My blog is only one a half years old but I’ve been making blogs for people for over 3 years. Yes, I used to be a Website Designer. I still take a couple of Website projects on the side, but I’ve narrowed down my focus to mainly Illustrations because people – I love drawing. When I’m not drawing, I’m thinking about drawing. Except when I’m eating, of course because I love to eat as well.
Ahem… Moving on.
I get a lot of emails everyday asking me tips related to Blogging and it brings back so many memories of when I first started. I started this blog as a hobby. And for a whole year, I made peanuts. Well, not peanuts. Because peanuts… you can sell. I made zero.
And on October 11th, 2016, I’d had enough. I made a plan to monetize my blog. And I did.
It didn’t take me longer than 2 weeks to earn my first $300 by making a website for woman looking to start a great blog about blogging. I started offering my services on my blog and also signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate.
In November, I earned my first $1000 through my illustrating services and products.
I took a long break in December to modify my website in orderto cater to the right crowd. I even created a free email course to become creative which you can find right here.
And guess what happened?
My page-views and subscribers doubled. I got 2000 subscribers in less than 30 days which resulted in a boost in my amazon affiliate sales.
So, let’s rewind… shall we?
How did I end up monetizing my blog in January, 2017? Because I had a huge, loyal audience clicking lots of links and engaging my services.
How did I have a huge, loyal audience? Because my website attracted the right kind of people – artsy, blog-enthusiastic women looking to add a creative spark in their lives.
Why did my website attract the right kind of people? Because I built it that way.
And that buttercup, is why my Blog is doing so well. (Never mind the one year of making zero pennies)
That’s my story.
Now, if you’re wanting to start a blog, but are still sitting on the fence, then read this post on why you should start a blog and if you’re ready to start a blog but don’t know what to write about, then read this post on how to pick a niche. It even comes with a free worksheet!
This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage to buy a meat surprise pizza at the end of the month!
In this post, I’m going to go over the following points.
- Domain and hosting.
- Install a lovely theme for your wordpress website.
- Install plugins you absolutely need.
- Write pages your website requires.
- Publish strong and powerful content.
- Why you need content upgrades and how they’re going to make you money.
- Promote, promote, promote.
- Monetizing your blog.
How To Start A Profitable Blog (A Detailed Guide)
1. Domain and Hosting.
The main problem with free hosting is your website is going to look like this – wwww.cupcakemania.wordpress.com or www.cupcakemania.weebly.com – ugh. When you attract readers, they’re going to take one look at that URL and go, “Man, this lady can’t even spend money on a decent host, I’m outta here.”
I know this, because when I was little, I had a blog that looked just like that.
If you’re looking to blog for a long, long time or want to monetize your blog in the future, then please take the first step to making a professional blog.
If you’re unaware of the terms domain and hosting, domain name is your website URL. For egs: (www.facebook.com or www.yahoo.com or www.maryangela.in) and hosting is where your website is going to live – imagine it as a house where your little blog is going to stay.
Now, first we are going to buy the house so your website is going to have a place to live.
Go ahead, and click the Get Started Now button. I’ll wait over here.
Choose a package. If you’re just starting out, you can choose the basic plan and slowly move your way upward as and when you feel your website needs more space or grows a little bigger. This is easy-peasy.
Picking a domain name.
Now you’re going to have to pick a domain name.
The good news is, if you’ve already named your baby (your website), then click the second option. If not, then think of a good domain name and select the first.
If however you can’t think of a domain name, that’s not an issue at all! You’ll get this pop up.
Meaning, you can buy the hosting, and give a name to your website later.
After this, you will be asked to enter your payment and address details.
Entering all the details.
Below, you will have to choose your package details.
The best option according to me is either 36 months or 60 months because although this is a lot of money to pay upfront, it’s a huge saving in the future. You only end up paying 5.95 per month which means, you end up saving almost 2 dollars every month.
Below, you will have to enter your payment details.
After you’re done, click the little box to agree to all the terms and conditions and click on submit.
On the next page, you’re going to find some add-ons. You don’t really need these for your blog, so just click on “complete”
Congratulations! You’ve just purchased your domain and hosting. You’ve finished the first step of building your own website.
You should get this page.
Now, set a good, strong password, until the bar shows green and login to your hosting cpanel.
Now, click on “Install WordPress.”
Once your WordPress is installed, just go to your address bar and click on www.yoururlgoeshere.com/wp-admin/ and enter your Username and Password.
Once you’re in, you will be able to see your Website’s Dashboard! This, sweetheart is where all the magic happens!
