There are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there, but only a few small percent of them make any money. Most of them are started with high hopes of earning fame and fortune, but then the “blogger” realizes it takes actual work to make it and the promise of blogging from a pool float while sipping on champagne was a complete lie told by the guru that they purchased a $37 “How to be a Blogging Millionaire Overnight” eBook from.

Yes, there are some bloggers that make incredible amounts of money, but they have also put in the work and run their blog like a real business. This is how SerpLogic began and it’s exactly the position I have it it right now.

Is it hard to create a successful blog that makes money? Yes, very.

Is it possible to create a successful blog that makes money? Yes, but only if you are willing to put in the time and effort. If you aren’t afraid of work and want to create a successful blog, then you need to pay close attention to the fifteen factors I have highlighted below. If you are ready to roll up your sleeves and become a blogging machine, then keep reading.

This will set you on the right track to building a profitable blog.


1. Select a niche with a large worldwide audience.

The larger your niche, the more people that are likely to be interested in a blog pertaining to that specific topic. Now, you need to be interested in the topic you create a blog around because it’s going to be a huge part of your life, especially if you are handling the content creation in the beginning.

But, you can’t start a blog around a topic that there is little to no interest in. Aside from a popular niche, I would also suggest picking one that isn’t limited by geography. The wider you go, the more potential you have in terms of traffic numbers. I would at the very least target a topic that is popular is the major English speaking countries.



2. Create a voice from day one and stick with it (establish a personal connection).

One of the reasons my blog grew into a seven-figure marketing agency was because I created a voice from the first day and stuck to it. My content became popular because I didn’t hold back. There was no filter. I was calling out SEO gurus on their BS and I continue to do that to this day.

Even when SerpLogic turned into a large agency I maintained my blog voice. I didn’t all of the sudden transform into a bland agency voice or hold back my opinions and views. You have to connect with your readers and I was able to do that successfully. With so much content out there only the honest and authentic voices will catch on.


3. Syndicate your blog posts across multiple platforms.

There is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to how and where you can share your blog content without risking being slapped with a duplicate content penalty. There is a simple formula to follow: post it to your blog first and then once it’s indexed you can post it anywhere you want; just link to the original source at the beginning. Something like, “This blog post was originally posted [HERE].”

If you are trying to get a new blog off the ground I’d post on LinkedIn if it’s business related and then on Medium. These two platforms receive a lot of traffic and the right post can take off and go viral, which can then push traffic to your blog and help you gain regular readers.


4. Stand out visually and be mobile-focused.

It’s very important that you put effort into the visual appearance of your blog — as much as the actual content itself. Often times it’s the visual element that will attract readers, and it’s that visual attraction that then introduces them to your content and voice.

It’s like a relationship — looks are what initially generate the interest and then you see what the person is all about. If you look at my blog, you will see that every post has a custom image, and I have a designer specifically for these. I could eliminate that expense, but I know first-hand that little visual elements like this are so important and help give your blog its look and feel.

You also want to make sure your blog looks and reads well on mobile. Over the years I have witnessed how much traffic is moving over to mobile devices.


5. It’s not longer quality over quantity: you need quality and quantity.

You can throw the saying, “Quality over quantity” out the window, as you need both if you want to create a successful blog. Those of you that have been reading my content over the years know that I’ve been consistent in terms of quality and quantity. I publish often, and all of my posts have meat to them.

I’ve never post low quality content just to fill the gap and I never let a long period of time pass without fresh articles for my audience to read. The combination of quality and quantity has definitely contributed to my blogging success and both are required. If you aren’t prepared to satisfy both then don’t even bother starting.


6. Focus on publishing evergreen content.

The great thing about evergreen content is that it remains relevant for a long period of time, which can result in generating long-term organic traffic for years after it’s originally published. There are some blogs that post more news and current events, and for some that works, but you have to understand that there is very little strategy in terms of organic SEO using this strategy.

If you have a huge reader-base and you don’t depend on organic visitors then this isn’t a huge concern, but if you are trying to build a new blog then you will want to focus on publishing some high quality evergreen content that can work to attract visitors long after it’s published.


7. Be transparent and pull back the curtain to show everything.

The reason people follow a blog on a regular basis is because they connect with the style of content as well as the topics. I was able to use my no filter writing style to build up a large following, and other niches can do the same, as long as they pull the curtain back and be real.

