People who are new to something that they’re excited about are usually full of questions. This is especially true with blogging and affiliate marketing because there are legitimate prospects of making money. If you frequent places like r/juststart on Reddit, various Facebook groups, Youtube comments, and other communities for new bloggers then you likely see the same questions being asked as I do. Over and over again. So in this article I’m going to answer 31 common questions new bloggers ask.
Let’s have a look!
31 common questions new bloggers ask
The following list of blogging questions are simply what I seem to see most often. The answers are my own opinion.
1. How many words should a blog post be?
There isn’t a certain number of words that you should aim for when writing a blog post. The word count itself is pretty irrelevant. What you should instead focus on is covering the topic as thoroughly as possible.
Once you’ve covered every angle of the topic and hit on as many relevant subtopics as you think are necessary, then the article is complete. How ever many words that ends up being is the right word count. It may be any where from 500 words to 500 words or higher.
2. How do I choose a niche?
Since this is pretty much the first step you take into a blogging journey, it’s also one of the first questions people start asking. If you mess this up bad enough then it really hurts your chances of success.
Put simply, when choosing a niche for a blog you want to look for something that has search volume. Find an interest or hobby, a popular category, something that a segment of people somewhere are excited about. On top of that, it’s kind of important that you are at least mildly interested in it too. Preferably it’s something you enjoy.
3. Can you still make money blogging?
As far as I can tell you’ll always be able to make money blogging, I see no reason why this would change any time soon. Yet people ask this question all the time. People are always afraid they missed the boat to making money online or believe conspiracy theories like “everyone is moving to Youtube and blogging is dried up”. You can definitely still make money from blogging, you just have to learn the skills and put in the work like with anything else.
4. How long until I get traffic?
There is no exact amount of time I can tell you for how long it takes to get organic traffic to a new blog. I can tell you though, from experience, that it usually takes anywhere from 6-9 months for me to start getting some minimal organic traffic to a new site. This is assuming I have front-loaded it with at least 30-40 articles.
If you were lazy and half-assed your blog in the beginning, or you only have 5 articles on your site after 6 months, then it’s likely going to be even longer. Of course you can always promote on social media or something and get some traffic, but this is inconsistent and you can’t really monetize it.
5. How many posts should I have?
I see this question in different variations. People want to know how much content they should have at times, and that’s understandable. You want to know how you stack up against others in the industry.
Try not to compare yourself to other people though. One person might have 400 articles at the end of a year, but they’re all mediocre and bring in on a little traffic. Another person may only have 100 articles at the end of a year, but it’s high quality content already bringing in way more traffic.
My advice is to post as often as you can, but once a week probably isn’t going to cut it. Shoot for 30 articles in the first month, then 15/month for the remainder of the first year. That will give you close to 200 articles in your first year and give you a good chance at success.
6. What’s the best web host?
There are also many different variations to this question like:
- What’s the fastest web host for WordPress?
- What’s the best web host for bloggers?
- Which WordPress web host has the best support?
It’s all about speed these days, everyone wants the fastest web host and this is especially true for bloggers and affiliate marketers that are competing for positions on the first page of Google. The speed of the host has become even more important since Google announced that Core Web Vitals are now an SEO ranking signal.
I haven’t tried anywhere near all of the hosts out there, but I have tried quite a few and there are a few I use and recommend to people. Here they are:
7. Should I build links to my blog?
This is something that every blogger and content marketer has to decide for themselves. There are potential risks involved, but if done right you may be able to cut down on how long it takes your blog to start seeing regular traffic.
Me personally, I don’t do it. I don’t need to. I just constantly have new content in the pipeline for various different sites of all different ages. So my active sites all have a wide array of aged content as well as new content. Something is always starting to see traffic.
It took me a while to build up to this point, but now I feel less need than ever to build links. Having said that, you do you. My way isn’t for everyone and that’s fine.
8. Is blogging dead?
This is a resounding no. Blogging is bigger than ever and there is more traffic on the internet than ever. There are around 5 billion Google searches/day and growing. 20% of all Google searches have never been searched before. More people are using the internet every year and more devices are being connected to the internet every year. The internet is still in its infancy and people think blogging is dead… pfft. Give me a break… we’re just getting started.
Things are changing and the landscape of blogging is ever-changing. Google, while sending us more traffic than ever, is at the same time competing against us for that traffic. Bloggers will have to stay on their toes, but that’s ok.
9. How do I do keyword research?
This is a part that trips most new bloggers up. They just can’t nail down how to do keyword research. I feel like people overthink this. Yes, you do have to get it right to get traffic, but the most important part is that you publish.
Don’t obsess over whether or not something is a good keyword, instead just write the article and find out for yourself. Stop overanalyzing and start publishing more. Checkout these keyword research tips.
10. What is the best WordPress theme for blogging?
Just like hosting is expected to be fast these days, so are WordPress themes. For blogging, people typically want themes to be lightweight, fast, but have at least some customization options.
