You want to start and make money blogging within the next 12 months. Is it possible?
Yes, it is!
Food blogger Chelsea Lords often boasts of making over $42,000 in her first year of blogging. She did it, and you can do it too. But how?
That’s what I’m here to tell you. With this blog post, you’ll learn how you, too, can build a profitable blog under one year.
Becoming an Overwhelmed Newbie Blogger is Typical
There’s so much to do…
You need to find new readers for your blog, and you’re told there are lots of ways to find new readers.
You need to interact with other bloggers, and you’re told there are different ways to interact with other bloggers.
You also need to make some cash, you’re told there are different ways to monetize your blog.
With many different ways to do different things, you could easily become overwhelmed. Your FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is alive when you’re blogging, because you don’t want to become left behind on new search engine tricks. You always want to keep up with the latest search and social news so you can effectively adapt your blogging strategies.
- You have to write, edit, and proofread your blog post.
- You have to tweet on Twitter, share on Facebook, pin on Pinterest, and plus on Google+.
- You have to find and design your blog post featured image in Canva.
- You have to respond to your readers’ comments.
You can easily become overwhelmed with lots of to-do lists you have to complete almost every day. And, if you can keep up with all these things that you have to do on a daily basis, it means you will sacrifice seeing your friends and the people you care so much about.
Blogging becomes harder when you have a job or if you’re doing it on a part-time basis. Trust me, you can easily feel like quitting because all these things may take a toll on your body.
Are we all doomed?
Today’s bloggers are likely to stray away from the basics of blogging. That’s why blogging seems hard. 95% of new bloggers are likely to quit after six months because they can’t just keep up with the heavy demands of blogging.
This post will tell you some of the basics. It will tell you how to blog without killing yourself.
Tip #1. Focus on a Tiny Niche
Most bloggers start their blogs because the Miss Y next door makes a lot of money writing about weight loss. Who doesn’t want to lose weight these days? Research says 70% of Americans are overweight. So you created your own weight loss blog. What you may not realize is that this weight loss market is already overcrowded.
You can’t start big and expect to grow bigger. The process is tough, and you can’t do it alone. But you can start very small, and scale from there. You’ll find a tiny untapped niche by delving deeper into that big, overcrowded niche.
Weight loss is overcrowded. Weight loss for moms is better. Weight loss for stay-at-home moms is great!
Amazon didn’t start as the gigantic company we now know. It started as a tiny online bookstore which Jeff Bezos operated from his garage. In 2015, Amazon overtook Wal-Mart as the largest retailer.
How could a company that started as an online bookstore become the largest retailer?
It’s simple: Amazon started small from a tiny niche and grew from there. The same principle applies to blogging. Start from a small uncompetitive niche and grow.
Tip #2. Focus on Two Traffic Sources
You’re in your first year of blogging, and you’re the only person running your blog. You want traffic from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google, Bing, Reddit, StumbleUpon, online forums, and guest blogging. Yet, it’s only you running your blog.
How can you do all that by yourself?
The answer is you can’t! You’ll exhaust yourself, as there is a limit to the things you can do alone.
Many new bloggers make this mistake. They want traffic from almost every traffic source. You may have heard that it’s good to diversify your blog’s traffic source so that your income isn’t badly affected when one source suddenly stopped sending readers to your blog. This is a good advice. However, the situation is different when you’re just starting out. Your blog has little traffic, so it wouldn’t hurt you that much. Focusing on one traffic source may look like average advice, which is why you should go for two.
Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom of Pinch of Yum made $32,971.75 in one of their recent blogging income reports. You can see the largest traffic drivers to her blog: Google’s organic search and Pinterest. These are the two traffic drivers on which she focuses most of her promotion effort.
It wouldn’t look too bad if one traffic source stops sending you traffic. It may affect your income, of course, but it is rare for both of your sources to stop sending you traffic at once. You can also better manage your time with two traffic sources. It frees up your time to do other important blogging tasks as you build up your blog.
I recommend you focus on Google and one social channel where your target audience spends most of their time. It could be Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Make sure you pair that social channel with Google.
Blogger Babes recently had Bjork as a webinar guest and you can find the recording and slides available here. We highly recommend their Tasty Food Photography ebook–it’s a great ebook that Ponn recommends often!
Tip #3. Focus on Long Tail Keywords
One of the benefits of search engine traffic is that its acquisition cost is almost close to zero, and search engines can give your blog a constant flow of readers. A single blog post could continue to get 5,000 visitors per month directly from search engines.
