How To Write A Blog To Make Money
“How to write a blog to make money”, is a question most aspiring bloggers have.
Because starting a blog can be fun as a hobby, but how fun would it be if your hobby makes money on the side?
And with a bit of planning, your blog can easily grow into a business that generates a full-time income. A business that has unlimited growing potential, flexible working hours and a super nice boss (haha, you ;).
There is a lot more to blogging than writing blog posts however, so to make sure your blog will be successful, you’ll need to take a few necessary steps.
In this post I’ll show you all the steps to starting a blog that earns an actual income.
We’ll look at:
- Planning your blog
- Choosing your blog topic
- Starting your blog on the right platform
- Setting up your self hosted blog
- Setting up WordPress correctly
- Creating must-have website pages
- Writing your blog post
- Monetising your content
- Promoting your blog
Let’s get started and find out how to write a blog to make money!
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Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Bluehost, and will receive a commission if you sign up through my referral link. This is at no additional cost to you. I also may earn a small commission for other affiliate links in this post at no extra cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for more information.
How to write a blog to make money
Not all blogs are created equal. Some blogs make tens of thousands of dollars per month and other barely make enough to cover their costs.
So what is the difference between these two?
The blogger in the first category has a plan. Either they had a plan before they started their blog or they figured it out along the way.
So the first step to creating a blog that makes money is:
1. Planning Your Blog
To plan your blog for success, you need to figure out the purpose of your blog. The main thing to remember is that your blog is about your audience, it’s about how you can help your audience. So you need to ask yourself:
- Who is my target audience?
- What problem do they have?
- How can I help them overcome their problem?
- What product or service can I offer them to help solve their problem?
To help you answer these, and many other questions, I’ve created a free blog planner workbook, so if you’d like some help planning your blog, make sure to grab it here:
Get The Free
Ultimate Blog Planner Workbook
2. Choosing your blog topic
As you can imagine, an important part of planning your blog is choosing the right blog topic or niche. What will you write about? What can you help your audience with?
When choosing a blog topic, you need to make sure it has a combination of 3 things:
- Demand -> Are people looking for this topic, product or service?
- Your knowledge or skills -> What can you help your audience with?
- Profitability -> Are there opportunities to make money?
As you can see in the image below, your perfect niche sits right in the sweet spot.
How do you know if there’s demand for your chosen blog topic?
You can use a keyword analyser tool like Ubersuggest to see how many searches certain keywords get per month.
Make sure to type in questions and sentences that someone might type into Google, for instance:”How to write a blog to make money” or ” How to lose weight fast” or “How to save money”.
Keep in mind that a topic that helps your reader become a better version of themselves, is always in demand. People love improving themselves and learning new things.
Topics that are always in demand are called Evergreen Topics. To find out if your blog topic is evergreen, ask yourself: Will people still be be searching for this topic 2 years from now?
If the answer is yes, your topic is evergreen.
Another way to find out if there’s demand for your topic is by Googling it. If there are other bloggers writing about similar topics, there is a good chance that your topic is in demand.
For more inspiration, read:
3. Starting Your Blog On The Right Platform
After you spend some time planning your blog and choosing a niche, you need to decide on a blogging platform.
There are plenty of free blogging platforms like Blogger.com, Wix.com and WordPress.com, but these are not suitable for professional business blogs.
Free blogging platforms have lots of limitations on functionality, blog design and monetisation. They also don’t look professional in the eyes of potential sponsors or clients. And last but not least, on a free blogging platform you don’t own your blog and it can be shut down anytime…
Not what you want…
To compare the 4 most popular blogging platforms, read:
If you want to be completely in charge of your blog and have unlimited functionality, you need to set up a self hosted blog on WordPress.org.
This means that when you start your blog on WordPress.org you’ll be able to add any functionality you need to your website (think sales funnels, email signup forms, ecommerce etc).
Setting up your blog is easy to do, especially with Bluehost because they do all the technical stuff for you.
Bluehost is the top recommended web host for WordPress and they are super affordable, you can start your blog for just a few dollars per month!
And if you use my special link below, they’ll even install WordPress for you for free!
4. Setting Up Your Self Hosted Blog
You can set up your self hosted WordPress blog with a few easy steps:
- Go to Bluehost with this link that gives you a free WordPress installation and select their basic plan.
2. Choose a domain name.
To claim your free domain name, type your blog name in the box and see if it’s available.
If all your chosen domain names aren’t available or if you haven’t decided on a blog name yet, you can skip this step for now and click on the link: I’ll create my domain later.
If you already have a domain name, enter it in the box: I have a domain name.
If you need some help deciding on a domain name, read:
3. Enter your personal details to create your account.
4. Choose your package (you get the best deal if you pay for 36 months).
5. Choose your package extras. You can untick all these boxes because you can add blog security and SEO with free plugins.
