Did you know that you can make extra retirement income with a blog?
You might think that blogs are only for people who like writing, or that blogs are too challenging to start in terms of mechanics and setting it up. Well, these are not true at all! Starting a blog can be much easier than you think.
Blogging actually brings various benefits to retirement, including extra income. You may also achieve a purposeful life if you write about topics where your passions lie, and people in the Web appreciate your knowledge. These are only some of the advantages of blogging.
In this post, I will explain the 5 easy steps to start your own blog for free and how to monetise it. This tutorial is for complete beginners.
You can either watch the video tutorial or continue to read this article if you prefer reading to watching.
STEP 1: Find Your Niche
A niche is an area which your blog will focus on. You should find a niche (1) where your passion lies and (2) that can make money at the same time.
You can take the following approach to find such a niche for you.
List Niches That Excite You
It is essential to find a niche (high-level topic) that you really enjoy talking about or writing about. You don’t have to be an expert, but it needs to be a topic that excites you. Otherwise, you may write blog posts for a month or two and then lose the motivation to continue.
When you attempt to find such a topic, you may face problems in identifying what you really like or are passionate about. Don’t worry, this is common! To find ‘your passions’, you can give yourself some questions like ‘Can I enjoy reading 100 books on the topic?’, ‘Can I talk about the topic effortlessly, when I speak to my friends?’
Go to a quiet place like a park and think about such topics that are of interest to you. Collect several of them as niche candidates.
Gauge The Business Potential For Each Topic
Once you have a list of niche candidates, you should measure their business potentials. We recommend Google Trends to find out if people are interested in these candidates. For example, the snapshot below shows a 5-year trend of ‘Budget Travel’ as a niche candidate. As shown, its search volumes are consistently high and slightly growing over time. Not bad!
At the bottom, you can also find related topics and queries, shown as the snapshot below.
By querying with different search parameters, you can analyse various perspectives of the niche candidates. Through these analyses, you should be able to find the most promising niche among the candidates for your blog.
STEP 2: Select a (Free) Hosting Solution For Your Blog
The next step is to find a place where hosts your blog. We recommend the following options for your blog hosting, which are entirely free.
Google Sites is a simple way to start your blog. You don’t need to buy a domain, and you don’t need to pay for hosting service either. As long as you have a Google account, you can create a website (blog). There are also pre-made templates of web pages that can reduce your effort for designing blog pages.
On the other hand, the simplicity of Google Sites may turn to a weak point when your blog grows and requires various customisations. You may feel limitations as you build skills for blogging. We recommend Google Sites only for personal and social blogs; if you aim to make money from blogging, you should consider the next options.
Blogger is another popular service from Google that allows you to build a blog for free. At Blogger, you can customise various settings, including themes, layouts, formatting, and so on. You can also manage comments and earnings. It is a powerful and well-designed tool for blogs.
The downside of Blogger is a steep learning curve. If you are completely new to blogging, it may be overwhelming to understand the new concepts of themes, pages, posts, categories, tags, and other details. You may find a need for end-to-end support.
RetireOn Blog Service
RetireOn also offers a free hosting service for you to start a blog. Its key difference is that you can have free training and guidance services that help you make money from blogging.
These services will teach you how to implement Affiliate Marketing in your blog. There are no hidden fees behind the services, you simply need just to contact us. Our mission is to help you live the dream in retirement. Your success story can build a reputation for RetireOn. That’s all we want from you.
STEP 3: Write a Beautiful And Interesting Post
Writing a post for your blog can be quite enjoyable. While having fun, you should also consider how your post can delight the readers.
Nobody Likes Too-Long Articles
You wouldn’t want the readers to be bored when reading your posts. Consider 400 -500 words per post. It is known as the preferred length for a blog post – not too long but still carries rich information.
Select Topics for the Readers, Not Just for You
You should write about the topics that are of interest to the readers. We recommend you to visit AnswerThePublic.com to find out what topics in your niche people search for. If you put a niche name to the search bar, you will see several related questions and topics people are interested in. These can be good topics to write about in your blog.
Use Stunning Images in Your Posts
Beautiful images in a post attract the attention of your blog visitors and motivate them to read your articles. You should embed images into your posts to improve the reading experience.
However, it is very important that you do not copy and paste any images from random websites or Google search results. This can actually cause intellectual property issues. Instead, you can download high-quality images from the following sites for free:
STEP 4: Make Money with Your Blog
There are multiple ways to monetise your blog. The most well-known method is to host ads in your blog, such as banners at sidebars. To this end, you need to participate in Google’s AdSense Program first. Here is the link from Google for the details on how to do that: How to Make Money From Your Website with Google AdSense
The other monetisation way is to implement Affiliate Marketing in your blog. We recommend you to read Why Affiliate Marketing Is Perfect For Retirement first, in order to understand what Affiliate Marketing is and what it means for your retirement.
To implement Affiliate Marketing in your blog, you need to sign up to an affiliate program first. Let’s take Amazon as an example. You can join the Amazon Associate program to become an affiliate of Amazon.
The next step is to create a unique link of the product you want to promote in your blog, generated at the affiliate program website. When customers buy the product after clicking the link, the merchant will pay you the commission. The link will tell the merchant that the sale was made due to your referral. Continuing the example of Amazon, you can create product links by following their process.
Once you obtain the product link, you can create a hyperlink on a particular part of your post using the product link. When the readers click this hyperlink, you have a chance to make money!
The final step is to add a disclaimer on each blog post that has an affiliate link. Every affiliate program requires different rules to follow. So, make sure to read their terms and conditions or fine prints carefully.
STEP 5: Advertise Your Blog
What is going to happen after setting up your blog, and then writing beautiful posts?
Nothing will happen until people know your blog.
You need to advertise your blog until search engines like Google recognise and rank your blog high. Here are a few tips on how to do that for you.
You can email your friends and family, inviting them to your blog. Yes, this is a naive approach but still effective to gain initial traction. You should also ask them to share it in their social networks.
When you have about 30-50 posts, you can consider writing an ebook out of the posts. Publishing an ebook through Amazon Kindle is free and it is not difficult either. You can sell the book for a very low price or even give away for free so that the book readers can visit your blog as well.
Besides, the ebook can still have your affiliate links. The book readers may purchase the affiliate products directly, without coming through your blog.
You should also think about creating a social group related to your blog at social media sites, such as Facebook. Every time you publish a new blog post, you should also post it at your social media channels. This definitely helps bring more visitors to your blog.
I hope this article inspired you to start your own blog. I do believe that you can find another purpose as well as extra income in your life through blogging.