So you are interested in how to start a blog and make money huh? Well the answer is never a simple as 1,2,3 but I am going to try to make it as simple for you as possible.
I am not going to spit out a bunch of tech stuff to you so that you walk away from this blog wonder what in the world I am talking about. I am going to explain how to start a blog and make money from your blog in the most basic form possible.
How to start a blog and make money ~ Before starting the blog
The main thing to think about before starting your blog is how you want to make your money. The reason why this is important is because there are many platforms that limit you from making certain types of money. For example, on wordpress.com you are limited on how you can run ads on your site. On Blogger, you can run adsense on your site but the your income will still be limited due to the lack of options for ad placement on blogger.
Meaning that in both of this cases Blogger and WordPress.com that are NOT self-hosted sites your income will be extremely limited if you choose to run ads on your site as the main source of income.
So if you are thinking about how to start a blog and you know you want to make most of your money through ad networks or AdSense then you are going to want to have a self-hosted blog.
I recommend WordPress.org using BlueHost (click here to sign up) for your host. Once you sign up for BlueHost then you can install the WordPress.org log in and go right to your WordPress site from there.
If do not want to have ads on your blog or have no income to start a blog you can start your blog on WordPress.com for free. You can get a site for free and to make your site look more professional you can purchase a theme. Just because you cannot run ads freely on your WordPress.com site, that does not mean you cannot make money.
How to start a blog and make money through WordPress.com
Now that you have decided what kind of site that you want to do let’s go into how you can make money with each. With WordPress.com you can make money with Word ads.
In fact the only ads you can run on your site with WordPress.com are through Word ads. And you can only do that once you have a decent amount of traffic. When I got accepted to Word ads I was had a couple of thousands a views per month. You can also get Word ads automatically through the premium and business paid WordPress.com plans.
To really make money through Word ads you are going to have to have a sizable amount of traffic. Also the placements of your ads may be limited meaning that the amount of income you make will also be decreased. Unlike Google AdSense, you do not have the freedom to place ads anywhere on your blog for visibility. And the ads may be limited to one spot on the bottom or side.
In other words Word ads is not going to be your only source of income if you choose to make money in this way. Other ways that you can make money though WordPress.com are.
How to start a blog and make money ~ Sponsored Post
This means that you will partner with a company or brand and review a product that they have provided you. Typically the company pays you as well for reviewing their product. People can make thousands of dollars for doing a sponsored post. However, the only way to make thousands of dollars through a sponsored post is that you must have a TONS of traffic. Typically you are not going to be paid for a sponsored post for like 2k views a month. And if you do, you may only get the product free and not be paid any additional compensation.
So if you want to get sponsored post you need to focus on increasing your traffic writing about something that you can get a sponsorship in. Meaning that if you are a fashion blogger then more fashion companies are going to come to you to sponsor post. Because most of your audience is going to be fashion focused and you would be getting their product out in front of their ideal market.
So if you have high traffic to your blog on fashion more fashion companies are going to pay you higher to do a sponsored post. As oppose to writing about your day, then you are more likely to get less sponsored post.
Now keep in mind that with WordPress.com you are less free to do what you want. So even though they allow sponsored post on your content ALL of your cannot be sponsored. You must have more original content than sponsored content with WordPress.com. Click here for more guidelines.
Since sponsored post rely heavily on your analytics you need to sign up for google analytics (click here).
WordPress has their own analytics but it is not as detailed as Google’s. When getting a company sponsorship you need to provide to them how many visits you get a month as well as the demographics of those who visits, Google Analytics will provide you with these details. With WordPress.com the only way to get Google Analytics is to upgrade to a business plan.
Another bonus of Google analytics are many sites that connect influences with sponsored post requires that you link your Google analysis. Often time, companies go to these sites to look at your statistics and determine if they will give you a sponsorship based off that. And offer you a sponsorship based off the website.
IZEA is a good example of one of the websites that do this. They match you with sponsorship based off your analytics and your content.
How to start a blog and make money Affiliates Links
Affiliate links are a great way to make money. Some simple affiliate area Amazon Affiliate (they have everything), EBay, or if you like a certain company or brand 9 times out of 10 they have an affiliate program.
Some affiliate programs all you have to do is sign up for them and get instant access such as Amazon Affiliates or one of my favorites Shop Style Collection. On the other hand, there are affiliate programs that you have to apply for. The way to do this typically means that you have to enter your traffic on the application and your URL.
Typically you do not have to have hundreds of thousands in traffic but you do need to have a clean nice looking website and it needs to be clear on the type of things you review.
With affiliate links you get paid by either a paid for click as is the case with Shop Style Collective and/or when someone buys a product that you suggest which is the case with Amazon affiliates.
