Do you want to know how to make money blogging? Thousands of people blog and many of them have discovered that you can make really good money from it. But it’s not just money you can make, you can get all sorts of freebies too – like tickets and vouchers to use online – the opportunities are endless! Often the successful blogs are ones that find a niche to attract people and then go from there. Sound interesting? Read on to find out how to make money blogging.
How do you create a blog?
Blogs are completely free and pretty easy to set up. You can be in complete control of your blog yourself, and all you really need to get started is something interesting to say. Even if you’re completely new to this blogging lark, it’s honestly not difficult to get the hang of.
So what are the best blogging sites?
If you use a free hosting service like Blogger, you’ll be taken through the process step-by-step. It will provide you with a web address, a template and text editors so you won’t need any kind of previous expertise at all. It’ll do all the complicated stuff for you. (If you can use a word processor, you should have no problems using Blogger). Two of the most popular website builders on the internet are WordPress.com and GoDaddy. They are partners with thousands of companies which provide plugins and accessories that work easily with their formats. If you are serious about starting a blog and making real money, then try either WordPress or GoDaddy for a fail-proof start.
Bear in mind that most blogs make no money, others make a little, and only a lucky few make enough money to provide their owners with a living. Although it’s something you can do in your spare time, making money from a blog is effectively like running a business. You have to put a lot in to get a lot out.
The secret to blogging success is contained in three things: good content, good traffic and good marketing. And we’re not going to lie – achieving all three is hard work and certainly won’t happen overnight.
Let’s take a look at the first one.
Good Content: what do you write about?
This one is all on you. You need to have an inspired idea for what you’re going to write about and you need to be able to write about it well.
Step 1: See what’s already out there (and get inspired!)
Take a look at Google Blog Search to see what other blogs are out there.
Read blogs that write about subjects you are interested in. See what they do and how you could do it better. Learn from other blogs about how they make money (if they do) and import those ideas into your blog.
Ultimately you want to stand out, but don’t be afraid to take various ideas from good blogs you see around the internet. That’s how the best blogs get started.
Step 2: Decide on a subject
It should already be obvious that your blog can be about absolutely anything. If you’re looking to make money out of your blog, some subjects can attract more lucrative advertising than others. (For example, if you set up a really popular travel blog, holiday company advertising can offer reasonable commissions).
What we will tell you though, is to write about something based on your real life experiences, or something that you are genuinely enthused about. Successful blogs are successful because they are built on passion.
How focused your blog is on a particular subject is up to you. Some websites build up a huge amount of traffic just by collecting together all the weird, funny or interesting things they find online. Most successful blogs, however, tend to zone in on one particular subject.
Try to find your own niche within the market. There’s no point trying to cover multiple news topics as you’re effectively competing with major websites with millions of readers. Provide something different to what’s on offer elsewhere. If you feel most websites aren’t paying particular attention to a certain topic, or aren’t covering it particularly well, and you can do a better job then a blog is your perfect chance.
As an added bonus, if your site builds up a good following then you can start using it to get ahead in the blogosphere. If your blog covers music, you can start asking record labels (and it’s probably best to start small) for free promo tracks that you can review. Labels will have to spend a lot of money on advertising, and often something like that is effectively free advertising for them. You give your blog credibility by consistently staying on top of the latest releases and you get free music at the same time!
A word of caution: do be careful if you are writing about your work on a publicly available blog. Employees have been disciplined or even sacked for writing what is seen as negative material about their employers online. If you are going to blog about your working life, it’s probably sensible to make sure you blog anonymously.
Step 3: Know your audience – and let them find you
Who are you writing for? Family? Friends? People in your profession? Or the general public?
Knowing this will dictate the writing style of your blog, the layout, and how you let other people find out about your website.
If you’re serious about your blog making money then you need to be aiming for a very specific market. You also need to make sure that that market finds out about the blog.
Good Traffic: How do people find out about you?
It takes time to begin with but with persistence you will get there. Start small by telling all of your friends – maybe put each new blog post in your Facebook status or mention it on Twitter and encourage people to share with others if they like it. Make sure you have a link to your blog and a few words that sell it to lure people in.
The right name can do wonders
A catchy or memorable name for your blog is crucial if you are to get people’s attention and make them click on your blog.
You can call it whatever you like – but make sure your blog name is the same as the URL if you want your site to be noticed. (The URL is the bit that goes at the top of your internet browser – so Feed Our Life’s URL is ‘https://www.feedourlife.blog/’).
If you want your URL to match your blog name, you will need to purchase your own domain name. However this isn’t usually very much – most website ‘domain’ names can be bought for less than £10 a year (sometimes they only a cost a couple of quid).
A couple of other rules to follow when naming your blog:
1) Keep the title short and snappy
2) Avoid using things like hyphens in the URL (it makes your web address complicated and hard to remember)
Get your blog out there
It’s a good idea to get your blog published on a blog directory. This is a site people interested in reading blogs more generally visit and it could be a very powerful tool.
Set up a Facebook group dedicated to your blog. Invite all your friends to join and if you’re good with technology, you can set up an RSS feed so that all your blog posts will automatically be uploaded to Facebook. With over ten million users, Facebook is the perfect free advertising space.
