AN INCOME BLOG is a blog that publishes and constantly updates related information and monetizes its content with various income revenue such as advertisements or affiliate marketing to mention a few.
Blog posts are entries that can be displayed and filtered in different settings such as topics, dates, or tags. The best way to arrange blog content is to file them under related categories. Below are the steps to take when starting an income blog, increase content engagement, blog traffic and showcases the various streams of revenue your blog can generate.
Please Note: there are affiliate links in this post. I only recommend products that I have fully vetted myself or use personally.
INTERNET / GOOGLE SHEETS: The first step in this process is not purchasing a domain name but it is to research your blog content first. This really helps when picking a domain name as there are numerous ideas to source from the research phase. Usually, creating a blog normally starts with a general idea, in this section we expand the general idea into well thought out blog posts ideas. This should be the first step as you examine if you even like the niche well enough to write about it.
There are multiple ways to conduct your niche research, but the best and winning method is to write content that solves a problem or offers a solution. Potential readers and business partners want to see unique and engaging content that readers are interested in and will continuously come back to your site. In order to make it easier to explain, we are going to use an example of “How to Start a Food Blog and How to Make Money” from it. This process and steps can be duplicated for any niche, once you understand the process and formula you can easily recreate and increase your blogging income. This process is not exhaustive, but it will give you a framework to start implementing.
TIP: for your research process you can go to forums or facebook groups in your niche and see which are the most common questions the audience has and write blog posts answering the most asked questions
RESEARCH PROCESS: First, decide which niche you want to write about, for instance, do you want to write about dogs, gaming, painting, etc. In our example we are going to research a food blog. There are many topics and ideas when it comes to food such, vegan, vegetarian, dessert, baking, salads, soups, cheap recipes, you name it, the list is endless. The research process is mainly focused on the top questions readers have for each category. Simply, we turn the questions into blog posts. Remember, this is a business and you want to start blogging for income, the driving force behind your selection and writing of content, should always be the reader. Always solve a problem or answer questions that the reader has.
Food Blog Example: Taking the above criteria and other elements, we have narrowed down to four categories:
TIP: researching your desired niche first, eliminates writer’s block because in this stage is when you frame your blog content.
INTERNET / GOOGLE SHEETS: Since we have decided on the categories of our website, we may start thinking about the domain name, at this stage write down ideas, if you have not yet decided, step 2 will help you tremendously. Content creation is the most important aspect of anyone who publishes content online. You need to have a schedule and keep the ideas coming. If you have determined that this is the niche you are interested in, then try to come up with content for a year. You do not have to write content for the full year in order for you to start your blog, but have a general outline.
Food Blog Example: Take the time to create a content calendar which includes
- Creating a content calendar
- Researched popular questions in each category
- Came up with 10 posts for each category and pictures
- Listed the most asked questions in each category and provided answers or solutions
BLOG POST THAT READERS ENJOY: This is the most important part of creating an income from blogging. You always want to create content that solves a problem or offers a solution. I have stated this statement many times, because it is the winning formula. As soon as I started to implement this process, my traffic increased and so did my income.
Food Blog Example: This is a sample of posts that readers in this niche are interested in:
- How to create cheaper meals
- How to create meals under $30 a week
- What are the popular foods in each season
- What are the most healthy foods for each meal
- The best vegan breakfast, brunch, dinner and dessert
- Foods that boost immune breakfast, brunch, dinner desert
TIP: write your first 10 posts before you even go live on your blog, this will free up so much time in the beginning and you can focus on other elements of your business.
BLUEHOST: $3.45 a MONTH. When you are choosing a domain name take into consideration what you want it to convey and if it is relatable with your niche. In this example, we are starting a food blog, therefore it should reflect our niche. Below are some ideas in choosing a domain name:
- conduct a keyword search within your niche
- select a winning keyword from the list and
- turn it into a domain name that is customized to your liking
- or simply select a name that is memorable and easy to relate within your niche
TIP: many people get stuck on this section, choose something that depicts your personality, the niche or what you want your blog essence to be. It’s great to get the exact domain you wish for, but the likelihood of it is slim. Pick something and move on, the name of your blog is not a breaking point!!
THIRD PARTY HOSTING YOUR SITE: There are different types of hosting plans and the best one is self-hosting. It is best to get your own hosting services, instead of opting for a free one. If you have a free hosting plan and are technically challenged, this can become a nightmare when you want to transfer to a self hosting plan. If you select free hosting, below are some of the abilities you lose:
- cPanel hosts all the technical elements that run your website and you do not have access to it if you are not self hosting
- you have to backup your website files, copy and upload them to the new hosting company – manually.
- it’s expensive to transfer from third party hosting to self hosting, there are some hosting companies that will transfer your website, for $300.00
SELF HOSTING:(you have access to your cPanel)
- This is the more preferred option , and importantly, you have full access to your cPanel.
