Blogging for money means first you have to have a blog.
There are a lot of details you need to take care of. Some big, some small, and all are important.
But the good news is that once you get going with a blog it will get easier.
As far as making money from your blog there are several ways to earn an income via the internet. There are many people who have been able to earn enough to become self-employed. There are others who have made fortunes.
I think the sky is the limit.
If your goal is to make money by blogging these are the basic’s you need to get started.
Blogging for Money Tips
Where to Start
If you are going to set up a blog for the sole purpose of making money you still have to go through the same initial steps as a person who is setting up a blog for the fun of it.
You need to know what your particular ‘topic’ for your website is going to be and you should have a good idea about who is going to read your stuff.
I’ll get more into that in just a minute.
But first, the million dollar question:
How Does Anyone Make Money Blogging?
I am willing to bet there are thousands of ways to make a buck online. Some ways require skills and others not so much.
What is your income focus? Do you want a passive income? Did you want to set up MSI’s (multiple sources of income)? Do you want to set up your blog to advertise your services? Did you just want to run a blog that generates income on its own?
This particular post is about setting up a blog to passively generate income.
A passive income is where; once you have completed the work, the result of your work continues to generate you money – even while you sleep.
It’s a pretty good deal.
Passive income is “front end loaded”. By this I mean, all (or most) of the work is done on the front end. Like writing a book. Once the book is published it continues to make money.
Blogging for a passive income is like that.
Deciding What to Blog About
If you are focused on making money by blogging then there are three main niches that are the biggest money makers. These are Weight Loss, Making Money, and Relationships. If you are interested or have experience in any of those then you need to simply drill down into what your focus will be.
For example if you are interested in the weight loss niche will you be focused on helping men or women? What age group?
When you are just starting out you may think that you want to serve EVERYBODY because that will have a better chance of netting you the most money. The truth is people like to go where they feel comfortable. If you set up your blog to talk to everybody, it won’t be much interest to anybody.
(to be continued after this brief message…)
First pick your focus.
By plugging in your main words that you want to use, the Google keyword generators will spin out terms it considers to be “related” to the words you plugged in. Plus it shows you how many searches a month the different keywords get.
For example lets say you are interested in weight loss niche.
In the first screen shot you see the new dashboard for Google’s Keyword Planner. If you sign directly into your AdWords account you will find it under tools.
You can see I entered “weight loss” and then asked the Keyword Planner to run some ideas.
The next screenshot is the “Ad Group” page. This is excellent when looking for keywords to run your AdWords campaigns. Don’t worry about getting traffic to your blog just yet – we need to get you set up first.
As you can see the first Ad Group shows the number of monthly searches for all the phrases totalled in that group. Also because it was at the top of the list and the list was sorted by “Relevance” – it is probably the group of keywords to look at first.
The keyword “Weight Loss” is really too general.
Lets have another look at who your avatar is – the people you primarily will be directing your sales message to.
Consider that your focus will be “weight loss” for “women” who are “over 40”
Punching in a few additional phrases gives the keyword planner a more narrow idea of what type of search terms that will be more closely related to your target audience.
You can see some of the terms didn’t show to have a lot of traffic for those exact phrases. But look below. For “relevant” terms the planner suggests some higher trafficked terms like “how to lose weight for women” or “diet plans for women”.
Have some fun playing with the keyword tools. You will be surprised at what some of the related terms to your niche are and might just give you a few more ideas. It’s not unusual for me to change my mind about what to call my website after tooling around for awhile.
Choosing a Domain Name for Your Website
You might notice I interchange the words Blog and Website. I don’t mean to confuse you on that. A Website has historically been a static group of pages that would be used to advertise your business. The Blog is a dynamic CMS (content management system) and once set up, can be edited and added to by the user.
I use the words interchangeable because a blog is often also used as a professional website now. There is a more detailed explanation of the difference between a website and a blog a little further down the page.
What is a Domain Name?
Your domain is the URL or your www.YourDomainName.com. Deciding on what you want your url to be takes a little planning too.
After having done your research above and now decided on the term you would like to call your blog, you should try and match your blog name to your url if at all possible. Yes, the “Exact match” domain isn’t AS influential as it once was, but you are one step ahead for SEO purposes if your url, blog name, and purpose of your blog, all match up as closely as possible.
Using the list of keywords you discovered in your keyword planner you can do a domain search at any of the thousands of domain sellers out there. But rather than do one search at a time I like to use the GoDaddy Bulk search tool because it’s quicker when you have more than one search to do or are using highly competitive search terms.
In the popular niches when trying to find domain names that closely match your product, it may take a few try’s.
Look at the image below, you see to find the bulk search you just go to the main search page and just below the input box you will see a link that says “bulk search” – just click on that an you will go to the next screen.
