How to Start a Blog Business – Ultimate Guide

How to Choose a Profitable Niche

Are you ready to take a step into the online business world but aren’t sure where to start?

Of course online marketing, professional-looking themes and a unique writing voice are all important in creating a profitable site. But often the first, and most essential step, is picking a profitable niche.

What is a niche?

A niche market is a subset of a larger market with its own particular needs or preferences.

Let’s look at a broad topic such as health, for example. There are many possible niches to blog about within that particular market. Writing about holistic health could be your niche as could staying healthy while pregnant and so on.

Therefore, finding a niche means zeroing in on a very specific topic. While it is possible to write about a wide-range of broader topics and find success, focusing on a specific niche is essential in turning your blog into something profitable. It tells your audience that you are an expert on that particular subject.

Turning a blog or business into a profiting entity is more easily done by catering to already established and tested niche.

Some popular niches include:

  • Health/Fitness
  • Parenting
  • Sewing
  • Food

And more.

At this point you might be wondering - why would I choose a niche that thousands of other bloggers have pursued?

The truth is that competition can actually help grow your business because it means there is an existing market with willing buyers. There will always be a market for health, fitness and so on.

Alright, so we’ve determined that finding a niche is critical. But how do you decide on one niche among hundreds?

Research 

Start by making a list of the following:

  • What are your interests/hobbies?
  • What niches do you contribute money towards?
  • What are your goals for your business?

This is a great way to compile a list of possible niches. Don’t worry about having too many - in fact, the more the merrier! You’ll be able to narrow them down by considering the following:

Blog About Your Passions (Sort of)

It’s true: Readers will know whether or not your writing is genuine so try not to blog about a topic you have no true interest in or know little about. Picking a niche that that you enjoy will come through in your writing voice.

However…

If your goal is to make money or make blogging your full-time job, you can learn to be passionate about certain topics.

We guarantee that not every business or brand out there began because of a genuine passion for wool socks or coffee makers. The idea is to find a market that sells, become an expert on that market and go from there.

So don’t feel you need to limit yourself to what you already know and love. Doing research may result in the discovery of something that spikes your interest and may yield a higher profit.

Additionally, it can help to consider what problems you have in life and how you solve them. Articles that inform or help a reader can be extremely profitable - from Best Morning Yoga Poses to How to Create a Budget for Groceries.

Consumers are constantly trying to better themselves and fix problems in their lives. This could be a good place to start when trying to find the perfect niche for your brand.

So far we’ve determined that:
  • You should be (or learn to be) an expert in your niche group
  • Any niche has the potential to become profitable with enough time and energy. However, some niches naturally do better than others. Niches that are in high demand such as fitness already have a proven track record in terms of profitability, so keep that in mind.

Don’t Be too Broad...

Picking a larger topic like finance or health is great because, as we mentioned, they are popular. However with broad topics comes a much more diverse audience and catering to each member can become difficult. If you narrow it down a little and instead focus on ‘personal finance tips’ and ‘healthy eating on a budget’, for example, you’ll find a much more engaged audience.

...Or too Narrow

On the other side of things, it’s important to avoid making your niche too narrow. You want to be specific but also allow your brand to grow, as any good business should. If you’re niche is too particular it will have nowhere to go. You may have a few people willing to spend money on that particular topic but it will fail to be a sustainable business.

Keyword Research

The traffic you drive to your website will directly affect the profit you make off your brand.

One way to determine how much traffic a niche could potentially receive is to perform a keyword research.

Keyword research allows you to see how many times a day certain words or phrases are searched. Not only that, but it allows you to see what specific phrases people are using for certain topics during their searches.

So why does this matter?

If you’re wanting to choose a profitable niche it is essential to know exactly what people are typing in the search bar. Keyword research reveals the actual language people are using when they think about various topics.

For example, let’s say your niche is yoga and you’re writing a blog post about morning yoga poses. Typing in “morning yoga” into the search bar yields the following results:
  • Morning yoga flow
  • Morning yoga routine
  • Morning yoga poses

You can see that there are actually two more popular phrases related to morning yoga than ‘morning yoga poses.’ Knowing what phrases your target audience is using helps you to better cater your content to them and informs you about what niches could turn a profit.

Find Topics That Can Be Monetized 

Affiliate Programs

Again, any topic that you choose has the potential to be monetized. However there are affiliate programs, for instance, that are higher paying and more popular amongst certain niches.

The health market, for example, is currently worth $8 billion in 2018 so it’s no surprise that affiliations surrounding that niche are going to be more common and better paying.

Choosing a niche that is in high-demand means that affiliates are more willing to pay higher amounts to their clients.

“But I’m not passionate about health!”

That’s okay. While it’s important to realize some niches are naturally more profitable than others, you shouldn’t let that completely determine the area of study you center your work around. There are still hundreds of affiliate programs for just about every topic under the sun.

Amazon Associates, for example, is great because it caters to a variety of niches. There are thousands of products on their site that can be linked, from yoga mats to supplements and beyond.

So if you aren’t planning on using one of the big money-making niches, consider using a variety of more general affiliate programs to boost your profit margin.

Selling Products

Finding a niche that you can center self-made products around is a great way to take your brand from a hobby to a business.

