Ultimate Guide to
Profitable Blogging

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using affiliate links, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

If you want to start profitable blogging as a career, you have come to the right place. There are numerous reasons people start a blog, and in the United States alone, the number of bloggers will reach over 31 million by the end of 2020.

The rise of social media and influencer culture has enabled this activity to achieve even greater heights. Here are some of the explanations for why people start blogging:

To inspire their audience

Some people start blogging with this intention. Unique satisfaction comes from knowing your blog post changed people’s lives for the better, made their day, or even impacted their decision-making.

To improve their writing skills.

Not everyone dares to put out their work for people to see, but bloggers do this regularly. The activity may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but the words will come out more naturally when you keep on doing it. If you have ever put up a blog post before, compare your writing skills then and now. I am positive you will see a world of difference.

To learn new abilities.

Nowadays, blogging is not only about the words that come to your mind. Successful bloggers utilize previously uncommon skills like WordPress design, search engine optimization techniques, and web hosting.

To build an online brand.

If you keep writing relevant and reliable content about a specific subject, people will soon recognize you as an authority in that niche. Eventually, you will become recognizable in that community; anyone who seeks information about that topic will go to you.

To generate an income.

For some people, profitable blogging is one way to make money online. A lot of Internet users make a living out of it, and later on, I will give you tips on how to make money from blogging.

To meet new people.

Whether you intend to do so or not, creating a blog will expose you to an extensive and lively community of new people. These folks conduct meet-up events to allow bloggers worldwide to meet like-minded writers. Some examples are WordCamp conferences for WordPress users and WOW Summits for blogger moms.

Regardless of your reason, communities are welcoming and helpful to new bloggers. In this guide, I will provide what you need to know about profitable blogging – from the best niches to penetrate, the steps to start a blog, and the best platforms to create one. Apart from this activity, though, you can make money online through other methods like affiliate marketing or building an e-commerce business .

How To Start A Blog

With over 600 million blog sites on the Internet, you probably think it is not that problematic. And you are right! With technology advancements and plenty of online options, starting a blog is much simpler than you imagine.

Creating the blog content is tough but putting up your new blog website is straightforward. I can break down the process in three steps:

Choose a blog platform.

Choose a web host for your blog.

Design your new blog.

Simple enough, right? On each step, I will give specific and actionable steps to help you start your dream blog. Whether you are a greenhorn in the industry or need help improving your platform, this guide will help you.

Starting a blog requires little technical knowledge these days, but you must have the determination to realize your goals. Once you do, you can overcome any challenges that come your way. Let us learn more about these steps.

You can learn more through my new course Digital Mastery Business Blueprint. I have shared my best practices that would help you start up your online business the right way.

Choose a blog platform.

You can choose from several blogging platforms to “house” your carefully created content. However, if you are a beginner, I recommend looking for a platform that is:

  • easy to set up
  • has a short learning curve
  • does not require coding skills.

You probably already have a vision of how your blog will look today, but your content may change. So, your platform should have flexibility, allowing you room to grow.

With constant changes in trends and the blogging landscape, a malleable platform will add features to accommodate those transformations. If you choose the wrong platform at the start, it may be challenging to switch once you already have everything set up.

Later on, in this guide, I will list the best platforms you can use for profitable blogging.

Choose a web host for your blog.

Now comes the million-dollar question: are you willing to pay for your blog? You have two options on this step: self-hosting or a free alternative. Some people have difficulty answering the question, especially when you are starting with limited funds. To help you decide, here is what you can expect from each method.

Choosing the free version

  • This option has no cost. Yes, that fact is a given, but it bears reminding as funding becomes the deal-breaker for some aspiring bloggers.
  • You will not get a domain name of your own. Free blogs come as a subdomain, which makes it challenging to build authority. For example, if I plan to name my website groprone, the web URL will look like groprone.domainname.com.
  • Free blogs have tons of limits, from the number of available themes to monetizing your blog.
  • The “free” web host owns your blog. Although you created the content of your page, the host can delete your blog for any reason. Since you are presenting your site on someone else’s property, they can do what they want with it, which can cause you to lose hours of hard work.

Choosing self-hosting

  • This option comes with a cost.
    Web hosting companies usually offer several plans at varying prices. These plans may include features like a dedicated IP address and SEO tools.
  • You must purchase a unique domain name. Going back to my earlier example, I now get to call my website groprone.com. Having a domain name of your own establishes your authority in your intended niche, and it also looks more professional.
  • Self-hosted platforms have more features. Depending on the plan you purchase from the web hosting company, you can have tons of features like monetization, Google Analytics integration, automated backup, and database access.
If you plan to make a lucrative career out of blogging and take it to the next level sometime in the future, I recommend paying for a self-hosted platform. Get your domain from GoDaddy and website hosting from SiteGround, that gets you started quickly. Otherwise, the free version will suffice if you only do the activity to pass the time.

