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.
As for the recent changes, I probably need to write a post. Personally, I’m backing away from Facebook and focusing my energy more on Twitter and Google+. For awhile you could get more views of your posts by posting a status, then putting the link in the first comment, but I just read an article that said FB is going to start cutting back on exposure for those as well. Basically, it seems that unless you’re willing to pay for ads, there is no guarantee that your fans will see your posts (even if they want to). I think it’s really disgusting on FB’s part and I’m willing to walk away at this point. I’ll keep auto posting new blog posts there, but otherwise I’ll engage with my audience and clients on networks that let people make their own decisions about what they see and what they don’t. (Whew, got a little ranty there!)
I have to agree with you and also put some emphasis on uniqueness. The most successful blogs today are definitely those that have an individual personal twist. People love new content and the more unique the likelihood that it will be shared more and draw in more people.
The good news is, adding these buttons is pretty easy. WordPress offers a wide range of plugins to make it simple. A few of my favorites are Monarch ($89), Shareaholic (free) and Simple Share Buttons (free).
Having a large number of visitors to your blog means that advertisers will pay to have their ads shown to your readers. The easiest way to blog for money is to get paid for showing advertisements on your blog by joining Google’s AdSense program at http://www.google.com/adsense
Jon, great post. I can tell you put a lot of time and effort into it. A very good read and you are right – I have been afraid to call myself a blogger up to now because most people don’t take you seriously. From today I will shout from the rooftops ‘Yes I’m a blogger’ 🙂
This is a really interesting post Jon. What you’ve listed here are the “tools of the trade” so to speak. Every type of business has a list of things specific to that business that must happen in order for their to be income produced. If that list isn’t followed, then you have a hobby, not a business.
Similarly to CPC advertising, cost per mile (CPM) ads can bring in good steady income from your blog if you’re piling through large levels of traffic. They are very easy to set up and you really don’t need any knowledge of coding to do so – all you have to do is create an advertising account and add the code to your site; simple.
I used your guide and made my own site, thanks for the help! 🙂 I’d like to create a second one in WordPress under a different domain name (a new blog in a different language). I followed all the steps, except I can’t figure out how to install wordpress or add the new domain to create a separate page..
The “best idea” for you and the “best idea” for me are two completely different things. I would go for a product that you feel comfortable promoting and one that you can promote effectively. For example, I promote hosting packages because I genuinely know a lot about hosting and web development, so it fits in nicely with my skill sets.
I echo the sentiments posted before me… this was extremely helpful in the quest to begin my own blog for profit. It is well written, informative, and full of links to more material. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with all of us! Hopefully I can build a brand that is this helpful to others!
I think I can confidently say that 100% of the blogs I read are because of their content and not their backer, and I don’t think I’ve ever clicked ‘back’ because of what was by the copyright. Many do annoy me, however.
The key with creating content is to make it as useful as possible. Focus upon creating content that changes people’s lives in some way will be the type of content that people will value the most and it will help people to feel like they know, like and trust you – which is really important if you later want to make money from your blog.
Great information all in one place. I am new to blogging and having a blast. Deciding on a niche was a bitch. I am interested in so many things that I had to follow all of them until I found my groove. It’s a big problem not settling in one niche. At the moment I am in two niches and celebrating the focus.
Really excellent article. One suggestion or caution with Godaddy though…Godaddy has a product called WordPress Hosting. I signed up for it, and all was fine until I installed a plugin which had a special requirement that needed to be set up by the webhost. (something in the server side settings). I called Godaddy and they advised they can’t make those changes. Only on their individual hosting plans would that have been possible. This is a rare event, but worth keeping in mind. When you go for your own hosting you have more flexibility.

This post was so good that I had to sit in my car and keep reading after I left work, here in the garage. Ha! What caught my attention is the funnel analogy and the webinars. Starting with the expensive first, then offering the less expensive. Brilliant. Also, I want to do webinar but am not sure how to get started. But dammit if I’m not going to think of how to move in that direction! Thanks for the kick in the butt, Jon! 🙂
Hi, of course a freestyle blog can be profitable, you have to research the market that your audience is interested in. So what topic(s) (read: niches) do you write about. Do some research in Google and see if any ads pop up. If none, that topic is probably not a very good one. The key is to write great posts, provide great content, build an email list and research what your list is interested in (hint: use polls to check that out, let’s say if you are considering to become an affiliate for amazon and you want to promote cooking books, just an example, you could ask your subscribers to go to a poll you created about what books they love to read, and add cooking books as one of the options, plus several others, to make it more attractive, promise that they can win a reward or so, a free product or free service or even $25 will take them to your 1 minute poll). Also: learn about doing keyword research in Google keywords tool. And learn a bit about SEO done the proper way. Now don’t think you learn this in a week. It can take many years to master this art, but at least a year, if you study like crazy. Make sure your content is great, over deliver in great content, so people LOVE to subscribe to your list, offer a freebie that they will LOVE, and to find out what they would Love you can do a poll in your blog post(s) to research various interests your readers have. Then see if there are affiliate programs for that. Before my reply becomes longer then Jon’s article, I think I leave now, but you get the point…. go do your homework kid 😉 Good luck with your booming business! Believe you can do it, because you can, but you need to work hard, and learn the art of building trust and offering what your readers and subscribers Love…. Woohoo, go do your research now!
