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Exactly What I Tell My Friends To Start or Grow-Their Badass Blog This Year.

how to start a blog and make money featured

Listen:

Most bloggers never make a cent.

You know that. I know that. Everybody knows that.

But is it possible to make a nice little passive income? Get paid to blog from time to time?

Absolutely.

In this post, you will learn exactly how to start a blog and make money. Different strategies, how to do it, everything you need.

Indeed, in just moments you’ll discover 4 simple steps I used to launch this exact blog you are reading https://make500inaday.com. Here are the steps:

  • Get web hosting and a good domain name.
  • Create the site and customize it
  • Fill it with good content that’s keyword optimized
  • Drive traffic to the content
  • Make money

Starting Your Site With Siteground Webhosting.

In this particular example I ‘will use site ground for web hosting and show you how to set it up. It’s clean and works well.Read this siteground vs hostgator review.

Choosing the Right Plan and Domain.

I would suggest going with the $3.95 plan as I did, you can always upgrade later if you need to.

Siteground can do free migrations if you are not happy with your current host or looking for a change. The other plans come with marketing costs you don’t need right now, so I just went with the basic plan.

Choosing a domain can be a challenge for many. I used go daddy to find mine thereafter I changed the name servers at godaddy.com and point them to Siteground. Then I installed WordPress onto the domain and got cracking with the next most step, creating the site and customize it.

But just to mention it here before I proceed onto website design if you are doing a pure affiliate website for seo on google then make sure you include the main keywords in it. However if you are starting a blog that’s going to be very active then make it brandable. Something weird or something people will remember.

If you need help in setting up a WordPress site on your site ground take a look at this video.

So that’s quite simple, right? Just follow the instructions and you’re on your way to making a great blog.

Got A Domain And Hosting, Now What?

There are some important steps that you need to do right after you purchase your domain name and installed WordPress. The first thing that I need to do is to block search engine access to my site while I prepare everything for the launch.

In order to do that I usually upload maintenance mode plugin that blocks search engines to crawl the site. I used maintenance mode by pod seed.

The other thing that I usually do is to upload robots.txt file on the root directory. It looks like this.

Once Google or any other search engine comes to my site, they immediately search for robots.txt file, and once they see this, they do not crawl my website. Now, if you are using WordPress platform, then under Privacy settings you can actually turn off the search engines.

But, I still recommend to upload robots.txt file. At this point, search engines are blocked, and you can start the preparations for your website launch.

Structure and Layout

Before you publish any content on your website, you need to have a clear picture how you will organize pages and posts, so that it is equally good for search engines and human visitors. There are 3 several ways you can choose from:

  • Squeeze Page Blog
  • Review Type Blog
  • Standard WordPress Blog

Which One to Choose

In order to select the best website structure you need to be clear what is the main purpose of your site. My all the time favourite structure is review type blog as you can see on this blog. The main reason for that is that I want to rank my site in the #1 spot in Google for the several main keywords of my website and add some AdSense ads.

Overall, if you want to make money as a blogger, and you want to build an authority website, then Standard WordPress Blog is the right structure for you. It is very important that you think about your website (business) in the long term.

Basic Pages

Whatever structure you selected for your blog the first thing you need to add to your site is Basic Pages. Even if you build a small AdSense site, those are mandatory, as in Google’s eyes, these basic pages are improving visitor experience, and you should be following that. So, here are 6 basic pages that each website should have:

  • About Page
  • Contacts
  • Disclaimer
  • Privacy
  • Terms and Conditions

Site Design and Customization

I’m not going to take us through every step since everyone has different ideas for their blogs.

I will however, show you a few basic things you should do before starting to add content.

The first thing you should do is change your permalinks. You can do this by clicking on “Settings”

Once in the Permalinks section click “post name”, this is the common one most people use.

While in the settings section check out the “reading” tab. This gives you the option to choose what you display on the home page.

I would suggest clicking “your latest post” to start out with, this means all your post will be on the home page for people to see.

Lastly, choose a nice clean theme in the appearance section. I get my themes from My Theme Shop and the one I use on this blog is called Great.

If you end up downloading a theme from somewhere else you can upload it to WordPress in the themes section.

If you want to know what WordPress Plugins to use go for these ones:

1. Ad Injection (perfect for adding Google AdSense code to your site)

2. Pretty Links ( Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website )

3. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (we need this to check our bounce rate and organic trac)

4. Social Warefare

5. Askimet

6. Wordfence Security (Anti-virus, Firewall and Malware Scan )

7. Yoast SEO

These are the main ones that you will need. If you only get one then make sure that it is Yoast SEO.

I have other plugins, which you will not require. The more you have the slower your site will run.

