Last Updated 1 month by Emily Standley-Allard
The proof is in the pudding as they say. If you are looking to start blogging for money these are the exact ingredients you need to whip up a successful, profitable blog from scratch – step by step. There are no hidden secrets or formulas. Just a super simple blogging recipe that bloggers have used to turn their blogs into million dollar a year businesses.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost to you and we thank you. For more information please read my disclosure.
I’ve put together this blogging recipe guide from the top earning bloggers in the world who make over several million per year.
Think bloggers don’t earn big money? Read this post!
How 37 Bloggers Earn $2K – $1Million Per Month
Most beginner bloggers quit because they think it’s easy to blog.
It is simple to set up a blog, and anyone can do it. On the other hand, it’s not so easy to keep up with the level of quality content required on a consistent basis.
To start blogging for money requires the same time and effort as starting any new business online or not.
This blogging recipe requires three things; patience, persistence, and perseverance.
But… if you enjoy writing, want to be your own boss, and are looking for a career that allows you to work from anywhere in the world, pay off debt or loans, and make an unlimited passive income that most people only dream of in their lifetimes…it’s something you should possibly consider.
Let’s get started.
Is Blogging a Real Business?
Make no mistake starting a blog is a serious business.
The second you decide you want to make money off of it, it is a business and you should treat it as such.
This means it’s in your best interest to take it seriously and to have the right tools to help it operate successfully.
And like any business, it will keep you up at night and give you your share of headaches and heartbreaks.
You may also think of quitting. A lot.
I know I did.
In the blogging world, you are sharing information with people who want to learn from your expertise. The acronym WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) should be your daily mantra.
But not for you.
For your audience.
Because that is the only reason why people will visit your blog over another.
They don’t care about anything else trust me. Once you can provide them with the specific, and most valuable information that they are seeking that is what will keep them coming back to you.
Your blog is indeed a lead generation tool.
But first you have to gain your audience’s trust.
Keep providing genuinely valuable information and they will look to you as their authority.
Offer shallow, crappy, uninformative advice and they will go elsewhere in a heartbeat.
The competition after all, is fierce. With over 400 million blogs online your blog has to provide premium value!
However, if your blog is worthy and contains excellent content, your audience will eventually decide to trust you and eventually even purchase the advice you have to offer.
If you are able to solve your audience’s particular pain or a serious problem they have in the best way, then you can potentially make sales by providing gold nuggets of information.
How to Create An Extraordinary Travel Blog
9 Steps to Create a Successful Beauty Blog
10 Reasons Why No One Cares About Your Beautiful Website
10 Tactics To Create Your Ultimate Lead Magnet
How to Make Money Blogging – My Exact Methods
Let’s get started setting up your million dollar blog!
How to Start Blogging for Money
Step 1: Set up Your Blog
The first step is to set up your blog, but where should you start?
If you want to monetize your blog and make money, you need a self-hosted blog.
Self-hosting is when you own your own domain.
That means that you can’t have it hosted on a free host like blogger.com, wordpress.com, or Tumblr.com.
The most popular blogging platform is wordpress.org. It is the most popular platform for bloggers who wish to monetize a blog.
Why Do I Need A Self Hosted Blog?
If you own your own site and all of the contents then you CAN have ads on it, join high paying affiliate programs and work with big brands and eventually have an e-commerce shopping page if you like.
A ‘Free’ host site on the other hand can shut you down whenever they like because they own it.
You don’t want to do all that work for nothing do you?
7 Strategies to Repurpose Your Blog Content
11 Website Essentials You Can’t Afford to Ignore
5 Niche Blogging Strategies to Help Your SEO
A Note on Blog Niches
It’s a good idea to pick a niche for your blog.
Don’t get talked into writing a ‘lifestyle blog’ unless you have a team of 100 people writing a gazillion articles for you like the Huffington Post.
There’s simply way too much competition out there.
Yes, we all have a lot of different passions and interests but you want to build an audience who come to you on a regular basis who see you as an authority on a particular subject.
It’s too difficult as a beginning blogger to write about a huge niche like health one day and finances the next.
You may want to focus on a smaller, more unique niche, i.e. How to Collaborate With Brands as a Social Influencer, Best Budgeting Apps for Single Moms, or Email Marketing Copywriting Strategies to Grow Your Business…you get the drift.
However, with that being said you want to write about something that has a lot of interest and appeal attached to it as well.
