The habit of regularly writing down ideas on a blog brings many benefits: you structure thoughts, exercise self-discipline, learn to communicate with readers and deal with criticism. And if you get down to business seriously, you can turn your blog into a source of income.
If you think it’s time to start a blog, but have doubts – this article is for you. We will tell you what and how to blog, on which platform to create and how to make money on it.
When a person does something cool – bake cakes, hitchhike, or read a lot – they will most likely be told, “Get yourself a blog.” But as long as there is no intrinsic motivation, becoming a blogger is unlikely to succeed. Here are a few ideas that you can motivate yourself with.
Make money blogging.
When a blog is created to make money, you are actually starting an online business. Thinking through a plan, investing in the platform, creating and promoting content, using various monetization tools.
By publishing useful and SEO-optimized articles, you attract visitors from search, convert them into subscribers. You can make money on a blog in different ways: place ads, write paid reviews, make money on affiliate programs. We will write about these and other ways to monetize your blog below.
Test approaches and techniques that are useful for the job.
A blog is a personal platform for testing ideas. For example, a marketer or editor will find it helpful to try different article and illustration formats, apply new SEO tools, customize WordPress, and so on.
Build a personal brand.
You can be a cool specialist, but known only within your company. A blog helps to become known to a wide range of people. By publishing expert articles, reviews, toolkits, a specialist shows his knowledge and skills. In the future, the blog will become a public resume for employers or a portfolio for customers.
Unload thoughts and structure knowledge.
When you dive deeply into a topic, there is too much information. A blog helps to structure knowledge and come to an interesting conclusion, solution. Or just free your head for new ideas.
Blogging as a hobby and an outlet.
Someone develops a blog for work, but for someone, on the contrary, it is an opportunity to switch from work to what they love. You can write about handicrafts, travel, books, kids, or gym activities.
Do you know the movie “Julie and Julia”? The main character worked during the day as an operator in a call center, and in the evenings she cooked dishes and wrote to the blog. This is a biographical story – Julie became famous by publishing a book based on the blog. And then they made a film based on the book.
“Julie and Julia” movie poster
What to blog about.
Sometimes you want to start a blog, but it’s hard to decide what to write about. Here are some ideas we got from some bloggers.
Arrange a challenge or take part in it.
Having come up with a challenge or taking part in it, you get several advantages:
a clear goal disciplines; easier to come up with themes for posts; keep readers interested – people are interested in what will happen next.
An example of a personal challenge – a challenge – can be a life list on Sergey Kaplichny’s blog. Sergey has compiled a list of 100 things that he wants to do in a year. For example, do not shave your beard for six months, take part in the development of the application, and others. He completes the items on the list and describes the results in articles.
Life list – tasks for yourself for a year.
Create case studies and disassemble them in the blog.
If you do not have bright working cases for your blog, you can come up with them yourself. For example, Lyuda Sarycheva, the author of the book “Write, cut down”, at the start of the blog, disassembled awkward advertisements and showed how to do it better. Editor Ira Gryaznykh revamped the transportation card replenishment scheme, which annoyed her. Just like that, not for money, and described it in a blog:
A case study on the redesign of the metro site.
Describe life events in an online diary.
In a blog, you can simply describe life events: personal and professional. Most of the LiveJournal diaries are organized according to this principle.
The advantages of a diary are that you are not limited to one topic: you can do book reviews, discuss repairs or prepare for emigration. But there are also disadvantages: if you write about everything in a row, it is difficult to find your audience and understand it, since the readers will mainly come and go.
To make an online diary interesting, you need your own “trick” – a special style of writing or a personal point of view. For example, if you talk about your life from the perspective of a cheerful pessimist:
Online diary with your position.
Comment on the latest news.
For example, Milya Kotlyarova, author of the blog Digital Broccoli, follows the news in the freelance world. She explains the laws on the self-employed, changes in payments on the exchanges, and so on.
Blog post news for freelancers.
Write reviews: books, programs, cosmetics, working tools.
Reviews as a format for blog articles are convenient: you can always come up with a topic for the next post. But it also takes more time: you need to test a product or read a book, take photos and describe your impressions.
Reviews of cosmetics from a beauty blogger.
How to start blogging.
You can publish your first article on Facebook or Yandex.Zen at any time: just register, write a post and press “Publish”. If you decide to create your own, separate blog site, there will be more steps.
