Best Way to Start a Profitable Blog in 2021

Starting a blog can be a steep learning curve, but it’s not that difficult. However, building a profitable blog that will make you a decent amount of money is a completely different story. If you want to learn the best way to start a profitable blog, you’re at the right place!

Best way to start a profitable blog

By following proven steps that work, you’ll be able to flatten the learning curve which will save you a lot of time and money!

Best Way to Start a Profitable Blog in 10 Easy-to-Follow Steps

  1. Find the right niche.
  2. Register a good domain name.
  3. Sign up with a hosting company.
  4. Install WordPress blogging platform.
  5. Look for a fast responsive theme.
  6. Install WordPress plugins.
  7. Design and optimize your site structure.
  8. Add high quality content to your site.
  9. Drive traffic to your blog.
  10. Monetize your blog.

If you have no experience in starting a blog, you probably have some doubts or questions. So let’s quickly cover this before we delve into the ten steps.

Why Start a blog?

Starting a blog is one of the best ways you can make money from the comfort of your own home. You’re actually not even restricted to your own home. As long as you have a stable power supply and internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world.

What attracted me to blogging is FREEDOM – I’m not tied down to a brick-and-mortar store or limited to a certain geographic area. I can work on my blog as much or as little as I want and set my own working hours. 

As a blogger you can reach a worldwide audience and make money online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, it costs very little to start a blog. For under $100 you can be in business!

Is Blogging Still Profitable?

Many people wonder if they have not missed the proverbial bus and if there’s still a slice of the pie left for them. Research shows that blogging still works.

The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is today. 

It’s estimated that Google handles more than 40,000 search queries every second. That’s over 3.5 billion searches a day and 1.2 trillion searches a year! There is always a demand for blogs that can help people find the answers to their questions.

A 2020 survey of 1,279 individual bloggers showed the general performance of blogging hasn’t changed much over the years – 1 in 4 bloggers reported strong results.

Should YOU Start a Blog?

There’s no doubt that blogging can be profitable but what’s often not emphasized enough is that it takes time and hard work.

In the 2020 survey referenced above it was found:

The average length of a blog post is 1,269 words and takes 03h55 to complete.

and

Successful bloggers publish between 2 – 6 new blog posts every week.

The above stats aren’t cast in stone. I know many successful bloggers that only publish one blog post per week. However, the more blog posts you have, the more likely it is you’ll make money from your blog.

Here is a good video from the guys at Income School. As you’ll see, there is a link between the number of blog posts and blog earnings.

If you can’t commit to publishing at least one new blog post per week it will be difficult for you to build a profitable blog.

Tip: Think of yourself as the owner of a new startup. If you treat your blog as a business and put in the required time and effort you can do well. If you treat your blog as a part-time hobby, don’t expect miracles.

Blogging is not a rich-quick scheme. As with any business, what you put in is what you get out.

10 Steps to Start a Profitable Blog

If you follow the 10 steps mentioned below, you’ll be able to build your blog on a solid and profitable foundation.

Step 1. Find the Right Niche

Your niche is the topic of your blog. It’s what you blog is all about.

There are thousands of potential niches to choose from. But if you get it wrong your blog is almost certainly doomed to fail before you’ve even started building it.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right niche.

Be Passionate About Your Niche

As mentioned in the previous section, starting a profitable blog takes time and hard work. It can take months before you earn your first dollar.

If you’re not passionate about the topic you want to blog about, you won’t feel motivated to work on it for very long. You don’t need to be an expert on your niche when you start your blog. But you have to be willing to learn everything about it and become an expert over time.

Although it’s possible to outsource much of the content creation, you still need to know and understand your niche before you can hire others. Most successful bloggers start off by writing all the content themselves. They only hire freelancers once their blog is established and already profitable.

Drill Down Until It Hurts

One of the most common mistakes made by new bloggers is they go for a niche that’s too broad. If you don’t niche down, your blog will get lost in a sea of other blogs.

