My understanding is that you have to subscribe/pay for the business version of Word Press in order to use any of the monetizing functions. I think you should clearly state this in this article at the beginning. I think there is a degree of bait and switch here if people are just signing up for the free subscription and then finding out they have to pay for a subscription to make money. I am ok with that, it just needs to be stated up front everywhere.
Companies will often look to sponsor influential blogs within their niche. This usually includes having the brand mentioned within the header/sidebar of your website or even having cross-branding across the whole blog.
For the most part you shouldn’t worry about “finding a voice,” like some fiction writers are taught. Just write the same way you talk. Blogging is a lot less formal than other printed media and since it’s an interactive platform, it’s easiest to just be yourself.
Press Trips: A tourism board or tour company invites you to their country to write about your experiences. They do this because your blog has large numbers and they want to introduce your readers to their tour or destination. The deal typically includes flights, all transport, food, travel and entertainment for the duration of the trip and you can charge for your services on top of this (upwards of $3,500 / two-week trip).
Hi Justin. I think in the financial industry it’s very important to be and to appear professional. You might not need a logo, but I’d suggest getting some good, relaxed professional photos and then using a minimal black and white WordPress theme with not too much fluff.
Hey Ramsay, an excellent post! While I’ve created numerous WordPress websites, none of them have really stood the test of time. Mainly because I haven’t been passionate about any of them. My goal was to make money with them, and that’s not good enough!
Rather than trying to film yourself while holding your camera, invest in a tripod.  Doing so will prevent your audience from getting dizzy from strange camera angles.  A tripod doesn’t have to be expensive.  You can pick one up at Target or Walmart for between $10 and $20.
As a result of its increasing complexity, the affiliate marketing world has evolved to include a subset of players which includes specialized third party vendors, affiliate management agencies, and super-affiliates.
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 answer is yes. However, I would caution against it. The reason is, when you use a free service, you don’t have as much control over your blog—the free service does. This can be risky, especially if you will rely on your blog for income. A self-hosted WordPress blog is my recommendation and can be started very inexpensively. See my step-by-step tutorial here.
It can guide future product creation. If one affiliate product sells 10X better than all the others you promote, you might want to think about developing your own version of the product, because you have proof your audience wants it.
There is a lot to be said about the correlation between a bigger email list and a blog’s success. Even if you aren’t selling anything on your website, capturing your readers’ email addresses and sending out regular newsletters helps keep them in the know about what is happening on your blog. This builds trust and loyalty and brings readers back for more time and again.
Very useful, applicable and dare I say inspiring post, Jon! I feel I’m ready to systematically implement all of your solutions (and similar ones offered by others) but I often wonder if I would have more success starting a new blog from scratch, than trying to up the ante with my existing blog. It would be nice to have time for both! Great post though, I will be bookmarking (and sharing, cuz you asked) this one.
If, however, you do experience extensive downtime with Bluehost, they’ll let you pull out of your contract early. If you do this, they’ll issue a pro-rated refund for the remainder of your subscription.
Email marketing is too big a topic to cover well here, so I created a separate guide to email marketing for those who are interested (hint: every blogger who wants more readers needs to read this guide).
This is not a bad strategy if you want to get straight in to things and you have a few thousand to spare. There is, however, a LOT to consider before you buy a blog so please do not rush into it. If you’d like to learn more about this idea please leave a comment and I’ll consider doing an article on it.
Rather than publishing banner ads on your website via Adsense or another 3rd party you can always work with advertisers to setup their banner ads directly. Generally banner ads are paid on a CPM model, which is basically a price per 1000 impressions of their banner on your website.
With dropshipping, you create the store, manage the website, and customer service. But a dropshipping service will take your orders and ship them out to your customers. They’re an invisible third party that your customers don’t even know about.
Also, you can input this code into your Description field. This code enables infinite scrolling, which means your older posts will keep loading as your reader scrolls down until he reaches your first post. (Your posts appear in chronological order, from most recent to earliest.)

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.
