Blogging is not only a medium to express yourself (voice) as a writer and improve your writing skills, but also a viable career option. Many have started blogging to earn part-time passive income but lack professionalism.
To start a professional blog, you need a couple of things including Build an audience, Attract targeted leads, and more. Therefore, if you intend to make blogging your career, you need to have a blogging plan and a professional appearance.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to start a website step by step, what it takes to build a professional appearance, promoting your blog and growing your audience, and how to make money out of your blog.
What is a blog anyway?
A blog is simply a type of website that mainly thrives on written content, also called blog posts. Blog posts are written from a personal perspective and this allows the writer to connect directly with readers.
Also, most blogs have a “comments” section where readers can correspond with the blogger. Interacting with your readers in the comments section helps to further the connection between the blogger and the reader.
Through this connection, the writer and the reader can share ideas with other like-minded people. And above all build trust and loyalty with the readers. This paves way for monetizing your blog, which why you probably joined blogging.
What makes a blog professional?
I know you are yarning to know my perspective of the difference between a casual blog and a professional blog. But trust me a casual blog and a professional, well-established blog are totally different.
By professional blog, we simply mean a well-maintained and well-branded blog. Your brand is very important when it comes to professional blogging. You have to nurture and sustain your website to stand the test of time.
Your blog has to have a well-planned laid-out strategy, a proper publishing frequency, better articles, and above all you need to treat your website like a real business.
Treating your blog as a real business implies working to improve its quality, attracting new readers, and applying better marketing strategies for your blog. And of course, improving as a blogger and learning new trends all the time.
How to start a professional blog
At the start, the process may seem overwhelming and intimidating. But I am here to tell you, regardless of age, with basic computer skills, you can create your own website in just a few minutes.
Do not be ashamed of making mistakes but be committed, focused consistently. Below is a detailed guide on how to start a professional blog that is beautiful and functional.
Picking a perfect niche for your blog
A niche is basically the market you are targeting. The key aspect here is to pick a top of your passion, and that people search for topics related to this niche. This will give your blog quick traffic and monetization chances.
Once you have identified your niche, you can go ahead and validate it. With validation, all you need is to;
- Check niche size.
- Explore competitors.
- Analyze monetization potential.
Selecting the best blogging platform
Many people make mistakes when it comes to choosing the best blogging platform. As for me and my partners, the best by far is WordPress. I know you are going to ask me why. But let me give you a few reasons below.
It is the most popular blogging platform, powering 33.4% of the internet, and holding over 60% of the market. If top brands like BBC, Wired, Time Magazine, and the New York Post are used, then it is a deal-breaker.
WordPress gives you the freedom to customize your website the way you want. You can install plugins of your choice. No other blogging platform can give you all this freedom
The software itself is free. All you have to pay is the hosting and the domain name because it’s a self-hosted platform.
Pick a domain name
A domain name is that name by which you are known online. It is your unique address to the internet. Those who know your domain simply type it into the browser and others will get to know you through search engines like google or Bing. All you need is to get a unique name for yourself.
Get a web hosting account/get your blog online
After securing a domain name, the next step is getting your blog online. This is done by selecting a dependable hosting provider. We have written an article on how to choose the best hosting provider, Reach out for this article to guide you in your search for a hosting provider.
Otherwise, a host stores your content and files on the like and makes your blog available 24/7. So, this has to be a reliable host. If you intend to use WordPress as a blogging platform, we recommend Bluehost as a self-hosted version of WordPress
Start a blog on word press
Assuming you selected Bluehost as your hosting provider, what is next is to create your WordPress blog with Bluehost and launch it. Bluehost offers a 4-step process of how to create a WordPress blog. Or you can skip that and go on and create a blog on your own inside the Bluehost hosting account.
Once you are done, you can go on to launch your blog. You will automatically go live once you click the “launch my site” button.