Google rewards blogs that cover a topic comprehensively. This is practically impossible to achieve if your niche is too broad. For example, a pet blog is too wide. Even a dog blog is too wide. Rather focus on a specific dog breed such as Jack Russell and cover everything there is to know about the breed in as much detail as possible.

Avoid YMYL Niches

YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life. It’s specifically related to the finance niche and the health niche. Bad advice or incorrect / misleading information can have a very negative impact on the lives of others.

According to Google:

“We have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.”

YMYL blog posts normally take much longer to rank in Google compared to other niches. In addition, there are some huge authority sites that you won’t be able to outrank. For example, in the health niche you’re up against Mayo Clinic, WebMD and Healthline.

Your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) play an important role in how Google views your website or blog. It’s not impossible to do well with a YMYL niche but my advice for beginners is to choose a less competitive niche.

Choose a Profitable Niche

You can’t build a profitable blog if your niche isn’t profitable. That means your niche should be large enough to profit from, and have hungry buyers.

For example, starting a blog about the Palos Verdes Blue butterfly (the rarest butterfly in the world) probably isn’t a good idea. Even if you’re passionate about this butterfly, there aren’t enough people who share your passion.

Ubersuggest keyword research

According to keyword research tool Ubersuggest it only gets about 590 searches per month. In addition, how many blog posts can you write about this rare butterfly? I would guess not too many!

Researching keywords using Ubersuggest

By comparison, a keyword such as guinea pig is searched for about 673,000 times a month.

I’m not suggesting you pick your niche based on how many times a single keyword is searched for every month. However, it does give you an idea of the size of your niche. 

Note: It’s always a good idea to be part of your target audience. You know what content you enjoy reading, what answers you’re searching for, and if you’re prepared to spend money to get what you want.

Step 2. Register a Good Domain Name

Once you’ve decided on a niche it’s time to register a good domain name.

Here are some helpful tips.

  • The shorter the better – Try to stick to two words, or maximum three words. Long domain names look unprofessional.
  • It should be memorable – Your domain name should be easy to remember. Avoid using words that are difficult to spell or not commonly used. Funny or quirky domain names can also make your site more memorable.
  • Relevant to your niche – If your niche is guinea pigs, use a domain name such as GuineaPigs101.com and not RodentPets.com which isn’t specific enough.
  • Don’t be too specific – If you want to share your expertise on training doberman dogs a domain such as TrainingDobermans.com may sound great. But what if you want to cover other topics as well such as their food, health, toys, etc? Your domain name should allow you to expand your content while staying relevant to your niche.
  • Always use a .com – Dot com is by far the most popular and professional-looking domain name extension. Most people instinctively type .com when searching for a website. Using another domain name extension can send traffic to your competition.   
  • Avoid hyphenated domain names – Many people won’t remember your domain name is hyphenated. They will type the domain name without hyphens and end up on your competitor’s site that uses the non-hyphenated version of the domain name.

There are many domain name registrars to choose from. I personally use GoDaddy.com and Namecheap.com but in my opinion, Namecheap.com offers the best value for money.

Namecheap domain name registrar

Namecheap only charges $7.98 to register a .com which is cheaper than most other domain name registrars.

Note: Domain names must be renewed annually.

Step 3. Sign Up With a Hosting Company

A webhost allocates you space on a server where all your website’s files are stored.

You need a reliable, trusted hosting company for your website. One that offers 24/7 support and has a great uptime score – a website that’s down a lot will cost you a lot of money.

Bluehost.com is one of only three hosting companies recommended by WordPress (the #1 blogging platform in the world). It’s also the one I personally recommend for new bloggers.

Bluehost website hosting

Bluehost makes it super easy to build a WordPress blog or website. They offer 24/7 support and will give you a free domain name for the first year.

Step 4. Install WordPress Blogging Platform

WordPress is used by over 40% of all websites. It’s the #1 content management system (CMS) used by websites.

WordPress makes it easy to publish new blog posts and pages on your site.

If you use Bluehost as your hosting provider, WordPress has already been installed for you. If you’re using another website host, ask them how you can install WordPress – many will do it for you free of charge.

