Do you like to write or have a hobby or interest you want to share with the world? If so, creating a blog can help you hone your writing skills and introduce you to a group of readers who share similar interests. There’s another benefit to blogging. It creates a stream of income. Here’s how to make money blogging.
How to Make Money Blogging Step 1: Create Your Blog
You can’t make money from a blog without a blog, right? Figuring out how to make your own blog can seem confusing or overwhelming at first, but it’s just a matter of logistics.
The first thing to do is find a company to host your blog. A web host lets people find your blog on the Internet. It also stores all the files and information you create for your blog.
If you search for web hosting, a lot of companies will appear in the results. Some are better than others.
Some are just downright expensive. Others are complicated and meant for the coders among us.
As a newbie blogger
You want a web host that will make the process of starting a blog as simple as possible, for as little money as possible.
Bluehost is often the ideal web hosting service for bloggers, particularly for new bloggers. You don’t need to know anything about making a blog or any tricky codes or computer languages to use it. It offers one-click installs of a variety of web services, including WordPress.
Another great feature of Bluehost is that you can purchase your domain name through it. You can also buy your domain name separately, through a registrar. The domain name is the address that people will type in to get to your blog.
Creating a domain name when learning how to make money blogging involves a bit of art.
For one thing, it can’t be a name that anyone else is using online. If someone else already has myblog.com, you can’t also have myblog.com. Other things to remember when choosing a domain name for your blog include:
Make it short
- No one wants to spend more than a few seconds typing the name of your blog into the URL address bar.
Make it relevant
- Ideally, the domain name you pick will be the same as your blog’s name. If you can’t buy that domain, choose one that somehow relates to the subject of your blog. You might consider changing the name of your blog if you can’t purchase the title as the domain name.
Make it memorable
- The more catchy and memorable it is, the more likely people are going to be able to remember your blog.
Make sure you’re not copying anyone else
- Do some research before you buy your blog’s domain name to make sure you’re not using a trademarked name or a brand name that another company is already using. You don’t want to have to deal with a legal headache.
Make it easy to type
- Don’t include numbers and hyphens in your blog’s domain name. No one is going to remember where the hyphens go. People are going to struggle to remember if the number is spelled out or written as a digit.
Carefully consider your domain extension
- The most well-known domain extension is “.com,” there are others. These days, there are entire words like “.blog” or “.lawyer” that you can use. Buying multiple domain extensions can make sense, as it allows people to find your blog no matter what they type in.
Once you’ve got a host and a domain name, it’s time to choose a blogging platform. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, with users publishing more than 83 million posts on it each month. Other options include Blogger and Drupal.
But WordPress has a few advantages over the others, especially for people learning how to make money blogging. For one thing, it’s simple to use, even if you’re not a “techy” person.
For another, lots of people are continually making plug-ins and other tools for it, which allow you to enhance and customize your blog.
WordPress also has good security, including a decent firewall and plug-ins that let you monitor and block hackers. Even better, most of its features are available for free.
What About Free Blogs?
Web hosting and a domain name do cost money. Depending on the product you buy, you’ll usually pay a monthly or annual fee.
You might be thinking if your goal is to learn how to make money blogging, why pay to make a blog when there are free options out there?
Paid hosting and a domain name you own are better options for a few reasons
Reason one is that you own the name and the content of your blog. Take a close look at the terms and conditions when you sign up for a free Blogger or Wordpess.com blog. Those companies technically own what you create.
Another reason that’s particularly important if you’re trying to figure out how to make money blogging is that free platforms often limit your monetization options. You may not be able to actually earn a living off of a free blog!
Free blogging platforms also limit how much information you put on your blog because your storage space is limited. You’re also stuck with a lengthy domain name, such as yourblog.blogger.com or yourblog.wordpress.com.
If you a want professional-looking blog and the freedom to do what you wish with it, it’s better to buy hosting and a domain than to go the freebie route.
How to Make Money Blogging Step 2: Design and Create Content for Your Blog
The next step when learning how to make a successful blog is designing the blog itself and creating content for it.
When you use WordPress, the design of your blog is part of something called a theme. Just like everything else in the blogging world, there are paid themes and free ones. Paid themes often have more bells and whistles, but there are plenty of useful and nice-looking free ones.
The theme determines the layout of your blog, how it looks on desktop and mobile devices, and other design elements. If you aren’t sure what type of theme you want, look at any blogs you read and see what theme(s) they use.
That means your blog will automatically adjust itself based on whether someone is looking at it on a smartphone or a desktop.
Google also tends to rank mobile-friendly sites higher in the search engine results than non-mobile friendly sites. If you’re figuring out how to make money blogging, having a high-ranking blog is critical.
