Of course, you should start blogging this year and beyond.
As technology advances, blogging keeps evolving, and it is the bridge that connects your thoughts with the outside world.
The way blogging was a decade ago is not how it is today. This calls for initial research, analysis, and self-evaluation before joining the party.
The competition is fiercer today than it was a decade ago. The online space is now more crowded than ever; we’re just scratching the surface of blogging – there is still a long way to go with blogging for money than we’ve seen today.
Even with the rise in social media sites, video streaming platforms, and podcasts, blogging remains a viable option to reach and connect with a larger audience.
If you have not started a blog, this article will help clear some of your doubts and fears and solve your challenges in starting a blog.
Is Blogging Still Profitable? Blogging Stats
If you’re still unsure if blogging is viable for a successful online career or business, let the stats guide you in the right direction.
Imagine that in 1999, there were only 23 blogs on the internet. Fast forward to 2006, 50 million blogs have emerged online.
According to this Wikipedia article, in 2019, we have over 500 million blogs – this figure includes the inactive ones.
It gets more interesting as time passes by. In 2021, according to Oberlo, there were more than 600 million blogs from the 1.7 billion websites.
What do all these figures mean to you?
It means more and more people are starting their blogs today than ever before. So, if it ever crosses your mind that blogging is dead, you’re thinking the wrong way.
Blogging is alive and much more alive than you can imagine.
Now is the best time to start that dream blog; today is a good time, and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
What Type of Blog Do You Want to Start?
Starting a blog on just about any topic you desire is easy during the early days of blogging. Anyone could start a blog on random topics and succeed with it.
People often start a blog to discuss their personal life, hobbies, likes, and dislikes.
Gone are those days…
Today, if you’re creating a blog to earn a living, you can’t just build a blog that talks about random topics and expect to build an audience around it.
Except you’re starting a hobby blog – something you do in your spare time for pleasure – you’re not going to build a money-making blog talking to a random audience.
So, the first task in building an online blogging career is to decide what type of blog you want to create.
What section of the online audience is your target market? What knowledge, skills, services, or products do you have that are valuable to an audience section?
Should I start a blog this year that will eventually replace my 9 – 5-day job? A blog you can call a business that provides a full-time income to live your dream life.
Or do you want to create a blog to get your thoughts and opinions across to anyone who cares to read it?
If you answer yes to creating a blog for your opinion and thoughts, stop reading this article now and head to WordPress.com or Blogger to create a free blog.
The rest of this article won’t do you any good reading further.
But if you answer yes to starting a blog, that will eventually replace your 9-5-day job. A blog that will generate full-time income…
Let’s walk along together and build the foundation for a successful blogging career. Continue reading…
How to Start a Blog the Right Way
Now that you’ve made a decision – a decision to start a money-making blog. A blog to generate full-time income and take care of your expenses.
You might want to ask what I need to start a blog this year.
The rest of this article is based on answering that question, so it is time to get to work and start building your blog.
But before we get into the practical side of things, we must deal with the theoretical side of building a profitable blog.
Your first step toward starting a blog is to choose your target market.
This will help narrow your options and build a blog focused on a section of the online market.
It is not enough to say I want to build a blog that talks about any of these topics:
- Digital Marketing
Each topic has sub-categories you can branch out to be more specific and direct to your target audience.
For example, the health industry is very BIG, and many sub-topics or issues branch out from it. You can narrow it down to a more relevant health market.
You can build a blog that’s more focused on any but one of these health issues:
HIV patients, Cancer, Bad Breath, Skin related issues, Bones, Sex, Diabetes, Weight Loss, Obesity, etc.
Do you see how we can branch out and pick a niche in the health industry?
Instead of writing on all things health, we now have a blog topic that is more targeted and addresses a specific health issue.
This is how to build a blog from the onset that makes finding content topics easier and writing about what you’re truly knowledgeable about possible.
Let me give you a real-life example here…
The popular Backlinko blog created by Brian Dean was a sub-section of the SEO landscape. Brian Dean, instead of discussing all aspects of SEO strategies, Brian focuses on link building.
The blog grew quickly in popularity and became a reference source whenever link building is discussed.
Backlinko grew so big that Semrush recently acquired it to add to its SEO knowledge library.
With all these examples, let’s dig into finding your niche topic
Choose a Niche
There are several methods of researching or choosing a niche topic. I must also tell you that it has no absolute or concrete rules.
What works for me might not work for you. Besides, individual expertise, skills, or talent defer.
But based on experience, three methods work great all the time. It doesn’t matter who is involved or what the niche is; these are three methods to choose your niche topic work.
This is the easiest way or method to start a blog for most beginners.
