I’ve had this little space on the internet for 10 years and it has brought me so much joy to be able to share my passions with any one who happens to cross this page or that have been loyal readers for years. This here blog is one of my bread and butters when it comes to my revenue streams of income as a full time content creator. What started out as a passionate hobby now earns me a significant amount of money yearly and it’s been such a humbling experience. I really want to share with you all my 6 tips for starting a profitable blog in 2021 so make sure to bookmark this post and refer to it often.
YES THERE’S ROOM FOR NEW BLOGS
As much as everyone talks about influencer culture, blogging is actually something completely different. Although a lot of bloggers are influencers, not many influencers are bloggers. There are very few bloggers that actually update their websites on a regular basis. Even amongst my peers there are only a few. The influencer market may be saturated but the blogger market isn’t and is still a viable way to turn a passion into a profit without having a super large following. There is an audience out there for everyone, whether you’re fabulous after 50 or still working towards getting your degree in college. Someone is just waiting to hear your point of view and find common ground. So for goodness sakes stop asking if you should start a blog and just do it already. With more people online than ever it’s much easier to grow readership quickly than it was when I started 10 years ago.
YOU DON’T NEED A NICHE BUT IT MAKES THINGS EASIER
People who think about starting a blog worry so much about the specifics of things that they often get too anxious to ever start. You don’t need a niche to start a blog. Start with what you’re most interested in and as you grow you can add on. I started my blog focusing on thrift and fashion because that was what I was interested in and the most knowledgeable about at the time. I then introduced travel and lifestyle and eventually my own personal life essays. My blog is basically me in written form. It speaks to everything and every subject I’m interested in and I share my life in its pages. You don’t need a niche to start but it makes things easier when it comes to focusing on topics. The easiest thing to do is to write about what you know and what you’re passionate about. That way you’ll never run out of topics or ideas.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE
Actually starting a blog is fairly simple and often it doesn’t cost much money if any. I started this website completely free on Blogger.com. They have super easy templates to set up your website with no experience and it comes with a built-in audience of thousands of other bloggers. I had my blog on blogger.com for nearly 3 years before I switched to WordPress.org. The main reason I switched was because I wanted more personalization of what my website looked like and the ability to sell products (whether digital like my ebooks or physical products like my Steele Magazine). I also have another website with Squarespace.com which is super easy to use as well and depending on your plan can be as little as $12 a month. For new bloggers I’d recommend Squarespace.com because of it’s ease, affordable monthly plans, beautiful templates and the ability to buy your domain and host your blog all in the same place. WordPress doesn’t host websites and you have to pay an outside hosting site like Go Daddy to put your website on their servers.
POST AS CONSISTENTLY AS POSSIBLE
The more consistent you are with posting the more profitable your blog will be. Brands still ask for blog posts! Creating a blog post takes more time and effort and it lives on the internet forever versus a few days at the top of an instagram feed, so brands pay a premium for them. I get a lot more money for a blog post with quality photos than I do for an instagram post regardless of the fact that I have nearly 100K supporters. The quickest way to grow your readership is to post consistently and with informative searchable blog posts. If it’s close to Valentine’s Day, know that people are going to be looking for flattering dresses, personable gifts and perhaps even lingerie. Thus, it’d be a good time to do a blog post 1.5-2 weeks prior about those things since you now people will be searching for it. This will help with your ranking in google and get more eyes on your website. Create a posting schedule that you know you will honor and stick to it. If you can only post once a week every Monday do that until it becomes second nature and until your readers come to expect it. If being profitable is what you’re after I’d recommend posting on your blog at least twice a week. The more you post, the quicker your audience grows and the sooner you can start an email list that will be invaluable to your success as a profitable blogger. People who subscribe to your newsletter are really down for you and it would behoove you to start an email list the same day you start a blog. In fact go ahead and get a popup email subscription form on your blog today!
JOIN AN AFFILIATE NETWORK
There are several ways to monetize or to make money from a blog but don’t put all your energy into making money. In addition to getting brands to pay for sponsored blog posts, a quick and easy way for new bloggers to monetize their blogs is with affiliate links. An affiliate link is a link to a product and when it’s clicked on and a person purchases something you get a small commission from the brand. It’s similar to how commissions work for sales associates in stores. There are tons of affiliate networks you can join that will give you access to links you can use to monetize your blogs. Some of my favorites include: RewardStyle, ShopStyle, MagicLinks, Rakuten & Amazon Associates. Some of these websites require you to sign up and that you already have a blog in place that’s been running with consistent content for at least a month to consider you as an affiliate partner. So get those creative juices flowing and for one month put out some amazing blog posts and garner an audience. Check out my Ebook: 15 Ways to Make Money with RewardStyle for more tips.
