Have you ever considered blogging but didn’t know where to start? Do you have an interest or hobby you would like to write about and share? Ever fantasised about making money in your sleep or to create an additional source of income from home?
I too asked myself these questions five years ago, not long after having my first child. Housebound, longing for new skills, flexibility and opportunity, I set out asking friends and family how to setup a website/ blog online. Unfortunately they either didn’t have a clue, or never thought about make money online.
After some investigations I enrolled and completed a two year course in IT-Web Design via correspondence. It was a fantastic introductory to coding and html.
Everything I have learnt to date is self taught. I can honestly say, companies and apps are making it real easy to get your blog up & running in no time. No coding required!
So, are you ready? Want to make a few extra dollars on the side? Here are my 7 steps to starting your own blog that could help you make some money from home:
First and foremost find your passion when it comes to blogging. It could be an interest, hobby or topic. Anything! This might be food, fashion, beauty, parenting, cars, video games, cats, gardening. Find your niche.
If your sole purpose to blogging is to make money, all I can say is don’t give up your day job! Sorry to burst your bubble. Some of the most successful bloggers only blogged on the side until their website gained more traffic. It's just not enough to live off.
The early phase should be invested in pumping out great content or articles. Consistency is the key! Passion, (or venting) is what drives you during those quiet or difficult times. What’s your reason for starting a blog?back to menu ↑
Buy a Domain Name and Hosting
Take the time to investigate on the best web hosting company around. Don't be fooled by the cheap prices (coming from experience!).
I use Siteground and have never looked back. Their service quality is second to none, and are the experts in WordPress website hosting (for great looking websites and great for blogging!).
Best of all, they have servers in America, Europe and Singapore. These locations help provide high quality service for the shared hosting users in Asia and Australia. In other words, great upload speed for websites. I also find their online customer service team very easy to deal with. I recommend you check them out here!
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Make it Pretty
There are many WordPress themes/ templates out there you could use as framework for blogging. They have different layouts and styles depending on your purpose. Some are free! My suggestion is to find a modern, simple, clean layout theme that’s versatile and professional looking.
Although you can find fantastic free themes available, for under $50 you could get a gorgeous looking blogging theme with all the hard work done. No coding required. Simply upload your logo or name, modify to suit your colours or style then blog away.
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As a guide you should be posting at least 3 times per week. Be consistent! Don’t just post a few times then drop off the face of the earth. Your readers will lose interest and it’s the best way to see your web traffic plummet. The more frequently you post, the more chances there are for people to visit your website.
It’s important to put out regular content, engage with your readers & stay current in google searches. Remember, there are other bloggers out there too.
Create attention grabbing headlines with interesting reads. It also helps to post quality photographs or images as it draws the readers attention. This is extremely handy for social media such as Pinterest or Facebook where posts are shared or can go viral.
Writing something unique and awesome takes practise. Start now, follow these tips, check out other blogs, monitor which posts generates the most reads.back to menu ↑
Like any product or service out there, you need to market your website and let people know you exist! Start with family and friends first then grow your fanbase from there.
Setup social media accounts and share the love. Post all new posts or pictures to social media. Engage with your fans regularly. Respond to comments or questions. Run mini competitions or giveaways. Promote yourself!back to menu ↑
Now that your blog is finally up and running, here are some ways to make some extra cash online:
Google AdSense ads
Adding Google AdSense to your blog can be an easy way to earn money. Ads relevant to the topic of your blog post are placed alongside it by Google. When visitors click on them and make a purchase, you are paid a small percentage of the total.
When your earnings exceed $100, you are sent a cheque. This is generally a slow way to make money since your blog has yet to see a huge number of visitors to make it profitable.
If you are serious about using your blog to make money through AdSense, research which keywords are popular and write about those topics. You will draw more traffic and the ads on your site will be of interest to users.
This process works in a similar manner to Google AdSense, but you often receive a higher percentage of each sale when you go through an affiliate program. Amazon and other e-commerce Web sites have affiliate programs that allow you to sell a number of interesting products and services on your blog, from e-books to fashion.
Sell advertising on your blog
If your blog starts getting more traffic, or if you appeal to a desirable niche, you can sell advertising on your blog yourself. You can sell image ads that appear on your sidebar, at the top of your page or in between posts.
It is also possible to sell text links, a technique used when an advertiser pays you to link to its Web site using a specific word or phrase. Many bloggers choose to combine selling advertising with affiliate programs and AdSense.
A sponsored post is a blog post which you are paid to publish on your blog. It may be written by you or by the advertisers. You should state that the post is actually sponsored. Although you could risk losing some authenticity by viewers, it is a method that could work depending on your niche.
Join blog network
If you aren't too determined to maintain the rights to your work, you can join a blog network. In this model, you either take over a blog that a network wishes content for, or you suggest a blog idea that the network does not have.
You provide the content and direction for the blog, and you are paid for your efforts. Blog networks may pay you a flat rate for your participation, or they may have a system by which you are compensated through revenue sharing from ads.
Pay per post
There are a number of web sites that allow you to submit your blog (you need to build up your Alexa Rank and your Google PageRank first) and then receive payment for sponsored posts. PayperPost offers the largest variety of paid post opportunities, but you can also make money online with LoudLaunch, Blogitive and Sponsored Reviews.back to menu ↑
Tweak & Persevere
Continue to update your blog, change the look and template to your taste, improve your writing style and photo images. You can also add new elements such as instructional Youtube videos, forums, and giveaways to improve your following and user engagement.
Monitor your blog with Google Analytics to check improvement in traffic and what methods are working.
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