Nobody wants to read content that is polished and written like it was a PR piece. They want real and they want raw. In the SEO world, that meant calling out the lies and the BS, but let’s say you were a blog that reviewed the top restaurants in the world – you would want to write unbiased reviews that called out bad overpriced food and didn’t just paint the picture that all high priced establishments were great and had amazing food.


8. Create multiple traffic streams.

You need to think about where you are going to pull traffic from at the very beginning. Since I was publishing high quality blog posts that had a lot of information, I was picking up a bit of organic traffic from Google, but I knew I needed more. I turned to social media.

I was posting on Twitter and Facebook, but also pumping some money into each Facebook post to boost it. Using targeting, I was able to put my content in front of people that would typically read SEO and marketing blogs. Because the content was good, they started to take notice, came back often, and even joined my newsletter, which I also pull traffic from, as I announce new blog content there.



9. Build a personal blog rather than a company blog.

I am a big fan of writing a blog in your own personal name rather than creating a generic company blog. Those blogs come across as overly promotional and you are never able to really let a personality or voice shine, since you need to keep it fairly straight and narrow because it’s in a business name.

So, even if you are creating a blog that caters to recruiters and headhunters, you should use your own name as the author rather than a corporate sounding name. This allows you to be more expressive, which is ultimately what the audience connects to. Also, this helps you build your own personal brand that you can then leverage in other business ventures in the future, as you aren’t hiding behind a company name.


10. You have to remain consistent — for years.

Most blogs don’t see immediate success, which results in the owner becoming inconsistent and eventually letting the blog die. 99% of all blogs suffer this fate, and it’s because everyone wants overnight success and results without actually putting in the work.

The days of starting a blog and having it take off right away are long gone. There is so much competition, so it requires a good marketing strategy (and budget) as well as getting your content seen by people that will share it and help it get some momentum. If you aren’t willing to put in several years of work you might want to reconsider starting a blog.


11. Create a community aspect to generate repeat visitors and readers.

If you look at some of the more popular niche blogs you will see that they have used the blog as just one piece of an entire community, which will often include Facebook groups, forums, live chat, and even social media pages like Instagram.

A great blog can become its own brand and the more platforms your brand is available on, the larger your reach. Then, you can use each platform to drive your audience to your blog when new content is posted.


12. Have a monetization strategy in place even before you implement it — and have multiple revenue channels.

Ten years ago, you could start a blog and just throw some AdSense code on your WordPress widget sidebar and make money. Now, that isn’t going to create enough money to cover most expenses.

While ad revenue can still be decent you will need a much better plan if you really want to make money and you need to think of intelligent monetization plays from the beginning. The two most promising and lucrative opportunities are affiliate programs with high converting offers and high payouts and creating your own products to sell. You can also consider membership options that create recurring revenue.


13. Be willing to put in the work and treat your blog like a fulltime job.

This is probably the most important tip I can give you. When you think of a blog as a real business from the start you are going to make much wiser business decisions and it will also result in a much stronger work ethic.

The odds of half-assing a blog to a point where it makes money is a long shot. You have a much better chance of winning the lottery than making money blogging with a less than full-time work ethic.



14. Don’t be afraid to ask your readers to come back, and often.

In order to gain early momentum, you will greatly benefit from repeat traffic. Your early readers are your most valuable asset and if you make them feel important and part of your success, then they will take pride in being one of the first readers and they will gladly share your content on social media, which gives you priceless exposure early on when you might not be able to afford paid promotions.

When you are able to develop a voice that your readers connect with and then ask them at the end of your content to share it, comment on, and come back for more you will see they do as you ask.


15. Enable comments and respond to every single one of them.

Comments are one of the easiest way to get people active on your blog and coming back for more, especially if they are notified when their comments receive responses. You need to take the time to not only encourage them, but also reply to every single one.

For those of you in the SEO and online marketing world, Neil Patel’s blog is a prime example of how powerful this simple strategy is. He (or someone on his team using his profile) replies to every single one, no matter how basic the question or comment is. A simple “Thanks for reading” or a quick reply to address a question turns that person into a loyal reader forever.



The above points are all required if you aim to create a blog that actually makes money and can be turned into a viable business. If you ignore these suggestions your blog will become one of the other millions of blogs that collect dust, receive little to no traffic and cost money to operate — a far cry from a business that generates revenue.

How many of you have blogs that you are currently monetizing and making money from? I’d love to hear about what factors you think have contributed to the success of your blog. Are they ones mentioned above? Or do you have some additional input to share? Let me know in the comments below, as I’d love to hear — along with what niche your blog is in, if you don’t mind sharing that!

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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