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Think beginner bloggers can’t make money? Wrong! There are several ways to monetize a blog, including ideas that work at the beginning of your blogging journey.
For many people, having a blog that expresses their passion for a topic is a dream in and of itself, but it becomes even more of a dream when your passion can make you money.
Enjoying a monthly cashflow from your blog isn’t something reserved for the professionals that have been building their site for years, anyone can monetize their blog.
So whether you’ve just started a blog or you’re contemplating the idea, read on to see how to start monetizing your site and start seeing the cash roll in.
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How to Start a Blog
Starting a blog is easy, but growing one into a money-making business is hard work. Here are the quick steps to getting your blog set up and rolling you can start making money.
1.Decide on a blog topic.
Having a specific topic that you find interesting and you think others will find interesting is the crucial first step in creating a blog.
Don’t just start journaling about your life or opinions because if you’re not a celebrity of some sort it’s unlikely this is going to gain much traction.
2. Choose a blog name.
Blog names can make or break the success of your blog, no pressure! Make your name relevant to your topic and easy to remember.
It even helps if you have the topic within your blog name as it can help with disability of people that are looking for your topic on Google and other search engines.
3. Decide on a web hosting platform.
Web hosting prices vary quite a bit, some are as cheap as $1/month and go up from there.
Typically the more expensive hosts like BlueHost also include great 24/7 customer support and are super reliable. BlueHost is the recommended hosting service for WordPress websites – which are free and allow for ultimate customization, and are a favorite of pro bloggers.
4. Purchase a domain.
You can purchase your domain (website address) from GoDaddy or many web hosting platforms will include a year of your domain subscription in the hosting price.
5. Set up and design your blog.
Depending on which hosting service you went with, you may or may not have a drag and drop interface included in your hosting platform (this would be websites like Squarespace or Wix).
With hosting like BlueHost, you’ll want to sign up for a WordPress website (which is free) and install a plugin like Elementor to give yourself the ability to drag and drop items on your homepage and blog pages.
This makes designing your website much easier and doesn’t require any coding skills.
6. Brainstorm blog post topics.
Write down all of your ideas, Google other blogs within your niche and see what they’re posting about, and you can search your topic on Pinterest and look for ideas there as well.
7. Write your first blog post.
Try to hook your audience with a great title and intro, then use headers and bullet points to make your post more skiable and easy to read on mobile devices.
8. Create a blog content calendar.
This will help you publish consistently, keep your blog cohesive, and hold yourself accountable to creating new content.
9. Promote your blog.
Share your blog posts on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn if it’s a business or industry-specific topic.
10. Start monetizing your blog.
Monetization simply means making money from your site. Read on to see our top strategies for monetizing your blog.
How to Make Money from Blogging
After you’ve got your blog set up and ready to go, you are going to want to start writing blog posts to drive traffic to your website.
As you continue to promote your blog and grow, you’ll be able to monetize your blog more and more. The top ways to make money blogging are as follows.
The most well-known way that bloggers make money is with ads. To accomplish this, you must sign up for an ad network to place ads on your website. Most of these ad networks use targeted ads that will display different ads to different people depending on the content of your blog, websites they’ve already visited, their interests and demographic information. The good news for you, as the blogger, is that you don’t have to worry about any of that, you just sign up for the ad network and allow their algorithm to do its thing.
Popular ad networks bloggers join:
Adsense – no monthly minimum traffic is required to apply
Adthrive – minimum of 100,000 monthly page views to apply
Mediavine – minimum of 50,000 monthly sessions to apply
SHE Media – minimum 20,000 monthly page views
Sovrn – no monthly minimum traffic to join
Your ad network will coach you on how to set up your website and how ads will be placed. The common areas you will see ads on blogs are:
Within the post
Occasionally, a brand will reach out directly to bloggers to negotiate an ad placement and the rate for that ad. This is less common but does happen and can result in a great payout for placing that ad where the brand or advertiser wants it on your page.
Affiliate marketing is another common way that bloggers make money. This is where a blogger makes a connection with a company and then promotes that brand or their products or services on their blog for an agreed upon amount of money per purchase or booking.
The blogger is usually given a unique URL to the company’s website or a discount code for readers to use. The blogger will make money when that URL or code is used to make a purchase, earning the blogger a set commission per sale.
To become an affiliate for companies, you can often apply directly through the brand’s website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look in the footer for “Affiliate Program” or just Google search the brand name and “affiliate program.”
It’s up to the brand whether they include this information on their website or if they have a more exclusive affiliate enrollment process. Sometimes brands will reach out directly to the blogger to set up this type of deal.
Another way to find an affiliate program is by signing up for an affiliate marketing network.
This is a super popular strategy and allows you to pull links and products into your posts from all over the web, as long as the brand is part of that marketing network.
Popular affiliate marketing networks:
CJ Affiliate by Conversant
Sell Physical or Digital Products
Selling physical or digital products can be a great way to make money once your blog has gotten some traction and traffic.
People are always looking for reviews and solutions to their problems online so if you have a product that targets their needs and pain points within your blog topic, readers of your blog may purchase your products.
Paid Subscriptions to Exclusive Content or Programs on Your Site
If you’ve ever been on a news website and were required to sign up for a subscription to read certain articles, or after you’ve visited a certain number of posts, that’s this strategy in motion.
Gatekeeping exclusive content can be a great way to keep existing traffic and boost your monthly earnings for readers who want more of the best stuff your site has to offer.
This monetization strategy typically only works if you have a strong following and traffic to your website, as it generally requires some credibility and excellent, unique content.
One-on-One or Group Coaching/Consulting
If you’re an expert in your field or blog topic, one-on-one or group consulting/coaching can be a great way to make money as a blogger.
Having a well put-together blog with excellent content positions you as someone with credibility, and can lead readers who want more personalized help to hire you for your expertise. This option really depends on your blog topic and your ability to market yourself.
Summary of Top Blog Monetization Strategies
Sell physical or digital products
Paid subscriptions to exclusive content or programs on your site
One-on-one or group coaching/consulting
How to Start a Blog With No Money
There’s a common misconception that starting a blog requires money, but the barrier to entry for blogging is actually quite low.
To start blogging you’ll only need to pay for a domain and web hosting service, that’s it! Most bloggers are able to get started for $20 or less depending on the web hosting service they go with.
We recommend BlueHost for its unparalleled reliability and 24/7 customer support.
How Do You Get Traffic To Your Blog?
There are a lot of different ways to get traffic to your blog. The first, and one that many successful bloggers will agree on, is focusing on search engine optimization in blog posts.
This means using specific keywords that you think people will be searching for on your topic in your title, headings, and throughout your blog post to show up in the viewer’s search results.
You can also drive a lot of blog traffic through Pinterest, especially if you are in one of the following blog niches. These tend to do especially well on Pinterest:
Fashion and What-to-wear style blogs
Personal finance and budgeting
Food and recipes
Additionally, you can drive traffic to your blog threw social media and paid social ads. You can also partner with other bloggers in your niche and write guest posts for them that link back to your own blog.