A niche that is too unique and doesn’t have a lot of competition will be a tough sell. (but there are always exceptions)
Read my post on niches to hone in on to get an idea on what you think is right for you.
How to Find a Profitable Niche for Your Online Business
Get a domain name to start blogging for money
Run some ideas through a domain checker like godaddy, namecheap, networksolutions etc. to see what is available.
Always pick one that gives people an idea of what your blog will be about and make sure it ends in .com.
Get a good Web host for your blog
You’ll see a lot of cheap web hosting ads out there.
I like Bluehost – it’s inexpensive, fast and their customer service rocks. Siteground is another great one too.
You can see if the name you like is available right here for free:
Get a professional looking Website and Install WordPress.org
I’ve built a few websites on the Squarespace platform but WordPress.org is hands down the Holy Grail for beginning bloggers.
Upload a theme of your choice. Something that represents your style yet looks professional. There are free, low cost or premium themes from a variety of companies.
My site is the Infinity Pro them and is built on the Genesis Framework.
But there are literally thousands of themes to choose from.
Important! Don’t stress too much over a theme and don’t spend too much time laboring – you can always change it up later if you’re not happy.
How to Save Time Designing Your Website/Blog
Once you’re all set you’re ready to start writing, publishing valuable content, and drawing traffic!
Methods of Drawing Traffic to Your New Blog
There are two main methods of drawing FREE traffic to your new blog:
- Search engines
- Social Media
And Paid Methods
SEO Strategy Guide for Beginners
Beginners Guide to Social Media
6 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Blog
Promote Other Bloggers to Increase Traffic
Understanding The Business and Legal Side of Blogging
To increase traffic through the search engines you have to do some keyword research.
You can start out with Google’s FREE Keyword Tool, or Buzzsumo but I highly recommend SEMRUSH which allows you to check your stats, analytics, toxic links, do audits and even peek in on your competitors keywords as well.
It’s literally an all in one toolkit for bloggers and marketers alike.
The Jaaxy keyword research tool is very user friendly and was actually developed especially for affiliate marketers.
Affiliate marketing is how a lot of bloggers get into earning 6 figures and more.
Nightwatch – Track Your Search Ranking
How to Master SEO Without Losing Your Mind
How I Earn $15,000 Monthly with Affiliate Marketing
Why Your Business NEEDS To Be Blogging
The key to getting anyone to read your posts is to write intriguing, captivating headlines that grab your target reader’s attention.
Study this copywriting guide for the best Copywriting practices and learn how to write stellar post headlines that get the highest conversion rates.
This is one of the most important tactics because if no one even clicks on your headline they won’t ever read your articles, emails or get to your website to see what you offer!
Copywriting is one of the most crucial investments you can have in your blogging business.
Convert Visitors into Email Subscribers
Every single blogger and online entrepreneur will tell you that building your email list is the most important thing you need to do and I’m no exception.
15 Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List
Top Pro Email Marketing Tips For Beginners
Growing your email list will determine how successful your blog will be. This is because once you have emails you have a personal way to reach out to your readers.
You don’t want people to visit your blog and leave, never to return again lost in cyberspace somewhere.
Your job is to convince them to subscribe to your offers, your specials, your promotions and your news!
Get an automated email marketing system like ConvertKit which is the creme de la creme for automated email software.
I highly recommend ConvertKit for bloggers because of their amazing autoresponders, sequences and broadcasting features. You can also monetize your content through them!
Make certain you have a Sign-up form for your email list on your blog whether in pop up form, slider, or sidebar.
Make sure it’s compelling and offers a FREE invaluable incentive for them to sign up. Something they absolutely must have that is of value, that will solve their PROBLEM OR PAIN.
Next: Create Valuable Content That Builds Trust
People won’t buy from you unless they trust you and like you. Not everyone will like you but they must trust you.
Don’t bombard them will things you are trying to sell.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve unsubscribed because I’m overloaded with people trying to sell me something.
Build a relationship and a connection. Offer valuable free content, expertise and advice.
Notice how I keep adding the word ‘value?’.
If your content isn’t adding anything to the knowledge base of the web, why would Google want to rank it?
The best content out there provides value. It offers a series of clearly defined benefits for users.
It takes into account your bank of resources and ideas, open market space, and un-addressed consumer needs, and weaves them all into a convenient and high-impact post that will continue helping readers long after it’s been published.
The way you provide value will depend in large part on your industry.