You will see that I entered several of the terms, checked the ☑.com and clicked on “go”. The first run wasn’t successful because these are popular terms that people have snatched up already.
But don’t despair. This is your business so why not personalize it?
You can still get the popular search terms in your url and name for your blog by using your name. If your name is Mary, try searching something like “Mary’s weight loss .com” and BOOM! As of today – it’s available! (someone is going to read this and take it but you can use your own name).
Now that you know what you want for your url you need to register your domain. I like GoDaddy to register domain names. I have a GoDaddy hosting account too but I’ll get into hosting in a moment.
You are able to register your domain (url) at the same place you get your hosting yes, but I like GoDaddy for all the reasons listed in the “Tools I Use” section. In a nutshell, they are cheaper in the long run (even when up against hosting companies offering FREE domain registration) and I like their free email system that comes with each domain MUCH better than the email system that comes with the other hosting companies.
So I will publicly say that I recommend GoDaddy for domain registration. I can say that with confidence because I have been with them since 2007.
So go and register your domain name and come right back. I’ll tell you what to do next.
Blogging Platform Setup
There are several different types of blogging platforms available, and most of the discussion is over on this page.
As you can see my preferred choice is WordPress.
Before I get to that let’s discuss – free or paid?
In your searches you probably noticed there are several free blogging platforms. For your convenience I have thoroughly compared the paid hosting options benefits against several of the more popular free website makers, and free hosting providers.
In short – if you want to do this for money, a living, or as a serious endeavour of any sort, I strongly suggest you go with paid hosting to avoid the risks associated with the free website service and choose the WordPress blogging platform.
How to Choose a Hosting Company for your Blog
There are several different hosting companies to choose from. They all have their up’s and down’s and I have compared them quite thoroughly on the Web Hosting Reviews page.
Bottom line is if you mess up with your choice in hosting companies, you can always move your site to a different company. See the post on The Simplest Way to Move your Website to a New Hosting Company. I also cover several indicators that will signal when it might be the time to change hosting companies.
For simplicity if you are a non-techie person, I recommend choosing a hosting provider with a cPanel and a good track record. Of all the providers I suggest GoDaddy, Bluehost, or Hostgator. I have used all three and am still with Hostgator and GoDaddy.
You can always sign up for .01¢ to try it out.
Or – click this link to Save 20% on hosting when you commit for the year. Don’t worry, their renewal rates don’t break the bank either.
You can get a good comparison of affordable web hosting in this post.
How to Build a Website
Setting up and installing wordpress is covered completely in this article on How to Set up Your WordPress Website.
Don’t worry if it’s too confusing for you – I can have one of my developers set up your new blog for free if you’d prefer. And yes – there is a catch 🙂
Making a REAL Blog
The word Blog is derived from the earlier Web Log, which was used to keep a diary or journal on the world wide web (www). One of the more well known ones was a blog titled the “Julie/Julia project” where Julia Powell did a public journal of her self imposed challenge to cook every recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook. Eventually her blog turned into a book and then a movie Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.
Really enjoyable movie too if you haven’t seen it – it also goes into Julia Child’s story as well. Meryl Streep as always – most excellent!
Anyway – to continue…
The Blog is build on a CMS (content management system) – without getting into all the technical stuff, essentially it is designed so that you can write as though you are using a simple word processor but will index and publish and set up a chronological system for you.
Quite simply you write a “post” when you are finished you click “publish” and poof! There it is all out on the internet for the world to see
This enables you to write about your passion at anytime day or night. Which leads into the next topic of
How to Write a Blog
There are two very important aspects to be VERY aware of:
1. Don’t copy someone else’s stuff. Think of the Search Engines as Santa Clause. They know if you’ve been bad or good, and stealing is bad! Even if you purchase the content using PLR (public label rights) you really need to give it your own perspective.
This is covered more in “article writing for SEO.”
2. You don’t need to be a creative writer or have a masters in English. Just be true to your passion and talk to your avatar as though you are sitting together at the beach.
Coming up with topics for ideas can come from PLR or other blogs, there is nothing wrong with that, just put your own spin on things.
Another way to come up with ideas is using one of the keyword tools. It will find related ideas for you that you can use as headlines or titles to get you started and you can expand from there.
Outsourcing Your Content
There are many outsourcing or freelance companies with several people lined up to write for you. You can also hire individuals or trade links for articles. Not every post has to be written by you.
Here are some more in-depth ideas on how to get content for your blog.
There you have it – blog is up, you are posting to it on a regular basis, and you haven’t made any money yet. Now what?
Let the fun begin and the dough roll it – It is now time to monetize your blog!