Successful bloggers are popular in their niche. High traffic to their blogs allows them to generate serious income using a variety of methods. If you’re wondering how to become a blogger who uses a variety of methods to make money and enjoy financial freedom, these expert tips will help you get started.
Here are 25 proven tips on how to become a successful blogger:
1. Network With Influencers in Your Niche
Sumit Bansal, Founder, Craft of Blogging
Instead of working in a silo, get to know influencers and make a connection. Leave comments on their blogs. Meet them in person or connect with them on social media. This helps in the long run as these influencers can help you get more visibility. They may link to one of your blogs or can share your stuff on social media.
2. Perform In-Depth Keyword Research
Tony DeGennaro, Managing Partner, Dragon Social LTD
The first step to successful blogging is to get some initial traffic flowing through your site so that you can see how users behave and what you can improve. The way we really got our company’s blog off the ground in terms of traffic was by doing in-depth keyword research to find not very competitive keywords (with decent traffic volumes) that still managed to fit in with the theme of our website. Since the keywords we wanted to rank for were quite competitive, we did this as an initial strategy to start getting traffic flowing through the site.
3. Start a Podcast
Nooria Khan, Content Marketing Executive, GigWorker
Podcasting is one of the best kinds of influencer marketing. It is not only a form of content marketing strategy, but it’s both content and influencer marketing. By providing valuable informational content through podcasts to your audience, it will help you to not only be recognized as an influencer, but also as the go-to expert, authority, and thought-leader in your industry. As a result, your credibility and trust among your audience is established.
4. Build Out Topic Clusters on Your Blog
Jason Thibault, Founder, Massive Kontent
Topic clusters are a series of posts that cover a specific subject from top to bottom. You would create one main pillar post that provides an overview of the main topic. This pillar page would, in turn, link out to shorter satellite posts that each cover a subtopic in more detail. This allows both your readers and Google to easily navigate all the relevant articles on a topic on your blog. Topic clusters also demonstrate to search engines (and visitors) deep knowledge and authority on a given subject, which increases trust and rankings.
Maggie Aland, Marketing & Review Editor, Fit Small Business
Your blog’s success depends on the amount of traffic it gets and your ability to build a loyal audience, so it’s important that your website is always online. Search engines also factor in your site’s speed and accessibility when ranking in their search engine results pages. In both cases, a reliable web host can help your blog stand out from its competitors. We recommend Bluehost for your professional web hosting needs. They also offer domain registration and a business email address for just $2.95 per month. Click here for Bluehost hosting plans.
6. Build a Stronger Fan Base Using YouTube
Alex Nerney, Co-founder, Create and Go
One of the best social media platforms to raise a blogger’s income and build trust with their audience is YouTube. When we ask customers where they found us, the majority say they binge-watched our YouTube videos even though many of the videos are very basic. Our most popular videos are simple recordings of me talking on my phone and walking through a blog post I wrote. While it can be intimidating being on camera, it’s a route every blogger should consider because the payoffs are massive (more traffic and more audience trust). Embed these simple videos into your blog posts to take your content to the next level.
7. Add Variety to Your Content
Michael Clarke, Author & Owner, Punk Rock Marketing
The most successful bloggers know you need a mix of different ways to share your message. This could mean one day publishing a video, the next a written how-to piece, the next a photo gallery, the next a SlideShare PowerPoint, and then maybe you follow that up with a short, 300-word post in which you link to a cool web story you found. Not only does this help get your blog some human eyeballs, different people prefer different types of content, and Google will reward you with better search engine placement and get you more organic traffic you don’t have to pay for.
8. Build Traffic Streams Not Reliant on Search Engines
Lisa Richards, Professional Blogger, The Candida Diet
Organic visitors from Google are still the most important traffic source for most blogs, but it’s extremely important to diversify. Google’s search algorithms can change overnight. If you’re totally dependent on Google for your visitors, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to huge swings in traffic and income. The best ways to drive non-search traffic include building your social media channels and creating an email list. That way, you’ll have an interested audience that isn’t reliant on the whims of the search engines.
9. Use Information From Your Google Search Console Account
Karen Evans, Full-time Blogger, Start Blogging Online
Too many people worry about keyword research when they usually have a goldmine of information right in their own Google search console account. Log in and look under performance at the queries tab and sort by impressions. Here you will find a wealth of keywords that Google already thinks your site is related to, and that you are already ranking for without even trying. Write articles directly targeting these keywords and you will rank even more highly most times by simply agreeing with what Google thinks your site is about. Rinse and repeat every couple of months as your site grows and you rank for more queries.
