Are you here because you want to make money blogging?
Great! You are in the right place.
Before we begin, let me tell you what blogging has done for me.
I was able to quit my boring day job because blogging made me financially stable enough to not need my day job anymore. Blogging also helped me pay off all my debts.
I want to help you get that independence as well. I want to help you make money blogging.
But first, you must have a blog. I’ll show you how to start a blog in 7 simple steps.
When someone asks me the best way to make money online? I always recommend starting a blog and monetizing it. Why?
For two major reasons:
- A blog provides so many opportunities to make money online like affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, display ads, and so much more.
- It is a great source of consistent income, both passive and active. There are methods of making quick cash fast like using survey sites like Swagbucks, survey junkie, etc. Yes, these are great methods of making quick cash, BUT, the cash is very little and it isn’t consistent. With a blog, you can have a consistent income every month for the rest of your life.
Do you feel like you are ready to start a blog? Great! Let’s begin!
CAN I REALLY MAKE MONEY BLOGGING?
Absolutely! And I’ll show you how. There are bloggers who make hundreds of thousands to millions a year through blogging. And you can do that too.
Take Ryan Robinson for example. He made $28,387.79 in March of 2020 and $28,700.06 in April of 2020.
This is what he made in March:
And in April:
There’s also Dylan at Swift Salary who made $5,280.71 blogging in Quarter 1 of 2020. Take a look:
Making this kind of money blogging definitely isn’t easy. But it is very possible. So many have done it and you can do that as well. If you are ready to do that, then I suggest you keep reading this guide.
STARTING YOUR BLOGGING JOURNEY
I will show you how to start your own blog using the one-click install method on Bluehost. This is a trusted web hosting provider used by millions of bloggers.
If you want to go straight to that then jump straight to starting a blog on bluehost.
A blog is a website or a webpage that focuses on written content known as blog posts. There are many kinds of blogs focusing on different topics. Bloggers can choose to write about a wide range of topics like health and lifestyle, or they can decide to write about one particular topic.
The subjects chosen by bloggers are known as niches.
A niche is a small, specialized section of the online population, that a blogger targets. All the content you produce is aimed at this section of the population. The more people your niche has, the better your chances of getting readership.
Bloggers usually write from their perspective which allows them to form connections directly with their readers.
These near personal connections allow you to interact and share ideas with people who have similar interests just like yours. This rapport opens up opportunities for monetizing your content.
Here are some reasons why people start and enjoy blogging:
- To make money blogging
- Helps you network with like-minded people in the industry
- To become an expert in a particular niche
- To sharpen writing, thinking and communication skills
- The process of creating something original increases self-confidence.
- It is a great way to gain writing experience
- It has the potential to grow your person
- Blogging is a form of a diary
What are your reasons? Do you want to share ideas with certain types of people? Want to create a community of like-minded people? Or would you like to keep your followers updated on the latest brands in the market? Maybe you would just like the experience it gives you.
Whatever your reasons are, they should be clear and deliberate enough to start you on the path you decide to take. So, should you start? Absolutely! Why not?
What’s interesting is that there aren’t many requirements at all.
It is not a must for you to be a web developer, professional writer, or to have any credentials at all. If there is any experience needed, you will gain it while having started already.
You can do it at any age, from anywhere or at any experience level, and still build yourself a successful online business.
Looking to make extra money online?
. Rakuten: Get paid $10 for signing up and $25 for referring a friend to Rakuten. Rakuten also gives you cashback for shopping online.
Want to get paid to shop? Sign up at Rakuten and get a $10 welcome bonus plus $25 for each referral you make.
. Swagbucks: Sign up at Swagbucks and get 300 free SBs. Swagbucks pays you to search the internet, shop online, discover new things, take surveys, and play games. You also get 300 SBs for each referral you make.
Read my Swagbucks hacks article here if you want to make more money on Swagbucks.
Looking for something longterm?
. Start a blog and make a consistent income.
Read my article on how to start a blog in 15 minutes to learn how to make money blogging.
Steps to create your blog today(and start making money)
1. Pick a niche for your blog
Picking a niche is the first step in coming up with your blog. It defines what your blog will be about. Your niche guides the type of content you are going to be posting on your blog.
How do you decide on the perfect niche?
Ask yourself this. What do you find interesting? What are you passionate about? Are you an expert in a certain field? Do your friends and family come to you for advise on a particular subject?
