If you want to learn how to make money blogging in 2020, then you have to forget all the bad advice you have been reading and focus on what I am about to tell you.
You’ll get the latest blogging business model that works.
You must get the blogging business model right to build a profitable blog.
This is the ultimate blogging guide that helped me to make $ 5,000 within the first two months of creating a new blog.
In this guide, I am going to share the exact steps that I followed to take Cute Writers from nothing to something. I mean everything I did and the lessons I learnt from my mistakes.
And by the way, I did everything without outsourcing or learning from a mentor (I should have known better).
By the end of this article, you shall master powerful ways of making money online from a blog.
Before I tell you how to start a profitable blog, let me tell you why most blogging advice out there doesn’t work.
My Blogging Mistakes and How I Failed in Blogging
Beware of Outdated “Make Money Blogging Information” out there.
Many blogs fail because bloggers use outdated information and business models.
I have learned the hard way why 95% of blogs fail by failing, and then rising up.
Many things went wrong.
1. I did everything alone (And thought I was the only superstar)
When I started my first blog, I knew what I wanted. I was convinced that nobody could deliver anything closer to what I deliver.
I worked alone.
From looking for the domain name, getting the best web hosting company, installing WordPress, getting nice plugins, creating content, content marketing, blogger outreach, delivering products, handling customer care problems, name it, I was the total man.
I feared employing even a customer care representative to chat with website visitors, or a web designer to handle the technical side of my website.
Remember, I was a noob in everything.
The learning curve was steep.
Making money online as a blogger was next to impossible.
In fact, I almost ditched it when I saw no income the first month.
To make it worse, I had read somewhere from ‘blogging experts’ that a profitable blog should start making money within 20 days.
Many blogs fail because the owner works alone and doesn’t want to outsource anything.
Your blog shall succeed if you learn to outsource and concentrate on serious parts of the sales and conversion funnel.
2. I never did any keyword research (I thought I knew too much)
How could I do keyword research when I thought I was a self-made guru.
If you are still with me, you can bear me witness that owning a website is something sweet.
The moment my website went live, I started experimenting with everything.
I just looked at what high ranking blogs were doing and copied their styles.
No keyword research.
No direction whatsoever.
I could write a long blog and watch my website to see if any visitors saw how awesome I was.
If no visitor came, I deleted the blog and tried another topic, and another and another.
That is the benefit (read as folly) of having no mentor.
Or rather the folly of not buying online courses before doing anything new.
With no keyword research strategy, I wrote content on random topics and wished for better ranking.
It never happened.
3. I stuffed keywords as hell (And ranted like a toddler)
If you know anything about keyword stuffing, then skip the next paragraph.
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This was my idea of SEO content when I started.
How does the above paragraph sound?
Well, it sounds like a malfunctioning robot on a rampage.
Or a baby that’s trying to speak for the first time.
And that is what all of my web pages sounded like.
But that is exactly what I had read from a “reputable SEO blog”
4. I never took my blog as a serious business (I treated it as a side hustle)
I read from blogging nerds that a blog should be something that you’re passionate about.
That it should be something you can do even without pants on.
I followed the “Follow your passion and money will chase you pants down” philosophy.
It doesn’t work.
If you are starting a blog, you should treat it as a serious business.
Give it your best and treat it like any other physical business operating under a brick and mortar roof.
Once you treat your blog as a business, you’ll stop fooling around and create a solid content strategy.
You’ll employ somebody to help you and seal many business deals – because it is a business and not a hobby.
Have you ever heard of serious hobbyists?
I haven’t because nobody will treat your hobby seriously.
People are making great money from blogs and you can do the same if you treat your blog as a business where you are the CEO, or the chief decision maker.
5. I knew that writing great content would attract visitors and money on its own
Ever heard of something called the digital graveyard?
This is the place where millions of digital content rot until their owners give up.
However awesome your article, web page, blog post or product may be, it remains worthless if only you (and nobody else) know of its existence.
I learned that content marketing is king, blogging is queen.
Proactive content marketing is the heartbeat pumping blood to a successful blog.
So, go ahead and market every piece of content you create.
6. I lacked focus and got distracted a thousand times
You may have heard from other bloggers that it’s possible to make money blogging as a side business.
That may be true.
But ask yourself if you want to do your business part-time or full-time.
If you want your blog to bring you money, you must give it the attention it deserves.
