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.
It will also give you the funds you need to build a team around you. You can hire an assistant, a tech person, a billing person. The faster you get rid of stuff you suck at doing, the faster you will grow.
Instead of a job board, you could create an event calendar where you charge people to advertise their events. This also works well if you already have an established audience, because businesses will be willing to pay to reach your audience.
Great article and nice blog I’ve been a plumber for over 7 years and was thinking of starting a plumbing blog withe free help and advice do you think this blog could make money and would it be difficult to set up ?
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.
Great post ! Thanks. Personally I see a tendency that is becoming more and more important. Small and medium size bloggers getting to work together on a range of projects. Contests, swap of content, NGO’s and charity actions…
I have used many of your ideas on my blog and found them helpful and most have shortened the learning curve quite a bit. The best take away from your post today was your quote about spending to much time tweaking 5% of your projects. I am at fault with that as well and plan on printing out that quote and pasting it to my computer…:)

I mean, of course I’d come up with suitable content for Forbes should they wish to publish me, haha, but honestly we’d be happy with guest posting on even mildly popular travel blogs. The problem up to now, as I mentioned above, is that nobody wants to let us guest post, they want us to pay to do a sponsored post since our blog is attached to our business. If my blog was MexicoMike.com instead of http://blog.geckorockresort.com/ then it wouldn’t be an issue, but as soon as anyone sees the name of our business they incorrectly assume we’re loaded 🙂
Plugins. We use only a few plugins on our site: “Google Analytics for WordPress” and really simple Facebook and Twitter share-button plugins (since human beings are intrinsically wired to share value, it’s important to make your posts easy to share with others). They take just a few seconds (literally a few seconds, it’s just a click of a button) to install once you’ve started your blog. And if you really want to play around with some cool plugins, check out WPBeginner’s Best WordPress Plugins.
I vlog every monday! This last one…was a little long. Kim Kardashian ya know, she makes me ramble! But usually they are only between 2-3 minutes long. Who has time {or wants} to watch 15 minutes of me rambling! I’m getting better at it, and I love that I know ONE post a week will be taken care of! Thanks for the info.
Selling physical products online can be hard to setup as you will need to deal with storage, shipping and even deal with things such as local taxes and distance selling laws. Of course a lot of this headache can be resolved by finding a company who will offer a white-label or drop shipping service leaving you to worry about getting traffic and updating the website.
If you don’t like any of the themes that are already installed you can easily choose from thousands of other free themes. To install a new theme, click on the “Appearance” tab on the left menu and then click “Add New”.
The basic WordPress.com account is free, but it will have WordPress.com ads and branding. You can upgrade to their Personal plan for $2.99/month (billed yearly) to remove WordPress.com logo and advertising from your website, and get a custom domain (such as www.yoursite.com).
Modify Your Blog. Once we had our domain, hosting, WordPress, and theme, we spent a lot of time tweaking the theme to get the look and feel we wanted (i.e., making our vision a reality). Then we spent even more time tinkering with the theme and arguing about it and tweaking it some more. Once we had created our blog, we set up a free Feedburner account so people could subscribe to our site via email and RSS subscriptions. And then we established a free Google Analytics account to track our stats. Feedburner and Google Analytics were both easy to sign up for, and we still use both today.
For example, if your site is about golf, your readers are likely to have a healthy income. Because of this, there are a good number of advertisers that want to get their ads in front of your readers, and they are likely to pay a good amount per click to do this.
Awesome post so far, Jon. I’ll have to read the full post in the morning since it’s nigh time at where I live. I just have one question. Is it profitable for a freestyle blogger to affiliate marketing? If I’m correct, affiliate marketing is more suitable for niche-based sites, right? Are freestyle blogs even profitable? I’m just starting out, so can you recommend me something?
In addition to getting new readers to your blog, you will also want to make sure your current readers are coming back. This is where email marketing plays a big role. By collecting the email addresses of your visitors (with their permission of course), you can then notify them when you post something new on your blog. This keeps people coming back to your blog, which not only gives you more readers over time, it also allows you to build a closer relationship with your readers.
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
For instance, I somewhat lack at points 3 (I still haven’t given the mailing list the attention is deserves), 7 (I’m bad at networking and telling people “Hey! I’ve linked to you,” usually), 11 (praying for my health *sobs*), 13 (this is something I’ve myself figured out in the long term. I need to stand out).
One example is this: since our blog is a sub-domain for my wife and I’s boutique beach resort, nobody seems to want to touch me as a guest blogger. I get the same response every time “you’re commercial and so you’ve got to pay for a sponsored post”…and while yes, we are commercial and not a private blog per se, we’re a tiny family run business and 95% of private blogs are striving to be commercial, whether they’re associated with a company name or not.
This guide to making a money making blog is completely free. I don’t want anything for it – just for you to take action and do it, so many of my friends would love to do it but give up too soon, often when their big breakthrough might only be a few weeks away.
Once you’ve created a blogging website with WordPress (more on this later), it’s simple to update it with new content. You can write blog posts directly into the text field in your WordPress dashboard, or you can write them in your favorite word processor and just paste your content into WordPress. You’ll be able to format your posts and add images, as well as various other interesting features.
It seems we are at the same juncture for professional blogging. It strikes me as a positioning opportunity for professional blogging. You have generously done as much or more than anyone I know to move the profession forward. I want to be part of that process. Perhaps, destiny calls.
