How To Start Your Own Successful Blog
Learn how you can start making full time income passively with blogging!
If you’re new to the whole make money online world, then you definitely need to read this. If you are a seasoned veteran then make sure you scroll down a bit to get some advanced information.
Hey guys, I am Adam and I am a full-time internet marketer.
Now, I have been doing internet marketing for a while now, however, I started out doing affiliate marketing with paid advertising, I half-assed it like how most beginners do at the start so, I ended up losing around $2000 and at that time that was A LOT of money to lose. After that, I switched to drop shipping and had success with that, however, since then I have been switching back to affiliate marketing, however, I only use FREE traffic for now because it just works a lot better for affiliate marketing than using paid.
Affiliate marketing is just a lot more passive, there are fewer hassles and the way you do affiliate marketing the profit margins aren’t too low. Now, this is not to say you shouldn’t do drop shipping even if you want to, I will be creating a dropshipping guide as well, however, if you were deciding on what’s the best way to make money online for any beginner out there?
I’d say hands down it’ll be affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is essentially where you promote or refer a product to someone and get a percentage of the commission. Various platforms and sellers offer affiliate marketing programs you can sign up for. They provide you with all the ads, links, banners- everything you will need to promote the products on your site. When someone purchases a product following your link, you earn a part from the sale proceeds.
What makes affiliate marketing so powerful is that unlike your day job, there are no barriers, no limits. You can keep making more and more money as long as you refer/promote more products to more people and they buy following your link.
Now, there are definitely many ways to make money with affiliate marketing.
The one I recommend for beginners, as well as intermediate marketers, is driving customers to your website using FREE traffic. This includes traffic from Google, Pinterest, YouTube and other social platforms.
Why Free Traffic Over Paid?
- You don’t need to pay anything for free traffic.
- Free traffic from search engines like Google Search is more likely to convert than Facebook ads.
- Facebook ads aren’t the most beginner friendly. If you don’t know what you’re doing, I can guarantee that you will lose money over time.
- Working with free traffic is much simpler though it does require more work up front.
- Free traffic is much more passive than paid ads. You just need to set it up in the right way before beginning.
- With time advertising costs are skyrocketing- while free traffic is always free!
- Free traffic helps you generate value and create great content.
How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?
I highly recommend you start a blog and take advantage of free traffic sources like Pinterest, Quora and YouTube.
Out of all the methods I mentioned, the blog is the most important for affiliate marketing. Why is that? Because creating a blog helps to take advantage of Google search traffic. With 63,000 searches every second, it is the largest platform to get free traffic.
The best thing about Google traffic is that it is evergreen and you will continue to get traffic over time. And it only increases as months pass by (plateaus after 2 years if you don’t update). Many people out there are making six-figure incomes passively only because their website ranks on Google driving floods of traffic to their blog.
You may ask if a blog is the key ingredient, then how come I need to use Pinterest, Quora and YouTube?
Instead of using only the traffic from Google, you want to create a web of traffic. That way you are getting traffic from Pinterest, Quora and YouTube and you are funnelling all of them to your articles leading to more conversions and sales. However, if you want to step it up one notch, you should create an email list and get users to join the list. Then you can keep promoting products and your articles through your email list.
5 Step Process I Use To Starting My Blogs / Niche / Affiliate Websites
It’s quite simple and straightforward. These are the starting steps you want to follow in the beginning:
- Finding a Profitable Niche
- Find a good domain name & hosting
- Create the website and customize it to your liking
- Start publishing great content with the right mix of keywords
- Promote your website and articles on various platforms
Now we will explore each step in details.
How To Find Profitable Niche?
The first thing to do is to find a niche which is profitable. You don’t want to put months of effort into your blog and then realize you are not making anything because your niche just isn’t profitable. Now, you want to start out with something you’re interested in. If you’re not interested in it, it will be painful to write about it. You don’t have to be an expert on the subject, you can always research as you go along. Just make sure you are interested in the niche which will keep you going at it.
First, you will want to find a super generic topic. Like, say for example weight loss.
Then, you want to go deeper into the specifics. For example weight loss for 40-year-olds.
