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How to Launch a Blog: An Extensive but Easy Guide for Starting a Blog

Are you looking to launch a blog anytime soon?

I have a few blogs that are already launched. I learned a lot from launching each of them. I learned many mistakes and many good choices. I retained what I learned so that it could help me launch another blog in the future if I decided to create another one.

Well, the time has come. I’m launching a new blog all about cycling tips. I have a big passion for bicycles and cycling.

This led me to the idea of creating this post. I want to show you how I’ll be launching my next niche blog with the intention of marketing the blog and eventually monetizing it.

This is the ultimate guide on how to launch a blog. But I’ve aimed to make it as easy to understand as possible because launching a blog shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Let’s jump right into it!

Table of Contents:


What is a Blog, and Why Launch a Blog?

Before you even start to think about the decision to launch a blog, it’s always a good idea to learn more about what a blog is and why you would even want to start your own.


What is a blog?

A blog is a type of website that is typically consistently updated with new content.

Blogs may be run by one person, multiple people, or a company/organization. Blog topics (usually referred to as niches) cover everything from specific topics to personal journal-like entries.

Blogs mainly consist of written word in the form of articles but can also be media types as well. It is said that over 40% of websites online are blogs.


Why launch a blog?

There are many benefits to starting a blog.

For personal bloggers, it might be for enhancing their writing skills or even getting their feelings out.

For niche bloggers, some of the benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Developing authority and expertise in a niche or industry
  • Generating more traffic and views on a website
  • Developing customer relationships and gaining trust from them
  • Building an online brand and a personal brand
  • Opening new avenues and networking opportunities
  • Building online communities and developing contact lists
  • Earning a profit or blogging on a full-time basis
  • And many more benefits

A blog makes it easy to start an online business that focuses on content and media.


The costs of blogging

Blogging is a low-cost online business startup.

The software that most bloggers use is free. There are many great themes and plugins to enhance the blog, which are also free.

Starting out, hosting a domain name will cost around $150-$200 a year. As your blog grows, you’ll have to get better hosting solutions, which will cost more.

There are numerous tools and services that can help you as a blogger that have different costs, but most are very affordable and completely optional.

Blogging truly is a low-cost solution for starting an online business.


Step 1 – You Must Choose Your Blog Niche

This is typically the most important step before you launch a blog. Many new bloggers make a significant mistake when trying to choose their perfect niche. In this section, we’ll go over the ways that you can do this without making dire mistakes.


What are your biggest passions, hobbies, and interests in life?

Most new bloggers fail because they choose a niche based on trends and popularity. But they fail because they’re new to the niche they choose.

The problem with choosing a niche that you know nothing about is that you’ll be up against an already established pool of competition that knows a lot about the niche. It’ll be a constant struggle to try to keep up with the competition.

So, how do you not make that mistake and not fail when you launch a blog?

Easy – you choose a niche based on your biggest passions, interests, and hobbies in life.

I have a few blogs. I have one on hiking. I’m an avid hiker, and for the past 6 years, I’ve never missed a hiking trip during the weekends. I have a blog about cycling. I’ve been road biking, mountain biking, and trail biking for nearly 13 years. And I have this blog, which focuses on blogging. I’ve been blogging for around 25 years and am in love with it.

You have to choose a blog niche that reflects your passions. All the ones I have chosen are things I love to do and have enjoyed doing for a long time.

When you blog about your passion, it’s easy to continuously write about it and research it because you love everything about it. You can’t get that same benefit on a topic you know nothing about.

Write down a list of your passions to start the effort of deciding what your blog niche will be focusing on.


Develop your niche authority

Now, you need to research ways you can develop your niche authority by choosing to blog about your passions in life.

There are different avenues where you can develop your authority. You can use social media to do it. You can use sites like Quora and Reddit. You can guest blog on other blogs or write articles on other article sites like Medium. You can join online communities and comment on other blogs. The ways to get your name out are really endless.

I started out using YouTube to get my hiking authority going. I still use YouTube. However, I am also a public speaker, guest contributor, and writer, and I commonly surf social media groups and communities to answer questions about hiking and outdoor recreation.

With your list of passions, you’ll want to choose one where you can easily use the internet to build your authority within the niche.

The reason for building authority in your niche is to earn the trust of more potential readers and to create a following.


Find your niche communities

If a community for your niche doesn’t exist, choosing that as your niche may be problematic.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming you’ve found an untapped niche if you can’t find a community for it online. That will just mean you’ll be writing for very few people, and it would be a lot of work to get a community started.

You want a bigger community with other bloggers focusing on your passion. That means that there will be actual readers to retain, and you won’t be fighting the battle of trying to search high and low for new readers.

Look for communities on social media, online forums, question sites, newsletters, and anywhere else you can think of. Make sure you do some research on search engines, too. You want to make sure there is an abundance of content available.

Choose a passion from your list that has a well-established online community that goes with it.


Can you sell to your niche?

The last procedure you want to consider when choosing your niche is ensuring you can sell to your niche, meaning you can make money with your blog.

Now, you might be the type of blogger who isn’t interested in making money. That’s fine, but eventually, as your blog grows, so will be expensive to keep it available. You should at least have a goal of making enough money for the blog to pay for itself.

I pay around $200 a month for my hosting because of how much my blogs have grown. But I make enough money to cover all my blogging costs and put profit into my pockets.

But it’s important to understand that not all niches can be monetized as easily as others.

You have to look at traditional and creative ways to earn money with your blogging niche.

For my hiking blog, I earn money from Patreon memberships, guided hiking services, freelance outdoor writing, public speaking, advertising, social media bonuses, and selling physical products. For my blogging blog, I focus on membership and advertising revenue earners.

If you’ve found a niche that you’re passionate about, it has a community you can continue to build authority in, and you can monetize – then that is the niche you should launch a blog in.


Step 2 – Choose a Blog Name, Domain, and Hosting

After you determine your niche, it’s time to decide what you will call your blog. Then, you can move on to finding a good domain name and purchasing hosting for your upcoming blog.


How to choose a good blog name?

The name you choose for your blog is an important step before you launch a blog.

You need to make sure you choose the right name. It’s difficult to change the name of your blog after it has already been established. Rebranding is not as easy as it might appear to be.

You should choose a blog name that makes sense, is brandable, and is easy to remember by others.

My three blog names are:

  1. Hiking with Shawn
  2. Shawn Gossman
  3. Beginner Cycling Tips

Each of my blog names above has titles that make sense. They can each be brandable and seen widely among the areas I market the blogs. The best part is that most of them are easy to remember once I have been able to build a brand around them.

If you choose a blog name that isn’t descriptive of your niche or is hard to remember, you’re going to have problems.

I use my real name for my blogging blog, and that’s what I want my name to be known for. Using your real name is a good solution for coming up with a blog name if you’ve run out of ideas.


How to choose the best blog domain name?

