You’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while now. You see new, successful blogs every week and think: “I can do that, and I bet I’d enjoy it!” You’ve even come up with a great subject that people are liable to follow, and you tell yourself, “I can finally quit my day job and make a living from a blog!”
Getting started is another story. Procrastination and fears of inadequacy can be huge obstacles when you’re preparing to launch a blog for profit. But with the right tools and motivational push, you can get your dream project started and derive steady income from your efforts. Here’s how.
- Write Content Ahead of Time
Many would-be bloggers make the mistake of buying their domain and building a website before they’ve written a single blog piece. Then they sit on the website while struggling to find time and motivation to do the writing.
In sum, they have a great idea, but when it comes time to deliver the goods, they choke. If you’re serious about blogging, you shouldn’t have difficulty crafting a few blog posts before you launch your website.
Aim to have at least three blog posts ready to publish before you open your site. This should be the minimum you have on hand to attract and hold a potential audience while you work on developing further content.
Ideally, you ought to have a few extra blog posts drafted before you launch so that you’ll still have something to publish if you miss a week of writing.
- Create a Monetization Strategy
After you’ve established that you really can maintain a blog, start developing plans to generate some money from it. Blogging for a living can serve as passive income, but it takes a while and hard work to get there.
Bloggers can take advantage of a variety of potential income streams, including affiliate links, advertising slots, reviews, sale of products, and offering in-demand services. Most successful bloggers develop an array of income streams, but you only need to start with one or two.
If you’ve carefully outlined your monetization strategy when you launch your blog, that should put you in a good position to realize profits before long.
- Buy Your Domain Name and Hosting
Once you have a fairly good idea you can make money from your blog, invest in a domain name and hosting platform. Purchasing a domain name is easy, but choosing a name can be a little more of a challenge.
The domain name will become your brand’s identity. It should be easy to remember and spell so that people can find you easily and return. It should also reflect the purpose of your blog without being boring.
Paying for web hosting is also essential. Bloggers often make the mistake of using an unhosted server, which can mean your website may crash regularly, or suffer security problems down the road.
If you’re going to invest some substantial energy and caring into a project, you owe it to yourself and your readers to choose a hosted service that has a record of maintaining plenty of up time.
- Choose a Template and Customize Your Website
Building a blog is fairly simple if you use a trusted website builder. You have several excellent options. Investigate the best blog builders (such as Wix, SiteBuilder, Web.com, GoDaddy, or Weebly) before proceeding, then research templates to identify the one that may best suit your business.
Customize the template you choose. You don’t want your blog to look pretty much like everyone else’s. Critical details such as your own imagery, a particular color scheme, and the layout can make your blog stand out from the competition.
- Create a Content Calendar
Your initial blog posts might keep people coming for a while, but they’ll eventually expect fresh content. Though not all bloggers use them, a content calendar which shows your frequency of posting and the topics you plan to write about can be a useful tool both to hold their attention and to keep you motivated.
The ideal frequency depends on your blog and goals. Most blogs must post at least once a week to stay profitable, but some require multiple posts per day. The best approach is to start by posting one or two times a week and increasing the pace as you see fit and if you can manage it.
- Maintain Motivation
You’re in business for yourself now: If you stop updating your blog, there’s no one there to back you up. Passion for either blogging or the money it earns can be motivating factors, but they might not be enough.
Think about joining a network of bloggers on social media, or in your city. Together, you can set goals and support one another to maintain profitable, healthy blogs that everyone will enjoy for years to come. Encourage your friends and family support you as well.
You have the potential to achieve financial stability through a business of your own while possibly making a difference in the world. It’s a beautiful responsibility, so you shouldn’t take it lightly. The way you handle your blog from the beginning will say a lot about where you could end up taking it.