Note: When I mention WordPress I’m referring to the self-publishing platform WordPress.org and not WordPress.com. You can use WordPress.com to build a blog but it’s very restricted compared to WordPress.org and I don’t recommend it.

Step 5. Look for a Fast Responsive Theme

Google wants to give their users the best possible user experience – people don’t like waiting for a slow website to load. Page speed, or the loading time of a website, is a ranking factor.

Your site should be optimized to load as fast as possible, especially on mobile devices. The theme you use plays a big role in how fast your website loads.

In addition, your theme should be responsive. This means your theme should automatically adjust its layout based on the size of the screen it’s being viewed on. People should be able to view and interact with your site on desktop and mobile devices.  

The standard WordPress theme for 2021 is Twenty Twenty-One. It’s not a bad theme but if you want your website to stand out and be more unique, I suggest you look for an alternative theme.

There are many themes (free and paid) to choose from. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Astra WordPress Theme

Astra is a very popular, fast and lightweight theme. It has a free version which is very limited. Astra Pro costs $47 per year or $249 for a lifetime license.

Hestia is a great theme by ThemeIsle. It’s a SEO friendly theme that’s optimized for speed. It has a free version and a paid version (more features). The paid version costs $79 per year or $229 for a lifetime license. It’s also 100% compatible with Elementor which is my favorite page builder.

OceanWP WordPress Theme

OceanWP powers over 700,000 websites. The free version has many features you would expect from a paid theme. It also has a paid version with many additional add-on bundles that cost $39 per year or $159 for a lifetime license.

Neve WordPress Theme

Neve is another great theme by ThemeIsle. It’s fast and lightweight, optimized for speed. As with most top themes, it has a free version and a paid version. The paid version costs $68 per year or $217 for a lifetime license.

Note: xUSD uses Neve – I’m using the free version of Neve together with Elementor Pro. In my opinion, it makes more sense to spend my money on the paid version of Elementor than on the paid version of Neve.

Installing a theme in WordPress is quick and easy. Once you’ve downloaded the theme you want, go to your WordPress dashboard. In your dashboard, click on Appearance and then Themes. Next, click on Add New, then upload and activate your theme.

Step 6. Install WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins

WordPress has 58,000+ plugins to choose from with more plugins being added all the time.

A common mistake made by beginners is to install too many plugins, which can slow your site down. There should be a good reason for every plugin you install.

My must-have plugins are the following:

Elementor Website Builder

Elementor WordPress Plugin

Elementor is a drag and drop page builder. With 5+ million active installations and thousands of 5-star reviews it’s a very popular plugin. Elementor makes it easy to customize and design your blog.

The free version of elementor will take care of most of your design needs. But if you want to take it up a notch, invest in Elementor Pro. It only costs $49 a year and comes with 50+ Pro widgets and hundreds of useful templates.

Rank Math SEO

Rank Math WordPress Plugin

Making sure your blog is optimized for search engines such as Google can help your site get a lot of free traffic. I have tried many different SEO plugins over the years and I believe Rank Math is currently the best SEO plugin.

Rank Math has a free version as well as a paid version. Rank Math Pro is $59 a year but, in my opinion, the free version is more than adequate.

ShortPixel Image Optimizer

ShortPixel WordPress Plugin

One of the best ways to speed up your site is to make sure your images are compressed. Large images take longer to load and may have a negative impact on how well your posts and pages rank in Google.

ShortPixel automatically compresses your images, reducing their file size by up to 65%. I have tested many different image optimization plugins and ShortPixel gave me the best overall results. 

Note: An alternative worth considering is TinyPNG.com – It’s not a WordPress Plugin but an app that will compress your images before you upload them to WordPress.

While on the topic of images, when you upload an image to WordPress you have the option to add Alternative Text to your image. Add some text that briefly describes your image, and include a relevant keyword.

If you’re looking for free stock images, Pixabay.com, Unsplash.com, and Pexels.com are great choices.

Wordfence Security

You’ll be shocked to know how often hackers try to hack your blog. Wordfence Security helps protect your site against unauthorized access.

