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How to Start a Blog For Free (That Actually Makes You Money)

Table of Contents

In this article, I’m going to teach you how to start and run a blog for FREE that people actually read, and that you can make a full-time income running.

This is the exact process I use at my agency to drive huge amounts of visitors to client’s websites. If you follow the process, you’ll have your own successful blog without paying ANYTHING, and regardless of topic, industry, or niche, and even without any previous writing experience.

Arlin made $954 in one month from affiliate links, ads, and a course helping to teach people how to deal with social anxiety and work through their fears.

The Endless Meal made $2,903 in one month from ads, and sponsored posts, making healthy recipes for busy people.

TrueValhalla made $8095 blogging about game development, and using the traffic to promote their own games in the process.

All of these people did this writing from home, without expensive tools or a massive budget. 

Jennifer made over $15,000 from ads, affiliate links, and selling her own products while running a DIY Crafts blog.

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Jacob & Esther at Local Adventurer made $23,001 in one month from ads, sponsorship, and affiliate links, while getting flown out and writing about destinations they’ve traveled to.

These, and a ton of other sites get a great number of visitors, and make a solid living with fairly plain and ordinary blog websites. When you use the right formula for writing blog posts you can massively increase your chance that it shows up on Google, driving way more eyes to your blog

To make sure everyone is set up to succeed, I’ll be reviewing every blog that’s posted in the comments, giving you feedback on your writing, so make sure to go through the steps.  

Right now, like the video and subscribe, then comment below with some business building topics you want us to cover in future videos. Let’s jump right into it.

Step 1. What is the Theme of your Blog As a Whole?

Now you probably fall into one of two groups of people, either you know what you want your blog to be about, or you don’t, and you’re trying to think about a theme to focus on.

Here’s the key. The easiest way to grow a blog and make money is to answer questions and solve problems that people have. If you give them a clear path to a solution, you’ll get a ton of visitors, and make a full time income in the process. 

For example, let’s say the theme of your blog is focused on food: A problem people have is that they want to cook healthy but are on a tight budget, so your could be based around cooking healthy meals without breaking the bank. 

Let’s say your blog theme is focused on your plumbing business: Many people will have issues with leaks in their house, so your blog could be focused on how to repair leaks around the home using DIY materials. Running a business blog like this will help you rank on Google, and get you more clients.

So here’s another example. What if the theme of your blog is video games: Many people are looking to rank up and improve in competitive games, you could show them strategies the pros are using, and how they can apply them to quickly improve and climb rankings.

Now on the other side of things, you might fall in the group of people who have no idea what they want to talk about.

The key is to use problems you have experience solving so that you can easily write about them.

  • Did you play rugby in high school? You can pass training, strategies, and rules to people that are new to the game. 
  • Have you learnt good study habits in school? You can teach people your strategies. 
  • Have you gotten yourself out of debt? You can show others how they can do the same.

Here’s another bonus tip. Even if you haven’t gotten these results yet, you can help by “documenting” your process, and passing along tips as you learn them. People will be even more inclined to trust you since they’ll see you’re just like them working towards a solution.

AGAIN THE KEY = the more specific problem you can solve, the better.

These don’t have to be massive topics either. Cassidy Tuttle runs a blog about caring and raising succulent plans, and makes six figures from affiliate links, book sales, and even an online course. Any niche is possible if you can help people reach a solution!

Here’s your first thing To-Do: Brainstorm what your blog is REALLY going to be about. How it’s actually going to help people solve a problem or reach a solution, then move on to the next section.

Step 2. What are your blog articles actually going to be about?

Great, so you have the theme of your blog, now we need to figure out what you want to write articles about.

For a lot of people this just means randomly writing about ideas, and while it can sometimes work, most people are doomed to fail with this method.

Sometimes people go the opposite direction. They spend so much time looking for the perfect keyword, wasting time and money on tools and getting overwhelmed. 

We’re just going to use our logic, and the free information Google gives us to make an informed decision on the subjects of your blog posts..