Im currently interested on starting a blog and Im wondering if it is possible to blog on a smartphone? Since I cant always carry a laptop around and most of the time ideas and inspirations just pop-up from unexpected places and I dont want to waste the feelings and emotions that I wanted to express on my writings just because I cant conveniently start from where I am
Thank you very much for such a useful information especially for the newbie blogger like me. I had followed your guide and got the result I wanted. The setup of WordPress in HOSTGATOR recommended by you is simple and easy.
A great post Jon. I enjoyed reading it and learn a lot. I was particularly impressed by your take the one metric that matters. I was also surprised to find that spending time on social media isn’t a great use of a blogger’s time.
WordPress was built to be a blogging platform and will always be a blogging platform. It does it well and perfect for blog only sites. However, once you start incorporating other functionality into your site such as membership based concepts, e-commerce, basically more complex website structure and content, my choice would go to Joomla! hands down. I’ve got over 10 years of Joomla experience and 7 for WP, so it’s a bit easier for me to make that statement.
Paying for clicks and traffic on social media or in the search engines can be a great option to market your blog. A lot of the information about blog marketing covers the organic options. While some of these can turn your blog into a popular destination quickly the more likely scenario is that it will take time for you to build communities to promote your blog content.
Write Compelling Content. Last, via WordPress, we started writing and uploading the content for our pages: About Page, Contact Page, Start Here Page, Books Page, Tour Page, Archives Page, etc. Next, we designed our logo using free images we found online and text from a regular word-processing program. Then we put a picture of ourselves in the header (this is important because people identify with people, not logos). Finally we started writing new blog posts and publishing them regularly (at least once a week), accompanied by free photos from Unsplash, Pexels, and the Library of Congress. And the rest is history.
Great information Ramsay! This is just what I was looking for. I wanted to start blogging as a way to create supplemental income in the future, as well as provide personal finance advice to young people like me. These are things like how I’ve made money in the stock and housing market in my 20’s.
Great article, Ramsay. I have a question about adding visual content. You say that it’s a good idea to belong to a stock photo site that has an attribution license. It seems like that’s how all of the stock photo sites are nowadays.
I would look at trying to build more strategic relationships with other bloggers in your nice. Aiming for mentions and more writing opportunities will probably be effective, but also look at paid advertising.
In other words, Jon is an incredible writer, communicator, and hard worker–no question. But you’re in the business of helping other people make money. You’re not, by contrast, a travel blogger. You’re not, by contrast, helping to teach people how to buy their first pet. You’re not, by contrast, an entertainment blogger writing about Rihanna and “True Detective.”
You suggest not posting on your blog until you have a decent amount of subscribers, you also mention how surveys are dangerous for finding what your audience needs – My question is: How do you decide what your audience needs a service for if you’ve yet to build an audience?
Are you wondering how to start a blog? Or maybe you have questions about it. I’m glad you’re here! In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to create your own blog, no technical experience required. (It’s easier and faster than you think.) Plus, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions along the way. This is the site I wish I had when I started blogging almost 14 years ago.
So as we can see from this chart SEMRush thinks that it would cost Everydaycarry.com over $30k per month to get the traffic they are getting for “free” from Google’s organic results. By clicking on the different options we can then see which keywords have the highest search volumes.
As always, a fantastic post Jon. Have just shared on G+ with the comment that you are simply the best at what you do. I love your style, and the practical advice is invaluable. I was particularly interested in your downplay of using twitter, FB etc to hope to grow your blog, but what you said makes total sense. As someone who is building an author’s platform prior to publication, I’d been hesitant to sell products, but no more. Thanks so much for your inspiration.
Thanks Gustavo. Glad it’s been of great help to you. You’re right, there’s a lot of shit out there that is misleading and ultimately want to take money from newbies in exchange for misinformation and crap services/products. All the best.
As with many of the items on this list, this works best if you specialize in a niche. If you offer everything, it’s impossible to compete with a big shop like Amazon. But in a small niche, you can differentiate yourself and really stand out.
Bluehost’s WordPress-optimized plans may be more expensive than you’re willing to pay. They start at about $20/month. In that case, personal bloggers will have absolutely no problem with their cheaper shared hosting plans. You’ll still get adequate resources for your new blog, and a free domain name!
Readers don’t love being hit with ads over and over again, so start by including just one or two in your sidebar. Be sure to monitor the ads that show up on your blog — you don’t want scammy “make $35,000 in 20 minutes from home!” ads to distract readers from your great content.
The best thing I ever did to get traffic was to promote my early blog posts on social media (Twitter/Facebook) and forums I was a member of… Once your blog has been around a few months you will start to see some trickles of traffic from search engines.
I knew nothing about Blogging until I met you. Things are happening for my coaching business because of what I learned from you. Headlines — subtitles – formatting — passion and a big mission. My writing has completely improved.
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.)
I had a blog a couple years ago in a pretty precise niche (female musicians), too precise maybe. I had like 20 readers! Now I’d like to try again with another topic but I’m afraid there’s way too much blogs about it already (hippie lifestyle including health, fashion, decor, beauty, printables, etc). I tried checking stats and keywords but I don’t understand any of the information I’m getting. I’d rather pay someone to do the research for me but I have no money. The other thing is that I’m not an expert in anything. The hippie lifestyle thing is the only topic I can think of that would generate more than two article ideas in my brain! Do you think there are solutions for someone in my situation ?