Do you wish you could blog all day at home in your PJs and earn a million? This actually isn’t a far-fetched idea, although most bloggers certainly aren’t in the 7-figure income bracket … yet. Only a few belong to that pay grade, but you could definitely be one of them in the near future!
You can definitely earn a living from blogging, and many people do. According to this, 80% of bloggers make less than $100 a month. Don’t be disheartened with this sobering fact. Most bloggers do this as a hobby. You are here to make it a business. How much you make will depend on the work and dedication you put in.
I have no doubt you’ll get to earn your first hundred dollars with ease. However, this is only a stepping stone among many you’ll be making in your journey. I’m sure you’re here to join the 20% who make far more than $100 per month!
I’ll help you with your road map, so you don’t waste too much time feeling your way in the dark. What you’ll read is based on mine and others’ experiences. We didn’t take similar paths, but we can agree on this … work hard and don’t take shortcuts!
Before I begin, here’s something I would like to point out:
Bloggers and Writers
Blogging is a type of writing. The first is more informal. That’s why eighty percent of people worldwide think blogging is a hobby. A blogger is more personal, sharing opinions, feelings and knowledge. A writer is more professional, yet often impersonal.
Do you have to be an excellent writer to succeed in blogging? Not really, but it does help.
Some say that in blogging, you don’t put too much weight on spelling and grammar. Maybe, but do you want your readers to be distracted by mistakes instead of focusing on your content? I suggest you also read our article on copywriting, which can help you not only in your writing, but in your promotion and selling as well.
Lastly, bloggers concern themselves with website maintenance, SEO, marketing, ranking, etc. Writers usually assign these to someone else.
So, fear not. Successful bloggers are not necessarily bestseller authors. Although, storytelling skills will definitely come in handy.
Now that I’ve cleared this up, let’s get started.
Find Your Niche
Before I tell you what the top blogging topics are, what are you passionate about? It’s easy to be influenced by what’s most popular. Don’t create content just because it will drive traffic to your site.
Make a list of your favorite subjects. Do this before searching the web for what’s trending. Don’t pre-judge and assume you have nothing interesting to share. The topics you think aren’t worth considering may have tons of followers.
Narrowing down your subject matter increases your chances of standing out. You can be a generalist and create a DIY blog for home improvement, for instance. But, unless you’ve reached the level of the Scott brothers (Property Brothers, HGTV), stick to a specific area of your niche. Take small steps until you rank higher.
I encourage you to write about subjects you are passionate about. Some bloggers create content they’re not enthusiastic about, simply so they can “make more money” by writing in an area where payouts from ads and affiliate marketing is perceived to be higher. Usually, they don’t go very far, simply because their articles don’t have that passion to make them stand out. Try writing on a subject you have no interest in 52 times per year!
Besides, when you love what you write about, blogging becomes more manageable, giving you more time on other tasks like marketing your business. And yes, you get to enjoy it more.
So, what are the top topics for blogging? Here are some top level ideas. Narrow down to find a niche within each category:
- Fashion – trends, recycling, handbags, headpieces …
- Technology – audio, laptops, 3d printing …
- DIY – woodworking, furniture, crafts, landscaping …
- Self-Improvement – psychology, meditation, yoga …
- Health and Sports – a specific sport, jogging, hiking …
- Food – vegan recipes, Mediterranean Diet, keto …
- Travel – specific countries, Caribbean resorts, cruising …
- Entertainment – movies, specific television shows, horror genre …
- Personal Finance – retirement, student debt, stock market tips …
- Pet Care – specific animals, training, pet health …
Set Your Goals
It’s time to put pen to paper once you have your target market in mind. Before that, what do you want to tell your audience and more importantly, what are your goals? Without these, your blogs will have no direction. Here are some ideas.
- Introduce your brand or service. Create awareness that you can solve problems. Let people know your brand may be the better alternative in the market. Tell your story on why you started your business. It may resonate with your target audience.
- Generate leads. At the end of your content, you should always have a CTA. Either you ask for comments, e-mail addresses or both. You can tell people to visit your social media pages. Why not ask them to invite others to visit your blog?
- Increase traffic. Many bloggers can drive thousands of people to their sites. This is their primary purpose. If you want your blog to become more attractive to sponsors, make sure you have enough followers. Also, you can earn more from ads if you have a large following.
- Be a voice in your niche. Blogging can serve as your soapbox for a variety of subjects. Many people use this as a platform to express their views and opinions. The famous ones today have millions of fans reading their every post, and businesses aren’t shy to advertise on their sites.
- Respond to inquiries. A blog is an alternative way to answer questions. Maybe your audience wants a more detailed description of your product. Or a single question requires a long explanation. For example, a customer once asked me why I’m not offering a feature that exists in a competitor’s product.
- Explain your stand. I don’t need to enumerate the various issues that are on the headlines every day. Your audience might ask, where do you stand on subjects like conservation? Be prepared if your market includes Gen Z. They’re more likely to ask your position on many things.
- Keep your followers close. People want informative content within reach. Blogging can strengthen your ties with your customers. Instead of e-mails, you can provide after-sales service through your blogs. You can also tell them about updates and new products.