It’s also significantly easier to sell online than it used to be with sites like Etsy or WordPress plugins and widgets.

Ask yourself these questions:

Is this a niche that I could write e-books or e-courses about?

Is there a product that I could create that my audience would need or want?

If you answered yes to one or both of the above, then chances are it’s a niche that has a higher probability of turning profitable!

Let’s recap.

Obviously it’s almost impossible to hit every single one of the bullet points above. However, if you attempt to check off at least 2-3, and follow our guidelines above, you’re already one step closer to turning your niche profitable!


Register New Domain vs. Buying Existing Domain

Should you buy expired domains or new domains?

If you’re taking the steps to create a new website for your brand or blog, figuring out a domain name is probably first on your list.

A domain name is an identity for your website and how potential readers will find your content. It’s the URL that consumers will use to access your site.

There are two ways to obtain a domain name:

Create a New Domain - Crafting a brand new domain means registering a name with an organization. You do not have to be a business entity to do so - you can register personal domains as well.

Buy an Existing One - An existing domain is one that has either expired or is deactivated that you can purchase.

 So which one is the better option? We’ve outlined the pros and cons of each below.

Advantages of Buying Existing Domain Name

Existing Traffic & SEO - More likely than not, a deactivated or expired website will still be generating at least a little traffic. This is due to the fact that some users may not realize the site is no longer active and are still visiting it regularly.


It’s also highly likely that the previous owner of the domain put a least some time and energy into crafting the SEO for his or her website, which is great for you! This means that the site likely has an established presence in major search engines.


Get the Name You Want - There’s nothing more frustrating than coming up with the perfect domain name for your website only to find out it’s already taken. Buying an existing domain could give you the URL you have been wanting for your website.

Disadvantages of ​Buying Existing Domain Name

Can Be Pricey - It’s possible to find an existing name that sells for a decent price but it’s usually more expensive than creating your own.


You Don’t Know the Domain’s History - This is the main reason a lot of people shy away from purchasing expired domains. Purchasing an expired domain is similar to buying anything used - you don’t know what kind of history it’s had.


As we mentioned above, it is possible that the SEO is in great condition. But on the other hand, the SEO could be in terrible shape. Is the site blacklisted? Does it have any restrictions in place? These are all possibilities when buying an expired or existing domain.

Advantages of Registering a New Domain

It’s Cheaper - While it’s fairly likely you’ll end up spending at least a little money to register a new domain name, it is less expensive than buying an existing domain.


You Have Control - If you want to take things into your own hands - SEO, marketing and more - then it’s beneficial to create your own domain name. You won’t have to worry about the history of your domain, what the previous owner did or didn’t do, etc. You can optimize your website for SEO knowing that it’s in a good place.

Disadvantages of ​Registering a New Domain

Starting From Scratch - It’s possible that buying an expired domain can result in existing traffic as well as a site that is already search engine optimized. When you create a brand new website, you are essentially starting from scratch. In addition, it takes time for new sites to start getting recognized by search engines such as google


How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog

he beginning processes of starting a website or blog includes choosing a domain name.

A domain is a way of identifying a website through its URL title. For instance, Google.com and Whitehouse.gov are both domain names. It is the way visitors find and access specific websites.

Making your domain name unique, memorable and easy for your readers can result in increased traffic and profit to your blog or business.

Because a lot rides on what domain name you choose, it can be a bit of a process to decide. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure about the prospect of choosing a domain name, we’ve got you covered!

Below you’ll find our guidelines for picking out the perfect domain name for your site.

Do Your Research

Before creating a domain name for your business or blog, check to see if any potential names are already trademarked or copyrighted, This is a crucial step in avoiding future lawsuits or loss of your domain name. This can be done by simply typing in a possible name into a search engine such as Google.

You can also find out if a domain is available by using a

Domain Name Generator. This tool checks if a domain has been taken while simultaneously generating possible combinations of the words you search. If you’re having trouble getting creative with your title, this tool is perfect!

Pick an Appropriate TLD

A Top Level Domain, or TLD, is the last few letters following the dot at the end of a domain name. The TLD helps to identify the website in terms of its area of origin and its overall purpose.

Who knew that a few little words could have such an impact on potential readers?


Some generic TLDs (gLTD) include:

  • .COM (Commercial)
  • .ORG (Organization)
  • .NET (Network) and more.

In most instances, we recommend going for .COM (but we will discuss those few times when it might benefit you to go a different route later in our article).  

So why .COM?

Firstly, it’s a TLD that most of your readers will recognize, be familiar with and will easily remember.

In addition, it’s the most-used TLD to date, making up 43.69% of all domain name extensions as of June 2018.

And, lastly, it’s usually cheaper to use .COM over other TLD’s.

So while it’s generally best idea to opt for .COM to target  a global internet audience, there are a few exceptions.

For instance, if your brand or business is catering to a smaller niche audience, using a more unique TLD such as .FOOD or .SOCKS could make you stand out. These new gTLDs also aid in informing the potential visitor about your brands specific niche.

It’s also not uncommon for businesses to use geography-based TLDs (otherwise known as GEO TLD)  to affiliate themselves with target audiences in certain areas.

