Last year, I shared 100 ideas to make money online within a budget of Rs 5,000. The ideas have been read by at least 1 million people because the post went viral on social media, but no one knows how many people were able to make money even when the ideas were backed by SEO keyword research (yes, I am sort of an expert at identifying opportunities in Google SEO). My blog started generating monthly traffic of more than 1 lakh within the second year of starting it.
Blogging is powerful because you don’t need any product to sell. Your raw material is your writing, and the finished product is your articles and stories. But you have to do marketing similar to any product company. The cost of failure is also very low, because all you lose is annual hosting and domain registration charges.
Maybe the low investment (that should be an advantage) in blogging is the biggest reason why new bloggers fail, because they don’t take blogging as a serious business. I have tasted success in blogging by considering it a complete business. I will share my blogging income statistics later in the post, but let’s look at the tips to get success in blogging in 2019.
#1. Start at the intersection of opportunity and interest area
Starting a blog in a profitable niche is not sufficient. You have to stay active in the journey to see profits. You can stay active only if you have an interest in the niche.
I did not start a blog in the tech and gadget niche even though I knew the gadget niche is very profitable. I started my blog in personal finance where the opportunity was average, but I had a deep interest.
#2. Go Super Niche
Don’t go wide too early in your blogging business. Become remarkable at one topic rather than becoming an average at all topics in your niche.
For example, I started in personal finance, but focussed only on money-saving hacks on shopping, travel and long vacations. I set my goal to become financially independent and retire early by the age of 40, and helped my readers to achieve the same.
The biggest benefit of picking a micro niche is that you have to do less work, but you get big results faster.
#3. Pick Quality over Quantity
I published only 18 articles in the first year of starting my blog, yet generated quality traffic.
You become an expert at your subject when you choose quality over quantity. Do a lot of research and set a higher standard for yourself. Rather than publishing 10 average articles, I prefer to publish just one high quality article.
It does not matter if the article is 1,000-words long, or 5,000 words. Sometimes, I spend as much as 30 days to complete a single article. I keep on revising the content until I feel satisfied with the quality.
#4. Learn Basics of SEO
You don’t have to become an expert at SEO unless you want to become a professional digital marketer. Basic SEO skills are sufficient if you are good at writing quality content.
You can start with simple ways to find profitable keywords, and then optimise your content as per your keyword strategy. You would be surprised to see how small keyword-based tweaks in your content will increase the traffic on your website. Take expert advice when your blog starts generating revenues.
#5. Be Active on Social Media
Supplement your SEO strategy with social media. You don’t have to spend any money on the paid advertisements. If you want to grow your blog organically, become part of communities on social media.
Don’t leave any stone unturned. Start with Facebook, Quora, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube to understand how social media works. Be active on social media and answer questions on Quora.
#6. Set Goals for 3, 6, and 12 Months
Everyone has their own pace of learning and growth. I use the strategy of 3-6-12 months for my new projects.
Three-month goal - Validating the idea, setting up the basic infrastructure (MVP) and understanding the needs of readers.
Six-month goal - Achieving tiny wins in terms of website traffic and money. Little things matter in the initial days, and give a boost to plan big things.
Twelve-month goal - If you can earn $10 in the first six months, you can earn $1,000 in the next six months. It’s about maximising what is working for you. Repeat what worked for you in the first six months, and ignore the things that did not work.
#7. Add Value to Readers
Whether you want to run a startup or a blog, you have to add value to the lives of your customers and readers.
Work hard so you can make the life of your readers easy. That’s how you would learn to write good quality posts. If your content is not solving your readers’ problems, delete those lines. Monitor your social media and blog comments to find out what your readers are saying about your content.
#8. Be Genuine and Authentic
You can’t fake it for a long time. I have seen some people making money quickly by giving false promises or selling the wrong products. But they lost their readers and customers forever.
If you are starting a blog for a long-term vision, give genuine advice to your readers. Be transparent in your dealings. Always try to help, and never try to misguide your reader. That might be an end to your blogging career.
#9. Be Yourself
You don’t have to copy famous bloggers or celebrities in your niche. Every person has a unique style and voice - find that for yourself. Your readers must feel your passion in your content.
Write like you are talking to a friend. If you are aggressive, write in that tone; if you are calm and slow, your writing must reflect that. It’s easy to be yourself than copy a successful person. Trust me, you will find success by not copying someone.
#10. Become A Giver before Taking
Whenever I meet a new person, I think about how I can help them with my services. I helped a lot of startup founders in growing their website traffic. Most of them could not pay me at that time as they were not VC-funded, but they referred paying customers, or bought my services when they got funded.
The money will find its way to your pocket if you keep focussing on helping people without expectations.
Potential Results of Blogging
I started my first blog in May 2015 because I wanted to learn the art and science of content marketing. I did not make any money in the first year because my goal was to learn. I figured out a couple of ways to make money through blogging in the second year. I was able to generate Rs 60,000 per month, even when my website traffic was 30,000 per month.
By the end of the second year of my blogging, I started making Rs 2 lakh per month. Revenues from my blogging business grew to Rs 5 lakh by end of the third year. I published a detailed income report from my blogging business to help readers who want to become financially independent.
There is unlimited potential in blogging, and India is fast growing in blogging niches. You can start in Hindi or any regional language if you are not comfortable with English. Language is just a medium of communication. You can become a successful blogger if you can help your readers, and follow the tips mentioned in this post.