In the end, that’s what I love most about blogging: every article we publish, every course we create, every coaching call we do can change somebody’s life. Maybe not always in a big way, but we touch thousands upon thousands of people, and we make their lives just a little bit better. We inform them, we inspire them, and we give them the roadmap for achieving their dreams.
One of two behind The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine. I’d love to get to know you better: Find me on Twitter @FranBanducci and on Google+.
I have closed my first blog (frankly I’m failed in blogging) and started new blog two years back, its going fine now but my income depends on ads, I just want to skip from this and planning to implement affiliate and building my own product. This post gives a clear idea about I’m travelling on right path.
I have recently learned the value of outsourcing work to specialists. I used to endure sleepless nights trying to keep up with all the work necessary for building a blog. The right specialists are dramatically cheaper at tasks than I could ever hope to be as measured by the cost of my time and the amount of distractions that I created for myself.
Jon, it’s so disheartening to read this list. Not for my sake, but for the sake of all the hobby bloggers I know who keep asking me why their blogs aren’t getting the traffic, attention, or sales they were hoping for, and how in the world can I be building my email list before I even start blogging? Am I STUPID or something?!
Remember, you can change your domain name if you really have to, but avoiding the extra cost, the trouble of moving your blog over to a new domain, and completely rebranding yourself is the better route.
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 you may well be right if you are saying that few of us will have the skills required to attract and service a lucrative and large enough market to earn the sort of sums quoted. Nevertheless, may I just say that Jon has freely given us, not only a system but the commercial logic and reasonings behind that system.
One downside of dropshipping is that you have to find a good supplier, which can be a challenge, and sometimes you have to place a large order up front. This can make it difficult to get started without investing a lot of money.
At the very top of this blog post on the things you need to know to start a blog I mentioned that I still think a self-hosted WordPress blog is the best bet for serious, professional bloggers. Well, that doesn’t mean that we should totally ignore the other platforms.
Differentiating yourself from all the others is no simple task. I suppose one way, is to simply be yourself…as we’re all unique….but we still need to be engaging. I’ve come across plenty of people who are unique, but can put you to sleep in a couple of short sentences…
I know this is a lot of information and I hope it doesn’t overwhelm you! Basically, there are a LOT of ways to earn money from your blog, if that’s something you want to do. Be creative and think of new ways to build on what you’re already doing or interested in. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! 🙂 Do you earn money from your blog? What have been your best strategies?
That said, don’t feel like every post needs to be an essay. Online readers generally scan content, so as long as you’re formatting your posts so they’re easy to read, write as much or as little as you like.
There’s no need to complicate the process either. Develop a valuable free giveaway that people get when they subscribe to your blog, and then add a simple lead magnet like the one we use here at Blog Tyrant. It converts really well.
Forget about short little updates and start working on longer content that solves problems and provides so much value that people can’t help but share it with their friends. Here’s a little guide I made that might help you get started.
Thanks for a great post. I have printed it out as I always like to read my inspirational stuff again and again. I am thinking of teaching a creative writing course to senior school kids, because in my country(South Africa) job opportunities are scarce and education expensive. I want to teach young people that you can create your own opportunities through writing and growing to be an expert in a chosen field. This way they will also improve their confidence in approaching opportunities when it do arise and with the right attitude. I am a real estate professional and writes a blog on aspects which I have noticed my clients are ignorant about. My readership has risen through the year and all my sales last year came from readers of my blog. Thanks again for the information you present so well and with a sense of humour. I still cannot afford one of your courses but I read every one and apply all that I learn. Praise be to Your Royal Awesomeness!
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.
Keep It Simple. This is where minimalism can be applied to starting any blog, irrespective of its genre. No need to place superfluous advertisements or widgets all over your site. Stick to the basics and remove anything you don’t need. Remove anything that doesn’t add value.
Just a note to mention that my business broke up with Facebook and no longer has a fan page. However, this tutorial still works and you’re welcome to set up a Facebook page for your website or blog if you want!
You don’t even need to create a separate Facebook page or Twitter account. Just share your posts with family and friends wherever you hang out, whether that’s LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram or elsewhere.
This direct connection to the reader is one of the main benefits of starting a blog. This connection allows you to interact and share ideas with other like-minded people. It also allows you to build trust with your readers. Having the trust and loyalty of your readers also opens up the door to making money from your blog, which is something I discuss later in this guide.
Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years.
If you’re a food blogger, you might want to compile a cookbook of your best recipes. Or if you run a fashion blog and recently purchased an entire wardrobe at your local thrift store for under $100, you could create a video course to help other people do the same.
I wish I had enjoyed a positive experience working with you to accomplish these things, but sadly, I just don’t think you get what it takes to make people feel like they’re spending their money with someone who’s interested in them.
I blog anonymously and chose to create a separate Facebook to host my fan page.  I still haven’t been able to successfully post directly from my blog to my fan page instead of the update ending up on my dummy Facebook persona (though I also haven’t tackled it lately), so I made the right choice for the moment.  Speaking of which, any tips on that? 
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.
It’s also vital to remember that YouTube is a search engine just like Google and we shouldn’t ignore it. If you create some simple video content to supplement your blog posts you will find that you attract a lot more views and, generally speaking, the stuff you make will appeal to a wider audience.
Just thinking aloud here – but maybe you could put a guide together to help people choose the best art for their homes? Maybe in time offer a consultancy service – I bet there are some people who would pay someone to choose the art for them? I’ve seen that you are a self-taught artist – able to offer courses/consultancy on helping others learn art?
The most conventional (and least profitable) method is selling advertising, where you allow companies to promote their products and services to your audience in exchange for a fee. You can also form partnerships with other companies, promoting their products and services and earning a commission each time one of your readers purchases. This is called “affiliate marketing.”
I agree with all of your points. I especially need to focus on visual art sides of my blogging. I use images here and there but I need to integrate them better into the blog. I also need to start taking them myself as I have a several thousand dollar Nikon SLR sitting around not being used. Thanks for writing this for us.
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:
Bluehost gives you the option to pick a free theme immediately. Unless you are familiar with one listed, I recommend you skip it by clicking “Skip this step” at the bottom of the screen. Why? Because many free themes are not kept updated. Outdated themes leave holes hackers can exploit and are not worth the risk.

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.
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies, started in 1996 (that’s before Google). They are also the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting because they host millions of websites including our own.
Also, I think allowing comments on your blog makes you approachable and builds a community. Plus, if you solely build your community on social media networks, what happens when they disappear? You never know, it could happen.
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:
Reddit – ads appear on the top of the various pages. They are obviously ads so users don’t feel tricked into clicking on them. When people choose to select an ad they usually know it. So there is little chance of upsetting customers this way.
If you’re a total newb to the blog world yourself, what service could you possibly offer someone else? I’m sure I could be a pro hand holder, but the idea of trying to tell someone else how to be successful when *I* don’t even feel like I’m there seems far fetched.