Some of the most popular WordPress themes for blogging right now are the Astra theme, Kadence theme, and GeneratePress. I use Generatepress Premium on all of my blogs and have no plans of switching. It checks all my boxes. It’s lightweight, fast, and highly customizable.
11. Should I take a blogging course?
I’m not going to tell someone they should or shouldn’t take a blogging course. All I’ll say is that you should do your research and be careful about who you give your money to. Some people can really benefit from the blueprint that a course provides. The amount of time a good course can save you is likely worth the high price tag for many people.
I did not take a blogging course, I learned everything the old fashioned way from free blogs and Youtube videos. Looking back, do I think I would have gotten to where I am now if I had taken a course? I honestly don’t know.
What if a course had instead sent me down a path towards failure. What if I needed to find my own way and make my own mistakes in order to succeed? Who knows. I’m not anti-course though.
12. Why aren’t my articles showing up in Google?
The answer to this question is almost always because you haven’t waited long enough yet. It takes time for a new blog to start showing up in Google search results, most of the time many months.
Going into blogging, you need to lower your expectations. Stop searching for your articles in the SERPs. Make sure that they’re indexed in your Google Search Console, keep an occasional eye on your keyword tracker of choice, and that’s it. Focus the rest of your energy into publishing new content. If you’re overly worried about your articles not being where you want them in Google, then you’re almost certainly wasting time that could be spent writing.
13. How many posts do I need to launch my blog?
You need 0 articles to launch your blog. I put blogs live on the internet with no posts all the time. No one is going to see the site for weeks or even months. Build the site and add posts as you complete them. You’ll start with one and work your way up to a hundred and beyond. Publish each one as you go, it’s that simple. There’s no need to save up a bunch of articles in anticipation of your blogs launch, unless you are going to be promoting it immediately or something.
14. How do I promote my blog?
I don’t promote my blogs much so I’m never the best person to ask this question to. A few ideas that come to mind are find Facebook groups in your niche and asking permission from the admins to link to your new blog. Another option is to start posting to Reddit or on forums. You can also start a Pinterest account and start pinning, which is never a bad idea. Or you can do what I do and take all that energy you were about to use to promote your blog, and redirect it towards writing content.
15. How often should I post to my blog?
The short answer is, as much as you can. As I mentioned above, 30-50 articles in the first month is a great start to a new blog in my opinion. After that, try and get at least 10-15 articles/month for as long as you want to keep the site growing. You can do more or less depending on how many other projects you have going. Scale up more if and when it makes sense to.
There really is no correct answer to this question. But if you post too little, especially in the beginning, your blog may never get any traction.
16. Can I use an alias/pen name?
Sure, people use pen names all the time for blogs. I either use a general username or just my first name. Sometimes I’ll have a site that has both. The only time I think it might be important to use your own name, is if you are an expert in the field.
17. How much do you pay for blog content?
Blog content is usually paid for by the word. I’ve see people paying as little as 1.5 cents/word to 10 cents/word and higher. You often get what you pay for and can expect heavy editing needed in some of the lower price ranges. I’ve found that the 3 cents/word range works for me. This gets me pretty solid content from U.S. writers.
What you pay for the content on your blog depends on many different things. If I were being forced to narrow that range down a little bit more, I’d say anywhere between 2-5 cents per word would be an average range to pay for blog content. At least for most of the people I’ve talked to.
18. Should I delete old posts that aren’t performing?
You could, but do you really need to? I’ve seen people say that deleted a bunch of posts and suddenly their traffic spiked, but I’m not so sure. There’s a lot of risk involved in mass deleting a bunch of URLs that I won’t get into. I would instead try to optimize the articles. Or if you can’t do that, say the topic is terrible, then choose a related topic and change the article topic. Change the URL and do a redirect if you need to.
In short, you could delete old posts if you think they’re hurting your site in some way. Just be sure to cover all your bases like internal links, backlinks, or redirects. Personally, I’d probably avoid deleting a post unless it was causing harm.
19. Do I need to be passionate about my niche?
You’ll often hear people tell bloggers that it’s best to be in a niche that you’re passionate about. Something that you’re interested in will be easier to write about and be immersed in. This is true, but I don’t think you have to be passionate about a niche to publish content that gets traffic and makes money. It just makes it easier if you are. If you’re determined enough and relentless in your efforts, passion doesn’t matter.
20. I had an idea for a new site, can I start a new blog?
Of course, just be careful that you don’t succumb to shiny object syndrome. After you’ve created your first blog you may have new ideas for niche sites. I say it’s fine to go ahead and start a new site after a few months, if you’ve thought it out and are sure about the idea. Just give your first site the attention it deserves before you introduce a second site.
