Is there a hosting service where you can actually pay BY THE MONTH? I get that you have a money back guarantee, but that’s still a lot of money for me to shell out for something that I’m just starting out. If you are looking to blog to hopefully help generate income, then it seems natural to me for a host to let someone start out slowly.
Signing up for Tumblr is easy. Enter your email address, a password, and a URL you’d like for your blog. This URL is how people can visit your website — for example, you can make your URL “behavioraleconomics.tumblr.com” if you were interested in talking about behavioral economics. Usually, people choose something personally meaningful, like a nickname or a catch-phrase, or what you’d name your autobiography. Get creative!
I agree with your statement “Often times, you can make more money selling to the 2% than you can to the entire 98% combined.” and your following example about selling a $10,000 mentoring program for aspiring writers.
Blogs don’t have to be just for sharing ideas. In fact, you can turn your WordPress blog into a fully functioning e-commerce shop, and still maintain your blog, all from the same place. You can sell physical items, services, digital downloads, and even accept donations for a cause all through your blog.
I also like the fact you made it very clear that bloggers are growing a business, and that it is hard, not easy. Although I have a couple of blogs now, I see blogging as just one of the elements in an overarching strategy.
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.
Edge on the side of caution. Although putting a link on your site to another site for money is not illegal, it is against Google’s guidelines, as the person wanting the link is trying to manipulate the SERPs for their own gain.
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.
You can begin accepting donations in a few different ways. You could add a Paypal donate button or a Stripe donate button to your website. Or for a more professional look and advanced features like email marketing integration, you could use WPForms to create a donation form on your WordPress site.
In the case of blogging, that number is the size of your email list. (Not RSS, mind you — it’s dying a slow but certain death.) In my experience, your email list is the most accurate predictor of how much money you’ll make.
Vision. The reason our site design looks good is because we have a great host, we have a great theme, and most important, we had a vision of how we wanted our blog to look. Once we had the vision, we worked hard to make that vision a reality. (Note: neither of us had any design experience prior to starting a blog.) It’s hard to create a beautiful blog if you don’t know what you want it to look like.
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.
If your theme doesn’t respond well to the smaller mobile screens (use this to test) there is a good chance you will be losing valuable traffic as people click away to find something easier to navigate.
Thanks for the good tips. I’m a newbie and haven’t started my blog yet; just reading about the basics right now. Wondering if there is a way to keep it private so it’s not accessible to the general public, but only to those who you send the link? Thanks
I am just confused about one thing I have been trying to link my blog post which is with wordpresss. Org with my facebook page and it keeps telling me I need to be a developer and then I need to set up an app. I am really confused. I hope you can help.
If your blog brings in high traffic levels then displaying Google adverts can be a quick and easy way to make steady revenue. If your blog is good at keeping your users on the pages then these types of ads can work well for driving high conversions, especially with in-post ads.
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.
WordPress.org is an open source software platform which allows you to build your website or blog on your own. It is a self-hosted solution, which means you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider.
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.
This is the first time I have checked out your blog/vlog and I think I just fell in love. Well – you know what I mean, right? Anyway, super funny and I can’t wait for your next ‘installation’ in your vlogging posts. One day I will figure out a way to incorporate a vlog into my ‘still wet behind the ears’ site.
Be Original. Yes, there are other blogs out there about the same thing you want to write about. Question: So why is your blog different? Answer: Because of you. You are what makes your blog different. It’s about your perspective, your creativity, the value that you add.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you of the merits of WordPress, but there’s one more thing to know. WordPress is simply software. You can download it to your personal computer, but then your blog will only be accessible to you. In other words, WordPress by itself, won’t make your blog live on the internet.
I think I can confidently say that 100% of the blogs I read are because of their content and not their backer, and I don’t think I’ve ever clicked ‘back’ because of what was by the copyright. Many do annoy me, however.
You always share valuable messages with your readers, Jon. Sharing your wisdom and what you’ve learned from your experiences is appreciated. I still recall one of your suggestions in your original April 2014 version of this post to begin by offering services. I followed your advice and learned loads of insight from conversations with clients and referral sources. It’s interesting that you mentioned your success with guest webinars in the original post and with hosting webinars on your own site in this post. Hmm… It may be worthwhile to think about growing blogging businesses by speaking more often with your current or potential audience. ~Keri
With these foundations in place you’re now ready to start attempting to make money from your blog but you do need to be aware that just because you have set up your blog, have content and have engaged readers that the money won’t just automatically flow.