Examples:

  • .london
  • .NYC
  • .Africa

Though it’s important to note that not all cities and areas have registered TLDs.

Our suggestion would be to consider your target audience and go from there!

Additional Tips:

  1. Avoid numbers or hyphens - Numbers and hyphens appear unprofessional and are difficult to remember. Was it easy-food-prep1.com or 1easy-foodprep.com?

  2. Keep it short - Again, longer domains are more difficult for your audience to remember and may result is loss of traffic to your site. Keep your domain short, sweet and to the point.

  3. Make it unique - Keeping your domain name unique will help you stand out among competitors.
  4. Use keywords - If possible, let your readers know what your brand or website is about by using keywords. For example, the domain name sparkleandshine.com gives no indication of what realm your niche is is, unless you’re already well established.

Note: Using keywords can also help with SEO!

Be creative - One of the worst feelings is figuring out the perfect name only to find out it’s already taken. As of the second quarter of 2018 there were approximately 339.8 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains That’s a ton of claimed domain names! But fear not - the opportunities for your name are endless. Consider using some variation of a name you really like or think outside the box. After all, not every idea has been thought of yet!

Use Thesaurus.com - Look up interesting or unique words that incorporate your brand.

And, lastly, don’t rush it. Your domain name can make or break your business so you’ll want to take the time to make a decision. With success, your brand will grow and it’s important to have a domain name that can grow with you.


Free WordPress Themes vs. Premium WordPress Themes

Deciding between a free WordPress theme and a Premium WordPress theme can be difficult - are paid themes worth the money? Are free themes too basic? We’ve outlined the pros and cons of each theme below if you’re having difficulty deciding!

Advantages of Free WordPress Themes

It’s FREE! The main draw of using a free WordPress theme is, of course, the price. (Just be sure you are downloading free themes through the WordPress platform and not unreliable outside parties!)


Ideal for Beginners . Using free themes can be a great way to experiment with WordPress if you’re still learning. Because they are built under a simple framework, free themes are ideal for those users who are just starting out.


Faster Load Speeds. Because the features in free themes are limited, websites will load faster for visitors as a result.


Strict Review Process. One of the best parts of using a free theme is that you’ll know exactly what you’re signing up for. Themes downloaded from WordPress.com undergo a very specific and detailed review process.

Disadvantages of Free WordPress Themes

They are Overused. If you are hoping to stand out amongst competitors, you may want to steer clear of the free themes. Looking at Twenty Seventeen, for example, we can see there have been over one million active installs of this popular free theme. This might be considered a major drawback to those wanting a unique look for their website.


Lack of Creator Support. Because free themes come with no strings attached, creator support will be absent along with any step-by-step installation instructions.


Limited Customization. Most free WordPress themes are constructed under a very basic framework, meaning specific website capabilities and features such as widgets, buttons and add-ons may not be included.

Advantages of Premium WordPress Themes

Customization! Paid WordPress themes, or Premium themes, have the ability to be customized to fit the site you have envisioned.


Reliable Support. As mentioned above, free themes come with no strings attached - including support. Paying for a theme means paying for technical support to troubleshoot any issues that might arise with your website.


Specific niches. One of the best parts of using premium themes is that you can find one that perfectly fits your niche. A baking website will require different elements than a finance website and so on. Using a theme that molds to your niche and topic will appear more professional to website visitors.


Regular updates. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for and with paid themes you receive continuous software updates, keeping your theme and website current and fresh.


Security. With premium WordPress themes, the chance of viruses or internet hacking is a lot less likely than when using free themes.

Disadvantages of Premium WordPress Themes

Slower Loading Speed. Because premium themes can include many more features than the free themes, website users may suffer slower loading speeds.

 

No Reviews! Unlike free WordPress themes, premium themes are not required to undergo any specific review process, which may ultimately affect the standard of some paid themes.

 

If you’re still not sure which theme is best for you, consider the following:

  • Are you a beginner looking to experiment with WordPress for the first time? If yes, then free themes are the way to go.
  • Are you wanting a unique look and style for your website? Then it’s probably best to opt for a premium theme.
  • Are you starting a personal website and/or blog? We’d suggest using one of the many free themes.
  • Will your website require more features and formatting capability? We suggest a premium theme!

What to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme?

Choosing a WordPress theme can seem a daunting task to many - after all, you’ll want to leave a good impression on any visitors to your site and your theme is the first thing they will see.

Making a list of all the features you need and want for your website is a great way to start. But what features should you have? While there are a lot of options, we’ve made it a little easier by compiling a list of the top 6 questions to consider when choosing a WordPress theme. 

#1 VISION

The first thing to ask yourself is does this theme support the vision of your site? It’s essential to find a theme that matches with your niche and your overall goal for the your business. Consider a format that will benefit the success of your blog though the following:

#2 APPEARANCE

Is it too flashy? Sometimes themes can be decked out with menus, colors and fonts but you want to ensure that anyone visiting your site will be able to navigate it without an issue. Oftentimes a more simplistic theme is the way to go and then you can customize it to your needs.

#3 CUSTOMIZATION ABILITY

Speaking of customize... the next question to ask is :Is it customizable? One of the best parts of starting a website is getting to make it special and unique to you and your niche. Picking a theme that can’t be customized will result in a website that looks like hundreds of others.

