Great content. Just what I have been looking for. I realized that I have been spending lots of hours creating content for my blog but doing nothing when it comes to outreaching and promiting my content.
If you’re using your existing WordPress blog to sell plugins, you’ll want to make sure that the plugin you create directly fulfills a need of your audience. You can survey them to see what problems they need to solve on their WordPress site, and then create a plugin that solves that problem.
Nice guide for making money via blogging. Mostly people use adsense and affiliate networks but sponsored posts are good option too and as you said above declare them as a sponsored post so that everything goes well, i like that part that is good for users and search engines also like that you do advertising but mention it.
Hi Andrea great information very helpful best that I can find. I was wondering if you can help me I am trying to use a plugin for facebook and my wordpress.org to feed my posts from my blog to my facebook page and they keep telling me I need to be a developer. So I signed up to be a developer and it’s so confusing is there any way around this developer thing. I still can’t figure it out I just want my blogs to feed into my facebook page.
There are over 2,000 professionally designed, fully-customizable and free themes to choose from – so you’ve got a lot of options. If you want to see premium themes and designs like the Genesis Framework, head over to Themeforest.net
I was glad to have spent quality time reading 4,000+ of your words, Jon! Pretty encouraging to say the least. I am definitely going to become part of your list and I hope I can find information on how to write to attract more readers! Many thanks.
Wow really great list of tips, even for non beginners! I agree Ahrefs is probably the best SEO tool for bloggers, but honestly Google Webmaster Tools is the first place to start to monitor your search traffic. Ahref is really expensive, and for new comers, probably overkill. I recently started a new blog, and am more than happy with the data provided by Webmaster Tools.

With paid methods, you have the opportunity to pay for traffic and clicks right away. And if you do well in targeting your audience on the right channels you can easily build your audience with advertising to supplement your organic efforts.
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!
If I were you, I’d suggest you go and check my resource page here. It contains all the content that I’ve published on StartBloggingOnline.com over the past couple of years. It’s nothing too much, but enough to get you going and a bit more.
You are probably using WordPress.com. Please contact WordPress.com support and they will be able to downgrade your package. See our guide on the difference between self hosted WordPress.org vs free WordPress.com blog.
Having said that, if you’re targeting a supersaturated audience, one way to “niche” yourself is with a unique style of writing. You can probably think of lots of examples where humor, style, or oddness make a particular blog memorable.
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.
Yes, this isn’t that moonshot way of earning that so many are dreaming of, where you monetize your own blog and make six figures on autopilot. This is an everyday, working-class sort of way to earn from blogging. Simply helping publications and companies communicate powerfully with their readers and customers.
Thanks so much Jon. I have been struggling to ‘get off the ground’ and am devouring your insight and knowledge. You offer such invaluable and proven information and are totally inspiring. I know I CAN DO THIS and will continue to soak up your posts as they come through. I won’t wast too much time now on Facebook and Twitter which I’ve been trying to get my head around. You see I am very new to everything!
Every time you send an email to your list you can offer them products/services or just get them to your visit your blog again where you can make money from ads (discussed below). This is exactly what big companies like Groupon do with their mailing lists. They send out offers on a daily or weekly basis
I just realized last week that I created a blog through WordPress. Then I saw this, and I was like “I made the right decision” ☺ I’ve been seeing people using blogspot. But I think WordPress is more sophisticated. Thank you! Very helpful.
Flippa is already killing it. But this year I think they will kill it even more (not sure what that means) because more and more people are going to be buying blogs to skip the initial stages of a blog’s life.
Something that hasn’t been thought of yet: The key to being a successful blogger is to be creative. There are a ton of bloggers coming up with new income streams every day. Step out of the box and try something new.
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.
WordPress.org software is free, but you’ll need to buy a domain name (about $14.99/year) and hosting (usually starting from $7.99/month). However, WPBeginner users can get started for only $2.75 per month with Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. They are offering our users 60% off on hosting and a FREE domain name.
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
During that time, I started four different blogs, working on them at night and on the weekends. The first three failed. Despite investing hundreds of hours into each one, I made too many mistakes, and I eventually had to shut the blogs down. I didn’t earn a penny from them.
I’m starting from square one in terms of becoming a blogger. I don’t even know what I want to blog about yet. My goals for starting a blog are a bit different than many, however. I’m not trying to create another source of income; I would simply be trying to create a reader base because my ultimate goal is to become a published novelist and when pitching your book, I believe it is helpful to already have an established readership. This will theoretically help you stand out to agents/publishers. 🙂 In addition, blogging would help me develop my writing skills, hopefully be of some use to people, and allow me to express myself and connect with others. Do you have any advice for me?
If you are planning to create a personal blog where you discuss a variety of topics then I recommend using your name, or some variation of it, since your blog is all about you. For example, I own the blog scottchow.com. You can also add your middle name or middle initial if you find your name is already taken. Or you could use a variation like “Scott Chow Blog” or “Blogging with Scott”.
This is an awesome post. I too found PinchofYum.com some time ago. I’ve built a niche site and I’m in the stage of promoting it so I really needed the information posted here. I’ve researched making money for years but never paired that research with any ACTION. It was not until recently that I started putting things in motion so seeing some of the steps I’m taking being talked about in this topic is quite reassuring. My blog is based around making money online but making it make sense for beginners. https://chuckcandoyoucantoo.com
Promoting your blog on social media is one of the best ways to increase readership. This keeps your followers updated on your new posts, makes it easy for them to share your content with others, and helps create engagement as readers discuss your topics.
