How To Write A Listicle & [Make It Go Viral]

Listicles can be some of the easiest content to create for any blogger, but best of all they are easily consumed by your audience providing a positive user experience.

But did you know that most writers are not writing listicles properly or even worse lowering the odds of them going viral?

Keep reading the learn how to write the best listicle content for your blog and make them go viral.

In this article, I am going to show you how to write a listicle but I am also going to show you how to make your listicle even better with certain optimizations.

Listicle Post Template

Download My Listicle Post Template

What Are The Benefits Of Writing Listicle Content

There are many benefits of writing listicle content and in this section, we will cover as many as we can in listicle format. Each of the below subheadings is a great example of a listicle.

While this entire article is not a listicle it does have listicles within each main subheading.

1. Quick And Easy To Write

Listicle articles are super easy to write. You are essentially listing out several subtopics giving value to your audience through a list of subheadings and supporting content.

You can use listicles for any niche topic.

2. Quick And Easy To Read

Listicles are quick and easy to read. The content is formatted so that your audience can skim through the content really fast.

Most paragraphs in a listicle is usually short and to the point. Sort of like this article you are currently reading.

When your title includes the number of list items your reader will know the amount of time they will invest into reading your content.

Not all listicles are short however they are still a quick read.

3. Scannable Content

Your audience can scan through the content and decide which parts they want to actually read. If you already know the benefits of a listicle you might have just scanned this section not really reading it all the way through.

That is one of the best things about listicles. We do not need to read an entire 2,000 word blog post to get value.

4. Easily Go Viral

Listicles have viral elements including: inspirational quotes, curated content, list format that is easily scannable.

These types of articles tend to go viral most often.

Listicles often go viral and for good reason. A lot of times a reader will be willing to share the listicle content because just one point in your entire listicle gave them tremendous value.

It is a great idea to be very helpful in your listicles to increase the odds of a viral list post.

5. Help With Writer's Block

If you are having a hard time coming up with your next blog post then consider a quick and easy listicle post. Consider doing a best of or roundup post on your topic. Maybe even 9 ways to get better X.

6. Easy To Research

Listicle content is easy to research. Your main focus is providing several points on any given topic. If you are writing a listicle on being more organized then consider finding a point from many different existing articles you have written or others have written and elaborate more on each of the points.

A great example of a listicle I wrote is a kitchen cabinet storage ideas listicle on the CountertopAdvisor blog. I didn't actually write the entire thing but

How To Write A Listicle

Writing a listicle is really easy and we are about to go into detail on how to write a listicle the most effective way possible.

Step 1. Your Title And Intro Come Last

I know it is a bit odd that I put the last step first but trust me it is for good reason.

Most people want to think of a title before writing. This causes writer's block way too often so I suggest crafting a clickable title or headline after you have written all or most of your content.

After I have written my content I can craft the perfect intro because I know what the reader is to expect and now it is my job to summarize that expectation by teasing them and enticing them to read on.

Sometimes I will write an intro for myself in the beginning outlining what I want the reader to gain from my content and that really helps me get inside the mind of a reader and help them with my content the best way possible.

Step 2. Think Of Your Topic

This is actually the first step in writing a listicle.

Consider some controversial topics, helpful tips, quotes from other popular creators or even round up some of your own pieces of content for this.

Step 3. Outline Your Content

Consider each list point before you even begin writing your first paragraph.

I like to outline my content because it makes my job seem a bit easier. I will write my outline then start filling in the blanks making content production smooth.

Your outline should include each separate point of your listicle. Each point will be a subheading and likely use a number.

Step 4. Start Writing

I like to keep my research tabs open during the writing process so I can refer back to each point. I do this by searching in Google each of my own outlined headlines to see what others have said on the topic.

This give me a greater advantage because I can consider points from many already published articles on the web.

Step 5. Call To Action

If you are a blogger with an email list or a product now is the time to provide a call to action. I like to sprinkle this into the content a few times but most certainly as the last listed item in my content.

Your desired action may be to subscribe to your newsletter or purchase your ebook maybe even a course. Be clear and outline your objectives to your audience but be sure to list out the benefits.

Step 6. Time To Craft Your Title Or Headline

Now is the time to start thinking about your headline. Be sure to make it enticing and somewhat click bate but if you go the click bate route make sure you deliver as promised.