If you have an answer to one or all of this questions, then you already have a place to start.
How broad (or narrow) should your niche be?
When picking a niche make sure that it is not too narrow to be irrelevant in the future and not too wide to confuse your readers.
Picture the topic in the weeks, months, or years to come. How is it fairing on at that time? Has it become irrelevant? Is it still interesting to your followers? The answers you get from these should immediately inform the scope of your niche.
How to get ideas for your blog niche.
Some people are clear on what they want to write about from the get-go. They want to start a blog based on a deep interest and love they have for an idea or topic. Some have their passions.
However, some don’t have a clue. And that’s fine! All they know is that they want to start a blog and monetize it.
If this sounds like you, here are some great ways to stir up that brain for new ideas.
Where does the inspiration for a niche idea come from?
- Everything you find interesting
- Books, blogs and magazines you read
- The best part about your day
- Take a look at shopping sites like Amazon and eBay( look at popular products and trends.
- Any significant accomplishments lately like going to the gym, running a marathon.
- Think about common topics like fashion, recipes, parenting, health and fitness, self-development and personal finance.
Validating your blog niche ideas before you launch
To make sure that you have picked the right niche, try to generate at least 50 or more blog post ideas in that niche and draft at least six or more blog posts related to that niche.
2. Choose a domain name for your blog
Your domain name is important because that is how your readers will find you. You’ll want to pick a name that is unique and memorable so that people can easily remember your blog name.
I think it is safer to purchase a domain name from domain registrars like Namecheap then get hosting from hosting companies like Bluehost, Siteground, and Dreamhost.
I usually purchase my domain names from Namecheap then get hosting from Bluehost.
- Go for .com instead of .org, .net, .info or any other domains.
- The shorter the domain name the better. It makes it easier to remember your domain name.
- Don’t use symbols and numbers in your domain name.
3. Choose your hosting plan
This is the fun part! It involves getting your blog online.
With the niche and the name of your blog all figured out, you can start thinking about how your blog will be hosted.
Don’t let the term web hosting scare you. It sounds technical, like something only a computer expert will know, but it really isn’t.
What is web hosting?
Since your blog is a website, it will need an online host to make it accessible to the public. Web hosting is, therefore, the activity or business of providing storage space and access for websites.
For a website to function, it needs two things; a blog host and blogging software. These two components usually come in a single package these days. A blog host, I have defined above (Bluehost), the blogging software we will be talking about it shortly (WordPress).
Web hosting options
Let’s talk options. There are hundreds of web hosting providers right now. So which one is the best?
Honestly, the answer isn’t simple because different hosts have different features. But if I had to pick one. I would pick Bluehost.
Most people prefer Bluehost because they make the web design process very easy for the average person. They are also the most common so there’s some sort of comfort in that.
Related article: The best cheap web hosting companies
28% of websites on the internet are powered by Bluehost. This is remarkably larger considering how huge the internet is.
Let me walk you through the process of starting a blog on Bluehost.
STARTING A BLOG ON BLUEHOST
1. Select a plan
Their plans are really cheap, starting from as low as $3.95/mo
You can pick whatever plan according to your budget.
2. Input the domain name you will be using
The next page will prompt you to pick a domain name for your blog. It is a simple step. Type in the domain name that you purchased from Namecheap earlier on. This will be the name that your blog will have.
There is also an option of creating your own domain name.
3. Creating your account
The initial step is filling in your details- your name, email address, and address.
You can enter the information manually or have your google account do it for you by linking your Bluehost account to your Google account.
4. Picking the hosting package
I always advise people to choose the 36 Month Price because it offers the lowest price. You end up saving a lot with this package. And when you are just starting out every penny matters.
It covers both blog hosting at the lowest rate possible and offers you the domain privacy feature 3 years in advance.
5. Selecting package extras (skip all but one)
You can pass up on the rest except the SiteLock Security – Essential. It protects your website from malware and malicious attacks.
The internet i a crazy place. You will want your site to be protected from these attacks.
Further on, I will be showing you some free and cheap plugins & tools to use for additional security, SEO optimization, and site back-ups, rendering most other extras irrelevant.
6. Filling out your billing information
First, you should check the box to agree to Bluehost’s Terms of Service. Press the “Submit” button (it should be green by now).
After completing this step, your blog should now be in existence.
