To an outsider, blogging seems like the perfect way to make money. You get to write content about whatever you’re passionate about and monetize that content, generating revenue with no upper limit as you continue learning about a topic that fascinates you.
Of course, to make a significant amount of revenue from a blog, you need to achieve a baseline threshold of popularity, which can be difficult, considering the amount of competition that you face. If you have little experience in this area, you may struggle even further. So what does it take to create a popular blog from scratch in the modern era?
The Overall Plan
You can think about starting a popular blog as unfolding across four main phases:
· Come up with a concept. First, you need to come up with a concept that can work as a way of generating money. Not all blogs or blog topics have the potential to become popular. In general, the more popular the topic is, the more of an audience you’ll have, but the more competition you’ll have as well. Niche, highly specific topics tend to work better for this reason; you’ll start off smaller, but you’ll have much more relevance and less competition, so you can grow faster. Also, choose something you love or something you have expertise in so you can cover the topic exhaustively and well.
· Nail the execution. Once you have a solid topic or concept in place, you need to work on the execution. Only blogs that are fantastically written and well organized have a shot at becoming successful. Include ample detail, back your claims with research, and add a unique style element that’s all your own; your voice should sound totally original. On top of that, your blogs need to be easy to read, highly polished, and error-free.
· Increase website traffic. After that, your goal will be to increase website traffic. You may have an awesome blog in place, but if nobody knows it exists, you’re going to find it hard to generate the popularity you need to monetize this. There are many popular strategies you can rely on here, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) advertising, and social media marketing. You can also network with other bloggers and work on cross-promotion efforts.
· Sustain and continue growing. Finally, you need to work on sustaining your audience and continuing to reach new people. If you rest on your laurels, your traffic may end up stagnating and declining. Instead, you need to continue adapting to serve your growing audience.
In the early stages of your blog’s development, you should treat your concept like a business plan. You need to come up with a topic that is relevant and interesting, but that also can serve as the foundation of a blog that turns a profit.
· Value. How much value does this topic have to the general population? Is there a loyal audience of people who need to have more information on this subject? Would people be willing to pay to get premium content for this type of topic? How much money do these target demographics have to spend?
· Uniqueness. There are millions of blogs out there, covering almost any type of topic you can think of. If your topic is already being done professionally by somebody who knows a lot about it, you’ll need to come up with some way to differentiate yourself. Only blogs with unique features have the potential to succeed. It’s hard to find a topic that’s never been done before, so consider doing an older topic in a new way; can you use your unique voice to challenge conventional norms in a particular area?
· Expertise / ability. You also need to have the expertise and ability to cover this topic competently. If you have past experience or serious knowledge on this subject, great. Otherwise, you may need to outsource your content generation or devote hours of time to studying to better familiarize yourself on the topic. Interviewing guests who are experts could also be a convenient way around this.
Once you have a concept in place, it should be easy to get a basic blog up and running. Thanks to website builders, it’s relatively easy even for amateurs to put together a professional design. Your biggest priority should be writing high-quality content. That means content that is well researched, articulately written, perfectly polished, and tailored to your target audience.
Ideally, you’ll have several posts in place on your blog before you start to market it.
Increasing Website Traffic
With an established blog in place, you can start investing in your marketing and advertising, thereby increasing website traffic and raising awareness that your blog exists.
· Search engine optimization (SEO). One of your best friends during this process is going to be search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is all about increasing your rankings for keywords that are relevant to your brand. Making a good website and writing excellent content will naturally lend itself to your SEO strategy. You’ll also need to make an effort to build links to your website and promote your brand offsite. It takes time, but eventually your domain authority (DA) will increase, making it easier to rank higher for the keywords and phrases you’re targeting.
· Social media marketing. Social media marketing is also inexpensive and readily accessible. You can pay for advertising on these platforms, but you can also just get involved in local communities and focus on organic posting to promote your latest work. The more you engage your audience, the more they’ll want to follow you.
· Pay per click (PPC) ads. If you’re interested in a quick way to generate guaranteed traffic, PPC ads could be exactly what you need. They can be expensive at times, but you’re only going to pay for the actual traffic you generate (as the name suggests). Bid for less-competitive keywords and improve your quality score to see better results here.
· Collaborations and more. You can also raise awareness of your blog and build your readership by collaborating with other influencers in your area of expertise. Contact popular influencers and ask them for their contributions or volunteer your own original research and original ideas to become the focal point of a collaboration.
The Path to Long-Term Growth
At this point, you should have a solid base. You know what your blog is about. You have excellent content. You even have a small and growing base of readers to follow it. From here on out, you’ll focus on keeping your existing readers happy – and gradually reaching more people.
Use reader surveys to get a better idea of what your readers want to see and how to keep them around – and keep experimenting with new marketing and outreach strategies.