Blogging might be a fun hobby for some, but it’s a source of income for others. In the past, it has been a way to express your thoughts and ideas to the world.
Now, it’s a fantastic way to earn passive income.
Bloggers can choose a variety of topics to talk about, but to make it profitable, you need to hunt the right niche/topic.
In this in-depth guide, I’ll tell you how you can start as an amateur blogger and compete with the best talent all around the world.
- What’s amateur blogging?
- How you can get started with amateur blogging?
- How to transition from an amateur blogger to a pro blogger
- How to scale a professional blog and build a passive online income
- And, even more
Before Diving in.
Why Should You Trust Me?
This is an in-depth, all-in-one guide on how to transition yourself from an amateur blogger to a successful one!
I’ve written this detailed amateur blogging guide after consulting multiple popular blogging strategies, including my own.
I’ve used these methods to grow my own blogs as well.
So, if you feel it’s too long at any point while reading it, don’t give in to the temptation to leave.
Instead, make this page a bookmark and continue reading later.
Remember: A smart person learns from his/her mistakes, but a wise person learns from the mistakes of others.
The Evolution of Amateur Blogging
The Internet opened up a new opportunity for amateurs to create blogs that are publicly accessible.
Initially, blogging was all about sharing your thoughts on the web.
Today, it’s one of the most lucrative business models of all time and is getting more popular by the day.
You can pick a topic and talk about it; there will always be someone who’ll listen to you.
But, don’t pick any topic, pick the one that can put money in your pocket.
I’ll tell you how to do keyword research the right way in a bit.
Let’s see what’s an amateur blog first.
What is Amateur Blogging?
For instance, do you like being outdoors? You could start a travel blog and review relevant products along the way.
Or, maybe you spend a lot of time in the kitchen coming up with delicious recipes? You could start a profitable blog around the kitchen niche.
And, don’t listen to the blogging naysayers; they’ll tell you your niche is too saturated and would be working on it in the background.
That said, you do want to do proper research before deciding whether your niche is worth working on.
For instance, the kitchen niche might seem saturated because there are just so many blogs on it.
What you can do is, perform keyword research and see if there are enough low-competition keywords to target.
More often than not, you’ll find a laundry list of keywords even in a supposedly saturated niche.
How to be a Successful Blogger
If you want to be successful in amateur blogging, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
- One is to make sure you have a passion for blogging
- Another is to make sure that what you write about is something that you are knowledgeable about and enjoy talking about.
But, since you can outsource the whole blogging process (without spending a lot), you don’t have to be an expert on the topic either.
In order to make your blog a money-minting machine, you need to be consistent and persistent.
Don’t expect success overnight because it takes time and effort.
Let’s talk about how to transition yourself from an amateur blogger to a pro blogger.
Find Your Niche
Finding the right blogging niche is arguably the most critical step, which is why many new bloggers are stuck at this important initial step.
You don’t want that.
The first step in finding the right blogging niche is considering what you are passionate about.
Or, maybe what you’d like to talk about, or learn.
Anything that gets you excited and has enough monetary potential will do.
But, that’s not the only thing you need to consider.
You need to make sure that the niche you’re going to work on has enough demand in the market.
Here are a few top resources for finding the right blogging niche.
Flippa is probably the most popular online marketplace.
People sell and buy all kinds of online businesses on Flippa, including blogs and websites.
Here’s how you should use Flippa to find your blogging niche:
Observe the type of blogs and websites that are popular on the platform.
First, search for the niche you’re interested in.
See, what’s already selling.
Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world, which makes its affiliate program, Amazon Associates a great attraction for entrepreneurs.
Now, if you’re building a blog around affiliate marketing, Amazon is the ideal place to get niche ideas.
What you can do is explore its categories and make a short list of the ones you’d like to talk about.
Next, do some keyword research and see if it has enough keywords you can rank for.
Plus, also check if the niche has enough products you can sell.
After all, an affiliate blog can only be profitable if you can sell enough products with it.
Now, you know where to look for blogging niche ideas.
The next step is to find the right kind of keywords and start generating traffic.
Keep in mind that niche selection and keyword research go hand-in-hand.
If at any point you think your niche doesn’t have enough profitable or low-competition keywords, consider changing that niche.
Spend Time on Keyword Research
One of the most important skills you need to learn in order to transition from an amateur blogger to a pro one is keyword research.
Keywords are phrases or questions your target audience or reader is searching for on Google.
It’s important to find the right keywords before producing content. You don’t want to invest your resources in producing something that’s not even in demand.
But, finding profitable, low-competition keywords can be tricky and sometimes, an overwhelming task.
Let’s make it ridiculously easier for you.
Use Google Autocomplete
Here is how to leverage Google autocomplete to find niche-relevant keywords.
Just start typing anything related to your niche, or maybe your primary keyword.
For instance, if you love gardening, start typing “Gardening” and Google will suggest related terms.
Now, that’s just an example; you can play around and start noting down (or taking screenshots) of these suggestions.
Another thing you can do is, enter a full phrase and check the “People also ask” box.
Or, for instance, you want to learn affiliate marketing and have just started a blog to talk about it.
By the way, that’s what I did when I first started learning digital marketing. I created a blog, learned different topics, and started writing them.
You can do that, too; it’s one of the most effective forms of learning.
Anyway, whatever topic or niche you choose to talk about, you want to find the right key phrases first.
For an affiliate marketing blog, here is what Google would show you for a related term:
How to start an affiliate marketing business
You can note down all of these phrases and move to the next step.
