With a blog, is it really possible for a novice to make money? Is it just another myth or can you make a living out of blogging? A ‘Yes’ is the answer to both questions.
Blogging for money is not an idea that is theoretical, but it is a reality. Anyone with some basic knowledge of blogging, SEO, and a general understanding of how the internet works can start and make money from a blogging company.
An Introduction For Beginners
A real-life example of a money-making blog is the blog you’re reading now. The aim of this guide is to help you understand how to blog for money by avoiding errors or wasting precious time on tasks that will not contribute to your primary objective. It’s targeted at beginners because I know I found it very difficult to understand how blogging would help you make money when I started out (in 2002).
It took me several years to grasp the whole picture and figure out what I was doing wrong and how to turn things around.
Hopefully, from the very beginning, this detailed step-by-step guide will put you in the right direction and give you a solid plan to follow that will deliver results in the fastest way possible.
Let me explain something for now before going into the details. It’s not a simple job, it’s a difficult and time-consuming process that takes a lot of effort and hard work, but it’s also one of the world’s best and most satisfying jobs.
Not only is the money the reward of establishing a successful blogging company, but most importantly, the feeling of accomplishment and the satisfaction of making a business without relying on anything else but your own talents and abilities.
Have you ever wondered why “how to make money with a blog” has so many articles?
If the magic formula is known to some people, why do they share it with the world and not keep it for themselves and produce more cash?
The response is simple. It’s each blogger’s dream to reach a point where they make money online and then share with the rest of the world how to start a blogging company.
Of course, as we’ll see below, it’s another way to make money by affiliate marketing or selling and capitalising on your success with your own goods.
1-7 Easy Step
Let’s take it from the beginning and rewind it. How do most online bloggers earn cash and how do you do the same? To make money blogging, these are the 7 steps to follow.
Sounds like a method that’s easy! Some of the steps are actually very simple, but others are tricky and you will need to be equipped with the right expertise, the right instruments, and a lot of patience.
Step 1: Set up a self-hosted blog of your own
This is the easiest move, maybe. Registering a domain name and setting up a blog is so easy these days. A little support and tips in the right direction are what you need. I’m not going to go through all the particulars of how to set up a blog, but the good news is that there’s everything you need to know about our How to Start a Website Guide (open in a new tab). It addresses the following subjects in summary:
- How to register a name for a domain
- How to sign up to be a host
- How to Customize WordPress
- How to get your first blog post written
It’s a detailed guide written for blogging beginners and it will certainly help you save a lot of time searching around for this information and a lot of stress.
Mistakes to avoid when your own blog is set up
As a blogging novice, making mistakes is natural. That’s perfectly OK if you learn from your failures and don’t repeat them. Keep those tips in mind when it comes to starting a blog.
Your goal is to reach a point where you do not forget that you are going to start making money from your blog. I’m mentioning this again because I know from experience that a common mistake that beginners make is spending so much time and effort creating the ‘perfect blog’, forgetting that nobody cares about the design of your website at the early stages (when there is no traffic coming in), and that includes Google.
I’m not suggesting that it’s not necessary to build a website, just not in the early stages. At this point, your main objective is to get a blog running and begin to build content that will get you traffic. There is so much work involved in getting traffic (and potential clients), and from the very beginning, you should devote your resources to those tasks.
You need to have a self-hosted blog and your own domain.
There is a major difference between hosting your website on a free platform such as medium.com and getting your own domain and your own self-hosted website, as you can read in the ‘start a website’ Guide. From the beginning, make the correct decision and choose the right forum. By far, your best option is a self-hosted WordPress website.
Try to keep it as easy as possible if you are starting out now. Don’t overcomplicate things because in the end, you can get lost. You have a lot to learn and you’re going to change your mind on a lot of things as you move along, so save your time and energy for the more complex tasks.
Step 2: Begin to publish excellent content
So, you’ve got a website up and running, which is amazing! Now it’s time to get to one of blogging’s most daunting and challenging activities, which is nothing but making the actual material for your blog.
Having said that, the importance of content for the success of your blog is crucial to understand from the beginning. Great blog material, which can be photos, videos, infographics, or even audio, is not always text. BUT, your content should be mainly text for the purpose of achieving high rankings on Google (and other search engines). As I mentioned above, keep it easy at the beginning. Later on, to make your content more interesting, you can combine text with other types for the best performance.
