Blogging can be an incredibly rewarding way to make extra money each month. With determination and consistency, beginner bloggers can realistically earn $500 or more per month from their sites.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide everything you need to know to start a successful money-making blog as a beginner, step-by-step.
Crafting the Perfect Blog Niche and Topic
The first step to making money blogging is finding the right niche and blog topic. You need to choose a niche you’re genuinely passionate about, that has an engaged audience, and preferably low competition.
Here are some proven profitable niches and blog topics to consider as a beginner:
- Personal Finance – Budgeting tips, paying off debt, investing for beginners, side hustles.
- Health and Fitness – workout routines, healthy recipes, weight loss tips, mental health.
- Travel – solo travel, budget travel, travel gear/tips, destinations.
- Food and Cooking – easy weeknight meals, diet-specific recipes, cooking for one.
- Parenting – pregnancy, babies, raising toddlers, family activities.
- Relationships – dating advice, marriage tips, breakups, self-love.
- Home and Garden – indoor plants, landscaping, home organization, cleaning tips.
- Pet Care – adopted pets, training, pet-friendly travel, health and nutrition.
- Fashion – capsule wardrobes, ethical fashion, outfit inspiration, sewing tutorials.
The key is choosing a specific, well-defined topic that excites you within a profitable broader niche. For example, “healthy homemade meals under 30 minutes” or “road trip tips with kids”.
Conduct Keyword Research
Once you’ve settled on a specific blog topic, it’s time to dive into keyword research. You need to find keywords and phrases people are searching for so you can create valuable content around those terms.
Here are the best free keyword research tools for bloggers:
- Google Keyword Planner – Provides keyword search volume data.
- Ubersuggest – Generates related keywords and traffic estimates.
- Answer the Public – Reveals common long-tail keyword questions.
- Google Trends – Shows keyword popularity over time.
- Keysearch – Finds low competition keywords in Google.
Search for keywords related to your chosen topic and look for terms with at least 100 monthly searches and low competition. These will become your target keywords to optimize for while writing content.
Some examples of profitable low competition keywords for different niches:
- Healthy dinner recipes for two
- Affordable fall capsule wardrobe
- Road trip tips with toddler
- Beginner core strengthening workout
- Marketing ideas for new Etsy shop
Optimizing for long-tail keywords with low competition but decent search volume is the key to driving traffic and making money as a beginner blogger.
Choose the Right Blogging Platform
Your blogging platform will determine how easily you can monetize your blog down the line. Here are the top options to consider with the ability to earn income:
- Pros – Full control, customization, ability to monetize, best for SEO.
- Cons – Technical setup required, ongoing maintenance.
- Pros – Owned by Google, easy to use, basic monetization.
- Cons – Limited features and design, poor SEO capabilities.
- Pros – Build an audience, minimal setup required.
- Cons – Very limited monetization options.
The best option for making money blogging as a beginner is self-hosted WordPress. The upfront investment of time and money pays off through full creative control and monetization capabilities.
Easy-to-use themes like Astra make setting up your WordPress site simple even with no technical expertise. Just purchase hosting and a domain, install WordPress with one click, and start creating content.
Optimizing Your New Blog for Growth
Once your WordPress blog is up and running, there are key optimizations required to start driving traffic and earning income.
Choose the Right Domain
Having keyword-rich domain like wellnessfortravelers.com is more compelling than a random domain like myblog932.com. Include your main keyword in the domain if possible.
Install Essential Plugins
Plugins extend WordPress’ functionality. For a new blog, start with:
- Yoast SEO – Optimize content for search engines.
- Google Analytics – Track website traffic and visitor behavior.
- WP Rocket – Make your site load faster.
- Akismet – Block comment spam.
Create Logo, Favicon and Social Images
Having a consistent brand identity across your blog establishes credibility and professionalism.
You can make simple logos and social sharing images using free tools like Canva.
Set Up Email List
An email list helps build reader loyalty. Use a plugin like ConvertKit to easily create opt-in forms and send newsletters.
Offer a lead magnet like a checklist or guide in exchange for emails. Send weekly or bi-weekly updates with fresh content previews, resources, or deals.
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Claim Social Profiles
Claim relevant social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to promote your blog content. Link them back to your website.
Write Valuable “Cornerstone Content”
Cornerstone content is in-depth, high-quality content targeting main keywords.