Also, you will want to pick something you don’t mind writing on about 15 – 30 articles, all 2,000 words or more!
Finding Profitable Niches Through Affiliate Networks
After you have figured out a profitable niche, you would want to head over to offervault.com. You can find offers related to your niche just by typing in your niche in the search section. Then you will see tons of offers on display, and you can even categorize them by pay.
This is just to give you an idea if your niche is profitable or not. After that, you also want to head over to Clickbank.com. I highly recommend you start with Clickbank products because they generally pay out a good commission.
While Amazon is more beginner friendly, I wouldn’t use it as your main source of income because they have stricter policies on what you can do. Also, the commission percents are insanely low to make a decent profit.
You can also search the internet for other affiliate networks. They are a good place to start as 83% brands and products use affiliate networks to recruit affiliates. You can try out some of the popular affiliate programs mentioned below in addition to Offervault and Clickbank:
- Amazon Associates
- Walmart Affiliate Program
- Warrior Plus
- Affiliate Window (AWIN)
- Rakuten Linkshare
Finding a Good Domain & Setting Up Hosting
Don’t waste your time getting free hosting! You may be able to make some money here and there with a free website, but nothing more. If you want to do this the proper way and really want to make a consistent full-time income online- you definitely need to get your own domain and hosting.
You will want to start your first blog on a hosting which is reliable and affordable. A reliable host will be fast, secure and provide a satisfactory user experience to your visitors. Good hosting will also mean less downtime so that your site stays up and running all the while. I will be using Bluehost as an example for explaining this step.
Bluehost is good for people who don’t have a lot of money to invest in their business. It’s also simple, something which is going to benefit beginners.
You’re going to need to buy hosting from a provider for your website. Luckily, I managed to a great deal I can offer to you guys. And it comes with a free domain name!
The domain will be the name of your website or blog if you don’t already have one.
Bluehost also offers one-click WordPress install so that you don’t have to face any hassles. You can also keep your website visitors safe as the price includes a free SSL certificate.
Create Your Website with BlueHost
You will need to choose a hosting service to host your website online. It’s always better to go for paid hosting and domain instead of free ones. We are going to use BlueHost hosting and show you how to set up your blog. It’s affordable, fast and easy!
People on a limited budget will find BlueHost convenient.
You can choose from several BlueHost plans, but for now, I am going with the Basic plan for $3.95 per month.
The deal is only available from us and you also get a free domain name. The domain is the name you choose for your website if you haven’t applied for one already.
Pick the Right Plan & Domain For You
I suggest that you select the $3.95 plan. It is affordable and ideal for people new to blogging. You will be able to start with your WordPress blog in no time. Plus, Bluehost will ensure that your website is live before you know it – just what you’re looking for.
BlueHost also allows migrations from other platforms if you are not satisfied with your current hosting. The advanced plans of BlueHost offer extra marketing tools, but you will not need them in the beginning. So I am choosing the basic plan.
You need to first choose a domain name which resonates with your audience. It can be a bit challenging to find an available domain of your choice. You won’t be able to change it afterwards, so choose wisely!
Tools like flame Domain helps you choose your domain name. You have to think of a domain which is brandable if you want to set up an active blog with a huge amount of traffic. Choose something unique or weird that sticks with your audience’s memory.
Head over to flame Domain and begin your domain search. When you find the right domain, you will definitely know!
After you choose your plan, BlueHost will direct you to the domain section. If you have a current domain, you can transfer to BlueHost quickly.
Check out whether you can have your domain for free. After that, BlueHost will ask you to provide your details and payment information.
Next, you will be presented with some options to choose from. I am only selecting domain privacy protection to keep your domain secure. You may or may not choose it based on your requirements.
That was quite easy, isn’t it? You can launch your blog by following the instructions without any hassles.
We don’t want to confuse you by talking endlessly about pricing and options. We want you to have the easy way out and help you with reliable hosting. Bluehost is perfect for tight budgets and doesn’t compromise on quality.
Next, we are going to install WordPress and take a look at a few settings to set up your blog.
Install WordPress and Basic Settings
WordPress is the most popular CMS to manage your blog. BlueHost automatically installs WordPress to save your efforts.
