The idea that you can start a blog today and make a full-time income within a few months is, for most, not realistic. There is simply too much too learn and too much to build (your site, your content library, your social media presence, your trustworthiness, relationships with readers, etc.). If you need money right away, building a blog may not be your best option.
Great information Ramsay! This is just what I was looking for. I wanted to start blogging as a way to create supplemental income in the future, as well as provide personal finance advice to young people like me. These are things like how I’ve made money in the stock and housing market in my 20’s.
I feel really fortunate to get that attention, but also kind of know that if I’d just written a little 500-word update on the topic nothing would have happened. The whole thing would have fizzled out. Unfortunately, that is what happens to a lot of bloggers.
I think now that I have finally started to have a better understanding of how to provide value. My new challenge is learning how to differentiate when I’m giving “too much” value, in the case where I should have just packaged up the content and created a product.
As the majority of them are not full time bloggers, every hour more spent on the designing of the blog means one hour less for creating the content. And, using the chess terminology, if the content is king (and quality backlinks queen), the blog design is only bishop.
As for the recent changes, I probably need to write a post. Personally, I’m backing away from Facebook and focusing my energy more on Twitter and Google+. For awhile you could get more views of your posts by posting a status, then putting the link in the first comment, but I just read an article that said FB is going to start cutting back on exposure for those as well. Basically, it seems that unless you’re willing to pay for ads, there is no guarantee that your fans will see your posts (even if they want to). I think it’s really disgusting on FB’s part and I’m willing to walk away at this point. I’ll keep auto posting new blog posts there, but otherwise I’ll engage with my audience and clients on networks that let people make their own decisions about what they see and what they don’t. (Whew, got a little ranty there!)
When to Post. Question: When is the best day and time to publish a blog post? Answer: It doesn’t really matter. We don’t adhere to a particular schedule. Some weeks we post one essay; sometimes we post three. Yes, it is important to write consistently, but you needn’t get too bogged down in the details.
It’s the best way to get your blog off the ground as quickly, easily and cheaply as possible — using WordPress.com means you don’t actually have to worry about buying a domain or hosting — they’ll take care of it for you.
This post was so good that I had to sit in my car and keep reading after I left work, here in the garage. Ha! What caught my attention is the funnel analogy and the webinars. Starting with the expensive first, then offering the less expensive. Brilliant. Also, I want to do webinar but am not sure how to get started. But dammit if I’m not going to think of how to move in that direction! Thanks for the kick in the butt, Jon! 🙂
For example, the entertainment blogger you mentioned. That’s a completely different style of blogging, and it operates by entirely different rules. Usually, the only way to monetize those blogs is advertising, and as a consequence, those bloggers almost never make much money.
Know what you want. When you’re interviewing somebody for your site, always enter the interview knowing what story you want them to tell. Have a Skype chat or email exchange with them, before they’re in front of a camera. Do your due diligence: ask what they’re working on, and what interesting opinions they have, and agree in advance what you’ll ask them. During the interview is NOT when you should be deciding what questions to ask.
This post is amazing. I am a newbie and had no idea about how to proceed. This was an eye opener. I was investing too much in SEO, though I neither had good content nor links with the influences.I am really grateful that you brought out this topic.
People started launching blogs and websites back in 2000 and even earlier. Unfortunately, the best domains are already taken. You’d need to keep brainstorming to come up with something that hasn’t taken yet 🙂
Thanks for the update, Jon. I’ve been blogging for over 11 years. In that time I’ve seen a LOT of changes. In fact, the number one change is change itself. What used to work (Google Adwords, keyword optimization) is actually a way to lose traffic now. I’ve seen eBooks come and go, as well as video marketing, podcasting, and social media marketing. The secret is they all work, for the right message, and the right person. The hard part is, to find the right message for your brand/personality takes a lot of hard work, a lot of experimentation, and months/years of time. Thanks for laying it on the line. Blogging can be a viable occupation, just don’t quit your day job until you’ve found what works for you.
From there, I went to work for other big blogs for a few years, helping grow Copyblogger and KISSmetrics into what they are today. Eventually though, I felt the itch to go out on my own again, so I left and started this blog. It now turns a fairly steady $100,000+ a month.
To start writing on the internet, you need a blogging platform for your site to sit on. There are many platforms to choose from that will give you everything you need for a strong blogging foundation.
There is a lot to be said about the correlation between a bigger email list and a blog’s success. Even if you aren’t selling anything on your website, capturing your readers’ email addresses and sending out regular newsletters helps keep them in the know about what is happening on your blog. This builds trust and loyalty and brings readers back for more time and again.
This is fascinating. I´ve been working in illustration for a couple decades now but i always lacked promotion skills over the web i guess. I thought that blogs were dead and gone and facebook and twitter was all that mattered nowadays but now i can see i was wrong to ditch my own personal blog for which i haven´t posted a single thing for five years or so…but even without posting i noticed today that i have around 25.000 visitors and people keep coming back… i definetely need to start paying atention to my blogs…
If you don’t remember your login info, find the welcome emails sent to you after you set up your site initially. Look in your spam folder if you don’t see them immediately. Those emails have two sets of login information:
I agree about foregoing ads and instead selling your own products in those ad spaces. This might however not be applicable to bloggers who are still new and running the ropes, and to blogs that are still in their growth phase.
If WordPress isn’t there for some reason, scroll down a little bit on the control panel and click on “Quick Install” under the Software & Services section. Look at the top of the page, in the left sidebar section for WordPress.
Once established, your travel blog itself may earn $3,000 – $5,000 / month, but if you’ve broadened your horizons and started working on other income streams like freelance writing, content creation, social media management and consulting services, you can double or triple this figure.