Long tail keywords are where the magic happens. Long tail keywords are less competitive, and they can send decent monthly readers to your blog. I’m a big fan of long tail keywords (and so are Ponn and Heidi!), because you can easily rank at the top of Google’s first page with them.
Recommended Free Long Tail Keyword Tools
My favorite tools for finding long tail keywords are:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Autocomplete Suggestions
- Google related searches
- Keyword Tool
On average, Google’s top result gets 36.4% of the clicks. That leaves a lot of traffic up for grabs.
It’s better to rank number one on Google’s first page for a less competitive long tail keyword that receives 100 searches per month than to rank so low for a keyword that receive 100,000 searches per month that your blog post is buried at page fifty. No one will get a chance to see your blog page, let alone click it.
Entrepreneur and business blogger Neil Patel (marketing genius and personal friend of Heidi’s) has said, “At the end of February 2014, I was surprised to learn that my blog had attracted 238,195 search visitors. 100% of them came from long-tail keywords.”
Long tail keywords are your best friends in your first year of blogging, and beyond. So, please use them!
Tip #4. Collect Emails from Day One
Make sure you collect emails on your blog, no matter what.
You own that list and traffic!
- Facebook may decide not to send you traffic again. There’s nothing you can do about that. Facebook owns their platform and they can do anything they like with it.
- Google owns their search engine and they can do anything that pleases them and their users. They care less about you, the blogger who is busy collecting traffic from their search engine.
- The same is true for Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, or any other channel that drives traffic to your blog.
You have to safeguard your blog’s future. You want your blog to continue to exist no matter what happens to Facebook or Google. Facebook may get dethroned tomorrow. We may have another search engine that beats Google. We’ve seen things like this happen before, and we can’t rule it out from happening again. You may find yourself playing to another set of rules again, trying to adapt.
How can you protect your income from the unpredictable internet world? The only way to do that is to collect emails.
With emails, you can always get in touch with your readers. You can always sell to them and develop stronger bonds with them. Emails are your main priority. Your purpose of blogging should be to collect those emails first, and worry about other things later.
You have all things when you have your readers’ emails. Make sure you’re growing that email list day-by-day.
The best email service? I recommend AWeber. You can also try MailChimp. (These are the two services Blogger Babes use and love!)
Tip #5. Learn How to Rank in the Search Engines (Use Critical SEO Tactics)
Successful bloggers are talented internet marketers and SEOs.
The process of ranking on search engines is an art of its own. Unless you dip your toes into the search water, you can’t become a talented SEO.
Recommended SEO News Sites
I often visit authority search engine news sites such as:
This is where I learn the latest happenings in the search engine world. I only do this for 2 hours on every weekend. Some bloggers will spend hours every day reading these blogs while they spend a little time doing the actual blogging tasks. Not a good way to blog!
Learning how to rank is a must!
The search engine landscape changes once in awhile. You can outsmart your competitors by using an SEO tactic before they even become aware of it. They may find it difficult to catch up with you when they finally discover the new strategy.
So, I recommend that you spend a few hours a week reading authority marketing blogs.
Tip # 6. Use Simple Language
I’m not here to tell you what you already know or overload you with so much information that you find it difficult to run your blog.
I assume that you know how to register a domain name, set-up your blog on your chosen web host, get a good design, and use WordPress. (You can find all that out in 3-Simple Steps here).
You may not be a great writer but, at least, you know how to put words and paragraphs together like I’m doing right now.
If you pay a close attention to this article, you’ll see that I use simple, everyday English words. You don’t need a Bachelor’s degree to know and use them. In fact, you’ll rarely see me use any ten-dollar word, because I don’t even know them. 😉
So, I assume you know how to use these simple words too.
Tip #7. Connect with Influencers in Your Niche
The harsh truth is that you need influencers to make your blog successful.
Now, when I say you need influencers, I’m not talking about knowing 50 or 100 influencers. If you can get the attention of only one influencer, then your blog will be successful. Two is better. Three influencers is great!
After you publish a blog post, you need influencers to share it. As you may already know, most influencers won’t share content, unless that content blows everything out of the water. And they wouldn’t share something they don’t care about.
There are influencers in almost every niche. Here’s a complete guide that will show you how to find influencers in your niche. You don’t have to read that guide if you know the influencers in your niche already. What you have to do is ask them to share your blog post. It’s that simple. Just ask!