For instance, does your theme support plugins? Plugins are an essential part in making your blog run like a professional site.

If your theme cannot support such as YOAST, a free WordPress addition that helps you boost search engine optimization, you may want to look elsewhere.

#4 RESPONSIVENESS

Is your theme responsive? In other words, will your theme perform successfully across varying screens such as mobile devices or tablets? Not everyone who visits your site will be doing so through a desktop computer - in fact, a large majority of traffic to your site will be done through a mobile device.

In fact, as of July of 2018, Google has altered its algorithm so that slow-loading mobile sites rank lower in SEO. Meaning that if you want to ensure your site appears in the google search engine, you’ll want a theme that remains mobile-friendly.

#5 SETTINGS

Are the settings easy to access and configure? Much like it’s important for visitors to easily navigate through your website, it’s equally important for you to navigate through the settings without issue.

Check to see if everything you’ll need can be accessed through your WordPress dashboard.

#6 BROWSER-FRIENDLY

Is the theme browser-friendly? You can bet you’ll have traffic from varying browsers - from Chrome to Safari and more - and it’s important that your site runs successfully on each. (Additional tip: Check browser capability through mobile devices as well!)


The Top 5 Best Free WordPress Plugins for your Blog

One of the benefits of choosing WordPress over competing platforms is the variety of free plugins at your disposal. But deciding which plugins to use can be difficult. A plug-in is a bit of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. For this reason, plugins can make your site more professional and functional for viewers. To help you decide, we’ve outlined our top 5 essential free WordPress plugins for your blog.

Yoast SEO

It’s no surprise that Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress to date. Making your site as search engine friendly as possible is the surest way to drive traffic to your blog and raise your monthly viewership. Yoast SEO allows you to set meta descriptions, keywords and titles while editing a blog post.

You will have the ability to know how well certain posts are optimized by various colored dots found at the bottom of a drafted blog post. Red dots signify problems to fixed, yellow/orange mean there are improvements to be made, while green dots let you know that your SEO is all good.

Furthermore, this plugin has many customizable features including a Social tab through which you can associate social media platforms with your site. Features like this one can help drive even more traffic to your blog.

While the basic Yoast SEO plugin is free to download, Premium Yoast SEO is also readily available with additional features such social media previews, suggestions for links, most-used words and more.

Akismet Anti-Spam

Nothing crushes the excitement of starting a new blog quite like spam. Because internet spam will inevitably find its way into your comments section, downloading Akismet Anti-Spam as  soon as you start your blog is vital.


This free plugin helps to regulate the comments on your blog and allows you to send those comments to a specific place to be reviewed by you. You can even turn on a setting to automatically discard pervasive and obvious spam so that you never even see it.

WP Forms

The third free plug-in on our list allows you to enable contact forms for viewers to fill out with ease. You can choose from already created templates and customize which specific fields you want such as phone or email.


Additionally, WP Forms is100% responsive, meaning it will work on tablets, cell phone and tablets. You can even collect payments through this plugin without having to hire an outside developer!

 Having a plugin like WP Forms gives your readers an easy way to reach out will present your blog in a more professional way. Interacting with your readers is crucial to learning what is working with your blog and what is not.

Optin Monster

Getting people to read your blog posts in the first place is a pretty big deal - but the key is to get those same people to come back. OptinMonster helps you do just that.


This plugin allows you to craft opt-in forms to be displayed for viewers of your site. There are a multitude of templates to choose from so you can decide what works best with your blog.

 Because email Marketing is such an essential part to growing a website and increasing traffic, this free plugin is must. OptinMonster gives you the tools to grow your subscriber list and, in turn, the monthly viewership of your site.

Google Analytics Dashboard

Our last free plugins is arguably one of the more important ones. The Google Analytics Dashboard allows you to track your site and view statistics from the dashboard of your WordPress homepage.


You will have access to in-depth reports about the performances of specific pages or posts throughout your site. Knowing where your website stands in terms of traffic and pageviews gives you an idea of what is or isn’t working and which posts have had more success.


You can even track emails, downloads, affiliate links and more.


Additionally, you’ll see real time stats of:

- Visitors

- Acquisition Channels

- Traffic Sources Details


 We hope this list helped you narrow down which free plugins are essential when starting your site. To view all WordPress plugins click here.

Where to Get a Logo Created for Your Website

When we think about some of the largest business in the world, oftentimes an image, colors or certain text comes to mind - this is the impact of logos.

Logos play an important role in representing your company to consumers. It informs your audience about your brand so that they recognize and remember you. Logos are generally a combination of letters, colors and symbols.

Creating a logo for your blog is not nearly as complicated as it used to be, with hundreds of available services online. We’ve outlined five of our favorites for you below!

Free Logo Design

FreeLogoDesign is the perfect place to get a free logo created for your site with minimal effort on your part. Simply visit the site and enter your business or brand name in the space provided (or the name you would like to appear on the logo).

FreeLogoDeisgn will then generate your business name onto an assortment of pre-made templates for you to choose from. You can customize any template by changing the fonts, colors, shape and more and then download it onto your desktop for free! (A high-resolution image can also be downloaded at an additional cost.)