If you are blogging about one specific topic then you will definitely want to include that in some way in your blog name. Try not to get hung-up on just one word though. For example, a cooking blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “cooking” in it. The words “food”, “recipes”, and “meals” would also let people know that your blog is about cooking.
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The good news is that the internet is exploding with growth right now. More people than ever are online. This explosion in growth means more potential readers for your blog. In short, if you are thinking about starting a blog then there is no better time than right now.
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.
If you registered a new domain above, turn on your free SSL certificate to put an extra layer of protection for your visitors. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy term. It’s easy. (If you have an existing domain registered elsewhere, check with that company about getting an SSL certificate.)
Now, I had a question. I am just 14 years old and I am entering the blog-o-sphere as an intermediate. Now, you may check my blog “theartofvk(dot)com.” I write how to articles mostly and also try to do videos as I am not a native English speaker it get’s difficult for me. When I read post on BBT I find it really interesting but How To articles… umm.. are they nice enough? How To article probably don’t keep people engaging do they? I am recently also trying guest post and on my 5 attempt my article was accepted at Hongkiat.
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!
I was wondering what your thoughts are on wordpress themes. I don’t want to get hung up on picking one, but I was wondering if you would recommend going with a free one or a premium one to start? And if you recommend a premium one, do you have a favorite site to get them from? I’ve read that free themes aren’t really a good way to go because you don’t get updates or support and they can contain malicious code, so I was just wondering what your experience is with themes. Thanks so much!
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of blogging platforms, it’s time to start walking the walk! With the next step, we’ll get your blog set up and running. If you’re not ready yet because you still need to think of a domain name or can’t set up a blog right away, that’s okay. Click here to sign up so that when you’re ready, you can pick up right where you left off.
Great article. I recently came into blogging. I hadn’t completed what quantity I had learnt from my initial try. currently, with the new diary, I started a few month alone, I’m seeing a rise in traffic on a daily basis that is kind of stunning and really exciting. therefore I even have been reading everywhere the way to legitimize a diary. Your article is superb and in-depth. Many thanks for sharing. I will be able to definitely take on some of your advice. Cheers Jamie!

Find Your Niche. You needn’t have a niche, but it helps. When learning how to be a blogger, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re passionate about. Running? Cooking? Being a parent? Have you found your passion? If so, whatever it is, write about that. If not, then you must first find your passion. (Note: We generally recommend that people don’t start a blog about minimalism or the paleo diet or any other heavily saturated topic. But what we really mean when we say this is: don’t create a blog about something unless you have a unique perspective. If you’ve embraced simple living and have a unique perspective, then by all means have at it. Enjoy yourself.)
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite and most profitable income streams. You can highlight products or services you use and love without having to do the work of creating or maintaining that product yourself. I talk about affiliate marketing in much more depth in What is Affiliate Marketing? and My Top Affiliate Marketing Tips.
As usual a top knotch post full of excellent advice, very easy to understand and follow. Just studying your posts is an object lesson in how these things are done. I, like many aspiring bloggers, am very familiar with the glazed look that passes over people’s faces when I attempt to explain what my plans are! I think the primary problem is that we have been brought up to do business in a particular way. You make something therefore you get paid for it. Most business people feel there is something inherently wrong about a system where you provide huge amounts of valuable content free of charge and without obligation. The peception is that the model cannot be susstainable.
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.
So one thing I wanted to tell you about blogging this year is that you really want to start thinking about blogging in the next year. That means planning, researching and developing ideas now instead of later.
It can take years to learn how to wrangle Google search algorithms to your benefit (and once you master the techniques, they change the rules on you), but learn a few basic tricks to help new readers find you.
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.
7. Add your page to your Favorites. This option will place a link to your fan page in the left sidebar when you’re signed into Facebook. It’s totally optional but makes it really easy to find your page later!
Great article. I recently came back into blogging. I hadn’t realized how much I had learnt from my first attempt. Now with the new blog I started about a month ago, I am seeing an increase of traffic everyday which is quite surprising and very exciting. So I have been reading all over how to monetize a blog. Your article is excellent and in-depth. Thank you for sharing I will definitely be using some your advice. Blessings.
If your blog is aimed around professional readers and business people you might have more potential traffic from LinkedIn and Google+. If your target reader is more visual it might make more sense to focus exclusively on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for promoting your blog.
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!)
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.