How to start blogging?
The only true requirement for escaping the West is having a location independent international income.
This means that you can keep earning money regardless of where you live.
I’ve talked about this subject in greater detail in Location Independent Income, so check that out if you’ve unfamiliar with the concept.
I’ve already discussed a few methods of earning such an income:
All of these are great options which I personally use to earn a living.
Because that’s another aspect of this: redundancy.
Never rely on one source of income, make sure you have several, preferably unrelated streams of money coming in.
If one of those dries up, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Another great option for earning an international income, and the topic of today’s article, is blogging.
What is blogging?
Blogging is writing regularly on a website about a particular topic.
A blog is usually written by one person, but collaborations are possible too.
Escaping the West is an example of a blog. On this site I write articles/blog posts on the topic of, well, escaping the West.
After all, I am very involved in this myself, know quite a lot about it, and so it is an ideal topic to make a blog about – for me.
A blog can be about nearly anything you can think of.
However, if you want to start a blog yourself, I would definitely recommend that you think very carefully in advance about the topic of your blog, the central theme, the niche.
This is crucial and will make the difference between success and failure.
Of course, you could also just blog about your personal life, writing about whatever comes to mind … but that’s usually not a good idea unless you’re a famous person or lead a very eccentric life.
You should also make sure that your blog topic is not too broad, or too popular.
There are blogs on more or less every topic, and if you choose a niche about which there are already 1000 other blogs, the chances are slim that you will attract many readers.
Don’t write about “dogs”, write about “taking care of bulldogs”.
Do not write about “dancing” but about “flamenco for children”.
I call this a double niche: a subsection of a broad topic aimed at a specific audience.
How to start blogging?
Find your niche
This is the first and most important step. A good and narrow niche is everything in the world of blogging.
Here are some general broad and popular topics:
- To make money
- Personal Finance
- Food/Culinary Arts
- Fashion and beauty products
- Personal development
There’s plenty to choose from, but never write about any of those sectors in general: NICHE DOWN.
Delve deeper into the topics and focus on a specific subcategory within the topic.
You get my point by now, but I’ll repeat it again because it’s so important!
Do not write about “fitness” in general, but about “weight loss for single mothers”.
Do not write about “gaming” but about “World of Warcraft Classic dungeon guides”.
Do KeyWord research
Once you’ve found an interesting niche you’d like to write about, it’s time to see if other people are actually interested in it, and how deep your niche should go.
Time for some KeyWord Research!
KeyWord Research is looking up which terms people use in search engines such as Google to find whatever they are looking for, and how much competition there is for these terms (how many other websites are ranking high on a particular keyword).
KeyWord Research is a vast topic and I can never cover it completely in this post, so I’ll give you a brief summary of how I do it:
- Create a Google Ads account
- Go to KeyWord Planner
- Put your desired location on the countries you want to reach
- Enter your subjects and press Enter
- View the KeyWord suggestions and copy paste them into a document
- Sort by both volume of searches and competition. Ideal is a keyword with low competition but high search volume
- Do this for all your topics and put all that information in your document
- You can also type in your topic in the Google search bar and see what other people are searching for
Once you have clarity about your niche and the direction in which you want to steer your blog, everything else will come easily.
Buy a suitable domain name and hosting
Yes, you can create a blog for free through WordPress.
You’ll get a website with a title like jimjones109270640.wordpress.com or something similar.
I don’t think this looks very professional, and if you want to rank well with Google and gain the trust of your audience, you’re much better off with a professional website title.
For SEO reasons it is also very interesting to put your niche in the URL.
This way it is immediately clear to your visitors (and Google) what your site is about.
(SEO = Search Engine Optimization, the art of getting your website to appear high in Google’s search results.)
www.johnsblog.com can be about anything, and is therefore not a good title – unless John is a very famous person.
If you want to write about taking care of bulldogs, www.takingcareofbulldogs.com would be a good site name, assuming that the keyword “taking care of bulldogs” has little competition and a high search volume.
Fortunately, such a website does not cost much.
Many domains are available for $5 to $10 PER YEAR!
In addition to a domain name, you also need hosting.
Most providers where you buy a domain name also have hosting, and a hosting package often comes with a free domain name!
I have a lot of experience with NameCheap myself, and can highly recommend it.
A package with hosting for a year, security, domain name, and so on will cost you about $40. PER YEAR!
That’s nothing compared to what you can earn from a professional blog (more on that later).
Another advantage of NameCheap is how easy and uncluttered their dashboard is, and their helpful customer service is a definite boon for beginners.
Most hosting providers make it very easy to install WordPress, usually through the cPanel.
For example, with NameCheap it takes only about 3 minutes!
WordPress is a CMS, a Content Management System, specifically aimed at content-rich websites and blogs.
Once you have WordPress on your site, it’s best to install a website builder that will make your blogging life easier.
I can recommend Elementor, a drag and drop system to easily create a website.
Elementor has a free version, with which you can do everything to put together a basic blog.
The Pro version has a huge range of additional functions, but they aren’t required.
You can simply install Elementor via your WordPress Plugins dashboard.
You should also choose a theme, most of which are free.
WordPress has a huge catalog, so you can browse the available themes at your leisure and pick one that you like.
Start writing your first blog post
Your niche is well-thought out and clearly defined, and your website is online.
All you need to do now is start writing and regularly publish blog posts!
For all of my blogs, I post at least twice a week.
This is frequent enough to stay relevant in the eyes of both Google and your audience, but not too frequent to overwhelm you with work.
How to make money with a blog?
When it comes to making money with a blog, there are several options:
- Ads: usually through Google Adsense
- Affiliate marketing: promoting certain things, for which you get a commission
- Patreon: You can ask your audience for a small donation if they like your work
- Selling products: You can really sell almost anything, depending on your niche. Most common are digital products, such as eBooks or courses. You’re basically selling information and as I’ve mentioned in this article, this is an excellent method of making money
- Selling links to other websites
- Getting paid for guest posts (if your blog is very popular)
As you can tell, blogging lends itself very well as a platform for those two other great ways of making an international income: affiliate marketing and selling information.
How much can you earn with your blog?
You can earn a lot of money with a successful blog.
It all depends on your niche, your traffic, and how you approach the monetary aspect.
It is not uncommon for an averagely successful blog to earn a few thousand dollars per month.
There are also a lot of bigger blogs that make over a million a year from their writing skills!
They obviously have hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, sell products at $500+ each, and so on, but still, that’s pretty insane.
And what’s more … blogging is a completely location independent way to make money.
You can work on your blog regardless of where you are, as long as you have a laptop/tablet/computer/smartphone and access to the internet.
I’m currently running 4 blogs in 4 different languages.
I take my own advice seriously and I try to get my income from diverse geographical locations.
If you’re just starting out, I would recommend to FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success.
Once you start to make money with your blog, you should first consolidate this income (make sure you can keep it up for at least 3 months in a row), and then scale it, by creating new blogs or branching out to other languages.
Never rely on just one blog to make a living, because if something were to happen to that blog, you’d lose everything.
Similarly, never rely on a single source of income on that blog, make sure you have several diverse streams of income.
In short, blogging’s a great way to earn an international income and it has a lot of potential, but you will have to put in quite a lot of time and effort before you start to reap the benefits.