Graphic River

GraphicRiver is a graphics site with items such as fonts, vectors, icons and logos for sale. Logo prices average about $32/download with many categories to choose from such as:

  • Abstract
  • Animals
  • Crests
  • Food
  • Letters/Numbers
  • Nature

… and more, providing logos for a variety of niches.

 One of the additional benefits to using this service for your logo creation is that you have the ability to look at the sites top authors of the month. You can view how many sales they’ve made, ratings they’ve been given by consumers and their portfolio.

Turbo Logo

Similar to FreeLogoDesign, TurboLogo allows you to craft a beautiful logo in minutes. But rather than rely on templates, sleek and simple logos are generated based on the parameters you set.

With over one million icons to choose from and a variety of fonts, your logo will be unique to you and your brand. It’s free to create as many logos as you need - when you find the perfect one, instant downloads start around $19. You’ll have the download options such as transparent, color or black-and-white to suit your purposes.

 The service also allows you to scale your logo to fit your specific vector needs without loss of resolution.

Canva

Canva is a hub for creating various graphics - from invitations, menus, Instagram posts, collages and more. In addition to these features, this popular service also offers the Logo Maker app.

The process of creating your logo is made simple with drag-and-drop features that are user-friendly. In addition, most templates are available to download for free.


Design Maniac

The last service on our list is Design Maniac. After entering your company title or name, you will then be prompted to select the industry your niche relates to.

Some of the industry options include:

  • Beauty
  • Photography
  • Education
  • Finance

This is great for filtering results specific to your field. Once you pick a template you have the option to customize the text, colors and even change the position of the logo elements.

Creating a logo is the perfect way to symbolize your business and influence your audience!

How to Make Money Blogging

While there’s nothing wrong with starting a blog out  as a hobby (in fact, most successful blogs begin that way!) there are steps you can take in order to start earning money for all the time and effort you’ve put into building your blog.

Making money as a blogger can and will allow you to focus more of your time and attention on crafting your site. One of the main reasons a lot of blogs fail and/or don’t gain traction is because other jobs and responsibilities keep creators from growing their websites. Imagine making blogging your full-time job?


Monetizing your blog is entirely possible - thousands of bloggers have done it and continue to earn revenue from their websites. However, turning your blog into an income does take time, research and trial by error. For this reason, we’ve outlined some of the top ways bloggers earn income and how you can too!

Google Adsense

Advertisement is one of the surest ways to earn money from your blog. With Google AdSense, ads are displayed throughout your site with content related to your niche. This works by matching text and display ads to your site based on your content and visitors.


The way AdSense works can be explained in three easy steps

  • 1
    You decide where you want ads to appear by pasting html code throughout your site.
  • 2
    The highest-paying ad will show on your site.
  • 3
    Payments are handled through AdSense and added to your account.

You’ll get paid per click meaning that the more times an ad is clicked on, the more money you will see in your bank. Because AdSense is free, you’re working with a pure profit method!


Additionally, the blocking controls page in your AdSense account allows you block any ads you don’t want to show on your blog. You can also format and customize the way you want to present your ads on your site. For instance, if you wanted to keep your home page ad-free but have them intermittently throughout your blog posts you could format them to do so. You can also control the size and frequency of ads throughout your site.

Affiliate Marketing

In short, affiliate marketing is promoting specific products to your audience and receiving compensation for any purchases made through the links your provide. So, for example, say you have an affiliation with a watch company. You would promote the watches through your blog or social media accounts and any sales made through your links would result in you earning a percentage of those sales.

One of the best parts of affiliate marketing is that there are a multitude of affiliate programs available, making it easy to find one (or more) that fit your niche.


The Amazon Associates program is one of the more popular affiliate programs out there. With over 300 million Amazon.com users, it’s a platform that most of your readers will already know and trust.


The Amazon affiliate program is also extremely easy to use. Simply copy the code of a product through your Amazon Associates account, link it somewhere in your blog and let your viewers and Amazon do the rest.


 For example: if a consumer clicks on your link and purchases the product you advertised, you receive a percentage. However, if the same consumer clicks on your link, does not purchase your product, but continues to shop through Amazon and make any other purchases while connected to your link, you will still receive compensation. Talk about easy money!

Sponsorship

Similar to affiliate marketing, using company sponsorships in your blog posts is another proven way to monetize your blog. Blog sponsorships work the same way they do in the real world - a company pays you to inform your audience about their product through promotion.


So rather than use affiliate links or ads displayed on your website, you can earn money by writing blog posts about a specific product. Some bloggers prefer this to having their websites covered in advertisement. It’s all a matter of preference and deciding what will work best for you.


Most of the time bloggers are contacted by sponsors and not the other way around so consider having a ‘Sponsor’ section somewhere in the menu of your blog. This will allow potential companies to contact you should they want you to write a sponsored post. Through this link you can list prices, payment methods, traffic statistics about your blog and more.

Digital Products

E-Books - So far we’ve talked about selling other people’s products… but what about selling your own? E-Books  are popular in the blogging world because they are pretty simple to produce and promote.


Think of a topic that your target audience would benefit from and go from there. Oftentimes posts you’ve already published can work great as an outline for a potential e-book. Having a great title and cover page to draw your audience in will help boost sales as well.


