Below are some common questions that come up for people just starting out in blogging. These are quick answers, many of these questions are addressed in greater detail in my blog. If you have a question that is not addressed feel free to use the form below and I’ll try to help you out.
1. Can you really make money with a blog?
The short answer is yes. It is not a “get rich quick” scheme though; it takes time and some work. Creating good content, building traffic and monitoring monetization are all things that require attention.
The great thing is you are your own boss so you set the schedule. Building slowly or quickly is up to you. There are many bloggers around the world making life-changing money in their spare time.
2. How do I find the right Web Host for my new blog?
There are several things to consider when choosing your host.
Cost is an obvious consideration. If you are not making money yet and you don’t have a big budget you’ll want to find an economical host. You should be able to find quality hosting for about $6 a month.
Speed of their servers and their server locations is also important to think about. You want a host that has web servers near where the most of your visitors are. You also want to make sure they have Solid State Drives (SSD) as these are faster at serving up your site.
I’ve found that GreenGeeks checks all the boxes for me. Inexpensive hosting plans, fast servers that are near most of my visitors. They are even ecologically friendly as they use solar power and give back to ecological projects.
The site you are on now is hosted with GreenGeeks (affiliate link). Make sure you sign up for 12 months or more so you get the best price with no sign up fee and a free domain name.
3. How many posts do I need to get ranked in Google?
Each post is a separate piece of content and Google can index it even if it’s the only piece of content on your blog. The more quality content you have however the better Google will understand your site and that can increase your rankings.
4. How long do my posts need to be?
There is a theory that a blog post needs to be 1,500 words or longer. That may have been the case a few years ago but it’s not the correct answer now.
Your blog post should be as long as it needs to be to completely cover the topic. For example, it probably should not take 2,000 words to explain what ingredients go in a Rum and Coke.
Make sure your post answers the topic completely and you can add in a few related topics as well to round out the post. In the Rum and Coke example that could be how much ice is used and what type of glass it’s traditionally served in.
Google is more interested that you gave the visitor a solid answer than how many words you used to do it.
5. How many posts do I need to launch my blog?
None, you need no posts to launch your blog. It’s going to take a few weeks to months before you start getting traffic so get that clock started as soon as possible.
6. Should I hire a writer?
This is mostly a time versus money issue.
If you have more time than money you should start writing your own content. This also gives you the valuable experience of researching your niche which can help you come up with more topics to write about.
If you have more money than time, or you want to speed up the growth process, than hiring a writer is a good option. There are many sites that allow you to find quality writers on a per-post basis. It will probably cost between $20-$65 per post depending on the length and skill of the writer.
Even if you have a budget for content writing I’d suggest you personally write the first 10 articles.
When hiring a writer you should still expect to edit the content to your liking and tweaking the formatting to match your blog.
7. How often should I post content on my blog?
The faster you post quality content the faster you will grow. If you post one post a week you will be half the size at the end of the year than you would be if you posted twice a week.
I view each post as a fishing line in the water. The more lines you have the more fish (visitors) you can catch. This also helps Google know that your site is active and growing.
It has to be QUALITY content. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. 20 great posts is way better for your blog than 80 poor quality posts.
8. Do I need to be an expert in my blog's niche?
No, many people are not experts in their niche. I once started a blog about outdoor grilling even though I have only grilled for my family on a $200 grill.
You don’t need to be an expert but you need to have an interest in the topic as you will be spending a lot of time writing, thinking, and answering questions about the topic. If you have no desire to learn about the topic that will show up in the quality of your writing and research.
There are enough profitable topics to write about that you should be able to find one that interests you.
9. Is the Amazon affiliate program worth it?
This primarily depends on the topic of your blog. Some categories of products make a decent percentage per sale on Amazon while other categories only make one percent.
Amazon has the advantage that they are a trusted retailer but if you are only going to make a few cents per sale you can probably find an affiliate program that will pay you more.
Promoting high-end headphones on Amazon will make you more money than promoting a $3 kitchen mitt. Look up some items on Amazon that you can promote and calculate what you would make. If you value your traffic more than that amount you should find something else to promote.
10. What makes a good domain name for a new blog?
Try to find a short .com domain name that relates to your topic.
If a good .com is not available than .net is acceptable.
If you are focusing on a region of the world, like the United Kingdom for example, than a regional extension is acceptable, .co.uk in this example.
Avoid dashes and numbers as these can be confusing when telling people about your site. Don’t misspell words and make sure you are not using a trademarked name. For example you can’t use “WordPress”, “Coke” or “Disney” in a domain name because those are trademarked.
It can be cute or clever as long as it is memorable. You want your visitors to be able to remember it later when talking with their friends and family.
11. Does page load speed really matter and how can I test mine?
Page speed absolutely matters. In May of 2021 Google did an algorithm update that included a new measurement called “Page Experience”. This includes load time, interactivity, and page stability. The faster your page loads the better.
Studies have shown that if a page takes more than 2.5 seconds to load many visitors will leave. That means you got their attention and their click but your page speed cost you an actual visitor.
You can test your page speed on Google’s Page Speed Insights page. Notice you can check your speed for mobile devices as well as desktop on that page.
12. Should I take an online blogging course?
It’s easy to get into “learning” mode and never actually get started. I’ve fallen into this trap several times. I would suggest getting started and then picking up a course in an area that you need help in. For example content writing or Pinterest marketing.
There are also many videos on YouTube about almost any subject you can think of related to blogging. Just avoid any “get rich quick” videos and stick to honest content creators. A ten-minute video may be all you need to get unstuck in an area.
There are also many answers on this blog. 🙂
13. Do I have to show my face or use my real name?
No you don’t. Many people have blogs where they use a “pen name” and an avatar instead of a photo.
That being said, you are more likely going to gain the trust of your visitors faster if you have a picture and short bio on your site. If they trust you they are more likely going to take your advise on products and services. On this site I use my real first name and picture.
I have a question not answered here, can you help?
You can use the form on this page to submit a question and I’ll help if I can. I may even add your question to this page. 😉