You need to create a password to proceed.
Next, you need to choose a theme. You can go with any theme you like and change it later if you want.
Now your WordPress is installed and ready. Next, you will see an interface with “Start Building” button. Clicking on the button brings you to the next screen.
All that remains to do now is to launch your website.
Just take a look at the image below and follow the instructions. From the left sidebar, click on “BlueHost” and then select “Home.” Then click on the “Launch” button on the main screen.
Now you have to select a name for your blog. If you want, you can also add a small description of your blog.
Then click on “Next Step.”
Congratulate yourself on creating an awesome website and you can begin blogging right away.
After this step, you will be redirected to the backend of your website. It will look like the picture below:
This is where you can manage various aspects of your website and even conduct Live Chat. Check out the various options in the image above to get an idea of what we mean.
BlueHost is a preferred option as it’s cheap and comes with automatic WordPress installation. Other hosting providers don’t offer such a feature and consume your time and energy.
After you have set up your blog successfully, it’s time to grow your traffic!
WordPress Themes and Plugins
Bluehost comes with a one-click WordPress installation. WordPress is the leading CMS in the world and known for its simplicity and user-friendliness. After you are done installing WordPress, you need to choose WordPress themes and plugins.
Because these two themes are literally built with speed in mind. And if you know anything about SEO you know that the page load time matters. Google favours sites with high-loading speeds (which also affects ranking) while it penalizes sites with poor loading speeds.
Not only that, they are super affordable and they look great and come with a ton of customizability.
I use a total of 19 plugins, but I will share the ones which aren’t that popular:
- WP-Optimize: This plugin just optimizes your WordPress database so it takes less space and stuff.
- WP Super Cache: This is my favourite caching plugin I have tried many different ones but, I like this one the best.
- Regenerate Thumbnails: This just regenerates your thumbnails for sizing.
Keyword Research & Competition Analysis
Keyword research is definitely a step you don’t want to skip. Keywords are what people search on Google and brings traffic to your website. When you first start your blog, you want to target really low competition and long-tailed keywords even if they have low search volume.
You want to rank for thousands of keywords so that you can keep getting tons of traffic on your blog despite it being fairly new. You will also get more traffic when you have built some authority on your website.
Keyword Research Tools
The keyword research tool I personally use is keywordsearch.io. This is literally the cheapest and one of the best (for its price) tools out there. Why? It’s literally the perfect tool any beginner can ask for. You can do all sorts of things with it and I believe it costs something like $17 per month- which for SEO is ridiculously cheap.
You also want to use Keyword Shitter to find all relevant keywords relating to your main keyword. It gives a ton of extra keywords you can just sprinkle in your article or target content. Use the keywords you get from Keyword Shitter and put them in LSI keywords. Then you can sprinkle them in your article.
Google is another great place to find related keywords. Just open Google and enter the main keyword in the search bar. Google will automatically suggest a list of popular keywords that people search for. You can also perform a search and look at the bottom of the search result page. You will see another list of related keywords under “Searches related to…” Needless to say, using Google for finding keywords doesn’t cost you anything.
Now, way you want to find out and analyze your competition. The process is simple- you can just copy and paste your competitor’s website inside keysearch.co’s backlink checker as well as organic keywords. Then you can just write about those exact keywords and outrank your competitors by properly optimizing on-page SEO and building high-quality backlinks.
When creating content you want to take a few things into account:
- Silo Structure
- Content Structure
- On Page SEO
How your website is structured plays an important role in improving not only user experience but your ranking as well.
Silo structure is essentially how your website is structured and takes into account the categories, interlinking and related components.
On the homepage, you can have a 2,000 – 3,000 words article; however, I highly recommend you keep the home page clean with a main opt-in where you offer your visitors something in return for their email. For instance, you can offer them a free eBook on tutorials or how to use a product or service. Then you can provide a quick list of your main articles under the opt-in form.
You also want to create a few categories for your articles, whether it’s reviews, comparisons, discounts or guides.
Now, it’s time to write your articles. You want to take several things into account like the conversion rate, the time a user spends on a page and the bounce rate.
