Let me start by saying that making money by blogging is simple!
That isn’t to say that it is easy in the sense that you could just make money by doing nothing, but rather that the concepts of how you can earn money from your blog are rather simple.
I am going to do my best to approach this from a complete beginner perspective but if I you have any questions or something isn’t clear, please feel free to ask questions in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
First, you need to get yourself a blog set up. Then you need to start writing and decide how you will make money from your blog.
Here’s step by step instructions how to do it:
Step 1: Register a Domain Name
The domain name is essentially your address online. For my site, Beachfront Solutions, the domain name is beachfrontsolutions.com which you can see in the address bar of your web browser. Many times the domain name corresponds to the name of the blog in some way. Think of what your blog topic(s) will about and try to find a domain name that works with that. If you need help with choosing a topic for your money-making blog, then you might want to read this blog post I wrote on how to pick a good topic for your site.
You can register your domain name at a number of different places but probably the most well known is Godaddy. I want to caution you though even though you might be tempted to use Godaddy for hosting that I highly recommend that you choose another provider.
Step 2: Choosing a Hosting Provider
You may have seen plenty of other blogs that are hosted by free blogging services and while that is an option to start just any old blog I don’t recommend using a free hosting or blog provider for a blog that you want to make money with.
Here’s why: the free blog hosting companies may not let you get your own custom domain name, don’t give you much control over changing the design (and you’ll definitely want to later as you are making money from your blog) and in the end they may end up charging you more than a regular hosting company due to all the piece-by-piece add-ons you will need, such as removing their advertisements, links, or paying for the ability to use a domain name you’re already paying for.
I recommend using A Small Orange for hosting your blog. They have reasonable rates and have been very reliable in my experience. In addition to those two main factors that I look for with any hosting company, their support has been very responsive which is crucial when your blog may be having trouble and that is affecting your ability to make money!
Step 3: Getting Your Blog Set Up
Once you have your hosting account set up, you will want to get a blog installed. You may have already heard about WordPress and may or may not already know you can install it to run your own website.
Here is a simple video tutorial on how to install WordPress on your hosting plan with A Small Orange.
Step 4: Start Blogging!
In the very near future you will want to pick a custom design, possibly install some plugins, and just customize your new blog to your liking. I will cover some of these topics in the future but in the mean time you should just get started on your content because without any content (aka writing or blogging) you won’t have any reason for people to visit your site. Don’t put this off too long – the faster you get started blogging, the faster you can make money from your blog!
Now I don’t mean just blog about any old thing – what you had for lunch or how you’re frustrated with your co-worker, the weather, traffic or something otherwise meaningless to anyone besides yourself or possibly your friends and family. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see with many blogs that are trying to make money – they don’t write about anything that has a potential to make money!
What should you write about?
Well this all depends on what your blog topic is. Try to think about your topic and if you didn’t know anything about it, what would you want to learn. Start there – try to keep it simple so almost anyone can understand what you’re talking about. Then as you have most of the basic parts of your topic covered, start to get more in depth about more complicated areas, or fill in with blog posts to support ideas you have already discussed, but in more detail.
I know this can be challenging for some people, so if you have any questions, I’m here to help. Just get in touch with me by adding a comment at the bottom of this page.
Step 5: Making Money from Your Blog
So how do you actually make money from your blog? This is quite simple in concept – advertising! Unless you are selling your own product and physically sending it to someone, or allowing them to purchase an eBook or other digital product that you have created (or licensed, etc) then chances are almost anything you will do to earn money from your blog will be through advertising of some form or another.
At this point I won’t get into how to make money selling your own product or service because each can be so different and the focus of this article is how to earn money by blogging – not how to earn money selling your own products. So I am going to focus only on how to earn money from advertisements on your blog.
Here’s the 2 different types of advertising you can offer on a your blog:
I’m almost sure nearly everyone knows what these are already, but if not then please read this description on Wikipedia. By using banner ads, you are paid every time an advertisement is shown to someone who visits your blog. The easiest way to set up banner ads on your site is to sign up for Google Adsense.
How You Can Make Money from Banner Ads
You will create a special code to install on your blog and once that is on there, Google will take care of all the rest – getting advertisers, showing the ads, and sending you payments. Of course they take a percentage, but this is well worth it in the beginning. Later on you can sell direct to advertisers if you have enough demand and traffic to your blog to warrant the work to do this.
The simplest way for me to explain an affiliate program is kind of like being an independent sales representative. You will establish a relationship with a company (or possibly even an individual) that sells a product or service and in exchange for sending them people who purchase those products or services they pay you either a flat rate or a commission based off the total of that sale. There are networks that help manage this entire process and help you sign up for affiliate programs – the most well known is Commission Junction.
How You Can Make Money from Affiliate Programs
Once you have signed up for a specific affiliate program, you will need to create special links that have an unique tracking code that corresponds to your blog. When someone clicks this unique link that you have on your blog, it tells the advertiser where that visitor came from so you get credit for any purchases that visitor makes. The advertiser keeps track of this – many times with the help of a third party like Commission Junction – and you will get paid periodically for all your commissions.
There are a few other ways to make money off your blog, but if you really distill what that process is, almost every time it falls into one of the two categories above.
Step 6: Keep Blogging
One of the largest factors in making money from your blog is to keep it going! If you blog for a month and then stop, you probably won’t do very well. Most people may not make anything in that month, or even in the first 6 months. Don’t be discouraged – and don’t try to slap your blog completely full of advertisements. Just keep your cool and keep on blogging.
Learn about how to optimize your blog, increase your conversion rates and keep going full steam ahead. Learning and adapting are the keys to success when blogging for money!