1. Come up with a name.
The name should be well remembered and you like it. Then it will be easy for people to find your blog, and it will be pleasant for you to work with it.
2. Select an engine for your blog.
It is more convenient to blog on the engines that are created exactly for this purpose – WordPress, “Aegea”.
WordPress has convenient tools for publishing and commenting posts, organizing categories, SEO optimization, and a large selection of templates. If you need help installing it, it will be easier to find a specialist as WordPress has a large community.
Aegea offers fewer templates and tools, but is easier to install. Suitable for beginner bloggers. By the way, designers and editors often blog on Aegea – with it you get quick and beautiful notes that load quickly on different devices.
You can choose engines Drupal, Joomla. But they are designed to create full-fledged sites, so there are no ready-made templates for a blog. You will have to tweak a lot for yourself, but this is not always convenient and requires more programming skills.
3. Buy a domain name and choose hosting.
Come up with a domain name and check its availability with registrars. Next, select your hosting. Hosting is a remote server that will store your blog files. Sometimes, when buying a hosting, a domain is offered as a gift. Find out in advance so as not to miss the opportunity to save money.
4. Design your blog.
Now you need to install and configure the blog engine. If there is no experience in installation at all, it will be difficult to do it yourself. Where to go for help:
watch a YouTube video on setting up your CMS; write to the hoster; ask for advice from a friend with experience; hire a freelancer.
5. Write and publish your first article.
Pick a topic, make an outline of the article and – ta-daam – write your first post. Before publishing, edit the article, check the presentation logic. An article is easier to read when it has a clear structure: heading, introduction, main body with subheadings, and conclusions.
6. Show the article to the readers.
For a blog post to be seen by people, it needs to be promoted. Publish a link to the article on social networks and invite readers to express their opinion, share the article in thematic groups and forums.
How to blog.
At the start, it is important to organize the work on the blog in such a way as to regularly publish new articles. Several tricks will help with this.
Write down ideas.
Get in the habit of writing down thoughts and observations so you don’t lose out on interesting ideas. For recordings, you can use the applications Evernote, Wunderlist, Bear. It is convenient to add notes to them on the go:
Blog ideas in the Wunderlist app.
Make a publication plan.
The content plan helps to publish articles on a regular basis. Planning topics for future articles and working on them is convenient in Trello. Although you can use regular sheets in Google Docs.
Analyze blog statistics.
Install an analytics system on your blog – Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrica. Statistics will show how traffic to your blog is growing, which articles bring more traffic and what keywords visitors come to your blog for.
Optimize articles for search engines.
Over time, when search engines index new articles, readers from Google and Yandex search engines will start coming to the blog. For more such visitors, articles and the blog as a whole need to be optimized.
Select for articles search queries in Google Ads and Yandex.Wordstat and write them in the title, subheadings, article text and alt-texts for pictures.
If you are working on a blog engine, then you can use SEO plugins – add-ons that do some of the work for you. For example, they will find keywords, show the view of the page in the SERP, and so on.
Respond to comments.
Follow the comments: thanks for the feedback, answer the readers’ questions. Discussions under the articles are a sign that the blog is alive. This attracts new readers.
Install the newsletter subscription form.
Email newsletters can help turn blog visitors into regular readers.
By submitting announcements of new articles or a selection of past ones, you keep in touch with your readers.
Readers’ contacts are collected through subscription forms: built-in, pop-up. The inline form is less visible and unobtrusive. On the other hand, a popup converts visitors to subscribers better, as the experience of SendPulse customers shows.
Built-in blog subscription form.
The pop-up subscription form is more aggressive and hard to miss. To prevent people from getting angry, the pop-up needs to be properly designed: do not hide the “Close window” button, add a valuable offer to it – a lead magnet:
A pop-up sign up form with a lead magnet on a blog.
In SendPulse, you can create different forms of subscription: built-in, pop-up, floating, fixed.
Update your blog: design, article formats, headings.
Make small changes to keep your readers happy. These can be new categories and formats, an updated design of the subscription form.
Where is the best place to blog.
The site for the blog is chosen based on personal preferences and goals. You like to write on social networks – please, want your own site – no one will forbid. But you need to understand that each site will have its own limitations. For example, to make money on social networks, you will need to negotiate with advertisers and make native posts, and on the site you can simply connect an advertising banner.