For example, if you ran a fashion business, you could post content about which type of clothing is trending for each particular month.
If you run a social media company, you could post troubleshooting material or FAQs for users. Both of these things will be valuable and helpful for your audiences, both now and in the future.
Struggling to figure out how to create valuable content? Consider these questions before you write:
- Who is my target audience?
- What problems or concerns do they have?
- Do I have information they’d find helpful?
- What content is currently popular in my niche?
- Do I have any unique viewpoints that would benefit my readers?
Once your audience sees that you’re not just trying to sell them something every two seconds they’ll be wondering if your knowledge, product or service is actually worth the price for your paid offerings.
However, and this is where many bloggers make a critical mistake.
Never assume what your audience wants. Take your time and do your research to discover what your readers are truly looking to know.
Listen to your audience. Read their comments. Read their replies to your emails. Take surveys. Ask questions. Find out what their biggest problems are.
Then and only then do you spend the weeks and months it takes to create a product or service that SOLVES it.
Now these are the basic steps for creating a blog.
As you can see it’s pretty simple. You need very little technical knowledge to do it.
The key is following the recipe and not swaying from it.
There are several ways to earn money from a blog. Smart bloggers don’t rely upon one system.
Read the most profitable items to sell on your blog:
12 Most Profitable Digital Products to Sell Online
Types of Things Blogs Can Sell
Relationship Advice and much more!!
How much money can you make from blogging?
The fact is, most bloggers make as much money as any other type of online entrepreneur in the beginning:
But to be frank most Quit. Plain and simple.
Patience, persistence, perseverance.
And it’s NOT because there’s no money in it.
Check this out:
Smartblogger makes more than $1 million per year, Making Sense of Cents over 150K per month, Chasing Foxes 100K monthly, Pinch of Yum, Just a Girl and Her Blog, ViralNova, ViperChill, Matthew Woodward, Pat Flynn…I could go on and on…and it’s nowhere close to the most profitable blogs out there.
The Penny Hoarder made 20 Million last year through Affiliate Marketing. Mouth agape.
If you missed it, check out this post;
How 37 Bloggers Earn $2K – $1Million Per Month
And mid line bloggers can earn between $2-10K or more per month on their blogs.
There all sorts of various income levels.
It simply depends on what you put into it and how you choose to monetize your blog.
Step 5. Get Creative With Graphics
A good blog these days has to have an incredible design.
If you have zero design skills no worries!
There’s plenty of ways to get your blog looking stunning and professional with NO skills and little to no cost these days.
If you don’t have the bucks to hire a fancy web designer the stylish templates from creative market can help. They also have plenty of stock images, video, graphics and fonts available today will captivate you with their beauty and formattable features.
Creative Market is a digital artist and bloggers dream! They have everything in the way of photos, themes, fonts, graphics, add-ons, plugins, palettes, even 3D!
There is also Weebly that can have you up and running in literally minutes with an ecommerce website that you can attach a blog to.
Powered by Creative Market
Now, if you think this is really something you can put your time, passions, hopes, efforts, dreams and energy into, you’re ready to move onto the nitty gritty part and read this post for some extra tips:
How to Start a Blog in 5 Simple Steps
The Simple Way to Create Marketing Videos
How to Jump Start A New Career At Any Age
How To Make Money Online – The Laptop Lifestyle
How to Be a Successful Social Media Manager in a Month
13 Best Platforms to Sell Digital Products
9 Steps to Create a Successful Beauty Blog
How to Create An Extraordinary Travel Blog
100+ Creative Ways to Make Money On and Offline
I hope this post helped get a clear idea into some of the ways you can create start blogging for money.
Blogging is a perfect way to showcase your products and services, it’s excellent for SEO if you have a business already, and lets you share information about what you know with the world.
With blogging you can have your own little part of the internet created especially by you!
Write about your passions and interests, help people with their problems, lead them on the path to be successful, teach what you already know or what you want to know, and be a part of an amazing community of other bloggers!
For business, it’s a great driver for traffic to a website and establishes you as an authority in your niche.
Get started on this amazing journey today!
Sign up for our amazing website strategies to generate a better business online. We’ve done all the research so you don’t have to.
Follow us for more information to drive the most traffic to your blog and build your epic online business.
Matthew Woodward says
Great recipe, treating your blog as a business is good advice. Thanks for the mention
Absolutely! I appreciate all your wonderful advice Matthew – thanks for taking the time to reach out this-a-way! Cheers! Emily