways you, as a blogger, can capitalize on the popularity of your blog and its traffic. Choosing the way to make money from your blog depends on your goals and the purpose of your blog, and the time you and/or your team have to manage the business model of your choice, as not all of them have the same overhead. For example, an ad model with an ad network, like Google AdSense, places virtually no workload on your shoulders since the overload is handled by the ad network.
A study from GrowthBadger reports that the most popular monetization methods are affiliate marketing, selling own products & services and Google AdSense.
How bloggers make money
Blogging business FAQ
How does a crawl of your site work?
Search engine bots crawl the website to figure out if it’s worth indexing. Web spiders, or “Googlebot,” are always crawling the web, following links on existing web pages to find new content. The search engine adds the website to its database (in Google’s case, its “Index”). Then the search engine ranks the website in terms of metrics like relevance and user-friendliness.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is not only important for indexing your site, but it’s also a valuable platform that you’ll be using throughout your blogging journey. It tells you important data about your blog’s site visitors and clicks, which you can use to improve your content.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
A Content Management System (or CMS) is an application that helps you create and manage a website via a human-friendly interface rather than needing to work directly with code. It’s where you’ll be writing, designing, and publishing your blog posts.
A good CMS (like WordPress) is easy to use, lets you organize your content, upload images and videos, and have control over how your entire blog looks using themes or custom design elements. The CMS you’ve most likely already heard of is WordPress, which runs 65% of all CMS.
What is CPC (Cost-Per-Click) or PPC (Pay-Per-Click)?
- Defined as cost-per-click.
- You pay for every click on your ad at a price determined by the marketplace value of the keyword or expression you’re interested in.
- CPC marketplaces operate on an auction model, where strong-performing ads are likely to win.
- Strong performance is defined by a function of ad click-through rates (CTRs) and the CPCs that the advertisers are willing to pay.
What is CPM (Cost-Per-Thousand)?
Google defines CPM or Cost-Per-Thousand (or Cost-Per-Mile) as a way to bid where you pay per one thousand views (impressions) on the Google Display Network.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is the art and of persuading search engines such as Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.
- Ensure these search engines understand who you are and what you offer. Many vendors offer SEO services to help the publisher to meet the search engines’ requirements.
- Convince them that you are the most credible option for their users.
- Deliver valuable content
How high in the rankings and how often you appear is merit-based; these engines will show the results they consider to be the best fit for their users.
If you wish to more about SEO, I recommend the following paper from my SEO plugin provider (Yoast): Complete beginner’s guide to SEO.
What is organic traffic?
The term “organic traffic” is used for referring to the visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid (“organic”) search results. Visitors who are considered organic find your website after using a search engine like Google or Bing.
If you’re interested in this topic, I’ve written an article on the subject: Paid Traffic vs Organic Traffic: How to make the right choice?
What Does ROI Mean in Marketing?
Marketing ROI (Return On Investment) is the practice of attributing profit and revenue growth to the impact of marketing initiatives. By calculating marketing ROI, organizations can measure the degree to which marketing efforts, either holistically or on a campaign basis, contribute to revenue growth.
Typically, marketing ROI is used to justify marketing spend and budget allocation for ongoing and future campaigns and initiatives.
What is alt text?
Alt-text is used in place of images if, for whatever reason, the images aren’t displayed. Screen readers also use them to help the visually impaired understand what’s in front of them on web pages (alt-text is required under the American Disabilities Act).
The alt attribute is your way of telling search engines what your image contains.
What is anchor text?
Anchor text is the word or words used to link to other websites. For example, within this sentence: “You can find more on “Anchor text”, I recommend you this article about What Is Anchor Text?“, the anchor text would be “What is Anchor text.”
The bottom line
Ultimately, developing a successful blog comes down to being excited and engaged with your audience. It’s your audience that ultimately determines the success of your journey. Focus on growing this audience as you add new content regularly, and you’ll see your traffic and reach grow as well.
Write exciting content, connect with people in your niche and enthusiastically share what you’re working on. The traffic, monetization and everything else will follow.
If you wish to be accompanied by professionals, you may think about joining the community that taught me how to create and build a successful online business from scratch.
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