I like to use odd numbers if possible in my title and sometimes even if the list of items is an even number. I will just turn it into a bonus tip or listing so that the number stays odd.

Use brackets where possible or even a question mark. These things tend to increase the clickthrough and if you cannot get readers then your content was almost pointless.

Step 7. Write Your Intro

I saved the best for last because this is my last step in the process.

Why?

Because this is the most important part of your content aside from your headline and actually delivering on the promise of your title. All titles have a promise even though it may not be clear.

Your content being on topic is delivering a promise to your readers.

My intros are sometimes thought about for hours even though it may not seem like it.

If I am hoping for a conversion I will include my call to action in my intro somehow and make it clear from the start that I want the reader to perform this specific action.

Step 8. Publish And Share

Now is the time to publish your work and start promoting your listicle content.

If you want the odds to be more in your favor then consider a blog promotion process like mine when I will publish next week. Until then you will just have to download my listicle outline here and get yourself on my email list if you want my blog promotion methods.

And trust me I have a solid blog promotion plan.

Download My Listicle Post Template

Final Thoughts

Writing a listicle is pretty easy and allows you to get through writer's block. This article here which is a form of a listicle took me about an hour to craft from start to finish.

I actually wrote it because I was having a hard time deciding what to write from my list of content ideas.

What kind of listicles will you write? Let me know in the comments below.

How To Get Traffic To A New Blog

If you are new to blogging, niche websites, or authority websites then you must be wondering how to get traffic to your blog.

This is probably one of the most asked questions in the groups that I frequent.

Most importantly, many people just like you struggle getting traffic to a new blog because they really don't know where to start or how to start.

In this article, I am going to give you the answers to this question. Yes, there are many answers and we are going to cover them all right here.

How To Get Traffic To A New Blog

Traffic is a metric that determines success. Without it you aren't earning money, gaining email subscribers, etc.

To get blog traffic you either have to use some costly marketing tactics or you have to play the strategic long game.

I prefer the strategic long game and here is why...

The long game is more stable, it is cheaper, and it is more rewarding in the long run.

I love watching the traffic to my blog grow over time and the amount of joy I get out of checking my Google Analytics throughout the day watching that number increase day after day is simply epic.

Side Note: This is not an overnight process or method. It takes time and consistency to build traffic to a new blog and you have to stay motivated and know that in time it will work out.

Also, it is a great idea to set incremental goals that when you reach you can reward yourself but also this helps you see that you are meeting your goals slowly and it is working slowly.

Now let's jump in and learn how to get traffic to a new blog:

Know Your Niche

If you do not know and understand the topic you are trying to establish yourself in then how can you expect to compete with the people already ranking and pulling in all of the traffic?

When I start a new niche or authority site I will watch YouTube videos on the topic. I will learn as much as I can possibly learn about it to better understand it. This helps with content creation.

Most of the blogs I own are on topics I really have little to no knowledge about.

Watching YouTube videos, reading other blogs, and researching my competition helps me to dive into the topic to learn all that I can. It also helps me with ideas on how I can accomplish my entrance into the niche in a different way.

Write More Quality Content

Notice I did not just say write more content. Anyone can write content but not everyone can write quality content.

The fact is more content will gain you more exposure and build up the traffic to your blog overall but there is a secondary metric we have to know and understand.

It is quality content that separates the big blogs from the little blogs and if your content sucks or is not very engaging then you are likely wasting your time even writing it in the first place.

Without quality content, your blog will never grow and see rankings that nearly shut down your server.

Blog content needs to have the following metrics to be considered quality content:

  1. Enticing Headline Or Title
  2. Strong Intro
  3. Value Information Immediately
  4. Researched Information
  5. Elements That Break Up The Content
  6. Other Resources

Now let's dig a little deeper into these necessary elements of a quality blog article.

Enticing Headline Or Title

If you cannot get users to click through to your website with your headline then this is like a brick wall.

Your content needs viewers to earn money from display ads or affiliate links you have sprinkled throughout, or to get your message across.

You must use enticing headlines to get better click-through rates.

Some things to consider are:

  1. Numbers In Titles
  2. Question In Titles
  3. Brackets
  4. Emotional Words
  5. Power Words

Numbers in your titles improve your click through rate in Google search results.

Questions in your titles have a 14.1% higher click through rate compared to titles without a question.

Brackets are known to be more enticing and give better CTR than titles without brackets.