Twitter can be similarly useful. Once you have written an article on your blog, perhaps you could tweet a link to your article at some celebrities (ie those with a lot of followers) asking them to ‘retweet’ it – if it involves them there’s every chance that they will! You can also use things like ‘hashtags’ – for instance we may do a tweet and write #money – to try and attract people’s attention.
The ideal scenario would be for one of your posts to make it on to a site like Digg or Mix (formerly StumbleUpon). These are sites where others have recommended pages from the web they liked. Obviously you can’t make this happen – but if your content is good enough, who knows? Make sure you put links to these websites on your blog so that people can instantly vote for it.
Good Marketing: how to make your blog stand out
AD INCOME FOLLOWS PAGE VIEWS. YOU NEED GREAT PAGE VIEWS TO MAKE MONEY WITH ADS.
Even before you get great page views, apply for and set up Google AdSense. However, you will need to “qualify” to be eligible to join the AdSense program. (You will literally make CENTS per day for a while. But that’s ok, it’s motivating!). It uses specialist search technology to target your site with relevant advertising. This means that once someone comes to your site to read your blog, if they click on one of the adverts, you will get a share of the revenue. It usually follows that the more informative your site is, the more people will click on relevant ads.
If you have AdSense set up, when the pageviews finally start coming in you will be in the position to earn some money with ads.
You could go from making 3 cents per day to making $1.50 per day to making $20 per day with AdSense as page views grow. Eventually you will make over 100$ per day with ads.
Once you reach 100k pageviews per month, you can apply to work with ad networks at the “top”. (Like Adthrive)
There are other networks out there to keep an eye on and work towards on your way up:
• Media.net (no requirements)
• MediaVine (25k sessions / monthly)
• Monumetric (starting at 10k to over 10m pageviews/ monthly)
Who is your audience?
But before you do all of this, there are some things you may want to think about first.
Who are your target advertisers?
It may sound obvious, but it’s best to pick advertisers who suit your target readers. This not only involves looking through potentially suitable advertisers, but also asking yourself what type of people will be reading your blog.
This may be quite hard to work out initially, as if it’s just a general blog it will be difficult to determine readership. But once you’ve decided the aim of your blog – or its ‘niche’ – then you can jump into advertising. Even if it’s just a blog about yourself, it’s likely your readers will be like-minded people, so if you write a lot about music then choose music advertising.
With a small blog, to make money from advertising you will need people to click through to the adverts. If the advertising is not suited to your audience then you won’t get any people clicking on them, and you’ll just have some redundant advertising on your page!
Be careful with your advertising though. Most people don’t mind a small amount of advertising – sometimes it can even brighten up a page. But if people are inundated with pop-ups and videos when on your blog they’ll get annoyed and probably won’t come back. There’s nothing wrong with advertising, just try and make it discreet.
Build your traffic
Obviously, unless you have serious amounts of traffic, this is only going to be making you pocket money. It’s a free service, but you might want to spend some time focusing on the content and layout of your blog so you can form a community before you begin advertising.
Readers are put off by advert-filled pages, so it’s best to focus on content before you begin to carefully select which adverts to put around your page. If the readers aren’t completely bombarded with them, and the adverts you choose are geared towards the readers, then you’ll do better from it.
You’ll probably need to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to your website in order to make a living from this kind of advertising, but if you just stick to the basics above your blog could be a nice little side earner.
Sell things from your blog
Don’t forget that you can also sell things off your blog (or even advertise your own services). This is likely to better way of making a bit of cash from your blog if the size of your readership is more modest.
If you write a gardening blog for instance, you could sell seeds or an e-book of all your top tips. And if you make a living as a gardener, use the blog to advertise your services, and include photos and write-ups of your best past commissions. It will be a lot more eye-catching than a bog standard CV!
Alternatively, if you’ve decided to start a more creative blog with examples of your illustrations or creations you’ve made you could sell some of these too. Sites like Etsy and Big Cartel offer pages for independent designers to sell their products, and you can attach these links to your blog so people can purchase if they like.
The possibilities are pretty much endless for selling things on your blog, and the more inventive you are, the more you stand to earn.
Alternatively, get other people to sell your products for you! Just make sure you have a worthy product to sell. If you want to write an e-book, take your time. Quality trumps quantity. Write a product that people will LOVE. And that your affiliates will promote and sell easily. You also want to give your masterpiece away at the beginning, as a FREEBIE! Once you have enough bloggers who love it and who will consider selling it for you, then you are A-for-Away!
Create a newsletter
There’s nothing to stop you setting up a regular email newsletter to readers, particularly if your blog is selling a service or products. We like the price and service offered by Aweber. They also offer a free 30-day trial. Bonus.
Other email marketing companies include:
Making your blog successful is all about establishing yourself as an expert, as someone a reader can trust and relate to. This isn’t going to happen overnight, so if you’re serious about having a blog that makes money, you need to be in it for the long haul.
Plenty of people have created popular blogs which make them a decent revenue, so it’s certainly possible.