On top of that, it should be easy to navigate if you want people to stick around. If it’s tricky and difficult to move around it, people won’t stay. Design is a subjective art; meaning everyone likes different things.
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.
Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will be saved.
One of the most frustrating things for me since I began blogging was getting more engagement on my blog posts. When I first started I went from nothing to around 200,000 on Alexa in about 3 to 6 months. After that, I had a long hiatus of no content and flew back up past 10,000,000.
Thanks for breaking this down nice and easy. A face book fan page is an absolute MUST for anyone who is looking to build a brand for them self or a product. Love the layout of your blog as well, very clean and professional looking. Best of luck in everything you set out to achieve!
Big websites, magazines, and newspapers can target huge audiences because they have massive amounts of content and a stable full of writers to create it. Huffington Post, Sports Illustrated, and the Wall Street Journal fall into this category.
Creating your own blog can take a little while, probably up to 30 minutes. So grab yourself a coffee or juice (whatever you fancy) and let’s get stuck in. If you need any help during the set-up process, get in touch with me here and I’ll help as best I can and answer any questions you might have).
As you create the most useful content that you possibly can it is easy to get very insular with your focus and spend most of your time looking at building your blog. Many bloggers have a ‘build it and they will come mentality’ with their blogging but this is a bit of a trap.
Same thing with guest blogging. If your post is good, you’re in. The editor won’t even look at your blog, most likely. Or if they do, it’ll be a cursory glance just to make sure you don’t have anything offensive on your site.
The process is really easy to follow whether you are 20 years or 60 years old. However if you need help, our expert team can help you setup your blog for free. → Click Here to Get Your Free WordPress Blog Setup! ←
The major thing to remember here, however, is that we will see more competition for organic links because more and more people are moving away from the old “link building” methods of the past in favor of a “quality content” approach to to SEO that sites like MOZ. tell us to follow.
If people immediately think you’re full of shit upon hearing your promise, then you’re in trouble. In my opinion, this is what marketing is really about: getting people to trust you when you say you can help them. The better you are at it, the more money you’ll make.
When I was at Copyblogger, we ran a little experiment. Normally, we refused to sell any ads on the site, but just as a test, we decided to put three ad spots in the right sidebar. The site looked like this:
I really liked the information posted by you here along with its interface. Me also running a website where I publish articles under different topics. I love writing blogs and learn from their experiences.
Our blog actually covers travel tips and insights into expat life along the Oaxacan coast of Mexico, so I am not sure that those sites would be the target audience for our blog’s content even if they were more accessible, which clearly they aren’t.
Jon, this is a great article. Thank you. As usual, you are full of useful information. I am new to blogging (just launched in March) and I initially started with the small e-mail list from my business website, which does not have a blog. I started a completely new website after realizing I was on the wrong platform altogether to grow an audience. I learned this thanks to the information you and other professional bloggers provide. You recommend affiliate marketing to monetize a small new blog, which are my exact thoughts for my blog. Do you have an affiliate program? If so I would love to promote your info on my site. Thanks again!
If you use the method below, $5 to $10 a month. I blogged for years on this budget. As my blog and income grew, I eventually started paying for more premium tools and services, but they are not required to start.
Video blogging (aka vlogging) is pretty much like Internet TV.  Bloggers can film themselves on video, upload the clip to a host site like YouTube, and then embed a link (or HTML code) on their blog to share with the world.
I think it was perhaps this article from Sydney about a study of 220,000 Australian residents who sat still for long periods. There have been a few follow up studies since that freaked me out, especially because it says exercise doesn’t undo all the bad blogging vibes!
Great post, blogging is hard. We run a travel blog and I think the most important thing we tell people is to travel with a purpose, Do not just wander around the world aimlessly. (Like ours is to experience and document the Top 100 Travel Adventures) So many travel blogs do not really have a purpose or a niche. 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.
Once you setup your account on AdSense you will be given a code to add to your blog. This code will automatically display advertisements on your blog from companies who are part of Google’s advertising network. You may see ads from small companies related to your topic, or you may see ads from large companies that are completely unrelated to your topic.
I have been blogging as my main source of income for the past 8 years. It has been a long hard slog ( making money online is hard ) but in the past few years I have managed to launch successful blog after successful blog which have meant that I can quit the 9-5 and spend more time with my family & start building a lifestyle I am happy with.
I am a newbie, which explains why I am here. Do you think it is a good idea to start with a blogger host using the free domain they offer before purchasing a domain of your own to ensure you have what it takes to gain a decent following and that you are up for the task of maintaining a good blog?
Yes, this isn’t that moonshot way of earning that so many are dreaming of, where you monetize your own blog and make six figures on autopilot. This is an everyday, working-class sort of way to earn from blogging. Simply helping publications and companies communicate powerfully with their readers and customers.
I’ve been through quite a lot with my days a blogger. I was making money, but it just wasn’t enough. You literally make pennies and dollars. That is not enough to support yourself. It wasn’t until I met Noah King. A mentor of mine who taught me how to make REAL MONEY online writing about what I love. I am now making $6000/month after a year of hard work and can do it all from the convenience of my home. Never give up or sell yourself short! Noah has his own website where he talks about how to achieve the same success he has. You can check him out here if you’re interested – http://www.deservingwriter.com/