Our tips for starting a blog that generates traffic and income.
Blogging remains an effective and inexpensive way to build an audience, reach your target market and generate income online.
In WordPress alone, more than 409 million people read blogs each month, and blogs can help direct some of that traffic to your website, business, or platform.
However, creating a blog is not just about creating a URL and writing it, especially if your goal is to start a blog that generates income or promotes your own business.
The key steps to launch a successful blog
The key to success lies in generating enough traffic to build readership and regular revenue. For this, it is not enough to offer attractive content.
Generating income with a blog requires a great strategy, which means that you need a plan and structure that attracts a clearly defined audience. You also need a promotion strategy, profitability plan and benchmarks to measure success.
Take the time to follow these steps, and you will be well on your way to publishing a successful and profitable blog.
Identify your niche
A successful blog should focus on a subject on which you want to write thousands of words. But it must also be attractive and targeted enough for other people to be interested.
For example, if you write exclusively about your cat’s daily life, it is unlikely that many other people will find it as fascinating as you. However, if you are a cat lover, writing about cat health opens the door to a wider audience, a multitude of potential topics and great opportunities for readers to share their own advice and experiences.
The bottom line is to find a market large enough to support your revenue goals, but narrow enough for you to grab the attention of a niche audience.
Study your market
Before you start writing, you need to research your target audience and find out what content they are interested in consuming. Read popular blogs, including those with general appeal and those related to topics that interest you.
- What type of site structure receives the most comments from visitors (what type of layout?)
- What questions do readers ask themselves?
- What is the most popular information in your field?
- What information is rarely processed?
- What type of content is shared and commented on?
- How does your target market react to different types of publications?
- How do readers find these blogs?
Treat your blog like a business and use your research to create a consumer profile that will help you understand and connect with your ideal audience.
Tip: to identify the most commented and shared types and content topics, we recommend using the BuzzSumo tool
Anyone with internet access can have a blog, but not everyone has the credibility to make a blog meaningful. You don’t have to be a master painter to blog about art, but it is useful to gain the trust of your readers if you take the time to explain your interest and clarify your references.
You can first establish your credibility through a simple “About” page on your website . Thereafter, you can invest the time and resources necessary to extend your reach and appear on other platforms.
Remember that it is not necessary to be a doctor to write a blog on health, or to be a champion of bodybuilding to have a blog on fitness, or to be a veterinarian to have a blog on the domestic animals. It is more important to create content that is useful, interesting and attractive to your target audience.
Set clear goals
Start by describing what you intend to achieve with your blog.
- Are you trying to direct traffic to your business website?
- Do you want to create a blog that will itself be a business?
- Do you want to attract sponsored content?
- Will you make money from affiliate links?
- Do you intend to sell your own products?
Once you know your overall goal, establish short-term benchmarks, such as driving traffic, generating revenue, increasing your social media subscribers , or adding subscribers to your emails. Set a timeframe to reach them so you can measure your success.
Establish a one-year plan, with checkpoints to assess if you’ve reached your goals and to measure the overall growth of your blog.
Some of the key metrics you need to focus on are website traffic, email subscribers, link clicks, downloads, and revenue.
Get interested in SEO
Most readers will find new blogs as a result of a search engine search to answer a question, find information on a popular topic, or solve a problem. If you want your site to be the one they find, you need to learn about and use search engine optimization, or SEO .
The SEO uses targeted keywords to tell search engines what treats an article, allowing your content to appear in search results when a potential reader these keywords. Writing for SEO requires creating readable content that integrates these keywords naturally.
The keywords you choose to target should be based on the interests of your ideal audience. It will take research to find out what these keywords are. Once you have a list, it can guide the topics of your articles and help you come up with new blog topic ideas.
Focus on design
Professional websites must present a professional-looking design, both in their general presentation and in the graphic elements and photos that appear in each post. This requires an investment in money or time.
If you have a startup budget for your blog, you can pay a professional to design a website layout and templates. If you have more time than money, you can opt for DIY.
There are many free and inexpensive WordPress website templates that will allow you to design a professional quality site. For graphic elements, you can use a free tool like Canva to design your own models.
On Envato Market , you will find a selection of WordPress themes that will allow you to apply a professional design on your site. For around € 50, thousands of themes adapted to your sector are available.
Investing in a professional-looking design for your website, whether it is done by someone you hire or not, will add credibility to your blog and help you gain the attention and trust of new visitors.
Create a logbook
It is better to create several articles before launching your blog, rather than publishing a single initial article.
In 2020, there are more than 31 million bloggers in the U.S. alone, the majority of whom use WordPress.
If you have multiple articles available from the time readers find your blog, they are more likely to stick around, read on, and get to know you. They are therefore more inclined to:
- Return to your website in the future
- Trust your expertise
- Subscribe to your mailing list
- Download your content
- Buy your products
- Click on your affiliate links
- Follow you on social networks
Remember that blogging is no longer limited to written content. People like to engage with images, infographics , audio and video content. Choose the medium that suits you best, or experiment with a variety of content to find out which one arouses the most interest from visitors.
Google is not the only search engine you can position yourself on.
Pinterest is a popular visual search engine that can drive a lot of traffic to your blog, no matter what your niche or topic. Unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest is not intended for user interaction; rather, it is a place where you can list your content so that new visitors can find, save, and to access.
The visuals you create for each blog post should follow Pinterest best practices:
- Vertical rather than horizontal
- High resolution
- Represent your item faithfully
- Have both an image and a text
- Include your logo
Once you have included visuals in your articles, modify the information for each of them to include a description rich in keywords and check your site via Pinterest. This will ensure that your description will appear when your image is pinned and will allow Pinterest users to find your content through search.
Create a community outside of your blog
Once you’ve started publishing your blog, research and participate in online communities.
Social networks such as Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and LinkedIn are great places to connect with potential readers, but it can be difficult to direct traffic from those sites to your blog. Instead, use them as places to build credibility and build relationships.
You may be more likely to direct traffic to your blog if you appear in popular online magazines or professional publications. There are several ways to appear there:
- Do guest blogging by posting guest articles on sites offering this option
- Do public relations
- Contact established bloggers to collaborate with them and appear on their site or platform
- Direct visitors to your website with free products such as e-books, online courses or informational slideshows
Regularly updating your content and engaging with readers keeps them coming back to your blog, which helps you generate more traffic and revenue. Always invite others to comment and, when they do, thank them for their thoughts.
Also do the monitoring by paying attention to what other websites in your sector write:
- Do they cover the news?
- Do they overlook important topics?
- Do they offer free content to their readers?
- Do they collaborate with partners? Sponsored content? Affiliate Links?
Look for places where you can fill in missing information or weigh to attract new visitors. Assess your readers’ needs and add featured content such as article series, free products, webinars or e-books to keep them interested.
Examine the keywords and websites that bring readers back to your site and create more content related to these topics. The interests of your readers will also suggest brands you can collaborate with through sponsored posts, affiliate links, or discount codes, all of which will attract more visitors to your site.
Content maintenance demonstrates your commitment to your readers and subscribers. It also keeps you up to date in the search engines, which allows you to attract more traffic and keep developing your blog.