Design your new blog.

You can find lots of website themes on the Internet, but your choice should depend on your personality and the blog’s content. Here are some guiding principles to assist you with your blog’s design.

Please keep it clean and straightforward.

Your site must look presentable to your readers. Most blogging websites have a clean and straightforward design to keep their audience focused on your content.

You do not have to be a graphic design guru, but you should also pay careful attention to your color scheme. A quick search online will generate numerous color palettes, so choose one that will look attractive for your target audience.

Make sure that the colors blend well and match your overall layout and niche. Your blog’s design says a lot about your online brand, so feel free to spend a lot of time conceptualizing it.

Work on the loading speed.

Did you know that 53 percent of visitors abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load? You should ensure that your website meets this criterion to maximize the people who visit your platform.

 

Your website may be slow for various reasons, so here are some things you can do to improve its loading speed:

  • Remove dense and unoptimized images.
  • Enable compression and keep-alive features.
  • Minimize the use of Java Scripts and CSS files.
  • Remove inactive themes and plugins.
  • Use CDN, such as Cloudflare

Optimize navigation and functionality.

Visitors should find your platform easy to navigate. Roughly 95 percent of guests agree that user experience is a top priority in utilizing sites.

Consider adding a sitemap to your blog to direct users to specific pages, streamlining your navigation. Also, ensure that all links function properly, especially contact forms and subscription fields.

Best Niches To Make Money From Blogging

Once you have decided to start profitable blogging, the next is one of the trickiest parts: choosing a niche. Most people surf the Internet because they want to solve a problem, and that gap is where you come in.

Niche blogs target a specific audience, and related content keeps visitors coming back. Here are some of the most popular blogging niches.

Personal Finance and Making Money

Everybody wants to make money. With the rise of influencers and self-made millionaires, people also want to get in on the action. But they need help to do so. This niche includes teaching audiences how to build a business or manage their finances.

Health and Fitness

There is a considerable market for health-conscious people worldwide, and there is no shortage of health and fitness topics. Though this niche will require you to walk the talk, it becomes an excellent springboard if you want to sell related products on your website.

Diet and Nutrition

Similar to health and fitness, users have started placing more importance on their diet and nutrition. This niche is continuously evolving, especially with the rise of different types of food regimen. Though there is a vast market for this topic, consider obtaining credentials to establish your authority in this niche.

Food and Healthy Eating

People love to eat but eating healthy becomes an unpleasant task for many. This niche focuses on helping people make healthy food choices.

Some famous examples are Green Kitchen Stories, My New Roots, and Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes. Even if you cannot commit to eating healthy, these blogs are a feast for the eyes.

DIY and Crafting

Not everyone can produce fantastic creations with their hands, which makes this kind of blogs more awe-inspiring. You do not even have to sell the finished products. In most cases, this niche only shows ideas to the audience and the steps to follow. Some crafting bloggers provide files, patterns, and pintables to help with the DIY process.

Home Décor

Even if you had no plans to renovate your house, you have probably looked at a home décor blog in the past for inspiration. This niche has no shortage of eye-catching photos that would remind you of the perfect crib.

Beauty and Fashion

No matter where you live, staying attractive is the goal of many people. This niche covers a wide range of topics – from skincare and makeup to anti-aging treatments. Influencers capitalize on this in-demand niche by creating videos demonstrating the use of various beauty products.

Fashion is an exciting niche because of rapid trend changes in the industry. On the flip side, you have to be aware of these changes to remain relevant.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle blogs do not focus only on one topic; instead, they talk about various subjects like recipes, travel, blogging, and more. This niche usually has a target demographic, whether it be new moms, pet lovers, or college students.

Personal Development

This niche focuses on self-help courses, books, online training, and coaching. People have various aspects of their lives they want to improve, and they want to feel satisfied and stress-free.

Although this segment already has lots of bloggers, there is still a massive market for self-help articles. This niche is also an excellent springboard to eventually sell your products and services.

Parenting

Shopping districts have sections dedicated to newborns and children, so it is no wonder there is a profitable blogging niche for parents. Most of these platforms target moms, although dads are welcome too.

How To Make Money From Blogging?