In part of choosing a blog name, you need to make sure you can get a matching domain name.

I recommend getting a domain name that hasn’t been registered yet. You can get them for a fairly low cost. DreamHost sells them for under $10.00 a year. If you use that link, I’ll earn a commission, but it does not impact your price. There are other great domain registrars to choose from, including Name Cheap, which is a popular service.

Your blog name and domain name should match. If they don’t, you might want to reconsider what your blog name is and change it until there is an exact match. It is going to be easier to brand.

Sometimes, you have to buy a premium domain name to get a blog name brand match. Premium domains can cost anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars, and that doesn’t include the yearly registration fee, which is typically under $20 a year.

I do recommend staying away from typos, hyphens, and numbers in your domain name unless it is a part of your blog name and brand.

A .com domain name is typically the best to get. This is because it is easier to remember. Everyone has used .com domain names for so long that we instinctually assume all websites are using the .com extension. There are other extensions to choose from or top-level domains, including .org, .net, and even .blog. While you can choose to use those, just keep in mind that the .com is the most familiar one.


How to choose the best blog hosting?

The next step is getting a good, reliable hosting service for your blog.

At first, all you need is a shared hosting plan. These are typically cheap on most of the best hosting services out there. You can use DreamHost for this. I’ll earn a commission if you use that link, but it doesn’t impact your price. You can get very basic shared hosting for under $5.00 a month. You can get WordPress-specific hosting for less than $20.00 a month. There are other great hosting services out there, including GoDaddy, Blue Host, and Liquid Web.

There are multiple types of hosting to choose from.

Shared hosting is the cheapest. It is where many users are hosting from the same server. It’s a great choice for when you first launch a blog because you won’t require that many resources at first. But eventually, you’ll need to upgrade because your blog will get too big for a shared hosting plan.

I use a Virtual Private Server (VPS), which is a severe that fewer people are using. It can handle a lot more blog traffic and resource use. You can also upgrade it to different levels as you grow. I pay around $200.00 a month because of the amount I’ve grown. I also use a secondary VPS for MySQL, which is a database that powers WordPress blogs.

Lastly, there are dedicated servers (some use cloud server technology), which means the server is completely dedicated to your websites only. Once your blog grows to a phenomenal level, you might need to upgrade to a dedicated machine, but most bloggers don’t have to do that.

In most cases, a hosting service will maintain the physical management and operation of VPS and dedicated servers. Still, some unmanaged plans will require you to make commands remotely to make changes and add things to the server. If you’re not server-savvy, it’s best to choose managed plans so you don’t have to bother with the technical stuff.

Hosting sounds intimidating, but most hosting services have excellent support staff who will make sure you accomplish what you want to do, and that’s typically free and a part of the service.


Step 3 – Choosing the Best Blogging Platform

There are many ways to have a blog. This is because there are many platforms available. But if you go with one platform, you might be stuck with that platform forever. It’s important to choose the best platform before you launch a blog.


WordPress versus other platforms

Over 43% of the internet websites are powered by WordPress.

WordPress has been around for many years. It is highly trusted and used by many entities, including government, education, and businesses. It is highly customizable, and there are many free and paid services you can use to extend it.

The best part about WordPress is the price of using the software – it’s free. Yes, you read that right. It’s free and open source. You don’t pay for the software at all. You download it and add it to your web hosting service. And then you do with it what you want, even if it’s commercial in nature. It’s still free.

There are alternatives to WordPress. You can download and use other content management and blogging software platforms, including Drupal and Joomla.

You can also go with a hosted solution. Some of the more popular ones are Wix, Blogger, and Tumblr. Medium and LinkedIn are also widely used for blogging but don’t always offer many domain name branding options. Some of the hosted solutions are paid, but most of them have generous free plans.

If you decide to use a hosted blog platform like Blogger or Medium, you’re stuck with that platform. If you ever want to move your blog or that platform closes down, you’re at the mercy of their service and will likely lose your content and have to start over.

If you use a self-hosted software platform like WordPress or Drupal, you get access to the database and files. This means you can move it anywhere, which allows you to migrate to the service. You own the content and database.

I recommend that you use WordPress. As I said before, more than 43% of websites online are WordPress. It’s really the best solution, and it doesn’t cost you anything.

It is important to note that there are two different types of WordPress blogging platforms.

There is the option, which has a free hosting plan. You can eventually migrate to a self-hosted option if you want to at some point. You cannot earn money with a free plan, and it might be ad-supported. You can upgrade to a paid plan to get more features and the ability to make money.

Then there is, which is the free self-hosted software. This is the platform I recommend. This is the best WordPress you can go with because you get total control without having to migrate or upgrade to a paid plan. You just have to provide the domain name and hosting service which does cost money most of the time.

If you make the wrong choice and then launch your blog, you might have to start from scratch if you want to use something else. So, be careful what you choose and make sure it is the right one before your launch.


Installing and setting up WordPress

Installing and setting up WordPress software is simple for the most part.

If you use DreamHost (affiliate link) or other hosting services that I’ve mentioned above, there are options available to perform one-click installations of WordPress to your domain name and hosting account. This makes it so easy that anyone can install WordPress.

Otherwise, you can do it manually.

To do it manually, you should follow these steps:

  1. Get the domain name you want for the blog
  2. Get the hosting service you want for the blog
  3. Create a MySQL database using your hosting service
  4. Download software and extract the directory
  5. Using an SFTP (I use FlashFXP), upload the extracted directory to your hosting service in the root directory of your domain name
  6. After the upload is complete, go to your blog’s website on your preferred browser
  7. This will start the installation process. Follow the directions to complete the process.
  8. After you install WordPress, you can then enjoy the blog.

You’ll want to name your blog and add a tagline in the settings area of your Admin Dashboard. I also recommend changing your permalink structure to use page names. This will help you with SEO, which we will cover later on in this guide.

Go through the Settings categories and make changes as you see fit but for the most part, I’ll typically leave the settings as is.

After this, congratulate yourself because the hardest part of using WordPress is over, and it wasn’t even that hard to begin with. Now, you can move on to continue to launch your blog.


WordPress themes and plugins

Now that you’ve installed your WordPress blog, it’s time to customize and extend it. This is done by using themes and plugins.

There are many different themes and plugins. Some cost money, but the majority are free with paid upgrades.

Themes change the look and feel of your blog. It’s a good idea to change the default theme. The default theme is typically plain and too default. Changing the theme allows you to better brand your blog and make it your own. Premium or paid themes typically have more features than free themes, but that isn’t to say a free theme isn’t a good choice. You can search for and install free themes in a matter of a couple of clicks from your Themes page on the Dashboard.

I recommend using the DIVI theme from Elegant Themes. I use this theme for all my blogs. It allows me to easily customize the blog using different colors and layouts. It’s not just a theme; it’s a theme framework. If you use my link, I’ll earn a commission, but it will not impact your price.