Neva Paule, Supervising Editor, Fit Small Business
One way to earn from blogging is by selling physical goods directly from your website. If you’re blogging to promote your own or a partner’s products, you’ll need a platform that will make the buying process easy for your readers. WooCommerce is a free ecommerce plug-in from WordPress that helps you add a store section to your blog. And as your blog grows, WooCommerce will provide you with expanded features that let you add more income-generating options like affiliate sales and even a multi-vendor marketplace. Visit WooCommerce today.
11. Use SEO to Drive Traffic
Mike Pearson, Founder, CreditTakeoff
SEO traffic is more consistent, more passive, and more targeted than social media traffic, so you don’t want to ignore it. To improve your SEO, make sure your blog has a fast loading time, as speed is a confirmed ranking factor in Google. Target a keyword that people are searching for with every post you write and optimize your blog posts for SEO by including your keyword in your post title and other related keywords throughout your post. Lastly, focus on publishing in-depth, long-form content as opposed to shorter, 500-word posts (long-form content performs better in Google). You can also write guest posts for other blogs in your niche to build backlinks to your site (backlinks are the number 1 ranking factor in Google).
12. Use Social Media to Study Your Audience
Sarah Cook, Founder, Sustainable Cooks
My biggest tip for growing an audience is to learn who your audience is. Everyone talks about this, but actually implementing it can be overwhelming. My turnaround came when I followed my first 300 Instagram followers, and started to study them and get to know their lives. I learned their pain points, what brought them joy, and their family members’ names. And then I started creating content based on these readers. I did this with a servant heart of actually getting to understand their lives and finding a way to impact them. Readers can detect someone being inauthentic, so this tactic only works if you truly want to understand your readers.
13. Have a Clear Vision of Your End Goal
Paul Symonds, Pro-blogger & Owner, Promarketonline
To be a successful blogger in terms of making a living from blogging income-wise, you need to work backwards. What services or products do you plan to sell? Once you have a clear vision of the end goal, you can work backwards. Ensure every post you add to your blog ties in toward the trust and lead generation that will help you move toward your end goal. So focus. Understand what you are working toward and then you can make everything you blog have real purpose and real intention. This way, you will be a more successful blogger than if you blog without real intent and focus.
14. Write for Your Audience, Not for Yourself
Yasmin Purnell, Founder & Freelance Writer, The Wallet Moth
Many new bloggers fall into the trap of creating content they want, and while enjoying what you write about is important, successful bloggers learn to tap into what their audience enjoys and wants to know. Successful bloggers create content based on that information. By looking at my analytics, email marketing campaigns, and social media engagement, I’ve been able to hone in on the key areas that draw readers – new and old – back to my site time and time again. Becoming a successful blogger starts and ends with your audience: without them, you’ll be on square one for a long time.
Jillian Ilao, Review Editor, Fit Small Business
One tip on how to become a successful blogger is to do what other successful bloggers do. This includes using the same tools they use for maintaining a winning blog. WordPress is the professional blogger’s platform of choice, with easy-to-use features that let even beginners create their own blog in minutes. It’s also very easy to find support from WordPress support forums, not to mention quick guides you can get through simple Google searches if you encounter issues designing your blog. Used with Bluehost, it gives you an easy, one-click WordPress installation. Hosting starts at $2.95 per month, and it includes a free domain. Sign up at Bluehost.
16. Build Your Contact Base
Dewayne Hamilton, Director, Web Cosmo Forums
If you want to get more contacts online, and in turn increase your earnings, you need to promote your blog on the internet and social networks. As soon as possible, start actively building your contact base with video marketing, email marketing, video conferencing, and online and live education. Also, you need to actively build relationships on social networks. This will speed up the registration process in your email database and track what’s happening on your blog. An excellent, easy, and effective way to advertise your blog and build a contact base that has proven your earnings on the internet is to give your visitors a free e-book in PDF format as a replacement for signing up in your email database.
17. Consider Outsourcing
McKinzie Bean, Creator & Owner, Moms Make Cents
For bloggers who have been blogging for a while and are ready to take it to the next level, I would encourage you to take a look at outsourcing. Most bloggers start as a one-person show, and there comes a point when we hit our maximum capacity. By outsourcing some of your blogging tasks, you free up time to work on the areas of your blog that bring in the most revenue. Some easy tasks to outsource first are social media management, customer service, email support, and, to some degree, content creation. When you no longer have to worry about these elements of your blog, it is easier to scale and bring in more revenue.