Launch Content

Okay, once you have all the basic stuff sorted out its time to populate the website with content.

There is no specific amount of articles you need before you can promote the blog. In the traffic step’s that I show you below, I only promote one post at a time anyway.

If you want your articles to get traffic from Google or bing, then you need to learn how to create content that’s optimized for the search engines. That means that when someone searches for a particular keyword in Google or another search engine, your article appears at the top of the results.

Here’s how…

Step 1: Do Your Keyword Research

You can’t just guess what your prospects are typing into the search engines. Instead, you need to use a tool like longtail PRO that will tell you for sure. Simply enter a broad keyword (like “homeschooling” or “online marketing” or “make money online”), and this tool will display hundreds if not thousands of related searches.

Take note, however: the words that get the most traffic are also hard to rank for. That’s because dozens if not hundreds of other marketers are all clamoring for the top spots and their fair share of the traffic.

The solution?

Focus on the longtail keywords – these are the four or five word phrases that don’t get as much traffic, but they also don’t have much competition. Thus you can get top spots on the search engines with them. Once you’ve compiled a list of keywords, move on…

Step 2: Write an Article around a Keyword

Your next step is to choose one keyword and then write an article around it.

Step 3: Make Sure Humans Will Enjoy Your Article

Finally, remember ultimately humans are going to read your article – so make sure all your optimizing didn’t make it clunky, awkward or otherwise difficult to read.

I started with 5 articles.

I do not think I need to mention this, but all content that you are going to publish on your website should be unique and never published before. If you are using WordPress platform, then make sure you create SEO optimized articles for each post. You can read about these awesome On Page SEO Techniques To BOOST Your Rankings.Basically this are SEO rules you need to do:

7 basic SEO rules when it comes to content on your website.

  • Include the primary keyword in the post title.
  • You should have the primary keyword first in the keyword Meta field, followed by four secondary keywords separated by commas.
  • Include the primary keyword in the first part of Meta description (make sure that description is unique text for each page on your site)
  • Use the primary keyword in the first sentence and last sentence of your article or post.
  • Have at least one image in each post optimized for the primary keyword. Here is what optimized image means:
  • 1) The file name of your image is the primary keyword – for example, for best coffee maker it can look like this.
  • 2) You should have the alt tag for your image. The purpose of alt tag is to tell search engines what this image is about. Here is how it will look on your site:  <img src=”bestcoffemaker.jpg” alt=”Best Coffee Maker”>
  • Use your primary keyword as part of your website permalink. For example: your website URL can be something like this – http://www.YouDomainName.com
  • So, here are some variations of the permalink: 1. Use your content title as a permalink – http://www.YouDomainName.com/Your-Content-Title-That-Contains-PrimaryKeyword/

Note how I have set things up and linked the pages together.

At this point your blog is ready to invite the search engines and visitors. Before we go to the launch part, let me recap what you have done in so far.

First of all you learned how to block search engines from access of your site just after you purchased the domain name. Then we discussed different structures of your site and how to pick the one which is the most suitable for your long term goals.

Next we defined the basic pages for any website and how you should add those to your new site. Then we moved to the initial content pages, and we discussed the 10 SEO rules which you need to follow in order to maximize the rankings in search engines.

If you will follow all of these steps, and you will prepare the website accordingly, you will instantly get highest possible rankings in Google, and you will gain massive competitive advantage over all other blogs in your niche.

Launch Day

Up to this point, you have done a lot of work in order to build MOMENTUM for your website launch. So, in this phase you are going to learn all the steps that are required in order to properly launch your website to get instant rankings in Google.

Robots.txt

If you remember earlier, we blocked the search engines via the robots.txt file. So, the first thing you need to do is to create a different robots.txt file.

I usually just create the notepad document manually, as there is not so much information to show. In robots.txt file you need to specify which pages or posts you want to allow search engines to crawl and which you want to hide.

So, here is how a standard WordPress robots.txt file will look like:

You can learn more about robots.txt file on Robotstxt.org, but here is what I do usually. In the first part of the robots.txt file – I disallow all the folders or pages, which I do not want search engines to crawl. So, if you are building a list, this is where you want to specify your download page or thank you page.

Once you have the file ready, you just need to upload it to your website root directory. You can do it directly via your hosting file manager, or you can use some of the FTP programs (I use FileZilla). Robots.txt file is a very important element in order to guide search engines on your website to get proper rankings.

So, once you have uploaded new robots.txt file, the next step is to disable privacy under WordPress privacy settings to allow search engines to check out your site. Also deactivate maintenance mode plugin.Make sure you do that before you go to the next step.

Sitemap.xml

Each blog should have at least two kinds of sitemaps – one is for human visitors and second is XML Sitemap, which is only for search engines.