Plugins are modifications that extend the features of your blog. There is practically a plugin for every type of feature you could imagine. There are many free plugins. There are also many free plugins with paid upgrade options, as well as premium plugins that require an initial purchase to use.

At first, you might be tempted to use a lot of plugins, but you should try to keep it to a minimum. Too many plugins can create security issues, cause features to clash and break your blog, and slow your blog down dramatically, which has a very negative impact on search engine ranking.

Out of all the plugins out there, I do recommend a few of them.

I recommend Yoast for SEO. The free version is nice, but the paid version is worth the upgrade. Jetpack offers a variety of free and paid features that will help make your blog better. WP-Rocket is a paid plugin that is the best I’ve found for speeding up your blog and dealing with cache. If you use the DIVI theme, I recommend installing Bloom and Monarch for social media sharing and newsletter use. Akismet (typically default with the blog) is great for combatting spam.

I do recommend only using plugins that have been tested for your version of WordPress. To install free plugins, you can search for and add them from the Plugins page on your Dashboard.


Choose a logo and favicon

The final touch of getting your WordPress ready is adding a logo and favicon to your blog.

A logo is typically the main image at the top of your blog that shows the title and brand name of your website. The logo for this blog is at the top and shows “Shawn Gossman” on it, for example. A logo typically shows on every page. You should be able to upload your logo to the Media page of your Dashboard and add it through your theme options.

A favicon is the little icon that shows in your browser tab next to the address bar. It’s a good way for people to identify your brand through their open tabs. It’s not extremely important to add one, but most blogs do have their own custom favicon icon. Most favicons mimic the logo of the blog.

After you add your logo and favicon, you’re ready to start adding pages and more to get ready to launch your blog.


Step 4 – Setting Up Your Blog Pages and Categories

The pages and categories on your blog are core areas that will be seen the most by your readers. There are different pages that most blogs should have and categories for the blog.


About and contact pages

You definitely want to create an About page and a contact page for your blog.

Your About page is more than just a few statements about you and your blog. It’s a page you want to be the best it can be if you want to get more readers and potentially more customers. You need to focus on a few different areas to include on your About page, including:

  • Telling your readers what you offer on your blog (your value proposition)
  • Telling your readers a little bit about you and your experience in the niche
  • Telling stories and making statements that your readers can connect to

You don’t want to make your About page all about you. It’s good to introduce yourself, but doing so in a way that is geared at helping your audience answer their questions and solve their problems.

A contact page is also important. But you need to add more than just a simple form for contacting you. If you have a physical or mailing address you want to share, add it to your contact page. If you have a public phone number, add it to the page. Add any messengers and social media pages you have for your blog onto your contact page.

Both your about and contact pages should be very detailed for your audience’s consumption.


Homepage, blog, and content pages

The homepage, blog, and content pages are other important pages you may wish to consider for your blog.

The homepage and the blog page may or may not be the same page. On this blog, they are separate. The homepage shows a brief statement about me and my blog, a few of the latest blog posts, and any CTAs (Call-to-Actions) that I wish to share. My homepage acts as a portal.

My blog page is where all my posts reside. I have a small statement describing the page, a search area to look for specific content, and a grid-styled section showing each recent blog post from the latest to the oldest. I also have the ability for readers to go to other pages with older posts on them.

Sometimes, the blog page will be set as the homepage. It really depends on the preferences you want the homepage to be before you launch a blog.

Content pages are additional pages you might add with specific content on them. An example of this kind of page is a Start Page, where readers can go to see a curation of ordered content to read on the blog. These pages are typically made after the blog has been established.

These conclude the main pages you should add to your blog but there still are a few more to consider.


Policy pages

You should also add extra pages that have to do with policies on your blog. These pages are meant to inform your readers and help protect you from liability.

A Privacy Policy explains to readers what information you collect from their visit and how you use the information. Every blog should have a privacy policy. WordPress has a feature built in that helps you create a privacy policy. I recommend using it.

A Terms of Use explains to your readers how they should use your blog and what rights you have as the blog owner. This policy is usually quite extensive.

A disclaimer explains how you might use your content to make money, use affiliate links, and explain to the reader that content is provided as information only and that you’re not liable for certain things. It’s a good idea to have this policy or at least mix it with a Terms of Use policy.

You might come up with other policies that you determine through research or your own needs. You might even consider legal assistance when creating policies for your blog.

Just make sure that whatever policy you add, you abide by it and enforce it.


Categories and sub-categories

Many bloggers want to add as many categories as they can when they launch a blog.

But the truth is, you should only add a few. Treat your top-level categories as your cornerstone content categories. These are the topics that you’ll write about the most. These are the content pillars of your blog. It’s what makes your blog an authority on a subject.

My cornerstone content on this blog is blogging. On my hiking blog, it’s topics about the Shawnee National Forest. On my cycling blog, it’s beginner cycling topics.

As for sub-categories or child categories, make a few of them to provide more specific topics attached to your cornerstone content topics.

If you have a food blog and you focus on blogging about hand-scooped ice cream platters specifically, then one of your cornerstone topics might be “Hand-scooped ice cream.” That would be an example of one of your categories. But under it, as a sub-category, you might have “On Pies,” which shows content about hand-scooped ice cream recipes on baked pies. This is an example of good category and sub-category usage.

But try to limit the number of categories you use. It will help you stay organized and won’t be so overwhelming.


Step 5 – Developing Your Blog Content Strategy

Having a good blog content strategy is important before you launch a blog. It will help you ensure that your content gets read by your target audience.


What is cornerstone content?

You’ve already seen me talk about cornerstone content, but I really didn’t explain it the best that I could. So, now I will do that in this section.

Cornerstone content is the main specific topics that you will cover within your niche.

On my hiking blog, my main cornerstone content categories are “Shawnee National Forest” and “Southern Illinois State Parks.” I try to keep a majority of my content associated with those two main topics. I might discuss hiking, cycling, camping, and other outdoor activities within the Shawnee or Southern Illinois Parks, but that keeps my main cornerstone topics covered.

It’s ideal to have specific topics for your cornerstone content.

This will keep your blog aligned and on a specific target. It can also help you be seen as an expert or an authority within a certain sector of your niche. Being seen as the authority or expert will help you get a much wider audience.

Try not to stray away or pivot from your main cornerstone content if you can help it; otherwise, you’ll have to start from bare bones scratch.

It’s best to choose cornerstone content like you did with your niche, something you’re extremely passionate about.


Posting regularly and consistently

Posting regularly and consistently are two important factors to understand before you launch a blog.

You might be asking yourself how often you should be posting.

It’s not so much about how often as it is about how consistently you post.

Consistent blog posting is when you keep to a posting schedule. This allows your audience to understand when new content will be available on your blog. It also helps with search engine ranking. It’s an important objective that every blogger should have.

As for how many times to post a month, week, or day – that is really up to you and how often you’re able to post.