People like to start a blog based on what they’re passionate about. Things they could go on and on without feeling forced to or exhausted.
These are things they enjoy doing even without being paid to do them.
These could be skills, art, knowledge, education, area of expertise, helping others achieve something, entertainment, sports, etc.
Another viral entertainment category would be gaming; there are currently 3.3 billion gamers worldwide, which is a testament to just how much potential this particular category has if you choose it to be the main niche of your blogging.
But there is one little problem with starting your blog based on your passion.
Yes! Profitability is one primary concern about starting a blog based on passion. This has become a concern since we’re starting the blog to replace our 9-5-day job.
We need to evaluate and analyze our passion vs profitability.
If what you’re passionate about is not profitable in the market, there is no point in starting a blog around such passion. If enough audience is waiting to read about such a topic, you can’t start a blog in such a niche.
It will be a waste of time, energy, and investment.
But on the flip side, if your passion is a trending topic, an evergreen subject, something many people care about, go ahead and start your blog today.
There is a good chance you’ll build something significant to call a business – given that you put in the required effort, time, energy, and investment to make it a success.
You’re more likely to succeed.
So, how do you determine if your passion is worth giving a try or not?
This leads us to the second method of finding your blog topic or niche.
Given everything equal, keyword research is the most qualified method or way to find a profitable blog niche in any market today.
You’re working with users’ data and real-life market studies.
You’re in the market doing research. Look for your target audience and study the information you can gather about your potential audience and market.
This is a lot different from blindly creating a blog based on passion.
I started this blog with a passion for writing/SEO and teaching others how to write. But I quickly realized that it would be hard to get my voice heard.
There were a lot of BIG authority blogs out there I needed to compete with. These blogs have all it takes to reach Google’s top 10 for their target keywords.
The money, knowledge, skills, team, reach, connections, and experiences these blogs have 100 times the requirement to build a successful blog than I.
So, competing against these blogs in SERP is a loose battle even before the starting whistle.
As time passed, I figured out my ideal target audience based on marketing skills and knowledge through keyword research.
And the result proves I didn’t think the wrong way.
Since I started focusing on these audience types, the blog traffic, engagement, affiliate clicks, and income have also improved.
If you seek my expert opinion on what methods you should leverage to choose a blog niche, I would say “keyword research.”
Another viable option to determine your blog topic is to take advantage of trending topics.
Now and then, new tools, services, events, and platforms happen in our world or environment.
For instance, a few years ago, nobody knew about TikTok. It wasn’t even in existence.
But today, TikTok is one of the most visited websites, with over 1 billion monthly users. Out of the 4.48 billion active social media users, 22.83% use TikTok regularly, according to a report put together by Backlinko.
Over 50 million mobile internet users in the US log into TikTok daily.
With the rise of TikTok, a few blogs have emerged that focus on TikTok marketing and other social media platforms.
When Facebook was the new shining thing, a good example was the blog of Jon Loomer, which was dedicated to Facebook marketing. As a result, Jon is known to be the go-to expert for Facebook marketing advice.
Jon’s blog is 100% Facebook marketing-focused.
Starting a blog around trending topics is a quick way to ride on the wave of success if you have what it takes to make a blog go viral from day 1.
However, it would be best if you had keyword research to learn more about the topic, audience interest, location, profitability, search queries, market value, etc.
Keyword research and analysis will tell you much about the popularity and market value of the industry search term.
Once you’re through with researching your blog niche, the next step is to choose and register your domain name.
Here are the tools you need to start a blog today.
Register Your Blog Name
Your blog name is important, but you don’t have to spend weeks trying to discover the perfect name – because there is no such thing as the perfect one.
While there is no perfect blog name, there are rules to finding a good domain name. A good blog name should be memorable, short, easy to spell, and to say on the phone.
If people have difficulty understanding your blog name on the phone, you’ve chosen the wrong domain name.
You can use the domain name search box below to check availability and get a free 1-year domain registration from Domain.com.
You need a place online to host your blog and its files. Without hosting, your blog won’t be accessible on the net.
Bluehost is one of the few hosts recommended by WordPress. Though a bit pricy compared to NameCheap, HostGator, and Hostinger.
Depending on your blog needs, budget, and hosting features, go through the table below. The web hosts listed in the table are beginner-friendly, affordable, and reliable.
They also offer free 1-year domain name registration if you subscribe to an annual hosting plan.
