Did you know that some blogs make hundreds of thousands of dollars each month? These are blogs that have built up a history and work with influencers, and in other cases, they are sponsored by major companies, such as Macy’s or Home Depot. With blogging, you can write for a living and start a business based on content topics that interest you.
However, getting started may seem like a huge endeavor. After all, there are technical aspects to starting a blog, like choosing a host and building a site. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to use a website builder to build a blog, and in some cases, these are very affordable or even free.
So the really important question is: what do you want your blog to be about? There are blogs for every type of niche out there, but if you want to become profitable, you’ll need to pick content that you know people will read.
Quick Ideas for Blogs
Perhaps you already have inspiration for your next blog. It can come from anywhere. The best blogs have passion and interest a wide variety of people. Here are a few of the most popular blog topics right now:
- Home decor
- Finances and budgeting
- Food and recipes
- Religious and faith
- Dating advice
- Celebrity gossip
- Pets and animal health
- Moneymaking ideas
- Creative and artistic blogs
As you can see there are a ton of genres out there that you may want to write. The best thing to do is research the most popular hashtags on social media sites, find a niche that interests you, and get started!
How to Set Up Your Blog
Do you want a blog that’s all your own or do you want a free site on a blog platform? The difference is really how you plan to monetize the content. If you’re not sure about blogging and want to get started quickly, you can set up a blog on WordPress, Tumblr, or a variety of other blog sites for free.
Hosting a blog means that you get your own URL and have complete control over your content.
Advantages of Free Blog Sites
- Quick setup
- Easy for beginners
- No HTML knowledge necessary
- Easy to network and share content
- Lots of blogging tools included
Cons of Free Blog Sites
- Zero cost to you
- Must use the site’s url, such as yourblog.wordpress.com or tumblr.com/yourblog
- Limited designs and templates
- Harder to monetize and control
- Limited control over your content
If you decide to pay for hosting, it doesn’t cost that much. Some plans are only $1.99 and allow you to set up your own content on your own URL.
Advantages of Using a Host
- Get your own url like www.youruniqueblog.com
- Ability to monetize
- Create any type of content (within reason)
- More control over your own design
Cons of Using a Host
- Better for marketing
- Monthly and yearly costs
- Some technical experience may be necessary
You get more control over your content with a blog that’s hosted because you don’t have to follow any terms and conditions or use a set template design. You can do anything you want with your hosted blog.
Pick a Good Domain Name
Many blogs don’t get off to the right start because the name isn’t easy to share or say. When you pick a good domain name, it will be easy to type into a browser no matter how you say it.
If you have trouble finding a domain name, you can always use a domain name generator. These are websites made to help you pick a name that no one else has. You also want it to be clever and relate to your content.
Some people pick blog names that are SEO-related. Search engine optimization means that your site has keywords and links that relate specifically to in-demand search queries. For example, people searching for New York fashion shows will be taken to sites that include information on upcoming fashion shows in the the Big Apple. A site with the domain “www.newyorkfashionshows.com” is already a good result to show because the keyword is in the title.
Others pick clever blog names that are short and easy to remember. For example, www.reciplease.com might be a good name for a food blog.
Design Your Blog with a Theme
Whether you pick a free blog or get a host, you should pick a design that is unique and has the right color palette. There are a few website builders out there that allow you to quickly set up a blog and customize all of the content. If you’re using WordPress, there are a thousand themes out there that you can install and customize.
Your blog’s design should be easy to read with visually stunning media and graphics. You want people to be excited about the writing, but it should also have ways to filter and search content, too.
Write Out a Content Strategy
You don’t want every content piece to sound like the same formula. You should have a good mix of informative and entertainment content. You can break up content with videos and interesting visuals that will keep your audience interested.
A great content strategy includes:
- Audience-targeted content
- Unique, new ideas
- SEO-driven content
- Problem-solving content
- Your own videos and images
- Where you’ll share content (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc)
- Editorial calendar