A Beginner’s Guide to Making Money from a Blog
Blogs have been around for a while now and their popularity is only increasing. Along with social media, blogs are a great way to share your opinions, stories, advice, or pretty much anything you want.
If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I hope this will be of use to you. There is plenty of info on this however I’ve tried to edit it all down so this article gives you all the important information and (hopefully) makes it as clear as possible to follow.
Why Set up a Blog
Everyone’s motivation for blogging is different. For many, it is simply a way to share their stories. I personally love these kinds of blogs and these kind of blogs can be so unique. They don’t follow the trends or try to copy others, instead they simply focus on their content. They might not look as pretty but I really enjoy reading them. Then we have blogs that make money. There is no reason why a blog that makes money can’t be unique and original at the same time. Too many bloggers simply copy each other which can lead to boring articles. If you want to make money blogging, the best thing to do is forget about money for the first 3 months at least. Focus on your content (writing, pictures, videos, etc).
You need to be realistic about making money from blogging. There are plenty of examples of people making very big salaries from blogging however are also lots of people who aren’t making a penny. If earning an income from your blog is important then you need to have a plan and treat it almost like a business. If you aren’t willing to spend a lot of time, writing, rewriting, emailing, researching etc then you probably won’t make much money.
I love the online community and all of the amazing people who I get to talk to all the time. I’m definitely no expert in blogging or making money blogging, but I am learning slowly. There are many ways to make money online blogging and hopefully this article will make this clear to you.
For me, blogging is still a hobby. Money isn’t my focus and I’ve set up blogs that don’t make anything simply because I enjoy writing and sharing my ideas. Receiving emails from people saying how much they enjoyed my blog is an amazing feeling. I am lucky enough to have some blogs that do make money but this has involved a lot of hard work and many hours. I wanted to blog so I could have a lifestyle that suited me and my family better. I hated working in an office 9-5 knowing I was missing my kids growing up. Blogging has enabled me to spend time with my children without sacrificing my income. If that sounds familiar then listen tight and hopefully you’ll start a successful blog too!
Best things to Blog about
For me, this is a no-brainer…. You have to make a blog about a topic you genuinely enjoy. You won’t be able to keep up a blog about something you don’t care about. This isn’t to say you can’t set up a blog about a topic you want to learn more about. I’m a terrible cook but maybe I could set up a blog about my attempts to learn to cook. This could help others who are also learning to cook.
My extra income from my blog started slow, and within the past couple of months has jumped by a lot. I spend all of my extra time on finding extra income methods, and it definitely seems to be working. I don’t want to be a one-trick pony so I do try to make money through other ventures online as well. Selling things on Amazon is definitely something I want to get into.
There are no right or wrong things to blog about and no right or wrong ‘strategies’ – it simply depends what you want out of it. ‘Blogging’ and ‘blogs’ can mean different things to different people. Huge websites like Money Saving Expert started life as a simple blog. It’s now a massive influencer in one of the most competitive industries in the world (and makes a lot of money!) Others see blogs as small personal sites that might get a couple of visitors a day.
- Adsense and Ad Networks
The ad network from Google is a great place to start. You simply place these ads on your blog and get paid when someone clicks on the blog. It is worth to check out other ad networks as they may give you better returns, however google is a tried and tested method trusted by most bloggers. You won’t make millions from adsense unless you have a very large amount of visitors. You’d need to be in the thousands per month before this stream of income would be really noticeable. However, if you make great content and this is definitely possible!! The money you get from adsense depends on the ads so its very hard to predict. Clicking on loan/investment adverts will make a blogger more money than clicking on an advert for clothes. This means the amount of traffic isn’t a perfect indicator for potential earning as if your blog is attracting people who are interested in higher end niches, then those clicks are probably going to be worth more.
You can place Adsense or other ad networks (such as BlogHer and Social Spark) ads pretty much anywhere on your blog. Usually bloggers place them in their sidebars, but you can also place them within posts, only on your homepage, as a banner above your header or at your blog’s footer.
