Great post, thank you! I found this to be very useful. I have just got into the Pay Per Click method and it is a great way of building a passive income. Due to my niche, I have found it difficult to source good affiliate networks, but just today I have revisited the accounts I set up on Link Share and CJ, to my surprise they offer a good range of affiliate programs, many of which cater to my niche blog topic 🙂
Hobbies & passions. Hobbies or other interests you are passionate about are a great place to start. Cooking, travel, fashion, sports, and cars are all classic examples. But even blogs about more obscure hobbies can be successful, since the your audience is literally anyone in the world with the internet.
If you registered a new domain above, turn on your free SSL certificate to put an extra layer of protection for your visitors. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy term. It’s easy. (If you have an existing domain registered elsewhere, check with that company about getting an SSL certificate.)
By default, Tumblr publishes your post. If you want to keep crafting it or if you’re not complete, you can choose to save as draft by navigating to the right of the post body. Alternatively, you can choose to add to a queue of posts, or schedule a post for later in the week. You can also save the post as private if you’d prefer to keep it hidden from public eyes.
If you have previously registered a domain and want to use it for this new site, enter it on the right. (Don’t worry, it won’t mess things up to enter it here. It only identifies your Bluehost account for now.) If you don’t already have one, enter your desired domain on the left.
Find Your Voice. Over time, good writers discover their voice and their writing tends to develop a certain aesthetic, one that is appealing to their readers. Finding your voice makes your writing feel more alive, more real, more urgent. For additional reading, check out Joshua’s essay about Finding Your Voice.
Hey, thanks for the great post. When it comes to free blogging platforms, some they will allow you to use your domain. The problem is that some they will not allow you to monetize your blog and they can delete your blog without any valid reason.
Find a community. Blogging at its heart is interactive. You write a blog post and people comment on it. This is a great way to connect with people who are interested in the same things as you are. Blogging allows you to teach these people based on your experience, and it gives you the opportunity to learn from your readers as well.
Before you get started, take some time to check out what vloggers are doing.  Learn what type of equipment they are using, how they are framing their pictures, and how they are connecting with their audience.  Mimic what you like and feels most comfortable to you.
In regards to the fractions of seconds; it actually makes a huge difference. Studies by Amazon, Yahoo and a bunch of others have showed that increments of as small as 0.2 of a second can decrease sales by up to 7%.
Starting a blog is more than a passion today. It has become a profession now and a majority of bloggers starting a blog are either want to earn some side income or quit their job and go blogging full time.
Try to think about diversifying your income streams so that you aren’t up the creek should one dry up. The best bet is a strong mailing list that you can use to launch your own products and affiliate promotions.
No, copy pasting will help you in no way. Avoid copy pasting at all costs because it seems like it is your content when all you do is copy paste, and if you want to refer to some other blog post, copy paste the content and give them proper credit by adding their blog post link in the end. 🙂 Good luck!
I have found there are some people who are actually afraid of starting a blog on WordPress. It is a lot easier than most people believe. I was one of those who was afraid to take the plunge and start a blog using WordPress.
This is absolutely fantastic stuff and a real eye opener for business like mine, where we want technology to be our main driver given today’s day and age. I really appreciate the honest insights that you’ve put forward, and we will look forward to always learning more about the business through your posts and will definitely spread the good news.
So this is really based on when you’re planning to blog about ‘making money online’ I guess… because lesson #10 “Don’t Waste Time on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.” is so not true when you’re blogging about travel, recipes, photography, viral topics, news….. and a whole lot more.:P

Granted, you won’t make that kind of money when your blog is small, but when you’re just starting to learn how to make money blogging, affiliate marketing is still a good way to start for several reasons:
Let’s make your blog look exactly how you want it to. To choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a theme for around $40.
Those are six popular sharing buttons. There are many more. Whichever you choose make sure you limit the number of icons that appear and also make sure the plugin doesn’t slow down your page speed dramatically. If it does you’ll lose readers.
