A blog is one of the most popular ways to earn money on the internet. You can start blogging either by using free services like Blogger, WordPress, etc, or by owning your personal domain. Free services always come with many limitations their name will be included in your web URL, options to place ads are limited and many times sharing of the revenue is required. Limitations are not common for all services. You should look for the service which suits you best. I always suggest owning the domain before starting a blog if the aim is earning money because there is no limitation in this case. Whatever the case following is the basic groundwork one has to do to start earning
1. Define your Niche:
A niche is a subject area related to any topic, market, product, or service. Niche can be anything but niche blogging is most successful when it does not overlap with the mainstream providers. The niche should not be very small or very broad. Certain niche areas like finance and education are very high earning but there are always competitors in such topics. It takes time to establish yourself in the field. Although profit depends on the niche area, the success of niche blogging depends on your interest and command of the topic. If you don’t have the knowledge or interest in a particular topic, you cannot build a content-rich blog/website on that topic. Without good content, no blog can be successful in the blogosphere. Therefore your interest in the niche should be the first criterion. You should aim for content, not for search engines. Traffic will be driven by content.
2. Make a list of Keywords
The content of the blog should cover full information about the niche. Therefore articles should be built around important keywords related to niche. Those keywords can be well-known to you if you are an expert in the field. Otherwise, you have to work hard to extract it from search engines. Search engines also regularly release the list of the most searched keywords. Some online services are available to automate the process. Keywords will help you in building a successful AdSense website. The best keywords are those having low competition and high traffic.
3. Arrange keywords in groups
You should be able to classify keywords into groups. Now you can build your website around those groups which can be your categories.
4. Buy a domain name
Domain is the address of your blog. It will point toward your content whenever anybody types it in a web browser. Your domain should reflect the theme of the blog. The unique and memorable domain is useful. It shouldn’t be too large. Large domain names are difficult to remember. Availability of the preferred domain can be checked using many free online services. Otherwise, you can directly go to the domain registrant and check the availability followed by buying the domain.
5. Host your blog
The next step is to find a good host. You should consider two things before deciding web host for your website – cost and quality service. Web hosting services are meant to maintain the contents of your website available to everybody round the clock. Low downtime (period for which your website is not available, generally done for maintenance purposes) is desirable from a web host. Almost all web hosts provide the facility to automatically install blogging software like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. You can also choose free (open source) software to start a forum, microblogging website, classified website, etc. Our website is hosted on WebHostingPad. This is one of the cheapest web hosts providing quality services and won many awards for its quality services.
6. Blog design
The look of the website matters a lot. Pleasant-looking websites give a good feeling to the visitors and they stay longer on such websites. You can build your website using professional software like Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe Dreamweaver. However, there is no need to learn coding to build the website. You can use easily (and freely) available themes for open-source software like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal to build your website. You can change the theme at any time without affecting the content.
7. Submit your blog to search engine
After you build your website next step is getting people to know about this. To do so you must submit your website to search engines. They don’t charge anything for the submission. The search engine also gathers the information from any other website wherever there is a link pointing towards your website. Therefore even if you don’t submit your website, search engines will find it through your links placed on other websites that are indexed in Search Engines.
8. Build a sitemap
Now your website is listed on the search engines. The next step is indexing all of your web pages in a search engine database. For this, you should have a sitemap file (in the root folder). It helps in indexing your website in search engines. Web crawler searches for the sitemap files from your website and indexes them in the database. You can also submit it manually using your personal account. For example, using Gooogle WebMaster Tools you can submit your sitemap file manually. Once you have assigned the file location (usually in the root folder) there is no need to follow on and to re-submit. The search engine’s web crawler will do it automatically. The search engine doesn’t need to index all of your pages.
9. Links for higher search engine ranking
Every search engine has its own set of rules for ranking websites and displaying them as search results. Ranking decides the priority of the appearance of your content on search results. The most widely used search engine Google displays the search results based on its patented technology “PageRank”. The more the number of links to your website and webpages, more is your rank for that particular keyword. Links can be internal or external. Internal links are those that connect your pages and posts with each other. You should link only relevant pages with each other. However, there can be a maximum of points given for internal links. Beyond that ranking can only be enhanced by external links. If somebody is linking your content (website or webpages) by giving a link pointing towards your web content; it shows that your content is useful. The higher the rank of the linking website higher the point given to you. These all help in better visibility through search engines. There are ways to enhance the external links. Submission of articles to Article Directories is one of the most popular ways. Although links are important for ranking it is not the only criteria for a higher ranking of your website for particular keywords. Google never discloses the full set of criteria for the higher ranking.
10. Quality contents
All efforts will be wasted if you cannot maintain the quality content for your blog. A high bouncing rate is also not a good indicator for niche-based blogs. Bouncing is the term used when a visitor comes to your site in any way (like through a search engine) and they go away after reading one article. Therefore you should not build your site only by keeping search engines in mind. Useful and engaging contents keep visitors on the site for a longer time. Longer stays increase the chance of clicking on the advertisements. Ads should also be appropriate and placed in such a way that reading the article will lead them to click on one of the ads. Duplicate content is not good for search engine ranking. So you should avoid using published content. Your site should contain unique content. Content addition can be done by yourself or you can invite your visitors who share a common interest to write on the niche topic. You can also hire a person to write for you if you are earning enough through ads. Services like elance.com can be used in that case. Some bloggers are also taking help from AI services like ChatGPT or Bard to help with the writing and proofreading of the content.
11. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
From the beginning, you should focus on SEO. This is the way to enhance your search engine ranking. SEO involves several things. A few are listed below
- Your page title should contain important information about the article. Search engines display a maximum of 60 words in the title. These are the words that help search engines find content related to searched keywords. It also attracts people to your site. Therefore you should optimize the words that appear in the title. You should not use more than 60 words. The use of repeated keywords is also a waste of resources.
- Meta Tags should be used properly. This is the short description (abstract) of your article. People can read this below your article title in search results. Therefore it is useful to write a nice informative abstract that is a real representation of the content of the article. This will convince people to visit your site. You should not use meta tags to put your keywords as it is not used by most of the search engines (although it was used before by some).
- Images should be used with an “alt tag” (e.g. <img src=”imagetitle.jpg” alt=” keyword” ….>). Search engines cannot see what is inside the image. The purpose of the image can’t be judged by search engines. All images are searchable (e.g. Google Image Search). Placing keywords for images helps people to locate them. Alt tags help search engines locate the images related to searched keywords. Placing the images higher on the page (before keywords) is not good.
- The header should be placed as close to the top of the page as possible.
12. Observe the traffic
You should always observe the visitors coming to your website. Your observation will help you to improve the content. You can add contents that interest your visitors. The Traffic Counter is a regular feature provided by almost all web hosts. There are many online services as well to observe traffic. Every search engine also provides this facility. Google Search Console and Google Analytics are the one the popular services in this category. Many people are browsing the website on mobile. You can also monitor traffic coming through mobile.
13. GO GET IT (place the ads)
Now you are ready to place your Ad Units or Link Units on your website. Open an account with popular advertising networks like Google AdSense to start with. You can also use affiliate marketing to display and promote sell of products of your choice and for revenue sharing. But be careful as affiliate marketing will pay only when somebody buys the products. So lots of your clicks may be wasted.