They notify you when your site is under attack or being targeted (which is all the time). Here is a typical email they send me:

A user with IP address 102.114.47.74 has been locked out from signing in or using the password recovery form for the following reason: Exceeded the maximum number of login failures which is: 20. The last username they tried to sign in with was: ‘admin’.

The duration of the lockout is 4 hours.

User IP: 102.114.47.74

User hostname: 102.114.47.74

User location: Triolet, Mauritius

Wordfence is free to install but they have a premium version that costs $99 per year. I think the free version is adequate for most sites. However, if you have the budget for it and want the additional features of the premium version, you can’t go wrong upgrading.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket WordPress Plugin

Every WordPress website needs a caching plugin to improve the speed of the website, and potentially SEO rankings and conversions. There are many cache plugins to choose from and WP Rocket is one of the best, if not the best.

It’s been installed on 1,500,000+ WordPress sites and only takes 3 minutes to set up. Using WP Rocket will cost you $49 per year.

Note: There are some free alternatives worth considering if you don’t have the budget for WP Rocket. They include Autoptimize, WP Fastest Cache, and WP Optimize to name just a few.

Important! Some cache plugins include image compression and aren’t compatible with ShortPixel unless you change some of their settings. The plugin owner will be able to advise you if there are any known issues.

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights WordPress Plugin

MonsterInsights is a Google Analytics plugin – you need to sign up for Google Analytics for it to work. It allows you to view statistics such as the number of visitors and pageviews your site gets straight from your WordPress dashboard. 

It has a free version which is more than adequate for a new site. If you require more detailed statistics, you can sign up for their paid plan which costs $99.50 a year. It gives you a lot of additional information such as the number of conversions from your ecommerce site.

Antispam Bee

Antispam Bee WordPress Plugin

Comment spam is a headache for most bloggers but you don’t want visitors to have to jump through hoops before leaving a comment. Antispam Bee is the answer.

It’s a free antispam plugin that combats comment spam without the need for captchas. With 600,000+ active installations and a review score of 4.80 / 5.00 it is, in my opinion, the best comment spam plugin on WordPress.

Step 7. Design and Optimize Your Site Structure

Many new bloggers start adding random posts to their blog without a clear strategy or plan of action. They don’t have clearly defined blog post categories, an internal linking strategy, or a user-friendly site structure (for search engines and visitors).

Correcting “mistakes” once you’ve already published a lot of content can be hard to achieve.

Here are some tips on how to design and optimize your site structure BEFORE you publish any content.

Plan Your Site Layout

Draw out your page / post layout on a blank piece of paper.

A typical layout looks as follows:

Header

Site Navigation

Content

Footer

However, you may wish to add some elements such as a sidebar, recent blog posts, social media icons, user comments, subscription form, etc. You may also want the layout of your homepage to look different to your blog posts and other pages.

Having a preplanned layout, such as for blog posts, will save you time and help your posts to appear uniform and consistent. It looks more professional and makes your site easier to navigate.

Note: You’ll notice that all of the blog posts on xUSD have the same format. Whenever I write a new blog post, I only need to focus on the content as I simply duplicate the layout.

Determine Your Blog Categories

One of the worst mistakes made by new bloggers is to ignore category pages. Category pages help Google to understand what your site is all about. It plays a very important role in your site structure and shouldn’t be neglected.

Blog categories

When you start a WordPress blog, you’ll have one default category named Uncategorized. You need to add relevant categories to your blog – I suggest you add between four and ten categories.

For example, let’s assume your site is about Jack Russell dogs. Your categories may include puppies, food, training, personality, traits, and old age. If you’re unsure, have a look at what categories other blog owners are using.

Add a short description to each category and when you publish a blog post choose the most relevant category for that post.

Aim to have approximately the same number of posts per category. For example, having one post in your first category and 50 posts in your second category doesn’t look right. All categories should appear relevant and equally important in covering the topic of our blog.