6. Add your payment details.
7. Create a secure password and write it down somewhere safe.
Congratulations, you now own a self hosted WordPress blog!
Bluehost will send you a confirmation email with a link to your website.
Click on this link and login to your website with the login details you wrote down earlier.
Next you’ll be asked to name your site and add a tagline. If you don’t have a tagline just describe in a few words what your blog is about. Click Continue.
Now you will be asked about the goals of your site. This is so Bluehost can recommend certain plugins for your site. Tick the boxes that are relevant for your blog and click Continue.
Next you need to pick a WordPress theme. You can select a free theme or if you want to install a premium theme, you can scroll to the bottom and select Skip this step.
I highly recommend using a premium theme because this will make your website creation a lot easier. Premium themes have drag and drop elements that make it super easy to create page layouts and add tons of functionality.
I’ve been using Enfold Theme for almost 10 years and I absolutely love it! It has the best support and pretty much everything is possible with this theme.
Other great themes are Bluchic Themes (for gorgeous feminine themes, see image below) and Astra and Generate Press. These last two themes have a free version that you can try out and if you need more features you can upgrade to the premium theme.
After the theme page you’ll end up in the Bluehost Portal. To get to the backend of your website click on the blue WordPress button. This will take you to the WordPress Dashboard.
Anther way to login to your website is to go to a new browser window and in the top url bar you type: www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin (make sure to replace it with your domain name.)
5. Setting up WordPress correctly
After you’ve set up your hosting and Bluehost has installed WordPress for you, you need to configure your WordPress settings. This is super important for the correct setup of your blog, so don’t miss this step!
I’ve written a separate blog post on setting up WordPress correctly, please read it here:
Other tutorials that you might find helpful are:
If you want more help starting your blog, you can enrol in my free blogging course here:
And if you feel like you need a step by step WordPress course for beginners, make sure to check out this super detailed course by Chelsea Clarke:
6. Creating Must-Have Website Pages
Before you start writing blog posts, you need to create a few pages on your website.
To help your reader navigate your site, I recommend having a Home Page, About Page and Contact Page.
If you’re not sure what content to add to these pages, look up a few bloggers in your niche and see what they’re sharing on these pages. Use their content to get some ideas, please do not copy anything, checking out other websites should be for inspiration only.
Another page that is good to have is a Terms & Conditions. This page lets your reader know what they can and can’t do on your website and helps you protect your intellectual property.
Getting your legal pages drawn up by a lawyer can get quite expensive, but luckily I know a lawyer who’s also a blogger and she’s created the Legal Bundle Value Pack which includes all legal pages you need for your blog for a very affordable price.
7. Writing Your Blog Posts
Now your website is set up properly, it’s time to create content. Whoop whoop!
This is what it’s all about, this was the reason you started your blog, right?
So what are you going to write about?
If you planned your blog (with my Blog Planner Workbook) in step 1, and you chose a blog topic in step 2, you should have a pretty good idea who your target audience is and what you want to help them with.
When writing your blog posts, it’s important to be specific and cover your topic thoroughly. Aim to answer all questions your audience might have. This will benefit your reader and it will also help your post rank higher in search engines.
For a detailed guide on writing a blog post that is SEO optimised, please read:
To help your blog succeed quicker, it’s important to create content with a purpose. Every blog post you write, should do at least one of the following:
- grow blog traffic
- promote an affiliate or sponsored product
- promote your product or service
- grow your email list
If you know what the goal for your post is, you can focus on that and you’re more likely to achieve it.
You don’t have to limit your post to one of these goals however, I have plenty of posts that drive me traffic and have an email sign up offering a freebie and a tripwire product and they include affiliate links.
As long as you’re guiding your reader towards one or several of these goals, your post has a purpose and you’re more likely to grow your email list and your income.
8. Monetising Your Blog
Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for: How to make money with your blog.
Every step you’ve taken so far is obviously important on your journey to creating a money making blog:
You need to:
- Pick a profitable niche
- Know who your target audience is
- Set up your website correctly
- Create helpful content
This is the basis of any money making blog. And all these steps are equally important.
But how do you actually make money with your blog?
Let’s have a look at that now.
There are several ways you can make money with your blog:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Offering a service
- Selling digital or physical products
- Creating a membership site
Let’s have a closer look at a few of these…
For most new bloggers the easiest way to make money is through affiliate marketing.
When you monetise your blog through affiliate marketing, it means that you recommend products, services or courses for other businesses. When you sign up to their affiliate program, you’ll get a unique link that you can add to your blog posts, email newsletters and even social posts. When someone clicks on your link and buys something, you’ll get a commission.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetise a new blog. It’s easy to set up, it doesn’t cost anything and you don’t need a lot of traffic to be able to make money.