30-days Money Back Guarantee
30-Days Money Back Guarantee
30-Days Money Back Guarantee
3 days Trial Offer
30-Days Money Back Guarantee
$1 first Month
30-Days Money Back Guarantee
75% off - $2.95/mon
30-days money back Guarantee + Free Site Migration
50% off - $9.50/mon
90-days Money Back Guarantee
30-Day Money Back Guarantee
65% off - $2.50/mon
30-Day Money Back Guarantee
65% off - $2.50/mon
But thanks to open-source platforms like WordPress, anyone with an average knowledge of the internet can build a blog in less than 10 minutes.
Though there are other content management systems, WordPress is the most popular and well-used today.
This blog you’re reading today is built on WordPress. I design everything you see on this blog.
I’m telling you this so you can rest assured that you can do it, too. You only need to make up your mind and get the right tools.
With the right tools and a bit of web-designed knowledge, you can build a blog on WordPress.
With that said… let’s install WordPress on your host.
Depending on the host, installing WordPress might take different steps, especially if your host does not offer cPanel features.
EasyWP from NameCheap is the web host I have used and recommended for years. It is an affordable managed WordPress hosting solution that’s fast and easy to use.
It has a built-in 3-layer cache system (Varnish, Opcache, Redis object cache) that makes your web pages load faster and deliver your content in record time.
You do not need an additional cache plugin if you host with EasyWP-managed WordPress cloud hosting.
Read this post for a step-by-step tutorial on installing WordPress on EasyWP hosting.
Install Required Plugins
For most WordPress blogs, these plugins seem to be a must-have.
- Yoast SEO
- All-in-one- SEO
- Broken Link Checker
- Gutenberg Block Editor
The WordPress plugins repository contains over 59,000 plugins, as I write. There is absolutely a plugin for any WordPress functionality you can think of.
It is easy to fall in love with too many plugin installations. Be careful with your use of WordPress plugins.
Bad or poorly coded plugins can break your site. So, make sure to read the plugin documentation before installation.
If a plugin has not been updated for a long time, that’s a signal the developer has abandoned the plugin.
Such a plugin can either be unsupported by your current WordPress installation or not work anymore.
Install WordPress Themes
You want to create a beautiful blog design that stands out from the crowd, right?
You will need to invest in premium WordPress themes.
Premium WordPress themes put no limits on theme customization; you can do whatever you want with a premium theme.
Unlike free WordPress themes with customization limitations and barely any updates from the developer, Premium themes give you absolute control over your website design, customization, added features, and integration and provide regular updates and support.
Though the budget could concern a beginner, you can check out some affordable StudioPress themes on this page.
Start Publishing Quality Content Consistently
Content is the reason people visit your blog.
Without valuable information on your site, everything we’ve done so far counts for nothing.
Initially, you may find writing a bit tedious and time-consuming task. But as you practice and read other people’s blogs daily, you’ll discover that writing is enjoyable and stress-free.
Before you go ahead with publishing content, keyword research is essential. If you want to get found online, primarily through search engines, do keyword research before writing your blog post.
Keyword research differentiates people who find you through SERP and those who will not.
One of my favorite keyword research tools is Semrush keyword magic.
It is not called keyword magic for nothing; it does magic to your keyword research process.
I have reviewed the Semrush keyword magic tool in this post; take your time reviewing it.
I have published a few blog posts that detail how to write better content that readers love to read. Here are some relevant articles you can start reading today to hone your writing skills
Your quality content won’t get attention, readership, or generate revenue if you don’t promote it.
No matter how good your blog is, it’s as good as nothing if no one reads it.
You have to learn and master the art of marketing. 80% of your efforts and resources should be spent promoting your content.
That being said, let’s explore a few content marketing strategies.
Build Your Email List
Your email list subscribers will eventually be integral to your business growth. Email marketing brings the most ROI for most businesses behind SEO.
According to a survey by campaign monitor, for every $1 spent on email campaigns, you should expect a return of $44.
That’s a good return on investment that only SEO can beat.
You’ll need a good and reliable email marketing solution to build your email list fast. There are hundreds of email marketing services today; I use Getresponse, one of the oldest, most advanced, and feature-rich email marketing apps.
From email campaigns, autoresponder, automation, sales funnel, and webinar to e-commerce solutions, Getresponse is a full-fledged marketing solution for small and mid-sized businesses.
You can sign up for the forever free Getresponse account here to see how it works.
The forever-free plan gives you a limit of 500 list contacts. If you exceed this figure, you must subscribe to one of their paid plans.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Before making a buying decision, online shopping begins with search engine activities. Also, according to a report by 99firms, 93% of all website traffic comes from search engines.
Your business will struggle to grow without driving significant traffic from organic search engine results.
Most businesses will never reach their full potential without generating search engine traffic.
How do you optimize your website pages for organic search engine traffic?