Have a Site Hierarchy

Sitemap

Your homepage is the most important page on your blog, followed by your category pages, and then your blog posts. Make sure your homepage and category pages can be accessed from any page on your blog.

Try not to go more than two levels deep. You should be able to access any page or post on your site with no more than two clicks. For example: homepage > category page > blog post.

Create an Internal Linking Strategy

Linking pages together makes it easy for Google to find and index new content. It also helps your site visitors find additional, related content which makes them stay on your site longer. A good internal linking structure can help you rank better in Google.

Here are some suggestions:

Homepage – Links to category pages and other important pages such as your about page and contact page. It can also link to recent posts or posts you’d like to be featured.

Category pages – Links to homepage and other category pages as well as blog posts in that category.

Blog posts – Links to homepage, category page and other relevant blog posts. 

Links to pages such as your contact page are typically included in the header or footer of your site. Not all links are equal though. Google values links in your content that have relevant and descriptive anchor text more than other links.

Anchor text refers to the clickable words in your content (text) that links to another page or post on your website or an external site. If you link from a blog post to another one rather use a descriptive word instead of ‘click here’ or a naked URL.

Use a Checklist

To make things easier to remember, have a checklist of tasks. For example, your checklist for new blog posts can remind you of things like linking to your homepage and category page.

Important: A blog doesn’t only contain blog posts. You need to include pages such as a contact page, privacy policy, and disclaimer page. You should also have an about page that shares your story and let visitors know why they should follow you.

Step 8. Add High Quality Content to Your Site

Google’s primary goal is to provide users with high-quality, relevant information. If you apply this goal when adding content to your blog, you’re off to a great start. 

Ask yourself the following: Why should Google rank your content higher in their search results than that of your competitors? What makes your content better? 

It’s about how well you cover the topic, and how relevant your content is to the search query.

Google emphasizes that bloggers should create great content. According to Google:

Write well and often. A frequently updated site encourages people to return – as long as your content remains relevant and engaging. A useful post once a week is better than low-quality content published daily.”

Here are some helpful tips:

Publish Original Content

Scraping content from other sites or regurgitating content that has been published hundreds of times before isn’t worth the effort.

Your blog post doesn’t need to be 100% unique, but should contain original information. This can be your unique take on a topic, additional information, a case study, new survey results, etc.

Publish Better Content

Have a look at what sites are ranking on the first page of Google for the topic you want to write about. Make a note of what keywords they are using (usually found in their headings), and how well they cover the topic.

You want to publish better, more comprehensive content. For example, if they mention five benefits of [topic], you want to expand on those five benefits and add additional benefits.

Note: Don’t plagiarize any content. Use it for inspiration and improve on it.

Have a Content Plan

Take time to formulate a content plan – future blog topics you would like to write about. It can be anything between 10 and 30 topics, split up into your various blog categories. Without a content plan, you have to sit and think what to write about next which wastes a lot of time.

As you write, you’ll come up with new ideas as well for future blog posts that can be added to your content plan. As a matter of interest, as I am writing this post, I have already mapped out 29 future blog posts.

Tip: Use pillar posts to outline a broad topic.

Pillar posts are typically long posts of 3,000+ words that cover the depth of a topic, but not the width. It covers a lot of ground but doesn’t go into explicit detail on everything mentioned in the post. It will link to other posts that cover certain subtopics in more detail.

Let me use this article (a pillar post) as an example. I write about finding the right niche as one of the 10 steps to start a profitable blog. However, this post is primarily about how to start a blog and not about how to find a niche.

You’re reading this post because you searched for information on how to start a profitable blog. Finding the right niche is only part of it. Perhaps you have already identified a suitable niche.

For this reason it makes sense to cover the details on how you can find your blog niche in another post. In that post I can focus on that step, and nothing else. To provide more context I will link back to this post though. This way I am comprehensively covering the topic without sharing too much information in one post about a subtopic.

Do Keyword Research

Keyword research helps you to know what people are searching for and how competitive a certain keyword is to rank for. Your focus should be to write about a topic and not a specific keyword. However, it’s good to identify relevant keywords within that topic.