I write big blog posts (like this one). They take me about a week to write. So, I publish once a week. I find it best for me and my goals. I’m okay with slower growth by putting out highly informative and highly competitive blog posts.

But you might have a different goal than me.

You might want to get more attention at a faster rate. That means you’ll need to post more frequently than I do. You’ll want to post a few times a week. The faster you want to become known, the more content you need to publish. You might need to post every day or even a few times a day to get known extremely fast.

But then comes the question of being able to post that much content. Many of us are writers and love writing, but many (including myself) aren’t capable of posting several times a day.

Choose your best pace for posting, and just make sure you stay on schedule for the best results.


Types of blog content

There are many different types of blogging content to write about. It’s always a good idea to use many different types on your blog. Test and analyze to see which type of content does the best.

  1. Evergreen content is content that always stays fresh. This is content that can be consumed year after year and doesn’t “expire.” This is often said to be one of the best types of content to publish on your blog.
  2. Tropical content is trending content and often short-lived. A lot of news content is tropical because it can be a vital source of information for a specific amount of time, and then it expires and is no longer useful.
  3. Curated content is when you take other previously posted articles and resources and create a post with them in a category of pre-defined resources to make it easier to consume. This is often a good way to make cornerstone content pages on your blog.
  4. Visual content is content that is typically not created with standard text-based forms. It is usually created with a video or a set of photos. Most often, visual content can be found on vlogs (video blogging) and photography blogs.
  5. Interactive content is content where readers can perform actions on the content. It is meant to engage and interact with the reader.

You might find one type of content to be the best on your blog or multiple types of content. Every blog and every blogger is different. Your blog audience might prefer one over the other, too. It’s always a good idea to write for your audience first.


Editing and format

Try to spend as much time editing your blog as you did writing it.

You want to make sure your spelling and grammar are as good as you can make it. It’s never going to be perfect, and that’s fine. But if you commonly misspell things or use bad grammar, your audience will start to notice it.

Sometimes, spending so much time on editing can be overwhelming.

In that case, I suggest getting some help through means of online tools that use Artificial Intelligence.  I use and live by Grammarly. It turns a several-hour editing session into an editing time of under 20 minutes. I don’t recommend accepting every Grammarly edit recommendation, but for the most part, it’s a very good service to use.

I’ve used Grammarly and promoted it so much that they made me an ambassador of the product.

You should also be formatting your blog posts, too.

I’m talking about sentence structure, paragraphs, and stuff like that. Do you ever consider these things before you launch a blog?

The majority of your viewers will be using a mobile device. You need to format for them the most. If your blog looks good on a mobile device, it’ll look good on everything else, too.

Format smaller sentences and shorter paragraphs. Use high-quality, visually appealing images that are small in size and load up quickly. Use white space, bullet points, and columns to make things easier to read.

Most of us will scan content and not read everything – it’s how the modern world is these days. It’s important to make it easy to do that, or readers will go somewhere else that is doing it.

Get into the habit of formatting and editing your blog posts, and thank me for it later.


Hooks and clickbait

You want to create content in a way that grabs the attention of your readers. This will ensure that your content gets viewed.

You can do this with two methods. Hooks and clickbait. One method is good, and the other is bad. In reality, you should never use one of them.

A content hook is a lot like a fishing hook. It’s meant to catch the audience. You’re fishing for an audience. A hook is a title or header (and even content and CTAs) that catches the attention of your ideal readers and makes them want to keep reading.

You create hooks using powerful and emotionally triggered words and phrases.

An example of trigger word is “Free” and “Easy” because these words will give something to the reader. Everyone likes free stuff. Everyone likes easy steps. These words will catch the eyes of your readers and emotionally invest them into consuming the content.

You should definitely use hooks in your headers and content. But you should not use clickbait.

Clickbait is using emotionally triggered titles, headers, images, and content. It sounds like a hook, right? But it’s a little more sinister than that. I say sinister because, most of the time, the hook leads to a lie. The title will promise something big but never deliver it or deliver a result that is so broad that anything could be linked to it.

Clickbait is wrong on so many levels. And it will make people lose faith and trust in you and your blog.

If you promise something with your content, you better deliver it. It’s okay to put shock and awe in your header to get people to read your content as long as you deliver what is promised. But if you don’t and you just clickbait them, don’t pout when they abandon you and your blog.

People don’t like to be lied to.


Step 6 – Blogging Strategies to Master

Over the few decades that I’ve been blogging, I’ve come to use strategies that have provided grand results. I want to share these strategies with you so that you can be successful without having to struggle for twenty years.


Page 1 competitor gap blogging strategy

The page 1 competitor gap strategy is a must if you want to get your blog posts on page 1 of Google and other search engines.

This strategy is easy and hard at the same time. To do it, you must:

  1. Determine your keyword through research. I suggest using a keyword research tool like SEM Rush, Ahrefs, or Uber Suggest.
  2. Search for your keyword on Google (or other search engine you target)
  3. Open up a new tab for each organic listing on page 1. Ignore sponsored listings.
  4. Study each website in each of the tabs you opened up. Take note of what title they used, the header sections in the article, and how they formatted the post.
  5. Compare how each wrote their page. Create an outline with the topics. Merge anything; they both covered the same as the other.
  6. Create a similar post covering the same topics they wrote about, but make sure it’s in your own words. Don’t be a copycat. Use your voice and the way you would write it.
  7. Then, add sections of information where the gap is. These are topics that were not covered. This is how you make your article just as good and then better by covering topics they left out.
  8. To sum it up, Research, find, note, write, and exploit.

Do this strategy enough, and you’ll start finding your content on page 1 of search engines quicker than you expect.

As I said, it’s an easy strategy to get the hang of, but it is hard because you have to do a lot of writing and research.


Three-year/three-phase blogging plan strategy

This is a strategy that I recommend every blogger do. This is how I get my blogs going each time I start a new blog.

This strategy gives your blog a three-year plan following three phases. The phases are Content, Marketing, and Profit. After year three, you should be on your way to accumulating profit with your blog.

If you need to, you can break this down into nine months focusing three months on each phase. But you’ll need to put in a lot of work. You’ll essentially need to be a daily blogger; otherwise, I suggest following the three-year strategy instead.

This is how the three-year, three-phase strategy works:

  1. Year 1: Focus entirely on content. After you launch a blog, focus entirely on creating new content. Focus on creating the best content that you thoroughly edit. Don’t worry about views. Worry about getting a lot of content out. This phase is all about making a name for yourself and your blog through content distribution. At this point, you should consider also launching a newsletter and making new content for it on a weekly/monthly basis.
  2. Year 2: While continuing to keep creating fresh content, start shifting your focus on marketing yourself and your blog. Establish communities on social media channels, comment on other blogs, contribute guest articles on other blogs, answer questions on Quora, start writing on Medium, and pay for advertising if you can afford it. This is the phase where you get a following.
  3. Year 3: Now you’re creating fresh content consistently and marketing yourself. Now you have to add selling and making money. Create a sell a product, sell ads, sell sponsored content, and do whatever you want to do to make money with your blog. Your goal should be profit – money in your pocket after all your expenses are paid up. You might also have the goal to become a full-time blogger at this point, and that’s a good goal to have.

