So how do you make money blogging? You see them all the time, if it’s fashion, sports, fitness, whatever it is there seems to be a blog on just about everything these days, and they’re certainly not doing it for free!
At the time when I first started out I had no experience online, besides that of knowing how to look things up on Google, anything beyond that was besides me.
It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I decided to pursue blogging as a possible medium, I mean people were making money doing it so I thought, “why not me?”
Little did I know that this would lead me down the path I’m on today, it went from something that would be just a little side income, to the full time business it is today!
When I first started out I didn’t have the privilege of a fancy course, or elite training, I just kind of went about it on my own, learning as I went.
Over this period of time I learned what worked and what didn’t work (sometimes one more than the other), and now I help newbies (like yourself), start some of their first business online, now I’m going to lay it out here for all you looking to get in on the action.
How to make money blogging 101
I’m going to lay out the process in a 6 step system taking you from setting up your blog to monetizing for a steady income.
This is a guru free zone, so for those of you a little more advanced this might not be for you.
6 step process to creating a profitable blog
- Setting up your blog
- Finding your direction
- Creating engaging content
- Getting to know your reader
- Getting readers
- Monetizing ($$$)
A fairly simple process, and in some cases it really is but I’m going to try my best to break it down in the easiest way possible so we can get you up and running ASAP. So lets get into it.
1. Setting up your blog
Probably one of the most obvious steps to the process, you’re going to need a blog. Now to those with little or no technical background this can be a little intimidation, but no worries, it’s not near as hard as you might think!
To start off you’re going to need 2 things:
- Blogging platform
- Your own domain name (ex: like mine is brokecollegesolutions.com)
- You want to ensure it is easy to read and remember
- You want it to be unique, what do people think of when they hear your domain? Does it match what your blog is about?
- Find a domain with good keywords to help rank in Google (we’ll get to that), like how my site is primarily geared towards college students, so I have college in my domain.
Now choosing a blogging platform is a simple process, there are tons out there and no shortage of choices.
But if you want my opinion I would set up with WordPress from the very beginning, they’re by far the most popular blogging platform, for good reasons to:
- They’re free to set up with
- It’s easy to set up
- It’s an established company with years of solid reputation
- Has a HUGE selection of designs and tools you can use when creating your blog
With WordPress you are offered two tools:
- WordPress.com– This is where your blog will be hosted, they’ll look after it for you and give you access through their site, giving you a secure area to work on your blog.
- WordPress.org– This is where you will host and control the blog on your own severer, and domain, and will have complete control on how it looks, operates, and monetizing of it.
A personal favorite of mine is SiteRubix, they offer everything from website hosting to layout and design all with WordPress, making it all an easy 4 step process that can be done in a matter of minutes.
If you decided to go through with SiteRubix you’ll get full access to its hosting/ training platform Wealthy Affiliate. From here you can ask the community, look up tutorial and even go through their beginners courses all free.
Finding your direction
So you have your site most likely set up or your on the fences but what direction are you going to go in?
These are commonly referred to as “niches”. and this will be the category or overall theme of your site and its content.
Your niche can be anything from a hobby, favorite past time, an interest, it it’s gaming, hunting, fitness, cooking, whatever it is, it can be just about anything you want it to be!
What you pick will essentially be the theme of your site and what kind of products you’ll possibly be promoting (step 6).
Here’s a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
As you can see it really can be just about anything, almost any category can be profitable and will have tons of potential promotion options.
Creating engaging content
Now no matter how beautiful your site is if you don’t have anything for your viewers to read, you’re wasting your time.
Content is going to be the epicenter of your blog, its heartbeat, this will be how you attract viewers, build relationships, and grow your following, so saying content is just important would be an understatement.
What you choose to write about will depend mostly on the direction you decided to go in, but here are some things to keep in mind when creating content:
- Be useful- You want your content to be useful to your readers, what are they getting from it, how are you making their lives better? If it’s answering a question they had, or giving advice, just focus on creating content that will change people’s lives in some way, this will not only lead to better conversions ($$$) but will hep establish trust with your readers.
- Write naturally- You’re no longer in school, you don’t have the teacher breathing over your neck watching everything you do, so write natural! You don’t want to sound like a robot speaking to your viewers, have some humor, give your opinion rather then just straight facts, you have to find what differentiates you from other bloggers online, and your style of writing can really make or break your business.
- Talk to the individual- Your content should feel to the readers as if you were talking directly to them, writing in second person basically.
Creating QUALITY content is essential to your business, and since we won’t this to generate as much money as possible the more effort you put into it the more you are most likely going to get out of it.
More effort = Quality content = Happy readers = More $$$
Getting to know your reader
This is going to essentially be your representation of the kind of reader you want to attract, kind of like a reader persona, this will help you target your audience and relate to them better when writing your content.
So the question to ask yourself is, who are you speaking to? When you’re writing who do you imagine on the other end of the screen that would find this information useful?