With that out of the way, it should be appropriate to move to the next process( setting up and optimizing your new blog).
Other web hosting options apart from Bluehost
If you are still interested in other web hosting platforms, you will want to check these out:
SiteGround are best known for their excellent customer service.
2. DreamHost is also a great option.
3. HostGator is the third option. They have free website transfer and no storage limit.
You can read my detailed review of the best web hosting companies here.
4. Customizing your blog
Now it’s time to add a bit of life to your blog.
First, choose a blogging platform. The platform I will be focusing on is WordPress, though there are other platforms like Blogger, Ghost, Wix.com, and others.
What is WordPress?
It is easily the most widely used Content Management System globally. It is used by over 75 million websites. WordPress is free, so all you will require is a great web hosting plan like Bluehost, Dreamhost, Siteground, or Hostgator.
Please Note: WordPress comes in two very distinct forms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Their names are almost similar but , they are very different.
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
The main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who actually hosts your website. I recommend WordPress.org because you host your own website.
WordPress.com is free. Unfortunately it has heavy restrictions like:
- You are not allowed to sell your ads.
- It is not possible to use a custom domain name.
- Restrictions on uploading plugins.
- You can only use basic designs on it
- There is an extra charge if you would like to remove the WordPress branding on your domain name.
- Limited analytics
- Limited SEO
WordPress.org is the one you want to get. It features;
- A fully customizable design
- Unlimited plugin options
- No WordPress branding
- A monthly fee ( in the hosting plan you choose)
- Limitless monetization options-gives you absolute control
- Full SEO and analytics
- An option to add a membership site or eCommerce store
Choosing a Theme for your Blog
You have two options. Getting a paid WordPress theme right away (recommended) or choosing a free theme.
I usually recommend getting a paid theme right away because it makes your blog look professional and you get support whenever you have problems.
Plus a paid theme has so many options and features to choose from. It makes easy to customize your blog the way you want to.
Readers care about how well a blog is designed-even if you don’t. We all unconsciously judge things by their aesthetic. So trust me, you will need to have a great theme for your blog if you want to make money blogging.
These are some of the best themes:
- Divi (What I am using on this website)
- Avada WordPress theme
- Wonderwall theme
- The Essence
Whatever theme you pick should:
- Have plugin support
- Should be simple: never compromise on the theme’s usability.
- Be super responsive: always go for themes that work well on the different devices your blog will be displayed on( whether a laptop, smartphone, or tablet).
- Be Supported: You should be able to ask for and get help when things go wrong. Keep in mind that most free themes do not offer support.
- Be SEO friendly: your theme should make it easy for the popular search engines to detect it.
- Have Reasonably good reviews: I got Divi because of the great reviews it has.
WordPress plugins to install on your website
A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that adds extra features to your blog. It allows you to add different features to your blog so that you can do things like getting your SEO right, website analytics tracking, email subscriber collection, image optimization, improving your page’s load times, and much more.
There is only one problem: there are thousands of different blogging tools and plugins to pick from. I recommend Yoast for SEO, Google Analytics for your blog analytics, and UpdraftPlus as a backup plugin.
5. Coming up with a content strategy and publishing schedule
Write down all the content you want for your blog. Come up with article ideas. It is basically coming up with a direction for your blog.
Here are a few tips when coming up with a content strategy:
- Goal definition- What do you want to achieve with your content?
- Come up with a few main topics. For example, if you are starting a weight loss blog, then you can have key topics like healthy recipes, meal plans, workouts, etc. These topics will give you the direction which your blog should take.
- Categorize your ideas- Put similar ideas together.
- Prioritize your topics. Decide
- which topics will be published first and which ones later.
- Come up with a publishing schedule. Consistency is everything. You want to be as consistent as possible. It keeps readers coming back. And this is great because it means consistent traffic for your blog.
There are tools that can help organize your content. You can use:
- Google Docs & Google Calendar.
When you have come up with a decent number of article titles, you can now start writing your first blog post.
6. Getting traffic to your website
With everything on your blog now up and running, it is now time to think about driving traffic to your blog.
If you want to run a profitable blog and make money blogging, then you have to know how to get traffic to your blog.
You should, therefore, spend a considerable amount of time and thought into your blog’s promotion efforts. But where do you begin?
Here are some of the methods you can use to get ahead.
