If you’ve spent any amount of time scanning through social media, then it’s more than likely that you’ve stumbled across the (flawlessly manicured) page of a professional blogger. The intriguing content and witty captions might have you scratching your head wondering: How in the world can I make this my reality?
Sure, setting up a domain name and establishing a website host is a technological piece of cake these days, but gathering an audience is a whole different story. It takes much more than just a way with words and a cheeky concept to attract readers to your page, not to mention the whole money-making aspect of it all.
Suddenly, starting a professional blog feels a little overwhelming, doesn’t it? Well, don’t worry because I’ve got you covered with all the tools you’ll need to be successful on your blogging journey!
Here’s everything you’re dying to know about how to start a blog to make money:
First Off, What Does It Take To Become A Successful Blogger?
First and foremost, let me just say that if you’re starting a blog for the sole purpose of making money without any passion or flair for writing, then you’re probably not on the right path. There’s a certain finesse to blogging that can’t be replaced by a mere desire to make money online.
Another key point: Blogging doesn’t necessarily lead to effortless, residual income. If you’r e lucky enough to make a killing off your blog, well, that’s amazing, but it also means you have to work to stay on top. Any blog, even the most successful, needs constant maintenance to remain relevant in this new-age world where fame is fleeting.
It’s not going to be easy, and it certainly won’t happen overnight, but if you’re truly devoted to this goal, then eventually you will generate some income. So, if you’re ready to trudge forth and slave away over a hot keyboard, read on for some insider tips that will guide you along on your pursuit for a prosperous blog!
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How Exactly Do Bloggers Make Money?
Surprisingly enough, most bloggers make the majority of their money from products and services, not their actual blog. Sure, there is a little cash flow that stems from sponsored content and advertising, but that’s not where the big bucks come in. A bloggers content makes them a reputable expert on whatever topic they’ve chosen, and they use this influential position to sell products to their readers. Despite being on the backburner in terms of income, a well-maintained blog is still vital to success as it’s the grounds upon which a message or story is shared. Plus, it’s how readers find and follow your content, which as we already discussed, leads to the money (*cha-ching*).
When it comes to income streams, there are five major ones worth discussing:
1. Advertising & Sponsored Content
Ok, so here’s the deal – Companies choose where to place their ads based on how the bloggers content aligns with their target customer. Therefore, if you’re content is appealing to their ideal buyer, then you’ve got yourself a potential advertiser. Advertising is relatively simple to start, making it a popular choice for bloggers, but it’s not nearly as lucrative as it used to be and requires a ton of traffic to flourish. Plus, it’s not exactly attractive to readers (c’ mon, who hasn’t been assaulted by unwanted ads) and tends to make a site look, well, tacky. Either way, here are the primary ways in which ads are shared via blogs:
Blog Site Ads – These include advertisements in the sidebar, header, footer within a blog. Most people find Google Adsense to be the most accessible place to get going.
Contests and Product Reviews – In an effort to get the word out on a product, companies will pay bloggers to be featured on their blog. Bloggers can run a giveaway for that product or conduct a thorough review – Pretty sweet gig if you ask me!
Sponsored Posts – Similar to the last method but minus the physical product, companies will pay bloggers to write posts which highlight them or their product.
Other Ads – Some more clever options for the tech-savvy include advertisements in email newsletters, commercials in videos, and shoutouts in podcasts.
2. Affiliate Marketing
An affiliate marketer is a person who promotes someone else’s service or product using their unique platform. They share a link to the partnered product or service, and when readers click and buy, the marketer earns a commission on that purchase. Although this is a profitable choice for bloggers, there are literally thousands of affiliate programs to choose from, so it can get a little overwhelming, to say the least. Check out reputable sites like ShareASale, Rakuten Marketing, CJ Affiliate, and Amazon Associates. These are some great affiliate networks to check out that are loaded with products to match your niche.
3. Digital Products
What the heck are digital products? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Digital products are Ebooks, Ecourses (pretty much E-anything), online classes, membership sites, photos, videos, music, apps – You get the picture. They’re awesome because they don’t require inventory and all the distribution takes place right over the world wide web. Quick, easy, straightforward – What more could we ask for?
4. Physical Products
Physical products are another great option, not quite as convenient as digital products, but there’s definitely money to be made on them. Some common examples of physical products include handmade goods, books, in-person classes or events, and manufactured products.
Some bloggers make their money by offering services to their readers on a specific area of expertise. These services can be both local and virtual, giving bloggers a ton of opportunity for success. Some examples of common services in the blogging world include decorating, cooking, freelancing, organizing, speaking, and virtual assistance.
Step-By-Step Guide To Starting A Blog:
Step 1: Choose a Topic and Target Audience
Ok, it’s time for some serious soul searching to figure out where your passions lie, and remember: Whatever topic you choose is what you’ll eat, sleep, and breath throughout your blogging journey! Once you’ve established a topic that really gets you excited, it’s time to think about your target audience. Ask yourself what people in this niche would want to invest in and how you can attract them to your page.
Step 2: Pick Your Platform and Domain Name
Sure, WordPress is the most popular platform for newbie bloggers, but there are a bunch of other notable options worth exploring as well. If after some consideration you decide to go with WordPress, it pays to utilize a self-hosted installation on a custom domain. Rack your brain for a catchy, short (SEO-rich) domain name that’s indicative of your chosen niche. Word to the wise: Try not to use hyphens in your domain names as people often associate them with spam sites!
Step 3: Get Social
Like it or not, a social media presence is a sure-fire way to bring people to your blog – That’s just the world we live in these days. On networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’ll have the opportunity to build your brand while connecting with other like-minded bloggers.
Step 4: Be Consistent
If you’re serious about making decent money or gaining a following through your blog, then you’ll have to devote time and energy to it consistently. Period. Consistency is hands-down the most essential aspect of building a successful blog, so get ready to work! Many find it helpful to create a content schedule; that way, the posts won’t feel so overwhelming day to day.
Step 5: Monetize Your Content
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for – Time to monetize your content! This will surely come as a relief since starting and running a blog can get pretty costly, but it’s all worth it when the hard work pays off. There are numerous routes you can take in terms of monetizing your content – Just don’t try the ‘get rich fast’ approach or you’ll only wind up with short-term success.
A Few Final Words Of Wisdom For Blogging Success
Here’s the truth: There’s like a zillion blogs out there, so you have to be authentic, dedicated, and unique in your strategy to attract attention. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind or share your truth, even if it doesn’t necessarily align with other blogs in a similar niche. Honestly, that controversy is just one of many ways that you can stand out from the pack.
There’s no right or wrong method for generating income; you simply have to find the right combination to suit your growing blog. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to revenue streams, grab it by the horns, and take on as many as you can handle!
Because it’s so important, I’ll repeat it: Thriving bloggers aren’t in it solely to make money. Find a topic that inspires you so readers can feel that passion through your posts. This will lead to excellent, engaging content, which we all know, is the backbone of a solid blog.
Last but certainly not least, you’ve got to embrace change and go with the flow. As with most things in life, the world of blogging is continuously growing and evolving, which means you also have to learn to adapt.
If you have any questions, ask them below. I’m always happy to help!
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