Emotional words thrown into your title strategically will better your CTR.

Power words in your titles are likely to drive more clicks.

Strong Intro

Now that you got the click in the SERPs and the visitor is on your blog reading your content it is time to hook them in.

Your job in this part of the process is to keep them reading and hook them into your content.

I do this by addressing the concern almost immediately and letting the reader know that I have the answer to their searched query.

I also focus on the pain points or frustrations they may have based on the topic I am writing about.

Your intro should also be as brief as possible. This is just to get them reading more not to educate. The only educating you should do here is letting them know you have the best solution for them.

Value Information Immediately

The fact is that people are clicking on your site in the SERPs to get the answers to questions or for more information on a topic.

Your job is to understand the search intent of any given topic and give that to your readers right after your intro.

Yes, it sometimes seems like you are giving them the gold right away and why would they even read your content further?

Most people will because of the fact that you gave value right away. Also, this is your chance to craft another hook into your content.

Your answer paragraph should give the answer but it should also highlight supporting information that the searcher would want to know about this topic.

It really pays to fully understand search intent, know your topic as a whole, and research heavily.

And that brings us to my next part... Research.

Researched Information

People like data and data-driven research gives your reader a sense of trust that you know what you are talking about. It give the user a better experience and when Google notices a great experience they will rank you better in the search results.

Consider adding tables, or information that takes a lot of time to get. This is the kind of information that drives results.

A good example is this:

My dog is losing a lot of hair and it is Winter soI call up 50 different veterinarian clinics and ask the same question. Why is my dog losing hair?

I then provide the answers to this question in a blog post from every vet that I called or I tally up the different answers I was given and sort them by popularity for the reader. Not all of the answers may be useful to the reader or specific case but at least they have several possibilities that they can further research.

Not only does this information confirm that the answer is correct but it also shows that I put in the time and effort to get this information for the reader.

Google sees well-researched content as quality content and linking out to sources will help your content climb in the SERPs.

Elements That Break Up Content

I am starting to feel like this is a write up on creating a blog post but really this is part of getting good traffic so it must be included.

When people visit your site and see large chunks of content they immediately feel overwhelmed. This is likely to increase your bounce rate and cause much lower rankings in Google.

Consider shortening your paragraphs to 1 to 3 sentences, adding images, tables, and anything that breaks up the content and gives a better user experience. If your content is not being read this will be evident to Google and they will not display your content to searchers.

Other Resources

These can be resources from within your page, website, or externally. Consider linking out to quality sources.

You should also consider creating tables, or downloads that will prove beneficial to your audience.

Guest Posting

This is not really something I do much of. I used to way back in the day but I don't really consider this to be something important to my personal strategy however I do understand the power of guest posting and I have used this method to gain trust, authority and get more exposure.

Guest posting can give you access to another site's audience and grow your own website traffic.

If I was going to produce a guest post for another blog I would create some sort of digital download that you can give away to collect emails which leads into the next part of this article...

Collect Emails

This is probably one of my favorite aspects of building a business. Email marketing has intrigued me since I was first introduced to it.

I love that I can build a massive audience and keep them digesting my content just from an email I send out as I update my business.

Email is one of the most powerful marketing platforms available and I will never have a blog without an email list.

My email list is responsible for my growth without a doubt and along with a few other aspects of my business, it is my main focus.

I create a YouTube video, let my email subscribers know.

I write a blog post, let my email subscribers know.

I find a cool product that I truly love and believe in, let my audience know.

If Google decides that my website should not rank anymore for my big volume keywords I have a way to send traffic to my website and still earn profits from display ads, affiliate marketing, etc.

YouTube Channel

I saved the best for last.

YouTube has become the opportunity of a lifetime for many people. This platform has transformed the lives of many people in a short time.

In 2021 and beyond I will be putting a lot of time and effort into YouTube and video content as a whole. Video is the best way to build an audience.

The best part about YouTube is that it cost you absolutely nothing to access the platform and you can literally create videos on any topic. If you have the ability to build an audience this is the best place to do it as long as you build it.

Using YouTube along with a blog is a game-changer for me and an exciting new opportunity that I am taking seriously.

When I write a blog post for this blog I typically create a video on the topic also using my article content as the outline for my video content. I will link to this article in the video description which brings traffic to my blog.

