Have you been thinking about starting a blog? Or maybe you have already started one and want a little assistance on how to make it more effective. Well, look no more, I’ve made a one stop shop of all of the essentials that you will need to have covered when starting your blog site.
This articles goes over the 5 main components that your blog needs to have in order to be set up to start providing passive income. I won’t talk to much about specific design choices or customization, but I want to give your a diving board that can launch you into your writing career.
Are you ready?
Let’s get started.
Here are the 5 essentials that I think every blogger should take into account before every writing any content. These topics that I cover below will allow more readers to navigate to your site and stick once they get there. I have found numerous times in my writing career that first impressions always matter and that impression could be the difference between a loyal subscriber and a one-time stop.
1. Essential Blog Pages
For your blog to truly be ready for monetization, it must have a professional and well-structured feel to it. This is why pages are so important. You don’t want your readers to see some of your content and then have it be difficult to find out how to get to the next page.
This is a red flag and will cause a reader to exit in a heartbeat.
If you look at any of the top news sites on the internet, they all have tabs for easy navigation that encourages you to stay on their sites and read more content.
Page #1: A WELL-Formatted Home Page
Whether or not you use a static page or your latest posts, your home page should be visually appealing and it is likely what will make or break your first impression. I would recommend you make your home page stand out by allowing the reader to know exactly what they’re looking at.
I wouldn’t recommend any hard to read fonts, difficult or abstract images, and absolutely NO ADS.
You want your home page to be like your own little happy place that you invite your subscribers to stay for a while. For this to be attractive to them, you don’t want to have some third party website yelling at them every few scrolls to navigate away from your site.
My personal strategy is to only put ads on my actual posts, all of the other pages don’t have ads because I am trying to convince the person that my content is actually worth sticking around for.
Page #2: The About Page
I believe that an about page is essential even if no one ever looks at it.
Just think about it. How many times have you clicked on a website and actually looked at the about page.
Maybe you have, but most people don’t.
However, having a good about page is essential because it allows you to express a little bit of your personality. This way if someone has the intuition to read your about page, then they will most likely become a subscriber once they read about the journey that you are taking from where you have been to where you are today.
For the about page, I would recommend you put a picture of yourself up to allow people to connect with the person behind the keyboard.
Page #3: Your Posts Page
With the last two pages including this one, you should be ready to begin monetizing your blog, but it is also important to know exactly how to format your posts page as well.
Personally, I like to keep my posts page simple and by simple, I mean NO ads.
I can not stress this enough that no matter what way you try to spin it, ads take away from the viewer experience. The only place that I recommend including ads on your site is in the actual blog posts.
When someone is looking through your content for the next article and they see an ad between every listing, this gives them even more opportunity to click away from your site and never come back.
With those three pages you have a good foundation to start beginning making passive income. What you want to do now is begin to customize your site so that it fits both your personality and the overall feel of your niche.
For example, if your theme is vertical gardening then you don’t want to include a theme that incorporates a bunch of men in business suits.
This is a good segway in my next topic of theme:
This is the part where you can really start getting creative with the overall look and feel of your blog.
What I would recommend is to actually do some digging into the number of themes that you see and not pick the first one that looks good to you.
This is because the more you dig, the less likely another blogger will have that exact same theme.
However, if you really fall in love with a fairly common theme (like I did) then use the layout as a template and customize the images in them to personally accomodate your site.
This allows you to differentiate yourself from everyone else and make a lasting impression.
In order to set up a theme with WordPress, simply click on the dashboard and go down to customization. On this menu, at the top, you will see the option to customize your theme. There are thousands upon thousands of “premium” themes, however, with the right touch, the free themes can be just as effective.
Just give it a try and see what works for you.
Now that you have your pages set up and your theme chosen, it is time to get serious about the type of content that you will be writing.
Maybe you want to be a lifestyle blogger where you document that adventures of your daily life or a educational blogger who strives to provide content that will help people as the Centennial Investor strives to do.
Whatever the case may be, find something that you enjoy and are somewhat knowledgeable about as it will help you transition better into our next topic.
Having a niche is important because it is a differentiator between you and the other bloggers out there.
This is important because people don’t want to hear content from someone who knows little of what they’re talking about.
My recommendations on niche is try to be as specific as possible with what your enjoy writing about. This will allow people to understand your perspective on a topic and allow them to come to you if they have any specific questions about a topic.
For example, the Centennial Investor is a blog about a millennial’s perspective on the journey to financial freedom. This is different from other financial freedom blog’s simply because of my perspective.
The steps that I would take to choosing a niche will look something like this:
- Figure out what you like writing about. This way you aren’t trying to produce content just to get a paycheck every month and you will be less likely to lose motivation in your writing. I have found that the articles that align directly with my interests simply seem to have words that fly off the keyboard and before I know it, I have type 2000 words.
- Find out how your perspective on the niche you have chosen is unique. This can be difficult, so don’t try to be overly specific at first. Many times, people don’t find out how they are different until after writing a few posts, so just get started and let your interests follow you.
- Write. This one is simple, but if you follow the inspirations that you get then before you know it you will have a few hundred articles that express your personality and interests greatly.
All of this leads me to my last two points in how to build a blog for passive income.
Having Ads and Choosing the Right Ads Provider
Because you have clicked on this article to learn how to build a blog as a source of passive income, I have to assume that you are comfortable with making the upfront investment to have ads on your site.
Many people assume that just because they pay to have ads, then they will start to rake in the big bucks.
This is entirely not true.
Having ads on your site is important, but having the RIGHT ads and in the RIGHT placement is more important.
I like to preach that your ads are simply and always a distraction to the reader. This is because the reason that they clicked on your content is to read what YOU have to say.
Personally, I don’t even believe that ads are the most effective way to earn money blogging but that is a topic for another article.
But, when you are choosing ads, make sure that you choose a provider that will put ads on your site that are personalized to the reader. This gives you the best chance possible that the reader will see something that they are genuinely interested in and click on it to make a purchase, giving you the commission.
I think the Google AdSense does this job the absolute best. For one, they have high quality ads, and for two, they allow you to customize almost exactly where they are placed on your website.
and the last, and arguably important, tool that you need to start a blog as a source of passive income is:
An Email List
As the saying goes, “the money is in the list.”
This means that you will likely have a much higher conversion rate for your products, services, and blog traffic from readers that are in your email list from any one who randomly comes across your website on the internet.
and, it is important to put focus on building this list right away. Don’t wait until you have content up, don’t wait until you find a niche, do it right away.
This is because once you have the funnel to build an email list, you really don’t have to do a lot of work to maintain it. You simply have to continue producing high quality content and if they person doesn’t like what you’re talking about, then they will unsubscrbe themselves.
You can use free platforms like mailchimp in order to get started, and as you get more experienced, you can make the decision to upgrade to more premium services.
With these 5 topics, you should have a solid foundation on starting your journey of receiving passive income by blogging.
It is important to understand that the income won’t come fast or in big numbers. It takes a while to build the trust of readers and the google search algorithms before your content starts to get a lot of traction.
However, if you stay consistent and truly passionate about the content that you are posting and you think that it will benefit others for them to read your content, then with time you will do just fine.
If you enjoyed this article, check out some of my other articles about investing and entrepreneurship on The Centennial Investor, and join our free Facebook group where I share my best investing practices with a team dedicated to learning more about being financially free.
Also, if you want to watch me talk about these topics on YouTube, click the link below!