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First, we’re going to discuss the different blog types and some key facts about them, which will (hopefully) help you decide which blog to start.
Second, we’re going to discuss the resources and tools you should consider to get started on your blogging journey.
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Blog Types & Profitability
Good news: there are several different blog types out there.
Not-so-good news: not all types are profitable.
The ones you might be sure will generate an income? They might not.
Today, we’re going to discuss a few blog types and what you can do with them.
Consider the purposes for which they’re built and see them for their revenue-generating possibilities, rather than pigeonholing them into specific categories.
Ready? Let’s discuss:
Personal blogs usually have very low income-generating potential.
Generally, they’re nothing more than online ramblings about your thoughts and feelings on what’s going on in your life or something like that.
Your readership is probably comprised of:
- the occasional curious onlooker
- people going through similar situations
Monetizing a personal blog might be a bit difficult unless you specialize in one topic and make most of your upcoming content about it.
Example: a personal blogger may be about make-up tips, then start promoting cosmetics, skin care products, etc.
While it is possible, it’s also difficult to make money with a personal blog.
Most common type of blog, created to target a specific audience.
Wanna get into affiliate marketing or sell your own products?
A niche blog is probably your best course of action.
It’s important to get an umbrella domain for the market while you niche down.
What does that mean?
Let’s use an example of a ‘homemade dog food’, business. You wouldn’t want to use the url of DogFoodZone because it doesn’t allow for wiggle room or growth. What if you want to add articles about training puppies in the future?
Your umbrella domain might be something like HealthyPets101, so you can start out by talking about dog food, but then expand later on.
An umbrella domain allows you to blog about other topics. You might know everything there is to now about a topic and can churn out dozens of articles, but is that THE ONLY topic you’re passionate about under your niche? Probably not.
Another topic becomes a searchable category on your blog. Over time, you will start posting more articles and getting deeper into related categories.
Know what happens then? You’re now an authority site.
Authority sites are simply niche blogs that refused to be pigeonholed, then gained traction in the long run.
Personal Journey Blogs
They’re pretty much personal blogs, but with a purpose.
Example: a weight loss journey. You might start a blog just to journal your progress for some accountability and let people know what you’re doing.
When you start to hit your smaller goals, you share how you did it.
Each tip, tool or method you used can have your affiliate link for that product built in to your posts, which will earn you a commission when someone makes a purchase.
Link to fitness programs or maybe even products on a website, like resistance bands, yoga blocks or protein bars. If they’re not the exact ones you used, post one that is attached to an affiliate program already. Whatever you’re personally using, promote it! You’re the social proof you need that it works.
Be forewarned though: you MUST be making progress and succeeding for people to trust you.
Using the weight loss as the example: if you hit your goal weight, you can then share what you’re doing to maintain that. Always keep people abreast of where you are in your journey if you decide to take this blog route.
You post different topics, but curate content from other sites.
- You won’t need to create much content yourself.
- Most of your revenue will be from ads and affiliates who promote your site.
Beginners would do well to steer clear of these types of sites.
You’re better off targeting one niche and building a brand and an audience.
Guest Post Blogs
Similar to curation:
- You vet the different guest posts.
- Post only what is relevant to your niche.
This is more of a technique than a type of blog per se.
Some blogs are totally made up of guest posts. Others have lots of content created by the blog owner with guest posts thrown into the mix.
You’ll need to make a decision on this:
- Do you want guests posts to supplement your content?
- Would you rather have a blog where all content is proprietary (with no need for outbound links)?
Honorable Mentions & Profitability
- Teaching (profitability will depend on your expertise)
- Lifestyle (profitability will depend on how well you sell the lifestyle)
What it boils down to:
At the end of the day, fundamentals are the same when it comes to profitability.
Your blog will need traffic. Once visitors are on your blog, it will need useful and/or entertaining content that promotes and sells products.
Blog profitability is dictated by the blogger’s ability to sell.
How will you do that?
- affiliate links
- product links
- case studies
You utilize it to build a list that you can re-market to in future.
While you don’t need ALL these components in place, I recommend you start with list building and links that translate to sales.
Remember: your blog only makes money when people buy from or through you with three simple steps:
- Create a blog that people love because of the value.
- Value will build your know, like and trust factor.
- If people know, like and trust you, they will buy from you.
Recommended Tools for Building a Profitable Blog
Building a blog-based business can be an inexpensive adventure, but it’s not free (well, not if you plan on making money from it).
So often, beginner marketers try to make money online without wishing to spend a cent. They fail to realize that you cannot multiply by zero.
If you want to build a profitable blog, you will need to purchase a few tools and I am including a few cost-effective recommendations below.
