Do you enjoy writing? Do you have an interest or unique perspective on a topic? If so, then blogging can be a great outlet to share your thoughts and knowledge with others.
Want to make money? Blogging can also be a clever way to supplement your income. And for some, blogging can become a full-time job making you thousands of dollars per month.
You can make money in a variety of ways with a blog. As a blogger, you can earn money through advertisements, sponsored posts, affiliate sales, brand engagement, product reviews, and endorsements. Blogging can also lead to paid freelance writing gigs.
Quick Smile Summary
Want to skip the article and just go through the steps? Here ya go, rockstar!
- Host your blog on a self-hosted website. Use BlueHost (get free domain registration) or SiteGround.
- Select a plan. The 36-month plan will be cheaper on a monthly basis.
- Install WordPress. This is an easy one-click step for both hosting companies.
- Start writing. You can publish your first blog post instantly.
I started my blog with a self-hosted site on BlueHost. It was cheap and also came with a free domain. BlueHost is a good option for starters. When your traffic grows, you can upgrade with them, or move to SiteGround (my current host) which I absolutely love.
How I Make Money Blogging
I didn't make much my first few months of blogging. After some research, I learned how to place Google AdSense ads on my blog. In the first 30 days, I earned $8.24 from the ads displayed on my website. Currently, my blog makes on average $100 in AdSense income per month. I'm working to increase the income with the blog's new direction.
I make a good amount of money through affiliate sales. I partner with brands I love and share their products with the community. Examples of affiliate relationships that make me money: student loan refinancing, free credit scores, and banking services.
As my web traffic grew, I was paid by companies to write reviews and sponsored posts that range from $50-200 per article. I've since paused offering paid reviews and sponsored posts. One day, I'll reinstate them once I'm confident my voice won't be diluted.
I also make money writing for other blogs and creating content for companies. Back then, I was getting paid $25 for 500-word articles. Now, my rate is $1.00 per word with a minimum 800 words. Got to love the power of expertise and having a bestselling and NYTimes reviewed book. My blog is still my online portfolio. It can be your online writing portfolio too.
When your blog takes off, many people will ask for your time. They want to pick your brain so they can start making money with their blogs too. I, eventually, began coaching others and my rates began at $500. Coaching was interesting but it took a lot of my time. However, I will take coaching clients once in a blue moon. You can learn more about this on my personal website.
Should You Start a Blog to Make Money?
The great thing about blogging is that you can do it anywhere. You can start blogging while keeping your full-time job. Blogs can be written at during lunch break, at home, in a coffeehouse, on the beach, or while waiting for your time at the doctor's office.
Here is my two-step process to get started right now.
How to Get Started
What's the name of your blog? Decide on what you'd like to call your blog and find the domain that matches. You can go to BlueHost or SiteGround to check for availability. I also recommend Google Domains. With Google Domains, you can register a domain for $12 per year which includes free domain privacy protection. Then, go back to BlueHost or SiteGround and select your plan.
When creating your blog name or URL be original and authentic to you. You can be direct or have a play on words for your URL. Often times, having the topic of your blog included in the URL can have better search engine ranking.
Find your perfect URL using this tool from Bluehost.
Step 1: Get Web Hosting
I think most people (and I felt this way too) is afraid of the technical aspect of blogging. But, it's quite easy to get started. Web hosting providers are helpful by offering instant installs or one-click installs of WordPress. WordPress is by far the best blogging platform. It's easy to use and a ton of resources are available online.
You can start blogging using wordpress.com, medium.com, or Linkedin. However, I recommend hosting your own website so you can monetize–make money. Again, check Bluehost ($3.95/month plus a free domain) or SiteGround ($3.95/month and amazing customer and tech support) for hosting options. Using these links will give you the promotional offers.
After choosing a web host, decide on how long you'd like hosting for. Choosing a 3-year plan will give you the best savings. If you're unsure if blogging will stick with you, then choose a 12-month plan.
Step 2: Start Blogging Using WordPress Platform
Once you've selected your web host, choose the instant or one-click install of WordPress. There is a lot of information available for WordPress users. It makes it so much easier to start and troubleshoot.
WordPress is a blogging platform and it comes with a set of free themes. The theme is the look and feel of your blog or website. You can choose among hundreds of free themes to get started. Or you may want to purchase a theme that's more reflective of the style you want.
However, I want you to focus on your writing. Don't get too bogged down with deciding the right look. You can always update the style later. People will be drawn to your blog because of your writing. Start writing.
If you’re adamant about a look and feel to your blog and none of the free themes will do, I’ve used ThemeForest to find a custom theme for my blogs. Typically, I search for one I like and hire an expert to make modifications to fit what I need. You can browse through their marketplace to find one (again I caution you on trying to complicate things and starting simple).
Start with these additional resources
As a blogger, here are my favorite services. Many of them are free but offer premium versions for a fee.
Design Images: Canva is an online design app that helps you create amazing social media ready and blog post read designs.
Photos: Depositphotos has millions of royalty free photos and images to use for your blog. I recommend you use photos you've taken yourself or paid for.
Social Media Scheduler: Buffer is a great place to start.
Email: MailChimp offers free up to 500 subscribers. And affordable options once you've reached the limit.
5 Tips to Make Money with Your Blog
- Focus on a specific topic and write posts that people will enjoy reading.
- Edit your posts.
- Promote your blog posts on social media.
- Email your family and friends (if you don't want to be anonymous).
- Engage with other bloggers in your niche. Follow bloggers on social media and comment on your favorite posts.
What are you waiting for? Get started blogging with a web host. Choose BlueHost (get a free domain registration and pay as little as $3.95/month) or SiteGround ($3.95/month and amazing customer and technical support). I’m about options and these two are sound web host starting points.
Can you see yourself blogging and making money from a blog?