Follow this strategy for the next three years, and you’ll see blogging turn into a very successful gig for you.

But it takes time and commitment. Nothing happens overnight.


Write first-publish later blogging strategy.

This is another blogging strategy that is worth adopting before you launch a blog, to be honest.

Create first, publish later.

This strategy is simple. Start writing content for your blog. But when you’re finished, don’t publish it.

How often do you want to post?

If you want to post once a week – write about 26 articles before you publish them. If you want to post twice a week – get 52 posts written before you publish them. If you want to post every day, try getting 3 to 6 months’ worth of content created before you post anything.

Why – you might ask? Several reasons.

  1. This will let you know if you’re going to enjoy writing. You must enjoy writing to be a successful blogger. This is a great way to figure it out without becoming too invested in it.
  2. This will help you determine how often you’ll be able to create new content. Not only should you write, but you should also edit your content and try to make each post better than the last one you wrote. And keep track of how long it takes you.
  3. You’ll have a bunch of content to schedule ahead of time so that when you launch a blog, you’ll be way ahead of the game. The more content you write, the more ahead of schedule you can be.

The idea of this strategy is not only to get ahead but it’s to determine your ability to write and be consistent about publishing content on your blog.


Using copywriting skills to enhance your blog

Storytelling and copywriting are going to be two strategies that you should be willing to master.

Everyone loves a good story. You might not be good at telling stories right now, but it should be your goal to get good at it. When you are able to tell a story, you can capture the attention of your audience and keep them hooked with what you have to say.

Try to treat your blog like a best-selling novel. Every post you make is a page of the novel that needs to grip your readers and make them want to finish the book. This needs to be one of your main objectives when creating content.

You need to be a good storyteller. Sometimes, the best way to become a good storyteller is to read good stories. I don’t have time to read. So, I listen to good stories in the form of podcasts. One of my favorite podcasts is called “The Moth,” and it always has awesome stories that can help you become a good storyteller.

Copywriting is also a good skill to master as a blogger. This is when you add content that persuades readers to act on something. I told you before to have a Call-to-Action on every post. You can use copywriting to help get actions done on your posts.

Some of my favorite copywriting strategies include P.A.S. and A.I.D.A. I use them on a lot of my blog content. I suggest you master and use them, too. There are even more copywriting formulas that you should take into consideration.

Focus on making your words draw attention from your readers, and always be willing to try something new.


Step 7 – Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

If you want to stay ahead of schedule, you have to plan ahead of schedule. Aside from writing ahead of schedule, you can do this with ease by creating an editorial calendar for your blog.


How to generate new blogging ideas

The first step of a blog editorial calendar is gaining new ideas to write about.

This is where focusing on a niche and creating cornerstone content topics will help you out.

It’s because you’ll have a starting point of what you’ll be writing about. You can research the overall niche for new ideas. You can also research the cornerstone content topics for new ideas. But if you have no content focus, getting new ideas is going to be a big challenge.

But if you have a niche, then prepare yourself for a very easy road ahead of you.

The first way to get ideas is to conduct keyword research for your niche. This will give you ideas to write about based on the content that people are actually searching for on Google and other search engines. This is probably the most used concept for generating new ideas for blogging.

Another great way to get ideas is to search for keywords based on your niche on Google Search. Then, in the section that says, “People also ask,” you can use the questions being asked to create new content on your blog. Each time you expand a question, more questions appear. If you write blog posts based on these questions, you might even get linked to them in the process.

You should also do social and community listening to generate new blog post ideas. This is where you find and go to where your blog audience is. This may be social media or online communities. Then, you monitor them closely and see what type of questions they’re asking in relation to the niche. If you write answers to these questions, you’ll definitely earn some following with your content.

There are endless methods of gaining new blog post ideas, but you need to be focusing on a topic first.


Get ahead of your blog schedule.

Create a calendar for your blog and start creating content in an effort to be ahead of schedule.

The best way to create the calendar is with a spreadsheet feature. I use Google Sheets because it’s free and easy to use. I create a sheet with the title of the upcoming blog post, the keyword that I’m targeting, and the date that I want to have it published.

My motto is to keep it simple so you can get it done sooner.

After you fill your calendar up with content creation projects, it’s time to start doing them. Try to focus on knocking them out as much as possible. If you want to, you can add a secondary date column with the due date for writing the article. That might help motivate you to get the job done quicker.

Try to add a new title to the calendar every time you write a post and complete an entry. You want to keep the calendar as full as possible.

Keeping a content calendar updated will also help you retain new ideas and prevent writer’s block because you’ll have topics to write about.


Make a blog to-do list

Sometimes, you need a reminder to get the blogging job done, and that’s where to-do lists come into play.

I use a service called Todoist. It’s free but has an even better-paid option. I recommend it. You schedule to-do items and then set reminders to send to your phone. You can even assign other people to get them and prioritize the items you add.

Whatever you use, the idea of a to-do list is to help you stay organized.

It can also help you keep going for a goal. Let’s say you have a goal of posting three times a week, but you’re only posting once a week right now. You can set a to-do list reminder to remind you to up your posting to twice a week by a set date. Then you can set more to ask you to up it to three times a week.

A to-do list and reminder feature really help with blog organization and structure.


Step 8 – Getting Consistent Readers for Your Blog

The ideal readers that you want on your blog are readers who consistently return to read new content you publish. Once you start to create elegant content, this will become a very easy objective to achieve.


Understanding your blog reader’s avatar

Don’t mix up the term Avatar with photos that we usually add to our profiles to represent ourselves.

I’m talking about a customer avatar.

A customer avatar is also called a buying persona. It is an alignment of who you see as your direct customer. Even if your blog content is free, you still have readers who will consume it. These are your customers, even if you’re not making money at the moment. Your customer avatar will describe exactly what and who your customer is.

The avatar measures various things about your ideal customer, including demographics (details), psychographics (emotions), goals (buying objectives), behavior (consumption and buying), communication (preferences), pain points (questions and problems), and personal information (public domain).

The information you collect can help you build an avatar of your ideal customers and know exactly who they are.

Then, you can cater to them specifically and write content based on their exact needs.


Adding value and being original to your blog

The best way to get and retain viewers is to make their lives better after they read your blog content.

Before you launch a blog, make sure you understand what value is and why it’s important for your blog. You need to only create valuable content. Every time you post something on your blog, a reader needs to be able to get something out of reading it. They need to be able to take something with them.

We call this valuable content.