When you place videos on your website you are increasing dwell time which is a great metric that will boose your rankings in Google.

Another great feature of YouTube is the fact that I can offer digital downloads free to my audience and build my email list further increasing the value of my business.

Conclusion

There are a number of ways to get traffic to a new blog but these are the best in my opinion. Staying consistent, building a valuable resource, and being seen as often as possible is a great way to build your blog traffic in any niche.

How to Start a Blog and Make Money [NO FLUFF] 4 STEPS

So...I have been contemplating my very first post to my blog for a few weeks now and decided that today is the day I start writing. No matter how long it takes to finish.

This first article will be a comprehensive how-to article on how to start a blog and make money. 

I chose this as my first article for a few reasons. One reason, in particular, is due to the high volume of searches and a decent CPC number for the key terms. This is a perfect example of the purpose of this article. Starting a blog and making money are the two main focuses of this post.

This blog will make money from this exact post you are reading because of the volume of traffic I expect to receive from this content.

At the time of writing this, it shows a 4,400 search volume and $2.02 CPC, and a KD of .73 based on KWE. All of this is important to tell you because I will be expanding on this later.

This article is targeting two main search phrases. One of these search phrases boasts a 130k search volume which is pretty epic and if I reach the first page for this term I am guaranteed a ton of traffic to this post you are reading now. If I reach the top of page one I will take all the traffics :).

My goal for this article is to give you knowledge but also to rank for these beautiful search terms which will allow me to give value to 130k searchers. It sounds like an epic achievement for me.... yeah! This will likely take several months to achieve or longer considering this blog is brand new and...well...Google doesn't trust me yet. 

I will rank on page one for this key phrase I assure you! Watch me rank here! I will update it often! You can even search for yourself on Google.

This is a very brave thing to claim and may end up making me look bad but I am pretty positive that I can achieve this pretty easily. I have a ton of SEO knowledge, skill, and experience to achieve this...I really do. Just watch and learn!

Alright, enough banter and back on topic...we really haven't gotten off-topic actually because all of this will serve its purpose further in this post.

How To Start a Blog Now

  1. Research Phase: Research keywords and choose your niche & domain name.
  2. Set up a web hosting account. Use SiteGround.
  3. Set up your blog permalinks and title.
  4. Write useful content based on your initial keyword research.
  5. Engage with your audience.
  6. Keep on pushing forward.

If you already know how to set up a blog and really do not need the newbie-friendly section of this post then skip to the part you want by skimming the headlines below. Additionally, there is a table of contents at the top of this post and every post.

1. Choose Your Niche & Some Keyword Research

Choosing your niche is the first part of creating a blog. This is the research phase where you will determine the following: What will you write about? What will your topic focus on? Without a niche, there is no blog. We will expand more on research so keep reading.

Choosing a niche can be a bit hard sometimes. It is best to write about a topic or topics you have plenty of knowledge on and perhaps a bit of interest would also be recommended.

A good example: If you own a flooring company or have experience in flooring you could write about flooring, cleaning flooring and so many other subtopics to flooring. Because of your knowledge on the topic you able to create interesting and useful content as an authority in your niche. If you know about a specific topic then it's likely that you have some sort of interest in it as well.

Your blog can be about anything, but it is best to have a leg up on your competition by actually knowing what you are talking about.

If you just have a general idea of a topic but want to learn more about it then this is also great! Having genuine interest will give you a leg up on your competition. It's not considered work if you enjoy it...right?

Researching Your Blog Topic

Not all topics are created equal. Some blogs have topics or keywords that offer high payouts while others are not so profitable...and if that is the case I hope you really and truly enjoy writing and that this is not about the profits...but if it is about the money, keep reading.

When researching your blog topic be sure to use a keyword research tool like the Keywords Everywhere Chrome and Firefox extension.

This will help give you an idea of how many people are searching for your topic and subtopics.

If you choose a niche that no one is searching for then chances are you will receive very little traffic to your blog which will result in you giving up or expanding your niche. 

You want to write about topics that have a ton of volume but less competition. You will start with lower-volume topics to gain traction and get used to researching and writing about your topic 

Researching Your Competition

Before you even purchase your domain name you should know the volume of your topic, your competitors and their top keywords (these are keywords you will compete for later on) and have a good idea of some topics to write about. 

The more you know the better your situation is when it comes to starting a blog and making money with it.

