The basic model of blogging has become so popular that it’s challenging to make an income. There are hundreds of millions of blogs! On the popular blogging platform Tumblr, there are over 245 million blogs. That’s just on Tumblr alone! So how could you stand out from the crowd?
Consider creating a niche authority blog – an informative Blog that is targeted toward a specific audience. The combination can be highly lucrative. With consistent work, it’s possible to create a nice income stream and have fun in the process. You’ll also enjoy the prestige of being an expert in your chosen field.
Starting a Blog is simple and inexpensive. All you need is a few dollars, some free time, and a consistent work ethic.
Choose Your Topic
Choose your niche and Blog topic:
- Make of list of topics that you’re passionate about. Blogs need to be updated on a regular basis. It’s recommended that you add new content at least weekly. That’s a lot of writing over the long haul.
- It only makes sense to choose a topic that you’ll enjoy studying yourself. As you learn more and more about your passion, and share your knowledge with others, you’ll become quite an authority.
- Think about what you’d like to share with the world. What are the topics you enjoy sharing with your friends? Think of a Blog as a conversation between yourself and the world.
- Avoid topics that make you emotionally upset. As your Blog grows, many people will disagree with you. You’ll need a thick skin. Avoid topics that tend to upset you.
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- What do you enjoy reading about in your free time? As they say, if you find work you enjoy, you’ll never work another day in your life. That might be a little optimistic, as any Blog will be tedious at times. But combining your hobby with an income stream is more enjoyable than most jobs.
- Choose keywords. A niche website is highly targeted. Think of specific search terms that others would use to find your content and include these words in your posts. Choose keywords that many people are using in the search engines. There are several good keyword tools available online that help you find these popular search terms.
- For example, instead of targeting the general term “quarterback,” or even “NFL quarterback,” you might choose to target, “How to read defenses like an NFL quarterback.” You’re looking for highly defined traffic.
- It will also be easier to rank your website high on the search engine results pages with more specific keywords.
Now that you’ve decided on a topic you’d enjoy sharing, it’s time to put your Blog on the internet.
Obtain a Domain Name and Web hosting
Head on over to a domain provider and find a domain name that is relevant to your topic. Two popular choices are GoDaddy.com and NameCheap.com. In general, it’s best to stick with the three most common top-level domains: .com, .org, or .net. It’s possible, but more challenging, to be successful with the less common options.
A domain name costs approximately $15/year.
Finding web hosting is the next step.
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There is little difference from one company to the next. “Shared” hosting will be fine to start your Blog with. You won’t need your own server until you have a huge amount of traffic to your site. Choose a plan you like.
Although some of these companies sell both domain names and hosting, it’s better to avoid buying your domain name from the same company that hosts your website.
You can usually find hosting plans for less than $10/month.
Install WordPress and Find a Theme
WordPress is the fastest and easiest way to hit the ground running. It will serve as your Blog platform. It’s free, and you’ll find plenty of excellent instruction on the WordPress.org website.
One of the most important aspects of your Blog is finding a suitable theme. There are thousands from which to choose. WordPress itself has a large selection of free themes. There are also themes produced by other companies that range dramatically in price.
Look at other blogs, find one that really catches your eye, and search for a similar theme. Some themes can be more suitable for certain types of blogs. Some are especially good for a portfolio or photos, for example. Find a theme that works with your content.
It’s finally time to write!
Decide on a schedule and stick to it. Your loyal readers will come to expect new content on a schedule. It’s possible to work ahead, load your new content, and have WordPress post it to your website at particular time and date.
Create content that appeals to your readers and the search engines:
- Present the information that you feel is important and interesting. Look at what your competitors are doing. Which website is the best? How can you do even better?
- Use appropriate keywords here and there throughout your posts. For example, if you were writing about how to train a dog to sit, the search engines would expect to see one or more of the following words: dog, sit, treat, command, leash, listen, hand signal, train, and so on.
- Use multiple forms of media. Include a mixture of text, photographs, and videos.
- Create some videos on your topic, post them at YouTube, and embed the YouTube videos in your Blog posts. Google owns YouTube and this tactic gives you more exposure plus helps in your search engine ranking.
- Develop your own voice. Let your articles and Blog posts show your personality. Connect some of your content to events in your own life. This approach makes your site unique and attracts loyal readers who can relate to you.
The quality of your content will ultimately determine its popularity. Take the time to create the best content you can. Your readers will love you for it.
Establishing Yourself as an Authority in your Field
You might falsely believe that you’re not an expert on anything. You might also believe that it takes years to reach expert status, but that simply isn’t true. You’re already an expert if you know more than most of the general population about a topic.
Fifteen minutes of daily study is more than enough to expand your knowledge even more.
