How to start a successful blog

We get weekly emails asking us how to start a blog. Here is our simple, step-by-step process for learning how to become a blogger. The best place to run a blog in terms of being able to make a great website, and for the cheapest possible price would be WordPress.

There are some free sites that you can log on but they will likely be suitable for fun only. As you won't be seen as a professional, you will not grow your own name but the companies site that you host the blogs on. It's also unlikely that you will be able to make any money.

If you do, it will be a lot less, as they will be profiting from your work. Not only is WordPress the cheapest option but it also has so much functionality. There are so many WordPress plugins, you can easily get support from Bluehost if you use them as your web host and come across any problems. It is easy to learn to use. I love Shopify, but it is very expensive and unnecessary unless you want an online store.

What is a blog?

what is a blog?

There is no simple answer to this, as a blog can be many things. It can be seen as a way for a person to express themselves publicly or professionally. Sometimes it is overlooked and the person’s hard work is ignored.  Sometimes however it can be in the form of a powerful asset that has the capabilities of turning over thousands in revenue per month. There are millions of blog websites online and not all of them are equally successful. Their success is determined by many factors, for example.

  • Start-up capital
  • Search engine optimization practices e.g. (keywords, backlinks, popularity, content length, website speed, Google ranking)
  • celebrity endorsement
  • relevance to the market and your niche
  • marketing

    Why do people blog?

    women blogging

    Writing can be a great expression, someone could write about their day as part of a journal. This can help them create a better understanding of something that has happened to them.  It can overall help with their emotions.

    Journalists go to events to write an article and return to the news company to get it published. By writing about new trending popular subjects, you can essentially develop a lot of traffic via Google and this makes news-based companies lots of money.

    Some may write educational content, sharing their knowledge or expertise on a particular subject. This can be a great way to give back to the community, and after all, doing good can make you feel good.

    I personally believe that because every person is completely different. There is a blog in all of us and each person can write different kinds of content depending on the specific topic that they are interested in, are passionate about, or have a lot of knowledge.

    A blog for many can be an asset. The most wonderful thing about blogging is that you are helping other people and you have the freedom to write as little or as much as you want. Most of the content you create can be monetized and eventually it starts to earn money almost passively, provided you build the foundation. First, find a niche, and then discover how to start your own blog today.

    Make your own blog (step by step guide)

    step by step guide 

    The first thing you will want to do is go to Blue Host, they will be your website host and will also give you a free domain, and SSL secure certificate. Once you have set up your website you will be able to go to WordPress and start designing. When the website has been designed you can go to posts and pages and start adding your written content. As with any business, it costs money to set up. A blog created through blue host will cost you around £30 per year which is very affordable.

    How can a blog be profitable?

    A blog can be profitable by using adverts from Google AdSense and including Affiliate Marketing links into your content. Affiliates are essentially you selling products on behalf of another company via a link, and when a customer buys the product from that link, you get a commission on it.

    There are hundreds of companies that offer an affiliates program, and each one offers different commission percentages, the most popular is Amazon but if you use Carved Culture's affiliate program - the commission percentage is higher, and in turn, you will earn more money. If you are receiving a lot of traffic, you could offer a featured spot for bigger companies to place their ads.

    If your blog is already earning money and is taking up too much of your time, you could delegate the work to a writer. The best place to find one would be on Fiverr. You can pay people from all over the world to create content for you. Freeing up your time and overall improving your traffic and future earnings.

    How can I Improve traffic to my blog?

     online marketing to increase website traffic

    • Utilize social media (schedule posts every day engaging with people, don't try to get sales straight away, you want people to get used to your brand and learn to trust it.) Your main focus should be creating great content, see our Facebook page and look at how we make engaging content. You could use Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, Twitter, Better yet you could get yourself in a situation where you actually meet people in person who are interested in your blog topic. Make business cards and host an event.
    • Build up credibility, if you have any reviews to showcase them. People don't want to buy any product, they want to buy what other people are buying. They must trust your product and your company before they are going to spend any money or time with it.
    • Write blog articles, this will actually bring in more customers, overall help your credibility and give you something to post about on social media. It can be related to your niche website or you can build a community (getting your customers/readers to write content for you)
    • Be patient, getting viewers, alone takes time. Continue working on your site, get advice, improve it, and work hard. Ensure that Google has the latest sitemap so that it can index your pages and build some healthy backlinks.  Also, check in the coverage section within the Google search console to ensure that no pages are being excluded from search results or are not being indexed.

    Organic traffic vs paid for traffic

     organic traffic vs paid infographic

    You can either build your traffic slowly - organically, creating articles for release each week or you can pay using Google Adwords, Bing ads, or create a Facebook campaign.

    Organic is, in my opinion, the best way as it will only increase, getting more viewers over time. (as long as you are doing it right and publishing at least one article a week.) In many ways, Google is your best friend and worst enemy. You will have to play the game but only by their rules.

    You should be persistent, if you release too many articles in a small time frame google could see your work as spam, focus on quality over quantity and you will be rewarded. Quality involves 300+ words for your article, any less and Google may not index it.

    The optimal blog contains over 2,000 words and is highly likely to generate more traffic. Make sure your blog is user-friendly and makes sense. For example, don't just cram it with keywords.

    You can use a tool like Uber Suggest - this will help you find words that are easy to rank for, helping to give you topics, and also it will give you words that actually have a high search volume each month. Also remember being active on social media, building up your following, and creating healthy backlinks is extremely important.