Select the theme and design your blog (customization)
The face or layout of your blog depends on the theme that you choose. WordPress has multiple free themes under the wordpress.org themes button.
Choose an appealing theme that serves your content needs. Remember that; readers notice appearance first before your blog content. Here’s a quick guide on how to choose the best theme for WordPress.
Write content for your blog
After getting a domain name, choosing a hosting provider, and setting up the blog theme, your next step is to write content for your blog. Aim at writing valuable content so that whenever people interact with you, they feel like coming back for more.
Writing quality content should not be hard. All you need is to point out your main idea, set examples, and show how to work on the ideas. Before writing, make sure that static pages like About us, Contact, and other parts are suitably filled in.
Start promoting your blog
However much compelling your content may be, it will have no use if no one sees it. All your efforts will be in vain. You need marketing; you need to engage with current and future readers. Your success entirely depends on your ability to engage in your niche.
There are many promoting and marketing activities you can take to become popular online. These among others include; being active on social media, building your email list, advertising on the web, guest blogging, submitting your blog to search engines, etc.
How to make money from blogging
Monetizing a website is not a myth. It is achievable but takes time and depends on having some traffic. Remember; the more readers you get, the more attractive you become to advertisers.
You need a bit of luck and hard work. Once you start making some money, you will be able to cover some basic expenses like domain and hosting.
Once your blog is up and running, you can now think of multiple ways to make a profit from it. Some of the best and easiest ways to make money from your website include;
Use affiliate marketing on your blogs
Affiliate marketing works in the way that you earn a small commission when a visitor purchases after clicking through a site your blog post recommends. All you need to do is to add tracked affiliate links into your blog post lead readers to the website of a brand and you are paid for that.
Use banner adverts to your website
Another way of earning is to sell advertising space on your blog page to brands that relate with your audience. This can be a banner anywhere on your blog page but most preferably on top of the page because it is where it is most visible to readers.
You can earn money for every reader that clicks the advert (CPC) or earn for every 1000 impressions the ad receives (CPM. You can start today if you already have a blog by creating an account with Google AdSense.
Advertorials and sponsored content
This works best for those with a strong niche audience. If you happen to have a big audience, brands will always come to you for sponsored posts.
I say apple brings a new phone on the market and you happen to have a blog on bet flagship phones, they can offer to pay you to write an article about their new release.
Through sponsored social media posts
People’s strong social media following are assets to brands. You can actually earn through sponsored posts on social media. You can earn per-post/re-post. All you need to do is to build a strong social media following, the rest will be history.
Through selling digital products on your blog
If you’re an authority on certain topics for example cooking or workouts, you can offer skills or advice and charge a fee for access to eBooks, video tutorials, courses, or workshops. For this to work, you have to be superior at what you are doing or have incredibly valuable content.
Set up an e-commerce blog
You don’t have to focus on content alone. You can focus on tools or products in an online store. All you need is a unique niche, the latest marketing techniques, and strategies that make you stand out from the many.
Through business partnerships
Although this sounds amorphous, you definitely don’t know who you will meet when you begin the blogging career. But hey am telling you. What you get out of the partnership is amazingly endless.
You will meet incredibly talented entrepreneurs and believe me or not, your success story will make an incredible U-turn and you will finally hit the top.
You can create membership options on your blog and make content available to your members with a paid membership. Content may be in form of digital goods, free consultations, or private content available to members only.
In a nutshell, there are many ways you can make money out of your blog. And the best way will always depend on the goals and purpose of your website. Whether selling services, physical goods, or digital goods, you need audience traffic.
Take the time to explore the different options; with dedication, love, and patience, you will see your first penny making its way.
Starting a professional blog to make money should not be hard. All you need is hard work, dedication, and grit.
Just like any venture, there will always be obstacles to put you off course. But, be focused and stick with your passion because the reward outweighs the risk. And as your blog, remember that interacting with humans; be yourself, be adventurous, honest, and transparent.