The following characteristics have great content
- For your website, it’s unique (it’s not an exact copy of an already published post)
- It is free from errors in spelling and grammar.
- It has sense
- It’s informative, insightful,
- It’s impartial
- It encourages people to do/understand/learn something,
It’s quick to read,
Don’t worry, for now, if the above list does not make a lot of sense, you can understand it better as you become more experienced.
Pick a subject you enjoy reading/researching/writing
You should be in a position to have content that meets the requirements for good content when you start writing content for your blog (as explained above).
This process will be very difficult if you are not passionate about the issue, and you will give up before you even begin.
A money-making blog needs a lot of content and you need to come up with a lot of weekly (if not daily) ideas and topics to cover, so keep this in mind when selecting your niche.
Choose a topic that has a good audience
It’s not enough to be passionate about a topic, there should be others as well.
Know that you will need individuals to purchase your goods or advertisers to pay cash for your ad space in order to make money from your site.
None of the above would happen if your chosen subject does not have a decent audience.
Opening Google and looking for phrases (keywords) that fall into mind is the best way to do a preliminary search for the potential of your niche.
Look for the number of results and website forms that appear on the first Google pages.
Don’t go too broad, make it specific, do not
Although you need a decent audience for your selected subject, don’t go too broadly because there are likely to be thousands of websites on the same subject already.
Common subjects have a wider audience, but they are very competitive as well. If you start out as a lone blogger now, it will be easier to deal with other bloggers than with online companies that have writer teams and SEOs behind them.
To make this easier to understand, let me give you an example.
Let’s say you’re serious about ‘good living’ and ‘fitness’. You will get thousands of results, many of them from online magazines or websites that have been created for years, filled with thousands of content pages, if you do a Google search for ‘weight loss’ or ‘dieting’.
A new website can’t compete with these and get Google traffic in such broad terms.
Instead, what you can do is narrow the subject down and go after a particular area that is still related to your interest, but with less competition. “Healthy living advice for children” would be an example.
It’s a subject with a lot of interest, mostly from parents who want to learn how to provide their children with a healthier lifestyle, and they also keep the money to purchase a product (maybe an ebook) to help them do so. In your blog, this method of figuring out what to write is called keyword analysis. From the very beginning, it’s a method you need to learn and I highly recommend you take some time to read the following articles:
Step 3: Create organic blog traffic
So far, let’s recap the operation. Registering your own domain and setting up your blog is your first step. Your second step is to settle on the subjects to be covered in your blog and master the analysis process for keywords. The next move is to start building your blog with organic traffic, and this is what I’m going to address in this segment.
You need organic traffic to make money from your blog and not just traffic in general. It generates organic traffic from search engines (mostly Google). The ‘user intent’ is what makes organic traffic more important than any other traffic source. A user who types a question in the search box for Google has a specific intention. Either he or she is searching for an answer to a question, wants to learn something, find data, or purchase a product.
Their intent is reflected in the search question by the actual search terms they use. For instance, it is obvious that a consumer searching for “how to do an SEO audit of my website” is looking for a step-by-step guide on how to carry out an SEO audit.
It is very detailed and you need to provide Google with a comprehensive guide on how to conduct a manual audit to be qualified to rank for that term (or related). Your blog posts will eventually rank high on Google when you do this correctly and you will start to get targeted organic traffic to your blog.
Technical SEO Correct
Technical SEO is linked to the setting up of your blog and how well it is designed for search engines. Your blogging platform is SEO friendly by default (especially if it’s WordPress), but still, there are a range of things to check and change to make it even better.
- Blog structure
- URL Structure
- XML Sitemap optimization
- Use of Schema Markups
- Canonical URLs
- Optimizing your category and tag pages
- Website Speed
- Mobile Friendliness and Accelerated Mobile Pages
- Webmaster tools SEO
When you have a blog with great content and the traffic starts to flood in, creating a community around your brand is your next step.
A common mistake made by beginners is to skip this step and go to the money making portion directly, but this is not the most successful way.
You first need to gain the trust of the customer before making any sales (conversions) and this is done by community building. Notice that I have used the word ‘brand’ and not just a blog, and this is done on purpose.
Social Media networking
They tend to use social networks to read their news, connect with their friends, and generally spend a lot of their time online. Some people don’t want to receive emails.
You have to make sure you have a social presence on the same platforms as your prospective fans.