You can use plugins such as Easy Digital Downloads to sell your EBook on WordPress where they can then be downloaded by the user. Selling ebooks can be done from the office chair of your home - a comforting idea to a lot of bloggers!


Internet Courses - Do you have content to share with your audience that you feel could work formatted as lessons? Consider creating online courses for your readers!


Selling courses gives you a little more control of your earnings. With ads and affiliate marketing, your earnings will fluctuate from month to month while your courses will sell at a fixed price. Furthermore, you can alter courses with new or updated information as needed and re-sell them to your audience.

Because most blog posts are already how-tos or instructional in nature, most bloggers find creating online courses easy, fun and familiar. Additionally, you can decide whether to charge per lesson or sell the course all at once.


Plugins, Stock Images, Themes, Ect. - Creating things you know bloggers will use and love can be an easy way to make extra money.


We hope these tips have helped you on your journey to monetizing your blog. While making money blogging takes time and effort, the payoff can definitely be worth it!

How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

So you’ve got your blog up and running. You’ve added menus, picked out a theme, published a few posts… now what?

All the customization, plugins and coding is great (and highly important!) but it all means nothing if you website is not generating traffic.

More Traffic = More Profit

Think about it like this - if you have ads or affiliate links on your website, your commission is usually based on the number of clicks you receive. You’ll have a higher chance of receiving more clicks if there are more visitors to your website, right?

Increasing your traffic will also draw the eye of any companies who might want to sponsor you. The larger your audience, the more money those sponsors are going to be willing to pay.

If you have e-books, courses or physical products available for purchase, you’ll make more sales the more people visit your website.

Therefore we can say that web traffic is directly related to the overall success of your blog. Promoting your blog can be accomplished through various marketing strategies.

In this section we will outline 4 major ways to market your blog:

  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Email Lists
  • Guest Blogging

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In order to increase traffic to your website, optimizing your blog posts for SEO is essential. It’s one of the first steps you should take when marketing your content.

Use Keywords - With plugins like Yoast SEO, you can set a keyword for each blog post and use it throughout the article. This will increase the chances of a user stumbling upon your website when they search for that keyword (or a variation of it).

Add External Links - Linking to relevant content of other authors in your niche can help provide credibility for your work as well as build relationships with fellow creators.

Add Internal Links - Find ways to incorporate internal links throughout your blog posts. Internal links are hyperlinks that take the user to another page or section of your website and Google loves them!

In addition, mentioning and linking other articles you’ve written in your blog posts gives your audience a chance to explore more of your content.

Have a Subscription Box - Of course it’s great to have a new user reading your most recent blog post. But the trick is to get that same person to come back for every new blog you post.

Adding a pop-up subscription box is a great way to start building your mailing list (and can help with the email marketing we discuss later on in this article).

Social Media Marketing

Pinterest

Over the past few years Pinterest become a major player in driving traffic to blogs and websites. This social media platform currently has over 250 million active pinners, making it the ideal place to host links to your blog.

Pinterest Marketing Tips

Apply for Rich Pins - Rich Pins show metadata right on the Pin itself, giving Pinners a richer experience and increasing engagement. Rich pins inform your Pinterest audience of important information related to your pins.

There are 4 kinds of rich pins: Article, App, Product and Recipes.

Once you’ve applied for rich pins and they’ve been validated, any metadata found in the content on your site will be turned into rich pins. Rich pins make your articles appear more professional and will drive more traffic to your blog.

Set Up Alt Text - When you set up pins throughout your blog posts don’t forget to add alt-text to your images. The alt-text is a brief description pinners will see before clicking on your link. Also consider including your blog or business name in the alt-text so users begin to recognize your brand.

Pin at the Ideal Time - Generally Pinterest is more active in the evening hours when people are winding down from the day. When you make an effort to pin during this time, 1.) You increase the chances that Pinterest will show your pins on the homepage and 2.) Are more likely to have pinners willing to pin your content.

Use Group Boards - The group boards on Pinterest are perfect for reaching people beyond your current followers and are essential when starting out. In short, a group board is a place for multiple pinners to share their content.

Start by searching for Pinterest boards related to your niche and request to join. Every board will have different rules (how many times a day you can post, re-pinning rules, etc) so be certain to make note of them.

The best part of group boards? Anyone following the board will see your content even if they aren’t following you.

Instagram

As of this year, Instagram has a staggering 1 billion active users and the numbers continue to increase. So the advantage to using Instagram is that there is clearly an audience. But how do you stand out and get your content noticed amongst one billion other people?

Instagram Marketing Tips

Personalize your Profile - When users visit your Instagram profile you want them to get the impression that you are a professional, successful brand. You can accomplish this by:

Creating a compelling bio with links to your blog and contact information.

Having a relevant and professional profile picture (you could even consider using your brand logo).

Having recent blog posts linked on your profile.

Use Hashtags - Hashtags serve a higher purpose than simply being a fun social media quirk. People search hashtags to find certain images or influences to follow.

Try searching the most popular hashtags in your niche and make a list. Use variations of different phrases such as #lifestyleblog and #lifestyleblogger. 

Don’t worry about using too many - you can always put them in a comment rather than the actual post so as to not overload your audience.