One of the biggest misconceptions that I see bloggers having about monetising blogs is that they have to do it in one of a handful of ways. The reality is that there are many ways to make money from blogs.
I will quibble on one point though, your comment about BBT getting 13,000 subscribers before launching even though you “had nothing but a coming soon page and an invitation to join our email list.” As I recall, you also had a freakin’ awesome video on that page as well that just made people yearn to give you their email address, even without knowing a thing about BBT. So that didn’t hurt, either. ; )
Learn more about WordPress. Visit my Contents page for an organized list of tips, tools & tutorials. Check out the WordPress section in particular. If you work your way through this list of articles, you will have a good handle on the basics, from adjusting your settings to publishing your first post.
Hi Jessica, thanks for the advice! I have been setting up my blog over the last few days and written a few posts already. I’m really nervous to launch the site though so as of now only I have access to my blog. Did you wait until you had a good amount of material on your blog before publicizing it or did you start with one article and got more traffic as more material was added? Thanks!
Heres my suggestion: Before you start a blog, make sure you have some ideas what to write about. If you dont have any think about your hobbies or things youre passionate about. This helped me to find my niche/topic for my blog.
My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.
Note: Even though a self-hosted WordPress blog is sometimes referred to as a “WordPress.org” blog, you are not limited to a .org at the end of your name. You can still use .com, just like I do for AmyLynnAndrews.com.
Wow, this is a great post with tons of data-driven insights that would take me years to figure out on my own. You can earn a good income from blogging, but I’m not sure I want to do it this way myself. I’m more interested in becoming a ghostblogger for businesses.
Keep the questions secret. People that you’re interviewing will often ask you for a list questions in advance. It’s an understandable request, but resist if you can. Supplying questions in advance is a bad idea. Sure, tell them what the interview is about. But when you give out a list of questions, your subjects will often prepare themselves and memorize their responses. You’ll lose spontaneity and freshness, and the interview will look rehearsed.
If you want to have a public-facing blog but want to remain anonymous, then you need to make sure that your domain has WHOIS privacy turned on. Often people use a pseudonym / nickname to write under. You should also create a unique email just for your blog. It goes without saying, don’t post your pictures or anything on the blog.
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.
hey i actaully have 2 questions about starting a blog..1. is that if i just have a free blog on WordPress, and my blog is owned by them, will i still get money for it?? 2. i already made a free WordPress blog, but in case of any mind changes can i switch to a hosting company (iPage) while still keeping the page i have already made? or would i have to start all over again?
Spot-on post though, I’m just genuinely curious…in your experience, have you found it more difficult for people to break into guest blogging since it’s so pervasive among the IM crowd? Is it more-so a matter of who you know versus what you know?
Reminder: TheMinimalists.com is a Bluehost affiliate partner, which means that in addition to using their service, we also receive a referral credit for referring new customers. To be fair, though, we would still use Bluehost even if we weren’t an affiliate. Ergo, we don’t recommend Bluehost just because we’re an affiliate (every hosting company offers a similar affiliate program); we recommend Bluehost because they are the best, most reliable option. Plus, because we’re a partner, Bluehost offers a special price for The Minimalists‘ readers: only $2.95 a month. That’s a phenomenal price.
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.
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.
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.
2) You should have an active blog, but you should put a lot more effort into guest blogging in the beginning and when you hit 10.000 subscribers shift the focus to your own blog. Because then the effect of social media, SEO, etc on your site outweighs the traffic you’ll get from guest blogging.
Remember that your viewers are watching because they already like your blog.  Keeping this in mind will help you to create an engaging vlog and avoid becoming a robot behind the camera.  Relax, smile and talk about what you know.
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
When I started my blog a little over a year ago, I didn’t really know that it was possible to earn any kind of dough from running a website. I’d heard of bloggers, of course, but they might as well have been mythical creatures of the new millennium. I didn’t know any steadfast bloggers, and certainly none that were making cash from their hobby. But as I began to dip my toes deep into Blogland, I realized that the possibilities were nearly limitless. With hard work and some research, I knew that blogging was a gateway and tool to reach many other things. One of those things simply being, income. Since I was absolutely clueless about all of this when I first started, I thought it might be helpful for you all if I shared some of the ways I’ve found for how to earn money as a blogger.
Thank you Sir for giving valuable information. I have been following you for a while and learned a lot. Really love your SEO articles about getting better google ranking. I am a wedding photographer and trying to promote my website online as best as I can? Thank you again!
Will it be possible to set up a blog where comments cannot be posted and emails cannot be sent to me? My only interest in blogging at this time is for a limited number of friends and family. I don’t want to deal with comments and such from random visitors.
As you create the most useful content that you possibly can it is easy to get very insular with your focus and spend most of your time looking at building your blog. Many bloggers have a ‘build it and they will come mentality’ with their blogging but this is a bit of a trap.
This is invaluable information as it helps you decide whether or not you can compete in certain niches and keywords. If someone has links coming from Harvard, Wikipedia and NASA then it is unlikely you’ll be able to outrank them in a hurry.
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!