So you went ahead and started a blog. That’s great! But now what?
In this post, I’ll show you how to grow a blog from scratch. There are a few things that you can do as a new blogger to grow your blog fast and I’ll outline them below. Blogging is still a great way to make a fulltime income online but I want you to know right now that this is not a get rich scheme.
You can make five-figures monthly with blogging but it won’t come overnight. If you’re prepared to do the work and diligently build your blog for the next 12 months, you’ll see the rewards. I have started many blogs over the years and now manage four blogs that I update regularly. These are all in different niches and they all took a different strategy and chunk of time to start making any significant money.
So if you’ve decided that this is the way you want to explore making money online, then start that blog now! Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a new blog if you’ve not conquered this step as yet.
But wait! Before you start a blog, there are a few things to figure out to ensure it’s profitable. Let’s explore these.
What to do before starting a blog
Before you even start your blog, you’ll want to choose a profitable niche. Blogs that make money focus on one main niche. If you’re thinking of starting a general lifestyle blog, think of what types of things you’re most likely to write about.
I’m sure within those blog post ideas you have, there are common themes. Find a particular category or niche and try to stick to it, at least in the beginning. I coach my blogging clients to write about one topic at a time. Completely exhaust the topic from all angles you can think of, then research some more angles. When you think you’ve written everything you can about that topic, only then will it be time to move on to something else.
At that point, you may want to start another blog altogether.
Here’s what I recommend about choosing a profitable blog niche with some of the most profitable niches listed.
When you’ve chosen your niche, you’ll want to narrow down the audience you will be writing for. Beauty topics, for instance, should be written about in different ways when it comes to various age groups and financial brackets. Here’s an exercise to help you narrow down your target audience. This is important to help you connect with your audience and develop an engaging relationship with them. An engaged audience is an audience that buys over and over again and this is one of the best ways to make money online right now.
How to Grow a Blog from Scratch
After you’ve gone through the above exercises and have set up your blog, the next steps look something like this:
- Write your first 10 blog posts
- Start a Pinterest account or convert your existing account to a business one
- Share your blog posts on social media
- Write 2-5 posts per week (aiming for 50 posts before slowing down)
- Build backlinks
- Search for affiliates
- Apply for ads
- Get into email marketing
- Learn SEO
- Offer a product or service
Let’s look at each of these a little closer.
Your first blog posts
The very first thing that you want to do after setting up your blog is getting content published. Blog posts are the backbone of your blog. Without them, there’s no blog so until you’ve hit a good number of blog posts, this is all you’re focused on in the very beginning.
To start, do a brainstorming session and write out as many blog post ideas you can think of. Research. Check out some other blogs in your niche and see some of the things they write about. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for blog posts you can write about as well. Jump on Pinterest, type in your niche and see what topics come back.
From your list, pick out 10 blog posts that are all somewhat related to each other. This will give your reader something else to read when they’ve finished a post from you. It’s not the best user experience to have a blog post on starting a garden then the next post is on beauty hacks for millenials. You want posts that can be linked to each other to take your reader on a journey from post to post.
When you do this, you begin to establish yourself as an authority on your topic since you’ve written so much content on it from different angles. You also keep your reader on your website longer as they go from page to page. This becomes very important as your blog grows.
When you have your list of 10 related topics, read this post on Blog SEO and Keyword Research. It covers some things that are crucial for your success later down the line. SEO is a deep and wide topic that you’ll want to invest in later on when your blog begins to earn income. For now, that post will give you the basics of what to do to optimize your blog posts to get traffic from Google.
Once you’ve read that post and understand how to research keywords, next you’ll want to read my guide on how to write a profitable blog post. I share my blog post outline so you can simply follow the steps to writing awesome content that will make money. Now, it’s time to write! Write your first 10 blog posts then move on to the next step.
Pinterest for Blog Traffic
When you have 10 blog posts on your blog, it’s time to start sharing your posts and getting some traffic. Pinterest is a great free way to do this. I have a great Pinterest video training that shows you how to set up your account, how to create beautiful pin images and how and when to share them on Pinterest. You can watch and implement my strategy from that video to grow your blog.
You can also check out my blog post that explains everything Pinterest to learn how to get started.
Facebook is also a great resource for very new bloggers to grow blog traffic. I explain how to use Facebook groups as a blogger here. You can also share your blog posts on Twitter, Instagram, create a Youtube video and share the link in the description and anywhere else you hang out on social media. Every little bit counts in the beginning.
