Granted, it’s not really a fair comparison. With your own products, you have to consider the cost of development, support, and other miscellaneous expenses, but even factoring those in, advertising our products was still more profitable by far.
I have a blog that uses a wordpress theme, and blue host hosts my domain name. However, I don’t really understand what a platform is and I don’t know what my platform is. I am planning to start a new food blog with a different focus and use wordpress.org (whatever that actually means.) Does wordpress.org help you with setting up and explaining whether or not they are your platform? I am a granny (79 to be exact.) I have a three year old cooking blog that never gets visitors except for family and friends. I would like to do better with my blog, but I don’t even understand the idea of platform. Can you give me some advice as to how to proceed?
BlueHost’s cheapest shared hosting plan offers WordPress as a one-click installer. Just find this button in your control panel (called cPanel) and click it to set up your new blog. It’ll be ready in seconds.
Jon, thanks for this awesome post. My question is, what do you think of blogs who ask for donations or claim to sustain themselves by them? (Also books and products). But what do you think about the donation itself and if you´re pro-donation, when is a good time to start asking for it in a blog? Thanks a lot for your time. Hope some day I can meet you Im from and live in Mexico
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.
Web hosting – This will be the home of your blog address and content that’s on the blog. Without web hosting, you’ll be unable to use your domain. Think of it as a computer hard drive that stores all your content on your blog (images, blog posts and so on). The cost of web hosting is usually somewhere between $2-5 per month.
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.
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.
Great question! I suggest you to install WordPress via iPage because if you decide to go self-hosted directly from WordPress.com – it will cost a lot more. That’s the main reason I’m suggest people iPage (to save some money).
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.

Notoriety. Don’t plan on getting “Internet famous” right away. Not every site grows as fast as ours did, but that’s totally OK. The truth is that we kind of got lucky. We got a great domain name, we cobbled together a logo and site design that people really liked, we write fairly well, and our content connects with people in a unique way. We didn’t start this site to become “famous” though. That’d be ridiculous. Our notoriety and quick rise to “fame” came as a surprise to us, and was a result of a little luck and a lot of hard, passionate work.
Unless you have a very specific design in mind for your blog, I suggest you use one of these themes to start with. For our example, let’s use the “Twenty Twelve” theme. In order to activate the theme on your blog, hover over the theme and click the “Activate” button. That’s it! You have changed the entire design of your blog with just one click!
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.
If you’re keen to blog seriously but you’re not tech-savvy, you might like this happy medium between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. If you want a gorgeous but easy to customize website, Squarespace is your guy.
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.
Cloud hosting will give you faster website speeds because it stores your website across multiple shared servers. This increases site performance because users don’t share the resources of just one server with each other. And, cloud users enjoy higher uptime since a problem with one server is unlikely to affect a website stored on multiple servers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Login to your Bluehost account by clicking on this link. Select the “hosting login” tab if it isn’t already. Use the login information you received via email immediately after signing up with Bluehost in Step 4 above.
The main thing is to start, that is the hardest step – don’t be nervous – practise makes perfect your first posts probably won’t be your greatest but only by regularly writing and promoting your blog will you grow your audience and become a better blogger.
A truly informative guide. I have logged into Cpanel but there is no “install WordPress button to click on the left side panel. There is a small icon “get started with WordPress today” in the special offers section. Do I click on that and choose the free install or I should I be paying for a premier package?
To me, that’s akin to walking into a business on a Monday morning and demanding to see the manager. I tell him I’d like a job opportunity at his company, and when he asks for my resume, I can’t provide him with one (my blog). And when he asks for my references (social media), I can’t provide that either. Why is he going to listen to me?
I have a lot of great ideas, but most of them are just thoughts and theories, and it seems that no one would want to read about, even pay for, ideas in which I am not a complete expert on. My greatest talent, perhaps, is being a prolific writer. Otherwise, I’m more of a Cliff Craven I know a lot about some things, and some about a lot of things. How does THIS make MONEY??
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:
Are you looking to start your own blog, but can’t figure out how to choose the best blogging platform? It’s a tough choice, since there are several different blogging platforms out there. How do you find out which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll help you choose the best blogging platform by going over the pros and cons of the most popular options.