Whether you are looking to start a natural hair blog like this one you are reading or how to start a fashion blog, a travel blog or just wondering how to start a blog and get paid for it:
You are in the right place.
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In the fewest words possible, to start a successful natural hair blog (that drives over 60,000 readers/m) you need to identify the specific areas you want to focus on, set up your blog by Signing up for Hosting, register a domain name and consistently publish content that speaks to your readers’ problems.
Before I get stoned, let me give a disclaimer: Success in the blogging space is very relative.
Are you measuring success in terms of the impact you make on people, or are you measuring success by what you get in your bank account? Or is success to you being able to share content as a hobby and enjoy the process? For me success is a balance.
I set out to create a space to share well-researched and experienced based content that will guide women through their natural hair journey.
In my view, I have achieved what I set out to and I will continue to improve on the quality of the content even as I receive feedback.
Before I share my little story of how I got this natural hair blog started and giving me a consistent side income, let me summarize the key things you need to know in order to start a blog and get paid for it.
Summary: How to start a blog and get paid for it
1. Decide on the angle you want to take with your blog. Ask these questions: (i) What am I good at? (ii) What do I enjoy talking about (iii) Is this going to solve someone’s problem?
2. Choose a domain name for your blog. Make a good first impression but don’t fret over this.
3. Sign-up for hosting. Start with a simple, affordable host like Bluehost. Check price on the link. They are the most recommended for beginner bloggers.
4. Install a blogging platform. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform.
5. Design your website. choose a theme and design a website logo
6. Write and post quality, and helpful content on your blog
7. Drive traffic to your blog. Apply different strategies such as using Pinterest and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
8. Make money with your blog with methods such as: (i) Display Advertisement, (ii) Affiliate Marketing, (iii) Sell digital products and (iv) Write sponsored posts
9. Invest in yourself. Enroll in courses from people who have built successful blogs or get a mentor to walk you through your blogging journey.
How I Started My Natural Hair Blog
Let me start by saying that there are very many different strategies to becoming a successful blogger. What I will share is the path that got me where I am today.
My natural hair blogging journey started towards the end of 2018.
At the time I was on a journey of growing my natural hair, I was learning a lot from different natural hair bloggers.
Because it was incredibly difficult to get natural hair products in my part of the world, I found that I was drawn towards making my own products using ingredients that I could easily get hold of.
It was through these DIY experiments that I decided I should document the recipes, and the results of the research I was doing.
This is how this natural hair blog started.
Just like most people, I wondered how I could share valuable content on natural hair and still manage to pay for hosting, stock images and other blogging fees without breaking my bank.
And honestly running a blog takes a lot of time. Surely if you trade your time, you should get a reward?
Flash forward, this blog reaches over 60, 000 readers every month and generates a consistent side income.
I still consider myself a beginner, learning new things every day and looking forward to when I can make this a full time online business. But going by the numbers on my google analytics, I believe I can share a thing or two about how to start a successful natural hair blog.
How to Start a Natural Hair Blog – An Easy to Follow Guide
Decide the angle you want to take with your blog
This is the first step when starting a blog. What do you want to focus on?
Choosing a subject for your blog is really important as it keeps your content focused on something specific as you build your expertise in that particular subject.
In this blog, I focus on natural hair. I sometimes give tips that are very specific to a given hair type such as how to grow 4C hair, how to care for low porosity hair etc. But the general subject is helping women with natural hair, get the information they need to grow healthy hair.
Being razor sharp makes it easier for your target audience to find you online.
Here are some of the things you need to think about before you settle on a blog topic:
1. What am I good at?
A blog gives you a platform to showcase your knowledge, share experiences with your audience and make money at the same time. The good news is that the more you blog the more you build expertise in that particular topic.
So, don’t hold yourself back because you feel you are not an expert at the topic. You can take a beginner angle (sharing your journey and the results of your research) like I did and grow with your audience.
2. What do I want to learn about?
When the blog topic you choose is something that you are naturally enjoy, getting new ideas of what to write about is going to be a lot easier.
Writing new articles is also going to give you an exciting experience because you’ll also be learning.