PROMOTE YOUR BLOG POSTS
One of the hardest things for new and even seasoned bloggers to do is to promote their work. I’m not sure where this air of shame came into promoting your own work but it needs to stop. No one is going to ride harder for you than you. You are your own biggest fan when you’re starting out and no one is reading your posts or visiting your website. It’s your job to make people aware and if this aspect of being a blogger scares you then blogging isn’t a profitable avenue for you. Every blog post should be shared across all of your social media including but not limited to: Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. And NOT JUST ONE TIME EITHER! Promoting your work one time isn’t enough. If you’re only publishing a blog post once a week you should be promoting that one blog post at least 3 times a week on your other social media platforms. That can be promoting it on Instastories or reminding people with a Facebook update. A lot of people also forget about Pinterest. You can pin all of your photos from each blog post and when people search and click that photo they are directed back to your blog. Pinterest is a quick way to get people who’d never otherwise find you onto your website. This works particularly well with style blog posts (home, decor and fashion).
& Other Stories Sweater SOLD OUT get similar here | Old Derek Lam Pants | Giuseppe Gold Platforms | Mejuri Jewelry | Chanel Earrings SOLD OUT get similar here | Revlon Hot Chocolate Lipstick | Hair by @morkinks on Instagram
GET THE LOOK
If you’d like more advice on blogging check out the Blogging Category on this website for over 30 blog post on everything I know about blogging and making money from a side hustle or passion. You can also check out some of my most bought Ebooks & Pitch Templates on my ETSY Shop to pitch to brands and level up your social media.
So You Wanna Be A Blogger Ebook
What Should I be Charging? (Guide to Rates for Brand Campaigns) Ebook
15 Tips for Making Money with RewardStyle Ebook
Instastories Pro: 10 Apps to Take Your Instagram & Instastories to the Next Level
The Perfect Pitch Template: Pitch Letter to Brands, Hotels and to Cover Fashion Weeks
From Pitch to Paid in 10 Easy Steps Masterclass: How to pitch, negotiate rates, respond to brands, create engaging content, report metrics, invoice brands and more! VIDEO CLASS TAKEN AT YOUR LEISURE.
How to Clone Yourself in Photos with 1 Free App (No Photoshop Needed)
Happy Blogging and if you have any additional questions please leave them below and I’ll be sure to respond! Don’t forget to drop a link to your blog in the comments as well. I’d love to check them out.
Shop My Closet & All My Outfits
I really hope blogs have a resurgence this year. It’s sad how many have abandoned their blogs and just post on Instagram. I enjoy instagram too but I love the more well-rounded approach of blogging and continue to enjoy them immensely! Hopefully this post will encourage others to give it a go!!
xoxo – Kelly
I love how real you are about this! Especially about the niche thing! I like to blog about fashion, beauty, lifestyle stuff, travel, a food review, whatever the heck I want to and am passionate about! Most people will make you feel like your blog won’t work if you don’t just choose one and that’s not true! I’ve had success on blogger but I wasn’t consistent at all and it was just a here and there but you really inspired me to just take the leap. LOL I finally ended up getting hosting in October and bought my theme a few days ago and have been spending hours getting it together! Thank you for being you & inspiring others!
Thanks Monroe!!!! This is really helpful.
These are awesome tips; between this post and the guides in your Etsy store, you’re really taking care of aspiring bloggers.
Many great nuggets to start a blog or in my case grow my blog. I am super passionate about my blog and thanks to your ultimate guide to blogging template I started with WordPress. Unfortunately, due to full time work, I lost my Amazon affiliate temporarily because of low engagement & following. I struggle with content. For example, as a travel blogger, I am hesitant to write about Valentine outfits, or promote non travel productsfor free to start.for fear it’s out of my niche and IG algorithms get all out of wack like they always do. 2020 was a tough year for new content. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you
PS you are the best in the business. Smart, innovative, fun, and Yes, I make my bed daily .
I recently started following you. I was looking through YouTube and saw your smile. Inquiring mind that I have, I started watching and had to go back and watch previous ones. Thank you for reigniting the passion for fashion that I had allowed to go dormant. You are amazing!!!
Thank you for sharing your blogging tips again! I found this very helpful. I have a blog but only got back to posting on it last November. I always hear that blogs are not that valuable anymore but I have seen blogs that continue to grow and are still very much valuable. I’m hoping that as I continue to write, I’ll be able to post more often.
You mentioned that you have both Squarespace and WordPress.org. Which one do you prefer?
Thank you so much. This is so helpful
…love your YouTube channel and blog!
Thanks Monroe for sharing great tips! A household brand reached out to me after 4 months of blogging and although it was for free product I love the brand so it worked out. We have worked again after the first experience so you never know who’s watching you. My affiliate links paid to run my blog last year and I only joined last year. So I promote those links and post. You are winning much success in 2021. outfit and pictures are beautiful.
You content across all platforms is amazing!! I cannot wait for the next printed issue of Steele Mag. I hate I’m a new follower so wasn’t able to get a copy. keep up the good work!
This post, like your many others, is super helpful and clear. Thank you, Monroe Steele!
Thank you for all the information, really inspiring and helpful.
I SO want to start a blog but I absolutely hate social media other than PinInterest. Is it possible for me to make a career out of this without Instagram, Facebook or YouTube?
Thanks so much; so detailed and informative, exactly the information I was looking for!