This post was last updated on February 18th, 2021
Blogging has been around a long time now. From its origins way back In 1994, the humble blog has come a long way. With the rise of YouTube, Vlogging, and other forms of social media, you might ask how relevant is blogging today?
The answer is that blogging is still incredibly relevant. It’s usually a complement to other forms of online presence. For example, most businesses will have a blog, a social media presence and sometimes a YouTube channel.
So how’s it possible to earn an income with a blog in this day and age with all this competition? Well in this article, I’ll show you how to build a blog that’ll become an income-producing asset that will keep growing over time. I’ll show you how to create something really valuable.
Advantages of Blogging as a business to earn Income
The great thing is that you can do it from anywhere with an internet connection. You’ve got complete freedom to work on your blog at any time of the day from virtually anywhere. This means that you’ll also have time to do the things that you really want and get a fantastic work life balance.
Your life can fit around the work you do on your site.
The other big advantage is that you can become an authority in your area. This can open up a whole raft of opportunities for you including travel and speaking engagements.
Blogging – Choose a Niche
Selecting a niche is paramount when you’re considering starting a blog. If you look at various types of blogs, you’ll find that they are usually specialised into one topic of interest eg. Digital Photography. You won’t find many blogs that are on super-broad topics eg Sport.
This is because there’s way too much competition with a broad blog and you won’t get many readers.
Can every niche Earn Income?
Theoretically any niche can earn income. This is possible because if you can get in front of a lot of eyeballs, ie High Traffic, you can easily monetise your site. This could be done through either advertising ( eg Adsense ) or affiliate links.
How to Start Blogging
Please read our guide on how to start a blog. This takes you through all the steps that you need to undertake.
Given that you’re looking to build a long-term asset, I’d recommend using self-hosted WordPress. You’ll need a hosting provider for this. My recommendation for hosting if you’re just starting out is Siteground. They’ve got the best combination of speed, reliability and low price point when you’re first starting your site.
Once your site traffic really starts blowing up, I’d recommend Kinsta for maximum scalability and the ability to deal with viral traffic spikes.
Prepare yourself – You’ll have no Traffic when you start Blogging
It can take months of regular blogging before you start to see any noticeable traffic to your site. This can be really disconcerting in the early days. You’ll feel that you’re throwing an insane amount of work at your blog and getting little in return. You should be monitoring traffic using Google Analytics but I’d advise you not to check it too often.
It’s also really important to activate Google Search Console. This’ll provide some really useful information such as your CTR (Click Through Rate) per the number of Impressions (ie How many times your site was shown in search engine listings).
What’s most important is for you to churn out regular high-quality content that’s really useful for your readers.
You’ll need almost crazy levels of self-drive to keep going with your blog in the early days. The reality is that most people quit after a period of not seeing results.
So you’ll need a lot of stamina to push through this early resistance and to keep going even when you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you’d thought.
Don’t Try to Monetise Your Blog too Early
When you first get started, you’ll have little to no traffic. There’s no point in adding affiliate links at this stage as there won’t be anyone clicking on them and they’ll just slow your site down.
If you’re interested in using display ads, you’ll need to gain evidence of regular traffic (eg Google Analytics reports) to sign up for them. So this can only be done further down the track once your site is more established.
Go for Organic Growth through Google search Optimisation
Search engine traffic is powerful and free. For this reason it’s best to concentrate on ranking your posts for things that people are searching for. So use a tool like Yoast to optimise your posts for these keywords.
If you keep posting quality content, eventually some of your posts will start to rank in search listings.
The great thing is that these high performing posts will lift the rankings of all your other content. Over time, your site will develop authority with Google and you’ll start to see your posts rank more quickly.
One of the key things that Google (and Bing) use to rank your site is the quantity and quality of your inward-bound links. These occur when another website links to your site and are also called backlinks. These inward- bound links will tend to develop organically over time as you get authority in your area, but you might want to fast-track this process.
How to Build Backlinks
Building backlinks can take time. A lot of black-hat methods (such as buying backlinks) will likely backfire on you and should be avoided. Google is very good at detecting these.
There are two preferred ways to build backlinks. Manual outreach and guest blogging. I won’t go into them in detail here but it’s something you should consider.
With backlinks, it needs to be said that they are not all counted the same. If you receive links from a large, respected site, they’ll be much more powerful than from a small site. Also, if they are from another site in your industry or niche, they’ll have more weight with Google.
Make YouTube videos and include them whilst Blogging
A great way to increase your SEO is to include your own YouTube videos in your posts. Videos generally increase the time that users spend on page. This helps greatly with your search engine ranking metrics.
I recommend the free WP YouTube Lyte plugin for including videos on your posts. I use this because it speeds up page loading by just loading a thumbnail. In comparison, the normal (heavy) way of inserting videos really slows down your site.
In Summary – Blogging and How to build a location Independent business
Blogging is one of the best ways to build an online business that can generate serious income if you put in the work early. The aim is for it to grow and snowball over time so it’s more of a long term play.
The major advantage is that it’s virtually free if you’re prepared to bootstrap it and create your own content. The only real cost is your web hosting. By putting in the hard work to regularly post new and interesting content, you’re building a valuable resource and a great asset for yourself.