How to Start a Blog and Earn Money By Blogging
Blogging, I think you already know about it. This is the modern art of writing, sharing thoughts and ideas on the Internet. Most of the people do blogging as a hobby or professionally to earn money. People who do it as a profession are called professional bloggers. They use their writing skills for earning money. But blogging is not as easy as it looks at first. I saw so many newbies who think it as an easy way of earning money online. If you are thinking to start a blog and earn money by blogging, It is a good idea. But you have to note some points before starting the blog. While blogging, you will face so many challenges like getting traffic, getting readers, promotion and some technical things. This post is all about starting a blog and earns good money from the blog. I am writing this post from my past 8 years of experience in full-time blogging. In these 8 years, I saw various changes in online marketing, Google’s SEO changes, and trends. I also keep on updating this post with recent things to make this post useful always. If you will come back later, you will surely find this post updated with new working ways.
In this post, I will discuss how to start a blog and use it to earn money online. This is a long guide and you will have to read it properly and carefully.
How to Start a Blog and Earn Money By Blogging
Basically, there should be two separate dedicated part for starting a blog and then explaining how to monetize that blog. So, this post can be too long to read. If you already have a blog, you can skip to the second part explaining how to monetize your blog and earn money.
How to Start a Blog
If you are a newbie and do not know much about coding and Internet-based CMS to start a blog, you do not need to worry. For being a blogger, you only need to know what to write and how to write. So basically you should know how to produce quality content. Now start reading how to start a blog.
Select a Blogging Platform
First of all, choose a blogging platform for your blog. Blogger and WordPress are the 2 most used blogging platforms. There are some other free and paid blogging platforms. So you can choose anyone according to your wish and need. WordPress is also available as an opensource software to use it on your own server. I personally suggest self-hosted WordPress for blogging. But for that, you will have to buy hosting. If you are not willing to pay, you can choose Blogger or WordPress.com. But self-hosted WordPress gives you freedom of various things. So go with that. Now whenever I will mention WordPress, I will be talking about self-hosted WordPress.
If you are thinking to go for WordPress to start your blog, you need to buy a hosting account from a web host. I personally recommend Hostgator, Bluehost or Dreamhost. These web hosts provide the best hosting service with support. These also support a one-click WordPress installation for new people who do not know enough about coding. Read my WordPress How-to Guides if you are a beginner in WordPress. You can go with any other web hosting provider but make sure you get proper support.
If you choose a free blogger blog, just go to blogger.com and create a free blog with your Google account. You will get various themes there to select.
Get a domain name
If you are really serious about blogging and want to earn money as a blogger, you must buy a domain name. Using subdomains or SPAM domain services like co.cc or .tk is not recommended. You can buy a domain from Godaddy and Bigrock. Domain cost depends on the domain extension. But I recommend going for .com. If you go with a country level domain, Google will give it less priority on global searches. This will be of around $10 which is a small investment but can offer you a good return.
There are many things that you must consider before selecting a domain name. The domain name must be easy to remember and pronounce. It must be short and clear. It helps your readers to come back to your website. If you are confused, you can take the help of some domain name suggestion tools.
Try to focus on a name that can be a brand in the future. After Google’s Exact Match Domain Update, It is important to think for a brand and not for a keyword in the domain. One more thing, be sure not to violate other brand’s copyright. So, think about an interesting and unique name.
Select A Niche
After setting up a blog, you need to think about the topic of your blog. This is the most important thing. I saw many people blogging about hacking and cracking. It is good to get traffic, but most of the popular advertisers do not accept these kinds of blogs. If you want to earn money, you need to be far from hacking content. Always blog about the topic which you know good. If you have a good level of knowledge about your blogging topic, you will be able to provide good content to your readers.
Most people write about technology, computer, web design, and blogging. You can select your own. Select the niche on which you can write good articles. So, you must be on an intermediate level in the niche. This is an important thing to consider.