- Affiliate income
There are lots of affiliate schemes out there so get investigating. Affiliate income is where you will have a link and you can recommend products in your blog posts. Then when someone clicks on your link and buys something (according to the requirements of course), you then make money. The amount you earn isn’t much, maybe 3-5% on most affiliate schemes. Again, this is why you would really need quite a lot of traffic before you started making a good income. I would recommend having lots of different affiliate programmes in case one didn’t perform for one reason or another.
- Link Vehicle – This is a relatively new affiliate website, but they have several affiliates that you have probably heard of.
- Flex Offers – This seems to be one of the top affiliate programs/companies out there. There are a lot of companies on Flex Offers. You just sign up for Flex Offers and then after you are signed up, you can sign up for individual companies to promote. There are numerous companies for which you can get affiliate links for, such as clothing stores, Starbucks and so on. If you like a company, I bet you will find an affiliate program on there for it. Sign up and promote affiliate marketing programs through FlexOffers.com for FREE!
- Commission Junction – This is a site that I’m signed up for but have hardly used. I have heard many people rave about it though.
- EJunkie – I’ve promoted a couple of ebooks that I love through here. There are tons of books on this site and I’m sure you could find something to promote.
- Amazon’s Affiliate Program – I just started using Amazon’s Affiliate program, but I am excited for it. You promote products from Amazon and hopefully readers click on your link. You then get a percentage of the sales.
- Affiliate Window –
- Direct advertising
This where you need to catch up on ‘The Apprentice’ and get your business hat on. You may get companies coming to you, however if you are serious about making money, phone them up. If your blog is about cooking, find all the cooking companies you can find and phone them up. Sell your blog to them. If your blog gets 100 visitors a month (which shouldn’t be too hard, with a little bit of social engagement), then in essence, your blog has 100 leads for any company trying to reach people interesting in cooking.
Let’s use an example – If my company sells cookery books I might think to myself, ‘if just 5% of the visitors buy my book at £15 then I’ll make £75. As a result, I might ask you if you would like to place an advert on your blog for £30 a month. This way I’ve made a great profit and you’ve made £30 a month with only 100 visitors. This could take an hour to arrange and could lead to £30 a month from a very small blog. This is just an example, but hopefully you understand what I’m getting at.
Setting your blog up
Wow, so this post is getting pretty long.. Maybe grab and coffee because we’re about to get into the technical side of things.
If you’re looking to start a blog then I would strongly recommend WordPress. Very few successful blogs use another platform. There is WordPress.com and WordPress.org. We want WordPress.org (yes, I know, they don’t make this easy do they!) WordPress.org means you’re blog will be self-hosted. This is vital if you want to have more flexibility and ability to edit/change things. It also makes your blog much more SEO friendly which basically means your site with show up in google easier.
So long story short, we want to use wordpress as ‘content managment system.’ This means you’ll be editing your posts/pages through their platform which is very easy and simple.
You need your blog to be hosted. Basically, there are hundreds of these hosting companies but they all do a very similar thing. Bluehost and GoDaddy are my favourites as you can set it up with no understanding of hosting or computers. They do everything for you. Bluehost is a great web host and I personally have had great experiences with them.
For your first time, you are likely to be confused but remember all the benefits of blogging and that dream lifestyle where you earn money while playing with your kids all day! I am able to work from home, I can travel whenever I want, I have a flexible schedule and more. I am absolutely loving life and I can’t believe how much my life has improved in just the past few years. Bluehost has amazing customer support as well so this helps if you aren’t very technical.
Bluehost is a great hosting company and you can start your own blog with them for as low as $3.49 (£2.50) a month. Also, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan (a $15 value). Don’t worry about it being in the USA if you are based in UK or Europe. GoDaddy UK will most likely host your website in the US and this won’t affect anything. I highly recommend signing up for the 12 month hosting plan through Bluehost. It’s affordable and you can save a lot of money by signing up for at least 12 months. You need to see your blog as a long term play so get a years hosting.
You could set up a blog for free but this is not good if you want to make money. Your website name would be name.blogspot.com or name.wordpress.com which just looks amateur. The price of my yearly hosting is covered by one advert. In terms of a business model this is unbelievable. Hosting is pretty much your only cost so once this is paid, you’re ready to take on the world.
For a full breakdown of how to set up your blog, check out this post that goes through each process so you can get blogging with no complications!!
Hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to your feedback,