Open Google search in an incognito window and start typing in blog post ideas, then start adding letters afterwards and see what comes up. The reason we do this is because google might alter search results based on your search history.

You want to start looking for specific topics that pop up in Google’s auto suggest feature. They only show the most common questions here, so you can easily find ideas to write about. 

 You can ask questions to find even more answers. You can also ask Google Can healthy foods…, How healthy foods… Are healthy foods…to find variations.

If you find a great one here, write it down or add it to a document. You can even double up this process, and do the same thing again.

For a client’s rugby blog, when I typed in Rugby B I saw rugby boots, then doubled up and found rugby boots vs Football boots, the perfect topic for an article!

Now with your list of potential article ideas, how do you decide which ones are worth writing about? Here’s the key, you need to filter every topic by their accessibility. Think about it, if a topic is beginner friendly, or easy to start, then there will simply be more people searching for it. 

For example, what if you were running the healthy budget food blog from our previous step, and you found a great idea for an article breaking down how to use a pizza oven, another topic you found is how to quickly make a dinner using common pantry items. Which one is more accessible? Much more people have a pantry than a full home pizza oven. Use this as a guide and sort your list by the most accessible topics.

Here’s your To-Do step for this section: Use Google search to make a list of potential blog post ideas, with your list in hand, filter them by accessibility to decide where to start.

Step 3. Research your articles competition

Alright so you know what article ideas you want to start with, but now we need to size up the competition. Have you ever posted in a popular reddit thread, only for it to get lost in the sea of comments? To avoid that happening with your new article, we need to gauge how likely your voice is able to be heard.

Here’s the truth, there will ALWAYS be competition online. Your goal isn’t to look for some golden empty niche. Instead, you want to look on the top results page, to see what information is missing, and what you can add to the conversation.

Go back to the search results for your top article idea, and open every result on the first page. We want to take some notes here.

First, you want to get the word count for each article on the main page. How much is the top word count? You’ll want to shoot for about 15-20% more than that. 

You also want to make notes of what added media they include in their articles. From my experience, the areas that are often lacking include pictures, infographics, videos, good examples, find what parts are missing that you can include to be the most comprehensive and helpful article on the internet.

I’m looking through the results on rugby boots vs. football cleats, and here’s one of the top results. Notice how there’s no pictures, and it lacks a comparison table? The word count is also very low, which gives us a lot of room to add details to the conversation. 

What if you’ve looked through the results and they are all massive companies and there’s nothing you can add to the conversation? Then it’s better to leave it. If you’re running into this problem a lot then your ideas are probably too general, and you should hone in a step further. Remember, if you’re starting a running blog it’s better to write about running for people that work at home, rather than just running in general.

Here’s your actionable step: Find the first article that you know you have a competitive advantage in, and lay out the word count, and what you need to add to it to stand out.

Step 4. How to write your article the smart way

Great work, you have the game plan ready, all that’s left to do is write the article. Obviously whatever the topic is you’ll need to do some research, or use your own personal experience for the blog content, but I want to give you the layout we use for every post we write for our clients.

Using this method saves tons of time, and emulates all the best bloggers online so you know you’re setup to succeed.

First, you’ll want to set a word count goal for your blog post. Use the research you did in the previous section, and set up how you will go beyond the current results. If the top blog article on the results is 1500 words right now, you’ll want to shoot for about 1800 or more. 

Here’s our article template you can use as a reference, let’s break it down step by step. 

Let’s look at the title, you want to mention your keyword but more importantly you want to phrase it so it stands out in the search results. Give people a reason to click! Have your title mention that you include images/videos/an infographic that no one else has so they’ll choose you. Here’s an example of the plan in action. 

Next we write the introduction. This is simple, tell them what you’re going to talk about in the article, then say why your research or experience makes you an authority on the topic.