Only a few bloggers have succeeded in creating profitable blogs while doing full-time jobs. And they used the right strategies that many newbies are lacking.
Give your blog full attention, or outsource the main tasks if you want to reap maximum profits.
My main mistake was to manage several blogs at the same time. I distributed my energy over 10 blogs. I was everything for the 10 blogs.
All of them grew an inch or two.
Instead, I could have concentrated my energy on one blog to make it so successful that it could power the other ones.
7. Blog Income Reports Mislead Me.
Who else hates income reports from famous bloggers?
How does it feel to read that somebody somewhere earned over $500,000 within a month when you can barely afford web hosting for your new blog?
I love income reports from genuine bloggers who to inspire you.
But some bloggers create income reports to influence your decisions, or to feel good about their progress.
Don’t just rush into blogging because you saw a sweet blogger’s income report.
If the report inspires you, then you need to take some time and create a similar strategy, at least.
I saw an income report and patiently waited to showcase mine.
It took me three months to create something worth talking about in public.
And my presumed failure almost led me to hate blogging, and ditch it.
8. I was sold cheap
Some blogging expert misled me that starting a blog this year is free of charge.
They always make it sound so cheap and easy that you start salivating.
Needless to say, there’s a catch.
Or catches, for that matter.
Maybe they want you to fail so that they continue dominating.
Or they want to sell you something.
I was told that the cheapest webhosting packages could suffice for new blogs.
In fact, I was misled to think that I could get Bluehost web hosting at $2.95.
The package is only available if you pay for 36 months upfront.
If you are broke, like me, you will discover that many web hosts charge more if you want to pay from month to month.
As a broke blogger who wanted to host my first website, I clicked the affiliate link on one of the articles and bought a webhosting package (I made money for the owner, more than I spent on web hosting that month).
Free yourself from webhosting lies.
You need some decent money to pay for longer web hosting.
I shall break this down when we start making money blogging.
Enough of this rant already.
Let’s now dig into important aspects of creating a blogging business that can help you make money as a blogger.
THE ANATOMY OF A SUCCESSFUL BLOGGING BUSINESS MODEL
For your blog to become a great business worth mentioning to your friends, you need the following elements:
1. Assessing the Market Demand of a Blog
Contrary to the opinions of the so-called experts out there, starting a blog needs a solid market strategy.
One of the best things you can do to yourself is to carry out market research to determine the demand levels in your niche.
You need to research your blogging niche to see if real people, and not robots, search for your topic of interest.
Find out if they are willing and ready to pay for solutions you aim to provide.
If you want to start a “make money online blog”, you should know if people are interested in the topic.
Ask yourself this:
What are the biggest problems facing customers in my niche?
Assuming a customer goes to Google, what words will they type when looking for solutions?
What are the top 10 keywords that can attract customers to my website?
Grab a nice keyword research too such as the free Google Keyword Planner, Moz, SEMrush or Ahrefs and key in your keywords.
What is the search volume of your best 10 keywords?
If you discover that your target keywords have at least 5,000 searches per month, then your keywords have an earning potential.
For instance, the keywords “how to make money blogging” has the following search volume.
Analyze the metrics and see if they favor you.
The keyword difficulty score of 60 indicates that it is hard to rank for the keyword.
Furthermore, the tool states that you need backlinks from 129 websites to rank among the top 10 search results for the keyword.
This clearly shows that the competition for the keyword is fierce for me to make any immediate impact. This means that I should not expect my article to rank amongst the best even if it is the most polished one on the topic.
The search volume metric indicates that the keyword has 11k searches per month. That is great since we’re looking for anything above 5k.
Furthermore, the screenshot shows that organic search accounts for 85% of the results while paid search accounts for the remaining 15%. This means that I may increase my chances of ranking for the keywords if I use paid ads.
What if I don’t have the budget? I need to rely on SEO.
The best practice is to go for keywords that have a search volume of over 5k monthly searches and a competition level of under 40%.
It is important to know the strength of the best performing domains for your target keywords. Using a tool such as Ahrefs, key in your keywords and evaluate the Domain Authority of top-ranking pages. The tool can also help you to know the SERP position history of the keywords.
You can achieve the same thing by installing Moz Bar browser extension to check the Domain Authority (DA) of the search engine results data.
Suppose you find out that the top 20 results are from domains whose DA is above 60, do you thing your new blog of DA 1 stands a chance of outcompeting them.
Your content is most likely to end up in a digital graveyard.