There are several methods to make money from your website and achieve profitable blogging. However, it will take some time before your blog returns the profit you have invested in it.

Most bloggers start the activity to make money, and nothing is wrong with that. Yet, you should not only focus on the end goal with little regard for the other critical factors.

Before I discuss how to earn money from blogging, I would like you to concentrate on this next section first: writing your content. Without well-thought-out and high-quality content, your dreams of profitable blogging are sure to fail.

start a blog and make money

How To Write A Blog

Putting up a website looks so easy compared to creating your blog’s content. If you start from scratch, it may take a few days before you put up your first article. Besides your blog’s layout and design, content also plays a primary role in engaging your audience.

Here are some more statistics to help you understand the importance of writing high-quality content on your blogs.

  • 71% of business-to-business buyers go through blog content during their buyer journey.
  • Content advertising produces three times more leads than a paid search.
  • 60% of people buy a product after reading a blog post about it.
  • 61% of Americans spend three times more time looking through blogs than they do e-mail.

Based on these numbers, blog content can be influential. This detail is the reason you should carefully think about your topics. You do not have to be a professional writer with a degree as your skills will improve over time.

Instead, it would be best if you had a concrete understanding of your intended topic so that your authority comes through on the blog content. Here are some steps for you to follow when writing your blog:

1. Narrow your niche.

The popularity of the profitable blogging industry is a double-edged sword: it has a lucrative market with stiff competition. So as an aspiring blogger, your first step is to narrow your niche as much as possible.

Do not target general markets like fashion, photography, or business. Instead, search for niche ideas that do not have much competition but are still feasible. You can use tools for keyword research like SEMrushUbersuggest, and SpyFu, to find the best niche for your blog.

2. Do the right keyword research.

Your keyword strategy can make or break the marketing of your blog content. Longer posts do not necessarily translate to more visitors. The use of long-tail keywords can separate profitable blogging from regular articles nobody may even see.

The research tools I mentioned above can generate content and gauge keyword difficulty, volume, and estimated traffic cost. You can even use some of them for free, which is perfect for starters.

start a blog and make money
start a blog and make money

3. Place your keywords strategically.

So now you have a long-tail keyword that is less competitive and more targeted. However, you have to use it strategically to make the most out of it. 

Some general rules include putting your primary keyword in the introduction, to subtitles, and the article’s title.

4. Use subheadings

In recent years, research shows longer posts earn more organic traffic, which is a possible reason why the number of short blog posts has declined. However, readers will skim through your article if you present them with huge blocks of text. 

Break up your article by utilizing subheadings. This outline will boost your reader’s retention and maximize your content’s scan ability.

free blogging websites
free blogging websites

5. Make click-worthy headlines.

Your post may rank high on search engines, but your potential readers may turn away from reading your article if you do not have an engaging headline.

Profitable blogging requires a descriptive title that is also thought-provoking and optimized. If you get a reader to click your headline, I will say you have already won half the battle.

6. Include statistics.

Using reliable data on your blog post increases the chance of other writers linking to your article. You do not have to conduct research studies on your own. 

However, ensure that you cite statistics from valid sources that are still relevant to the present. Otherwise, you risk posting outdating information that does not add value to your readers.

how to start a blog for free
free blogging websites

7. Utilize custom visuals.

Did you know that blog content with images gets 94 percent more views than the ones without them? Though most bloggers use free stock photos, you add customized visuals through design tools like Visme or Canva.

Posters and infographics make information easier to digest, and it also increases the chance your readers sharing your blog to social media.

8. Use a grammar-checker.

Even if you have excellent spelling and grammar skills, mistakes do happen, especially when you are tired, distracted, or writing a lengthy post. Your readers probably would not take one or two mistakes against you, but why take that chance?

You can use proofreading tools like Grammarly or Hemingway editor to weed out those errors efficiently.

blogging for beginners
start a blog and make money

How To Create A Blog

When it comes to constructing your website for profitable blogging, you want to focus on three things: theme, platform, and web hosting. I have touched on these items briefly in an earlier section.

Now, I will go over the best ones to use for your future website. Please note that although some of the options have a free version, they usually come with limitations. As such, you may need to invest funds to build the best possible version of your blog.

Best Themes

Themes help bloggers create their website even without extensive technical knowledge on coding. Users can usually choose from free and premium themes, with the latter providing more features and options for customization.

From the name itself, StudioPress themes work only for WordPress and no other platform. Its benefits include fast website loading times, a clean code, and a fully responsive HTML5 design.

This website is similar to StudioPress, as Themeforest has thousands of themes you can use for your WordPress blog. However, it also has templates addressing different online industries like e-commerce, marketing, and forums.

