MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
The Quick Step-by-Step Guide
Please read the article below ALL the details you need. If you bump into any troubles or need some support, drop me a line at ramona (at) pftoday (dot) com
- Look for a niche (topic) for your future blog.
- Think about how you’ll earn money.
- Get a domain name and hosting
- Install WordPress
- Find a design theme for your website
- Create a lead magnet
- Set up a mailing list
- Write 4 articles
- Create social media accounts
- Start promoting the articles
- Guest post
- Keep on adding new articles
Do you want to earn money online?
Do you need a side income to pay off debt faster?
Are you tired of your 9-to-5 job?
Now you can create your own MONEY MAKING BLOG and start earning.
Look for a niche (topic)
General blogs don’t do as well as specialty blogs (read more: Blog for Money: Niche Blogging vs. General Blogging). You can earn some income from a general blog, but it’s usually more difficult to set yourself as an expert (we cannot be experts in everything), the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work is more difficult and most advertising clients usually want to promote in specialty blogs.
How do you find your niche?
- Look for something profitable – personal finance, gadgets, health, travel, gaming etc. Having a blog in a profitable niche can help you earn way more than having a strong project in a topic that’s not that lucrative. I’ve seen tremendous results in the healthcare or money nice for instance, compared to other niches.
- Look for a topic you are passionate about – even if money wasn’t my first pick, it’s still something I’m focused on and love learning new things. The niche you choose should be something you’d passionately create content for at least few years.
- Look for a topic you know about – starting a blog in a completely unknown topic is possible, but it’s easier to see better results by focusing on something you already know about.
- Look for a topic that’s not too broad, but not too narrow either – if you’ll start a blog about dogs, it’s harder to become an authority like someone who’s writing about German Shepherds for instance. Just do a quick Google search and see how many results you get. If you get too few, maybe it’s not such a great topic to pursue after all.
IMPORTANT: I recommend creating a blog in English. I have many Romanian readers who find it easier to create something in Romanian. Creating an English blog will allow access to way more advertising companies and opportunities. Not to mention the prices you can ask for are seriously bigger. So, if you can handle writing in English, this will skyrocket your income.
How will you earn money?
If you’ll just go for a topic you’re passionate about, start working your butt off for your blog and then try figure out how to monetize, you’ll repeat my experiences: work like crazy for a decade, only to find out there’s little chance to properly earn money from some projects. So, you’ll sell (the fortunate case) or close down.
Since we’re here to get you some money sooner than later, do your homework and think: how will I earn money?
Here are some ways to monetize:
- sell a service/product (a book, a course, some services: copywriting, SEO, web design, financial related services etc.)
- affiliate marketing – promote some products/services you really care about and earn a commission
- sponsored articles – there are clients who are willing to pay to have a review or a sponsored article published on your website
- banners/links – from Adsense to Clicksor, MatomySEO or LinkWorth, there are literally TENS of advertising companies you can use to earn a buck.
I have prepared a list of the companies I am working with, so that it’s easier for you to understand your options. I also sell a freelancing course and web design & marketing services, but in my income reports I’ll try focus only on the ad revenue, for those of you who are not yet prepared with a service/product.
View my blogging income reports.
Check each month of income reports and see exactly what works for me and what’s still not bringing me too much money.
Get a domain name and a hosting account
Before we go any further – don’t bother with blogspot.com or wordpress.com free hosted blogs.
I presume you want to EARN MONEY from your blog, so hosting it for free is unprofessional and will cost you a lot of business down the road. The most serious advertisers don’t waste time with such blogs, so, if you want to give your blog the best chances, get a domain name and a hosting account.
For many people this is a big challenge since there are way too many providers to choose from.
In order to make everything easier and save some money in the process, you can purchase your hosting directly from Bluehost.
Top 6 Reasons Why I recommend Bluehost:
- you get the domain name and hosting at the same time (no more worries with keeping 2 separate accounts, losing passwords etc.)
- you get the domain name free, this means you get to save some money
- you get a good hosting plan for your website
- you get a cPanel hosting account. I always recommend it to my clients to get cPanel, it’s soooo easy to set up and use
- you’ll install WordPress automatically, so no worries about being too web savvy at this moment
- it’s a company that’s been around for many years, this means expertise, great service, great deals
So, waste no more time, get yourself a nice domain name and hosting:
Now that you’ve sorted out your hosting, see how easy it is to install your WordPress:
There’s an entire list of tutorials on WordPress, created by Bluehost, click here to check them out.