18. Add a “Jump to” Table of Contents
Matthew Ross, Co-owner & COO, The Slumber Yard
From what we gather talking to our SEO agency and other industry professionals, jump-to table of contents are becoming a valuable addition to high-quality posts. Not only do they provide readers a user-friendly interface, but they also signal to Google exactly what the article contains. In addition, by consolidating old posts, we’re able to make each article more detailed and comprehensive, which adds useful words and boosts the overall quality of the post. Google is increasingly penalizing thin articles, so depth is becoming key.
19. Venture Into Affiliate Marketing
Balazs Hajde, Content Manager, Authority Hacker
The barrier of entry for affiliate marketing is extremely low; there are hundreds of resources on the topic and anyone can learn the basics with a little research. The most common way of doing affiliate content is by creating product reviews that help potential buyers decide on what to pick. The review will include an affiliate link to the product, which tags it as coming from your site. If the person buys the product, you get a commission. For blogs that already have an established audience, this can be as easy as writing a review of their favorite gear or book, or even going back to older articles and inserting affiliate links where appropriate. If the blog is very small, you might need to reach out to other sites and build an audience, but that’s also not that difficult if your content is high quality, interesting, or unique.
20. Send Newsletters to Your Audience
Cory Hedgepeth, Sr. Digital Marketing Strategist, Direct Online Marketing
Set up your blog with lead capture forms and utilize newsletter automation to send your audience relevant offers. Newsletter services such as Mailchimp allow for simple automation setups. Look for offers that are relevant and useful to your audience. Be clear that your newsletter’s intent is to serve both promotional and informational content. You can create an automated experience which includes both your most popular blogs and your best offers.
21. Publish a Book or E-book
KJ Blattenbauer, Publicist, Business Strategist, Hearsay PR
An innovative way to monetize your blog is by writing and selling a book or e-book. Your current audience is already turning to your blog for advice on your particular area of expertise, and a book is a great way to monetize your followers while also helping showcase your authority to those who are new to your blog. Writing a book doesn’t have to take up tons of your time! Ideally, your book should offer some content that’s either never before been published on the blog, or provides additional insight and convenience to the reader. In other words, you can repurpose your blog content and compile it into book form. Even better, the book doesn’t need to be your end product, as you can sell it to serve as the initial touch point with your audience to then eventually upsell them on a course or physical products.
22. Market on Pinterest
Kristie Hill, Blog Coach, kristiehill.com
If you want to monetize your blog using ads or sponsored posts, you need significant traffic to your site. Marketing on Pinterest is a great way to get enough page views to make money from ads. For every post you publish, create a vertical image with the title of your blog post. Next, go to Pinterest and create a new Pin. Upload the image, link it to the specific blog post, and include a brief description about the post. Save it to a Pinterest board that matches the topic of the post. As people see this Pin on Pinterest, they’ll click over and visit your blog
23. Sign Up for Sponsored Post Networks
Logan Allec, Owner, Blogging Done Right
A sponsored post is a blog post promoting a particular company or brand that is paid for by that particular company or brand, typically with a flat fee. And believe it or not, your blog doesn’t need to have millions of visitors per month to land a sponsored post opportunity with a recognizable brand. Granted, if your blog is relatively new, you likely won’t be making tens of thousands of dollars for a sponsored post, but you could make $300. I recommend signing up for sponsored post networks such as Massive Sway, BlogDash, and Izea. There are also specific sponsored post networks for blogs serving a particular demographic. Literally thousands of companies and brands out there are looking to reach new people through micro influencers like you.
24. Create Online Courses
Destini Copp, Marketing Consultant, Destini Copp, LLC
If you’re looking for a way to monetize your blog, creating an online course is one of the best ways to make money from your expertise. A student of mine had a blog for many years. She had grown her blog email list and her Facebook groups, and was searching for a way to monetize her efforts. After our work together, she launched her online course, which is focused on helping people make their dream of living in Italy come true. Now, not only can she monetize the efforts of her business, she has a structured way to help more people live out their dreams.
25. Create Downloadable Content
Kris Hughes, Senior Content Marketing Manager, ProjectManager.com
Figure out what your hyper-focused niche is and take advantage of it. Build downloadable content that includes exclusive content that will be of interest to your audience, and place it at a price point that will ensure it can become a consistent revenue stream. The days of depending on advertising revenue as a primary monetization method are coming to a close. The blog owners who can be creative and develop compelling, comprehensive content that can be purchased for a fee are those who will see continued success in monetizing their efforts.
It’s important to note that a successful blog doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience and dedication to get to a point where you can claim financial freedom while writing what you’re passionate about. If you want to turn your writing hobby into a serious income-generating platform, follow our list of tips on how to become a blogger and set yourself up for success.
Got more tips on how to become a successful blogger? Share them with us in the comments.