Blogging is one of my favorite ways to earn an income with an online business. So what does it take to create a blog that will interest readers and make money as well?
Here are 6 tips for a successful blog that will be fun and help you generate an online income!
Find The Right Niche For You
First and foremost, what do you want your blog to be about? The topic of a blog is called a niche, and it’s probably the most important decision you’ll make.
You will be spending most of your time writing content for your readers. So you have to ask yourself what topic are you interested in enough to spend hours researching and writing about it.
The one thing you shouldn’t do is pick a niche just based on how popular you think the topic is. If you don’t have a genuine interest or passion for your niche, it will be hard to stay motivated to keep writing your blog.
You also don’t need to be an expert in your niche when you start your blog. As you research information for your posts, you’ll learn about all the things you will write about and become an authority over time.
Some of the most successful bloggers started by writing about things that they loved to do and then built up their expertise as they gained more knowledge.
So how do you find the right niche for you? I started out by writing down 10 things I loved to do or had a passion for. Out of those 10 things, I chose 3 of them as the best candidates based upon how much I knew or to know about them.
Then I made a list of 10 post ideas for each of the 3 candidates, and 1 definitely stood out. I could’ve written down 25 ideas for posts in this niche, and knew it was right for my first blog!
Once you have chosen a niche, however, you need to be sure it is specific enough. Too many beginning bloggers have a niche that is too broad believing that it will bring them more traffic to their site.
However, something more specific will bring better results from a more targeted audience. You can check out more detailed information on how to narrow down your niche here.
Get Top Quality Website Hosting
The next most important thing is to choose a high quality website hosting service. This is a business that will provide you the server and technology for your website to be seen on the internet. Here are some features you want to look for when choosing your web hosting:
~ Reliable Performance–Does the hosting service have a good performance record with very little downtime? Every time the server goes down and visitors can’t reach your site, you’ve probably lost them for good.
~ Sufficient Storage and Bandwidth–As your site expands, will there be plenty of space or will you be charged more? A top hosting service will have plenty of room for your website to grow without constantly increasing their fees.
~ Site Speed–When visitors click on your site, they expect it to load quickly. If it’s too slow, they will close it and go to another site for their information.
~ Security–Your website needs to be secure and your information protected against spam and cyber attacks. The best web hosting services have secure technology to protect against hackers and those looking to steal your information
~ Site Support–As good as technology is, there will be times when something isn’t working right or you need help to fix a problem. When that happens, you are going to need site support that is responsive and helps you quickly get your site back online.
~ Reasonable Pricing–A good web hosting service has a pricing structure that is reasonable and clear. There are some very good ones that are free to start out and very low cost to expand and build out your site.
In my opinion, WordPress is the most powerful and reliable website creation platform out there. You can self-host a website at WordPress.org, but for a beginner I recommend the website hosting service that I use.
The program is Wealthy Affiliate, and you can have 2 WordPress websites hosted by them free. They have all the attributes listed above for a high quality web hosting service.
The best thing about Wealthy Affiliate is that you also get training, a community platform, and you can stay on their free membership for life. For anyone looking to start a blog or any online business, it’s definitely worth checking it out!
Choose A Great Domain Name
The right domain name can make a difference for your blog, so you’ll want to spend a little time coming up with a good one. Here’s a few things to consider when choosing your domain name:
- Make sure it is relevant to your niche
- Do not make it too long–2 to 4 words is good, more is not ideal
- Choose one that is easy to remember–if you heard it on the radio in the car, would you remember it when you got home?
- It should be easy to type
- Avoid numbers and hyphens as they are harder to type in and remember
- Find a name that speaks to you–it’s your blog, and you should pick a domain name that you really like
You should definitely spend some time choosing a domain name that you’ll be happy with. But in the end, there’s no reason to stress out over finding the “perfect” name for your blog.
Your content will be what ultimately brings people to your site and what will keep people interested in what you have to say.
Create Quality Content
Every successful blogger needs to know one thing–Content is King! No matter how great your website is, your content is what the search engines will look at and what will keep your visitors reading your posts.
So what is quality content? Your blog posts will be quality content when they are relevant to the topic being searched for and when they give interesting, accurate, and easy to read information that is valued by your readers. Here are some tips to writing great content:
~ Blog posts should be relevant to your niche. If your blog is about gardening, visitors will be confused if there are articles about finance, for example.
~ Each post should be based on a topic that is of interest to your readers, helps them in some way, or answers a question about your niche
~ When writing your content, be as natural and conversational as possible to draw your readers in. When I write my posts, I always think about how I’d explain something to someone if they were standing in front of me asking a question.
No one will stay interested if they feel they are reading a textbook!
~ Make sure your posts are laid out well and easy to read. Your posts need to flow well, have proper headings, and have good punctuation and grammar.
~ Your information needs to be accurate, so you’ll need to do good research and use quality sources.
~ You need to show you are an authority on your niche, so being thorough when discussing each topic will go a long way to establishing that.
But if you’re learning new information, let your readers know that too. Let them join you in your journey, and it will increase your credibility as well!
~ Be sure to use images, graphs, infographics, and videos to help illustrate your points. Canva.com is a great free resource to use for creating your own images for your blog and social media.
Never underestimate the power of a great picture to grab your reader’s attention and enhance their experience on your blog!
Your blog is a communication tool to attract your target audience and share information with them. Use your posts to have a great conversation with people who have an interest or passion in common with you, and you’ll have a great blog!
Engage Your Visitors
One of the most enjoyable things about creating a blog is the interaction you get to have with your visitors. On each post that I write, I encourage readers to comment and share their experiences.
The kinds of comments and questions you get will help you find out what your visitors are interested in, which can be invaluable when finding new ideas for content.
Be sure to engage your visitors by responding to all the comments that you get. Not only will this create great discussions about your topic, but it can draw visitors back to your site again and again!
Monetize Your Site
Whether you are starting your blog because you love to write about your favorite things or because you are trying to make money online, you will probably want to monetize your site.
Even if you just want to pay for your expenses to keep your blog running, there are ways to create income. Here are the two most popular:
~ Running Ads–The most popular way to start getting some income is with Google Adsense. You’ll have to be approved by Google before you can run Adsense on your blog, and you can find more information about their eligibility requirements here.
Don’t expect to make more than a few dollars a month until you get good traffic to your site. Over time, you can use other ad programs, but many of them require much higher traffic flow numbers each month to qualify.
~ Affiliate Marketing–As you write content about your niche, you will most likely talk about the things you like to use or services you like.
You can promote those things on your blog with links that take visitors to where they can purchase them, and you earn a commission if anyone you refer make a purchase.
There are many, many companies that have affiliate programs, so you’ll be able to find some no matter what your niche is!
I go into more detail about these and 3 other popular ways on my blog post, How To Monetize A Website–Are You Leaving Money On The Table?
You Can Create A Successful Blog
Creating a successful blog has never been easier and never been more fun than it is today, and anyone can do it.
Have you ever thought about starting your own blog? Do you have an interest or passion that you’d love to share with others? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!