After that, we write the direct answer to the question they’re searching for. Use 200-300 words in a paragraph and give them everything they need in a concise way. Write this like a summary of your blog post, the goal is to get this chunk of text in the snippets where Google shows “People also asked these”.

Now that you’ve given them the answer, you want to encourage the reader to continue going through the article. Give them a reason to keep reading, whether it’s common challenges people face, or things you wish you knew when first started. Here’s another example of a good paragraph. 

Now you have their attention, it’s time to break down the answer in a much more in-depth way. The goal here to is to round out their knowledge so they have ZERO doubts when they leave your page. Use a few sub-headings and numerous paragraphs for the different aspects of your answer here and add more context. This information is where you become the best answer on the internet!

Once you’ve answered the main question, you can now use more paragraphs to expand on the answer and reach your goal word count. Think about what the logical next question a reader would have when they’re finished with your article, and answer it here. If you’re talking about healthy budget meals for a family of 4, you could easily transition into how to meal prep this recipe for the whole week. 

Here’s the next To-Do, sit down and actually write out your clear and effective blog post that answers people’s questions.

Step 5. Adding Visuals To Your Blog Article

Let’s talk about adding the visuals to the text so you can easily be the most helpful answer on the internet.

First are images. While most people will fill their blog posts with generic stock photos, in reality you want to think about what users actually want, and what you can do to stand out, which means taking pictures yourself!

If you’re solving a problem for someone, all you have to do is snap a picture on your smartphone of you doing the process, to help show you’re right alongside them. That casual and scrappy quality goes well beyond any bland photo-shoot, and can help them more easily see what they have to do, and you’re using pictures unique to your site! 

If you’re going to include a video, again your phone camera is your friend. It can be as simple as recording a talking head presentation of your blog post, with some simple slides including your pictures, then editing it together using your free desktop editing tool and you’re good to go. Remember even a “low quality” video like that will put you 95% ahead of the competition.

If you’re going to make an infographic breaking down the process, check out the website Canva, head to the site, register for a free account, and search Infographics for a variety of free templates you can use. You can search on the side for graphics to add, and swap out the text for your own for a wholly unique infographic that stands out.

Including these will help round out your content, and are easy ways to add value to the text in your article, and stand out. Remember to include any of these in your title as well!

Here’s your next To-Do: Add the visual components to your article that will make it unique on the search results.

Step 5. Where to start your blog for free

Congrats! You just wrote your killer blog post, let’s talk about how you can actually start your blog and post your articles online for free. 

There’s a variety of options you can choose from, but from our experience the most effective platform to choose is Medium. It’s by far the fastest and easiest way to get started building a free blog. 

The platform gets over 30 million monthly visitors, and you can join that conversation posting your articles on their site. Your posts inherit all the authority of Medium’s website, and because it acts like a social media platform your articles can go viral and you can quickly build up a huge following.

To get started with Medium, head to their site and sign up for a new account. If you login with a social media account, you’ll be able to share your posts directly there, so I suggest you use Facebook or Twitter. 

Next, choose some interests so that Medium can decide what content to serve to you. You should choose interests based on your niche so you can see what others are writing about. 

With your account setup, it’s time to post your article. Click the drop down menu and select New Story to head to their writing panel. From here we can import your blog post directly into their platform. 

Add your article step by step, if you have a great message or takeaway, try using the pull and block quotes so it stands out and more people highlight it. 

Next you’ll want to add the visuals to your post. Always add a compelling graphic at the top of your blog post so that people see it as the featured image. Especially on mobile, it will help you stand out and get more clicks. Once ready, you can post and voila! Your blog is now live to the world! 

While Medium is a great free tool to start blogging with, you might want to have more control and be able to brand yourself instead of being tethered to Medium. Let’s touch on a cheap solution you can use to get your own indiependent blog setup. 

Step 6. How to start your blog on WordPress

If you want your own site that you have complete control of, all you need to do is pay for hosting which costs a few dollars a month. The reason this is important is because if any of your articles go viral, you own 100% of the traffic, which means you’ll make more money. 

