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.
When you have found the theme that you like, simply bring your mouse on it, and it will show the Install button. Click on it and wait for the theme to be installed. After that, the install button will be replaced with an Activate button. You need to click on it to Activate the theme.
But probably the easiest way to find professional design services is to take advantage of the services offered by your web host. If you choose a large host like Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, and InMotion, you pay for a one-time use of their in-house design services.
Second, it keeps your site on Google’s good side. That’s important too. Why? As of late 2017, Google may alert people when a site is insecure. No site owner wants a visitor to get a big fat warning that their site is insecure!
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.
Live Your Life. You’re blogging about your life (or about certain aspects of your life, at least), so you still need to live your life. There are things that we always put before writing: exercise, health, relationships, experiences, personal growth, contribution.
Thank you for your advice. I’m definitely interested in applying these techniques to my make money online blog. I currently have Google Adsense on my blog and I offer advertising banner spots on my website through micro job sites. But $100k a month is awesome! I’ll even be happy with $100k a year. If I can get my blog on that level, I could quit my job and work from home. I’m re-reading these techniques tonight and applying them to my blog. Thank you so much!
As I mentioned earlier if you looking at offering consulting or training services then it might be worth packaging your materials together into an online course. By offering MP3 or video downloads your students can follow along at their own pace. This is a very popular blog monetisation strategy especially within the online marketing space.
Try to think about diversifying your income streams so that you aren’t up the creek should one dry up. The best bet is a strong mailing list that you can use to launch your own products and affiliate promotions.
The income from affiliate marketing is almost entirely passive. You don’t have to worry about creating products, supporting customers, or any of the technical complexity of selling your own products or services. You can also invest the time you save into growing your traffic, leading to more revenue later.
Useful info for me. I’ve been contemplating about blogging for a long time and I think it’s time I start. My problem is how to promote my blog. Is it possible to link my blog to social media so all blog posts are automatically posted on my social media pages?
For example, you can Love their posts and Reblog it. Loving a post will result in a link to the post that you can visit when you’re on your dashboard. Reblogging their post will publish their post on your Tumblr blog. Following a Tumblr user will bring their posts to your Dashboard, where you can catch up what’s on their mind.
Hello Jon, Wow now this article is right on cue, All 20 lesson’s Rock! I got so much out of this one, oh yeh 2 pages of notes HEHE Yes I do take notes, I can ‘t remember all of these goodies after I leave. I think it is a great idea, why not they just may come in handy right.
That’s one hell of a promise. Just to put a dollar value on it, you could probably sell a blog with 10,000 subscribers for at least $100,000 in most markets. So, I was essentially promising them $100,000 of value in exchange for only $10,000.
Changing your theme is the simplest way to customize your blog, but there are lots of of other customizations you can do. Check out my full post on customizing your blog for an in-depth step-by-step guide. You can also watch the video at the end of this guide to see me completely customize a blog from scratch.
Yeah I totally agree with you. Sometimes it’s just good to check whether a few keywords are going to make a big difference though, I think. For example, this post could have been “start blogging” instead of “start a blog”.
With WordPress, creating a paid job board is easy. See our tutorial on how to create a job board in WordPress with WP Job Manager for a step-by-step walkthrough. You can use the WooCommerce Paid Listings addon to charge for job post submissions.
I’m sure a lot of people will argue that it is that 5% that makes the difference but I’m not so sure anymore. Be prepared to see a lot more stuff from me this year and expect it to be only half-polished.
In return for a reader’s email address, I would give away a free 7 day email course via email. About 85% of the time, that reader would stick around after the mini course to check out my new articles and updates.
A platform is a software or service you are using to run your blog. In your case, you are already using self-hosted WordPress.org blog. If you want to get more traffic to your blog, then a good place to start would be our WordPress SEO Guide for beginners.
Become a published author. It’s no secret, these days publishers rarely work with authors who don’t have an online presence. The reason is simple: it’s a lot easier to sell books to people who already know you. A blog is one of the easiest and most effective places to start.
Really excellent article. One suggestion or caution with Godaddy though…Godaddy has a product called WordPress Hosting. I signed up for it, and all was fine until I installed a plugin which had a special requirement that needed to be set up by the webhost. (something in the server side settings). I called Godaddy and they advised they can’t make those changes. Only on their individual hosting plans would that have been possible. This is a rare event, but worth keeping in mind. When you go for your own hosting you have more flexibility.
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!
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…:)
No matter which platform you choose, your blog will come with access to at least a few free themes. Squarespace is well-known for having lots of gorgeous themes, so if you value design but aren’t a designer yourself, that’s another point for the platform.
Money. You should not start a blog to make money. We need to get that out of the way first. If your primary objective is to replace your full-time income from blogging, forget about it. It doesn’t work that way. Do you think that Jimi Hendrix picked up his first guitar so he could “supplement his income”? No, he didn’t. Rather, he did it for the love of it, for the joy and fulfillment he received, and the income came thereafter, much later actually.
Awesome post to make money via blogging in 2016. As today many bloggers are struggling to make money and choosing the right path to make money. So I say monetization is not the right way to make money instead use alternative methods you have already described above. So thank you.
