There are two types of blogger, those who are passionate about a given subject and feel the need for a blog as an outlet for that passion and those who like to make money. Sure, the two can and often do cross over but you can categorically place the vast majority of online bloggers into these two key publisher groups. With this article we’ll be talking about the specifics of what you need to do from the initial setup of your blog to turning it into a revenue-generating monster. It is not an easy task as let’s be honest, if it was, everyone would be doing it – but it is possible as many bloggers worldwide have proved. First things first…
Choosing A Domain Name
If you are serious about making money from your blog, your chosen domain name is of the upmost importance. People often neglect the domain but it can play a key role in generating income from the streams I will discuss below. If your blog is US-based, choose a .com, if it’s UK-based, choose a .co.uk. This might sound obvious but too many people find good .co, .net, .info domains and think because it’s a good name (before the dot) that it’s a good fit. This is wrong. When it comes to monetizing a blog what is after the dot is of equal importance. I’ll explain more about this below. You should also choose something relevant to the overall subject/niche of the blog. You may wish to opt for something unique/general or even brandable but when it comes to profit, relevancy is going to be key.
Find A Host
Finding a host for your blog should be one of the easy steps in the setup to money making process. You should avoid free hosts at all costs but you don’t need to go all out and start purchasing high end hosting packages until you have a significant amount of visitors/income that would warrant such a big investment. Any of the major hosting companies will offer an array of home user packages which will be more than enough to get your blog off the ground. You can always revisit the issue later once you have sustained some kind of growth. Just avoid free hosts and avoid using someone who is less than reputable. You can’t generate a successful reader base is your blog is offline and you certainly can’t make any money from it. You may also find packages like these which are specifically tailored to WordPress blogs. Some may argue any host will suffice but if you find someone who knows WordPress, it’d be a bonus.
Choosing A Theme (Subject/Niche) – Not Design!
This could technically go before purchasing the domain name as your domain name should be directly related to your theme, but it is also important to stay on topic once your blog is built. General / personal blogs that talk about every subject under the sun tend not to be that successful. You need to choose a given subject and stick to it. People will come back to your blog because they like your opinion on the given subject, not because they like your opinion on anything and everything. Staying on topic will also help you with the monetization methods which will follow.
The Design and Content
Time and time again would be bloggers opt to stick to the WordPress regular theme and solely concentrate on their content. Sure if your goal is to get your word out there this will probably suffice but if you’re serious about making money from your blog then the design is of upmost importance. You need a design which is clean, professional, fast loading and looks good on other devices such as mobile/tablets as opposed to desktop solely. There are so many resources out there when it comes to WordPress Themes, so having a poor design should no longer be an issue. It will also help massively when it comes to selling ad space in all the various formats that come into that.
Then comes your content. Your content should obviously be well written but it’s important that you stay on topic. Strong viewed opinions, odd-ball comments and general ranting and raving is not going to do you any favours when it comes to advertising. Decent sized, relevant on topic articles is what you’re looking for if you want to achieve success.
The easiest and most straight-forward way to make money via your blog is banner ad sales and sponsored post sales. People may frown upon the latter but when it comes to monetizing your blog it is still the most profitable avenue to go down. All of the above in terms of domain, design, topic/theme and your ability to write good content is what will contribute to your ability to make a sale or not.
When it comes to banner advertising, it’s notoriously difficult to cross selling products or services to people who are not looking for them. So if your blog is too general, you’re not going to make any money with affiliate schemes and you’re not going to get any direct advertisers wanting to advertise as your audience is too varied. If you have a blog which stays strictly on topic you can choose banners (and advertisers can choose you) that suit both your audience and the product at hand. It’s a lot easier to sell loans to someone reading a personal finance blog than it is to sell them shoes or wedding dresses.
For the sponsored post element, again relevancy is going to help you with your sales. When people are purchasing sponsored posts, they look at your domain, your design (primarily to see if you care about your blog) and your content relevancy. Hopefully you’ll address all of the above and this won’t be an issue for you.
So hopefully from this guide you have a clear idea and a bit of insight as to what direction to go down. In short it’s all about being professional (in all aspects) and staying on topic. I can’t stress how important it is to stay on topic even if you do have an opinion or feeling to express. What would happen if a big financial advertiser visited your blog looking to buy a sponsored post and the first post they viewed as you ranting and raving about something irrelevant. It wouldn’t go down well and the traffic you would receive from such a post would be so difficult to monetize that it just wouldn’t be worth the time and effort.