As a new blogger, you should write daily and write some good content. That will help you to get indexed by Google. If you can not write daily, write regularly. At least 3-4 posts a week. This will help you to get some daily readers who keep on visiting your blog. If you are regular, it also shows that you are serious about your blogging. You can reduce the frequency of posting once you have a good reader base. But you must be frequent in the initial days. Because a good number of posts in a blog inspires people to subscribe to your blog and share your posts.
Although content is the main thing that matters, you also need to know some SEO to get a good ranking in Google search results. SEO is not a child’s play. You will have to take care of so many things. You will also have to work hard for a few months to see positive effects. SEO is very important because it makes your blog visible via search engines. Learn about important SEO terms. These terms will help you in your SEO process. Always take care of keywords and other SEO factors while writing a new post. If you are using WordPress as your blogging platform, You can use some freely available SEO plugins for WordPress. I also wrote an article on SEO tips for WordPress. These plugins will help you while optimizing your post as per search engine rules. If you are using blogger, you need to take care of keyword and image optimization by yourself.
You should also use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools to track the growth of your blog. You must learn keyword research and try learning how to use various keyword research tools. Keyword research is an important thing. It helps you in getting better visibility in search of the same article you are writing. You should also read our post ‘How to Optimize a blog post for a Keyword or Phrase‘ to know how to use beneficial keywords.
Promote your Blog and Build Traffic
After all these steps, you are finally a blogger. But for earning money with your blog, you need to have a decent amount of traffic. You must have at least 200-500 visits daily to start earning with your blog. The more traffic your blog will get, the more you will earn. So focus on traffic and promotion of your blog. If you are using WordPress, read this detailed guide to increasing traffic of the WordPress website.
Also Read: How to get more organic traffic to your blog
You should also build social media accounts for your blogs. Social media is the best way to get instant traffic on your blog. You can also do comments on other popular blogs having the same niche and join some blogging communities. That will help you to be in touch with some other bloggers. You can ask about your problems and take their tips. That will surely help you in blogging.
You must also learn about social bookmarking. Social bookmarking helps you in getting good targeted traffic without much effort.
How to Earn Money By Blogging
Now, this is the most complicated part of blogging. Earning from a blog is not difficult but you must think about making this earning permanent. You can never earn if you do not have traffic to your blog. So, you must think about having good traffic first. Once you have good number of persons coming to your blog, you can think about monetization. Without traffic, you must not put ads or try affiliate marketing. You will only go in frustration.
1. Apply For Google Adsense and other Advertising Programs
After having a good blog with decent traffic, you can apply for various advertising programs. Google Adsense is the best way of monetizing your blog. But it is hard to be accepted by Google Adsense with a new blog. So you can consider other Adsense alternatives like Chitika, Adbrite, and Kontera. Recently, I have seen various Ad networks that are offering better revenue. You can also try those.
It is not worth to place ads from the first day of blogging. Take your time and when you have a constant traffic flow, then think about placing ads and earning money. I also recommend only to use 3-4 ad units. Do not use pop-under or pop-up ads. Avoid In-text ads. These kinds of ads irritate visitors and you will lose your potential customers. You can also take inspiration from other bloggers to see what kind of ads they are serving and how they are using ads placement.
In case you have good traffic but visitors are not clicking on your ads, you can try CPM ad networks. These CPM ad networks pay for ads impressions. The eCPM rates depend on the traffic source country and various other factors. I use Sulvo and it is working very well for me. I also posted Sulvo Review. You can also see the list of 50 high paying CPM ad networks.
Along with banner advertising networks, there are few intext link ad networks. While I do not recommend Infolinks or Kotera, I recommend Viglink. It converts text on your blog post into links to products and gives you commission from sales. Unlike Infolinks or Kontera, Viglink ads do not irritate visitors and recommend them high-quality products.
Note: I also not recommend any kind of clicking script for Adsense or other ad-network. If you want to earn for the term, you must be ethical. Ethical ways always bring better revenue.