If you need help with your WordPress installation, or would like me to professionally set up your blog, drop me a line at ramona (at) pftoday (dot) com and I’ll help you get started on the right foot.
Find a design for your website
There are 3 solutions for you to choose from, when it comes to how your blog will look:
- create a custom theme or pay a web designer to do so. It’s the ideal route, since your blog will be professionally designed, and uniquely styled. Since many can’t afford to pay a designer off the bat, here are 2 other options to try at first (you can get a designer to work with you, as you start earning money and want to take your blog to the next level)
- buy a premium theme – premium themes are not as expensive as custom designs and you can set up a nice looking blog by using them. I recommend ThemeForest as the place to find your theme, the acceptance guidelines for designs are VERY strict, and most developers provide an excellent support. I can personally recommend the Newspaper theme, used by some of my clients. I do not recommend frameworks like Thesis or Genesis, if you have any customization to do, it will be a pain.
- use a free theme – in this case the WordPress theme repository is the place to go. They approve new themes after a pretty thorough process (I have created a free theme in the past and it was indeed painful to get it approved). This means high quality standards and a stable theme for your blog. You can also look for free WordPress themes in Google and see what you can find.
Create a lead magnet
Now it gets tricky.
This is where I part ways with many other blogging advisers, because I take you directly to building your email list.
For years I’ve been the anti-list, since I personally hated newsletters with a vengeance.
Yet, after reading some excellent marketing books and taking some courses, I understood that the people who opt in to find about your offers are the best pool of potential clients you’ll have.
When I launched my freelancing course I tried to keep this in mind and it worked: I started getting paying students minutes after announcing it.
Right now it’s harder to convince people to subscribe, so you’ll have to offer something for their email address: this is the lead magnet.
You’ll do well with case studies, short e-books, design templates, planners, checklists, free lessons (if you sell a course) etc. Something that’s not too big (don’t go overboard with it), but still good enough as an incentive.
Set up your mailing list
In this case there are 2 options: you host the list on your website (with MailPoet for instance) or use a third party solution such as MailChimp, ConvertKit, Aweber, Infusionsoft etc.
I am currently using both solutions: self-hosted mailing lists (MailPoet) and Mailchimp.
Whatever you choose, you’ll have to create a list and then get the subscription forms. These will be embedded in your website’s code. If you have created a lead magnet, you’ll need to set up a page for people to download it from, AFTER subscribing to your mailing list.
Write 4 articles
Or 5 or 10. Depending on how fast you type or how much content you have already prepared, start writing something to get your blog started.
These few initial articles will allow you to properly set up your design (finish all the tweaks, see how it all looks together), tweak your SEO settings and get the ball rolling.
It’s also easier to start promoting (since you have what to promote) and also convince other bloggers to allow you to guest post, since this means you’ll have something to link them to.
Create social media accounts
Promoting your blog can turn into a real headache, so you’ll need to be as effective as possible.
Right now there are a gazillion of social media websites, so trying to stay on top of them all would require 360 hour days or at least 50 personal assistants hired for this job.
Kidding aside, create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin maybe Google Plus and Instagram.
Look for people you know in real life, and slowly start connecting with people from your chosen niche. Follow some of the most relevant and start sharing their stuff. You can also use this as a great way to feel the ‘vibe’ in the industry, get ideas for new articles etc.
Start promoting the articles
In order to be successful, you’ll need to write less and promote more. Spend about 20% of the time doing the actual writing and 80% of your time to promote.
This doesn’t mean to spam the living daylights of anyone you meet online, but to strategically post on social media, comment on same niche forums and blogs, look for guest posting opportunities etc.
Try to add value to your comments, be helpful and nice. This will make people like you and slowly build your reputation as an authority in your chosen niche.
Chances are you made some friends in your niche, so now it’s time to approach fellow bloggers to request a guest posting opportunity.
It works like this: you create an OUTSTANDING article for their blog. It gets published under your name (or posted by the blog’s owner, but with credits to you). A short bio and a link to your blog. Some will allow 2-3 links inside the article to some similar posts on your blog (that are, clearly, relevant) for their audience.
Few tricks to make sure you guest post successfully:
- don’t go asking the ‘big shots’ right away. Start with small blogs and make your way up.
- give links to 2-3 great articles you have created. Don’t link to many articles, people are busy, showcase the most relevant work
- ask about the topic to cover. Ideally it should be something that’s proven to be successful on the blogger’s site.
- prepare the best article you can, bring great value to the new community you are addressing now
- as soon as the article is live, promote it on your social media accounts and be present to respond to comments