On the posts screen, you will notice several other sections such as Categories and Tags. You can use these to organize your blog posts. We have a great writeup on the difference between categories vs tags, which we highly recommend that you read.
To get started, it’s a good idea to put together a one-page media kit that details your traffic stats, social media following, audience demographics, and any other data that will make your site more appealing to advertisers. Then, you can approach companies to negotiate a sponsorship deal.
Do you know if you can designate notification emails to go to another email address? I like to keep all my blogging related email in 1 place and I don’t want to clutter my personal email with fb notifications.
My other point is to say, don’t blog for $10 a post. There are living-wage blogging jobs out there. Anywhere a company or publication needs to talk to a specialized audience, there’s an opportunity. Blogging really can pay the bills.
One suggestion for future consideration. Perhaps a detailed post on design of your blog and psychology of a modern-day blog visitor. Items like sidebars, headers, footers and most importantly, the actual body of the blog post. It will help the new bloggers to optimise their design and be more reader-friendly in their offer.
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?
Affiliate marketing is a kind of performance-based marketing. With this form of marketing, business owners reward affiliates for each customer brought to the company through the affiliate’s independent advertising endeavors. There are four key players in affiliate marketing:
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.
It’s taken me this long to reply…but I figure saying THANK YOU late is better than not saying it all. I’m going to look at parenting…though I am far from a perfect parent. (Self-improvement? That’s why I’m HERE.) Anyhow…thank you for the direction. (And I joined SBO. More than I bargained for that’s for sure!) Peace.
I think doing a post on paid ad spend would be killer, I know a lot of blog owners out there like myself who have the budget and have experimented some but just not seeing great results. I’ve used SU paid discovery, and while relatively cheap, I find that most of the traffic doesn’t convert into subscribers or return visitors.
Great article. I agree with you mainly on the ideas that SEO is changing but not really. I love the analogy with the car as well. Also the fact that you have a personal goal at the end of the list I hope will encourage all your readers to choose one for their own as well.
Actually being a blogger myself I am looking for answers to typical issues that everyone faces. On the same way I came up on this page. I think you could help me clear up some confusions. As your explanation skills are top notch. I’ll surely go through your website for further leads.
As a keen photographer and travel enthusiast I’ve decided to finally start my own blog, which my friends have been encouraging me to do for a long time. But not knowing anything about how to go about it, I’ve found this piece so valuable. Again, thank you so very much 🙂
Jaime, this is an excellent article. I’ve been blogging for fun for over four years, In the last year I’ve branched out and started a self-hosted blog about blogging for fun. I’m at the point think I have enough to offer on that subject and a few others. There are so many steps to get started, I think it overwhelms people, including those of us who are comfortable blogging. There are lots of courses available, but most of them that I’ve tried are pretty general. Do you recommend getting a coach?
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.
Perhaps I should mention that I’d like my blogs to be funny and uplifting, just so you now where I’m aiming, I suppose. Sadly, I don’t feel that I have an expertise to offer anyone in any particular field. All I’ve got are my own life lessons and sense of humor. 🙂
Similar to the way you connect with fellow bloggers on your blog, connect with fellow vloggers.  You can do this by commenting on vlogs that address similar topics to yours, subscribing to YouTube channels, and inviting vloggers to watch your content.
Question for you. What’s your opinion on turning off blog comments? I like engaging with readers and bloggers and having a dialogue with them. But I know some bloggers are turning off their comments. I don’t know about this. Some readers may feel you’re turning your back on them. Others may not care at all.
I’m going to go with “handmade pet toys.” I can write about where to find them, how to make them, toy safety, toys based on your pet’s personality, etc. I can also tell stories about my own pets, start an Instagram or Twitter to feature pet photos, and review toys.
This is another favorite income stream of mine. My first digital product was my ebook Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free which still sells every month. Another digital product of mine is the Knowtbook, a form of premium content.
As I’ve said before, the one prediction I have for people using a free blog host is that one day you will want to migrate it to your own host. And that can be a really annoying process. It’s much better to set yourself up the right way from the beginning.
Is there ways to change things like your blog name or domain name? I m considering starting a blog but I am not sure what I want to do it on just yet. I have many passions but I need to decide if/how I want to do the whole blogging thing lol.
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.
Ramsay, top post, I really like updating old posts and bringing them back to life. It just shows the importance of caring for your blog visitors and giving them accurate picture every time they visit. just shared it on FB, Tw.,FB and LI.

I had a blog a couple years ago in a pretty precise niche (female musicians), too precise maybe. I had like 20 readers! Now I’d like to try again with another topic but I’m afraid there’s way too much blogs about it already (hippie lifestyle including health, fashion, decor, beauty, printables, etc). I tried checking stats and keywords but I don’t understand any of the information I’m getting. I’d rather pay someone to do the research for me but I have no money. The other thing is that I’m not an expert in anything. The hippie lifestyle thing is the only topic I can think of that would generate more than two article ideas in my brain! Do you think there are solutions for someone in my situation ?