Sure, blogging might seem like a fun hobby, but it can actually help you earn money. Starting a blog isn’t the simplest way to make cash, but the good part is that anyone can do it, and it looks impressive on a resume.
All you really need is something cool to share and the patience to grow your audience. Successful bloggers make money in various ways, and we’ve talked to a few to learn their secrets.
Our guide helps you kickstart your blog and turn it into a small but profitable business you can run from home.
HOW TO START A BLOG
When starting a blog, you’ve got two main choices: using a free blogging platform or making your own website. Here’s a breakdown of both options.
1. Free Blogging Platforms
Good for: People who want to blog casually and aren’t looking to make money.
Pros: They’re really easy to start and won’t cost you anything.
Cons: But they come with limits on customization and uploading videos/images. You might not be allowed to use ads or affiliate links. Plus, you won’t have your own unique URL, and the platform can delete your blog.
These platforms make it super simple to begin blogging without any cost. They’re great if you’re just starting out for fun. But they have some downsides. You won’t have much freedom to change how your blog looks, and there might be limits on how much stuff you can put up, like big videos or images.
Your blog’s web address will include the platform’s name, which might not look as professional. Also, you can’t make money from ads or affiliate links, which are important for many bloggers.
Here are a few examples of the best free blogging sites:
- – WordPress.com: It’s easy to use, but you might have to deal with WordPress ads unless you pay. Making money from ads needs a paid package.
- – Blogger: It’s simple, but not very customizable. Adding new features might be tricky.
- – Medium: Great for writing, but you can’t use ads or create your own brand look. It’s more about the writing than fancy designs.
2. Make your own website
Good for: People who love writing a lot and want to earn money from it.
Pros: You can make your site look just how you want, use your own web address, and put up ads and links to make money.
Cons: It costs money for the web address and the hosting, but there are tricks to find cheaper hosting.
If you’re not super into tech stuff, making a website might sound scary. But it’s actually pretty easy and you can do it in about 20 minutes.
Owen, who started Save the Student, wrote a simple guide to help you start a website.
Having your own website means you can make it all about you and no one can delete your blog – you’re in charge.
There are a ton of different designs you can pick from in WordPress, called “themes.” Take your time to choose one that fits your style and what you write about.
Go for something easy to look at, with room for big pictures and fonts that are easy to read (but definitely not Comic Sans or Courier fonts).
HOW TO CHOOSE A BLOG TOPIC
Starting a blog can be either really easy or really hard. The most crucial thing is picking a specific topic you know a lot about. A big mistake new bloggers make is starting a blog that’s not unique or different.
For instance, if you’re into fashion, instead of just writing about common fashion stuff, you could focus on environmentally-friendly designers.
Here’s how to choose what to write about:
- 1. Check other blogs: See what’s already popular and figure out what’s missing.
- 2. Use Google: Look for what people are searching for.
- 3. Explore forums: See what questions people are asking and what information is lacking.
- 4. Keep an eye on trends: Look at what’s hot in the media. Jumping on a trend early can help you become an expert in that area.
- 5. Consider different types of content: Maybe try tutorials, reviews, interviews, or lists. It’s not just what you talk about but how you present it.
- 6. Follow your interests: Write about something you truly care about, because if you’re not into it, people will notice.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC
After making your website and posting your awesome blog, you might wonder, “Where are all the readers?” You can’t just wait for people to find your blog on their own. Here’s how to get more readers:
1. Share on social media
Make accounts for your blog on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. Keep the same look as your blog for a recognizable brand. Share new posts and tag others who might share your content.
You can even try paid ads or contests to get more likes. Once you have followers, keep them interested by posting regularly.
2. Connect with other bloggers
Find others who write about similar stuff. Even though they’re technically your competition, the blogger community can be supportive. Some have a ‘links’ page to share each other’s blogs, which helps a lot with showing up in Google searches.
If you engage with and share their content, they might do the same. You can even work on projects together!
3. Write about news stories
Talk about current news in your blog. Remember, promoting your blog is key to getting more readers.
4. Getting Involved in the News
- – If something related to what you write about is in the news, join the conversation. It’s called ‘newsjacking’ and can help you get noticed.
- – For instance, if you write about cooking on a budget for students, and a survey shows students spend a lot on groceries, you could share tips on how to spend less while eating well.
- – Use social media with relevant hashtags, join discussions, and tell journalists you’re available to share your thoughts.
5. Creating Popular Content
- – Making something go viral can attract more people to read your blog.
- – To do this, talk about controversial topics related to what you write about. This often involves newsjacking.
- – Since you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your topic, share opinions that people want to read, share, and discuss.
6. Making Money from Blogging
Once your blog is running, you can start making money.
Ways to do this:
- – Use affiliate marketing by putting special links in your blog. You earn a small amount when people click those links and buy something.
- – Sign up with networks like Affiliate Window.
- – Add banner adverts to your blog.
- – Write sponsored articles or posts for brands and get paid.
- – Charge for promoting brands on your social media.
- – Write guest posts for other websites or magazines.
- – Work with an agency that helps bloggers connect with big brands.
- – Sell your own digital products like eBooks or courses.
- – Sell advertising space in your newsletter.
- – Use your blog as a way to impress potential employers.
These methods can help you make money from your blog, but it might take time and effort.
BIGGEST CHALLENGES WHEN MONETIZING A BLOG
Getting something good usually means working hard and dealing with a few tough things. Making money from a blog isn’t quick. Many bloggers only earn a little bit each month, even after working on their blogs for a while.
If you want to earn a living from blogging, you need different ways to make money from different sources. Making money from a blog takes time and needs people to visit your blog. The more people read your blog, the more companies will want to advertise on it.
Lots of bloggers try to make money early in their blogging journey. Urszula Makowska, a blogger, said she started in college because she put a lot of effort into her blog and wanted to do it full time. She loves it and wanted to make a career out of it.
Competition is another big problem for bloggers. Kelle from Kelle’s Space said it’s tough because there are so many bloggers like her looking for work.
There are so many bloggers out there all trying to get noticed. But if you work hard and keep going, you can make it.
Ceri Jones said blogging is a challenge because you need to keep at it to make money. She wishes she started earlier. She made some money after a month and it’s growing now, with companies asking her to do sponsored posts. She hopes her income keeps going up.
CAN YOU ACTUALLY MAKE MONEY FROM BLOGGING?
Sure, blogging can make money, but how much varies. When you start, it might not bring in much. But as time goes on, bloggers can earn a good amount.
Making money from a blog needs time and people visiting your site. The more readers you have, the more advertisers will be interested.
For a good blogging income, it’s smart to have money coming in from various sources and in different ways.