Once you have a theme picked out, it’s time to start creating content for your blog. A blog without content is just a web page with pretty pictures and some Latin text on it.
You not only want to write blog posts for your blog, but you also want to create static pages that give a reader an idea of who you are and why you’ve got a blog. An “About” page gives your blog legitimacy and introduces you to your readers.
Some bloggers also include a “Start Here” page on their blogs. The “Start Here” page can contain links to particularly popular or useful posts on your blog, plus anything a first-time visitor would need or want to know.
What should you write about when it comes to actual posts? Some subjects do better than others for readers.
What does a “useful” blog post look like?
It’s a post that will somehow change your reader’s lives for the better. Part of knowing how to make money blogging is knowing what types of posts your readers will find useful.
If you’re running a cooking blog, a useful post will offer tips for saving time in the kitchen. If you’re running a fashion blog, a useful post will give readers advice on choosing clothes that fit.
“Be helpful” is similar to “be useful,” but goes a step further. A helpful blog post seeks to a solve a particular problem. For example, someone bought a dress that doesn’t fit, but she can’t return it. What can she do? A helpful post would offer solutions.
Entertaining blog posts are just that, entertaining. They shouldn’t be fluff, though. Your blog posts should be useful, helpful, and entertaining all at once.
After all, no one is going to want to read a 4,000 treatise on changing their car’s oil if it’s not also engaging. Entertaining readers is a key part of knowing how to make money blogging.
Another thing to remember
When creating content for your blog: don’t copy others. Sure, some topics go viral and spread across the internet, and it’s OK to offer your own spin on them.
But don’t write about something just because Bloggers A and B are also writing about it. Why would a reader visit your blog to read pretty much the same thing that another blogger wrote about?
If you do want to cover the same topics that other bloggers are covering, put your own spin on them. Controversy tends to lead to clicks, so go ahead and disagree with others or offer a creative viewpoint on a trending topic.
Just remember to make it genuine
Don’t force yourself to take on views that aren’t yours or to write about things that you don’t care about.
People crave authenticity from the blogs they read. They’ll be able to see when you’re fake.
One last piece of advice about creating content for your blog. Make sure the content is pristine and excellent.
No one wants to read a blog post with a gazillion typos. People are going to comment when there’s just one misspelled word or one misuse of “your/you’re” in a post. Figuring out how to make money blogging involves having a mastery of the English language.
Proofread, have a friend proofread, and spell check your posts before they go live.
How to Make Money Blogging Step 3: Attract Readers to Your Blog
Part of learning how to create a successful blog is figuring out how to get people to read your blog. Making the blog and hoping people find it on Google isn’t part of knowing how to make money blogging.
One way to attract readers to your blog is to figure out who you want to read it. Putting together a reader persona gives you an idea of who your target audience is and what it wants from your blog. Things to include in a reader persona include:
- Lifestyle or family choices (single/married, kids/no kids)
- Why the person would read your blog
- Other sites or places the person visits on the web
With your reader persona prepared, you can go off in search of an audience that fits the description. For example, if your target audience hangs out on Instagram, make an Instagram profile and start following accounts that mesh with the description in your personas.
If your audience can be found in the comments section of other blogs, leave relevant comments on those blogs, including a link to your own blog.
Another way to get readers to come to your blog is to write guest posts on other people’s blogs
Especially if those blogs are more well-known than yours. Just make sure the blog owner lets you include a link back to your blog on the post!
You don’t have to stay online to find readers. Telling people you know in real life about your blog and asking them to tell their friends is often an excellent way to get readers. Word of mouth advertising is often the most efficient form of advertising there is.
How to Make Money Blogging Step 4: Create a Sense of Community with Your Readers
Now that people are reading your blog, you want them to continue to read your blog. Repeat readers are a must if you’re hoping to figure out how to make money blogging. There are two things you need to do to have that happen.
Thing one is you need to continue to create and post amazing, original content, as Entrepreneur notes. Whether you post daily, twice a week or once-a-week is up to you; the key thing is: Keep them coming back for more. Consistency is key.
Regularly posting also boosts your blog’s SEO
Meaning it will appear higher in the search engine results. The better your site’s SEO, the more likely new readers are to find it.
Thing two is engaging with your readers. Encourage them to comment on your posts, for example. When people do take the time to comment, respond to them. If someone asks a question, answer it. If someone adds something useful in a comment, thank them. Knowing how to make money blogging means knowing how to respond to readers.
The writing voice you use or the style of writing you use when creating your blog posts also determines how engaged readers are or not. If you’re like a robot or like someone writing a paper for a freshman composition class, well, no one is going to want to read or comment on your blog.
Don’t try to be fancy when writing your blog posts or communicating with your readers. Leave the “moreovers” and “howevers” for your master’s thesis and stick to writing in a conversational style.