These actions will establish you as an expert:
- Guest blog. Find the most influential blogs in your niche and ask to write an article for them. You might even get paid! Most importantly, all the readers of that Blog will be exposed to you and your information. You’ll also receive a valuable link back to your website.
- If a known expert in your field publishes your work, you’re considered an expert by default.
- Write well. Writing is a skill that takes time to develop. If your grammatical skills are on par with that of an 8-year old, find someone to edit your work. You could also hire someone to create your content for you. There are many websites dedicated to providing content to others.
- Link to authority websites. In your content, link to other websites that are considered respected sources of information. If your niche website is dedicated to selling vitamins, a link to medical studies on Harvard.edu or Jama.com will show the world that you’re current and relevant.
- Submit your work to more authoritative publications. If you could get an article published in the New York Times or The Atlantic, you’d gain a tremendous amount of respectability in your area of expertise.
- Call talk-radio stations and ask to do a show about your topic. Many stations are on constant lookout for content of their own, and would be happy to invite you. In addition, look for popular podcasts about your topic on the internet and offer to be on an episode.
Look at the other experts in your niche. How are they presenting themselves as experts? Once you’re known as an expert, the rest is much easier.
Consider these advantages of being an expert:
- You’ll make more money. When you’re considered an expert, you have credibility. It’s much easier to make a sale when people respect and value your opinion.
- The need for marketing decreases. Experts require less marketing. Everyone already knows who you are. Imagine people searching for your name rather than searching for “the best alligator shoes.”
- Others want to partner with you. When you’re an expert, other bloggers, companies, and experts will be interested in working with you. You’ll have far more opportunities, and those opportunities will come to you.
- You can create your own brand. Rather than selling products for others, you can sell your own products. This is much more lucrative and fulfilling.
Spend the necessary time to develop expert status. Stay current, reach out to others, and post compelling content. Associate with other experts and authority websites.
Monetizing Your Blog
Blogging can be fun, even without an income. But boosting your income makes blogging even better. There are many ways to monetize your site. Keep in mind that no one wants to read a Blog overpopulated with advertisements. Monetize your site, but avoid getting too carried away.
It’s time to start making money:
- Build a list. Send out a regular newsletter to your readers. Include interesting information and sell products in your
- newsletters. Sign up for an account at a good autoresponder service like Aweber or put an autoresponder plugin on your blog. Include a signup form on your front page.
- Affiliate marketing is a simple option. You can sell products created by others and take a cut of the revenue. Look at clickbank.com and JVZoo.com for ideas. There are many other options.
- Google AdSense is another way to monetize your Blog without a lot of work. You simply insert a small bit of code provided by Google into your website. Google will fill that space with ads that are related to your content. When one of your readers clicks on an ad, you get paid.
- Amazon.com is a slightly different type of affiliate marketing. You can sign up at Amazon.com to be an affiliate. You’ll receive a small percentage of any sale made through your affiliate links.
- Sell your own product or service. You could sell an e-book, physical product, or service. This can be very lucrative. You can even sell ad space or outbound links on your website to others.
- Charge a membership fee. This can be a tough sell, depending on your topic. But imagine 10,000 subscribers each paying a few dollars a month to access your content.
Monetizing your Blog is critical if you want to create an income stream. Be creative and take advantage of the best opportunities for your content and readership.
Marketing Your Blog
Allow new readers to find you more easily:
- Comment on other blogs. Find other blogs about your topic and make relevant and helpful comments about the content. Include a link back to your blog.
- Link to other blogs on similar topics. Conscientious Blog owners keep track of their inbound links. You could make a valuable friend and receive a courtesy link back to your website.
- Guest post. Most blogs are happy to have someone else occasionally provide content. You might even get paid. At the very least, you can have new eyeballs read your material. Of course, you get to link back to your blog. This can be a great way to find new readers.
- Use social media. Google is increasingly emphasizing social media activity. Create a Facebook and Twitter account, at least. Use them regularly and encourage others to spread the word.
- Partner with other website owners in your niche or a related one for a promotion. Each of you can promote the other’s product in their newsletter. This will bring both of you new readers plus affiliate commissions. Pick a product that you know your audience would like.
- Actions that establish you as an authority also bring you new readers. For example, speaking on radio shows and podcasts spreads the word about your blog.
- Remember that a certain percentage of readers will stick. Therefore, the more new first-time readers you can find the more long-term readers you’ll get. marketing must be done consistently to be effective. Set aside a few minutes each day to perform this important function.
A niche authority blog can be a great way to boost your income. A profitable Blog can be created quickly, easily, and inexpensively. Choose a topic that resonates with your interests and be smart with marketing and creating compelling content. This could be the start of a new career.
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About Richard Butler
Richard is a life and business success coach based in Barcelona. He is ready to help you with what you need to succeed.
You can find out more at RichardButlerTheSuccessCoach.com