There are many different keyword research tools. The top three, in my opinion, are:

– ahrefs.com

– MOZ.com

– Semrush.com 

These are premium tools. Although they have some limited free features, they aren’t cheap.

A cheaper but still effective option is Ubersuggest.

Ubersuggest keyword research tool

With Ubersuggest you can see what keywords competitors are ranking for, the search volume of keywords and their SEO difficulty score. Ubersuggest also gives you keyword suggestions, related keywords, questions, prepositions, and comparisons.

Another option is Keywords Everywhere.

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a Chrome / Firefox browser add-on for keyword research. It will show you trend data, related keywords, trending keywords, long-tail keywords, and what other people search for. For a small fee (pay-as-you-go) you’ll be able to see search volume and how difficult a keyword is to rank for.

Answer the Search Query

Try to answer the search query as soon as possible within the first couple of paragraphs and then elaborate on it afterwards. Don’t waffle on about other things first! Focus on user intent and keep your content on point. 

People don’t want to read through hundreds or thousands of words before you deliver on what was promised in your title and page description. In addition, if your post title says “5 Ways to [keyword]” make sure your post mentions five ways and not only two or three ways.

Step 9. Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Most new bloggers have unrealistic expectations on the amount of people that will visit their new blog. You are not going to rank well on Google with only a handful of posts. So don’t sit back and wait for the traffic to come pouring through the front door.

If you don’t get any traffic, it’s also possible there’s something wrong with your site. Sign up for Google’s Search Console. It’s a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor the status of your site so you can make improvements, if necessary.

In addition, you also want to sign up for Google Analytics. See how many visitors you get, what pages they visit, where they are from, and for how long they stay on your site.

Search Engine Optimization

It falls outside the scope of this article to comprehensive cover search engine optimization (SEO). However, if you’ve followed the first eight steps, your site will already be largely optimized for search engines.

If  you’ve implemented my recommendations, your site will load fast, have a SEO friendly site structure, and internal links. The Rank Math plugin will give you tips on where you may be falling short. Google’s Search Console will let you know if Google has any problems with your site.

You’ll know how to find good keywords for the topic you’re writing about. You’ll be able to write quality content that Google and your visitors will love.

In addition to the above, include your main keyword in your page or post title, and your h1 heading. You should also add it, and variations of it, together with other relevant keywords in your other headings (h2 and h3) and in the content of your page or post.

In time you’ll want to get other sites to link to your site as a vote of confidence in the quality of your content. Getting relevant links from high authority sites can give you a significant boost in the search results. However, if you’ve just started your blog, it will be hard to get these types of links. Rather spend your time on publishing good content.

I recommend you familiarize yourself with Google’s SEO Starter Guide and Webmaster Guidelines that will help you to build the type of site Google wants to see in their search results.

If you’ve just started a blog, you need to rely on other traffic sources besides Google.

Social Media Traffic

Social media traffic

Most profitable new blogs get most of their traffic from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Many of them don’t even get any traffic from Google, or only see it as an unexpected bonus.

Tip: Try to become an expert in one or two social media sites. For example, it’s better to be an expert at marketing your blog on Instagram than it is to only know a little bit about several social media platforms.

Pinterest, in particular, is very popular with new bloggers and can drive a lot of traffic to your site. Take Anastasia from AnastasiaBlogger.com as an example. Her blog gets over 300,000 pageviews per month and 90% of her traffic comes from Pinterest!

Another platform that can drive huge amounts of traffic to your site is YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google and is the second largest search engine in the world after Google. The idea of making videos may make you feel uncomfortable. But once you get used to it you’ll find it’s actually very easy and a lot of fun.

Question & Answer Sites

A great way to get free traffic is to answer questions on question & answer sites with a link to a relevant and helpful post on your blog.

There are many question and answer sites but the biggest one by far is Quora.com. According to SimilarWeb, Quora gets over 570 million visits every month!

Quora

Write helpful, detailed answers to questions and make sure you don’t come across as spammy or just trying to promote your blog. If you deliver real value, Quora can drive a lot of targeted traffic to your blog.