To help get the process going here’s some areas I personally like to focus on when writing out my content:
- Financial situation
- How they use the Web
- Motives for reading
- Their experience level with the topic
I’m sure others might have different type of information, if you’ve done this before and want to share your suggestions, feel free to comment in the comments below, I would love to hear them!
So you have your site up, a niche picked out, and a basic understanding on how to create engaging content, now we have to get our potential readers to our site. So how do we do that?
There’s no set way of promoting (marketing) your blog, you can do anything from social sharing to passing out business cards on the street, but we’re going to go over some effective methods and planning strategies for getting not just traffic but targeted readers.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what kind of person you’re looking to have for your blog, now we just have to find out where they are gathering online.
Begin to list where you might find some of these readers, where are they gathering online?
- Are they apart of certain forums?
- What kind of blogs are they looking for online?
- What social networks can they be found on?
- Then what accounts are they following on these social networks?
Each of these places where your potential reader are already gathering is a potential opportunity for you to develop a presence within your niche.
Get your name out there, leave comments, offer advice, ask the blog owners if you could offer a featured post (you put one of your posts on their site), engage in forums, anything giving back.
NOTE: With this being said we still don’t want to come across as being spammy so be sure to only offer HELPFUL information, yes we want to establish a brand here, but we don’t want to start off with people who can’t stomach us before we even get up and running!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO Marketing)
The process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results, often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.
It’s essentially a method of attracting readers to your blog, commonly referred to as “organic traffic”, this is unpaid free method of marking that utilizes ranking in the search engine to attract readers to your blog.
You write content -> Content ranks on first page of search engine-> People view your blog
Now last but not least, everyone’s favorite part, turning your blog into $$$!
This is the process where you can start making money from the readership you have through one or more income streams.
With the last 5 steps we have covered setting up your blog, finding your direction, creating engaging content, how to relate to your readers, and how to get readers, there’s no question that this will take work, but we do want to turn a profit for our efforts.
With these foundations in place now you are ready to start attempting to turn a profit from your blog, so how are you going to monetize you blog?
There are different ways to make money from your blog, but I’ll go over 5 of the most effective forms of generating income with your blog.
- Affiliate income
Usually the building blocks for most blogs starting off, it’s one of the easier yet effective ways of generating income, it can take less than a few minutes to set up, if that, and it generates income all on it’s own just from a click.
The larger your blog gets the bigger the companies that will want to advertise with your blog, kind of like the companies who go all out for Superbowl commercials, they pay MILLIONS for seconds, all for potential exposure to a massive audience, the same applies to your blog.
So bigger audience = Bigger company advertisements = More $$$
Affiliate income is when you link to a product that is for sell on another platform, such as Amazon, Ebay, etc. and you put this link in your blog, someone clicks this link, and when they buy something from your link, you get a percentage of the sale. It’s kind of a way of the seller thanking you for getting them that sale, pretty simple process.
Of course there’s a little more to it than that, but to spare you the torture of making this post any longer than it needs to be here’s a post I wrote a while back on how to make money with an affiliate program.
This can be anything from selling e-books, a how to video series, t-shirts, or a personal product you make, but is another great source of income for many bloggers across the net.
These can be a little more costly to make and a little more effort on your end but if you play your cards right you should be able to turn a pretty good profit.
Another great form of monetizing your blog would be offering monthly or annual subscriptions to your blog. You charge your readers that gives them access to something exclusive such as:
- A paying membership area
- Exclusive content
- Or access to exclusive products, software, or services you offer
One of the most effective methods I see for most successful bloggers is offering services to their readers.
This is when you offer a service you can provide that will benefit your reader in some form a way that they think is worth paying for. This can be anything from graphic design, to coaching calls or mentoring, but does depend on what category you find yourself in.
Say if you were in the golf category you could offer a swing analysis where people could upload a video of them driving the ball and you critique and find improvements for them to better their game.
Or if you were good with graphic design, you could offer pre-made images to buy or take requests for a specified amount for your readers.
The key to this is to use your blog to highlight your area of expertise to make people want to hire you for a service as a result of what they see that you know and can do.
Before you go…
If you’re serious about making money online, you’re going to need the training to get you there.
Then you should check out where me and thousands of other past newbies got our starts in online business, Wealthy Affiliate.
You’ll find all the training you’ll need from setting up your site, to navigating and design, all the way to ranking in the search engines and monetizing your blog.
With this post I have outlined a basic guide to get you going in the right direction, but like anything there’s a lot more to be learned, you basically have the foundation built, now you just need to start building.
If you want to learn more or are just a little curious just click the link in blue above or the banner below to give it a quick look to see if it’s right for you.
If you have any questions that need answering or just want to chat, feel free to comment in the comment section below, I would love to hear from you!
P.S. We have a serious Taco Bell addiction and the affiliate links on our site lets us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!