It is like a business plan but instead it is now a plan of attack in your niche. A solid plan with high volume keywords and lower volume keyphrases to target will impact your ability to be successful and compete in your niche. This will help you keep your creative flow going and keep content published on your blog.

2. Set Up Web Hosting and Get Your Blog Ready

Every blog needs a web hosting account to be live on the interwebz. There is no way around that. I could go into hosting your own blog with your own computer but I will skip that for now and probably always. 

I recommend SiteGround (Aff link)(Opens in a new tab, ie: you won't lose this page)

Step 1: Click the SiteGround link above and go to shared hosting. Select the package you want to purchase, I recommend Choice Plus. It has a blue highlight...ya can't miss it. That is what I start with for every blog I own and I upgrade my account as my needs increase.

When you get your package selected you will get an opportunity to receive a free domain name. Choose the domain there if you don't already have one. I use namecheap.com personally for all of my domains. We can talk about why another time.

Step 2: Once you have your domain and web hosting account set up you will start the process of getting your blog ready. If you opted for SiteGround web hosting you will already have a WordPress installation already installed and you can log in from your SiteGround account.

They have really made it easy to set up your blog...they did it for you. 

Now that you have your web hosting account set up with SiteGround let's start step three. These are THE MOST IMPORTANT steps in this entire process. If you get step 3 wrong then you are doomed forever.

Step 3: The point of blogging is to get your content found on Google and to be read by readers all across the world...right? Yes of course. Step 3 is all about structuring your blog for success right from the beginning. To do this we will set up your permalinks and blog title. Both are equally important.

3. Set Up Permalinks and Blog Title

People often skip this step and I get why. They weren't properly educated on the importance of setting up your permalinks and blog title when starting a blog and as soon as they realize that they needed to do this a long time ago it is too late. Well...sort of.

Fortunately, you can redirect your old URL's in your .htaccess file on your server but who wants to go through all of that trouble? Not me..

Permalinks are important so your content will be user-friendly, keyword-rich and the overall user experience is better this way.

Lets set up your blog's permalinks and title the proper way right from the start.

Permalinks

Your permalink structure should be /%postname% so that your post titles will reflect your keywords which is rich in the eyes of Google. It also helps to increase user experience by having a readable link structure.

Your blog titles will reflect in your URL. For example, this post you are reading now will look like this:

JonSmithDM.com/how-to-start-a-blog

This is a keyword-rich title and the URL structure shows the main keyword I am targeting for this article.

All of your posts should include your focus keyword and your title can be a variation of that. I like to add my second keyword in the actual post title but not the URL structure. I will elaborate more on this later. We need to get your blog set up first.

To set up your permalinks, hover over settings on the left menu of your WordPress admin dashboard and choose permalinks. Find "custom structure" and copy what I have in my settings. I believe now you can just click the option that says "Post name" as the radio option.

If you are a news website then you will want to choose a different structure. I suggest you research the best structure to ensure getting into Google News and other services.

Blog Title

Your blog title should reflect your most valuable keyword just like your URL should reflect your key topic keyword. This is done by creating a page on your website using the title as the value keyword.

This not only helps SEO but it helps with user experience. Honestly, in my opinion, user experience is the BEST SEO PRACTICE. I always say that the definition of SEO is "Great User Experience".

Another perfect example for the website you are on now:

My blog title is: Jon Smith Digital Marketing

My blog title may change in the future but for now, that is what I have it set to because that is the current goal of my website. I teach how to create blogs, rank blogs, and give tips on SEO. I also plan to cover the topic of creating a YouTube channel and similar content.

My title is relevant to my content and my focus keyword is not very difficult and has a decent search volume also. Of course, that may change once this post goes viral because I made it to number one on Google for my key phrases. Others may target the same.

To create your website title you will create a page on your blog and name it the title you wish to use and save it. You then hover over settings in your WordPress admin dashboard and then choose reading.

On this page, you will see a drop-down option to choose a home page and blog page.

Depending on your theme will be how you set this up. I will create a video soon showing the full process so don't worry. For now, just create a blog page with your keyword title. This will be the page that hosts all of your posts in order from new to old.

I am sure that by the time you read this article this video will be on here. I am in the ghost town phase of my blog, currently. (NOT FOR LONG)

Step 4: Strategize how you plan to build out content on your blog. This is very important. Never start a blog without a plan. You will be all over the place like I used to be.