Valuable content should change someone’s life. It should give them new knowledge. It should save them money. It should improve their life. The better you can do these things, the more valuable your content will be to your niche.

You need to focus on blog posts that solve the biggest problems in your niche.

You need to focus on blog posts that answer the toughest questions in your niche.

You need to make sure that these problem solvers and answers are easy for readers to consume and perform in order to make their lives better around the topic you have solved or answered for them.

Always aim to make your next blog post more valuable than the last one.


Being yourself and personal on your blog

Another way to keep readers visiting your blog is to get them to fall in love with you.

In many ways, when you launch a blog, and people start finding your posts, they’re going to get hooked to your blog just because they want to see what you have to say.

In retrospect, people are going to visit your blog to see you. They’re going to care more about you than the content you post.

Of course, make sure you keep posting the best content. That’s how you win people over, but for the most part, readers are going to come back so they can see you. And that’s a good thing to happen to you and your blog.

How can you get readers to fall in love with you, though?

You can accomplish this by being yourself and by getting personal on your blog.

By being yourself, I mean what it reads. Don’t pretend to be someone else. Don’t fake it until you make it. Be you! Be the real you! Don’t act like someone else. You get me when you read my blog posts. You get Shawn Gossman. I want to be known for being me and not someone else. So, I don’t act like someone else. I act like me, and it’s how I act everywhere.

And you need to get personal, too.

Don’t write blog posts as if you’re talking to a crowd. Write them as if you’re talking to someone on a one-to-one basis. Use words like “you” and “me”. Make people feel like it’s just you and them sitting in a room and talking to one another.

Be yourself, be personal, and you’ll have no problems getting loyal readers who want to see you again and again.


Being honest and transparent with your blog

Along with being yourself and personal, you need to be honest and transparent with your audience, too.

The last thing you want is to be caught in a lie. Some “experts” will say you should fake it until you make it. The issue with that is when you get caught, you’ll never make it because you’ll be labeled as a liar. Once you’re a liar, it’s hard to overcome that mark. This is especially true if you use your real name in your branding.

Instead of faking it until you make it, why not just give what you can until you can give more away?

Don’t make stuff. Don’t lie. No one likes a liar. You don’t need to be a liar to succeed. Lying doesn’t get you anywhere quicker. Are you getting what I’m saying to you? DON’T LIE!

You also need to be transparent about things.

When I have an affiliate link in my content, I’m transparent about it. When I promote Grammarly, I make sure people know I’m an official Grammarly ambassador. If I’m posting content that another company has made to be published, I’m transparent about it being sponsored content.

You have to be transparent about everything, or you’ll be labeled a liar, and it will ruin you.


Step 9 – Promoting Your New Blog

You have to promote your blog after you launch a blog in order to get more eyes on it. But there are definitely good ways to promote your blog and bad ways.


Blog SEO and keyword research

One of the best ways to promote your blog is through SEO and keyword research, and I’m going to teach you how to do both.

First, you need to learn and master keyword research. Keyword research is when you find a target keyword to assign to your blog post after you’ve learned everything there is about it. Each article should have its own unique keyword. You can’t just use any keyword because some are too competitive or too weak than others.

Your first step is to determine what topics you want to blog about. Then, you’re going to use a keyword research tool to research keywords associated with that topic.

The best tools are expensive. They are SEM Rush and Ahrefs. There are good tools that are less expensive and worth getting if you can’t afford the big ones – Keywords Everywhere and Uber Suggest are good ones. You could also use Google Search Console and Google Trends if you don’t want to pay anything at all, but you might need to put more research into it.

When researching your keyword, you want to look at a couple of important metrics, including:

  • Search Volume: The average number of monthly searches for a keyword. Higher search volume keywords are generally more competitive.
  • Keyword Difficulty: An estimate of how difficult it is to rank for a keyword. Lower difficulty scores are preferable for beginners.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): An estimate of the percentage of people who click on search results for a given keyword.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The average cost per click for paid advertising on the keyword. It can give you insights into the keyword’s commercial intent.

You want to have a keyword with a good search volume. It should be something that is being searched for but not something that is too highly competitive. You’ll also want your keyword difficulty to be relatively low.

A pro tip: Use a longer keyword (sometimes known as a key phrase) to get something that is less competitive. Just make sure there is some search volume. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a keyword with less search volume and assuming you have found a winning keyword because no one is targeting it. There is likely a reason no one is targeting the keyword or keyphrase.

After you get used to keyword research, it’s time to move on to SEO.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s how your content is ranked on search engines like Google, Bing, and others. You do things to your content in order to potentially get a better ranking on search results based on the keyword you’re targeting.

If you use WordPress and have Yoast installed, it will greatly help you with your SEO needs. The premium version will help even more and I always recommend and upgrade to it myself.

SEO is simple.

You’re injecting your targeted keyword (found through keyword research) into your blog post.

You need to put your keyword in certain spots in the content, including:

  • The title of your blog post
  • The slug (link) of your blog post
  • The first sentence in the first paragraph of your blog post
  • The H1 heading of your blog post (only use one H1 heading per post)
  • The first H2 heading of your blog post (you can have multiple H2 headings)
  • The first ALT tag of your first image on your blog post
  • Then, place the keyword a few more times throughout your content as long as it makes sense to add it. It has to blend it into the content naturally.

If you use Yoast, the plugin will give you red, orange, or green lights for every one of the criteria above. Red means you’re not doing good and green means that you have it perfect.

The most important thing to remember is not to use your keywords too much. You’re better off using it less than more. If you use it too much, it will be seen as keyword stuffing, and that can harm your ranking because Google and other search engines see it as trying to cheat. It’s known as Black Hat SEO, and it’s not a good practice to get into.

And always remember, your best form of getting the best result on search will always be writing valuable content that your audience loves. If your content isn’t awesome, SEO will do nothing for you at the end of the day.


Social media marketing for bloggers

Social media marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your blog, and it might be one of the best ways to do it.

But social media marketing scares people.

That’s why more bloggers fail at it than succeed.

I’m here to tell you that it works. I have a page with 13K followers who visit my blog. I have a group on Facebook with nearly 35K members, and they see my blog posts. I built my page and group up over the past few years. I used strategies to get there, too. You can, too, but it will take commitment, or it will fail.

Your first lesson in social media marketing is to quit thinking of it as a promotional tool and start understanding it as a community-building tool.

The best way to get readers to your blog from social media is through online community development.

Focus on building a community when you start a social media page. That means no promotional content. Name the page after your blog and post organic content that relates to your niche. Organic content is native content, meaning you make it on that social media channel first.

Make text-based content. I like to ask questions to my followers.

Make image and video-based content. This is content you upload to the social media page. This can be single images, galleries, videos, or reels.

Use other features offered by the platform, such as stories and live streaming.

If you keep people on the platform, the platform will reward you with more views. If you build a brand and community on the platform, more views will essentially get you more traffic on your blog because people will look for you elsewhere.