Follow Relevant Accounts - Following the accounts of bloggers in your niche serves two purposes:

They can give you inspiration for your own work. It’s also a great way to get your foot into the blogging community for future collaboration!

The followers of those accounts will start to see you in their recommended accounts!

Engage with Other Accounts - Don’t just simply scroll through your Instagram feed liking every photo you see. Instead, take the time to read the caption and leave a thoughtful comment. Fellow influencers and followers are more likely to engage with your content when you make an effort to respond to theirs.

Other social media sites to promote your blog:

Twitter - Use hashtags, tweet about new blog posts and follow related content/people.

Facebook - Create a page for your blog, post updates and join other blogging groups to share content.

Email Marketing

Creating an email list or a newsletter is a great way to remind your audience to return to your site when there are updates or when new posts go live. Emails can also help build a relationship between you and your audience.

As we mentioned above, it’s a good idea to have a sign-up form somewhere on your website for new users.

You can use sites like MailChimp to craft campaigns, set up lists and schedule emails to be sent at certain times. MailChimp has various templates and features at your disposal so you can personalize your emails.

Guest Blog Posting

Guest blogging is the act of writing a piece for another site, usually one that falls in your niche group. Publishing content on websites that are already established is a great way to draw an audience in - especially one that is interested in your specific industry.

My Blog Guest is a free service with forums dedicated to helping authors find guest bloggers. Get started by creating an account and search for blogs in your field. (You could even submit information to invite guest bloggers to contribute to your own website!)

Additionally, simply do a google or social media search of your niche with “guest post” following.

 We hope this helped you as you begin marketing for your blog. Promoting is a long and continuous process but the traffic and profit that will result makes it all worth it!

How to Come up with Blog Post Ideas

So you’ve been pumping out blog post ideas for months - writing in-depth, quality articles without a hitch, life is good… and then one day your fingers hover above the keyboard a moment too long and you wonder to yourself, “What am I supposed to write about now?”

At some point every blogger will hit that ‘writing block’ - especially when you want to keep your content fresh and current. If you’ve hit a roadblock in your writing, don’t give up just yet. Below we’re going over 5 Ways to Come Up with Blog Post Ideas.

#1 Ask Your Audience - Who better to consult about potential blog post ideas than the people who are actually reading your content?

If you already have an established audience (even if it’s small and still growing!) it can be beneficial to ask them if there is anything they would like to see from you. After all, when you write content specifically requested by your subscribers it lets them know you care enough to reach out and follow through.

In addition, try to be creative with how you ask. You could have them leave comments on a blog post, leave a poll for voting on social media or have them submit through an email form (which could be an easy incentive for building your email list!)

#2 Check out the Competition - Looking at other blog content in your niche is a great way to conjure up new blog post ideas. Check out successful blogs and figure out why they have the traffic they do - oftentimes it’s because of blog topics they choose to write about.

Remember: You don’t ever want to copy someone else’s idea - but there’s nothing wrong with finding a little bit of inspiration!

#3 Your Experience - Some of the best ideas come from our own experiences in our day-to-day lives. Think about a problem you recently solved or a a situation you were in that you believe would benefit your audience to read about.

Just find the most affordable dinner idea? Write about it. Figure out how to create a savings? Write about it. People love to read success stories and the ability to relate to the writer.

#4 Social Media - Images can act as inspiration to the creative mind so taking the time to scroll through Instagram or Pinterest may spark some new blog post ideas. Do a keyword search of a topic in your niche and see what you find!

You’ll be able to see and read what is currently trending in the world, which may provide some insight into a new blog post.

#5 Update Old Articles - Life is ever evolving and changing and the Internet is no different. If you are struggling to think of new content, consider recycling some of your older blog posts with updates and additions.

Perhaps there are new resources surrounding a certain topic that weren't available when you originally wrote an article. It’s important to keep your content current and updating old posts is an ideal way to achieve this.


How to Increase Mailing List Subscribers

One of the surest ways to grow your blog is to build an Email List. This subscriber base, in theory, is the group that will be returning to your blog on a regular basis. They will receive notifications when new blog posts go live and be privy to any announcements or updates on your part.

The people on your email list are the ones that could potentially turn into clients and or customers of your brand. But how do you get people to sign up for your emails the first place? We’ve got 7 techniques to grow your email list outlined in this section.

Opt-In Forms

When you start creating your blog one of the first things you’ll want to provide for your audience is a section for them to opt-in to emails or newsletters for your website.

There are a variety of ways to craft opt-in forms but the key is to make sure they are visible and easily found. Putting forms in your sidebar, football, or, even better, installing pop-ups for first-time visitors will help get more people signed up for your email lists.

Incentives

Let’s be honest - we are all way more likely to follow through on something if there is an incentive involved at the end of it.

Having printables or downloadable content available for readers who opt-in to your email list is a great way to grow your subscribers.

Some incentive ideas include:

  • E-books
  • Courses
  • Checklists
  • Additional Resources

Why Should They Sign-Up?

Unfortunately, simply telling people to ‘sign up for my newsletter’ isn’t going to grow your subscriber list. It’s important to tell your readers why they should give their email to you. Try to include a short message that explains the benefit of subscribing to your email list.

