While some people blog as a hobby, there are a number of other people who blog as a way to make some extra cash. You can generate affiliate income, sell advertisements, host an ad network like Adsense on your site, develop industry partnerships, or develop a product to sell to your readers.
The greatest thing about blogging is that after you write something it remains on the internet and could potentially continue to generate ad revenue or bring people to your blog for years to come. There are some people who make a lot of money blogging and there are some people who make a little bit of money blogging. Like anything there are strategies to increase your blogging revenue and I am happy to share them with you. In this post, I will show you how to start a blog and make money!
Find a Niche
There’s a saying that goes “The riches are in the niches.” That means that those who find a great niche are more likely to succeed. Many people start a blog about something that they’re passionate about without really thinking about the size of the market or the competition. If you’re wanting to blog to make money that’s the wrong move. First, you need to find an under-served niche. There’s a reason why blogs about green smoothies took off a couple of years ago. More people were trying to eat healthy and green smoothies were new. There weren’t any mainstream books available on the subject so people who were interested turned by the thousands to the blogosphere. You want to find a niche that people are interested in where you won’t have too many competitors.
Set Up Your Blog
Setting up your blog properly is the most important part of the process. Many new bloggers decide to get a free blog hosted by WordPress or Blogger. Wrong move. First, it looks amateurish. Second, WordPress.com, which is the blog platform that most people use because it’s easiest, doesn’t allow ads on blogs that they host. Finally, you’ll actually be shooting yourself in the SEO foot.
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization. It’s basically the strategies employed by bloggers to help you get higher in the Google ranking. When you search for a term do you click on the first few links? So does almost everyone else. You want to be in those first few links. When you publish a blog post and someone links to it (because it’s awesome!), this is a good think because it gives your post ‘link juice’. This link juice conveys authority which Google’s algorithm interprets as meaning your blog post is awesome. Because of this, they move you higher in the search ranking. Now, let’s say you start with a blog that has a .wordpress.com or a .blogger.com URL.
When you switch to a self-hosted blog (because trust me, you will) you will then have to redirect your blog from the old URLs to your new ones. Your old URL will not transfer it’s link juice into your new URL. Instead, your new URL will start at no link juice and have to build it up. Your own URL will keep its link juice but then you’ll have link juice in two separate URL glasses. That means your URLs won’t be as strong as if you had only had one URL to start with. Is this confusing? Maybe. But those guys at Google are too smart for their own good. The morale of the story is friends don’t let friends use free hosting. I can’t let you do it.
Luckily, hosting your own blog is super easy. To do it, you need to complete the following steps:
- Choosing a hosting provider. I use Bluehost. They’re cheap and easy in comparison to the competition. I would highly recommend them. They also throw in a free URL when you sign up and make it so easy that you can have your blog up in 5 minutes.
- Find a great theme. You also shouldn’t use the free themes since they’re kind of ugly and not really that useful. I would recommend My Theme Shop, which is where I bought my theme (by clicking that link you’ll get 10% off!). They have beautiful themes, great support, and they are affordable!
- Set up your blog and link it back to WordPress. It literally takes 5 minutes to set it up with Bluehost.
- Voila! You’re done. Pat yourself on the back!
Now it’s time for the fun part! How do you want to make money?
- Ads are great: I would highly recommend applying for Adsense. They’re a great network and they
- Affiliate Programs: Affiliate programs are wonderous things. You can recommend things you love to your readers and get a percentage of the sale if your readers decide to buy things. Not only do your readers get great stuff, but you get money. Amazon has the most widely used affiliate program and they’re a great affiliate partner to start with.
- Online Courses: Once you’ve built up your readership, you should consider offering an online course. If you’re in niche where there is a lot of demand and people want to learn from you, you can make money teaching them.
- Ebook: Ebooks are great ways to monetize your blog. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert and built an audience people will want to read your book!