7 years ago, starting a blog was the best decision of my life. Why?
Because all the money that I make today is all because of that. Starting a digital marketing company, earning money through affiliate marketing programs and much more. All that was possible because of that one simple step.
But this step does not seem that easy for newbie bloggers who have no clue about starting and running a blog. I can relate to that. This is why I am writing this article for all beginner bloggers who have the same problems as listed in this article.
With over 966 million websites on the internet as of 2016, I am sure the number has easily crossed the 1 billion mark in 2017.
I started my new blog incomeboy.com in April 2017. Throughout March I planned the exact area, strategy, competition and everything. You will be surprised to look at the number of excel sheets I created.
1. Niche or topic of the blog
This seems fairly simple, but I get so many emails from the various websites I own, and most of them want to start but have no clue about the topic of their blog.
The key concern here is that if you choose a topic too broad like Fitness, then it will be too difficult to manage all the sub-niches in the umbrella term of Fitness. And if you decide on a micro niche topic like "Titan watches" then you are restricting yourself and hence scaling would be extremely difficult.
The solution lies in introspecting. Here are few steps that you can follow:
- Make a list of 10 topics that bring a smile to your face. These can be hobbies, passions etc. For example, Football, guitar, etc.
- Remove everything and keep the one that is your passion. The one that excites you the most. Why I am telling you this is because writing articles sometimes become boring and if you don't love the topic, you are most likely to abandon your blog, and it will die a slow death.
2. Content ideas
Now you have selected the niche and also have some content ideas. Let's take an example:
Let's say you decide on "Guitar" as a topic.
Then you can write about:
- Beginner mistakes people make
- How to play XYZ cord
- How to hold a guitar?
etc. etc. you get the point right.
Let's say you have written 20 articles. But now you are stuck in your head what to write next?
Sometimes you will have 50 or 100 content ideas but what next, how will you find more content ideas. Right?
The solution lies in these points:
- Get inspiration from other blogs and see what is performing well for them.
- Look at the most commented and shared post on other blogs in your niche.
- One fantastic trick I use to write content is to look at Quora and see what are the common questions that people are asking. This strategy alone helps me come up with 30-40 content ideas. This can also be replicated on Reddit as well.
- Using a different form of content, not write text, you can also create infographics (if you have some graphic design experience), you can create youtube videos and create video content. This will also help you establish as an authority.
3. Getting traffic
Ok now comes the tough part.
How to drive traffic/visitors to your blog? Traffic must be targeted as well. As people who are looking for dogs and you show them guitar articles, 99% of the times they will abandon your article in few seconds.
The worst effect is on your psychology when you are spending multiple hours on writing a high-quality article, and you see that only 10-20 people read that article. It's disheartening, right?
To tackle this issue here is the best way to drive traffic to your website:
- Learn all about SEO. (Best resource: backlinko.com). Driving free organic traffic with SEO tactics from Google is the best form of traffic.
- Find relevant communities, FB groups, Forums, Subreddits and all such places in your niche where people hang out. And then become an active contributing member of all these places.
- Guest blogging. Make a list of all the blogs in your niche and write a high-quality article for those blogs. The audience of those blogs will look at your articles and will come back to your website as well.
4. Making money from a blog
Ok, this might differ from person to person. Some write a blog for sharing their knowledge or just creating a community. For some making a blog is for the purpose of monetizing it ad making money from it.
Most popular Indian blogger, Harsh Aggarwal of shoutmeloud makes around Rs 20,00,000/month from his blog. He writes about blogging, affiliate marketing, and general stuff as well.
Don't get too excited; you must also know that it took him 7+ years of consistent blogging to achieve this stage. He makes money primarily through affiliate marketing.
Recommended read: 4 ways to lose money with your blog
My best tip for you will be to not look at revenue numbers and rather write for quality and building a community. Making money should be secondary and if you can build enough audience then monetizing it won't be too difficult.
So these were the major issues people have while starting a blog. I hope I was able to explain everything in detail.
As a bonus, i have added few tips that I have learned from my 7+ years of experience in Digital marketing and after helping more than 100+ bloggers on their blog.
So here we go:
- Choose WordPress as your blogging platform and not Blogger or Tumblr. Trust me this will be the best decision for your blog
- Invest a small amount of money in your blog. These days hosting + domain name are very cheap, and hence you will only need to invest close to $50 or around Rs 3500 for the first year of hosting and domain name. Domain comes free with hosting. Make sure you buy your own domain and hosting and don't go for a subdomain like xyz.blogspot.com. You can check my article on the top hosting in India or otherwise directly go for Hostgator or Siteground. Just don’t go for Godaddy they are the worst.
- Learn SEO. Why waste time promoting your content when your target audience is already searching for your content. All you need is to drive them to your article and not to someone else. So learn all about SEO and implement the learning in your articles.
Let me give you my backstory, why I created my new blog. One of my friends was searching for online jobs and he sent me the article that was ranking #1 on Google for the term.
I was surprised by looking at the pathetic quality of the articles some bloggers have put up. The majority of my client base is in the US and hence I did not know that Indian blogging community is so pathetic.
So I searched for similar blogs on making money online and others, and apart from Shoutmeloud, everyone lacked in quality. This is why I decided to create incomeboy and provide high quality, actionable, current and regularly updated information that also has proofs and not just claims.
So this was it from my end. I hope you like this article on the common hurdles newbie bloggers face. If you have any question or need more explanation on any topic, then you can comment below I will be happy to assist you. I will be glad to help you through email as well.
Ankur Aggarwal is a Digital Marketer, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Blogger, Foodie. Have been blogging since 2010. In 2016 he scored 99.2 percentile in XAT Exam for MBA, left that to pursue his Online business dreams. He has multiple websites but incomeboy.com is his new venture. The purpose of Incomeboy is to pass on 100% accurate and genuine information on making and saving more money either online or offline in India.