1. Search Engine Optimization(SEO).
Before you go off implementing any strategies, ensure that your content is SEO optimized. Content is key, and search engines know that. So create SEO optimized content that makes it easy for search engines like Google to find you.
Do proper keyword research and ensure that your content is well written and you are using your keywords properly.
2. Use Social Media
Create social media accounts for your blog. But first, ensure that the social media platform you use is suitable for your niche.
Every social media platform has a different kind of user. The reason why there are so many in the market is that they target different niches and demographics of people.
It is, therefore, wise to identify social media platforms that work best with your niche, and the readers you identify with.
For instance, if your blog is more professional and businesslike, you might want to try out LinkedIn. If you have a recipe blog, then Facebook and Instagram are great.
3. Guest blogging.
The blogging community loves helping each other out and now that you’re part of it, you can enjoy this hospitality by guest blogging. All you have to do is to get to know other bloggers working in your niche.
A great way to network with other bloggers is through social media forums. There are so many blogger groups. Just find the right one and join.
Most blogs accept guest post submissions. Just reach out to them and request to submit a guest post.
4. Email newsletters.
Email Marketing plays a major role in the growth of your blog. Building an email newsletter is one of the best ways to keep readers coming back.
Subscribers receive direct email notifications alerting them of your latest blog posts.
5. Respond to your readers.
Through the comments section, you are always able to seek the readers’ feedback. This is done by posing a question at the end of every post or by doing a social media post.
When they respond, it is courteous to acknowledge their response. Having a personal relationship with your readers makes them more interested in your blog.
7. Monetizing Your Blog.
I love this part! This is the part where you see all your effort pay off!
Please note: Before trying to sell anything to your readers it is best to focus on adding value to their lives and building strong relationships with them.
You need to understand your readers deeply before you can understand their needs.
Once you understand what your audience wants, you can monetize your blog with any of these methods. You can focus on a few, but the more the better. This is how you can make money blogging.
1. Make money blogging by selling your services
Like I mentioned earlier, your blog is a great place to showcase your portfolio.
It can be an avenue for you to advertise your skills and services. It is one of the easiest ways to earn money from your blog early on and way into the future.
I first used my blog to get freelance writing clients and the very first sum of money I earned from my blog was from a freelance writing client. Someone paid me to create content for their website after going through my blog.
You can also use your blog to pitch to potential clients. It doesn’t have to be freelance writing. You can showcase whatever skills you have. Create websites? Great! Proofreading and editing? Plan events? Organize houses? Also great! You can actually advertise anything on your blog.
You will also need to build a strong portfolio of your past projects, which will be shown to potential clients when they want to see more.
2. Make money blogging with affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing?
It is a type of performance-based marketing strategy where you are rewarded by earning a commission whenever you promote a certain product and sales are made through your link.
It is the best way to make passive income. Whenever you recommend a product to your audience and someone purchases that product, you earn a commission.
It is very simple. Plus, you can do it without having your own products to sell.
3. Make money blogging with sponsored content
You can offer sponsored content to your readers. However, this option will require you to have a sizable amount of traffic. Before exploring this option, it is wise to grow your following first.
Brands pay you to review their products and recommend the products to your readers.
4. Make money blogging with podcast sponsorships
Setting up a simple podcast is a great way to start monetizing your blog. You can book sponsorship deals from brands interested in your readers & listeners.
You can even combine podcast and placement offers with sponsored blog posts on your site to sweeten the deal.
5. Make money blogging with memberships
You can create membership options to paid tutorials, private content, paid consultation services or online courses. These paid membership options offer members-only exclusive content.
6. Make money blogging by selling digital products
You can sell digital products like ebooks, videos, apps, themes or online courses.
The products you sell here have to add value to your readers. Always keep that in mind. Before selling anything on your blog, you have to ask yourself whether the person reading your content can use your product and benefit from it.
7. Make money blogging by selling ad space
For a small fee, interested advertisers can use white space on your website to advertise their products. Advertising deals are a great way to earn extra income from your blog. However, the products you advertise should have some connection with your niche.
If your blog is championing a worthy cause you can always ask your readers for donations.
Related article: 14 Swagbucks HacKs That Will Actually Make You Money
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO MAKE A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY
We’ve gone through alot to get to where we are. You now have a blog name, domain space and your blog set up.
It’s time to make money blogging!
Now is not the time to second guess yourself.
And welcome to the blogging world!