Not having a plan or strategy in place will make you work harder and get less accomplished. Right now you are in the beginning stages and you really cannot afford to make mistakes. If you do you can recover but it will be a ton of tedious work.

4. Write Useful Content Based on Your Research

This can be the hardest part of starting a blog and making money. This part requires dedication and tons of effort. Sometimes it requires a lot of research and could take days or even weeks to write one blog post. 

This is the part that people will judge and if you provide crap content then no one will subscribe to your blog. If you do not provide value then you won't make it very far. 

You don't have to be an expert to offer value and write useful content. You can write your blog post based on your research and formatting in such a way that people can understand. You are essentially researching for your readers and laying it out for them to consume. 

Good content takes a lot of time but it is totally worth the effort. I plan to spend a minimum of 8 hours writing the article you are reading now. I want to pack it full of value and organize it in a way that benefits you as my reader.

This is how shareable content is created gaining even more traffic to your website which increases your income. Speaking of sharing, please like and share this post on Facebook or wherever you wish.

5. Engaging Your Audience

User engagement is valuable to your blog and increases your organic rankings. Google loves a blog that has a ton of social engagement and just engagement in general.

If you receive a ton of comments on your post or even a good number a shares Google notices and wants to put more effort into ranking your content higher in the SERPs. 

To get your readers involved it is important for you to engage your audience and understand the basics.

Types of Engagement

Engaging your audience is easy and only requires that you request simple actions such as a comment or like. This is engagement in simple form and will really boost your rankings.

Requesting an Action - asking for your readers to comment will encourage them to comment at the end of the post with either their appreciation of your blog post or their opinion on a subject. 

People don't just want to read your content they want their opinions heard and want you to respond to their input. It is important to always reply to comments on your blog posts. Who wants to feel ignored?

Most bloggers simply request this action at the end of an article but I don't agree that it is the best place. Yes, do add it to your conclusion but there are other ways to engage asking for a comment. 

If you are reading this section of my blog post please comment below letting me know you read this part and understand what I mean by engaging throughout your content. Please also share your thoughts on engagement throughout your posts rather than just the ending.

Engaging your audience throughout your content is also ok and recommended. Just like I did above in the most simple way, I asked you to post a comment letting me know you read this section and requested your opinion as well. 

This is a very simple engagement and should be a bit more natural but you get the point.

Asking Opinions - It is ok to ask your readers to share their opinion on your topic. Doing so makes them feel involved. 

Sharing is Caring - Asking for a share is perfectly fine if done strategically. Don't ask at the beginning but more toward the end.

Learning how to get your audience more engaged will take time and testing. This is especially important to learn if you are writing a post that has an affiliate link that you want people to click and convert. Building them up and giving them information about the page on the other side takes a bit of practice and skill. Testing different flows of content is what I like to do for affiliate links.

Talking to your audience is better than talking at them. That is what makes your content more engaging and appreciated. I will elaborate more on this in the future. I have a whole day planned on the power of engagement in your content.

6. Keep on Pushing Forward

Starting a blog is easy. Building a blog is easy. Do you know what isn't easy? Keeping yourself motivated is probably the hardest part of blogging. 

We live in a time where distractions are plenty. 

Staying laser-focused is important to your success as a blogger, niche website creator or authority site creator. 

Most people give up after writing one blog post up to a few. This is because they either lose interest or feel like they are writing for nothing. 

The Ghost Town Phase

When you first start your blog it should be expected that no one will see your content in the beginning. There are billions of websites and blogs online and people have to find you before they can read your content. 

You can promote your content by being super helpful on Quora, Reddit, and other platforms or you can keep writing quality content and let Google catch on...and Google will eventually catch on. Especially if you have quality content that serves a purpose.

A mix of both promotion and content writing is ideal. It never hurts to promote your blog it helps growth.

Giving up too soon and giving up period is not ok. Keep on target, stay motivated and don't burn out. Taking time to yourself is important but continue creating content as often as possible. 

Creating a schedule will ensure that you stay on track and allows you to keep up with deadlines and keeps the process of creating content going.

Getting Organic Traffic to Your Blog

Over time your content will start to receiving traffic to your content through longtail keywords you wrote about from your research phase. Though research never stops you should have created several pages of topics to cover in the initial research of your blog.