The answer is never in one book.
There are lots of optimization tips and strategies for a better SEO-optimized blog. But for a start, this is a helpful post by Neil Patel to begin your SEO journey.
If you’re more serious about learning SEO and want to take your knowledge to the next level, look at Moz Academy.
Moz has one of the best catalogs on SEO education in the industry. It is like going to a university to study how SEO works.
Social Media Marketing
From politicians, government, schools, institutions, NGOs, and businesses to individuals, everyone uses the social media platform for one thing or another.
At the start, before your SEO efforts start paying off, your business will get most of its traction from social media sites.
The more you engage and promote your content here, the more awareness and attention you get.
So start promoting, engaging, and commenting on other people’s posts to create awareness and get more followers.
Every social media has its own marketing best practices.
Facebook seems to be a default marketing channel for many businesses. To market on Facebook, you must create a business page.
This will give you access to Facebook marketing tools such as Ad Manager.
There is no better place to learn Facebook marketing than the blog of Jon Loomer. Reading Jon’s blog will teach you many tips and strategies to improve your Facebook marketing skills.
There are other content marketing tips like PPC ads you can explore, but as a beginner, the three methods mentioned above are a good start.
Please start with the three traffic methods above and see what you make out of them. Then, gradually, you can scale your efforts and resources on the channel that brings better ROI.
Blog Monetization Tactics
I have published an extensive post on this subject that you can find here.
In that post, I shared real-life examples of bloggers making money from 6 different blog monetization methods.
I also share a case study of my journey from zero to a consistent monthly income from affiliate marketing.
You’ll find many helpful and advanced money-making blueprint tips from reading that post.
But for a recap, here are several blog monetization tactics you can give a try today:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Selling your Products or Services
- Contextual ad – Google AdSense, for example
- Membership Site
- Selling Courses
- Sponsored Post
- SEO Services
- Blog Maintenance service
- Speaking gig
As a beginner, many of the options above won’t work for you. Before anyone takes you seriously and listens to your advice as a coach, you must have track records and proof that you know your stuff too well.
Speaking gig doesn’t come to anyone in the field.
People, organizations, or businesses will invite you to speak at an event only if you’re seen as an expert in your field and someone of great value.
Someone with a lot of high-level skills, knowledge, or experience in his area of expertise. These are not something you wake up and achieve in one day. You must have been in the game long enough to have acquired the status.
So, I would advise you to start with affiliate marketing, serving contextual ads, sponsored posts, eBooks, etc.
These are blog monetization tactics within your reach and capability.
Analytics – Measuring Performance and Growth
Running an internet business is a hit-and-miss game without the tools to measure your blog progress and analyze performance, users, interaction, content, and usage.
There are many website analytics tools today; Google has the most efficient and accurate analytics software for website owners.
If you want to discover, analyze, and optimize your website traffic, you need these two tools – no two ways.
Google Analytics will tell you what’s happening on your site – both users’ interaction, location, gender,
- User Interaction
- Traffic Sources
- Time on Site
- Bounce Rate
- Average Page Speed
- Real-Time On-Site User
- Conversion Value
- And lots more
Google Search Console will show you your website search performance queries along with their corresponding pages.
So you can fine-tune, optimize, and update existing website pages with more relevant keywords.
The search console will also tell you the health status of your website’s SEO and security issues. So you can diagnose, react to, analyze, and fix on-page SEO errors that negatively impact your website growth.
If you have a Gmail account, you can connect your website to Google Analytics 4 and Google Search Console by visiting their homepage.
Here is a tutorial on how to install Google Analytics 4 code on your website. If you prefer visual step-by-step instruction, this video will show how to do it.
Connecting your website property with the Google Search Console account is here.
You’ll need to connect and verify all your website homepage URL variations.
For example, if you verify https://your website.com, you need to verify https://www.yourwebsite.com too.
But you must set the canonical URL in your search console account. The canonical URL is the preferred URL version of your website pages.
This is the URL version that Google will index and set as your primary domain URL.
To learn more about setting up your website’s canonical URL, and it’s important, read this guide on Google developer’s blog.
Summary – Should I Start Blogging?
I hope this article answers your question, “Should I start blogging?
If you have a business, starting a blog to spread the word isn’t bad. You’ll be able to reach more audiences and people than you could not reach with the traditional media channels.
Blogging has many benefits and impacts on human lives. It connects communities, colors, ethnicities, nations, governments, and institutions worldwide.
And it bridges the gap between being heard and not being heard.
If you have a blog, you can speak to hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people from the comfort of your home.
Above all, for businesses, blogging is the vehicle that connects a brand with its customers.
Start your blog today.