This will allow your business to be safe and give you the ability to accelerate your progress faster.
While not a tool per se, you’ll need to purchase a domain name for your blog. For this, I recommend using either:
Try not to build your blog on free platforms. If the platform changes hands or rules, you might get the boot. Also, free platforms have strict rules on monetization. Some even forbid it.
This example makes a very strong case as to why you should always own your domain.
You’ll need hosting to power your site.
It’s perfectly acceptable to start off with the cheapest plan, then upgrade later as your business grows.
I recommend Siteground. I have used them for years and never had an issue. They have affordable plans that allow for future growth.
If you don’t use Siteground, make sure you sign up with a reliable hosting provider. The one everyone recommends is BlueHost. I tried them once and they had an outage in the first 24 hours I was with them. I immediately canceled my account and went running back to Siteground.
As with anything else, do your research!
Any one of WordPress’ free yearly themes is a good place to start if you’re really short on cash. If you have the budget, you may wish to get a Genesis theme from Studiopress. Alternatively, you may get the Socrates theme. Both themes are good. There are many others out there.
Personally, I use Astra. It works well with Elementor and functions the way I need it to.
- Do your own research.
- Find one you like that will fit YOUR needs.
- Make sure it’s easy on the eye.
- A slow loading time will break trust, so make sure it loads quickly.
Email Provider - Autoresponder
This is an absolute MUST! I wish I had known about autoresponders and list building so much earlier while building my blog.
I recommend not cost-cutting here. A good autoresponder will come with a monthly fee. This is a necessity and a part of doing business.
Self-hosted options have a one-time fee, but potentially come with lots of hassle.
Is your budget tight?
- Build your blog a bit first
- Start driving traffic using free methods
- Monitor the traffic to your site
Once you’re getting about 100 unique hits a day, you can sign up for Flodesk. With my link, you get 50% of the monthly cost. The cost is fairly low, so you won’t break the bank. When your list starts getting off the ground, start promoting low-end products. Think: less than $10. Selling just a couple products a month will easily cover the cost of your email provider.
Plugins & Resources
Many plugins are free, but the best ones will usually require you to pay for them.
Let’s look at a few I recommend:
Cookie Notice – This plugin is free and will allow you to add the cookie compliance bar that’s required for GDPR purposes.
Blog Link Magic – Search engines frown upon affiliate links. Use this free plugin to no follow your affiliate links and also neaten up those long URLs. When you link a cloaked url and a keyword, this plugin will find all the instances of that keyword in your blog and add the link for you. Neat, huh? I LOVE this plugin!
Wordfence – This is a paid security plugin that will keep your site safe from hackers who have nothing better to do than cause trouble to productive people.
SEO plugin – There are 3 options here: Yoast SEO, Rank Math and All In One SEO Pack. Choose one that you like and install it on your site. All 3 plugins are free with a paid option if you want the bells and whistles. I use the free version of Yoast SEO.
Social Sharing – There are countless social sharing plugins that are free and paid. The paid ones such as Social Warfare, Monarch and Social Snap have more features. A freebie I use is Grow Social (formerly Social Pug) which brings up the floating share buttons to the left of this post.
Thrive Leads – This plugin from Thrive Themes is a must-get. It’s unparalleled when it comes to helping you get leads and build a list on your blog. Lots of versatility and features that work in the real world.
Aksimet Anti-Spam – Use this plugin to block spam. It’s free.
Easy Table of Contents – This plugin will keep your posts organized and also helps with SEO.
Smush – Use this plugin to compress your images so that your sites load faster. Alternatively, you could do this manually by compressing images using TinyPNG and upload them. Either way, do compress your images.
Updraft Plus – Use this plugin to back up your sites EVEN if your web host claims to do it for you.
Broken Link Checker – Alerts you to any broken links, like affiliate links that have expired or outbound links that have changed. You have the option to recheck, dismiss (if you tested and it works) or to completely change the url. A handy tool to have!
Post Gopher – This plugin will allow visitors to download your blog post as a PDF and more importantly, it adds the visitor to your list. Fantastic plugin you must have.
The above listed resources are some of the most useful tools you’ll need as a blogger.
Once you start making money with your blog, you can choose to purchase a page builder and other tools that will take your blogging business to the next level.
Before you jump into all that, get these tools first and make them work.
Once you build that solid foundation for your blog, the sky is the limit!
Designed to help both new and experienced bloggers to:
- set goals
- plan content
- build their dream blog business
- clarify your concept
- identify your audience
- brainstorm how to monetize
- daily action item calendar
- growth planning pages
- Social Media Calendar
- All 6 major platforms
- Blog Posts
- Affiliate Programs
Everything you need to get your business marketing strategy on paper!