If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a business model where you endorse other people’s products or services in exchange for a commission. On software and information products, affiliates typically earn a 50% commission or sometimes even more, so it can be quite lucrative.
Despite having a lot of cool stuff going on, I am still of the firm belief that blog hosts like Tumblr, Squarespace and even WordPress.com do not give you the control, ownership and customization options that you might need.
There may come a time when you have to back up your WordPress site. Maybe you want to do this on a regular basis just to be safe. If not, you’ll at least want to back it up before making major changes or manually updating your theme. There are a couple of easy ways to do this:
Set aside $20 a week for a test and try to learn as much as you can about what gets shared, what your audience likes, where they are located, etc. This data can be super valuable for helping you decide what to write about next which, in turn, leads to more shares over time.
That’s why I’ve put this page together for you, to give beginners a fast, foolproof guide to starting a blog, without having to learn HTML or waste your time reading long, boring tutorials. In fact, over 9,500 people have already setup blogs using this guide!
You will also need to decide whether you want to offer personalized support for your course. Some sites offer two tiers of each course: a basic version without support, and a premium version with email support.
Thanks for the update, Jon. I’ve been blogging for over 11 years. In that time I’ve seen a LOT of changes. In fact, the number one change is change itself. What used to work (Google Adwords, keyword optimization) is actually a way to lose traffic now. I’ve seen eBooks come and go, as well as video marketing, podcasting, and social media marketing. The secret is they all work, for the right message, and the right person. The hard part is, to find the right message for your brand/personality takes a lot of hard work, a lot of experimentation, and months/years of time. Thanks for laying it on the line. Blogging can be a viable occupation, just don’t quit your day job until you’ve found what works for you.
On top of all this, Bluehost has been working with WordPress since 2005, and they are committed to giving back. That’s why they have promised us that if you cannot get your blog online within 30 minutes by following this tutorial, then our expert team will complete the process for you without any cost. They will compensate us, so you don’t have to. Contact us for free blog setup help.
WP Engine is a superb prospect however you’re looking at $29p/m for their most basic package. This is way out of the reach of most of my readers. This article is aimed at people who are just taking their first baby steps into blogging, and aren’t yet at a level of knowledge or income to justify something that costs over $300 per year. In comparison iPage costs around $72 for 3 years and includes a free domain name in year one.
Jon, amazing article! I would just add to your #15 regarding e-mail subscribers. The number you described is real if you have a legit database of subscribers behind it (don’t know if you take this here for granted).
We believe that WordPress outperforms all other platforms. It is powerful, easy to use, affordable, and the most flexible of all available blogging platforms. Here are all the reasons why you should use WordPress.
The most hardcore, but lucrative, step in the make-money-as-a-blogger world, is creating your own ebook, course or other product — and it will likely yield the best financial results, especially if you don’t have a massive audience yet.
Start a travel blog today and we’ll hook you up with our epic pro blogging eBook for FREE. This eBook covers everything from designing your blog to growing an audience and earning big money from advertisers. Invest less than the price of a cup of coffee today and learn how to make real money down the road. This blog currently earns six figures per year and our free eBook will show you how it’s done.
Hi Jamie, the article is very helpful. I have a question though…I searched several niches on Google Trends. they all show between 75 to 100 searches. That makes it difficult for me to choose. I blog about many things within the lifestyle category. Do I really need to pick a niche? My goal is to be a social media influencer. I’m a practising artist though.
Thank you for the tips. I started my blog in December and I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I want a facebook page for it. I have a bad taste in my mouth from facebook because I had a personal page and I absolutely hated it. Also, I have twitter, instagram, pinterest, and google plus so I’m not sure how much more social media time I have to spend on yet another site.
Your blog is great and every single post is packed with truly useful and up to date information and tips, but one thing I am finding, not just with BBT, but most “how to be a successful blogger” sites is that the focus is almost entirely geared towards people who want to be a “blogger” and not on how a company can use a blog to drive sales.