The key to make real money with affiliate links it so suggestion products that are of a high cost. You will get a bigger commission off of something that cost $300 as oppose to something that cost $30. If you are recommending more things that are of a lower cost. Then understand that you are going to need more people to buy the $30 item a month than the $300 a month item to make a decent income.
Affiliate links go beyond you recommending something but rather how many people are actually going to buy what you recommend. This can come from higher traffic or it can come from a dedicated fan base. Meaning that a fan base has to trust your product recommendations in order to buy from your affiliate links. Check out this blog on how tips to maximize affiliate income. He made $90k in two years from affiliate links.
You can gain their trust by showing off the product that you have on your own self and taking pictures so the feel more comfortable if they buy it. Or having a dedicated fan base that will buy anything you recommend because you recommended it.
How to start a blog and make money Your own products and services
On WordPress.com you can offer your own products and services and only you can determine what that is. I offer life coaching for example when I was on WordPress.com. If you make jewelry, sell some type of service, or even some type or product then you can set up your site to advertise and sell that service or product.
Some people may choose to sell their book, their e-book, or anything that is made by them. That is what you would consider your own products or services. The good thing about this, is that this is very self-contained. Meaning that you can choose to charge a little or as much for your own product.
In order to give your product selling to have the maximum effect you need to have a dedicated fan base. People who trust you, the quality of your product, and willing to buy your product and refer your product to other people.
Notice that when I mention the ways to make money I mention dedicated fan base. This is a fan base that is built over time meaning that it is less likely that you will make a full time income in one or two months. These methods require you have dedicated readership, traffic, and a fan base for the most part. To get a better understanding of fans and money check out the 100 true fan article click here.
How to start a blog and make money ~ WordPress.org or other self-hosted site
All of the above suggestions for the WordPress.com ways to make money also apply to WordPress.org. With the exception of the Word ads but instead of Word ads you can you use other Ad Net words or Google AdSense.
How to start a blog and make money ~ Adsense and Ad Networks
When you are just starting out a blog I recommend Google AdSense. Often times with Ad Networks you have to have minimum traffic of like 30K page views a month. So although Ad Networks can offer more money you need to get consistent traffic in order to be approved. With Google AdSense on the other hand you can do it from the beginning.
Google AdSense is where you place ads within your blog and when people click on them you make money. The best way to do this is to place ads on the side and within the post of the content so that it increases the likelihood of people clicking on them.
You tend to make more money with ads that are highly competitive or if your site offers something that can run highly competitive ads (Click this blog to read more on how to make 100k a year with Google AdSense ). There are people who can make full time income from AdSense or other ad network but in order to do that you need to be getting A LOT of traffic. Like hundreds of thousands or a million page views per month.
How to start a blog and make money ~ Info Links
Info links can be similar to AdSense because they are ads, technically. The difference is that instead of putting actually picture ads in your post they use hyperlinks. Meaning that it will hyperlink a word that leads to an ad similar to the word that is hyperlinked and when people click on it that is when you get paid. Click here to sign up for info links.
How to start a blog and make money ~ banners
Another way in which you can make money is that you can run companies banners on your site or offer advertising on your site. Unlike a sponsored post, banners or advertising is an ad (wherever you chose to place it) that advertising a company or product. This is an offer in which you can name your price. Like the sponsored post the more readership you have the higher you can charge. Typically the company will send you the banner that they want to run on your blog. You choose how long you want to run it (i.e a month) for a specific price. The more traffic you have the more you can charge for advertising space on your site.
How to start a blog and make money ~ You can Do this but it is not something I suggest.
You can always make money from your site by asking for money from your readers. Depending on what your subject matter is this can be appropriate, otherwise I personally do not suggest it. But to be fair there are plenty of people who get on sites like Patreon or put up a “donate to this blog link” and in comes tons of money. If you have 6k patreons who donate a $1 to your account or even 6k fans that donate a $1 each month. That is $6,000 of income a month.
Therefore only try this if you have a dedicated fan base, doing it to early on your blog or when you are just starting out can turn people off.
I personally do not think that you should ask fans to just donate to your blog. I feel like there are so many other ways to make money through your blog that you do not have to ask the fans to donate. Although your fans may donate it can also be a huge turn off for some fans and it can keep your fans from coming back or supporting you at all.
If there is anything I want you to understand it is that without a fan base you have no income. If they are not buying your products, clicking on your ads, or coming to your blog then you do not have income. So do not turn them off by asking them for money.
The fact of the matter is that you need your readership and you need a dedicated readership, so when you choose to ask your fans for money it really needs to come across right because you risk losing that readership if you fans take it the wrong way.
This are the most common ways on how to start a blog and make money. Most importantly know that it is hard work. And just like any other job the harder you work out the more you make. (Post contains affiliate links)