The problem is that most of us are afraid of asking. We believe these influencers are too busy to tweet or share our blog posts. But when you visit their Twitter and Facebook profiles, you’ll find that they are always tweeting and sharing blog posts written by them and other people. They are looking for the next great content to share with their followers. If you can give them that great post, they will be willing to share it. You only have to create that high-quality content and ask influencers to share it.
You do not have to contact 100 influencers. Remember: You only need one or two influencers to share your blog post. Embrace your blog for a flood of visitors if just one influencer decides to tweet your content. A single tweet by an influencer will get lots of retweets from other influencers. It means more reach for your blog, which leads to more visitors coming into your new blog.
UPDATE: We launched our forums for female bloggers and influencers. However, we also have our closed Facebook group.
Tip #8. Create Your Own Product and Sell It
After you’ve created some cornerstone content, and some influencers decide to share it with their followers, you’ll see massive visitors land on your blog. Some of those visitors will decide to join your email list.
Your email list is where the real money is. You’ve worked hard to build that email list. (If you haven’t yet, grab the Blogger Babes eGuide here). It’s time to start reaping the rewards of your effort.
Note: you don’t have to grow your email list to 5,000, 10,000, or 20,000 subscribers before you launch your product. Even an email list of 1,000 subscribers could generate good income for you. It depends on the kind of skill you have, and what your audience needs.
What to send your email list to generate income
- You can decide to sell your skill on your blog through offering one-on-one coaching, consulting, or freelance services.
- You can decide to launch your own information products like e-courses, e-books, video tutorials and more.
- You can decide to launch your own smartphone app.
- In most niches, your product will generate the most income.
Blogger Babes Success Tip: Host a blog tour right before a product launch (Ponn wrote on 28 blogs in 28 days). This helped us more than doubled our email list and secured over 150 sales in its first day!
Tip #9. Promote Relevant Affiliate Products You Use and Love
You might not have the time it takes to create your own product. In that case, the best thing to do is find a good product and promote it as an affiliate. This may seem easy to do, but promote the wrong product, and you’ll forever lose the trust of your email subscribers.
Affiliate marketing is a beautiful thing. It can make you thousands of dollars. But you’ll have to approach it with care; your credibility comes first. (Blogger Babes wrote a complete training eKit on this subject: Affiliate Marketing Ethically).
The biggest mistake you can make is not knowing the product you’re promoting. Don’t just assume that a product is good because the merchant pays you a percentage when you make a sale. You have to look into the product yourself and see if it’s worth promoting or not.
The number one rule of affiliate marketing is that you must use a product before you recommend it to your readers. You may have to show your readers videos, or images which shows how and when you’re using the product you recommend to them. This breeds more trust. They will be eager to buy because you’re a user of that product too.
The second rule of affiliate marketing: don’t plaster your blog with affiliate links. Readers will trust you less because they will start to think that you only care about making money. (We recommend having one dedicated page to your favorite tools and recommended resources, like ours here.)
You should create a separate and unique review page for a product you’d like to promote. Link to that review page every time you mention the product. This is better instead of linking directly to the merchant’s sales page. (This is great advice, and we have been working on this tactic more ourselves.)
And, that sums it all up!
Congrats! You are now well on your way to building a profitable blog within one year!
Blogger Babes Bonus Tip #10. Ask for Shares, Likes, Love, and Help!
Just like Tip #7, it never hurts to ask, so do it!
We highly recommend that you make sure to always close your blog post, email blast, dedicated affiliate product page, or sales page with a CTA (Call To Action).
When done tactfully and with care, your readers and followers will enjoy sharing the love.
Especially after you provided a detailed and great free resource (like this awesome jam-packed post), your reader will feel so grateful for all the time and effort you gave, that surely she will do one little act of kindness to repay the favor.
So, please if you learned any small or big a-ha-moments or applicable tips today, do Michael the favor, and bookmark and share this page on your favorite social platforms. Will you please bookmark and share this awesome guest post? [Notice how we’re taking our own advice?] 🙂
You can always refer to this whenever you feel lost in blogging. It was designed to guide you to do the right things in order to build a successful blog within a short period of time.
Have you used any of these tips before? If so, tell us how they’ve helped you make your blog more profitable in the comments below. If not, share how you’ll start implementing them now. We’d be happy to offer any feedback in the process!
Michael Akinlabi is a freelance writer. He teaches people how to make money online from blogging.