It wasn’t that long ago that I began trying to figure out how to make money with a blog. If you would have told me last year that I would be a blogger, generating income from home, I would have laughed in your face. Yet, here I am, day in and day out, focusing on my blog. I am now working toward earning a full time income through blogging and figured I would offer a few helpful tips for those who are just beginning (and maybe something for you experienced bloggers as well). Even though a lot of people have eventually replaced their full time income with their blogs, this is not an easy or quick way to make money by any means. Actually, it can take years of consistent hard work, patience and dedication before you are able to do the same. Clearly, I don’t want to give you the impression that blogging is an easy way to make money, but if you are passionate about a particular subject, hobby or interest, absolutely love to write, and have an extra few hours a day, this may be a great way for you to earn some extra income on the side while doing something you love. Hopefully, after reading this post, you will be equipped with all the information you need to know about how to make money with a blog.
Blogging takes a lot of work. Probably more than what you expected as it has a wide variety of things that need attention in order to produce consistent traffic (this is where your money will come from). So many people say that you shouldn’t start a blog to make money but do it because you are passionate about something. This is usually said because if you start a blog to make money, you are more likely to start a blog on something that doesn’t fuel your flame, making you unable to produce good content. My personal opinion on the matter is a little different. I believe it is more than okay to start a blog with the initial intent of making money… as long as it is something you are passionate about. Knowing that, keep in mind that while running any business, you must keep your customers interests and concerns as your number one priority in order to be successful. Therefore, if you are passionate about the blog’s subject, you will be giving your customers (i.e. the readers) what they want (i.e. the interesting content, services, a reason to come to your blog), increasing your overall profits. I could go on and on about this, but I am going to leave it at that for now.
To give you a ‘Big Picture’ of blogging and what you can expect, I like to compare ‘creating a blog’ to ‘planting a tree’.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH A BLOG (In A Nutshell)
- Decide what kind of tree or fruit you want to produce – What is your blog going to be about (i.e. your blog topic – something you are passionate about)
- Research on what it takes to get the tree to be fruitful – Research your topic for public interest/ Learn about the whole process first before diving in
- Buy the tree and gather everything for planting – Purchase webhosting and domain name
- Plant Your Tree – Setup your blog / Website Design / Initial Monetization
- Water, Fertilize and Nurture your tree – Writing Articles / Driving Traffic / Planning / Being Unique / Replying to Comments / Networking etc.
- Enjoy the ‘fruits’ of your labor – Get paid
From the time the tree is planted, it takes a long time for it to produce fruit. The good news is that you don’t have to have a green thumb to grow a blog producing nice plump apples (revenue) to enjoy. Just make sure you are ready to follow the steps above and equation below to effectively start and maintain a successful, revenue earning blog.
(Writing x10) +(Hard Work + Dedication + Consistency) + (PATIENCE x1000) = EXTRA CA$H
With that being said, I will now move on to some basic steps to starting this venture of yours.
PLANTING YOUR BLOG TREE – THE PROCESS
Just like planting a tree, first you need to decide what you are going to blog about (i.e. what kind of tree you are going to plant). When deciding on a topic for your blog to revolve around, consider things you are passionate about since you are going to be writing hundreds of articles on this topic. If you are not passionate, you will not last the test of time (hence the ‘Patience x 1000’ in the equation above) and your blog probably will not produce much income if any.
The thing people don’t think about when creating a website is that in order to become successful and retain a high number of readers, you have to have something to offer them that no one else has (or better than everyone else). On the plus side, your personality is already unique so you are already 1 up on your competition. Let that bleed into your writing as well as the design of your website. You may be amazed at what you can do with the free tools that are out there for you to use. If you are passionate about a subject, it will be much easier to come up with awesome post ideas with a unique spin on the whole idea, thus making it more compelling to read (not to mention how much more motivating it will be to learn more).
Once you have a topic picked out, you need to decide on a name for your blog. I highly recommend using Google’s Keyword Research Tool to help you along in the process of finding a good name. It is important to choose a name with a keyword people are already searching for so that you will gain more traffic from ranking better in the search engines later on (search engine traffic is one of the biggest factors on making money with a blog, but it takes a lot of time). To do this, simply go to the Google Keyword Research Tool and type in an idea you have for a website name (don’t add .com, www. or http://, just the name) and click search.
You will then be presented with your stats for your keyword(s) along with a list of other ideas related to your keyword phrase. When you look to the right of your keyword, you will see how many times that term is searched (globally and locally). This is the number you want to look at to make the best domain name choice. This will also generate other keywords that are somehow related to (or include) the search terms you entered into the tool. This is a great resource for getting more ideas on popular keywords related to your topic, especially if you only have a general idea starting out (i.e. ‘fishing’ like the example above). Make sure your keyword phrase is at least 2-3 words long as this will also help you rank well in the search engines in the future. This same process is also used by many bloggers to find keyword phrases to use as blog topics (blog titles). I personally try for something that gets at least 1k-5k searches a month (if you choose a keyword that gets too many searches, you may be discouraged later on when you try to rank well for that keyword in google).
Unfortunately, I did not know this would make any sort of difference when I first started out. Things would be much easier for me if I would have taken this step in the beginning. Nevertheless, I am creating a name and brand from the ground up and am starting to rank well for certain keyword phrases… it’s just a lot more work.
