While blogs are now so commonplace that it’s near impossible not to have come across one yet. For the purpose of this guide, we will be discussing: 1) what blogs are, 2) how to make money blogging, and 3) how you can set up your own blog and be on your way to financial freedom this year.
What is Blogging
So what exactly is a blog?
A weblog, shortened to blog, through similar to a website, is a journal or diary that is usually maintained by one person called the blogger. Usually, blogs can be categorized into niches (fashion, travel, entertainment etc.). The particular niche determines the content and this reflects the passion of the blogger. Bloggers are usually very passionate about the niche they write about.
Quality content (blog posts) is the fundamental piece of every blog. To ensure your blog gets lots of visitors-because you need to have people visiting and reading your blog posts to make it popular and in turn make money-you have to regularly create content (blog posts). Depending on the niche, your content should be trendy, catchy (you can use lots of pictures) and engaging. You are expected to update your blogs often to maintain readership.
Getting Started with Blogging
Here are the definitions of a few words that will appear regularly in the course of this guide.
Blog (n.) – A blog is an online journal or diary that is available on the internet.
Blogger (n.) – A blogger is an individual who is the blog owner or a person who is responsible for creating content or posts.
Blog Post (n.) – An article or writing that is on the blog. This is content that keeps the readers coming back again.
Blogging (v.) – Blogging is the act of maintaining or writing a blog.
Blogging is quite an engaging venture. In a featured article “the Billionaire Bloggers” on forbes.com, it is stated that more than 112 million people in the world blog regularly and there are 13 billionaires out of the 1,125 on the list who are true bloggers. So why not you?
Blogging, as a profession, has proven to be very lucrative. However, not many people have the knowledge and understanding to make a successful career out of blogging. Although creating a very successful blog is no easy feat, as the blogosphere is quite competitive, with a good measure of passion, talent, dedication and good business sense, you can become very successful.
There is a need for bloggers to have a drive, passion, and expertise in their respective niches to be successful.
However, most of the money made by bloggers don’t usually come directly from just blogging. A blog mostly serves as a platform or springboard to launch other products and services that bring in income. There is no method of making money that is better than the other; they all provide endless possibilities for the blogger. All you have to do is find a combination that works for you or create your own. The key to making good money from blogging is to have multiple streams of income from your blog. For instance, if you blog about traveling, then try selling your service as a booking agent or create an affiliate with travel agencies, hotels, or Airbnb.
How to Make Money Blogging
There are lots of ways you can make money blogging. The ways listed below are just a few. Your reach and readership are the major things that will determine how much you can make, as your window of opportunity is endless when your blog becomes very popular.
Google AdSense is the most popular way of creating income through blogging. It is the ad network powered by Google and it is probably the most popular ad network in the world. Most of the ads you come across when you surf the web are placed on the website or blogs by Google AdSense.
Google AdSense ads come in various shapes and forms; some can be images and other text. They are placed in headers, footers or within posts, and anywhere else the blog owner chooses to display them. AdSense is a good place to start for new bloggers because it is easy to set up. Advertisers pay money for clicks on their ads that are displayed on your blog. They key here to reaping lots of benefit from Google AdSense is to create good content and drive as much traffic as you can to your blog. The more people visit your blog, the greater the likelihood is of them clicking on the ads.
One of the most effective ways that you can make money blogging is advertising. A sponsored post is a blog post that you are asked to make by a company or organization that is trying to reach readers of your blog. In this type of post, you are most likely commissioned to write about a service or product. You are expected to show the service or product in a good light so as to encourage your blog readers to consider buying from the company or organization. It is a good practice to be upfront and clear to your readers about your relationship with the company. It helps to maintain your integrity.
Note: Keep sponsored posts to a minimum as it can be offensive to some readers.
Private ads are unique ads that are not routed through Ad networks. They are a direct partnership between you, the blogger and the business advertising on your blog. Initial contact can be made by the blogger or by the advertiser. Be clear on what’s expected by both parties. Not sure what to charge? Look around to see what others in your niche charge. You can often find this information on a blog’s advertising page or media kit. Not sure of how to get adverts? There are ways to reach out to your target companies and one of those ways is to visit similar blogs in your niche and see what’s being advertised there. Contact those companies and who knows, you may just receive a cheque in the mail.
The job of an affiliate marketer is to promote someone else’s product or service in a blog post or through other means. When you create links on your post to that product or service using your unique affiliate link or code, you get paid a commission when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase (or completes a desired action set by the company). Affiliate marketing is quite popular among bloggers because of the numerous companies out there who are looking to advertise their products. For instance, if your niche is sports, you can set up affiliate accounts on the various online sports betting websites and create affiliate links to those websites in your blog post.
Sell a Product
This is another great way to monetize your blog. The easiest way to monetize your blog is to sell a product or service. You can do this directly by embedding images of the product and a button that says “buy now”. You will want to mention the price but only after a well-written sales copy. It is a good idea to include “bonuses” if possible. This is mostly done when selling digital products such as courses or e-books. There are basically two types of products you can sell on your blog; physical products and digital products.
Platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce have made it cheaper than ever for anyone to create an online store to sell products online. Selling physical products online may be a bit difficult due to the various logistics involved but you can find companies that offer white label or drop shipping services, which frees up your time for driving traffic and creating quality content.
If you can’t deal with the challenge of selling physical products, you can opt for selling digital products; how-to videos, recipes, hacks, training courses, or even software, all of which can be delivered electronically. For instance, Brian Dean, internet marketer, and SEO guru, runs a successful SEO membership site called SEOThatWorks.com. He tutors people on how to make their website or blog such that it is optimized for search engines. It costs about $2000 to join, and he has had many happy members as part of this program.
How to Set up Your Blog
If you are convinced about the prospects of blogging, then you should give it a try. First off, before starting your blog, you have to decide on the name and niche you would like to blog about. The trick here is to first find your passion. This is necessary for the long run because you want to blog about something you know well. You will have to continuously post updates or new things, and the only way to really stay on top of that is to be motivated through your passions. Once that is taken care of, you should pick a name that is catchy, easy to pronounce and available for domain registration.
The next step is to install WordPress and design your theme and layout. Most web hosting companies offer pre-set themes and layouts on WordPress for bloggers. If you have no knowledge of website design, I would suggest you make use of the web hosting sites that offer a “one-click” WordPress setup for you. There are various platforms like Wix and Bluehost that offer such features. Then, install plugins to allow for sharing of your posts. This allows readers to share your blog posts on major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It gives you more visibility and would help drive traffic to your blog. For more information please check out my step by step guide on how to start a blog.
Finally, create great content. Compelling content will keep the blog visitor coming back and will encourage sharing of your posts, which will ultimately drive traffic to your blog. Make sure you write and publish regularly, make great use of your network to promote your blog and who knows, you may just be on your way to becoming the next Mashable or TechCrunch.