If you haven’t gone through our video on how to build a site fast and easy, check it out by clicking the link right here as we walk through how to build it from beginning to end, all on the WordPress platform. 

When you go through that process, you’ll be able to import in a pre-made blog template so you’re ready to start posting immediately. Here’s our blog after importing in a template. 

Head to your WordPress dashboard by heading to yourwebsite.com/wp-admin, logging in, then clicking on Posts. From here you’ll be able to directly import in your blog articles, and edit them almost the exact same way as Medium. Choose a category for your post to sort it, then hit publish so it goes live to the world. All you have to do is click View Post to see how it looks publicly, and you’re set!

Because we used WordPress, we’re able to visually edit every aspect of our site. Make sure to follow along with the other video that breaks it down in detail. 

Step 7. Promoting your articles

There’s a variety of ways to promote your blog articles. By far the most effective way we’ve found to promote clients’ blog posts is to share your article with influencers that can reference your content and give you credibility. 

Go to influencers, or other bloggers that would value your content. Get in contact and share parts of your article with them, to use on their site. They can use your content as a reference, and link back to you. Because we took the steps to add unique visuals, they’re likely to reach out.

Find a website that is in a similar space as you. Then scan through their page looking for a contact form or email. You can also add their site to a tool like hunter.io which will help find the right person to contact. Simply reach out and offer your article for them to use. As long as they give you credit, and you should be set!

Here’s a pro tip, if a website is really popular than they’re probably getting requests like this nonstop. You should reach out to smaller blogs or even local businesses who are much more likely to open your emails. In our free course we break down how to get a hold of key decision makers. Then you can send an email that always gets opened, you can import that process and start getting results. 

When people start referencing your posts or visuals, that means more links to your site. This means more website traffic directed your way. It also shows that their site is vouching for your credibility to Google. This will help you climb the rankings faster. 

After time, Google will start showing your articles on the front page of the search results. You’ll see traffic slowly start to rise from there but you should focus on getting at least 30 articles out. Use this method correctly before you even start looking at numbers.

Once you have a solid foundation of articles, audit how they’re performing. You can either with Medium engagement, or the analytics of your WordPress blog. Find ones that are doing well and flesh it out, building up those topics and linking them together. This will allow you to compound your success until you’re getting massive traffic to your site.

Step 8. How to monetize your blog

Once you’ve published your articles, you probably want to know how to actually make money from this process right? 

The truth is that monetizing is actually the easiest part of this entire process. Once you have traffic, you can make money from your blog in a variety of ways. It works much better if you have thousands of visitors, so focus on writing great content first!

You can use affiliate links. These are special links you include on your blog referring people to products or services you endorse. If they purchase, you get paid! Here’s an example of an affiliate link promoting a relevant product.

Companies might reach out to you to do sponsored posts that promote their products or services directly. If you’re a travel blogger, this could be a flight out to a certain destination. Others might have you use their products in a unique way. When you have traffic, brands will reach out to you so you don’t even have to go looking!

You also might consider selling products yourself. These could be anything from vegan cheese subscription boxes, to online courses or personal training. Again, it’s much easier to figure out what to sell, when there’s people actually checking you out!

Your article provides real value and information on the topic on hand. Then at the close you can pitch your product or service that works in relation to the article. THE KEY is to provide real value in the article and not turn it into a sales page. 

You can also offer people a free document in order to sign up for your email list. Once ready, you can continue your conversation off of your website and in their inbox. Medium won’t allow you to do this, so make sure to set up with WordPress if email is your goal!

Content template, and our full agency plan in our free course

You can get templates for this whole process on our website, our free course breaks this all down in detail. Plus, you’ll get a video review of your site. Click the link below to get access to the free course. It’s time to start building the blog that’s going to change your life.

Want a clear path to get started online?

Follow our 6 steps to creating a website for FREE that we normally charge clients $8000-$10,000 to build. In an afternoon you can have your site setup for the world.

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