What if you discover that a blog from a website whose DA is under 20 is among the top 10 results?
You’ll be pumped up.
It means that you can also rank if you create amazing content and optimize it properly.
The SERP position history can also guide you in evaluating your likelihood of succeeding with a keyword of your choice. If the position history has changed severally in the last six months, then you can shake things up.
What if the same websites have dominated in the last five years?
The competition is too tough for you.
Maybe, you should try long-tail keywords or choose different ones altogether.
Take these blogging lessons home
When researching for keywords in your niche, choose keywords that have:
More than 5,000 monthly search volume
Have a keyword difficulty score below 0.4 (40%)
At least one site of DA less than 20 among the top 10 results
A changing SERP result history
A buyer purchasing potential
A higher income potential
2. Choosing a Profitable Blogging Niche
What does a profitable blogging niche look like?
A profitable niche is any niche that has a ready audience that is willing to spend its cash on your products.
To reap the full benefits of a profitable blogging niche, you should identify the unique things that give you an upper hand over your competitors.
Think long and hard: Type the answers to these questions
Evaluate your current level of professional experience: Does it match that of your competitors? What unique products can you offer to beat your competitors?
Who are your connections in the industry? How can your connections help you to get a foothold in the industry or land the first clients?
How can you use the available resources to create a profitable blog like no other in the industry?
Are there any websites that can accept guest posts if you tell them that you are the person behind your domain name?
What do you have that can add credibility than you can deliver quality products?
Why should anybody trust you?
If you get answers to all questions, then you are ready to sail forward and create a successful blog.
Develop your persuasive copywriting skills since nobody will take any action on your blog without your guidance.
The next thing is to step out of your comfort zone and leverage your academic qualifications, skills, knowledge, connections and everything at your disposal to build your blog.
You need to build authority and influence the world if you want to make money blogging.
Start reaching out to your connections and ask for new network connections and growth opportunities.
Who should you connect with?
What will your outreach entail?
You should build relationships with people who matter in the blogosphere.
These are bloggers, content marketers, content managers, webmasters, editors and owners of authoritative sites who can accept guest posts in your niche.
If you do your homework well, you should be able to reach about 1,000 new connections each month.
And you shall have many guest blogging opportunities than you can handle.
That is the time outsourcing becomes important.
Give out your writing tasks to good writers so that you can concentrate on building and nurturing relationships.
That is how you’ll end up having a ton of high Domain Authority backlinks that’ll boost your SEO and rank your website.
Remember that quality backlinks from authoritative websites are the backbone of your search engine ranking.
Can you get featured by authoritative websites when you’re just starting?
If you have taken time to read the best blogs out there, you must have noticed that the kind of content they publish is not too complicated. It’s something you too can accomplish.
If you have serious samples on your blog and a solid network, you are ready to pitch any publication.
Furthermore, if they say no to your pitch, you have millions of websites that can accept you.
You may start building your network or audience from your local groups, religious meetings, colleagues, classmates or even family.
That is how blogs grow. The larger your network, the higher are your chances of growing faster.
3. Minding Your Target Audience when choosing a niche
How many times have you been misled into the saying that “follow your passion and money will follow you”?
If you want to make money blogging, then you must be wiser than believers of the passion-money tales.
To make money from your blog, you must build trust and deliver value to a hungry audience.
That has nothing to do with your passion.
Look, you can make money from your passion.
But you don’t need to be passionate about something to make money out of it.
You need a solid strategy.
I could be passionate about deep sea diving, going to heaven, making friends, landing on Jupiter, creating automobiles, digging top-soil, manufacturing soap and singing lullabies but I am blogging about making money online.
I could blog about digging.
Or singing lullabies.
But where is the audience and the money?
I wont waste my bandwidth talking about space when I know that many people don’t care about it. And they are not ready to buy rockets to visit Mars.
When choosing your niche, factor in the market demand, and not your passions and fantasies.
Customers bring money, passions may or may not bring money.
Blog about what your audience cares about, and not what you care about, unless you want to become your customer.
95% of blogs led by passionate bloggers fail because they talk about passions that cannot be monetized, or things that nobody cares about.
You want to blog for money.
And the money shall give you more passion.
It’s impossible to become a hobby blogger for life – while working full-time.
If blogging is your hobby, it must pay the bills. After all, it is what you spend time doing.
If it becomes your full-time venture, you better treat it as a business.
And start behaving like a business owner.