2. Install a lovely Theme for your WordPress Website.
Once you’re in your Website’s Dashboard, you’ll need to put a theme. A theme is like a dress. You can change it whenever you feel like, make modifications, accessorize, and look all glamorous to suit your style.
Elegant Themes are constantly updating and adding new themes to their library. They also have wonderful customer support. This is most important when you are buying a theme for your WordPress Website.
3. Install Plugins you absolutely need.
- Akismet – You’re going to be getting a lot of spam comments as a newbie blogger. Akismet makes sure that this doesn’t happen.
- Better Click To Tweet – This plugin allows you to add tweets within your Blog Post, meaning your reader can just click on the pre-written tweet and tweet it! Ain’t that awesome?
- Simple Author Box – This will add an author box with all your social media icons on all your posts.
- Yoast SEO – In order for Google and other websites to find you better, SEO is a treasure in disguise.
- Social Media & Share Icons (Ultimate Social Media) – This is the best social media icons pack I’ve found for the sidebar. It’s totally customizable and has tons of options!
Over time, you will find lots of plugins that will suit your needs.
4. Write Pages your Blog requires.
- Start with your Homepage: When people land on your website, they need to know in less than 5 seconds what your website is about. Make your Homepage unique and pretty. Your Blog is about you and the things you’re passionate about. You can always change the design of your Homepage.
- About Page: Sometimes when your readers are going through your blog post, they’re going to get curious and want to know who’s the person behind the masterpiece. So, they’re going to peek at your About page. This is by far, the most important page in your Blog. Learn to craft an About Page that will floor your readers.
- Contact/Reach Me Page: If your readers love you and connect with you, they’re going to want to write you little notes. Have your Contact Page visible so the find it easy to write to you.
5. Publish strong and powerful content.
When you first create your blog, you’re going to be very eager to write a lot of posts and fill your Blog Page with a huge quantity of posts. Do. Not. Do. That.
Having quantity is undeniably important but quality trumps quantity any day.
Your blog posts need to be detailed. Every blog post you write must have a purpose. It must solve a problem for your readers and in order to become an expert in your niche, you need to show that you care. This means that you need to write content that will have your readers stick around for more.
How do you write an engaging blog post?
- Be detailed and solve one problem at a time – Everytime you write a blog post, try and tackle one problem. At the end of the blog post, your reader must feel like they learned something and their lives are just a little bit better because they should be able to take something and put it into action.
- Write long posts – Although you might feel like you’re repeating things or mincing words, understand that your reader might not be an expert in your field. You need to be able to break things down for them so that they understand what you’re trying to convey. Be thorough in your approach.
- Listen to your readers. – Your readers and fans are going to write comments or emails to you. They will ask you questions or your thoughts on a certain subject. Use this as a key to come up with more blog post ideas.
- Add a little personal touch – I cannot stress on this enough. There are lot of helpful posts and tutorials that I’ve read but sometimes, I feel like it’s written by a robot. Your readers want to know the real you behind your Blog. A lot of people might cover the same topic you have. What makes your blog special is the way you tell it. The way you connect the dots. Everybody’s perspective is different. Write from your heart.
- Have an enticing title – Using relevant keywords is going to help your Blog Post reach the top. For example, if you type “What to write in a blank notebook” in Google, my post comes up as the first search! It’s had over 30,000 shares and is still responsible for a lot of traffic to my website.
- Your Blog Post Image is worth a thousand words – My Blog Post images have a common theme going on, meaning if anyone sees my Blog Post graphic on any social media (irrespective of who’s shared it), they’re going to know it’s from me. Make sure you have a template and stick to it.
6. Why you need Content Upgrades and how they’re going to make you money.
A Content Upgrade is a beautiful resource you offer to your readers in exchange for their email. This can be a small poster, checklist, workbook, ebook, a printable, etc. basically anything that you feel confident enough to make (and know will attract followers) in order to get their email addresses.
The best 2 content upgrades I have is my FREE email course and my Resource Library which you can find below.
Convertkit is my email collecting bad boy machine. Collecting emails is important because once you have a huge list of emails, you can send your followers newsletters every week. These newsletters can include your products, services, helpful information and links to your latest blog posts. This not only establishes you as an expert, but also helps you build a strong connection with people who love your Blog.
These followers eventually become your customers because they love you and your products. And when your readers keep coming back to your blog for more resources and helpful information, your pageviews increase – giving you a chance to get more sponsored post deals, and increasing your ad and affiliate revenue.
So more traffic equals more revenue.
When I was first starting out, I used Mailchimp because it’s free for your first 2000 subscribers. But Mailchimp didn’t let me grow and if you have one person subscribed for two different opt-ins, they enter two segments and are counted as 2 people! Meaning, if one person subscribes for 5 different opt ins on your website which lead to 5 different segments, one person counts as 5.