    Paid traffic is also a good option although it requires putting money in to get traffic and if this is your chosen method you should ensure that you have successful monetization methods in place with a clear call to actions for your audience. Without ROI (return on investment) potential, paid advertising could be money down the drain.

    How long does it take to build traffic?

     Success graph chart

    Traffic can rush through fast or can build up slowly. Each blog article has different amounts of interested users, and not all keywords are equal. There is no specific time frame, but you should check your Google search console once a week. This is to check on traffic. If it's going up, then great, keep doing what you are doing. If it is going down, or staying the same, maybe you need to put more work in or check for a potential SEO problem.

    How to choose keywords for your blog?

    keyword research 

    • Using Uber Suggest will help you get good ideas of what keywords have a high search volume and whether they are easy or difficult to rank for.
    • Make sure that the keyword/blog topic fits into your niche, and is relevant to your blog topic.
    • Check competitors on google for that keyword, and decide whether you can add more value to your readers than what is currently out there.

    Is a blog or online store better at making money?

     checkout basket from online store

    They both have great potential, it personally all depends on your output. I have both an online store at Carved Culture, and this blogging website. They have both been going the same amount of time. With the high price for a Shopify store each month, and the cheapness of WordPress. I would say that in the short term the blog would be more profitable, but that is just my current situation, yours may differ.

    Do I enjoy running a blog?

    I have discovered that I really like to try new things, exploring new places and that I actually enjoy writing. I have been a musician since I was 14 years old, and whilst I haven't been making music for around 6 months I have been writing, and I don't actually feel like anything is missing.

    Is it worth starting a blog, and can I make money from it?

    For the money, probably not. If you enjoy writing, it could eventually make money but that depends on your determination, how much work you are willing to put into it without getting paid. With that being said, it's not how hard you work but how smart you work.

    You should only do it if you enjoy it, otherwise, you will detest the experience. For me running Child Blogs and Carved Culture. I have been running them successfully for a short time, and continuous growth inspires me. Remember though it is not easy, it is a full-time voluntary job. It is good to run a blog website as a side hobby, that way you can inject a lot of time into it but at the same time earn money from something else.

    In the beginning, it lacks money which can definitely cause unwanted stress. Your workflow will need to be grand, and your expectations will need to be set to work for free mode. You have to try to enjoy progressing and building it up. You can do something in your spare time or as a hobby until it can become a full-time job.

    Once it's earning money, you can use this money to outsource all writing if you wish. Taking a backseat will mean that you can plan content, and with someone else writing it, it will begin to earn even more money. Delegating work is the main goal to making your business run passively without you whilst earning, this is one of the only ways to really scale a blog unless you offer a product or service that can be sold on repeat.

    5 mistakes people make when starting a blog

     common blogging mistakes

    • Don't copy and paste from the internet, (Google will demote your site.)
    • Create great content that makes sense
    • Use images to make it interesting
    • Add the keywords you would like to rank for
    • Don’t ruin the customer experience, putting advert blocks everywhere, will surely deter readers. Placement is important, place them consistently in the same place on every page.

    Why you should stay within a niche?

     Find your niche graphic

    Finding a niche will help you stand out from competitors. Imagine for example. Someone is selling computer parts to help build your own computer, and next on Google is someone selling only computer hard drives. The customer has searched the internet to find a hard drive. Who do you think they will click on?

    If you choose a niche, as your content will all be related, your readers will be able to jump from one article to another. Without feeling that the others are irrelevant to them. This will also mean that a newsletter will get better results. You will be known for your specific micro-niche, you could even add it into your pitch: for example; company name — selling the largest capacity hard drives.

    An example of relevant niches would be a builder offering only building services. Imagine a builder offering to build a wall, do the gardening, fix the computer, do the hoovering, and babysit the kids whilst you are out for the night. It seems random, but that builder is also less likely to get any job because of the array of services they offer. The only reason that something that bizarre may work out is if it was all part of the niche. For example: "We do things that you don't want to'. A standard building firm wouldn't be able to work to that standard without losing its professionalism.

    What topics could your blog be about?

    You could cover topics on travel, food recipes, finance, health & wellbeing, medicine, and many more. The topics that you choose to niche should be related to your personal interests. It should be a topic that you have a lot of passion for, as you will be writing about it a lot.

    Other ways to make money online

    how to make money online


    • Selling a product via an online marketplace eg. (Amazon, eBay, Etsy, your own website)
    • Selling a service skill such as proofreading blogs, SEO optimization, marketing. You can do these to make money on Fiverr or on your own website.
    • Surveys (Get paid for doing surveys)
    • App / website / software testing
    • Investment (if you have money, to begin with, you could invest in the stock market, a startup company, or real estate)
    • Content creation for companies. Popular content that people are willing to pay for is articles, photos, and videos. You can even make your own videos to make money from YouTube.
    • Reviewing music, websites, products, other content for money
    • Sell a course, if have a skill and you could teach it in a form of videos. You make the course once and sell the package multiple times, you can even automate the whole process. No matter what you choose to do, I wish you the best of luck.

    1 comment

    Kal Ahmed

    Thanks for a great content. This could be used as a major reference if anyone who is starting a blog or affiliate business.
    Keep it up
    Kal Ahmed

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