You want to keep 2 things in mind when writing your articles:
- You are writing for search engines
- You are also writing for real users
You need to focus on both of these since search engines are the one sending traffic to your website and users are the ones reading your content.
I will talk about the search engine part on the On Page SEO section below.
Review Article Format
Keep in mind you can write about many things, and not just reviews. For example:
- Top Best Watches
- Guide Article on How to Use a Certain Product
- Comparison Articles
Basically, you can write on anything related to your niche that provides value to your audience. You can answer their questions, provide insight on some product or service and even create tutorials. Your articles should be high-quality and relatable so that people feel the urge to share them- which means more traffic for your blog!
If you are writing review articles, follow the five steps mentioned below:
1. Article Introduction
This is a lot more important than you actually think. Why?
Because if the reader isn’t hooked or interested in reading your articles then they will just click on the back button. This gives a very bad sign to Google that your content isn’t relevant or high quality.
So a compelling introduction is a must. Write something to hook the reader and encourage him to keep reading. That’s why sometimes you don’t want to include super large images right in the beginning, which makes the user scroll on to get to the main content.
Keep your introductions short and highlight the pain points of your readers. Your introduction should also tell the reader what he can expect and learn by reading your article.
2. Put in a product image when doing product reviews and make sure you add your affiliate link to it.
You can also include videos to provide a better explanation or walk-throughs.
3. Explain what’s wrong with the product your reviewing
The reason is that you don’t just want to give positive reviews on every single article. This will cause your readers to trust you less. When you talk negatively about a product, people see you’re more trustworthy and not just here to sell your products.
4. Include pros vs cons
Some people skip most of the text and go straight for the pros vs. cons. This way you can help them make a purchasing decision quicker. Try to make your content scannable by including bullet points for important considerations.
5. Include buttons which don’t Sell Directly
Avoid using buttons which say “Buy Now”, “Add to Cart,” especially if you’re reviewing the product.
You want to include buttons which increase your click-through rate. For example: “Learn More” or “Check Price & Availability” or “Check on Amazon” or “Visit Official Website.”
The idea is to make people feel that you are giving an unbiased review and not just promoting the products.
On Page SEO
You should ensure that all the articles on your website are optimized for on page SEO. This is a really crucial step because it enables you to target multiple keywords, and just overall rank better on Google to get more traffic.
Check out this awesome infographic which gives a summary of most of the things which are crucial for on page SEO.
This is an infographic by Backlinko which is a great place to learn more about SEO
- You want to start with the main keyword in your title
- You should have a short and sweet SEO friendly title. (Go to settings in WordPress to change how formatting looks for your articles)
- Adding modifiers to your title makes the keyword longer, thus helping you rank for the long-tailed version of your keyword (Include words like reviews, best, in-depth and so on).
- Make sure you have your title in H1 (most WordPress themes do that automatically).
- Make sure you add multimedia. That means adding videos and images wherever possible.
- Include at least one subheading H2 to include the main keyword.
- Make sure you have your main keyword within the first 100 words of your article.
- Make sure you have a responsive website. (Luckily both Generatepress & WPAstra are responsive)
- Make sure you link out to at least 1 authority website which is relevant.
- Make sure you at least link twice in between your blog posts.
- Make sure your website loads within 4 seconds.
- Make sure you sprinkle some LSI keywords to help improve relevancy.
- Make sure all your images are named with your target keyword as well as an alt text containing the target keyword.
- Include social sharing buttons to get more social signals and traffic.
- Make sure you write long-form high-quality content to rank better. (SUPER IMPORTANT)
- Increase the time a user spends on your page (You can do this by adding a YouTube video towards the end and writing long content).
- Make sure you write a good meta description to improve your click-through rates!
If you want to start ranking faster and higher on the search engines, you need quality backlinks.
Backlinks are essentially when someone links to you and shows Google that you are an authority on that topic. Your articles will rank higher with more QUALITY backlinks. That means websites which have some kind of authority and trust in the market.
I highly recommend you do mostly white hat techniques while building your backlinks. Otherwise, you may be penalized by Google and can suffer from low rankings.
Creating Web 2.0s
Web 2.0s are essentially websites like Blogger, Wix, Blogspot and other platforms where you can create free websites.
