How You Can Make Money Blogging
Most bloggers can make money through advertisements (banners or Google Adsense), through paid sponsored posts, getting writing gigs with other websites, potential speaking gigs, and affiliate income (partnerships with companies that sell products online and you get money for a completed referral). For instance, I’ve started making some income sending referrals to the web hosting service I use, Bluehost and SiteGround.
How I Make Money Blogging
My first three months blogging I made zero because I really didn’t know what I was doing. I spent a lot of time creating great blog posts as opposed to trying to make money through blogging. This actually served me well in the long run.
I met some bloggers who shared their secrets and within four months I made my first $8.24 from ads (you know those ads that appear on websites and if you click on them I get a penny or two).I, now average $100+ dollars on Google Adsense per month which doesn’t seem much but it’s all passive income. I haven’t gotten to the point where I feel it necessary to share my online income, but that can change.
As my blog traffic grew, companies asked me to guest post on my blog paying $50-$100 (these are called sponsored posts). When my expertise grew, I was hired by online brands and financial companies to write for their blogs and create content for their websites. I began writing articles for their websites at $25 for 500 words. Now, I command between $0.75 to $1.25 per word (got to love the power of expertise and having bestselling author status).
Financial institutions and technology startups find my blogs and I’ve done some marketing strategy and financial education work for them. At times, I’ll take on coaching clients too who wants more a hands one approach.
So, it all goes back to blogging.
Who can start a blog?
Anyone can really start blogging and you can use existing platforms like wordpress.com, medium.com and Linkedin to post your thoughts on various topics. But, to make money from blogging you need your own website and hosting.
You can blog on your free time, during lunch breaks, on the weekend, and even while on vacation when you just have to get an idea or thought out into the world.
How to Get Started
Starting a blog isn’t complicated but it isn’t easy either. It just takes time and following the information below can help you get started. The following is my two-step process to get started right now.
Step 1: Get Web Hosting
I think most people (and I felt this way too) feel it daunting to start because of the technology side of blogging. How do I get a domain name? How do I get the blog online?
I started blogging (and own a few blogs now) using BlueHost. For a beginner to moderate blogger this is a good place to start because it’s cheap…affordable…um…phroogal (it sounds like frugal). I’ve had BlueHost since 2011 when I was travel blogging.
I’m very transparent and want you to know that the links on this post help me earn affiliate income. When you click on a link and make a purchase the companies send me referral dollars that help me continue to serve. I’m not just recommending these services. I use them as well.
I also use and love SiteGround too which is a little more than BlueHost but a great web host to use. I recommend you check both. I’m about options and these two are sound web host starting points.
Choose length of hosting service
Once you’re signed up, you’ll need to choose your terms. How long do you think you’ll be blogging for?
I initially chose one year in the event that blogging was just a passing interest. However, a three-year hosting plan is still affordable. To determine what you need, answer that question again. If you chose a one year plan, you’ll get a notice to renew before the contract is up. Also, you pay for the entire year.
Choose your hosting term (1 year or 3 years) and opt-in for privacy protection (additional cost) because it’s good to keep where you’re living private. Your name and address is needed and published online to comply with regulations, but you can hide sensitive information. My information is all private to keep some anonymity.
Get your domain name
With BlueHost, you can get a free domain name url for a year using this link. The domain you get belongs to you and if you decide, for instance, to move over to SiteGround you can bring your domain name and url over, just don’t let the domain registration expire.
Below you can search for a domain name with Bluehost and it will take you to hosting options making it easy to get started in one sitting.
Step 2: Start Blogging Using WordPress
At this point you have a registered domain name and purchased a web hosting plan. The next step is installing WordPress which is my favorite platform to use for all my blogs. You’ll also find a lot of online support and free resources to help you master this easy to use blogging platform.
When you’re logged onto your Bluehost dashboard (called cPanel) look for Install WordPress and follow the instructions. It’s very easy to do this yourself, but you can pay a few dollars to have the web host or someone do it for you too. I think you can figure out how to install WordPress though.
WordPress is free platform and used by millions of people and companies to blog. When you install WordPress, you have the option to choose a theme. There are many free themes available. The look and feel can be customized, but again I’m probably getting way ahead (you may want to customize the look and feel of your website as you build web traffic, but focus on writing great blog posts first).
If you’re adamant about a look and feel to your blog and none of the free themes will do, I’ve used ThemeForest to find a custom theme for my blogs. Typically, I search for one I like and hire an expert to make modifications to fit what I need. You can browse through their marketplace to find one (again I caution you on trying to complicate things and starting simple).
Top 3 Frequently Asked Questions About Blogging and Web Hosting
Shouldn’t I start by getting my domain name first?
Hold off on getting a domain name first and choose a web host provider because Bluehost, for instance, gives you free domain name with a 12-month hosting service.
Do I need to start using social media?
Social media networks like twitter, facebook and pinterest are helpful in getting you traffic. You can share your new posts with followers, family, and friends. If you already have social accounts, then you’re set. But, if you don’t, then you may want to set these up.
How can I add designs and artwork to my blog post?
I use canva.com to create images for my blogs and social media channels. It’s free to use and I find very easy platform to get started. You can design to your hearts content for free, but an upgrade is also available if you’re looking to do more. Oh, and you can use photos you take with your smartphone to keep it personal and upload them to canva.com and spruce them up and add texts.
5 Blogging Tips to Increase Your Likelihood to Make Money with a Blog
- Focus on a specific topic to talk about and write stuff that people will enjoy reading.
- Make sure you’ve read your writing before it’s posted so people aren’t distracted with bad grammar.
- Promote your blog and tell those in your inner circle about it.
- Engage with others in that niche. I did this with personal finance bloggers and have made some good friends and exposed my new blog to established ones.
- Learn how to use social media (twitter, facebook, pinterest) to connect, discover, and tell others about your work.
Get into the habit of writing great posts that add value to the conversation of that topic and promote. Eventually, you’ll want to learn how to increase your traffic but that’s not where you are right now.
In the future as your readers grow, start collecting email addresses so you can email them when new blogs are posted. This is an important part of growing your audience. We’ll address that topic in another post.
It will take you 15-20 minutes to complete this entire process and you’re off to a great start. If you need technical help, customer service support from both hosting providers can sort it all out for you too.
Thanks for reading this entire post. I hope you find it helpful. Feel free to leave your comments and I will do my best to answer your questions and refer you to resources. Again, because I adhere to transparency, when you click on some of the links on my website, including on this post, and you buy a product or service from a partner, I will be paid a referral. These referral payments help keep the lights on and give me time to create great stuff for you to enjoy.