For example, a 3,000 word “Ultimate Guide to Keyword Research” with headers, graphics, and bullet points.
Focus your early content efforts on creating cornerstone pieces that attract search traffic and social shares.
Creating an Effective Blog Content Strategy
Consistently publishing high-quality content is the only way to grow an audience long-term. But determining what to write about and when can be challenging starting out.
Follow this process for an effective blogging strategy:
1. Build an Editorial Calendar
Map out blog content themes, topics and keywords for the next 3-6 months. Include a mix of formats like tutorials, product reviews, case studies, interviews, etc.
2. Commit to a Content Schedule
Posting 1-2 times per week is ideal for beginners. Set a schedule like Tuesdays and Thursdays to stay consistent.
3. Optimize Every Piece of Content
Follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices including keywords, meta descriptions, headers, etc. Install the Yoast SEO plugin to guide optimization.
4. Promote New Posts
Share each new blog post on social media channels. Send a link in your email newsletter. Consider paid promotion through Facebook ads.
5. Repurpose Content
Get more mileage from blog posts by creating spin-off content like videos, podcasts, and infographics on the same topic.
Monetizing Your Blog as a Beginner
Once you’ve built an audience and established authority in your niche, it’s time to start monetizing your blog through:
Sign up for affiliate programs relevant to your niche to earn a commission promoting helpful products to your readers. Disclose affiliate links clearly.
Sell your own information products like ebooks, courses, or membership sites. Or create physical products like t-shirts, mugs, or calendars.
Display banner or text ads from networks like Ezoic or Mediavine. Use your niche audience and content quality to charge premium ad rates.
Accept payment from relevant brands to create sponsored content and reviews promoting their products or services to your target audience.
Consulting or Freelancing Services
Sell your expertise through one-on-one consulting calls or services. For example, freelance writing or social media management.
Realistic Income Goals for Beginner Bloggers
As a beginner blogger, here are realistic first year income goals to work towards:
Month 1 – Establish consistency
Focus less on income and more on publishing consistent, high-quality content. Earning anything your first month would be a bonus.
Months 2-4 – $50-100 per month
Monetize through occasional affiliate links and ads as you build traffic. Cover small costs like web hosting or domain fees.
Months 5-8 – $200-300 per month
Increase affiliate promotions, ads, and sponsored posts as you grow an engaged audience.
Months 9-12 – $500+ per month
Leverage your audience reach and authority to command higher ad rates, sponsorship fees, and affiliate earnings.
With hard work and persistence, you can realistically start earning $500 or more per month from blogging within your first year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Making Money Blogging for Beginners
Still have questions about getting started with a profitable blog as a beginner? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
How long does it take to make money blogging?
It typically takes 4-6 months to start making any income from a new blog. Building traffic and an audience takes significant time upfront before you can monetize effectively.
Can you really make money blogging?
Yes, bloggers make real money through ads, affiliate promotions, digital products, sponsored content, and more. It requires effort and consistency over time, but income can snowball.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
Starting a self-hosted WordPress blog costs around $100 for the domain, hosting, theme, and basic plugins. Ongoing costs are low – less than $20 per month typically.
Do you need a large audience to make money blogging?
You can make money from a smaller, highly engaged audience of 1,000-3,000 monthly visitors. A larger audience scales income faster but isn’t essential starting out.
What percentage of blogs make money?
Approximately 5-8% of blogs make money, according to income reports and surveys. But with the right strategy and commitment, beginner bloggers can certainly succeed.
Can you make money blogging part-time?
Absolutely. Many bloggers earn income from their sites as a side hobby or part-time gig. Just focus your limited time on high-impact activities that drive results.
How much does a blogger make per 1,000 views?
For monetized content, bloggers make $1-5 per 1,000 pageviews on average. Rates vary based on content type, audience quality, and monetization methods.
Launching a profitable blog that makes $500 or more per month as a complete beginner is an achievable goal. But it requires Consistency, persistence, quality content, and reader engagement.
Choose a niche and keywords strategically, optimize your new blog thoroughly, commit to regular content creation, and leverage various monetization strategies. Work hard, stick with it through challenges, and you can build a successful income stream from blogging month after month.
What niche or monetization methods most appeal to you for a new blog? Let me know in the comments!
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