Now, you can take the time to build out your web 2.0’s where you drip-feed (Post content every 3-4 weeks to keep things updated) a couple of articles. However, I recommend buying them because it saves a lot of time and hassle.
If you are making them, few pointers to keep in mind include:
- Make sure you use new email accounts to sign up for them.
- Ideally you want to use VPN to create them, however, you don’t need to.
- Write approximately 400 – 1500 word articles on your web 2.0s
- Don’t forget to interlink and external link
- Feel free to add your affiliate links to your web 2.0s
- Ideally, you want to create social media accounts for your web 2.0s and promote them (I don’t do this step; however, this helps out more).
- Never use spun articles, hand write them.
- Do NOT use exact keywords for your links which point to your main blog. (IMPORTANT)
- Use branded anchor texts like Snag Success or Naked URLs: snagsuccess.com for links which are pointing to your main website
I personally just buy my web 2.0’s (The ones I recommend are by Niche Exposure and these are really high quality, quite affordable and handmade. Don’t buy web 2.0s which are spun.)
This is a technique I recently learned from Tung. Take a look at this video: it’s quite a powerful technique.
In the video, Tung shows how he got 10+ High-quality backlinks in less than 2 weeks. He got around 13 new backlinks and 3 of them are from big publications like Mindbodygreen.com, Dailymaail.co.uk, Designtaxi.com. He also got around 189 social shares and 2,000+ referral traffic.
Summary of the Process:
- Create a guide/informational article
- Create an infographic
- Find infographics which are in your niche and google image search them.
- Write down a list of all the websites which used your infographic and their email addresses
- Upload your Infographic to Visualy & Pinterest Boards
- Essentially contact these websites telling them that you read their article and tell them you created an infographic for it.
- Keep outreaching to as many people as possible.
You can do all of this on your own. However, I outsource my outreach to others. Onlinejobs.ph is a great place to get projects like outreaching outsourced for cheap.
Guest posting is where you write an article on someone else’s website. Usually, you get a backlink in return. If you want high-quality backlinks you definitely need to take advantage of guest posting. What you want to do is very similar to the Guestographics method, except you are writing articles for them.
- Make sure you find quality blogs to guest post in (It has to be relevant)
- Make sure you write well (You’ll just waste their time if your articles that you write for them aren’t high quality)
- Don’t overlink your website on their blog posts
- Make sure you aim to benefit their readers and not just write to get a backlink
- Read their other articles so that you get a better idea on what to write and how it should be structured, the tone to use, and so on
- Make sure you interact on the comments for the website your guest posting on. If people see you genuinely helping others, they will click on your name where you can link your website to get free traffic.
If you don’t want to guest post, create a list post where you feature some of the top or upcoming players in your niche. This way the people who you mention in your article may check your page out and reciprocate.
Niche Related Comments
Blog comments actually do work and yes, they are no follow. But you want them for link diversity.
A lot of so-called “SEO” experts will tell you that blog comments don’t work. But the reason why they say is that they don’t know how to do them right. You can’t just go around spamming your blog post link to get a blog comment backlink.
There are two proper ways of doing this:
- Act as if you have a question about something. You can also talk negatively about your website like: “This website said this weight loss product is good. But, they seem a little too biased, can you let me know what you think?” This is one of the best ways to get blog comment backlinks. (Do not add your website for this method because then they will know you own that website.)
- Put in your website in the website section and write a genuine question or statement which reflects that you actually cared to read their article and you are not just there to get a backlink.
Becoming Active on Niche Related Forums
Forum links also help build link diversity and actually drive traffic to your blog. The reason is that, since you’re in a niche related forum, your content will naturally be related to the topics and issues people discuss on the forum.
There are two ways of getting forum links:
- Put your link in the signature of the forum (Sometimes certain forums charge you for this. It’s not necessary to buy it, but you have to think about how many people will see your signature).
- Post your writing just like how you did with blog comments. However, this time you want to be a little active- so it doesn’t seem like you just joined to put your link out there.
Secret Trick To Get More Traffic
This is a great trick to get more traffic as soon as you create your first few articles. No one is really talking about this method, but this is a great way to get traffic from a few different places. You can also use this method to get more social signals.