To find the affiliate program for a product you want to recommend, you need to go to their website and check the footer. If they have an affiliate program, they’ll have a link in their footer like this:
You can also sign up to affiliate networks. If you sign up to one affiliate network you get access to lots of different affiliate programs.
Popular affiliate networks are:
- Impact Radius
If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, read:
Offering a service
Another popular way to monetise a blog is by offering a service.
Services that you can offer digitally tend to work well because you can help clients from all over the world. Examples of these services are:
- Virtual Assistant
- Web Designer
- Social Media Manager
- Book Keeper
- Graphic Designer
- Business Coach
To sell your service on your blog, you need to create a services page and outline what you can help your clients with. You can also create a special offer and promote it on your home page.
Selling a (digital) product
Instead of only selling affiliate products, you could also create your own product. This may sound tricky but it can actually be pretty simple. Especially if you create a digital product like an ebook or course.
The beauty about creating a digital product is that you don’t have any up front production cost. You only have to invest your time to create the product. And you only have to create your product once and after that you can sell it over and over again, possibly for years.
If you’ve signed up to get my free blog planner or my free blogging course, you might have noticed my tripwire page that you landed on after signing up. On this page I offer my Ultimate Blogger’s Checklist for $5. This is a good example of a very simple digital product.
Small tripwire products are a great way to get started with digital products. You get to test out what your audience is interested in and what a good price point is.
Examples of digital products are:
- online course
- stock photos
- social media calendar
To be successful with digital products you need to make sure that your product is closely related to your blog content and will help your audience.
A lot of new bloggers think the best way to monetise their blog is by displaying ads.
I don’t agree though…
To be able to make money with advertisements you need a lot of traffic, and that is something new blogs usually don’t have much of…
Ads also direct your hard earned visitors away from your blog, and all that for just a couple of cents…
Not a great way to make money.
Ads can also get very distracting and annoying and they can slow down your website.
… another reason I’m not a big fan of ads.
If your blog gets lots of traffic (at least 50k sessions per month) and your niche doesn’t have a lot of high paying affiliate programs, then joining an ad network could be right for you.
Food bloggers for example can get lots of traffic to their recipes, it would be a good idea to monetise these pages with ads.
9. Growing Your Blog Traffic
Last but not least, let’s have a look at how you can grow your blog traffic.
Promoting your blog can be an overlooked step by new bloggers. But it’s actually the most important step, because without promoting your blog, your audience is not likely to find your blog.
There is actually an 80-20 rule for bloggers. You should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it.
That is a lot of promoting.
There are a lot of different ways to promote your blog, you can read here how to promote your blog in 10 different ways.
The most important promotion techniques to learn are Pinterest and SEO.
Pinterest is not a social media platform as some people might think.
Pinterest is a search engine.
People go to Pinterest to look for things. And they could be searching for your content.
So what you need to do is create a Pinterest business account and create about 20-30 Pinterest boards that are relevant to your niche. Then you need to fill your boards with relevant pins and create your own pins that you add to your blog post, like this one:
Pinterest images should be vertical at a 2:3 ratio, which is 600 x 900 or 1000 x 1500 pixels. A great tool to design your pins is Canva, you can use it for free here.
Once you’ve added your pin image to your blog post, you need to share it to Pinterest. Here’s a quick tutorial on how you do this: How To Add A Pin To Pinterest.
Now it’s important to pin regularly and consistently, start with about 5-10 per day and work your way up to 20-25 pins per day. You can pin your own pins and share other people’s pins. Once you have more content, you’ll want to share more of your own pins.
If you’re new to Pinterest marketing, I highly recommend grabbing my free guide: Pinterest Set Up For Success. In this guide I’ll show you how to set up a Pinterest business account, how to claim your website without using code, how to enable Rich pins and how to use Pinterest SEO. You can get the free guide here:
Pinterest Set Up For Success
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine Optimisation or SEO is the process of optimising your blog for search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.
It is obviously very beneficial for your blog to rank high in Google. Ranking organically without paying for ads means you get free traffic. Plus the traffic you get from Google is highly targeted and this audience is more likely to buy from you.
So how do you get your blog on the first page of Google?
To get your blog post to rank on the first page of Google you need to learn two things:
On-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is everything you do on your website, like using keywords and improving site speed and user experience.
Off-page SEO is everything you do outside your website to improve your ranking, like building backlinks and your social media presence.
The main thing to remember is to create high quality content that answers a specific question. Long in-depth articles are more likely to rank than short superficial posts.
To learn more about SEO please read my SEO Beginners Guide here.
This is how you write a blog to make money
I hope you liked my step by step guide on starting a successful blog and you now have a greater understanding on how to write a blog to make money.
To get more guidance on starting your blog, make sure to sign up to my free blogging course or grab my free blog planner here (the course includes the blog planner so there is no need to sign up twice).
Please share this post and let me know what you think in the comments below.