- For our food blog domain is www.lovesfood123.com (not real site) It ends with a dot COM.
- PS it can also end with with ORG. NET. BIZ that will still be okay
THIRD PARTY HOSTING (someone owns your cPanel)
- If your website has an extension (extension is the wordpress part in the link below) www.abc123.wordpress.com(not a real site) this means that WordPress may host and own your cPanel.
- Be careful other hosting services offer extensions even if you pay for hosting service.
- This can become difficult if your business grows or if you want to sell it. It is always best to have total control and set it the right way. Below are some definitions and processes to flow.
- this is the name of your site
- Go to Bluehost and search if your domain name is available in this example we have settled for www.lovesfood123.com (not real site)
- is a company that provides a service for your site for it to be searchable on the internet. If it is not activated, your website will not bring any results.
- You can also use Bluehost for the hosting services, this makes it much easier as this is less technical
- if you have access to your cPanel, usually that means you are self hosted. This is the best option
TIP: please make the right business decision for your blog. In the beginning I had an extension and had to pay over $300 in order to self host, instead of just paying $3.45 to be self hosted
CANVA: This is one of the most dynamic tools when it comes to graphic design. The system is user friendly that makes it easier for the less tech savvy. The system comes with predesigned templates for different social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and many more. You can design anything with this tool and this helps with user engagements as the designs include, infographics, newsletters, brochures, flyers, logos, photo books, print products, invitations, ebooks, printables and so much more. All the graphics of Design Your Finances are created in Canva. You can create teams in your Canva account and set your business colors.
WordPress: Once you have activated your domain and hosting you can build your site. Most websites are created in WordPress, as they are user friendly. In your Bluehost dashboard, you can easily connect your domain to your WordPress. This is why Bluehost is the best option, because they have 24/7 support service and can easily walk you through the process or do it for you. Once your domain is connected to the WordPress platform, you can now login to WordPress dashboard and then upload your posts and manage your site.
Website Pages: It is very imperative to have your website set up the right way, this includes mainly having the Privacy Page and Terms and Condition Pages. Below are some quick definitions of what each page entails.
- Privacy Page: this normally states how information is collected from the website and how it is used and if it’s shared, with whom.
- Terms and Conditions Page: this states how the website operates its business and how to abide to with their rules
- Disclaimer Page: is a statement that you are not responsible for something. In business, it’s basically a statement to protect yourself from claims of liability.
TIP 1: In WordPress, they have standard Privacy and Terms of Conditions Pages that you can easily format to fit your website
TIP 2: take the time to choose your colors, the fonts and how you want your website and other related platforms to look
GOOGLE ANALYTICS: This is the best way to measure how your blog is doing and also verify what content your readers or visitors enjoy. The power of analytics, if used correctly, can be an important asset in growing your business. You can easily connect your Google Analytics to your website. This is not an exhaustive list, below are some of the important metrics to consider, especially if you are running a blog. Keep in mind, that the importance of a metric is dependent upon the industry
- Pageviews: most business partnerships require a high monthly pageview as this showcases how many people visit your website each month.
- Most Visited Pages: this showcases the most popular pages on your website. This is instrumental because you can create more similar content
- Sessions: this showcases repeating and unique visitors to your site. A good mix means old readers keep coming back and new readers, means your content is reaching more people
- Loading Page & Website Quality: this showcases how fast your website loads up and any missed opportunities that Google thinks could improve your website
TIP: take the time to study your Google Analytics as it has valuable information on how to improve your website
GET RESPONSE: For any thriving business it has become extremely important to create and maintain an email list. This is the most important asset of your business, as you are now in direct contact with your potential customers. There are different ways to communicate with your email list from newsletters, FAQ, tips, how to list and market any new and upcoming products you want to sell.
It has been proven that an email list that you constantly communicate with, is more likely to purchase from you than a new visitor on your site, mainly because you have built trust with them. Get Response Email Services include, newsletter, autoresponders, landing pages, list building tools, survey forms, email marketing tools, automation, conversion funnel, webinars, push notifications and so much more. Starting to collect an email list as soon as possible, only benefits you in the long run.
Food Blog Example: Ideas for an email list that will help create and engage one
- Create a welcome email
- Create and send newsletters periodically
- Sent email reminders when a post is published
TIP: take the time to create a welcome email and follow up emails, so for our Food Blog, we can create recipes in PDF and send them periodically to our list. Always give more to your list.
Generally, the more traffic you have, means the more your blog can earn. Below are some courses that actually teach how to increase your traffic.
PINTEREST COURSE: The course creator makes over $100,000 a month and most of the traffic is from Pinterest. Pinterest has become one of the best tools for bloggers to quickly increase their traffic. It showcases the different ways to increase your pageviews and get more traffic, which means more income. The main favored difference with Pinterest and other social media platforms, is that when you post on Pinterest that post continues to bring traffic because one rule of Pinterest is to share other people’s posts.