You can use multiple social media networks, but because you are at the beginning of setting up and developing the brand of your blog, it is best to focus on certain platforms that are proven to be more successful than others (when it comes to building followers), and these are Facebook and Twitter.
Start by building your Facebook fan base and also spend 10-15 minutes on Twitter per day.
Notifications from Network Drive
Another way of communicating with your friends is this. Any time a new post is released and if you want to send a new message to them, people who register for push notifications are notified.
Responding to comments
Last but not least, writing on blogs should not be forgotten. I’m not referring to comments that you might write on other websites, but to respond to comments made on your site by other individuals.
When anyone writes a comment on one of your posts, they expect to get a reply back, and when trying to create a community, ignoring them is not good.
Step 5: Start making money through the sale of advertising
Have you noticed how many things you need to do to get to the part that makes money? While this blog post is about making money from your blog, nearly 3⁄4 of the material is linked to previous activities, and this is how real life blogging for money works. It is important to realise, as a reminder, that you won’t make money from your blog if:
- You don’t have ample organic traffic,
- You don’t have an email list that is good
- You have no group of faithful followers.
- There’s no material you have that converts
Ad Space Selling: Google AdSense
I’m a great fun AdSense man, I confess! For more than 15 years now, I’ve been an AdSense publisher and, while there are alternatives, Google Adsense is still one of the best ways to make money online.
On my posts, I’m using Adsense and I’ve gained a good 6 figure sum so far.
I’m not using Adsense on this blog because there are situations where AdSense is not the right way to monetize your blog, as you can read below.
Step 6: Make money through the sale of your own goods or services
I stated above that, on this site, I don’t use AdSense. The explanation is clear. The aim of this blog is not to make advertisement money, but it is the medium I use to promote my SEO courses and services for digital marketing.
Think about it this way: what occurs when you sell ad space on your blog? Since 30 percent goes to the middleman (advertising company) and the advertiser makes a profit from your content and hard work, you only get a portion of the money.
You should consider producing and selling your own goods or services to reduce the loss of revenue.
This is not as straightforward as it seems, of course. It takes a lot of time and hard work to create goods that others would be willing to pay money for, but it’s the best way to develop a long-lasting online company.
Having your own goods will increase your profit and you know that you will make more profits with every attempt you make to get more traffic.
Ebooks and online courses are the best kinds of items to build and sell online through your blog.
You should do some research before spending some time and probably money on making your own product.
What I did to test my theory, then, was as follows:
- For my course, I built a sales page for (that is similar to the one you see now).
- In my articles and sidebars, I have added banners (call to action boxes) to guide traffic to this tab.
- They were guided to the checkout page when someone clicked on the BUY NOW button, but when they tried to complete the order, they received a message that the product was not yet available.
This is not the best user interface, I know, but it helped me answer a lot of questions and gave me the strength and energy to build the course.
I decided that an ebook about SEO is something my readers want and are willing to buy after analysing all the data.
So, I stopped the experiment and generated the real product. It wasn’t a simple task; it took me about six months to design the first iteration of the course, but I was really pleased that I did it in the end.
The real sales figures were much better than the test and the course sales have generated a pleasant monthly income since last year.
This is the bottom line: do your homework, find an idea, and test it. If the test is successful, proceed to execution if the process does not start again.
Step 7: Make money through the promotion of affiliates
Last but not least, by selling the goods of other people (digital or physical) for a commission, another way to make money from your blog.
This is known as affiliate marketing in general. An summary of the method is here.
You discover which goods you want to promote
You sign up for their affiliate marketing programme and get a special link and banners to use
When anyone clicks on the links, you add links/banners to your blog and they are routed to the provider’s website.
You get the negotiated commission when they make an order,
Before moving into affiliate marketing, some stuff to know:
- Do not encourage goods or services that you do not personally use. You do not want to lose the confidence of your customers. Promote only items that you appreciate from personal experience that will assist your readers.
- Google does not like blogs or web pages that are purely aimed at making money from connections to affiliates. Your website, without being too commercial, should provide the consumer with real value.
- Do not overdo this. It’s okay to include items in the material of your blog, but not all the time. Successful affiliate marketers all the time don’t sell items. First, they provide their readers with value and then recommend items.
Everyone should learn how blogging can make money. The amount of money you are going to make depends on how much time you are able to allocate to make it happen.
It’s not an easy job and in a few months or even years, it’s not something that will yield results, it will take time and it takes a LOT of patience. But, as I said above, once it happens, it’s one of the world’s best work.