How to start a blog & make money
If you’ve ever searched for how to make money online, you’ve probably come across the idea of blogging.
For some people, blogging is a fun and creative hobby. For others, it’s an extremely profitable business!
There are a lot of resources out there about how to make money blogging but some are just confusing and we wanted to make it very clear and precise, the iwebsitez.com way.
If you are interested in starting a blog to make money, we’ve put together this simple step-by-step guide for to help you do exactly that.
Why start a blog for money?
So why blogging?
Well, blogging is fun, creative and can be very profitable!
It’s a completely flexible side hustle. You can write about whatever interests you and you can set your own schedule. This makes it easy to fit around a full time job or a family.
You will also learn loads of super useful skills, like copywriting, social media management, SEO and even basic HTML.
Before you start, you should know that blogging is not an easy or quick way to make money online.
Many bloggers we have chatted to online say it takes about a year to make a consistent income from a successful blog.
But once you start making money from your newly created blog, it just gets easier and easier.
How to start a blog: Step-by-step guide
If you are really serious about making money from your blog, it helps to choose a lucrative niche or category that you are especially interested in. By makining your blog something you are interested in should ensure that you persist with it and do not just quit after a few posts.
It is possible to make money in almost any niche.
Our biggest tip is to choose something you can talk about all day. You will need to spend a LOT of hours on your website and write potentially hundreds of articles about the subject.
Choose the right domain name for your blog
A domain name is your web address. Our domain name is iwebsitez.com.
You want a domain that;s easy to remember and easy to spell, the shorter the better.
A domain name is really important so take some time to think about the right one.
Choosing web hosting for your blog
Web hosting is simply the platform that makes your website live and online.
If you do not want to use iwebsitez web hosting, you could try SiteGround to host your blog and we highly recommend them.
Site speed is faster on SiteGround, their support team answers you straight away and they have almost no downtime, plus they are simple to use.
SiteGround have a one-click website installer which is very easy even for complete beginners.
Also, SiteGround offers free https which will be a requirement for all websites in future and helps you do better in Google searches. Don’t worry about that too much if you’re a beginner, but trust me, you’ll be grateful further down the line!
What about free blogging platforms?
Why do I have to pay? Aren’t there free blogging sites?
Yes, there are sites that let you have a blog for free. However, these are really designed for personal blogs – the sort that you write as a diary and only ever expect your friends to read.
If you are setting up a blog to make money, you really need to pay for hosting and a domain from the start.
- Firstly, the free hosts have some restrictions over what you can do to monetise your site.
- Secondly, it doesn’t look as professional. Many brands won’t work with you, and it is harder to win trust with your readers.
- Thirdly, you don’t own your content on these free sites. In theory the free blog platforms could remove your blog at any time.
Which looks more professional and authoritative: iwebsitez.com or iwebsitez.wordpress.com?
I know several bloggers who started blogging on a free site and had to move over to a paid platform later when they were ready to make money from their sites. It’s possible to move, but it’s huge headache.
Trust me, if you want to blog for profit, you need to pay for a good hosting service!
Since professional hosting is only a few pounds per month it’s not a huge investment. It’s 100% worth it if you want to make money blogging.
If you decide to go with SiteGround, just click here to sign up for your hosting plan.
Writing your first blog post on your new WordPress blog
Blog posts are the most important part of any blog.
Ready to write your first blog post?
It is very easy to use. You can see that you can add text effects like bold, italic, bullet points and so on, just like in Word.
Wondering what’s the difference between a ‘post’ and a ‘page’?
Posts are for new content on the topic of your blog. You should add new posts regularly. They will show on the homepage of your blog (also called the ‘blogroll’) and in category pages, most recent first. They will usually show the date published (unless you specifically turn this off).
Choosing a blog theme on WordPress
The theme is how your blog looks. You can easily change this later on if you want, but it makes sense to choose one you like from the beginning.
When you first start, you will automatically have a free basic WordPress theme. You can keep this theme, or find a new one.
There are paid themes and free themes. Most themes are very customisable, meaning you can change the colours, fonts and even the layout.
However, if you find one you love from the start then it will definitely cut down on the time you spend fiddling with it!
If you haven’t set up your blog yet, here’s that SiteGround link to get your started.
How to actually make money with your blog
So, how do people actually make money blogging?
Blogging opens the door to dozens of different revenue streams. But in the beginning, let’s keep things simple. Here are four of the most common ways to make money with your blog – even as a beginner! You can use all of them, or pick one and master it before moving on.
Let’s get in to it:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
Affiliate marketing is probably the easiest way to make money blogging for beginners.
Affiliate marketing is when you get a commission when somebody buys something through a link on your blog. To do this, you’ll need a special tracking link, called an affiliate link.
Usually, the affiliate link installs a cookie on the user’s computer. This means that even if somebody buys a few days or weeks later, the sale can be traced back to you and you get commission!
Lots and lots of online stores and products have their own affiliate programs. There are also affiliate networks, which have links to lots of different kinds of products under one umbrella.
The affiliate programs you sign up to will depend on your blog’s niche and what products you want to promote.
However, there are a few general affiliate networks which will be useful to most bloggers.
When you’re choosing affiliates, think of products you love yourself, and products you would be happy to recommend to friends and family.
