Make money blogging. How to start a blog. Web hosting.
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It may seem like EVERYONE and their dog has a blog these days, so making a profit off one might seem even less likely. Having a blog as a side hobby can probably make you a bit of extra spending money, but if you really want to make blogging a full time income then keep on reading!
Before you start your blog:
First thing you need to do is decide on what you want to blog about. Make sure you take the time to really decide, because once you choose a topic that should be your life focus! Do not change your topic half way through or try to blog about flowers when your topic is parenting. This will derail you and cause so much confusion for your readers and yourself. Another thing to remember is it will take time before you start to see an income, don’t get discouraged and give up, the reward is worth the time and effort.
Related: 5 Steps To Finding Your Niche
Once you have your topic:
Congrats! Deciding on your topic is an exciting accomplishment. Now you should come up with at least 5 blog posts relating to your topic. Things to keep in mind when writing these first posts:
- Try to solve a major problem for your target audience.
- Think about how you could monetize these posts. (Affiliate links you could add related to the posts).
- Layout is important. Try to make it easy to read and follow, break it up into sections and add some photos when necessary.
Setting up your blog:
Now it is time to set up your blog! A great hosting that is budget friendly and easy to use would be Bluehost. They have:
- Free domain registration
- 1 click WordPress install
- 24/7 support
- Free site builders
You can get started for only $3.95 per month right now if you click the banner below. However, I recommend getting the Prime package as it has domain privacy, spam experts, and site backup Pro for only $5.95 per month instead of $14.99 if you click the banner below.
Check out all the packages and decide which you want to go with!
Time to decide on a theme:
The fun part is picking a theme and designing your website! You can find some decent themes for free, however it is always best to purchase a theme that comes with support. I will list below some sites to get free themes as well as my favorite site to purchase themes.
My favorite go to themes are by Studio Press! I am not very tech savvy but using the Genesis Theme has helped me set up my blog easily, they have great support and tutorials to follow. You can browse these themes by clicking the banner below:
*Make sure you buy the Genesis Framework with the theme if you don’t already have it*
Creating your first pages and plugins you should have:
Once you get some pages created it will give you a bit of content on your blog so you can begin to think about the cosmetic layout you’d like. The first main pages you should have are:
- About page
- Contact Page
Now you need to decide if you want a static front page or your blog posts to show on your main page. I started with my blog posts and eventually made a static front page.
Check out my pages and other blogs pages for some inspiration if needed.
Plugins you should have:
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- All In One SEO Pack
- Broken Link Checker
- Easy Google Fonts
- Insert Headers and Footers
- Pinterest Pin It Button On Image Hover And After Post & Page Content
- Pretty Links
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Smush
- Yoast SEO
- *new* GDPR plugin- get here
Those should get you started, you can also browse some plugins that will help set your site up based on how you want it to look.
It’s all in the list:
This is a popular saying among the online entrepreneurs because it is so important to have a list of your loyal followers so you can keep them updated on your blog posts and offer them discounts or your new course, E-book, program etc.
You are going to need an email capturing platform in order to build your list, below are my two favorite providers:
- Free up to 1,000 subscribers.
- Easy learning curve, great for new bloggers.
- Every feature available on free plan.
- Most popular.
- $29 per month.
- More professional.
Starting out I would recommend using MailerLite, both of these companies are also making some changes according to the GDPR which is very helpful. Once you have signed up you can now start collecting subscribers and build your list.
How to build your list:
Building your list is mostly a trial and error, you can no longer simply post a “subscribe to your newsletter” box and leave it at that. Most people will not sign up for that, instead you need to think of something you can offer your ideal audience for free that solves a major problem.
Here is where the trial and error comes into play. You might think you have an amazing free offer but then no one signs up or barely anyone (this has happened to me a few times). Keep trying and eventually you will come up with an irresistible offer.
Another thing you can try that will save you a ton of time creating content is Market Research! Join some Facebook Groups and create a poll asking questions related to what you are planning on creating or list a few choices. Watch the group and see what people are talking about, or just ask for opinions.
How to monetize your blog:
Setting your blog up to make an income is easier then you might think. You have so many options, this is good but can also be bad. You should pick one or two ways to focus on first then gradually build. I will list some ways below then give my two cents on which ones I think you should focus on first.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Your own courses
- Your own Ebooks
- Your own services
I suggest starting with Affiliate Marketing and Amazon OR just Affiliate Marketing. Once your traffic increases and you start making some money work in the rest.
How to get traffic to your blog:
Back in 2010 when I first started to learn about blogging traffic was very difficult to get. You had to be a whiz at SEO and basically come up with untapped Niches to be successful right off. Now is such a great time to start a blog, Pinterest should be every bloggers secret weapon. 90% of my traffic comes from Pinterest!
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are also very popular, when just starting I suggest choosing Pinterest and one or two others. Focus all your energy on promoting your content on those platforms.
Tools to make life easier:
Boardbooster– For scheduling Pinterest Pins. (Click the link to get 1 month free trial)
Tailwind– For scheduling Pinterest and/or Tailwind Tribes.