- Recommend or warn people about products. Your blog can be about products your audience uses. Independent reviewers are still trusted. Taking this route requires having enough cash to buy products for your review.
When a company pays you to assess their products, remain objective. Never let your audience suspect you of being a sellout. No amount of money can buy trust.
Where’s The Money?
This is most probably what you want to know. How to make money blogging? Take note that you don’t have to take one route. You can combine any of the ways below.
- Affiliate Marketing
This is where reviews come in if you conclude that a product is worth the money. You need to create a link to the manufacturer or an e-commerce platform like Amazon. If your audience clicks and buys, you earn a commission. Again, be honest with your reviews. Follow what others do – rate your recommendation from 1 to 10. There are also FTC laws where you have to say you will receive a commission. Usually bloggers say that though they will receive a commission, “the review is my own personal opinion.“
- Create an account with an ad platform.
Google Adsense is one of the best options for passive advertising. You get to choose where ads will appear on your blogging site. It’s free and Google will place ads based on your content and visitor type. But, they don’t have the last say. You have the option to block advertisers you don’t like.
- Sell your products or services.
A blog is a way of selling your products. With a bit of practice, you can creatively link your content with the products you offer. I’ve read numerous blogs that fail to promote their businesses because they were trying to be subtle. If an increase in sales is your purpose, don’t try to hide the fact. Be proud of what you offer!
- Become a guest blogger.
As a guest blogger, you publish a blog post on another person’s blog property, and you are credited as the writer of the blog. You do this to help promote your own business by partnering and networking with another business owner. You receive recognition and a bit of traffic to your site. They receive a high-quality blog post they didn’t have to write themselves.
- Write sponsored posts.
When you’ve made a name for yourself, companies will pay you to write articles for them. If your following is extensive, many will send their products for your review. Of course, make it clear that you’re not obligated to write an article that favors them. Remember, the most valuable asset you have as a blogger is that your readers trust your honesty and value your opinion.
How To Market Your Blog?
Your blog will not promote itself. You have to compete with others for your audience’s attention. Here are ways that worked for me.
- Find the right keywords to rank higher in search engines.
When you search for how to replace a Kohler kitchen sink faucet, you’ll get about 364,000 results. This number is much better than the tens of millions if your keywords were “replacing a faucet” instead. Maybe a play of words will result in a higher rank.
SEO optimization is still necessary for rankings. There are tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRUSH and KWFinder that can help you. When you use the right keywords, expect a noticeable increase in traffic from organic searches.
A word of advice – Use keywords judiciously. A common mistake among beginners is the excessive use of these.
- Post Images.
According to this, blogs with images have 94% more views and shares than those without any. It’s well-known that humans prefer visuals over texts. Photos and videos make longer-lasting impressions. These also help your blog rank higher.
- Ask bloggers to share their content.
Networking does work in blogging. Other bloggers may find your blogs relevant to their audience. In turn, you can allow them to guest post on your site. You don’t lose but gain more when you share your space. Your counterpart may have a bigger audience than you. The additional links to your site will increase your exposure.
- Create longer content.
A study by Backlinko showed that longer blogs get 77.2% more links than shorter ones. I’m not telling you to write a novel. Instead, your content should contain at least 1500 words. Again, from Backlinko’s research, Google’s algorithms favor articles with at least 1,447 words.
- Promote your blog on social media.
The majority of bloggers turn to social media to promote their posts. Where does your audience hang out? I’ve asked family and friends to spread the word and you should do the same. On Facebook, you can quickly reply to inquiries and comments.
- Use your other online assets.
Don’t forget to e-mail your customers about your blog. Make the same announcement on your website. There’s also YouTube videos, podcasting, Instagram and Facebook groups you can set up.
Choose Your Platform
There are numerous platforms out there. I’ll mention the tried and tested ones, but please do your research. The best one for you may not be any of the ones below.
WordPress is by far the most preferred website builder, due to the endless functionality it provides and the fact that it’s free. It is a self-hosted option (meaning you need to find a hosting company to put your website on, so that will cost a bit of money), but you have complete control of your website.
We use Floathosting, a hosting platform designed for WordPress sites.
This platform is popular among beginners as no coding skills are necessary. You can set up your blogging site in minutes and if you need assistance, a support staff member will call you. Wix will also host your site, so there’s no need for technical details. There is a monthly fee, as they are hosting for you.
This is an all-in-one option if you want a separate blogging site from your e-commerce shop. Squarespace offers a free plan that may be adequate for your needs. So, if you already have a Shopify shop, get this platform for your blogs.
There are many other blogging platforms to try, some free, some not. This list is mainly for “hobby” blogs, though, due to their limited capabilities:
Blogger – Owned by Google, it is one of the oldest blogging platforms out there.
Tumblr – Known as a microblogging platform, and you can connect with other Tumblr blogs.
Weebly – Drag and drop blogging and ecom platform.
Typepad – Super-simple blogging platform with point and install themes and plugins.
I’ve come to the end of this blog post and let me share a little secret. Do you remember when I said that 80% of bloggers make less than $100 a month? Well, it’s because most of them just aren’t serious about trying to turn it into a serious business. Follow the tips above and soon, you’ll find yourself among the 20%.
What other aspects of blogging do you want to know? Please let us know in the comments section below.