So, you would like to start your own blog but unsure where to start? Read on to find out more about blogging and how you could start making money and have a passive income from your own blog.
What is Blogging?
The word “blog” originates from the words “web log” in which individuals kept a regular log or diary of what they were doing or their thoughts online or on the internet.
From there came blogging in where individuals or a small group of people would provide regular updates on a website or blog site for their readers or followers. In the most part, a blog is created and updated regularly around a subject i.e. football, knitting, surfing, hairstyles etc.
The owner or owners of the site will try to provide relevant and valuable information to the readers or followers on a regular basis. Some blogs may contain how-to articles, where to find the best value items, best places to visit or find things depending on the interest. At times videos may be included or guest bloggers will write and often there is a chance to ask questions, give feedback or even forums so you can speak with likeminded people.
Blogs are now very diverse with some owners using blogging for marketing and linking blogs to social networking sites.
Ways You Can Make Money from Blogging
There are several ways you can start to make money through you’re your blog. This will not come quickly or happen overnight as you must take the time to establish your site and build an audience first. But once you begin to become an authority site and have regular visitors you will be at a stage to start thinking about monetizing your blog.
As I said before there are several ways to do this. For most bloggers, this is through Affiliate Marketing. Using affiliate sites such as Awin, Amazon, Clickbank and Affilorama.
You can sign up to these platforms and search for companies who you would be writing about or reviewing and sharing news about their products anyway through your blog. You can then apply to sign up to their affiliate programme and start to make small commissions by linking to them and their products through your posts.
Be careful though that you don’t sign up too early on, especially with Amazon as if they are not seeing any referrals or click-throughs from your links they may suspend or terminate your affiliate account. Try to wait until you are getting at least 500 – 1000 website visitors a month, which won’t take long if you are regularly publishing to your site. Until then why not look at advertising on your site.
Through allowing advertising on your site using such programmes as Google Adsense you can start to make small commissions for anyone who clicks on it. This way you can see a small earning coming in and now that people who do visit your site are clicking on links before jumping in with affiliate links.
Remember once you HAVE signed up to those affiliate sites you can go back and edit older blog posts. By either linking to products that you have already written about or by placing banners within your blog posts. So please don’t think that you are going to be writing loads of blog posts to get your site up and bringing in visitors that are not going to pay or earn you money. They simply won’t be earning you money straight away!
By creating and selling your own products. As you become more authoritative in your niche or subject you may want to write an ebook that can be sold through your site or on a platform such as Amazon. You may even be in a niche where you could produce your own training materials for others. These could be in the form of videos, written materials or a mixture of the two.
As the internet grows and changes so does the earning opportunities through blogging. the most important thing is to start and get regular visitors to your site. The more visitors you can get on a regular basis the greater the earning potential.
Choosing Your Topic or Niche
Sometimes choosing your topic or niche can become frustrating or time-consuming. This is due to thinking too much about it.
We ALWAYS hear FOLLOW YOUR PASSION! Right! Well, I believe this does not always need to be the case. You can become passionate about something through time as you spend more time learning about it. And let’s be honest for most people if you want to be “earning money online” your “passion” will be simply that earning money and/or becoming your own boss or becoming financially free first. Yes, we all have hobbies and interests outwith what we do to earn money but are they going to be what brings in the money at first? Once you are earning well then you can then follow your passion and maybe diversify and start a site dedicated to your passion.
I followed that advice to follow your passion when I first started blogging and although it was great to sit and write about something I really enjoyed it was in an already saturated market and I really struggled at first to get both visitors (as there were lots of more authoritative sites out there) and earn money with that site. Yet I stuck with it. Why, because I enjoyed it. I was not too disheartened because it proved to me that it could be done and taught me lots of valuable lessons that I was able to transfer to my next website.
My advice is to choose something you are good at, interested in or know a lot about or would love to learn more about and if you plan to use affiliate marketing to monetize your future site check out the market. Take time to check what else is out there, what are other bloggers in that niche doing, writing about and affiliating with. Do you see a gap in that market? Could you fill it and make a difference? If so jump on it, jump on it before someone else does.
Choosing a Domain
If you are interested in starting a blog one of the first things you will need to do is get yourself a website. If you are going to blog for an income you will need to show you are serious in this field which will mean getting a good .com domain. Now there are sites like WordPress.com and Blogger that are free but people looking for information are smart and will normally choose what they think is the most authoritative looking site such as .com, .org and .co.uk/de/EU sites.
If you are maybe unsure if this is something you want to do but would like to try a free option first, SiteRubix is a good place to start. This allows you to start blogging with a free site and then if you chose to take things further you can then transfer your work to a paid site.
You will also be needing some help and guidance on setting up your website when you first start, well unless you are a web designer or computer programmer already. There are many parts to having a good looking and well-run website apart from just your content or writing. SiteRubix has 1000’s of themes or layouts to choose from and 100’s of plugins to allow you to build your site fast.
In fact, it will guide you through setting up a professional-looking site in under 10 minutes then all you need to do is start writing to add content for your readers. Try it for free here. Or simply enter the name of a website you would like to create in the box below and see if it is available. This is how quick it is to start your own site.
If you find yourself looking to upgrade later, remember you can transfer your content over to a paid and more authoritative website address with the help of how too guides.
Starting to Blog
Now you’ve got your website and picked your topic or niche, now what? Now it is time to start writing and putting content on your site. This is where you need to get creative. You can’t just put any old stuff on there, not if you want to stand out and get noticed.
What you do need to put on your site is what people looking for information on your chosen subject want to read about or learn about.
How do you do this? You do your research! Look at what others are writing about. Ask people, not just anyone, but people interested in your chosen subject. Visit site forums on your chosen topic and read what people are talking about, what they are struggling with, what do they want to learn more about or know more about.
It can also be worth signing up to newsletters from companies and people in your chosen niche. So for talking sake, if it was a camping niche, sign up to newsletters from Vango, Coleman, Camping Clubs and Outdoor shops. This was you will get emails telling you all about their new releases and sales. You can then take this information and pass it on through your blog to your readers. This can be a great way to build your audience and site authority when starting out, as you will be writing about the most relative stuff at any given time.
Use this information to give them what they want and start to connect with them. You may think “who am I to think I can write about this” but believe me if you write it, people will read it! We live in a world where information is consumed at an incredible speed and although you may not know everything in your chosen subject you will know more than some others. You will also learn and gain knowledge yourself as you do your research for your blogs. Once you start getting into your niche you will quickly find ways of sourcing new information that you can then write about in your own style.
The more you write and the more visitors you get to your site the more you will start to become confident in your writing. The most important thing at the start is to connect with others and have them read what you are writing. If you can write and post content on a regular basis you will find that people will come back for more.
Have You Got What it Takes? Yes, You Do!
Now there is obviously a little more to learn than just the above like SEO, getting ranked by search engines, building authority and driving traffic to your site, some of which is covered on some of my other blogs, but this will help get you started thinking about whether this is a path you would like to take or not.
Blogging has made a great difference to my life and opened my eyes to a world of new opportunities and it could do the same for you.