In this section, we will analyze the features of the sites to make it easier to choose.
A blog on social networks is suitable for keeping an online diary, promoting a personal brand, and announcing articles from the site. It is not necessary to write long posts here, you can take short notes.
Pros Cons Social networks already have users who can be attracted to your profile: inviting friends, launching paid ads. It is difficult to promote your blog in search engines. Easily and quickly publish posts. Limited formatting options. Dependence on the administration of social networks: there is a restriction on the content of the content (photo and text), ranking, and so on.
A cool advantage of social networks for a blogger is the ability to connect a chatbot. He will automatically answer questions from readers in a personal. For example, you can make a menu in private messages with answers to the most frequently asked questions:
where did you study or work, how to order advertising, how to order your services, and so on.
You can even make sales through the bot – talk about products and issue a link to payment directly in the correspondence. For example, they made a review about a book, invited them to the chatbot and immediately sold it there. For the reader, this is a convenient, seamless experience: flipping through the feed – I saw your post – I read it and got interested – I bought it without leaving the social network. And for you this is profit, because a book can be sold by agreement with some book for a percentage of sales
Discover the chatbot.
Build auto sales funnels and answer user questions using a chatbot on Facebook, VK and Telegram.
It is very easy to set up such a sale with the SendPulse bot builder. In the video below, in three minutes we show how to do this in the constructor and how the sale looks to the user:
In the chatbot, you can also:
, to warm them up through other channels; and quizzes; and much, much more!
Blogging on different social media has its own characteristics. Let’s take a look at the most popular sites.
In Facebook, to start blogging, you can create a special profile – “Personal Blog”. It has the same functionality as a business page: you can promote publications and view advanced statistics.
Blogger Facebook profile.
In addition to regular posts, Facebook offers a “Notes” function for posting long texts. They can be formatted as articles, illustrations can be added to the header. In Facebook notes, you can write only H1 and H2 headers, and you cannot promote them directly, you will have to additionally create a post and attach a note to it.
An article posted as a Facebook post.
In contact with.
On VKontakte, you can create notes like on Facebook, but with great opportunities. For example, there is a separate snippet for a note. This is how a note on Vkontakte looks like:
Publication of a note in “Vkontakte”
In 2017, VK launched accessibility features for authors. The artificial intelligence system “Prometheus” selects authors who create original content and rewards them with the mark of fire. Bloggers who are tagged as “Prometheus” get more reach. In the VKontakte mobile application, publications with such a tag fall into the recommended ones and are shown to a larger audience.
For those who like to shoot and write, Instagram is suitable. On Instagram, you can also select the “Personal Blog” profile type:
Selecting a profile type in the advanced settings of Instagram.
Personal blog offers several advantages over a regular profile:
introduces you to readers as a blogger; action buttons like “Call” or “Book” appear; it is easier for potential advertisers to find you; helps to promote the page using paid publications; shows advanced statistics.
There is a nuance in Instagram that makes it not very convenient as a blogging platform. This is the placement of active links – you can put only one active link on the page, in the profile description. However, this problem can be easily solved with the help of multi-links – miniature landing pages that collect information that is relevant at the moment.
ELama agency multicast.
What bloggers can add to their multi-link:
links to your other sites (social networks, blog platforms); links to products that are currently promoting; contacts for advertisers; any links to information mentioned in the articles.
If you wish, you can create a multi-link free of charge in 5-10 minutes. We at SendPulse have developed a multi-link builder with a set of ready-made templates – go and create. The page can be made and published for free, it will be indexed by search engines, and the link to it can be placed anywhere.
Simple yet powerful landing page builder.
Create a mobile landing page, online store or multi-link for Instagram and promote it through chatbots in messengers, email and SMS – all on one platform!
Telegram has long outgrown the functionality of just a messenger. Here you can create your own channel, post notes and invite readers from other resources. In this, Telegram is similar to social networks.
In Telegram, you can publish text, pictures, video and audio clips. You can invite up to 200 people from the phone book to your channel. Next, you need to advance with the help of announcements in other Telegram channels, social networks, blogs, including through paid advertising.
The statistics of popular channels in Telegram from Telegram Analytics will help you choose a topic for yourself:
Statistics of popular channels in Telegram Analytics.
In social networks and Telegram, it is good to train to write regularly and study the reaction of the audience. Is it possible to write and have a response? Then you can go to your site.