In short, XML Sitemap is a simple page which gives precise information to search engines about how many pages your website has, and also it triggered search engines each time you update your site (which is very important).

When it comes to XML Sitemap, there are two big advantages:

1) You will get your site indexed faster (and I will show you how)

2) You will be able to see how Google is actually viewing your website (and this is critical to have a success in search engines).

Besides, you need to know that there are several types of XML Sitemaps. The one I am taking about here – and this is the most important, is sitemap for your content.

If you are using WordPress, then there is a very good plugin specifically for XML Sitemaps. It basically builds XML Sitemap automatically and puts that in the root directory of your website (this is where it should be located).

Here is free XML Sitemap builder that will build sitemap for up to 500 pages.

Here is one tip – when you use this XML Sitemap builder, make sure to check whether it lists all the pages of your website, as sometimes it doesn’t show nofollow and noindex pages, which is not good. Once you have the XML Sitemap ready, make sure to upload it to the root directory on your site.

Sitemap Submission to Google

Now that you have prepared the robots.txt file and XML Sitemap, the next step is to set up account in Google Webmaster Central and submit the XML sitemap to Google. This is one of the steps that most people never do, so they are blind when it comes to understanding what actually Google thinks about the website.

If you will submit sitemap to Google, you will instantly get at least these 5 benefits:

1. You will see how many pages of your website is indexed by Google.

2. You will be able to see any errors on your website.

3. You will be able to see how much backlinks Google has indexed for your site and where they are coming from.

4. You will be able to see what is the rankings of your pages in Google and for which keywords you are ranked right now.

5. You will be able to strategically plan your link building campaigns to instantly improve rankings. I cannot stress enough how important that is when it comes to ranking website in Google.

This one step alone is eliminating so much frustration and misleading actions, which saves tons of money and time.

So, all you have to do right now is to go to Google Webmaster Central, sign in with your Google account and submit your website.

At this point, you have launched your blog.

At this point your site is live and ready for search engines and human visitors. So, now you are ready for the next Phase. But, before we go there, let me recap what you have done.

First of all, you have created a new robots.txt file. It is mandatory in order to control what search engines can see on your site. Then you created a XML Sitemap. This is an important element in order to get your website indexed properly and also in order to get the insight scoop of what Google actually thinks about your site.

If you followed all of these steps, then Google will notice that you are serious player in your niche, and you will make money with a blog accordingly.

How to Promote Your Blog.

There are two types of actions that most people take right after the blog launch:

  • There are people who just wait for miracles
  • And, there are people who try to build every back link possible without any thinking or strategy at all.

Both actions are incredibly wrong, as they can destroy what we have done so far. If you will follow these steps to a “T”, your website will get sticky in first page in Google, you will get traffic that converts, you will gain authority in your niche, and you will make long term sustainable income.

Ok here is what I do:

Step 1. Build some backlinks

My Backlinks strategy for this website:

  • Social Signals
  • Link wheel
  • PBN Backlinks
  • Expired Tumblr Backlinks

First of all each of the five pages that I want to rank no. 1 for need social signals. For the social signals for each page I am going to use this gig on SEOCLERKs. For just $1 you get 1500 mixed social signals.

I am also going to send 10 Tumblr backlinks to each page each month. The Tumblr backlinks will come from expired blogs that I have re-registered, they will have high domain authority and at least 10 backlinks pointing to them.

Anchor Text Variations

It is super important to mix up your anchor text. Do not use your exact keyword match anchor for every backlink. This is the anchor text cycling that I use for every article:

  • Branded
  • Naked urls
  • General
  • Brand + keyword
  • Partial match
  • Exact match

I will then index these backlinks slow and steady. I will simply login into google webmaster “fetch as Google” and simple add each url to Google index. If they are indexed I will see the URL in the Google search results when I pop it into Google search. This is a super simple backlink strategy with limited work on my side as I am rather busy. But mostly I outsource some of this tasks over at seoclerks.

Other traffic strategies I use include:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Youtube marketing
  • Facebook marketing
  • Native ads marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • And many others

How Blogging Makes You Money

For this website I use:

  • Clickbank affilliate marketing.
  • Google AdSense
  • Native advertising arbitrage
  • Maxbounty CPA Offers

Final Words

I’m going to end it here because that’s all there really is to it, that’s my tutorial showing you how to start a blog and make money online. Anyone can try the methods above that’s how easy they are.

You can grow your blog to thousands of visits a month even if you’re just learning to create your own website. You just need to be active within your niche and make sure you optimize those articles for a bunch of small volume keywords as well as any high volume ones you plan to target.

Sure… building up a blog with these tips will take time with these methods but as the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is how blogging is done now go start yours.

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