In fact, I’d go one step further to say it’s necessary for a blogger to really understand his/her audience and to know what keeps them up at night BEFORE coming up with a product idea that delivers more value than it costs.
When I started my blog a little over a year ago, I didn’t really know that it was possible to earn any kind of dough from running a website. I’d heard of bloggers, of course, but they might as well have been mythical creatures of the new millennium. I didn’t know any steadfast bloggers, and certainly none that were making cash from their hobby. But as I began to dip my toes deep into Blogland, I realized that the possibilities were nearly limitless. With hard work and some research, I knew that blogging was a gateway and tool to reach many other things. One of those things simply being, income. Since I was absolutely clueless about all of this when I first started, I thought it might be helpful for you all if I shared some of the ways I’ve found for how to earn money as a blogger.
Thank you so much for this post! I am one of those people who decided to blog full time for a living and am loving every thing about it regardless of the lack of time, social life or sleep. I truly believe that we have an opportunity to do what we love for a living. I will definitely start guest posting more often (I’ve only done a few).
Domain and Hosting. The first thing we did when starting our blog was go to Bluehost and register our domain. We didn’t even need to set up a WordPress page first, which is the platform we use, since Bluehost does all that for you. Bluehost’s basic price is $2.95 a month, which works for 99% of people (go to this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price and a free domain). Then, we did a simple, free, “one-click” install of WordPress through Bluehost. When we had questions we were able to chat with the “live chat” folks at Bluehost for free. They pointed us in the right direction and made starting our own blog super easy.

Some free services limit monetization (i.e. making money) unless you “upgrade” to a higher level. You’ll have to pay for that upgrade of course, so it defeats the purpose of having a free blog in the first place.
Learn more about WordPress. Visit my Contents page for an organized list of tips, tools & tutorials. Check out the WordPress section in particular. If you work your way through this list of articles, you will have a good handle on the basics, from adjusting your settings to publishing your first post.
But having your very own website gives you complete control and ownership over your content. You get your own domain, your own brand, your own dedicated readers. You have complete control over the design and format of your site. You can monetize your blog and add any functionality you want.
The next most profitable strategy would have been to partner with other companies, collecting a commission on each sale as an affiliate. We never tested it, but I would guess we would’ve made somewhere around $25,000 per month on the spots — 60% more than advertisers would have paid.
I did not make any money from my first blogs for almost 18 months (I didn’t even know you could so did not try) and when I did start to try to make money from them the first income was just a few dollars a week – but gradually in time my income grew from a part time income to a full time income and then beyond.
When anyone asks me about starting a professional money making blog I always recommend them to use self hosted WordPress as it’s the best platform for bloggers and I suggest you use BlueHost to host your new blog.
WordPress also have a variety of plugins that make it easy to put social sharing buttons on your blog posts. Some people like to limit the number of plugins they use on their WordPress blog because it can slow the blog down and it can open your blog up to more attacks, butt a social sharing plugin is one that should have high priority if you do choose to use plugins.
Jon, love the part when you said, it is your responsibility to pay back to the industry. I genuinely feel that although you get paid for all this, you still tell us the “real information” which not many people do. You are generous in sharing. Keep it up the good work and thanks. Cheers
Choose an account plan based on how far in advance you want to pay. Bluehost bills 1, 2, 3 or 5 years upfront. They do not offer a monthly payment option (hosts that do often charge double or triple). As you can see, it works out to be a very reasonable monthly amount. Not bad for your own blog or website, right? It’s a great deal.
Picture. Put a picture of yourself on your blog. People identify with other people. If two goofy guys from Ohio aren’t too afraid to put their pictures on their site, then you have nothing to worry about.
Great content. Just what I have been looking for. I realized that I have been spending lots of hours creating content for my blog but doing nothing when it comes to outreaching and promiting my content.
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.)
With paid methods, you have the opportunity to pay for traffic and clicks right away. And if you do well in targeting your audience on the right channels you can easily build your audience with advertising to supplement your organic efforts.
PS: my answer to this question is always… “the better question is… how can my blog help me build a profitable business?” Most of the profits from blogging are not made on your blog, but that’s okay. I don’t believe blogging about making money per se, but about branding yourself and positioning yourself within your niche market as an authority and leader. Once that is established, there are so many ways to move people into your money making enterprises. Email marketing, as you pointed out, is one of the best ways to do this. Sending people to your membership sites, services, info products and coaching programs are all great things to route people into as well.
I make money on blogging via adsense and affiliate schemes. I’ve had a blog for almost a year now and still its earning! It’s important to choose the right niche. I update the content everyday, which helps generate long tail keyword traffic from Google.
We can’t stress enough how important your page load speed is. Many site visitors will leave immediately if your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Talk about impatient, right? With so much information available online, people aren’t going to wait for it from a website that takes too long to load.
Adding a blog to a site builder like Weebly is usually an afterthought and thus, many of the features you want in a blog may be missing. For example, the ability to schedule blog posts ahead of time or make custom blog pages is often lacking.
I also love the fact that someone other than myself has picked up on the images. I always use fiverr and pay an illustrator 5 bucks for maybe 5 images to illustrate my blog posts. It not only gives a far more unique look – you know that people will subconsciously understand that the article they have just read is of higher quality than most.
The top partner has the first shot to fill an ad – if they don’t – they “pass back” that ad request to Adsense (since Adsense is a 100% fill solution but tends to have lower CPMs than other ad networks).
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.
Here you can either click on the Publish button and post your blog immediately, or schedule to publish it at a later date. If you choose to publish it at a later date, simply choose the date and time and save your changes.
First, it gives visitors peace of mind, particularly if they enter any personal information on your site, such as their email address when they sign up for your email list, or information related to something they buy from you.
It’s faster. Instead of investing months or even years creating a product, all you have to do is publish a link on your site. Assuming your audience is engaged, you could be earning commissions within hours or even minutes.
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.
It’s a great post, Jon. I always loved your style, you make everything sound so attention-grabbing. Anyway, I think it’s a very helpful post, meaning that some of those points actually (well, who am I fooling here, most of them) were something new for me. Especially about SEO.
It was interesting to see the diagram wheel picture in tip one with all the different domains that are used. Self-hosted WordPress seems to be the most popular. Do you think it has to do with how you can customize it the way you want the most compared to the other domains? I’m wanting to start my blog of dancing. I sincerely appreciate all of these additional ideas to get my blog started!
Over time, this information will help you hone in on your blog’s goals, get specific about your niche, write more posts your readers want to see, develop relationships with sites that link to you, and eventually sell advertising.
There is no point in starting a blog that you want to make money from without a plan. There are thousands, even hundreds of niches out there. Some are broad and huge; some are small and virtually unknown. Some niches are easier to make money in than others.
However for many people who are always prepared everyday carry is about having everything you might need in an emergency or for general use on you at all times. This will often include a light source (torch), a pocket knife, some small tools & rope it’s quite amazing how easy it is to carry all these things with you in your pockets, on your keys or in a small bag.