Organic traffic comes from search engines. Researching longtail keywords that people are searching for will ensure a good start. Especially if these key phrases are not very competitive. In the beginning, this should be your focus.

A blog typically takes a year or two to gain traction. That is if you do not promote it. If you start a YouTube channel on your topic you could see much faster results. I will cover this more in detail in a future post.

Make Money Blogging

Now that your blog is all set up it is time to start the second part of this article, making money with your blog.

I am about to give you the secret sauce and... I am just kidding. This part is the hard part...you thought setting up the blog was tough huh. No, it's actually the easiest part of the whole process. It takes a lot of time to start seeing results. It takes consistency and dedication. Hard work and dedication at this stage will pay off tremendously considering you have a good writing style and people enjoy reading your content.

I personally think that my writing sucks but I am often my biggest critic. If you really suck at writing maybe consider outsourcing it. For a lot of my niche blogs, I outsource some of the content. I cannot possibly write content for the 10 blogs I have. That would be a miserable life. For this blog, I will be writing everything as this is my personal blog. 

You will learn to write better, faster and more efficient as your progress in your blogging journey. I am a firm believer in the 10,000-hour expert rule...Just keep on creating. Always be creating!

Ways You Can Make Money Blogging

There are a ton of ways to profit from your blog. Monetizing a blog is the easy part. Getting traffic is the hard part.

Before we get into the actual ways to make money blogging lets first build a foundation that will work for you and reward you for years to come. You see, you have to focus a little time and effort info this stage before you can actually succeed.

This is the part where 99% of you will fall by the wayside and give up. Yeah, that is a bit harsh but you came here to learn how to start a blog and earn from it and...well I am just an honest guy. The truth is that most people give up and another truth is that most people give up just before they make it. Think about that for a moment. 

Most people give up just before they would have made it.

You spend a lot of time writing and your blog is just a ghost town for quite a while. You get tired of writing for no one to read what you have written. I get it... I know this phase all too well. I am currently in it now with this new blog (at the time of writing this post). Fortunately for me, I am a very skilled marketer and will be rushing to the top riding on my rocket in no time. You can follow me on my journey!

Content is King

Before I even wrote this post I had an outline in my mind and I then put it on a word doc to keep on track and get the content out.

You should know the pages and structure of your pages at this point. Will your website have a silo structure. What pages will your blog have? You should know your post categories and have about 20 to 50 topics you want to cover. I personally have a word document with over 100 headlines I plan to use on this blog. I spent several weeks writing these out and planning my articles. The only trouble I had was my first post and what would that post be.

Before you even consider the thought of making money from your blog you need to consider the content on your blog. What purpose does a blog have without content and epic use experience?

You will need to spend a good 90 days dishing out content as often as possible and as high of quality as possible. This is the second most important part of starting a blog. Without good content you have nothing.

What to Write

Every niche has a large keyword that has a ton of volume but unfortunately at the beginning, you cannot compete for that. If you try for that tough keyword or phrase you will be focusing all of your efforts in the wrong place. Instead, focus your time on lower volume searches and longer key phrases. These are the easiest to rank for and with some hard work and quality content, you will get there.

Once you have built up some traffic using this method and have gained a bit of traction you will then go after these epic keywords that will shut down your blog and make you have to upgrade your web hosting to a dedicated server.

I know it sounds crazy but it can happen, especially if you have an article that goes viral. It has happened to me a few times.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is very important. Some people preach that keyword tools show the wrong numbers and they are all wrong...whatever.

I know they aren't perfect but they base their numbers off of what Google gives them and other proprietary ways. Fine...but my goal with keyword research is not the volume anyway. Especially in the beginning. My goal is content ideas. You really never know the volume of a keyword for your blog until you write on that topic and rank for it on Google and other search engines.

This is when you get true keyword volume information.

When you search a keyphrase in Google you will see that Google is trying to guess your search term. This is based on your previous searches and the searches of millions of others just like you.

This is KEY information here and you should note all of them for your topics. I love writing content based on the suggestions of Google. Google is your best friend here...Google is literally telling you what to write about and what people are searching for. This is GOLD!

Keywords Everywhere

To get a good idea of search volume I like the keyword tool called Keywords Everywhere. This tool not only gives me its guess on the volume of a key phrase or keyword, but it also helps me find new keywords through suggestions on the right side of my search page. It is an extension for Chrome and Firefox and has definitely added value to my life.