2. Try Affiliate Marketing
Ads are not the only way to earn money from the blog. You can try affiliate marketing and sponsored post options to monetize your blog. I wrote a guide on ways to make money from the blog. You must read that guide to understand different ways to earn money online by blogging.
You must try to understand the possible ways you can earn money from your website. Along with serving ads, you can recommend various tools and books to earn commission on every sale. If you are writing about gadgets, you can try affiliate programs of e-commerce stores. Amazon’s affiliate program is one of the most used affiliate programs. Clickbank is one of the most popular affiliate programs. You can also find other affiliate programs which are suitable to use on your blog. You should also not stick with a single affiliate program. So, always try to test new and new affiliate programs. Using multiple affiliate programs means more sales and more sale.
Almost all popular web hosting companies and themes design companies offer a good commission for the sale. You can promote their products and earn commissions for the sale. I recommend affiliate programs of BlueHost, DreamHost, Hostgator, Themeforest, Elegant Themes, Thesis and Genesis themes.
There are various other networks that offer affiliate. So, join affiliate programs and earn money from your blog. Here the success depends on the product you are selecting and recommending. And the way you recommend a product. Always try to sell a product that you have used before recommending it. In this way, you will be knowing the pros and cons of the product. So, you can better explain why one should buy it. Finding an affiliate network for any niche is easier. Most of the companies dealing with product sales offer affiliate commission. If you are a tech blogger, you can recommend gadgets and software. Fashion bloggers can recommend dresses. Book reviewers can recommend books and so on.
If you are not sure where to find affiliate networks for your niche, you can comment below to get my help.
3. Direct advertising
You can sell ads directly from your website. Let advertisers contact you for banner or link ads and decide the monthly price for a banner or link. You should create an advertising page where you can list the details of your blog’s traffic and email address to content. Also, mention why advertising on your blog will be helpful for advertisers. Advertise page can do lot more for you. So, write to influence the advertiser and try to convince.
As there are millions of websites, most people never get the attention of advertisers. In this case, you can directly pitch relevant companies to advertise on your blog and show them the benefits of advertising on your blog. You can also take the help of few marketplaces to contact advertisers.
4. Paid reviews
If you are a blogger, you can earn money by giving paid reviews on your blog. Some companies directly contact you to write a paid review of their services. For getting paid reviews, you need to have a good amount of traffic on your website, good Alexa rank and Domain authority. LinkVehicle and Sponsored reviews are a few popular websites that help bloggers in getting paid reviews.
Here, you need to consider one important thing. Paid reviews and link selling are two different things. If someone approaches you to give a dofollow link for money, try to avoid this kind of offer. You will earn money in a short time but this will affect your blog.
Here, you should also consider the most important thing while doing a paid review. Your blog readers and your blog traffic is the thing that helps you get advertisers and paid reviews. So, never cheat on them. Never write a good about a bad product just for money.
Here, I want to make it clear how I do pay reviews. I charge money for review only if the product is paid. It is because I am giving time to reviewing a product and companies will get sales. If the product is free, I never charge for the review. You should also follow the same thing. Because writing good about a bad product will surely hurt your blog’s reputation.
5. Offer paid service
You can also offer some paid services from your blog and can earn by that service. You can offer anything based on your skills. Like, I offer web design and WordPress related services. Create a hire me page, mention your skills and show your previous work. Try to make a better portfolio to get more work. If your blog starts getting good traffic, people will surely look for your blog and contact you if they need any kind of work done.
You can also join Odesk, Freelancer.com, and other freelancing work websites to get more work. In these websites, you can easily bid projects and get hired.
This is a step by step guide to earning money by blogging. It will take 2-3 months after which you will start getting some income from your blog. You need to work hard on the content and promotion of your blog to get better income. I will suggest taking care of the blog’s content and quality. It will help you to build a brand of your website. After that, you will be able to attract big advertisers or direct ad sale.
What do you think about blogging? Do you think blogging is as easy as it looks? Share your views on blogging with us via comments.