I’m not going to tell you that making money online with a blog is easy. I am going to tell you that it’s worth it. My name is Lori Ballen and I’ve spent my entire adult life earning 6 figures per year through blogging. Now, that’s not all through ads or affiliate marketing. It includes services for my various brands as well.
When done right, blogging can be a great way to quit your day job, or add another stream of income to your household.
Follow along as I take you step-by-step through the process of creating a blog and cultivating an audience that results in ad revenue, affiliate income, course sales, product sales, and service.
How To Make Money Blogging
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Quick Table of Contents
Step 1: Choose A Niche
Choosing a niche can be one of the hardest things for new bloggers to do. They get so caught up in the what that they lose focus of the WHY!
While choosing “the right” niche absolutely can be a huge element of blog success or failure, getting started is the best step you can take.
I started over with my blogs many times. Be OK with that possibility.
Show me a successful person and I’ll show you where they failed forward.Lori ballen
- It’s often ideal to choose a topic that fits lifestyle, hobbies, skills, passions, and knowledge.
Step 2: Decide and Register a Domain [URL]
- Use Godaddy, Wealthy Affiliate, or domain registrar of your choice
- Choose something available
- Choose something short
- Choose something easy to remember and spell
- Choose a domain name that is uncomplicated
- 2-word domains work well. For example, midlifemonarch.com, ballenvegas.com, ketodays.com, loriballen.com, the7thstream.com was supposed to be 7thStream.com but it wasn’t available. And of course, one-word domains are often used and sometimes don’t have a meaning: Zillow, Zurple, Fiverr, Google, Samsung
- Keywords in the top level domains don’t have search ranking power as they once did. Instead, the real power is in understanding semantically related keywords and how to use them when blogging.
- Don’t get stuck on this. Pick something and go. [Video Tutorial]
Step 3: Choose your Website Platform and Webhost
- Your platform can be an in-house company provided website or any of the many website provider platforms.
- Avoid simple free sites like Wix if you plan to grow your website and have goals to rank on the search engines.
- The most popular platform is WordPress. It’s a growth-oriented, content management system (CMS).
- You’ll want your WordPress hosted for you. This means you will pay for hosting. While GoDaddy is a popular choice for hosting, there are many others that are favored such as Bluehost.
I prefer WordPress. I’ve built on dozens of platforms over the years and nothing compares to functionality of WordPress. I have a training course on Internet marketing called The Ballen Method that includes WordPress.Lori Ballen, Creator of This Website
Step 4: Blog Design
- You can choose a Website designer to customize something
- WordPress offers many great designs that come with the platform or are available for just a bit more. These are called WordPress themes. This website usee Studiopress.
- Don’t over complicate the design. It should be simple, uncluttered, and mobile friendly. You can change colors and other design elements quite easily in the customize appearance section.
- If you are using WordPress, you’ll be able to change the design, often quite easily.
- Don’t use a fancy font. Keep it simple
- Keep your links blue or a contrasting to your regular font color if possible. This website uses a color theme with green.
Step 5: Creating Content
- Create content that solves a problem or answers a question. You can actually title your content as a question and then answer it. Including a video is always a bonus.
- Use Quora.com and Answerthepublic.com to find questions people frequently ask. You can also use Google suggestions or the people also ask box on Google. Paid tools like semrush also offer questions and search volume, keyword difficulting and more.
- The more you create content based on actual searches, and the better your content is, the more traffic you will earn. Pinterest Categories are a great way to get ideas for your blog categories.
- Install Keywords Everywhere, a chrome extension to get more keyword suggestions while you work. You’ll see search volume and cost per click anywhere you do keyword research. Oh yeah, and it’s free.
- You might also like Spyfu which is another popular tool for keyword research.
- Keep in mind, today is more about “topic’ research than it is the keyword itself. That was “old school SEO.”
- Passion Pieces, as I call them, can be valuable as well. These could be personal stories, rants, or thoughts about anything related to your topic.
- Cornerstone Content is going to be pages you refer to often. They are generally longer style “pillar posts” that cover the most important topics related to your niche.
Step 6: Getting Traffic To Your Blog
One of my favorite topic hacks is to put a competitors website into semrush and then sort their keywords based on highest traffic earners. Then I know to create topics around those keywords. I use google, answerthepublic.com and quora to pull questions people ask for those topics. I will never run out of blog ideas for any of my niches.Lori Ballen, Author of this blog
Some people practice omnichannel marketing which means they are everywhere. Those people usually have teams and funds to do so. If you are a one-man show or small business, you might have to focus on 1 or 2 channels to start. It’s hard to learn the formats, languages, and what works at a high level if you are trying to do it all.
Some of the ways to generate traffic are:
- Search Engine Marketing (Paid Ads through Google, Bing, etc.)
- Search Engine Rankings (earned in search engine result impressions from search engine optimization) (Still very big for bloggers.)
- Facebook Pages, Groups, Video, etc.
- Youtube and other Video Channels (Can be huge for bloggers!)
- Other Social Networks
- Social Ads
- Blogging on platforms like Medium
- Banner Ads
- Guest blogging
- Affiliate and Influencer Marketing (You give them a commission on sending you business)
- Television, Radio and Other Media Channels
- Word of Mouth
- Pinterest (Huge for bloggers!)
- Personal assistant results and skills (Alexa etc.)
- Email and Newsletters
My favorite blog sources are Google SEO, Pinterest and YoutubeLori Ballen, The7thStream Author
Step 7: Making Money With Your Blog
- Amazon Ads
- Display Ads (such as Google AdSense and premium advertisers when you have sufficient traffic)
- Sponsored Content
- Product Sponsorship: You are given products to review
- Affiliate Marketing
- Your own Physical Product Sales
- Your own Info Products or Digital Products: Courses, Guides
- Your own Services
- Live Speaking Events
- Blogging or Marketing Services
Next, you’ll choose a domain name, website platform, and host. Then, you’ll get to work creating content based on your topic focused on answering questions and helping answer questions people ask online. Hopefully, you can provide the right information or solution to their problem.
Then, you’ll drive traffic to your blog through search engines, social media channels, affiliates and influencers, paid ads etc.
Finally, you’ll monetize your blogs with ads, products (such as courses), services, amazon links, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and speaking events.
While some bloggers do earn thousands each month in ads, most of us are making money with the other strategies as well.