I have paid $10 every other month for a long time for this tool. For $10 you get 100k search credits I do believe. It is especially great to find niches to add to my portfolio by accident just from my everyday searches. You can turn it off, however, I do not. 

You Made It

Ok, so this is the part you have probably been waiting for. How to make money blogging!

All of the information above is exactly how you make money blogging. It is the foundation for the best part which is actually earning from your efforts in the beginning.

This is the part where you reap the fruit of your labor. If you didn't give up by now then you are part of the elite and select few who actually earn a living online through blogging.

Actually Make Money Blogging

I know I know, I kind of tricked you above with the headline saying Make Money Blogging. It was intentional...as I have stressed already so much...building a foundation for your blog is very important.

To get to this part, part of the elite, the select few, it requires that you build up to it. Most people don't make it overnight and if you do then you are the unicorn or the rare exception to the rule.

Content will get you where you need to be. Great content and exceptional user experience is key to success and will get you where you want to be. 

Now that you know how to create a blog, write content and build a foundation lets get to the good part, making money blogging. 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people's products and services. This is often done through a special link like what you saw above where I suggest BlueHost as your hosting provider.

I love BlueHost for many reasons. They have awesome support and set up that is beginner-friendly. They eliminate one part of the process when is installing WordPress. For many that is tough. That is why I promote them. Especially to new bloggers.

My link is an affiliate link and if you purchased a web hosting account I made about $65. That is how I earn affiliate commissions blogging.

I recommend products and services and if people purchase using my special tracking link I make money blogging. It really is as simple as that.

Display Ads and Adsense

This is one of my favorite ways to earn a passive income blogging. A lot of my blogs use a service called Ezoic. This is a platform to display ads on your websites with a special code. If someone clicks an ad you will earn a commission of the cost per click. The goal here is to focus on content that brings in quality traffic to your blog with focus keywords being high in CPC. The keywords to target are also called buyers keywords. These keywords are those that a buyer searches when they have buyers intent. That is how real money is made blogging.

Amazon Affiliate

Depending on the niche you are in Amazon can be a great way to earn a good commission from. I have niche websites and articles that review products and link directly to the product on Amazon. When my traffic converts into an Amazon customer I get a percentage of everything purchased in a 24 hour period. This is paid even if they purchase another product from Amazon I did not recommend. Sometimes you will see purchases that are a bit crazy and unexpected. I have seen some weird purchases.

Sponsorships and Shoutouts

If you have started a blog that has finally generated a ton of traffic people take notice. Especially people looking to get some of that traffic from you. This is how sponsorships agreements are created. Company A wants to place a banner on your website or they may want you to email your subscribers with their advertisement...which leads me into the final section of this article. I will get to that in just a moment. Company A will pay you to do this. You and Company A are both happy because you got paid and they have access to your traffic. It is a win-win situation here.

Growing Your Audience

So you have built up a nice blog and generated a lot of traffic...now it is time to start building even more. This is really something you should do at the beginning but I wanted to keep it for the end because I don't want to confuse my newbie audience.

The process is very simple. You place a lead magnet on your website and take a name and email in return for this download/lead magnet. It is called a lead magnet because people want free information. They will provide their name and email to get it. It is your job to make it very attractive and get them to convert and subscribe to your email list. The fine details of this will be discussed in another article on my blog but you get the concept. It is best to start this from the beginning using a service called Mailchimp which is free up to a certain point. 

Emailing Your Audience

Every time you create an article on your blog send out an email blast. If you have a cool tool or product to share send them an email. Please do not spam your subscribers. That is the best way to lose them. Instead, build value by giving them great content then offer them a product or service that will make their lives easier. There are many ways to do this right and even more ways to do this wrong. Focus on value and you should be just fine.

Final Thoughts

After reading this long article you should know by now how to start a blog and make money with it. Sure, there are more things I could add but I promised no fluff and that is what I intend to give you. I will elaborate more on each topic over time and if you subscribe to my blog you will get this epic content on making money with your blog, SEO and so much more. I hold nothing back and intend on giving massive value and nothing short of it. So, subscribe to my blog and watch me rank!

Update: If you want to see how well I am doing with my goal mentioned above follow along here. You can also search for the keyphrase yourself and see where I land in the SERPs. 

Finally, if you want to add to this post or have a question, feel free to comment below. I reply to every comment.