3. What do I enjoy doing?
To become a successful blogger you need to be dedicated in sharing valuable content to your audience. If the subject you are blogging about is on something you enjoy, then it will make it easier to maintain a steady writing flow.
4. Can I solve someone else’s problems if I focus on this topic?
You wouldn’t want to write just for the sake of writing, unless your blog is a personal journal. Building an audience online requires you to offer solutions to your readers.
Here is an example:
The solution am offering at www. lovingkinkycurls.com is inspiring women to effectively take care of their natural hair by providing them with well-researched content that answers most of their natural hair care questions and by sharing DIY hair care recipes that I have tested and tried.
Now that you have chosen your blog niche/topic, how do you know that it will get you paid if your goal is to make money with the blog?
Do a quick search on Google to check on the search volume. If the topic has a medium to high search volume it means, there are people interested in this topic.
A high search volume would also mean more competition but if you can offer unique advice, or share your unique journey to your audience then you will stand out.
People will find value when you bring a different angle to the topic, anticipate and answer questions that have not been tackled by other bloggers.
Besides, there is always need for fresher content, with a new perspective given the rapid changing times and context.
Choose a name for your blog
Picking a name for your blog can be fun but if you are not careful, you may end up going down a rabbit hole and wasting a lot of time.
Since your blog name is the first thing people will see about you online, it’s important you make a good first impression but do not spend too much time on it.
We all know there are very many blogs out there with weird names but still doing super well.
There are times am not too happy with the name I chose for this blog but I don’t let it get the way of sharing valuable content. Perhaps I will change it in the future.
What I learnt about picking a name for your blog
- A good blog name should be relatively short, catchy and memorable to your readers. Short names are scarce these days, so don’t fuss over this. I consider my blog name medium. You can also go that direction if you fail to get a short name that you like.
- Whenever possible, the blog name should also help people understand what your blog is about.
- When choosing a domain extension it’s advisable that you go for a .com over others (.net or.org) as it’s easier to brand and recall.
- Avoid use of numbers and hyphens because they are difficult to remember.
Once you get a suitable name, you are ready to have a domain name. A domain name is the web address a user types on their browsers to get to your site.
Verify if your name is available as a domain before settling on it. In the case you haven’t yet found the perfect name for your blog need not to worry, you can start a blog and change down the line. We see a lot of websites rebranding and changing names.
Sign-up for hosting and install WordPress
Signing up with a good host is the only major expense you need to incur when starting a blog.
A host is a company that manages servers (computers) that store all your blogging files such as posts and pictures and makes them available online.
There are plenty of host providers that are available with different prices and services. Bluehost is the best for starting a new blog. You can always change afterwards as your blog grows.
Thanks to their easy installation process with just a few clicks you are able to start your blog. It is also easy to navigate.
- It offers a free domain name (for the first year) when you sign-up.
- Free SSL – Secure socket layer(SSL) is a standard technology that makes you secure online. It prevents criminals from getting in contact with sensitive data that are transferred between two systems. It does this by ensuring any data transferred between two systems remain impossible to read.With Bluehost you get to enjoy this service at absolutely no charge.
- Free Back-ups – This awesome functionality helps you back up your blog files if by chance you accidentally mess up your blog. One such service is Code guard basic which offers multiple backups of your site and an automatic restoration of site.
- 24/7 Chat support – When you’re doing blogging as a side hustle most times you’d need to work at odd hours. Bluehost gives you a chance to work at any time of the day since they offer 24/7 support. The several times I have needed support even on simple things, I always get the support I need.
- SiteLock Security – This is not very necessary when you start off, but It offers monitoring and business verification for your site. This is a great feature if you’re selling and offering services on your blog.
The decision you make when choosing a host is never permanent. As your blog grows and makes more money you can move to a higher hosting plan.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. You’ll have to install before you begin blogging. This is a very easy step if you choose to go with Bluehost.
Design your website with a theme and get a logo
1. Select a Theme
A well designed and organized website is attractive and easy to navigate.
Choose a theme that removes unnecessary clutter. There are thousands of premium and free themes available.
To get you started, you can go with a free theme and upgrade later. But If you got some extra coin, I would advise you invest in a professional looking theme.
Once you create your blog using wordPress.org you gain access to thousands of WordPress themes both free and premium ones that come with extra features.
Ensure you choose a theme that is simple to keep the attention of your readers focused on the content you’re posting and that which will also represents your blog niche. Remember you can swap your theme at any time if you feel it doesn’t suit you anymore.
2. Get a logo
A logo is a visual cue representing your brand identity.
A well designed logo helps you make a great first impression to your readers.
If you are doing the logo yourself, use can use design platforms such as:
- Canva – I use Canva for all my design work, I find it very easy to use. You can get a lot done with the free option but when you really want more feature, the paid option is also very affordable.
- PicMonkey – Has very similar features as Canva according to some of my friends who use it.
- Adobe Photoshop – This is a professional tool that is used for making professional logos. You will be required to pay first before you get this software. Adobe Photoshop is mainly used by designers. It is hard for someone with no experience in graphic design to use the software.
- Tailor Brands – This is an online logo generator that is affordable and easy to use. It comes with all the tools needed to create a brand identity for your blog.
Research on the topics to write about
Brainstorm on a list of ideas related to your blog’s niche. Write down each of the idea then tackle each at a time.
Looking at well-established blogs could also be a source of new ideas to write about. You can look at areas they have not adequately covered and write about those topics.
You can also look at forums such as Quora to find the questions people are asking. Facebook groups are also great areas to turn to when doing your research.
As you grow in the blogging space, you could ask your subscribers what they want you to write about next.
Write and publish articles on your blog
When it comes to writing it’s important to keep in mind that there are other blogs out there that have tackled similar topics. Therefore, you’ll have to be offering unique content that is answering questions that have not been adequately addressed.
To make your articles interesting and engaging you can consider the following:
- Use compelling headlines that tell your readers what they will get.
- Use attention grabbing intros so that your readers keep reading your posts.
- Format your articles well. Use sub headers and bullet points for easy navigation through your posts.
- Share meaningful information to keep your readers coming back.
Before you hit launch, it’s a good practice that you ensure you have done the following:
- 4-7 high quality posts. Writing this many article before you start is a sure test that you are interested in the subject and are committed to providing value to your readers through your content.
- Create an about me page or add a short profile about you on the sidebar or footer. Just ensure you have a place in your blog where you have introduced yourself or what they blog is about. The introduction should be fascinating and encourages your readers to subscribe to your blog. You may also decide to include your profile picture.
- Include a contact page. Make it easy for your readers to reach you. A lot of themes come with a contact page that includes a form for your readers to fill to reach you.
Drive traffic to your blog
Having created and posted a good number of articles it’s time to let the world know that your blog exists.
Website traffic is a term used to refer to web users who visit a website. Obtaining an engaged and loyal audience is the hardest part especially if your end goal is create a business from your blog.
Below are some of the ways to get people to visit your blog:
1. Search Engine Optimization- SEO
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website for it to be found in search engines like Google for particular key words and phrases. Getting steady traffic using SEO especially from Google is a process that takes time, months or even years.
Traffic to your blog helps you improve in rank and will in turn generate more traffic. How it happens: when your blog ranks higher in search engines your target audience can easily discover you online thus you end up receiving visitors.
As a new blogger you would need to focus more on creating and posting content rich articles which will help you establish authority in that particular subject.
This helps you earn Google’s trust hence your blog improves in rank. You also need to maintain a good structure of your blog post so that you provide a good user experience. A good structure as mentioned earlier includes using easy to read paragraphs and bullet points where necessary.
As a beginner, I find it easier to rank with long tail keywords because they have lesser competition. Ranking long tail keywords is easier than ranking less descriptive keywords. An example of a long tail key word is: ‘How to grow 4C hair’ while a descriptive keyword is ‘4C hair’.
2. Social Media
Sharing your blog posts via social media platforms is a relatively easy way to attract more readers to your site. This is because almost everyone is on social media these days. This is a whole topic on it’s own that I am also trying to master.
While Pinterest is not considered a social site, it’s the number one place recommended if you want to get traffic fairly easily and faster than relying on SEO.
Pinterest is one of the main places I get traffic from. If you enjoy creating pins, then you may find this to be a fun way of driving traffic to your blog.
To avoid fatigue early on in your journey, focus on one platform at a time. Master it before moving to the next. Consider where your audience hangs out the most to decide which platform to start with.
3. Online groups and forums
In this age there are a ton of different online groups and forums such as Quora where people ask questions, share tips and chat.
You can join these groups and forums to learn from others but also share your content . Participate in conversations, provide helpful advice then add a link of the related blog post. This way you build relationships and attract more readers to your blog.
4. Guest posts on other blogs
Guest posting is when you write a blog post in someone’s website. It helps you get introduced to a new audience. I haven’t really ventured into guest posting but most of my blogging friends have. It takes some effort but if done well, it can be very rewarding.
The websites you decide to guest post on should be in the same niche as yours because that way you can be sure that the readers would be having interest in the content you’ll be sharing.
Make money with your natural hair blog
Somewhere down the line, once you’ve build a substantial audience. You can monetize your blog and get rewarded for the effort you’ve put in.
I will not go into so much details on this subject since am still in the baby steps of monetization but here are the most popular ways through which blogs are monetized.
Displaying Ads on your blog is the easiest and most popular way to make money with your natural hair blog.
Popular Ad companies that accept beginners are : Google Ads, Media.net, Sovrn. When you start getting 10k pageviews/m you will be accepted to Ezoic and when you hit 50k sessions/m then Mediavine will accept you, just like this blog. Adthrive is also an option for blogs with over 100k pageviews/m.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing involves promotion of products on your site. If someone clicks on your special affiliate link and buys a product you get a commission from the affiliate company.
Signing up for most affiliate programs is free with each company having their own program and set of rules. Remember, when doing affiliate marketing you have to disclose at the top of your blog post that you are using affiliate links. Examples of companies that offer affiliate programs include:
- Commision junction
3. Sell digital products
Selling online products such as e-books, courses and sponsorships is a highly profitable and a fantastic way to monetize your blog.
The only challenge is that it would require a lot of knowledge and skills to write an e-book or create a course.
But if you’re an expert in a given field bundling up what you know into an e-book or course and sharing with the world is going to be easier for you.
Many people love online books and courses because they are convenient. E-books are instantly delivered and with the courses you can learn in your area of comfort and at your own pace.
4. Accept sponsored blog posts
A sponsored post is a blog post written based on the requirements given by your sponsor. A company would pay you to write about their products or services then post on your blog.
In some instances the company gives you an already written post and you only have to publish it on your blog then get paid. Through your influence you build awareness about the product or service.
The larger your influence the more the money you can ask for a sponsored post.
Create your Email list
Email is a powerful means of communication with your readers as a blogger. An email list is a list of email addresses of people who gave you permission to send updates and promotions from your blog.
Why is creating an email list important?
An Email list helps you deliver recent posts directly to your reader’s inboxes.
It gives you room to build a meaningful relationship with your readers through personal and constant communication.
Invest in yourself. Learn from the experts
One thing that I did right when I started my blogging journey was investing in blogging courses, both paid and free options.
It took away 90% of guesswork. I spent close to a full month before I launched just to learn the ropes, and understand what works and what doesn’t.
Unfortunately, before I settled on a few courses to focus on, I really went round in circles to find the best. In my view, because there so my approaches to take in blogging, you will find so many different courses that have different strategies.
I’d say, pick one and follow that strategy until you get on your feet with the basics before you develop your own strategy.
There are tons of things to learn in order to build a successful blog, I have only covered the headline topics on a high level. Otherwise this article would be over 10,000 words!
Here is a recap of the key thing to take note of : (1) Drill down on the specific areas to focus on (2) Decide on a domain name and signup for hosting (3) Design your blog (4) Research, write and publish quality content (5) Drive traffic to your blog (6) Monetize your blog (7) Invest in yourself.
If you have any additional questions or would want 1:1 guidance, you can reach me on email@example.com