There’s a rumor floating around that I’ve made each of those mistakes on multiple occasions. Some people also say I have to be repeatedly reminded about the graph above, lest I slip up and nearly bankrupt the company (again).
Hi Jamie, some great post you have here on your site! I will be coming back to read it a few times because it’s packed with information… Btw I also know some bloggers who swear they gained the most of their profits by advertising through the email list, it’s such a powerful tool. What are your thoughts on this?
Because of the similarity in names, beginners often start with WordPress.com thinking they are getting the powerful WordPress.org software. After seeing the limitations, users often end up switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org to have more features and control over their website.
Very well thought out and detailed. It’s seems like a great guide – easy to understand and follow , Word Press is a great recommendation. It’s easy to use.I am currently using WordPress for publishing blogs relating to mobile advertising . Another easy way out is, bloggers can also monetize their blogs by joining mobile ad networks & Earn more revenue through their Blogs.
The best ranking sites are still the ones with back links. I was going to write “the BEST back links” but decided against it as there are a bunch of blogs in my niche that rank with a huge volume of crappy back links, which is sad.
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.
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.
For instance, you’re reading a post about how to make money blogging. If you’re a subscriber, what do you think the odds are that you’ll receive an email from us sometime soon offering you a product about how to make money blogging?
What is CPC? CPC stands for “cost per click.” By displaying CPC ads with Google Adsense, you receive a set fee every time an ad on your website is clicked by a visitor. The cost per click is set by the advertiser. (This is in contrast to CPM ads, where you’re paid for ad views instead of clicks. CPM means “cost per thousand impressions,” where M is the roman numeral for 1,000.)

My hurdle that you make seem so easy comes for this one line: “Write content that gets lots of traffic”. I know that I write good content, but content that gets lots of traffic … well. In that one line you have made the most difficult part of getting started seem like a “no brainer”.
Theme. A good theme gives you the look and feel you want for your blog, allowing you to make a blog that looks exactly how you want it to look. If you’re not a coder (we certainly weren’t), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier. Plus, once you purchase a theme, which are inexpensive for the time they save you, you own it for life. A theme has two halves: the framework (the bones) and the Child Theme (the beauty):
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.
After you have created your blog post, you can preview how it will look when you publish it by clicking on the Preview button in the Publish box. This will take you to the frontend of your website and show you what site visitors will see when they click on your website.
Great Post Jon! I laughed out loud at Lesson#17. I launched a product from my blog that resulted in 0 sales. I will definitely use the tips that you mentioned here going forward in my blogging and business efforts.
What a great article sir, the information is well organized and very comprehensive. I can imagine the effort you put into this and especially appreciate you sharing it. Anyone starting a blog should make this their go to place to start.
Oftentimes people confuse the terms “blog” and “website” because there is a fine line between the two. After all, blogs appear on websites and websites feature blogs. So what really is the difference?
This is a lot of great information. I was a bit overwhelmed about all the different ways in which to start a blog but am feeling more confident now. Thanks for this! Looking forward to starting my blog soon.
I have a simple solution to mitigate the sitting still problem. I place an inflated balance cushion on your chair. It forces your lower back to keep moving. I’ve used one for years. It has made a real difference.
I am wanting to start a blog focusing on writing and craft/art, and photography, perhaps with reader story submissions. Is this a good platform? I know that is a lot of stuff. And what if i want affiliate links? Would this support that?
NOTE: The Minimalists’ blog is hosted by Bluehost. For only $2.95 a month, Bluehost can help you set up and host your blog. Because The Minimalists are a Bluehost affiliate partner, our readers can use this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price and a free domain.
Bluehost makes it effortless to install WordPress from the control panel in your hosting account. They also include a content delivery network (CDN) to provide faster website loading for people located geographically farther from their servers. And, all websites get a free SSL certificate to reassure your site visitors that their information is secure.
If you’re not making any money from your blog, it’s hard to stay motivated to continue. The opposite is also true. For instance, how do you think I feel when I see this number pop up on my dashboard every day?
Then, when a site visitor clicks on your website to view it, the web host servers help deliver that content to your visitor’s computer screen or mobile device in a visually appealing and understandable format.
Use playlists. Organize your videos into sets of themed videos by using the playlist feature. This doesn’t necessary have to be your own videos only. Creating collections of videos around your topic can boost views and engagement of your own channel and your own videos as people share the content to their own networks.
I thought it would be enlightening to give those interested in earning from blog-writing fees a look at what it takes to earn a decent living as a paid blogger. The short answer is: Be able to write a lot of very powerful, well-linked, properly formatted, well-researched, short blogs. Never run out of story ideas.
Given how cheap it is to get most domains, you could even buy a few iterations. So if your name is Janice M. Schmidt and you want to start a running blog called Janice Runs Fast, try to buy both janicerunsfast.com and janicemschmidt.com. 
Email marketing is too big a topic to cover well here, so I created a separate guide to email marketing for those who are interested (hint: every blogger who wants more readers needs to read this guide).
2) And second, you mentioned that you would recommend people do guest blogging, and not even post their first blog entry until they have 10,000 subscribers. You then said you would completely dismiss social media for now (which goes against what someone like Gary Vaynerchuk thinks, but that’s fine–nothing wrong with differing opinions).
When it comes to pitching other bloggers, do your homework. Be familiar with the blog’s content — don’t pitch something she’s already written about a hundred times, an idea that’s hopelessly generic or a topic that’s totally outside her niche.
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!
Moving your site to another host does not affect it. You do not need to change the WordPress platform. Since you are having issues with tat particular plug-in, might I suggest that you un install it. You can search wordpress.org for available plugins for code snippets.