Many aspiring full-time bloggers falsely believe that they can start churning out content on any subject and expect to see a profit from advertising revenues. If it were that easy, wouldn’t everyone become a blogger?
In order to make it as a professional blogger, you’ll have to treat your blog like a business. That doesn’t mean your blog can’t be personal in nature. In fact, it’s encouraged to give your blog a personal touch. Just be aware that there’s a distinct difference between blogging for fun and blogging for a living.
If you believe that you have what it takes to become a full-time blogger, keep reading below as we will cover the essentials of jumpstarting your career as a professional blogger.
How to Get Started as a Full-Time Blogger
Determine how much money you’d like to invest in your blog. The answer could be as little as nothing; Bootstrapping a blog is entirely possible, and many full-time bloggers have humble beginnings.
If you have limited resources, start blogging on the free WordPress.com platform and get in the habit of blogging on a regular basis. If you begin to develop a following, this could motivate you to purchase an actual “.com” website for your blog.
Don’t Sweat the Technical Stuff
Fortunately, setting up your blog with a top level domain name is probably easier than you think. Here are the things you’ll need to get started:
A Web Hosting Account and a Domain Name
I recommend Bluehost for getting started. Check out How To Start A Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide to get started. It costs as little as $2.95 per month to setup your own blog if you click here and use my special discount link.
Once you’ve created these accounts, you’ll be able to configure your domain name to point to your blog’s new web hosting account. Bluehost and other registrars and have provided details on how you can rapidly set up your new website’s domain name to point to your blog.
Be sure to choose a web hosting provider that offers cPanel as its web hosting platform. Once you’ve logged into to cPanel, find the provider’s tutorial on how to install and configure WordPress. Bluehost provides videos on how to install WordPress with their single click installer.
Get This Book
The big difference between successful bloggers and those that struggle is knowledge and applying that knowledge. It’s up to you to apply what you learn. But what should you learn and how can you learn it as quickly as possible?
When I first started blogging I signed up for dozens of free newsletters and websites to get free resources on becoming a good blogger. At the end of the day, this is the only book you’ll need: ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
It may sound like a scammy or get-rich-quick title, but the vast majority of the book is about creating a great blog. The by-product of a great blog is the likelihood it will earn more money.
Meticulously Embrace Style Guidelines
Knowing when to use bold, when to use italics and when to underline text could make the difference regarding visitors returning to your website. Consequently, you should always write informative, eye-catching headlines and use the best practices in styling your blog articles.
Melyssa Griffin, a professional blogger, recently published an excellent article that contains free worksheets to help you master the art of styling your blog posts.
The Yahoo Style Guide is probably the best-kept secret of professional bloggers. This manual provides writers with an insider’s perspective of how to create engaging content for the web.
ChintanZalani of ShoutMeLoud has produced an in-depth 4,500 word deep dive on content creation and content styling. This article is a must read for any aspiring professional blogger.
Continuously Produce Valuable Content for Your Blog
To be successful as a full-time blogger, you need to find an unsaturated niche that advertisers are willing to sponsor at lucrative rates.
The main idea behind full-time blogging is that your website should strive to become an authority on a particular topic. When traffic begins to pick up, so should your advertising revenues.
When your blog becomes the go-to source for information on a specific topic, your blog articles should add value, be concise and written in a format that encourages the reader to complete the article and stay on the website.
If you can achieve each of these milestones, your readership will begin to grow organically due to search engine traffic, backlinks, and social media. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight. Being persistent and listening to your audience’s feedback is the best way to grow your blog’s readership organically.
Finding Valuable Niches That You Care About
So how do you find a topic that is both valuable and unsaturated? The best place to start is the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
With this tool, you’ll be able to gauge whether or not a topic is valuable to advertisers. Consequently, the Keyword Planner will help you discover specific issues within your niche that has low competition in search engine rankings. If you’re having trouble coming up with potential keywords, think about the things you and your friends like to do that involves spending money.