Your Writing Schedule
In the beginning, your focus is on creating amazing content. So even though you’re spending some time to share your posts on Pinterest and you’re spending some time learning and understanding SEO and keyword research, as a beginner blogger you won’t have much to work with without a solid bank of content.
This means you want to spend the bulk of your time in the beginning writing blog posts. Write as many, aiming for at least 50 quality blog posts before you begin to slow down and focus on other areas of blogging.
The types of blog posts you’ll write will be a mix of posts with different end goals. Here’s your focus when writing your posts:
- Informational posts – these blog posts are simply meant to bring in traffic
- Email subscribers – these posts have the single aim of growing your email subscribers. More on that to come
- Money-making posts – these are your most profitable posts. They feature product reviews, tutorials, how-tos, comparisons, answer specific buyer-intent questions, etc
Be sure to have a good mix of all three of the above in your first 50 blog posts in order to grow a sustainable blogging business that eventually has some amount of passive income coming in.
My flagship course on blog monetization explains each type of blog post and takes you through my 6 stages of blog monetization. Consider joining my program here.
Remember that the most profitable blogs are blogs that provide solid resources and solutions to reader queries. If you want to make money with a blog, your blog posts must answer a question or provide a solution to something that a good amount of people search for on Google each and every day.
Provide these solutions from your personal perspective sprinkled with personality and boom, you have an engaging blog that makes loads of money.
How to Build Backlinks And Why They’re Important
A backlink is a link to your blog from another resource. So if I link to your blog post from a blog post on one of my blogs, that’s a backlink to you.
Backlinks can be internal and external. The above example details an external backlink. You can also link to one blog post of yours from another blog post of yours. That’s counted as an internal backlink.
Both of these are very important to Google as ranking factors. If you want your blog posts to rank high in search engines and bring you lots of traffic from people searching about the topics you write for, you’ll want to invest some time in building backlinks.
Guest posting is one of the best ways to build backlinks to your blog. But it must make sense for both you and the blogger who will be hosting your guest post. Read my guide on writing guest posts so that it benefits you best.
When to Apply for Ads
Hosting ads on your blog is an easy way to make money blogging, but it requires a lot of content and a lot of traffic to that content to actually make sense.
Blog ad networks won’t let you in until you have a solid base of content to work with.
When you’re at your first 10 blog posts, you can try for Google Adsense. The pay is not much here but it trains your audience to get used to ads on your blog. I used them on my blogs until I qualified for better and regularly hit the payout threshold of $100 each month. $100 is better than nothing!
When you’ve hit 10,000 pageviews each month, you can apply to Monumetric for a better payout. Or you can wait until you have hit 25,000 sessions in 30 days to apply for Mediavine. This is the ad network I use for my bigger blogs. The payout is really good and they have a great team always helping you to increase your earnings.
You may want to skip ads altogether or wait until you qualify for the best before adding ads to your blog. How then to monetize your blog as a new blogger? With affiliate marketing.
Look for Affiliates
Affiliate marketing is when you recommend a product in a blog post for a commission. You get that commission whenever someone clicks on your link and proceeds to buy that product.
I wrote extensively about affiliate marketing here so I won’t go into it much. However, you can start looking for affiliates to add to your blog posts as soon as you’ve written your first 10 blog posts. This is one of the best ways to make money with a new blog.
By now you should have hit your first 50 blog posts and are able to slow down on content creation and focus on those activities that will make you money as a blogger.
Here, you can pivot your attention to growing an engaging email list. I wrote about how to get started with email marketing here.
You also want to go deeper into SEO at this point. From here on out, you can scale back to only posting one new post each week while taking the time to update older posts as you learn SEO. You can start with my Beginner SEO course offered here. It’s one of the most affordable SEO courses on the market and teaches you everything you need to know to optimize your posts for search engine traffic.
Finally, you want to begin looking into offering your own products or services. These can be anything relating to your blog like:
- Coaching on your area of expertise
- An ebook or digital course on your topic
- Merchandise surrounding your brand
- Freelancing or consultation
These are anywhere from small products that earn you a modest income each month to big-ticket items that will make you several thousands of dollars each month. It will take some time to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and get to this stage but I introduce it here as something to work towards.
I hope this helps to create a path for you as a new blogger and you now know where you should be concentrating your efforts. Want to ask me a question? Pick my brain here or simply head on over to buy me a coffee in support.