Tip: Quora is also a great place to get ideas for new blog posts. If there are many questions about a certain topic, and if those questions get a lot of views, consider writing a high quality blog post about it.

“The Money Is In the List”

Most successful bloggers and internet marketers will tell you the money is in the list. Most people who visit your blog will never visit it again once they leave. By capturing their email addresses you can build a list of people who are part of your target audience.

A highly targeted email list is a valuable asset to have and nurture. Imagine being able to send an email at will to 10,000 or more people inviting them to have a look at a new blog post or special offer!

Your email list is traffic you own, all other traffic is borrowed.

One of the most common regrets expressed by bloggers is that they didn’t start building an email list earlier. Sign up for an autoresponder service and start collecting email addresses as soon as possible.

ActiveCampaign autoresponder

I personally use and recommend ActiveCampaign.

I have used various autoresponders throughout the years such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit, AWeber, and GetResponse. None of them get close to ActiveCampaign who offers great features, value for money, and exceptional customer support.

Note: Never spam your list. Try to offer as much value as possible and earn the trust of the people on your list. If every email you send is a promotional email, you’ll soon end up with an unresponsive list.

Step 10. Monetize Your Blog

This step has deliberately been left for last. There’s no point trying to monetize your blog if it doesn’t get any traffic.

Make money with your blog

In a previous article I wrote about the best ways you can make money online. It included starting a blog, which I gave a 5-star rating (highest rating).

Other ways mentioned in the above article include online courses, affiliate marketing, online coaching, and dropshipping.

When it comes to monetizing your blog, the sky’s the limit!

Most new bloggers start off with Google AdSense.

Google AdSense

It’s very easy to implement. As mentioned by Google:

Add one piece of code to your site and Google will automatically show ads tailored to your site’s layout, saving you time making changes to ad code.

Google AdSense is not the most profitable way to monetize your site. However, you can make some extra money with it once you get enough visitors to your blog.

Google has a helpful revenue calculator that shows your potential earnings depending on the region your visitors are from, your niche, and number of monthly pageviews.

For example, let’s assume your visitors are all from North America and you’re in the Pets & Animals niche. According to Google, you can potentially earn $7,452 per year from Google AdSense. That’s based on 50,000 pageviews per month.

Google AdSense Revenue Calculator

A new website won’t get close to 50,000 pageviews per month so expect your earnings to be significantly less.

Note: AdSense isn’t always the right monetization method. For example, assume you’re a certified life coach and are using your blog to promote your services. AdSense may be a distraction for your visitors and can make your site look unprofessional. 

How you monetize your blog will largely depend on what type of blog you have.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Product review blog – Use affiliate programs such as Amazon’s affiliate program and other affiliate programs to monetize your blog.
  • Business blog – Promote your own products or services.
  • Coaching or consulting blog – Promote your own services. You can also create a paid membership site and sell your own online courses.
  • Niche blog – Use a combination of display ads, sponsored blog posts, digital downloads, and affiliate marketing.
  • Ecommerce blog – Attach an ecommerce store to your blog, and use your blog to send traffic to your store.

Summary

Starting a blog is one of the best ways you can make money online. It will take time and a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it. That’s if you start and build your blog the right way.

The best way to start a profitable blog is to follow the following ten steps:

Step 1. Find the right niche.

Step 2. Register a good domain name.

Step 3. Sign up with a hosting company.

Step 4. Install WordPress blogging platform.

Step 5. Look for a fast responsive theme.

Step 6. Install WordPress plugins.

Step 7. Design and optimize your site structure.

Step 8. Add high quality content to your site.

Step 9. Drive traffic to your blog.

Step 10. Monetize your blog.

Following the above steps will flatten the learning curve, and save you a lot of time and money.

Are you more comfortable now to start your own profitable blog? Let me know in the comments, and please share this post.

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xUSD founder - Casper du Toit

Hey, welcome to my blog! I’m Casper du Toit, founder and owner of xUSD.

My mission is to make personal finance easy to understand, and help you make good financial decisions.

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