Another essential part of building engagement and community with your readers is letting them share your posts with others. Many WordPress themes let you install plug-ins or blogging tools that make it easy for readers to share your content. All they need to do is click a button to share the post with their Facebook friends, Twitter followers or other social media network of choice.
How to Make Money Blogging Step 5: Monetize Your Blog
If you’re learning how to blog and make money, you need to know all the various ways there are to monetize your blog and bring in income from it. The short answer to that is: There are a lot of ways to monetize your blog.
The longer answer is that there are several main categories when it comes to knowing how to make money blogging:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling a product or service
- “Premium” section on your blog
Let’s start with advertising because it’s often the monetization option with the lowest barrier to entry. People just figuring out how to make money blogging often turn to ads.
When you’re just getting started with blogging, you can sign up for a Google AdSense account and start displaying banner ads.
Google AdSense works on a cost-per-click basis, so you might not make that much if people don’t click on ads or if your traffic is low. Depending on how popular your blog’s subject or niche is, the type of ads that run on it might not be very high-paying, to begin with.
As you build up traffic, you can start considering making direct deals with companies when it comes to advertising. If your blog is trendy, companies might reach out to you to see if you’d be interested in displaying an ad on your site, in exchange for money.
Displaying advertising on your blog can be a bit of a balancing act. You don’t want to have so few ads that you don’t stand a chance of earning any money.
On the other hand, you don’t want to plaster your blog with ads, making it difficult for readers to find your content. Too many ads on a blog also set off alarm bells in people’s heads. First-time visitors might think they’ve stumbled across some spam if they are greeted with dozens of banner ads.
Knowing how to make money blogging means knowing how many ads are too many, how many are too few, and how many are just right.
Affiliate marketing is a type of advertising that is often more lucrative for bloggers than banner and display ads. When you are an affiliate with a company, you mention a product on your blog, include a link to it and get a commission every time a reader makes a purchase through your links.
If you’re hesitant to use banner ads but are still wondering how to make money blogging, affiliate marketing might be right for you. You pick and choose the products you promote.
Not all affiliate marketing programs work the same way. Some, such as the one offered by Amazon, give you a percentage of the sales made through your links. If your readers end up buying $500 worth of items from Amazon after clicking your links, you’ll earn at least 4 percent of the total sale amount.
Some programs, such as ShopStyle Collective, pay affiliates on a per-click basis. That means you get some payment even if people don’t end up buying the product through your links.
Whether you’re likely to earn more money from a percent-based commission or a pay-per-click model depends on how likely your readers are to buy the products you recommend.
Selling a Product or Service
Ads and affiliates aren’t the only two ways you can figure out how to make money blogging.
Some bloggers can earn a stream of income by offering a product or service through their blog. Often, the product they sell is somehow connected to what they write about on their blogs.
For example, a fashion blogger might create a style guide and sell it to readers for $5. Similarly, a fashion blogger can start offering styling consultations or one-on-one fashion advice sessions for a fee.
Usually, bloggers who offer a product or service for sale have already built up a following of loyal readers and have established a sense of community on their blog. That’s not to say that you can’t also try selling something the minute you launch your blog.
You can write an e-book and offer it for sale from day one, for example. You can also offer consulting services, writing services or editing services from the beginning of your blog.
When you’re trying to decide how to make money blogging, think about what visitors to your site would like to buy. Then make sure to offer that type of product or service to them.
Premium Section of the Blog
Another popular way to make money from your blog is to create a special members-only section and charge a monthly membership fee.
There are a few advantages to doing this. One is that you end up with a pretty-much-guaranteed source of monthly income, without having to do much extra work. Once you have a bunch of people who are paying $10 or $25 per month to access the premium section of your blog, you’re pretty much set.
The key to making a premium section of your blog work is to offer readers something they can’t get anywhere else. You can have a members-only forum, but it’s also worth having unique, useful members-only content.
Your premium section can include webinars or chat sessions with you, e-courses on a topic members vote on, and unique blog posts not available on your main site.
A bunch of blogs brings in six-figure incomes every month, as Forbes reports. Even if your blog doesn’t get into the six-figure club, creating multiple revenue sources on a successful blog can give you a way to bring a bit of extra cash each month.
How to Make Money Blogging – Conclusion
If you enjoy writing and are seeking a lucrative opportunity, blogging could be a great solution for you. However, being a successful blogger takes hard work and determination. Blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. You’ll need to find your niche and follow through. Content is king and piquing the interest of prospective followers is no simple task.
The Internet is saturated with countless bloggers who have the same goals as you. Having patience and taking the time to sharpen your skills is a must. If you take our advice and stick to it, you’ll be attracting readers and forming your own engaging community in no time. Happy blogging!