Don’t let affiliate commissions affect your reviews. It can look really fake and you can lose your readers’ trust.
But when a reader buys a truly great product on your recommendation and you get a commission, everyone’s a winner!
Also, you need to let your readers know when you are using an affiliate link. See the top of this page for an example disclosure!
Sponsored posts are another great way to make money blogging. This is when a company or brand pays you to publish a post mentioning them or linking back to them. Sometimes they ask you to write the post yourself, and sometimes they provide pre-written content.
Sponsored posts can be harder to get into for beginners. Most companies will want to see that you have an established site with a good number of visitors. Often companies want to know your DA, which is a ranking of how trustworthy your site is, or domain authority in Moz terms.
The fees for sponsored posts vary a lot! Fees can start at around £30 for a newer blog (around DA 10), and you can increase your fees as you blog gets more established. With a DA in the mid 20s you can usually ask for at least £100, and a blog with a DA over 30 can sometimes charge several hundred pounds per post. It really depends on the niche and client, though, so you may see people taking a lot more or a lot less.
Where to find sponsored posts for your blog
Once your blog is big enough, companies will sometimes approach you directly for sponsored posts! In the meantime, there are lots of blogging networks you can apply to that will match you up with opportunities.
Again, there are too many to list here, especially since it depends on your niche, but here a few places just to get you started:
If you are going to post sponsored posts, I recommend reading up on the difference between follow and no-follow links.
As with affiliate marketing, you have to disclose a sponsored post. You can use wording like sponsored, contributed or collaborative post to signal that you were paid.
Adverts are an easy way to make money from your blog. But be aware: unless you have huge page views, you won’t make very much money!
The good thing about display advertising on your blog is that you only have to set it up once and then it makes money passively.
There are lots of different advertising networks. The most well-known is probably Google Adsense. It’s quite easy to get into for beginners.
Once you get high page views, you can join more exclusive and better paying ad networks.
Many bloggers make a great income by selling their own product. This could be anything from an ebook to a physical product! Ebooks and online courses (called info products) are probably the most popular products for bloggers, because you can sell the same product over and over, creating passive income.
Of course, you can sell a product from day one if you like, but it’s likely to be more successful if you already have an establish blog and lots of loyal fans.
You can even enlist other bloggers to be affiliates for your product! This way, they will help you promote your product in return for a commission on the sales.
Affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, advertising and selling products are the four most common ways to make money blogging.
There are actually tons of other ways to monetise your blog, but these are the easiest for beginners.
If you’re looking for a way to start making money within the shortest period of time, become a coach. Giving prospects and customers direct access to products and expertise is vital in today's growing markets.
It doesn’t matter when you started blogging or how much experience you’ve gained in that time — offering a coaching service to motivated clients can bring you money.
Inevitably, your readers will face challenges in life. A coach’s responsibility is to help people manage their challenges, and react in a positive way instead of getting frustrated and giving up.
For example, if someone is a web developer (he he), they may need a business or personal coach to help him adjust to changes in the web development industry, get the best rates regardless of the recession, and retain clients who will in turn refer others through word of mouth.
When offering coaching services, you need a strong value proposition, because the market is already saturated. Having a strong reason "why" people should prefer you instead of your competitors will give you a necessary edge.
Before you rush in and start offering coaching services to motivated clients, you have to understand that a coach is an entrepreneur. You’ve got to have that mindset because that’s what you need to thrive.
Mediocre coaches give up in the face of unfavorable circumstances, but coaches who’ve focused on improving their entrepreneurial skills thrive. When you think like the entrepreneur you truly are, you’ll command higher rates.
Brands are desperately looking for bloggers with the relevant skillsets. And becoming a freelance blogger can transform your financial life.
65% of freelancers believe their life as a freelancer has improved over the last year. About 19% of freelancers made more than £50,000 last year, including about 5% who earned six figures. And 62.5% of freelancers do it full time, with no side project.... in other words a job.
A freelance writer is a professional who writes articles on different topics for sites, emails, landing pages, etc.
But a freelance blogger is especially skilled at understanding the audience of a particular blog, and creating content that will spur them into action.
Skilled freelance bloggers make a living from their efforts. And more money is yet to be made, as B2B and B2C companies increasingly recognize content as the ultimate tool for attracting leads and nurturing a loyal audience.
Data from B2C found that "54% of B2B marketers will increase their spend on content marketing over the next 12 months." In fact, it’s estimated that marketers are now spending £44 billion on content marketing.
Initially, you’ll have to market your freelance blogging services through guest blogging on high-traffic blogs, consistent in-house blogging, social media marketing, and even Facebook. But eventually, your happy clients will refer more clients to you!
If you’re generating a decent amount of traffic, you might be approached by a business looking to sponsor your site.
Paid reviews are when the business sends you their product and pays you to write a review about it, but you are not obligated to write a positive review. Alternatively, some businesses will sponsor a specific post in exchange for a link back to their site. It is an ethical practice to disclose the sponsorship to your readers.
Banner ads are just what they sound like. They’re ads you place in "banner" style, usually in your sidebar. The business sponsoring the ad will often pay you monthly to keep the ad up on your site.
Make money blogging summary
There are many ways to monetise a blog using your blog or because of your blog, the way is up to you. Thanks for reading!
Some of our posts contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something after clicking a link we may receive commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our site!
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