The next step, you ask?
Yes, you don’t want to start working on these phrases just yet.
See, you need to gauge their competition first.
If a phrase, let’s take the example of the phrase “how to start an affiliate marketing business”.
Amateur blogging – Competitor analysis
As you can see, the first two Google results are Ahrefs and Shopify. As an amateur blogger, you don’t want to compete with these guys.
See, they’ve been in the business for quite a while and have build a reputation.
What you want to do is, find competitors you stand a chance of competing with.
To do that, you can use free and paid keyword research tools.
This could be Ahrefs if you can afford it, but Ubersuggest can do an effective job for free.
Enter your target phrase into the tool and you’ll get a list of related terms with actionable insights about them.
The most important metric, after the volume of a keyword, is it’s SEO difficulty or “SD”.
If a keyword has an SD in green, it’s almost ready to be worked on.
I say “almost” because there is still something you need to do to qualify a keyword.
It’s when you manually gauge the competition of a keyword on the first page.
Now, take any keyword from Ubersuggest that you think you should be working on. How about the “18” difficulty one?
How to start doing affiliate marketing.
But, first, install Mozbar, an extension from Moz, a popular digital marketing company.
It’ll show you the domain authority of every domain on the first page of Google.
DA is a metric that gives you a rough idea about how authoritative a domain is in the eyes of Google.
It’s a number out of 100 that tells you how easy it is to rank a website on search engine result pages.
So, let’s say if a website has a DA of 50, it’d have a higher chance of ranking for a keyword than a website that has a DA of 30.
This is why bloggers typically work to increase their site’s DA in order to rank higher for target keywords.
The point is: In amateur blogging, you’d have to find and work on low-competition keywords. Keywords that are only targeted by low-DA websites.
Only then, you’ll be able to crack the code and start generating traffic to your blog posts.
Choose Your Domain
Next, you want to pick your domain. It costs around $10 for a whole year on Namecheap, which shouldn’t be a big deal.
Ideally, you want to pick a partial match domain.
A PMD has your target keyword/niche in it plus a generic word, for instance, gamingabc.com
Also, stick to “.com” as it’s more credible.
Get Your Blog Live!
This is where you put your blog on the internet.
All you need to do is pick the right hosting service provider.
Hosting service keeps your website’s files on their servers for a fairly-low yearly fee.
Keep it on the cheaper side and go for a shared hosting space initially.
If you need a suggestion, I’m using Namecheap for quite a while and couldn’t be happier.
Get your hosting here.
Create High-Quality SEO Content
The next important step is to create the type of content Google and its users love.
But, SEO-friendly content has a lot of qualities, including some that don’t get talked about a lot.
If you want Google to rank your posts for the long term, you need to work on creating a great piece of content.
Or, maybe outsource it to someone who can effectively manage every little detail.
Let me give tell you the on-page SEO factors you should know while writing a blog post or even a service page.
Simple and direct language
That’s right. You’re not trying to impress your college professor here.
An average content consumer won’t like to read complicated vocabulary and complex sentences.
As a marketer, your writing must be simple and easy to understand.
Flex your muscle too much and you’ll end up losing most of your leads.
Write clear, simple, and easy-to-understand sentences.
Produce short, crisp paragraphs that cover only one concept or topic.
Just avoid cramping up too many sentences together.
Use visuals, preferably images within your posts. They tend to create your content more appealing, keeping visitors on your page longer.
Use Images ALT Texts
You can set the ALT text of any image by right-clicking on it and selecting the ALT text option, depending on the word processor you’re using.
If you’re using Microsoft Word to write your articles, the above steps will do the trick.
On WordPress, you have to find the ALT text section on the right panel under the settings tab.
Don’t Keyword-Stuff Your Content
Amateur blogging or not, you never want to use your target keywords too many times in your content.
SEO pros recommend using your target keyword no more than 2% in a piece of content.
Or, if you prefer, you can insert your keyword every 200 words.
Don’t get me wrong; keyword insertion is crucial, but you just don’t want to overdo it.
Make sure your content sounds natural. That’s it.
Use Copywriting Techniques
Your blog posts need to catch people’s attention, get them to read your message, and eventually make them act!
The intro of your blog post is the first thing a reader reads, so you want to make it a slippery slope.
It should get them to read on.
So, use AIDA or PAS copywriting principles in your blog post intros.
- AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)
- PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solve)
Promote Your Blog Post
If you work on the right niche and create great content, you’ll hopefully get ranked on the first page of Google.
But, it could take time. So, meanwhile, what you can do is try to get traffic from other sources.
Diversify your traffic sources.
Create social media accounts and post on them every new blog post you publish.
This will also help you build credibility in your niche and rank faster.
Build Backlinks (But, don’t worry too much about them)
Backlinks from relevant, authority sites can help your blog’s authority and eventually rankings.
But in the first few months in your amateur blogging journey, you need to focus on publishing great content.
Once you start generating some traffic, reach out to other blog owners in your industry and let them know you want to contribute to their blog.
Write guest posts and insert links back to your blog’s homepage. Simple.
Amateur Blogging: Conclusion
Thanks for reading. Here’s a quick recap of what we talked about in this amateur blogging guide:
- Find a low-competition niche
- Select a domain and hosting service
- Get your WordPress blog live
- Produce great content
- Promote on social media
- Get backlinks
Importantly, be consistent and patient. Unlike many other business models, blogging takes time to start generating results.
You don’t want to quit too soon.
You want to be there when your blog generates its first dollar.
Have any question? Drop them below. See you soon.