Blogging for money in 2020 isn’t as straightforward as it was years ago. Nowadays, most profitable niches are incredibly competitive. To start a blog in 2020, you need a lot of hard work and patience, but that’s true for pretty much any business.
In a nutshell, blogging won’t make you money overnight. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for a new blog to gain an audience and monetize. That goes even for competitive niches, as long as you know what you’re doing.
For this article, we’re going to break down the challenges you’ll face starting a blog in 2020. We’ll talk about why it can be an uphill battle and how to tackle the process to maximize your chances of success. Let’s get to it!
What It’s Like to Start Blog in 2020
The technical process of starting a blog has never been easier. With Content Management Systems (CMSs) such as WordPress, you can have a fully-functional blog up and running in a matter of hours. That includes customizing the design so you can get to blogging right away:
Hosting has never been cheaper either. There’s a race to the bottom when it comes to shared hosting prices. In practice, that means you can get away with paying less than $5 per month for a good shared hosting plan (if you choose a good provider):
Here’s the downside, though – every day, about 500 new WordPress sites see the light. Plenty of those are blogs and that’s just with WordPress. In most niches, the competition is fierce.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog in 2020, you need to make sure you’re in it for the long haul. Some popular niches that are incredibly hard to rank in include:
- Sports and health
Those are just five niches and the trend repeats itself across the web. If you want to start a blog about a popular topic, you need to go in with a plan.
3 Tips to Start a Blog in 2020
There’s always a period of trial and error when you start a new blog. You need time to get into the rhythm of publishing, learn what topics people care most about, and more. For most people, that process can take months.
What you want to do is cut that process by as much as possible by preparing before you write your first blog posts. Here are 3 tips to help you get started.
1. Learn the Basics of SEO
The most important thing you can do to get your blog noticed faster is learn how SEO works. That means the following:
- Knowing how to research keywords
- Understanding which keywords you should target
- Knowing how to format and structure your content
- Adding metadata to your posts
One mistake a lot of bloggers do at first is they target the most competitive search terms they can find. If you look for ‘best running shoes’ in Google, for example, you’ll see the first pages are dominated by massive lists:
Most of those sites have been at it for years, so Google isn’t going to rank a new blog higher, no matter how great a writer you are. A better strategy, at first, is to focus on low-competition keywords that you can easily rank for. As you publish more and more content, you can start to set your aim higher.
2. Go In With a Monetization Plan
Before you write your first blog post, you need to have a game plan when it comes to monetization. Let’s recap what the main sources of income are for bloggers:
If you want to blog about coffee, for example, it would be viable to use affiliate marketing to recommend different blends and brewing products. By and large, those are low-ticket items, so that approach might not bring in much money.
If you have a sizable audience, sponsored blog posts and selling your own products can be viable sources of income. That means you need to focus on building credibility with your readers, or monetization is dead in the water.
Keep in mind – no sponsor or affiliate site will want to touch a new blog. It will take a while for you to get to the point where any monetization is viable. However, if you go in with a game plan, you will have a better idea of what content you should focus on at first.
3. Minimize Your Expenses as Much as Possible
As I explained before, you don’t need to spend a big amount of money to get a blog started. Right off the bat, you don’t want to overspend on hosting or buying fancy WordPress themes and plugins.
Since it’s going to take a while before your blog starts making any money, you want to minimize costs as much as possible until you get to that point. In practice that means:
- Using basic shared hosting or a cheap Virtual Private Server (VPS)
- Not spending any money on marketing services
- Doing most of the content creation yourself instead of outsourcing it
- If you’re using WordPress, don’t buy premium themes or plugins unless you’re sure you need them
Content outsourcing is where most new blogs go wrong. If you have a decent budget, it can be tempting to stretch it as much as possible by hiring cheap writers to pump out a lot of posts.
That’s the equivalent of throwing money down the drain.
Investing too much money into content for your first blog almost never pays off. Once you have more experience and you know exactly what type of content you need, the investment becomes much less risky.
The good news is, you don’t need to spend that much time working on a new blog. One article per week is a great starting place, as long as it’s well-researched and you use keywords with good potential. The more content you put out, the faster you can get to bringing in a revenue, but you can take things at any pace you want.
If you want to make money blogging, you need to think of it in terms of starting a small business. You probably won’t make any money for a while and finding a dedicated audience takes time. Unlike other business ventures, though, you can launch a blog with minimal investment.
Before you start publishing content, you need to make sure there’s an audience for it. If its niche has potential, the success of your blog comes down to a good content strategy and following best SEO practices. Once the money starts coming in, you can think about refining that strategy even further.
What’s keeping you from starting a blog in 2020? Share your concerns with us in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.