Astra theme is the one I am using on a couple of my websites, including this groprone.com and I really think it’s one of the best ones nowadays. I also use Elementor Pro and Thrive Architect all on this same website. Using all of these together, you can do almost any kind of designs, quizzes, exit pop-ups, etc.

These software studios also allow you to change the designs of your website with minimal fuss. Although the outward appearance has changed, the site’s foundation remains the same.

Best Hosting Platform

Earlier, we have talked about the difference between free and premium hosting platforms. There are numerous options available to create a profitable blogging website, but I have listed five of the best ones for beginners.

Some of them offer custom domain names and enhanced features for a fee, but they usually include hosting services in the charges. I will also include each one’s benefits, so you can easily see their differences.

WordPress.com

I specifically included the domain, so you do not confuse it with WordPress.org, a self-hosted blogging software. This website started in 2005 and offered user-friendly features and management. 

The basic plan includes a subdomain, but you would need to purchase a custom name and additional storage. The platform does not allow the use of custom themes and plugins.

blogging for beginners

how to make money blogging

Blogger

This website is one of the oldest blogging platforms, starting in 1999 until Google acquired it in 2003. Blogger offers essential blogging tools that are easy to use, even without technical skills. 

It also comes with a robust, reliable, and secure platform from Google. Since it comes for free, though, you have limited design options. Blogger is ideal for beginners who want to try out blogging at no cost then eventually transition to WordPress.

Tumblr

This microblogging platform has social networking features like re-blogging and built-in sharing tools. You can easily blog videos, images, and audio in various formats.

The free edition comes with a subdomain, but you can purchase a custom one, themes, and apps from third-party sellers.

free blogging websites

blogging for beginners

Medium

This platform started in 2012 and worked similar to a social networking site. Upon creating an account, you can start publishing articles and reach an online community with shared interests.

Mediumlets you focus on writing, with no setup or coding skills required.

Wix

This hosting platform launched in 2006 and now has over 110 million users worldwide. Individuals and small businesses will appreciate the drag and drop functionalities with dozens of templates and third-party applications.

You can easily set up your profitable blogging website, although the free plan will show Wix branding and advertisements.

blogging for beginners

Best Webhosting

Web hosting providers allow individuals or businesses to post their website on the Internet through their servers. Purchasing a plan from these providers usually include custom domain names, e-mail accounts, FTP access, and technical support services. 

The concept of web hosting applies to all webpages on the Internet and not only profitable blogging. Here are three of the best hosting providers you can choose from for your blog.

This full-service hosting company has a variety of plans to choose from, from shared hosting to dedicated servers. Its advantages include uptime monitoring, regular backups, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.

If you plan to use WordPress as your blogging platform, consider this provider for hosting services. Your first year of purchase automatically includes a free domain name and SSL certificate, making it perfect if you plan to use your platform for business. Its advantages include 24/7 phone support, regular daily backups, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

I did mention SiteGround a bit earlier, since all of my WordPress websites are using SiteGround and it’s been several years now, and I couldn’t be happier with their service and support.

How To Monetize Your Blog

By this time, you already know how to start a blog and create high-quality content for your website. If you followed the right processes, it is only a matter of time before traffic starts trickling in.

Depending on your choices when you created your blog, you may have invested in tools, themes, and platforms. So, let us discover the possible ways to get those funds back and start profitable blogging.

This method is the best option to monetize your blog, especially when you do not have products to sell. With affiliate marketing , you promote other people’s products on your blog and receive a commission if visitors purchase through your link.

For profitable blogging to happen, you should write insightful content about the goods or services. There are numerous affiliate programs online, and you can even check your preferred brands if they have such a setup available.

Retail products or services

This option takes much more time and investment from your end, especially with stiff competition in the e-commerce industry . However, data shows that nearly 50 percent of bloggers who sell their products or services earn over 50,000 dollars per year.

You do not have to create physical merchandise necessarily. Instead, if you have developed authority in your specific niche, you can choose to sell an e-book, an online course, or professional services.

Advertisements

Nobody becomes a millionaire only by showing ads on their blog. However, ad revenue is a form of passive income, no matter how small. My word of caution: do not sacrifice the user experience for advertisements. Ensure that those promotions will not negatively affect the navigation or functionality of your blog.

Sponsored Posts

With this method, you write blog content about a product because its owner or company has paid you to do so. Sponsored posts do not rely on your blog’s traffic, as these come from businesses looking to expand their online reach.