But because I’m not launching my blog or writing any blog posts until I hit 10,000 subscribers, I can’t point them to a blog I own that contains some of my writing samples, so that whoever I’m contacting can read and get an idea of my writing style.
This goes against the grain of 90% of what I’ve learned from the”experts” in the last 9 months of blogging. But man it feels right. I’m so worried about short term gains that I’m not building a long term foundation. I’m thinking so small! These lessons are profound, Jon. Thanks!
My response: you’re 98% right. Unless you’re selling exclusively to multimillionaires, the vast majority of your customer base won’t be able to afford premium products, but what’s interesting is it doesn’t matter. Often, you can make more money selling to the 2% than you can to the entire 98% combined.
Affiliate marketing is a kind of performance-based marketing. With this form of marketing, business owners reward affiliates for each customer brought to the company through the affiliate’s independent advertising endeavors. There are four key players in affiliate marketing:
Great article Jamie! I’ve only ever used affiliate links on my blog but recently I’ve been getting a lot of text-link offers. A typical email will ask a link to be put into one of my articles (relating to the content or website they want to link back to) and they offer anywhere between $50-$150 per link. Given the nature of your article, I just wanted to check your thoughts on such offers. Are they legitimate or should I have red flags go up as I’d hate to think they increase spam or worse yet affect google ranking or break basic rules of website T&Cs. Again, I’m not familiar in monetizing via such offers and googling about it didn’t give me much info. Thanking you in advance.
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite and most profitable income streams. You can highlight products or services you use and love without having to do the work of creating or maintaining that product yourself. I talk about affiliate marketing in much more depth in What is Affiliate Marketing? and My Top Affiliate Marketing Tips.
If you would like to add a picture to your post, click on the “Add Media” button and click “Select Files” to upload a picture from your computer. You can make adjustments to the picture size on the next screen. When you are ready click “Insert into post” to add the picture.
As your blog grows, you may want to change the look of your site and add more features for your growing audience. That means it’s important to choose a blogging platform that’s flexible, with room to grow. 
You’ll also notice that some hosting companies have WordPress hosting. These plans typically run on shared servers but can also be offered as cloud and VPS-based hosting. WordPress hosting is optimized for running the platform and will give you the most seamless WordPress experience.
Great post, blogging is hard and consistency is required. We run a Nature and travel blog and I think the most important thing we tell people is to start blogging with a purpose, Do not just start and end up soon. Niche is key and many miss out on that because they want to cover and do it all. Do not just start a blog because you think you will get rich quick and be able to travel the world. It takes a lot of work and lots of time.
Great information and all in one place too! Nowadays I see people are getting very creative in ways to make some extra money from home. I must say, you certainly help to solve this problem very beautifully. Nice guide for making money.
I can’t imagine that it’s worth the payoff to actually pay $25-100 per guest post. I mean, sure, if Conde Nast would let us write for them for a hundred bucks that would be one thing, but I don’t think it’s worth it to pay to guest post on a middling travel blog.
I started my first ever blog by writing on a consistent schedule about myself, my hobbies and interests. People found me via Google, Facebook, social media and my readership gradually grew over time to where it is today.
Although I already started my own blog, I found some useful tips in there. Furthermore, I checked some of the resources you mention in section #5, they’re great and useful (didn’t read them all….. yet 😉
A paid event calendar is a good monetization method for local or industry-specific websites. You might choose to advertise events in your local city, conferences in a certain industry, or even webinars or live streaming events.
Great article. I recently came back into blogging. I hadn’t realized how much I had learnt from my first attempt. Now with the new blog I started about a month ago, I am seeing an increase of traffic everyday which is quite surprising and very exciting. So I have been reading all over how to monetize a blog. Your article is excellent and in-depth. Thank you for sharing I will definitely be using some your advice. Blessings.