Chances are you probably can talk about this topic with authority. Reflect on the different angles you can take with your specific topic. For example, if you enjoy spending your free time camping, you could:
- Write about the best camping spots in your area.
- Create a guide for a first time campers and publish it as a free downloadable eBook on your website.
- Publish blog articles about what campers would need to go on their first adventure.
- Earn money when your visitors purchase supplies through affiliate links like those found in Amazon Associates affiliate program.
Advanced Strategies for Niche Monetization
Since advertising and affiliate income will most likely be your primary source of income, using Google’s Keyword Planner will help you reverse engineer the process of finding profitable blog topics. Third party applications also exist to help you simplify this process such LongTailPro.
If you are serious about blogging for a living, LongTailPro may be worth the investment. LongTailPro is used by many professional bloggers to help them simplify the process of finding profitable blog topics.
Having accurate knowledge of which keywords have weak competition will help you streamline your research process. In return, you’ll always be able to produce fresh, relevant content for new and existing readers.
Never Turn Down Guest Blogging Opportunities
As you begin to become popular within the blogging community, other bloggers may start reaching out to see if you’d be interested in publishing guest blog articles. Unless there is some extenuating circumstance, you should never turn down a guest blogging opportunity when you are first starting out.
Be willing to provide a backlink to other blogs and consider exchanging links with notable bloggers in your field of expertise. If you are just starting out, write a few articles you believe are appropriate to be published as a guest post.
Next, seek out bloggers who will allow you to guest post on their blog. Social media platforms are perfect for finding guest blogging opportunities. When bloggers respond to your inquiry, send them a few topics that you’ve already written about as instructed above.
When you get a positive response, you can send over the pre-written article and your guest post could go live instantaneously. Popular bloggers may begin to rely on you for guest blog content; this is a tremendous opportunity for you because it is customary for the guest blog to provide a backlink to your website.
Defer to Others for Expert Advice
If you begin blogging, and you aren’t seeing the results you were expecting, it’s time to defer to others for expert advice. Seek out constructive feedback on your blog and reach out to industry experts for feedback on what you could be doing better. Listening to the feedback of your visitors is critical. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to get ideas for new blog articles.
While visitor feedback is crucial, soliciting the feedback of other professional bloggers is often a good idea as well.
Professional bloggers tend to be active on social media. Find bloggers with large followings and reach out to them for advice. Use mediums such as Facebook and Twitter to engage expert bloggers. They’re usually more than happy to provide constructive feedback for fellow bloggers.
Another idea is to find communities that may be able to provide expert insight on your long term blogging ambitions. Reddit’s Entrepreneur section is a popular online community. The site has helped several aspiring full-time bloggers turn their websites into income generating enterprises.
Evaluate Income Streams and Determine the Best ROI
Many blogs earn the majority of their income from programs like Google AdSense. Others rely heavily on affiliate programs and sponsorships. There are several different methods of monetizing your blog. Here are a few platforms that can use to monetize your blog:
Pay Per Click Advertising
This short list of revenue generating platforms is a good start for someone looking to make recurring revenues from their blog posts. Depending upon the type of content on your blog, you might test out specialized affiliate offers that are unique to your particular blog topic.
For example, if you blog about fitness, be aware of any popular fitness programs or supplements that your readers might be interested in learning more about. If there’s a product or service that you use on a regular basis, see if there is an affiliate program available so that you can promote it on your blog.
At the end of the month, run the numbers on your ad revenues and figure out which methods are earning you the most money. When you find offers that increase your bottom line, use this as a proof of concept.
To be successful as a full-time blogger, you will need to scale advertising platforms that provide conversions. At the same time, you will need to eliminate advertising programs that are dragging down yourROI.
If you can master these tactics, you’ll be on your on the way to making it as a full-time blogger. Your first step is to set up your blog. Check out my free How To Start A Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide.