There's nothing more exciting as a budding writer than creating a blog where you can showcase your penmanship. Sure, it can be intimidating to put your work online for anyone and everyone to see.
But if you want to make a career out of writing, you have to begin somewhere. Luckily, actually starting a writing blog isn't too difficult a task. The biggest challenges you may face will be finding clients and growing your business.
But if it's writing you wish to do, then starting a blog is a must. Blogs these days are a popular outlet that allows small creatives to get discovered. Yes, especially for writers! Whether you want to dabble in creative writing, write a book, become a freelance writer, or simply tell a unique story, an online blog can help get your writing out in front of the right audience, client, or publisher.
If that sounds like your kinda plan, then read on! This guide will show you how to start a profitable writing blog business. In it, you'll learn the basic steps for creating a blog, plus all my best advice and techniques for how to grow it and eventually monetize it. After this article, you'll be well on your way to building your dream writing career.
Table of Contents
How To Start A Profitable Writing Blog Business
Pick A Brand & Domain Name For Your Blog
The first chapter of creating a writing blog is essentially choosing the title. What will your brand and blog name be? Pick out a suitable domain name to match your website's purpose. It can feel overwhelming to choose something as equally creative as your writing. But don't waste any paper trying to jot down dozens of ideas. Instead, get inspired by these nifty writing blog name ideas.
Next, circle back to your blog's overarching purpose. Are you starting a blog to write for fun? To land freelance clients? To have an online portfolio of past work? Or to teach others about the art of writing? There are many niches and sub-niches within the writing industry. It's vital you pick a niche that is easy to write about, speaks to you personally, and provides value to your readers.
Some fantastic examples of writing blogs that have built up quite the reputation for themselves are bloggers Jane Friedman and K. M. Weiland of Helping Writers Become Authors. As you can see, many writers simply use their personal names to sign off on their work. But it really depends on your goals and vision for your writing blog.
Build The Blog
A writing blog requires the same basic setup as any other style of the blog. You need the following components:
- Domain name
- Hosting provider
- Website builder
A domain name is simply the URL (www.mywritingblog.com). Ideally, it matches the brand name that you previously picked out for your blog. You can secure your domain name (or check its availability) on sites such as GoDaddy.com or by registering it through your website's hosting provider, which leads me to the next step in building a blog.
The hosting provider is who will store all your website content and data. It's important to choose wisely because different hosting providers offer various server speeds. Bluehost, for example, is a low-cost hosting provider but one that stores your blog on shared servers. So your site speed won't be the best.
And as you'll learn later on, site speed is an important SEO factor for ranking in search engines. If you want more speed, then consider spending a bit more money each month for a website hosting provider such as Kinsta. Those guys are currently in the lead for offering one of the fastest and most secure hosting plans on the market.
The third step of building a blog is selecting a suitable website builder, such as WordPress.org. In the below video, I detail why WordPress is the best CMS for starting an affiliate blog (including writing blogs) even after ten years in the business. Hit play to learn more.
How To Grow Your Writing Blog
Even if you're a skilled wordsmith, growing your blog can be a challenge. Without knowledge of SEO and keyword research, it's like writing and publishing in a black hole. It might be A+ content, but no one will read it if they can't discover it. That's why growing your blog and learning SEO go hand-in-hand.
Equipped with the right tools and strategies, you can write your articles in such a way that makes them rank in search engines like Google. That is the basic way to get organic traffic (visitors) to your website. Once there, then you can convert readers into true followers with an email capture or even into cash with affiliate commissions.
Even the best bloggers have to learn SEO in order to please the Google gods. But, that doesn't mean SEO is the only factor that plays into page rankability. Luckily, you already have a step up above the competition – you can write stellar content.
High-quality writing combined with a value-proposition is one of the best ways to grow a blog long-term. Another way to grow your writing blog is to generously share your words on other writing platforms and social media.
Medium is one such public blogging platform that is perfect for writers looking to get discovered (or even make some side money). Quora is another great alternative for sharing detailed and thorough answers to questions asked by people around the world.
The better the writing, the more likely your answer will get “upvoted” and your profile visited. Don't forget Twitter as well for punching out short, witty thoughts.
Then, of course, there are visual platforms such as Instagram or TikTok that can boost traffic by sharing engaging and attractive photos or videos covered in text overlays, quotes, or writing prompts. Many writers and poets take to such outlets to share their creative writing in a visually appealing way. Guest blogging and writing for other websites is also a good strategy for writers seeking to get discovered online.
Depending on your goals, growing your writing blog will take trial and error to figure out which methods work best for you.
How To Make Money From Your Writing Blog
There are several ways to make money writing online. Freelancing for clients is obviously a popular route. But if you create a writing blog in-style with an affiliate blog, then there are 3-4 main ways to monetize it. Let's take a look below.
Blogs are the perfect host for affiliate marketing strategies because you can seemingly integrate affiliate links into your written content while providing value to your reader.
Monetizing your blog this way is highly scalable, meaning there's virtually no limit on how much you can make. What's more, writing blogs already have dozens of writing affiliate programs that you can naturally promote throughout your articles. So, if there's a writing product that you'd recommend to your readers or a book you really love, then you can link to that via an affiliate program and earn from any consequent sales.
Sure, reading a blog covered in ads seems unpleasant. So why should you use ads to monetize your site? Well, turns out, readers don't mind all that much that you have ads on your blog. We're all used to it. Not to mention it's one of the best ways to earn an income from your writing (no freelancing or affiliates required).
To reap the rewards of this relatively “passive” income stream, you'll first need to build up your blog traffic. Once you do, you can apply to join an advertising network that will set up ads on your site. This is how I am able to earn a few extra grand a month! Check out my Mediavine income report to see how.
Whether it's a privatized ad speckled throughout your site or a paid collaboration by a brand or business to write an article with a link on your site, sponsored content is a great way to earn money from your blog.
This income stream will take more time to develop, as you already need to be somewhat established. However, sponsorships can pay well and onboarding 1-2 a month could really boost your monthly earnings.
Good writing pays well, but GREAT writing pays, even more, so make sure you know your worth when negotiating a price when sponsorships do arise. No matter your writing niche, here's a generic blogger rate card to help you decide how much you should charge.
Why Writing Blogging Is An Evergreen Business Opportunity
There are as many colorful writers as there are books on this planet, and there's always room for one more brilliant mind to put their thoughts on paper (or online!). Starting a writing blog could be life-changing. In this rapidly-growing digital economy and industry, there is an endless amount of potential for writers to engage with millions, even billions, of people around the world.
Already, the bulk of all internet users use Google search to satisfy their most curious questions. There's lots of “fluff” out there, but millions are eager to learn about writing.
Or read someone else's writing – even if it's to just escape from their reality for a brief moment. The power of writing is still yet to be fully explored. So if you're on the fence about creating a writing blog and sharing your unique words with us all, then it's time to finally hop off and get started planning your dream writing career.
It's Time To Take Action!
You've read this far. What's holding you back?
Earning consistent income from a blog is not some kind of crazy, pie in the sky dream anymore. Millions of people start and run their entire business from a laptop.
The secret is out. The trail has been blazed. Just follow the steps and make it happen.
Do you want it bad enough to make it a reality? Stop reading and start doing. Here's how to build a blog and make money, even if you have no previous experience.