The world is a confusing place right now. On the one hand, most of us suddenly have more time than we ever wanted. On the other hand, the fact that we are in the middle of a crisis can make it difficult to get out of bed, let alone use this time productively.

Unfortunately, for many people there simply is no option. Companies have laid off workers en masse, and since a number of companies have gone under, many of these jobs will not be available when things go back to normal.

For those stuck at home who are facing unemployment, the only ways to make money are online. The good news is that since tens of millions of people make their money this way throughout the year, you won’t have to tread new ground.

Blogging is one of the most popular ways of making money online. Great blogs get millions of regular readers, as well as many more who stumble onto their sites through topic searches.

If you are thinking of starting a blog, here are the steps you need to take to use it to generate income.

Build a website

Since your blog is, for the most part, text-based, you may not put all that much effort into how the website functions and looks. This is a mistake. It is crucial that you create an attractive and effective website. Fortunately, there are tools that make this relatively easy.

Firstly, you will need to get hosting to get your website online. Take a look at the best blog hosting sites to find providers which are optimized to make the process of building a blog super easy.

Secondly, choose a content management system (CMS). A CMS provides tools for quickly creating a beautiful website that works intuitively. WordPress is the most popular CMS, while sites like Wix are incredibly easy-to-use. Or you can try less popular but good and reasonably priced website building solutions like Jimdo.

Pick a niche

For a blog to be successful in 2020, you need to pick a relatively specific niche. This is because there are so many competitors out there dealing with just about every major topic. By focusing on a small aspect of a bigger subject, you get a captive audience with few dedicated alternatives. Since billions of people use the internet, a small audience can number in the millions.

Make sure your niche is something people search for. If you are providing practical guides, your website will be even more likely to succeed.

Domain name and logo

Don’t underestimate the importance of a domain name and logo. These two simple factors contribute to a website that looks great and gets the message across. A good domain name points to what your blog is about. While a cute name that has meaning to you might feel right, it will not necessarily appeal to visitors. Your domain name should be practical.

Similarly, your logo should represent what it is you do. An attractive design is not enough. Wix provides a free logo designer that makes the process easy. Remember that it must be both practical and attractive. Ask for the opinion of someone more objective than yourself. If they like how it looks and get it without you explaining it, you’re on the right track.

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) makes it easy for people to find your website on Google and other searches. SEO requires you to include searchable keywords in your content. But it also goes much further than that.

To improve your SEO ranking, you will need to get other websites to link to your site, promote engagement on your posts, and write regular posts which captivate your audience.

Monetize

In order to make money from your blog, you can use a number of strategies. Google AdSense will target adverts at your readers and reward you for click-throughs. In addition, you can include affiliate reviews and links to companies in the same industry. Through affiliate links, you will earn commission on sales to your readers.

It may also be worth your while to offer guest posts to other blogs for a price. These guest posts bring extra readers to the other blogs and gives them an improved SEO ranking. Part of your own SEO strategy should be to write guest posts for other websites.

Creating a blog is a good way to start making money from home. It is not too difficult and millions have done it before you. Get started now, and you can start seeing dividends relatively soon.

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