Do you have a knack for words? Has it been your dream to quit your soul-sucking 9-5 job and make money writing about your passions? Blogging can help supplement your income or even replace your day job, so why not give it a shot?
Whether you want to write about parenting, politics, photography, or any other topic you are genuinely interested in, here is a quick rundown on how to start a blog and make money from it. We’ll go over some basics first and then discuss ways to monetize your blog to start earning as quickly as possible. Blogging offers the opportunity to make an income without ever leaving the comfort of your home, so let’s dive in!
Setting up Your Blog
When it comes to starting a successful blog that makes money, there are seven essential steps you need to do first to get started:
Step 1: Choose Your Topic
Your topic (also called your niche) should be something you’re passionate about and have some knowledge in, as this will help you produce high-quality content that your readers will enjoy.
Step 2: Pick a Name for Your Blog
In most cases, the name of your blog will also be your domain name, so you should keep it short and easy for people to remember. You’ll also need a name that is not already taken. You can check on this through domain name checkers like GoDaddy’s Domain Name Search. Then, you’ll need to purchase your domain for a specified time frame—usually one to two years.
Step 3: Get Hosting for Your Blog
After you have a domain name, you’ll need to choose blog hosting. This is a small business expense, but nevertheless, it is necessary. There are, however, hosting relatively cheap hosting companies. For example, Bluehost is a hosting provider that starts at just $2.95 per month.
A few others include A2 Hosting, DreamHost, and SiteGround. Each of these sites will give you detailed instructions on how to get the rest of your blog set up. Plus, if you don’t understand something, they have excellent support people who will help walk you through the process.
Step 4: Install WordPress
After you have your hosting set up, you’ll want to go to your hosting dashboard and install WordPress. Don’t let this step intimidate you, as your hosting company will provide prompts that will make it super easy.
Step 5: Select a Theme
Unless you are an expert coder or web designer, you’ll want to choose a theme for your new blog. The theme will help you make your blog layout look just how you want it to look. As a beginner, you should choose something simple. The cost for a theme can vary widely, depending on which one you choose. However, the average price will be around $50 or so for the year.
Once you purchase your theme, follow the instructions to install that particular theme for your blog.
Pro Tip: Too broke to pay the fees associated with setting up a blog? No problem! A side hustle like food delivery, dog walking, or selling your unwanted items online can help. You can even earn money from surveys. Not only will you earn a little bit to help you with your new blog venture, but paid surveys can also pay off month after month. This can help you sustain your new venture until you start pulling in a more substantial income!
Step 6: Start Writing Content!
This is the fun part. Now that you have created your blog, it’s time to begin filling it up with quality content.
You should begin by writing and then publishing the content for all the basic pages on your site, such as the contact page, about us page, or anything else you plan to have as a permanent part of your blog.
After that, you can start writing regular blog posts, adding photos, videos, graphics, or anything else you want to share.
Hit publish when you have a page or post exactly how you want it. Now your content is live on the web! Don’t worry if you find an error or mistake. You can always go back and edit it.
Step 7: Keep Writing Content
Content is the lifeblood of your blog and is what will attract people to your site. If you want to make money from your writing, you’ll need to keep attracting potential buyers to your site, and the way you do that is by creating excellent content that is useful, compelling, and original. These factors will give your blog the best chance of being seen by others who are surfing the web.
Making Money With Your Blog
As you will see next, there is more than one way to make money blogging. Some people use just one of these methods, while others use a combination of ways to generate blogging income. Here are some of the best (and easiest) ways to make your blog profitable:
Promote Affiliate Products
First of all, what is affiliate marketing? In a nutshell, it is a form of internet marketing where you are paid a commission for referring readers to products and services online. Sometimes, you get paid when someone visits a site, and other times, you get paid on the sale of the product. The important thing is that your content should somehow be related to the product the reader is going to purchase. For example, you can write a product review, put an ad on the site, or even send people to the affiliate links on your blog through word of mouth.
Sell Online Courses
Are you an expert in a particular field and want to leverage that knowledge into some cash? If so, selling online courses might be just for you.
You can create a new course on any topic imaginable, host it on your website and start monetizing your blog while providing the world with an informative and affordable learning option. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved: you get paid for your expertise while others get the opportunity to learn more about what you know.
Sell Your Own Products
This method will be more difficult if you are just starting out, but the potential upside is huge!
As a blogger, your product can be anything from ebooks to t-shirts to handmade jewelry – the sky’s the limit. Just keep in mind that if you go this route, you need to make sure that your product is up to par and provides real value to people. Consider getting some expert feedback on your idea before starting the final production process.
After all, there is no better advertising than satisfied customers who actually use and love the product themselves.
Sometimes the best solution is also the simplest one.
If you are not ready to fully commit to the monetization options listed previously, you can keep your blog ad-free and ask people to make donations instead. But you should definitely be offering your followers premium content in exchange for their generosity, thus creating an even stronger connection with your audience.
However, don’t expect this type of monetization to give you the kind of cash flow that you can live off. Most readers will not donate more than a few dollars to your website, so you should consider donations as an additional source of income.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to monetizing your blog, the sky’s the limit. The key is not to despair if you go through a rough patch but rather to stay focused and keep trying new things. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme by any means. It’s an entrepreneurial project that can take time before you see results.
However, if you are passionate about what you write, the money will often follow sooner or later. But either way, you will have a ton of fun along the way!