Blog on your CMS.
Your own CMS site is a variant of the classic blog, where you completely manage content and advertising. To maintain such blogs, they use the platforms WordPress, Ghost, Egeya.
Pros Cons You can do everything for yourself – colors, logo. Set up a newsletter subscription form, an online calculator, and more. The cost of hosting, domain, payment to the programmer, if you can’t handle it yourself. By adhering to the recommendations of the search engines Google and Yandex for site optimization, you get good blog positions in the search results and search traffic. There is no ready audience – the blog needs to be promoted and promoted, otherwise no one will know about it. Freedom of expression – you can write as you like (even foul language). The ability to earn on contextual and banner advertising Adsense, YAN.
You need your own CMS if you plan to blog for a long time, want to make money on it through ad networks and are ready to spend time not only on articles, but also on site support.
Blog platforms – Medium, Yandex.Zen
Medium was originally created as a social journalism platform. Thanks to this positioning, the platform has gathered a professional community of journalists, editors, bloggers.
Yandex.Zen is a platform for text blogs that allows you to earn money by connecting ad impressions in articles.
Pros Cons Blogging platforms are used by many people – this is a ready-made audience that you can invite to your blog. Restrictions on the content of content (more stringent in Yandex Zen, fewer in Medium). You can start blogging in a couple of seconds: register, fill out a profile and publish an article. Limited monetization opportunities. There is content formatting that allows you to control the attention of the reader.
Blogging platforms are chosen if the blog is created not for earnings, but for other tasks: promoting a personal brand, self-expression.
Where to blog for free.
You don’t have to pay for hosting and domain for your blog. There are many platforms where you can start blogging for free, investing only your time.
Free blogging platforms:
– an international platform for creativity and self-realization. Popular with writers, journalists, bloggers. – microblogging service. Many authors publish anonymously. The peculiarity of the site in its tolerance for content of a sexual nature. It is officially allowed to post erotic and pornographic materials here. – Yandex publishing platform. Allows authors to publish content in different formats: articles, posts, narratives, videos. – a messenger where you can create your own channel and publish notes. There is no content ranking algorithm like in other social networks: a notification about a new post appears in the chat list. Is a blog service where you can create a blog hosted by WordPress. A blog can be created for free, but monetization through advertising is prohibited in this case. WordPress can show its ads on your blog. Is a blogging platform from the creators of Evernote. You can choose several topics for the blog, add links to accounts in social networks, embedded comments from the Disqus commenting system. Social networks – Facebook, Instagram, VKontakte.
The disadvantages of blogs on free hosting are that you depend on the platform – a blog can be blocked or deleted, you cannot radically change the design, install your own advertising banners.
How to make money on a blog.
Making money from a blog can cover hosting costs or become your main source of income. Below we will describe the popular ways to make money.
You can install a block for displaying ads from AdSense, Yandex Advertising Network or Relap and get paid for clicks on your ads.
Block of contextual advertising from Google on the blog.
YAN in the requirements writes that sites with a traffic of more than 500 unique visitors per day can participate in the display of advertising. There are no site traffic requirements in Google AdSence. But Yandex’s requirements make sense: blogs with high traffic receive real earnings. To estimate income, you can use a calculator:
Adsense earnings calculator.
Many companies on the Internet offer money for referred clients. Usually the scheme is as follows: you register in an affiliate program and receive a tagged link. Then you post the link on the blog. This can be an overview of a service or program, a selection of services, or just a link in an article:
Affiliate link in the travel blogger’s article.
The reward is paid for the customer who followed the link and made a purchase. Most often, you can withdraw money after reaching a certain amount.
If a company orders a review of a service or product, the earnings will be higher: firstly, you are paid for posting the review, and secondly, you place an affiliate link and receive income for the referred clients. Here’s an example of such a review on a blog:
Advertising review of the service on the blog.
Sell your services on a blog.
A completely different type of income is to use a blog as a platform for selling your services. So a blogger-photographer can sell photo shoots, a pastry chef – master classes, a copywriter – advice on writing texts.
Creating and blogging is a job. But the benefits of blogging are also tangible: new skills, communication with the audience, advertising revenue or sales of services.
If you want to increase the audience of your blog and monetize it in the future, immediately install the newsletter subscription form and start collecting email addresses.
Sign up with SendPulse to create a blog subscription form and communicate with readers via newsletters.