Potential benefits could be:

  • Notifications for new blog posts
  • Subscriber-only deals
  • Additions tips or guides that are email-exclusive
  • Include one of two of the above bullet points in your opt-in box!

Use Social Media

Speaking of social media, bring in more subscribers by hosting a contest or giveaway through your social media channels. Anyone who signs up for your email list is entered into the contest, which is kind of a win-win for both parties.

Require Minimal Information

Consider just asking for email or name and email to begin with. You are more likely to get people to sign up this way because:

  1. It takes less time on their part and
  2. They won’t feel weird giving away too much personal information online.

Allow Subscribers to Share

When designing your email or newsletter, try to include sharing buttons to your social media accounts or a “share with a friend” button to encourage readers to spread your content. The best part of this approach is that it requires minimal effort on your part as your subscribers are doing most of the work

Insert Content Template or Symbol
Insert Styled Box

Content Toggle Headline

Sundome 2

Two person tent with lots of space

Editors rating:

Suspendisse eu suscipit purus. Duis et turpis suscipit, elementum neque at, molestie libero. Praesent aliquet vestibulum porta. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Sed et dignissim lacus. Nulla eu massa sodales, semper lorem sed, luctus risus. Phasellus tempus libero ac nunc molestie gravida. Curabitur pulvinar faucibus arcu ut molestie. Suspendisse rutrum varius ante at accumsan. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere.

Features:

  • Morbi vulputate malesuada posuere. Nullam consequat.
  • Iaculis sapien a eleifend. Morbi ornare luctus varius.
  • Aliquam pretium libero ac libero mattis tempus.
  • Donec ultricies vel erat vel sollicitudin. Integer.

Editor Favorites:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Flaws:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Marking 3

Good materials to handle all weather conditions

Editors rating:

Suspendisse eu suscipit purus. Duis et turpis suscipit, elementum neque at, molestie libero. Praesent aliquet vestibulum porta. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Sed et dignissim lacus. Nulla eu massa sodales, semper lorem sed, luctus risus. Phasellus tempus libero ac nunc molestie gravida. Curabitur pulvinar faucibus arcu ut molestie. Suspendisse rutrum varius ante at accumsan. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere.

Features:

  • Morbi vulputate malesuada posuere. Nullam consequat.
  • Iaculis sapien a eleifend. Morbi ornare luctus varius.
  • Aliquam pretium libero ac libero mattis tempus.
  • Donec ultricies vel erat vel sollicitudin. Integer.

Editor Favorites:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Flaws:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Wenzel 8

Cosy eight person tent for whole family

Editors rating:

Suspendisse eu suscipit purus. Duis et turpis suscipit, elementum neque at, molestie libero. Praesent aliquet vestibulum porta. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Sed et dignissim lacus. Nulla eu massa sodales, semper lorem sed, luctus risus. Phasellus tempus libero ac nunc molestie gravida. Curabitur pulvinar faucibus arcu ut molestie. Suspendisse rutrum varius ante at accumsan. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere.

Features:

  • Morbi vulputate malesuada posuere. Nullam consequat.
  • Iaculis sapien a eleifend. Morbi ornare luctus varius.
  • Aliquam pretium libero ac libero mattis tempus.
  • Donec ultricies vel erat vel sollicitudin. Integer.

Editor Favorites:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Flaws:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Sundome 4

Four person tent with lots of sleeping space

Editors rating:

Suspendisse eu suscipit purus. Duis et turpis suscipit, elementum neque at, molestie libero. Praesent aliquet vestibulum porta. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Sed et dignissim lacus. Nulla eu massa sodales, semper lorem sed, luctus risus. Phasellus tempus libero ac nunc molestie gravida. Curabitur pulvinar faucibus arcu ut molestie. Suspendisse rutrum varius ante at accumsan. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere.

Features:

  • Morbi vulputate malesuada posuere. Nullam consequat.
  • Iaculis sapien a eleifend. Morbi ornare luctus varius.
  • Aliquam pretium libero ac libero mattis tempus.
  • Donec ultricies vel erat vel sollicitudin. Integer.

Editor Favorites

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Flaws:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Coleman 8

Four person tent with lots of sleeping space

Editors rating:

Suspendisse eu suscipit purus. Duis et turpis suscipit, elementum neque at, molestie libero. Praesent aliquet vestibulum porta. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Sed et dignissim lacus. Nulla eu massa sodales, semper lorem sed, luctus risus. Phasellus tempus libero ac nunc molestie gravida. Curabitur pulvinar faucibus arcu ut molestie. Suspendisse rutrum varius ante at accumsan. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere.

Features:

  • Morbi vulputate malesuada posuere. Nullam consequat.
  • Iaculis sapien a eleifend. Morbi ornare luctus varius.
  • Aliquam pretium libero ac libero mattis tempus.
  • Donec ultricies vel erat vel sollicitudin. Integer.

Editor Favorites:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum. 

Flaws:

  • Ullamcorper augue eu erat eleifend, non eleifend.
  • Ligula malesuada. Vivamus efficitur diam sed nisi.
  • Pulvinar malesuada volutpat sit amet sem.
  • Vestibulum pharetra lorem vitae congue bibendum.