FACEBOOK ADS COURSE: The course creator has about 1 million page views to his site because he runs very cheap Facebook Ads to his website. The more pageviews you have on your site, the higher the income. For instance, Ad Agencies they pay more for high pageviews. This is why bloggers and content creators are much invested in increasing pageviews, because you can easily monetize your traffic.
CANVA is the tool I use for all graphic designs of Design Your Finances and the website’s related social media platforms. The best part of this tool is that it has pre-designed graphics that meet different social media requirements such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and much more.
Once you have completed the prior tasks, you are now ready to start sharing your website. Most of your time should be spent creating content, marketing and answering customer questions.
Food Blog Example: There are many social media platforms and you cannot do them all at once. Below are some tips to consider
- Sign up for all social media platforms so that you secure social handles that match your website name
- Focus on one social media at a time
Determine which social media fits best with your content and which drives traffic.
- Invest in courses that teach that specific social media platform
- Give yourself the time to implement what you have learnt and then once you have gotten results then move on to the next
TIP: this section is all about increasing traffic to your website. Invest in tools and courses to cut down the learning process. The goal is to make money as soon as possible from your site.
There are multiple ways to make money from blogging, after trying and failing I decided to invest in courses that truly helped me to turn this blog into making money. Pick one or more courses that truly fits what your objectives are.
AFFILIATE MARKETING COURSE: This course creator has earned over a $1 MILLION dollars with her blog and teaches step by step the process of how to make money with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you promote other companies products and then you get a commission, this does not increase the cost of the product. This is a great way to start earning money, as you are not burdened with the whole process of creating the products.
SPONSORED POSTS COURSE: This course creator is making $10,000 to $15,000 a month working with brands and in this course showcases how to start with sponsored posts and make money. Sponsored posts is when you work directly with a brand and produce different types of content such as blog posts, videos, pictures and many others. With a sponsored post, the company may require you to try and give feedback of that product and in return, they pay you a fee.
Ad Agencies: The higher paying ad agencies, require a blogger to meet certain requirements before they join their agencies. Some of the requirements include the type of content that is created, the number of pageviews per month and how old your blog is. The best way is to first examine the ad agencies and then work hard to meet their requirements. Some bloggers are making at 5 figures a month.
Now that you have completed the above steps, it is time to start curating some business relationships and implementing different strategies to earn and increase your blog income. Take the time to research what kind of partnerships or service you want to create. As for Design Your Finances, I only share products or services that I have personally used. Credibility is so important to me, that I have let go business relationships that did not fit my criteria. For other ways to make money online read How to Make Money Blogging
Food Blog Example: Now that we covered a few ways to increase traffic below are the ones to use for our food blog:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Implement various strategies to increase traffic and join Ad Agencies
TIP: My motto is always that my readers come first before any business transaction. Aim to solve a problem or provide a solution, that is always a winning formula.
TAILWIND: Pinterest is amazing when it comes to getting traffic. I would recommend new bloggers to start with Pinterest first. But you can waste so much time and effort if you do it incorrectly, this is when Tailwind comes into play. You can schedule over a year of pins and still increase your followers and pageviews. Once you set up and schedule your pins, the tool does everything automatic for you.
Now that you have gotten the hang of it, you have at least 10 posts on your site, you are now comfortable in researching blog posts and you are in constant communication with your list CONGRATULATIONS and WELCOME to the life of blogging. This phase is what keeps your readers coming and your blog growing. This is the reason why I advise to write at least 10 posts before going live, because there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. This section is all about organization. You have to be organized in order to be more efficient. Do not do tasks that are time wasters.
Food Blog Example: want to create content and graphics in advance in order to erase backlog
- Want to publish 2 blog posts a week
- Schedule time to create graphics and take pictures
- Research content for the upcoming year for each category
TIP: always try to write at least a month worth of posts, this eliminates pressure and additionally use tools that help with scheduling your content
This is an important part, but only do it when your business is ready to be announced on a wider platform, mainly because there is a lot of work that goes behind the scenes and you do not want to introduce a business that is not well managed. The best place to network is within your niche, look for forums, networks, conferences etc. This will just expand your knowledge and along the way you may meet some great people that may influence different strategies to grow your business.
Food Blog Example: start with the ones that are easy to join and do not require large amounts of traffic or other requirements.
- Join Food Network Platforms
- Contact other food bloggers for a collaboration
- Participate in various forums by answering questions and linking back to my website
TIP: never stop growing, the more you do, the better your content and it will increase your business.
The best approach is to simply start. Brain dumping is extremely helpful, this is when you write down any ideas or thoughts that come to mind regarding a specific topic. During step 2, researching categories, come up with 10 blog posts for each category, this will give you so much content to start with and eliminates writer’s block.
I hope this answers the many questions I get on How to Start an Income Blog. For any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section.