These posts usually come in the form of product reviews or how-to guides. Another word of caution: avoid creating falsely positive reviews in exchange for a quick buck. Some viewers can quickly ascertain your integrity and doing such acts can potentially turn them off your brand.

Content Gating

In this process, you require visitors to sign up to your website before reading the rest of your blog. You may necessitate some form of payment, similar to a subscription service, depending on your preference. One excellent example of a blogging platform that requires paid membership is Patreon.

Requests for Donations

The online community might surprise you with its generosity, as long as you provide valuable information. Some loyal readers convey their appreciation for unique and high-quality content through cash donations. PayPal has features to get a donation system up and running on your profitable blogging website.

Guest Post Contributions

The last on our list is one of the best long-term blogging strategies. By contributing posts as a guest, you get to earn money and even create a link-building campaign.

Some websites pay guest contributors depending on the number of words, while some make compensations per article. If you would like to consider this method, some sites that look for contributors are Longreads, MoneyPantry, and Income Diary.

Challenges with Blogging

Whether you are only starting or have been in the industry for some time, there comes the point where you face a seemingly impossible roadblock. You may have begun your journey full of excitement. However, results rarely show immediately, and profitable blogging does not seem to happen.

For some, giving up is the most natural solution. But it is always too soon to give up. Successful bloggers have dealt with similar obstacles and overcame them to reach where they are now.

Here are some challenges every new blogger face to prepare you in your profitable blogging journey.

It takes a lot of hard work.

There are millions of people who blog worldwide, so competition is already stiff for those entering it. You have to make your content valuable to your readers, and that fact would sometimes require you to create longer hours than a regular day job.

Though blogging can be profitable, it is not a solution to make a quick buck. In 2019, bloggers roughly spent 3 hours and 57 minutes to write a single blog post, with those who invested more time reporting compelling results. If you plan to make money out of your writing, you have to put in a lot of time and effort.

There is no fixed income.

Though you plan to do profitable blogging, it will take some time before your content generates enough income to feel satisfactory. Even then, though, you may experience days when the profits do not meet your expectations.

There may be days when you will perform exceptionally well; while there may be times the pay fluctuates wildly. This fact comes part and parcel with any freelance work, so my advice is to ready yourself and always prepare for any eventuality.

The blogging landscape changes constantly.

Gone were the days when you can write whatever you want in the world and post online to reach an audience. If you do not employ tactics in your post, your content may not even reach anyone. Here is something I wrote for 9 killer marketing strategies to launch your next online business, you can check it our right here.

Google algorithms are always changing, while social media platforms change their features to reflect their business goals. You must have the ability to keep up with changes in the industry to achieve your goals, which requires a lot of reading and research.

Extended hours may affect your family time and mental health.

I mentioned above that you would have to put in long hours to create valuable content, and that period may eat up time you would typically spend resting or bonding with your family. Spending too many hours on social media can cause depression and anxiety.

Working with a group of people will decrease your workload. It may even curb the lonely hours in front of the computer.

If that is financially impossible at this time, make sure you take regular breaks while working. Like with all occupations, work and life balance are essential for your relationships and overall wellbeing.

Best Marketing Methods and Tools To Increase Sales And Customer Lifetime Value

Whatever online industry you choose to join, the right tools can make or break your business. The same concept goes with profitable blogging. You cannot expect your blog posts to reach thousands of people without using the necessary tools to increase site traffic.

Here are some marketing methods that will drive traffic to your blog:

Research and Analysis

Using tools to research keywords, conduct competitor analysis, and track website traffic are critical to growing your blog. Regardless of how small your platform is, these reports show shockingly accurate results.

They also give excellent insight to improve your blogging approach. Some tools you can use are SEMRush, Ahrefs, Google Analytics, Monster Insights, and Serp Robot.

E-mail Marketing

Nothing is better for building a substantial audience base than good ole e-mail marketing. These campaigns make way for you to reach out to your audience regularly. Some tools you can use are AWeber, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, MailChimp and Drip.

Outreach-Focused Tools

The primary goal of these tools is to nail your blogger outreach and land high-quality guest posts. They can even help you scale your content promotion and build relationships with other bloggers in the community.

Congratulations on finishing this guide! I hope that you found it helpful and informative regarding concerns you may have about profitable blogging. I understand that if you feel nervous or overwhelmed about starting a new venture – I came from the same place.

But I believe that hard work, determination, and the right resources are all you need. I have already given you the last one, and the first two are all up to you.

If the online money-making business interests you, you can check other industries to join, like e-commerce and Amazon FBA .

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