You can even mention you have a blog without linking to it, and people will go out and search for it and find it without you giving them the hyperlink. But as you grow your community and get more views, you’ll be able to post promotional content (external links) and get some of your followers with it.

But in the end, social media platforms don’t want people leaving their platforms, so that means promotional content will likely get seen less algorithmically.

The more you post on social, the more likely people will see your content. Make sure you put quality over quantity when posting on social media.

If you treat social media like it’s the only thing you have, you’ll build a big enough community that will eventually consume your blog content regularly.


Update old blog content

I’ve told you before in this article to create evergreen content, which is content that stays fresh throughout the years.

But that doesn’t mean that expiring content can’t be manipulated to continue to be fresh for the year.

You should always try to update your old content. This is when you edit old posts and change information to reflect changes made to the strategies and methods. You’re simply updating content to be useful in modern times.

It’s good for SEO. It’s good for overall digital marketing. It’s good for keeping your readers informed.

Every year or so, research your old content that is about a year old. If it needs to be updated, then update it. If it has a previous year on the title, update it to the new year. Just make sure the content reflects up-to-date information to help the reader stay up-to-date.

Always keep your content as fresh as possible for the best results.


Understanding your blog analytics

Getting an understanding of your blog analytics is important to do before you launch a blog.

Your blog analytics is the data collected to help you understand the progress of your overall blog, its content, and the audience you’re targeting. You typically use tools to help you collect and understand your blog analytics.

Some of the most common tools are Google Analytics 4 (GA4), Google Search Console, and WordPress plugins like Monster Insights, which uses Google Analytics but presents the data in a more user-friendly manner. Other plugins like Jetpack for WordPress also have analytical data features that are worth checking out.

By understanding your blog analytics after you launch a blog it can help you make better decisions about what to do next in order to retain readers and get more views in the future.

There are important metrics to understand when it comes to your analytics. Some of these metrics include:

  • Traffic: This includes metrics like the number of visitors, page views, and sessions.
  • Audience Demographics: Understand your audience’s age, gender, location, and interests.
  • Traffic Sources: Identify where your traffic is coming from, such as search engines, social media, referrals, or direct.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may indicate issues with your content or website design.
  • Conversion Rate: Measure how many visitors take the desired action on your blog, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.
  • User Engagement: Track metrics like time on the page, comments, and social shares to gauge how engaged your audience is with your content.

Understanding these analytics might mean you need to focus on one at a time to get to know it and see how it works by A/B testing. A/B testing is when you do one thing one day and another thing another day and then measure the results based on the similarities and differences. A/B testing is a common way to analyze blogging components.

The most valuable analytic isn’t listed above.

The most valuable analytic is user feedback. You get this by surveying your readers and talking to them. This is the feedback that matters the most. If you implement this feedback, it is the type of feedback that will help you retain your readers.

User feedback is good to keep track of, but so is the rest of these analytics.


Word-of-mouth blog advertising

When you launch a blog, word-of-mouth advertising is going to be your best friend.

When you just start, you’re a nobody.

Don’t take that as something to be offended by. It just means that no one knows who you are or what your blog is about. You have no following to tap into most of the time.

But you do have friends and family.

You do have that.

And that is your word-of-mouth advertising strategy.

Tell your friends and family about your new blog. Ask them to check it out and share it with others. Your friends and family know you. You know them. They’d want to help you if you asked them for help. You should ask them for help. Most of the time, they will share your blog, even if they don’t get into the niche. That’s because they love you and want to help you.

Share your blog on your personal social media pages, too.

Ask your friends on social media to share your blog with their friends. Chances are, many of them will help you out, especially if you’ve helped them out with things in the past.

Word-of-mouth advertising is powerful. Don’t let that missed opportunity occur because it might be what it takes to get your blog out there.


Commenting on other blogs

Find other blogs in your niche that are just like your blog, and leave a comment on their posts.

Most new bloggers gain success through blog commenting.

But there is a good way of doing it and a bad way of doing it.

The bad way is leaving generic comments in an effort just to link to your blog. In fact, that can often be seen as spam. If you spam, you’ll get a bad name, and you might get your blog added to spam databases, which can significantly harm your marketing efforts.

Instead of spamming, why not comment the right way?

The right way goes like this: Leave a meaningful comment on the blog post after you read it. Leave a comment that engages with the author and their audience. Leave a comment that deserves a response. Leave a comment that is going to give you attention.

If you do that, get the attention of others; they’ll want to learn more about you.

They’ll click on your website link, or they’ll search for your name on Google.

Become a regular on these blogs. Get your name known to the authors of the blogs and their audience. Be polite, professional, and always willing to help. Basically, be likable, and people will flock to your blog.

You can also use this concept in social media by following competition and posting on their pages (as your page) on a regular basis.


On-site blog engagement

On-site blog engagement is a great way to keep readers coming back and to get new readers.

What is on-site engagement?

It’s simple. It’s when you interact with your audience on your blog. It’s when you ask questions, conduct polls, invite to chats and events, and other engagement activities. It’s when you encourage your readers to interact with you on your blog.

The most known way to engage with readers is to respond to comments on your blog.

You should respond to all of your comments, too.

Don’t just respond to comments with one-liners and emojis. Respond with comments that keep the discussion going. Ask questions, make assumptions, and keep the conversation evergreen and continuing. This will keep people on your blog, which improves your bounce rate and overall engagement.

This is also a great practice on social media. Respond to every comment. I mean every one of them.

Don’t say that you’re too busy to answer every comment, especially right after you launch a blog because you have all the time in the world to engage with your audience.


Paid blog advertising

Consider paid advertising as a way to promote your blog.

You can buy Google ads, social media ads, and ads on other websites like online communities and other blogs like yours.

The idea is to reach an audience by paying for that reach.

The more of a budget you have, the more reach you will get. In advertising, you’ll always get what you pay for. If you pay very little, you’ll get very little response.

When paying for ads, try to use the features of the ad. Customize it exactly how you want your audience to find it. Target your specific audience. These ad sites will tell you to use the default settings, but if they offer custom ad settings, you’re better off customizing your ad to target the exact people you want.

Most bloggers only buy ads when they have a goal attached to them.

Try to develop a goal before buying ads.

Most goals result in gaining more profit than what was spent on the ad. If your goal is to get more readers and not profit, you might be spending money for nothing. I recommend only using ads if you are trying to earn a bigger profit than what you’ve paid for with the ad.

Otherwise, you’re just giving away your money.


Blogging and influencer collaborations

Networking is your friend when you’re marketing your blog.

One benefit of leaving comments regularly on other blogs like yours is the relationship you might be able to develop with the blog owner. Developing that relationship might help you start networking together.

Networking can lead to blogging and influencer collaborations.