So, after a whole year of using Mailchimp and only earning about 2000 followers, I switched to Convertkit and made over 10 forms to collect email addresses which led me to earn over 2000 additional followers in less than 50 days.
If you’re serious about growing your blog and email list, I urge you choose Convertkit as your email marketing platform. You’re never going to turn back.
7. Promote, promote, promote.
- Social Media is your friend.
Now that you know how to create great quality blog posts and content upgrades/opt-ins to lure your readers to stick around, it’s time to learn the importance of promoting.
You cannot write your blog post and then sit quietly expecting people to find it. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. I know this, because I did the exact thing during my first 2 months of blogging and got crickets.
When you start out, you’re not going to be getting very good traffic. The key is to be patient and keep promoting on all your social media. Pinterest is responsible for over 90% of my traffic and brings me tons of views. Read my detailed guide on how to master Pinterest and double your Blog Traffic views.
After one month of blogging, you can start recording your stats in a notebook. Keep a notebook aside for coming up with blog post ideas and recording your social media stats. If you’d like to know how a blogger can use a notebook to help grow their blog, read this.
Your time should be divided like this – 25% blog post creation and 75% blog post marketing.
2. Join Blogging communities.
Aside from marketing on social media, keep aside time to join FB groups so that you can be part of a community where you can share your views and get help related to Blogging. It’s nice to also help others because when you offer help and advise to others who were in your shoes 1 year ago, you not only make friends but you also establish yourself as an authority on the subject.
Try and not spam FB groups with links to blog posts unless absolutely necessary or if someone has asked for a resource and you have one.
By constantly participating in group threads and helping others in your niche, you will be able to participate in co
3. Comment on other Blogs.
Whenever you like a blog post, and find it valuable – don’t just leave. Write a comment. Ask a question. Keep the conversation going wherever you go. Not only does this help you build relationships with bloggers, but also makes you visible on the Blogging Map.
Comment on at least 10-12 blog posts every single day. This will help you get noticed in the blogging community. Make sure your comments are detailed and well-thought of.
8. Monetizing your Blog.
If you’ve started a blog, let it be out passion. Monetizing your blog should not be your first priority, otherwise your blog is not going to be successful. Your key motive is to connect with people, put your words out into the world and make a name for yourself.
For the first couple of months (at least 4-5), don’t focus too much on making money. Just focus on creating good quality blog posts and putting your name out there. Keep writing and promoting and adding valuable information on your pages and posts.
After you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can start thinking about making money from your blog. Note that in order to make money from your blog, you’re going to need good traffic. Aim for at least 2000 pageviews a month in the beginning. Slowly keep raising the bar as your blog grows.
Once your blog gets around 10,000 views, you can follow the below steps to make money from your Blog.
- Ads – When you’re starting out, ads a good way to make some extra chunk change. But in order for this to work, you need to have a lot of views because you only get paid if people click on these or buy something by clicking on them.
- Affiliates – Being an affiliate for a product means you provide a link to a product (that you are an affiliate for) and if someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, the company provides you a little commission at no extra cost to the person who clicked on the link.
- Products – I’ve made a lot of printables and clipart that I sell in my shop. And you can too. You can either start a shop on Etsy or Creative Market or sell your products on your Blog like how I sell my ebook on mine.
- Services – You may be an artist/photographer/writer/designer/wedding planner and so on. Advertise your services on your very own page. Let people know what you’re good at so they can hire you with a click of a button.
- Sponsored Posts – Write emails to brands you want to collaborate with or write a blog post featuring their product. It’s a great way to earn money in the beginning of your blogging journey and earn some recognition.
I know I covered a lot of points and I hope it was not too overwhelming. There can be a lot to digest at this point, so make sure you bookmark this article so you can read it at your own pace.
I’m a Computer Science Engineer by default, but I’ve managed to create a blog that’s artsy and creative. All my blogging knowledge comes from a lot of reading and experience.
Everyone can blog. I can. You can. I’m pretty sure my dog has her own blog too. But the secret to a successful blog sweet petal, is to never stop trying. Consistency is the key. Sometimes, you might not achieve all the results you want to – to see all the lessons I learned from blogging, read this.
Sometimes, you will cry because you will feel you’re getting nowhere, but never let it bring you down. Remember, nobody became a super blogger in one day. It takes years of practice and consistency to reach to the top.
If you have any questions about blogging, I’ll be more than happy to answer them. Just let me know in the comments below. Do you have a blog already? Or are you planning on making one?