How to Create a Blog That Makes Money

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Your Gameplan

So you want to build a blog that makes money, great! But where do you get started? When I am facing such a crisis of the mind, I remember the immortal words of Julie Andrews in the seminal classic, The Sound of Music, start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). A blog that makes money is a delicate balance, and it all starts from day one.

But seriously, start at the beginning. That means, have a real idea in your mind of what this blog of yours is going to be, how it is going to define itself in the marketplace, and what the monetizing potential is, even if it is six months down the road.

I could write 75 blogs on this topic alone, but I'll just say this:

  • Find and define your niche, ideally something you are passionate about because you're going to have to flood the zone with content here, and who wants to spend all their days creating content for something they don't care about.
  • If you want to make a blog that makes money you need to understand where any potential revenue will come from. Amazon affiliate links? Shopify store? Information product? What's the long game? (And for that matter what's the short game?)
  • Based on that information pick the platform that works for you. If you want to rank in Google, go with a WordPress blogWordPress blog​​​. If beauty is all you're after, you can try Wix (I'm bullish on Wix even though it's garbage for SEO!), if you just want a funnel, go get a Clickfunnels account, if you sell a physical product, go grab Shopify.
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Think Distribution

Once you've done all this initial work, the next step in creating a blog that makes money is having a content plan.

Where is this content likely to live? How does it need to be presented there? Videos? Text? Other stuff? What's the deal?

You want to make sure to bring a lot of art to everything you write but you have to get down to brass tax when you are picking what articles to write. If the goal of this blog is to surface in Google and Pinterest, you are going to want to do a lot of Keyword research ahead of time to help you come up with the right story ideas.

If you've done a decent amount of research ahead of time and done your avatar work you should be in a pretty good position to understand how to meet your audience where they are.

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The Right Ideas

You probably think this section is going to be all about how to be extremely picky and choosy of what ideas you choose to tackle, it is not!

People spend way too much time caught up in what they should be writing that they never actually start! The internet is a volume game, you need to start flooding the zone asap. If you want to create a blog that makes money you need to create a lot of content, build a firehose!

So the first thing you need to do to achieve this is come up with a bunch of story ideas. One exercise I love to do is something I call the 'art of the peel.' Basically I will find another article in my niche and then, on a separate sheet, start having an open-minded brainstorm about everything I am reading, thinking in headlines. I will feverishly write down headline ideas without filtering what I think may or may not be good (I can worry about that later!)

Use a tool like Trello to document all the story ideas you are going to tackle and then systematically go through each of them and get writing!

Get Writing

Don't overthink this whole writing piece of it. Remember, we are trying to flood the zone here. For SEO purposes shoot for at least 300 words, and make sure to put images at every thumb scroll, this optimizes the experience for mobile. And break up your paragraphs! No long blocks allowed.

Set goals for yourself at this stage, the biggest problem people run into is that they just don't start or create enough content. Play the volume game, get content out there into the world. 

Write conversationally, with your keywords in mind, and with your product in mind. Notice I haven't talked much about pushing your product through your blogs at this point because that is not what I want you to do! 

Focus on writing valuable content within your niche and continue to find ways to organically place links to your products within the text. This makes your audience not feel like they are getting sold to all the time. And don't forget to include some sort of lead magnet in your post at the bottom so you can collect emails!

value, diagram, blog, money

Value target

Focus on Value

I can't stress this enough, the content needs to be a valuable click for the person who gets to it. If you want to make money through your blog, your blog needs to be good. 

Again, this is not something to stress about or stop progress! It just means buckling down and not doing anything halfway. And valuable does not necessarily mean long!

I would argue a post with 10 words can be just as valuable as one with 10,000 (though I would not recommend it for SEO purposes, see if you can squeeze out at least 300).

Make Bank

If you are doing all these things and distributing your posts consistently and correctly, you will make money with your blog in an amazingly organic way. Particularly through search and Pinterest, people will find you rather than you going out to beg them to read your stuff.

As you consistently create content that is creating value around the products you are selling, and linking to those products as well as nurturing people, you will succeed in creating a blog that makes money.

Go forth and flood the zone!

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Matt Johnston

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