Know what you want. When you’re interviewing somebody for your site, always enter the interview knowing what story you want them to tell. Have a Skype chat or email exchange with them, before they’re in front of a camera. Do your due diligence: ask what they’re working on, and what interesting opinions they have, and agree in advance what you’ll ask them. During the interview is NOT when you should be deciding what questions to ask.
I would also suggest that if bloggers have the time, they need to think about their social media strategy too as this can help amplify your posts. I’m not talking about just setting up social accounts for the sake of it, but to really think about what platforms your social audience is most likely to be using. And not to start off with them all at once, see how it goes and adapt and refine. Once you’ve got the foundations right then look to open it up to other platforms.
You could also offer regular readers or email subscribers a discount to help drum up early sales and reviews. You could even consider trying your own affiliate program and offering your products to other bloggers to promote in exchange for a commission.
7. Add your page to your Favorites. This option will place a link to your fan page in the left sidebar when you’re signed into Facebook. It’s totally optional but makes it really easy to find your page later!
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.
WordPress.org. WordPress.org websites are free to set up, though they require the purchase of a domain name and are self-hosted, meaning you need to invest in WordPress hosting to store your site’s data for you. And, while there are hundreds of WordPress hosting providers to choose from, if you take the time to do your research, you’ll find the one that works best for you. Lastly, there are thousands of free and premium plugins and themes available to extend the design and functionality of your blog.
This is very helpful. I have a question.. I’ve had a family blog on Blogger for years.. if I switch to WordPress..is there any way to convert the data? Or is there any other idea to capture the original data. I’m worried now since it’s not a custom self-hosted blog. Thanks!!
When I first made a blog, I used Tumblr then blogger and now WordPress. For those who want to start their own blog or website but no budget they may use some free platforms like Blogger and Tumblr. You can migrate then once you have budget to WordPress. Love the article about on how to start blogging!
What a great article sir, the information is well organized and very comprehensive. I can imagine the effort you put into this and especially appreciate you sharing it. Anyone starting a blog should make this their go to place to start.
Great article. I recently came into blogging. I hadn’t completed what quantity I had learnt from my initial try. currently, with the new diary, I started a few month alone, I’m seeing a rise in traffic on a daily basis that is kind of stunning and really exciting. therefore I even have been reading everywhere the way to legitimize a diary. Your article is superb and in-depth. Many thanks for sharing. I will be able to definitely take on some of your advice. Cheers Jamie!
most bloggers make $0..01 per page view or $0.02 per visitor. Very succssful (efficient) bloggers make 10 times more than that (I’ve made a research about it – researchasahobby.com/how-much-money-can-earn-blogging-per-visitor/)..
So counter-intuitive, I thought that I was going to monetize my blog with ads as well. Literally changed the direction of my blog for the better. Thank you so much for saving me the time. Going to read this again and again in the future and will share it now.
As a new(ish) blogger, it’s a little intimidating to see such a great post, yet realize it kinda goes against SO much you’ve learned thus far. At this point, I seriously feel like a deer in the headlights. But I have a question…
As usual, Jon Morrow, you are the Master of Bloggers. I’m planning my first blog-site and this article, as other ones in SmartBlogger.com, has opened my eyes and expanded my view of what I want to achieve. Thank you so much for sharing you wisdom and knowledge.
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
my blog is 9 months old, I’ve done many things to get it going, but still, gets only about 10 visits per day. I’m not sure what is the problem. It’s not very niche focused, it’s broadly in the “education” and “life-hacks” niche maybe, I recognize that may be a problem, but is it so fatal? Or it takes more time?
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!
The other major difference is Squarespace isn’t free. It has a number of different packages, but you should expect to spend just under $100 per year for their cheapest plan, which is probably all you need if you’re just getting started.
Remember that your viewers are watching because they already like your blog.  Keeping this in mind will help you to create an engaging vlog and avoid becoming a robot behind the camera.  Relax, smile and talk about what you know.
When an up-and-coming band auditions to be an opening act, do you think the more famous band cares where they have played? Not really. All they care about is the strength of the audition. If the up-and-coming band is good, they get the gig. If they suck, it doesn’t matter where they played or how good everyone else says they are, they get a polite no.