Next, with your keyword tool still on your screen, simply open another browser window and go to NameCheap.com to search availability and purchase your own dot-com domain name. I have used various other domain registration sites in the past, but I currently use NameCheap to purchase my domain names simply because they usually have the lowest prices (thus the name) coupled with a very easy to use interface (not to mention the free whois guard) and one free email address per domain.
The reason it is so important for you to get your own ‘.com’ domain name is that it will make it simple for others to remember your website address (the easier it is to remember, the more chances you have of returning followers). Currently, about 40% of my traffic comes from people typing in the URL directly (i.e. the traffic did not come from another website or search engine), so having an easy to remember name is nice to have. When choosing your domain name, you want to try include the exact keyword phrase as much as possible (tagging on a dot com at the end). You may find that the .com for your exact keyword phrase (fishing.com) is unavailable. No worries, try adding a word or letter to the keyword phrase you have decided on and check to see if that name is available. You could also use the keyword research tool again to see if there is a more specific term like ‘river’ fly fishing (flyfishing.com or riverflyfishing.com) Below, I have an imaginary example for you to see this in action. If you already have a good grasp on this area, feel free to skip this section.
Johnny loves fly fishing in Blue River near his home as much as possible, so naturally, he decides he wants to write about “fly fishing”. First, he goes to the keyword tool I mentioned earlier, and types in his topic of interest. As the results load, he notices that the term “fly fishing” may have too many searches a month (this makes it harder to rank well in Google because of all of the other people that are competing for that specific keyword term… though not impossible), so he scans the keyword tool for more ideas and discovers “river fly fishing” (which is what he will be writing about anyway) and decides to try that one out. He goes back to domain registration website to check domain availability for his new keyword phrase. Again, he finds that it is unavailable but this the phrase he wants to use, so he tries adding the word ‘blue’ (this is the name of the popular river he regularly fishes) to the phrase and checking again. With success, Johnny finds that “blueriverflyfishing.com” is available, adds it to the cart and proceeds with his checkout.
The next thing you will need to do is purchase web hosting. This is important because without your own hosting, it will be nearly impossible to make money with your blog. I personally recommend HostGator to host your website (especially if you are brand new to all of this) as they are cheap to use and have uber excellent customer support for anything you need along with a lot of great features that are included (one of the most popular among successful and beginner bloggers alike). Anytime I need to know how to do anything that has to do with my hosting, I go directly to their site and access their live support chat. Every single time I ask a question, they always hold my hand and walk me through every tiny detail. On top of that, once they have walked me through the process, I always copy the entire chat session and paste it on evernote (you can also print it out) for future reference. If you want to check out that feature for yourself, click on the link below to visit HostGator and hop on a live chat session to find out everything you want to know.
Once you have a domain name and your own hosting, you can now begin the process of creating your blog. There are many platforms out there to produce a high quality blog for free, but the most popular by far is WordPress for its functionality and customization abilities. You can easily install WordPress for free on your website via your HostGator account in a matter of minutes (if you have no clue how to do this just ask the pro’s via HostGator’s live chat). Now, you are ready to get this show on the road.
Make Money With Your Blog
I would try to explain this a little further, instead, I will refer you to take the same path that I have to learn all you need to know about blogging at Blogging Your Passion University (BYPU). BYPU is awesome for new bloggers and experienced bloggers alike. Once you are enrolled in BYPU, you get tons of detailed how to information to show you how to do just about anything you want (and hundreds of things you didn’t know you should do) through descriptive blog posts, videos, two complete step by step courses (these include checklists to help you along the way), pre-recorded webinar courses and even live webinars. They even offer to set up your blog for free! I love how they are always giving you step by step instructions on how to do things with your blog by using free tools and tricks. Below is the description from Blogging Your Passion:
In 22+ step-by-step videos, Bob and Jonathan provide detailed instruction on how to get your WordPress blog up and running today. In addition, they provide expert suggestions onhow to set your blog up to succeed!
BEGIN GROWING YOUR BLOG – The 201 course takes everything to the next level with over 40 instructional videos and downloadable PDFs. The course covers topics like how to start getting traffic to your blog today, how to use social media to grow your blog, and the best ways to make money from your blog. It was designed to pick up right where BYPU 101 left off and help bloggers grow their blogs
The creators of BYPU are a just a few guys who have found true success and love helping people out. From beginner to advanced bloggers, they consistently post articles on relevant topics that will help you grow your blog as well as make the most money with it. Their courses have taught me just about everything I know about blogging (before I found them, I didn’t even know what a blog was). There is also a wide variety of topics already posted to keep you busy. To give you an extra $20 off the purchase price of BYPU 201, use coupon code “201sale” at the time of checkout.
I hope that this has helped you in some way or the other. I am in no way an expert on this subject, but I have gained quite a bit of knowledge in my journey so far. The most enjoyable part about blogging to me is the relationships you form and the support you get from other bloggers you meet along the way. I wish you the best of luck and hope you achieve great feats with your blog, and if you want more information, Bob at ChristianPF.com has a very detailed post to guide you further along your way. As always, please leave any questions, comments or concerns below as I give my best efforts to answer each and every comment that is left, as soon as possible. You can also share this post using that weird floating thing to the right of this post, and be sure to subscribe at the top of our home page.