You want to use Addmefast to send social signals to your social media pages and then get traffic from there. Keep in mind Addmefast is completely free!
What you have to do:
- Create a twitter retweet and Pinterest repin campaign
- You want to set the daily click limit to 3-5
- Don’t send in more than 10 traffic
Using Other Forms of Traffic
Other than Google, there are quite a few free traffic sources you can take advantage to generate traffic even before your website starts to rank. You might get your first sale within a couple of days of writing your first few articles because of utilizing free traffic from all of these places.
Quora is one of my favourite traffic sources on this list other than Google. The platform has 190 million users across the globe, creating strong potential for generating quality traffic.
Essentially, Quora is an upgraded Yahoo Answers website where people ask questions and you can answer them. You can literally get a ton of traffic from Quora if you write super high-quality answers.
If you use Quora, you will be able to get traffic within the first few weeks of having your site running. You might even get your first few sales in this way because the people who search for answers are already interested in your niche. That means you will be getting highly-targeted leads with higher potential for conversion.
Remember to not spam answers with affiliate links or links in general. You want to max link out a couple of times and make sure your answer is long or else it will get collapsed, leading fewer people to see it. Also, try to answer the question as best as you can by including resources and anything that might help users.
Pinterest is one of the much newer platforms I learned about. It’s super easy to grow your Pinterest followers. All you want to do is create your Pinterest account, set up 10 different boards and start repinning 20 pins to each. Then start following people in your niche and interact on their pins.
Now, I know followers don’t mean anything on Pinterest, which is true. However, you want to start following people, so that you can quickly gain more monthly views. After you have got a few followers you can upgrade your account to business account. It should display the monthly views you get after posting.
Make sure you check out the Ultimate Guide on How To Make Money On Pinterest where I show how to grow your Pinterest and get more clicks. I use a strategy which works great to get tons of traffic to your blog.
Pinterest has more than 265 million active monthly users and drives 33% more traffic to shopping sites compared to Facebook. Also, 87% people on Pinterest have purchased a product influenced by the platform and 93% use it to plan future purchases. So it’s a really lucrative platform for affiliate marketers.
Youtube is another great place to get traffic from as it is the second largest search engine after Google. It isn’t required that you do YouTube in order to post videos on the website. It’s also so much easier to rank your YouTube videos than it is to rank your websites. Also, you want to take advantage of every traffic source which is effective.
And guys, you don’t need to be on camera to make videos. You can check out my article which shows you How To Make Money From Youtube Without Showing Your Face or Talking I also talk about how to get more views and the different strategies you can use to really boost your YouTube videos.
One trick to follow on YouTube is to use keywords wherever applicable. You can also write a 200 – 400 words video description using your target keywords and leave a link to your blog or website.
Joining Facebook groups and sharing your blog posts is another good way to get traffic. However, keep in mind not to just spam links- you want to read and interact with the community. That way you can also write useful information on your blog and discover more article ideas.
You can also create your own Facebook group. Facebook actually promotes your Facebook group if it’s large enough and has a good engagement for free. So, you will start getting more and more people joining your Facebook group where you can pin the rules and your blog articles + affiliate links on the top of the page so that every time someone joins the group they can read it.
Facebook is one of the most preferred marketing tools today. The platform has over 2 billion users who check their Facebook feed multiple times during a day. You can take advantage of the huge user base and promote your articles and blogs posts through groups. You can also create your own page and invite people to like it. Facebook pages are also a great place to share your articles and feature on your audience’s news feed.
Start Taking Action
I hope this was useful and hopefully it helps you out and you actually start taking action and get some work done. If you have any questions or concerns leave it below, I will try to answer them all.
Now, if you want to really boost your affiliate income and learn affiliate marketing fast, I highly recommend you check out Franklin Hatchett’s Savage Affiliates Course. Now, Savage Affiliates is the best affiliate marketing course out there PERIOD.
The price is super affordable- Franklin Hatchett actually makes 7 figures and a lot of that is from actually ranking his own blog sites. His free advice is better than most paid programs. I highly suggest you guys check Savage Affiliates out.