21. Do I need to be an expert in my niche?
It’s only when you’re in a YMYL niche that it helps to be an expert. YMYL is going to include things like health or finance. Hopefully you aren’t blogging about anything like that and have nothing to worry about.
In most cases, you only need to be a few steps ahead of your reader in knowledge. You can build large blogs learning the information as you go, that’s what I do. Over time you do kind of become a bit of an expert at something.
22. Are display ads worth it?
In my opinion, display ads are the most passive way to monetize a blog. Not only are they passive in that you never have to worry about broken affiliate links or new product models, but you can make more from display ads now than ever before.
I think display ads are worth it for any publisher that isn’t try to focus just on affiliate marketing or selling their own products. Simply turning on display ads to a blog can be a game changer to your revenue. Especially if you are with a premium ad partner like Mediavine or Adthrive.
23. Is affiliate marketing still profitable?
Online revenue share between a seller and a marketer has been around since 1994, and it’s not going anywhere. This model is advantageous for the seller who still makes a profit, the marketer, who gets a commission for his efforts, and the buyer who likely found some type of valuable content before their purchase.
Having said that, affiliate marketing isn’t easy. It can be difficult to find your rhythm and start making money. I know that there are people in the affiliate marketing world making obscene amounts of money, and I also know there are little guys like me who are still able to make a decent amount of money. Then of course there are also people who never figure it out.
Affiliate marketing is what you make of it, but the potential is virtually limitless.
24. How fast can you make money with affiliate marketing?
This is a common question new bloggers ask, and it’s also one I hate hearing. This tells me that someone isn’t impatient and probably not going the distance. If you’re too focused on how long it’s going to take to make money, then you’re way ahead of yourself. It’s likely going to be a long, unrewarding, and often boring road before you see a dime.
Try not to worry about how long until this and how long until that. Instead focus on the things you can control, like how much content you can publish. Try to hit content goals and get as much up as possible, the traffic and money will come eventually if you’re doing everything else right.
25. When should I start outsourcing?
It’s a bad idea to start outsourcing any aspect of a business until you can do that part of the business yourself. Not only that, but you can do it the way it should be done. Try and write for your own site for the first year if you can. That’s long enough for you to get back plenty of data, and to find out what type of content works and what doesn’t.
26. Can ads affect affiliate income?
There’s no question that ads are in your face and distracting, but can they affect affiliate sales? I’m going to say it depends. I’ve turned ads on and off to many of my affiliate roundup posts and noticed no change in conversions.
However, if I were promoting a high ticket item or a high commission software product, I might consider leaving ads off. I’d say ads can affect affiliate income in some cases, but in many cases they do not. You’ll have to do your own testing because it’s going to be different for everyone.
27. Do ads affect your page speed?
Ads almost certainly will slow down your site, this is pretty well known. Ads also bring in a lot of income for many publishers, myself included. You just have to decide for yourself whether you’re ok with the UX hit your site might take in exchange for that added revenue.
I’m personally ok with it. I don’t work for free and I like to monetize my sites with ads. It’s a bit annoying sometimes when you’re scrolling on a website and the ads are in your face, I admit it. But I think many people are also used to ads nowadays and don’t really care, I’m in this camp.
As to whether or not ads that slow down your site will affect your rankings, I don’t know. Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor now, so theoretically a slow site could be knocked down the rankings because of ads. I haven’t seen any negative effects yet…
28. What types of articles do you publish?
I publish mainly four different types of articles, I keep it pretty simple. Each time I find a topic I know what type of article it’s going to be. I usually know what angle to approach the topic and how I can get the most traffic out of it. I may be wrong sometimes, most of the time I’m right.
Here are the main types of blog articles I publish to my niche websites.
29. Should I form an LLC for my blog?
Just because you built a website and are starting a blog, doesn’t mean you need to form an LLC. Discuss with your attorney if you want to put your mind at ease. I waited until I was making a full-time income before I formed an LLC. All of my blogs operate under one LLC now. If one of them gets big enough I may register its own LLC.
30. When can I quit my job to be a full-time blogger?
When you’ve proven that you can replace your old income with an income from niche websites. Not only that, I’d wait until your new income is higher than your old income and has been steadily higher for 6 months. You never want to be hasty and make the jump too soon. It’s also a good idea to have some savings. Everyone has to decide what their own magic numbers are for quitting their day job to be a blogger or affiliate marketer.
31. What’s the best ratio of money posts vs info posts?
If you are worried about this question then you are likely focusing on affiliate monetization, in which case your money pages bring in the revenue. However it’s believed that with too many of these money pages, you may lose favor with Google.
As a general rule, I’d say never have more than half of your articles be straight affiliate content.Aa better ratio would be 80/20 in favor of informational content. My own blogs are more like 90/10 informational. For many affiliate sites it’s the exact opposite, 90/10 in favor of money content. It generally depends on your goals as to what you should do.
Check out this article where I discuss this topic in more detail.