Guest blogging is a great example of these types of collaborations. You post a blog post on a competing site to target their traffic. You should write your blog post as if you’re making one for your own blog. It should be just as good as your own blog post. You can work out the link deals with the blog owner, but most of the time, a simple link in your bio should be all you need.

You might also do other collaborations with bloggers and influencers in your niche. These might include social media influencers. They promote you, and you give them something back in return.

Nothing is free, folks. You’ll always need to provide something in return.


Start a mailing list for your blog

After you launch a blog, you should immediately launch a mailing list for your blog.

A mailing list is a newsletter that is sent to email addresses. The importance of a newsletter falls under a few categories.

  1. Search engines and social media algorithms can’t manipulate mailing lists. This means that you get access to your audience without worrying about search engines and social media stopping them from finding you.
  2. You can access your audience directly. Everyone uses email. Email is far from dead. You can contact your list directly and sell to them without any interference from third parties.
  3. You own your list. Social media is rented space. You can lose it in the blink of an eye, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You don’t have access to your follower contact information. But you do on your mailing list because you own that list.

Start your mailing list from day one. Start sending out new emails with exclusive content. Keep subscribers wanting to stay subscribed.

If your blog fails, at least you still have your mailing list so you can keep in touch with followers and potential customers.


Step 10 – How to Make Money Blogging

After you launch a blog, you should focus on building up content and marketing efforts. And after all that, it’s time to start making money with your blog.


Selling eBooks on your blog

As of this section on the blog, I’ve written exactly 12,078 words. I’ve basically written an eBook.

I could make this an eBook and sell it instead of giving it away. But I’m giving it away instead. While it’s good to give stuff away, it’s also a good idea to sell content when you can.

eBooks are a great way to sell content.

Create a shorter version of a book, digitize it, and sell it online cheaper than a book.

Most eBooks will go for anywhere from $1.00 to $20.00, depending on how long and featured they are. Sometimes, eBooks are included in subscription plans to make them more appealing.

If you like to write, I suggest you create some eBooks and sell them from your blog.


Affiliate marketing on your blog

Affiliate marketing is a common way to earn money with a blog.

You take special links to products and services and add them to your blog in the form of text links, banners, and other visual content. These links contain code that links back to your blog as the affiliate. When readers click on the links and buy the product, it records it against your affiliate link. Then, you earn a commission for the sale.

The more sales on your affiliate link, the more you earn. So, the idea is to link to affiliate links often.

But you also have to use a language that sells to the reader. This is often done with copywriting, which I spoke about earlier in this guide.

You can do affiliate links with different websites you follow, or you can use sites like Amazon Associates and Commission Junction.

If you play your cards right, you can make a lot of money from affiliate marketing alone. Just make sure you follow the rules and ensure that you only post affiliate links that you trust because if they backfire and turn out to be bad, it will hurt your reputation as a blogger because you endorsed it in the end.


Selling digital products on your blog

You can create and sell digital products on your blog.

The great thing about selling your own digital products is that you skip the middle person and collect all the revenue that is made.

Ads and affiliate marketing only pay you a commission. That means you earn a small percentage of the sale while they earn the most. But if you create the product and sell it without a middle person, you get all the revenue earned from it.

That’s the maximum profit.

But what digital products could you provide on your blog?

First, you need to consider your niche when figuring out what to create and sell.

You could sell educational materials such as templates, guides, and manuals. You could sell art, music, and images if your niche relates to that. You could sell applications that you’ve created or plugins for browsers. If you blogged about WordPress, you could sell plugins and themes.

You just need to use your imagination based on the demand of what your audience is looking for. You should always sell what your audience wants. If you sell them what they want, they’ll buy what you have to offer them.


Selling physical products from your blog

Maybe you’re more of a physical product blog than a digital product distributor.

Do you make physical products? Maybe you manufacture them. Maybe you use a 3D printer. Maybe you sell merchandise. Maybe you buy items in bulk and resell them individually. Whatever you sell in physical form, a blog is a great way to sell it.

There are plenty of great plugins to create a store on your blog.

I use WooCommerce to sell my merchandise on my hiking blog. I integrated it with PayPal and Stripe.

You’ll need to be a salesperson in order to make more sales.


Offering services on your blog

Like with offering digital products, you can also offer services on your blog.

This isn’t always a possibility with every niche. With my niche, blogging, it’s easy to offer services. I can offer one-on-one consulting to help you specifically make your blog better.

I do offer that service, too – just in case you’re interested.

Try to determine if you can offer a service on your blog and just set it up like you want to sell a product.


Blog membership and paid newsletter subscriptions

Other options for making money with your blog can be found with paid membership and newsletter subscriptions.

You can create an online community around your niche. You can offer private discussions, educational materials, live events, and more engagement features.

Put a monthly price on membership and offer a discount for those who pay by the year. This is how most blogs are able to gain membership sales.

Membership communities do well if you make them really great for members. But you’ll definitely need to be active on them or have community management employees who will keep them active.

The same can go for a newsletter.

You can create a paid-only newsletter that people will actually pay for.

But people need proof that it’s worth paying for. I suggest having a free newsletter that is more than awesome and then offering something even more awesome in the paid version. Start out with a small payment per month and increase it every year or so.

Some blogs make all their money off paid communities and newsletters. If you play your cards right, you can use this to make money, too.


Advertising and sponsorship on your blog

Selling ads and sponsorship from your blog is a great way to make money with it.

You can use Google AdSense to easily get ads and monetize your blog. However, Google will take most of the profit, and you’ll just earn a small commission.

If you sell ads directly, then you can make all the money and skip the middle person.

The same goes for sponsorship.

Offer sponsored blog posts or paid guest blog posts for a specific amount of money.

But you’ll want to be legal and search engine friendly about it.

  • All sponsored content should be labeled sponsored
  • All links should be set to “No Follow” if commercial
  • All content should be original
  • Any images provided to you should have licenses for you to use them
  • Content should be of high quality and not cheap

Be careful about who you approve of. There are a lot of marketing companies that will demand you not label the content as sponsored. They will require “do follow” links. They’ll provide you with photos that are copyrighted and may cause you to have to pay a lot of money in the future or get sued. Ignore these marketers and be firm with your rules.

Most of the time, they will change their requirements in order to get their content on your blog and pay you whatever you want to charge.

But then again, you should still be careful about saying yes.

You should only do business with those who are honest about what they want and not try to trick you from the start.

There is a wrong way to make money blogging and a right way – which one do you choose?


Final Thoughts Before You Launch a Blog

We’ve finally reached the end of this ultimate guide showing you how to launch a blog the right way. It has taken me many weeks to complete this post. I’ll love you forever if you share it with others who might enjoy reading it. If you want to support my efforts of making this ultimate and free content, join my free online community, Blogging Collective, which was created for bloggers to help other bloggers get better at blogging. Thanks for reading, and I welcome your comments below.

Shawn Gossman

About the Author

Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers who follow this blog. Shawn also offers various services for extra help in content creation and blogging.

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