So, you have seen some interesting-looking blogs, heard you can make money doing it, and thought ‘how do you do that?’ I’m glad you asked! In Making Money For Beginners, I will detail the steps that need to be taken to get your first blog up and running and primed to start making money!
Before reading on, it is important to know that making money with a blog is a time-consuming process. You are unlikely to get much traffic and consequently unlikely to see much in the way of results within the first 6 months. However, there are lots of people who have taken the pain and gone on to create life-changing money while doing something they love, so if this floats your boat, read on.
This site includes affiliate links – if you buy through my link I may get paid a commission but the price remains the same for you. Thank you for your support.
Understanding the money-making process
Before going into detail about the steps, I’d like to first outline the actual money-making process. There are many ways of making money online with a blog, but regardless of which one you choose, the process is the same.
There are over 4 billion people online who are looking for the answers to their problems through search engines all day and all night. Your website will be waiting to be discovered by those searching as you will have the answers to the problems of a particular segment of those people by offering advice and products or services (your own or someone else’s) and consequently earn money in a similar measure to the number of people you help!
Decide on your niche
Before you storm ahead creating your website, you will need to decide what your niche will be. If you already have a product or service, this will be easy! However, if you intend to sell someone else’s product, it might not be quite as obvious.
You will need your blog to be about a subject that you are either passionate about or know quite a bit about as you will be writing content on a regular basis. Having said that, it is so easy to become knowledgeable on a number of subjects now with there being so much information readily available online, it’s not a prerequisite. It may even be something you are keen to learn yourself and can share your journey as you go.
In any case, you will have a keen desire to help people who want to gain the knowledge that you now have, rather than seeing them as money in your pocket. For more in-depth information about how to choose your niche, please check out How To Find An Affiliate Marketing Niche here.
Do not be tempted to go for all of your favorite niches! E.g. babies, Keto diets, and vintage clothing! It will confuse the life out of the search engines (that are trying to figure out who to show your website to) and dilute your offering to readers of your blog who may only be interested in babies (for example). Pick one niche only. As you progress to making money in your first niche, you can then decide if you have the time to do it all again with a second niche. (Many people do.)
Create your website
If you are not at all technical and think this is beyond you, STOP! You can do it – there is training and help available from many sources.
The best performing blogs, believe it or not, are not the sexiest looking sites. Something very easy to read (ideally black text on a white background) that is easy to navigate and offers clear calls to action is what works best. You will also need a domain name and web hosting.
Web hosting: The reason I have put web hosting before the domain name, is because many of the web hosting companies offer a free domain name for the first year. Although it’s not an expensive purchase (usually around $13.99 – $16.99), it’s good to keep as much money in the kitty for other potential expenses (e.g. paid ads if you choose to go down that route).
Domain name: If you have a company name, it is a good idea to aim for a domain name that includes it, otherwise it’s good to pick one that pertains to your niche. Don’t worry if the one you want is taken – there are so many options and variations, you are bound to find one that works.
A .com domain is the best option to give yourself the most possibilities of selling to other markets. For example, if you are in the UK but have a product or service that would be a hit with a U.S. audience, a domain with .co.uk would be a barrier to your success. However, if you really can’t get the .com for your perfect domain name, it would be better to go with .org.
Website: I would definitely recommend a WordPress website (it’s free, very popular, and more people know the ins and outs of WordPress so will be best for getting help if you are stuck). They also have the option of literally thousands of themes to choose and there are lots of suitable plug-ins to help with particular functions you need to be performed on your site (such as making sure your website is ready for search engines). Additionally, some web hosting companies have WordPress pre-installed for you.
Now we are getting to the fun bit! Start with your ‘About Me’ page. People will want to know who you are and what you are all about. One of the key reasons for writing a blog (instead of just a website with lots of stuff for sale) is to engage the audience and have them feel that you have had their problem, overcome it, and can help them to move forward.
Be honest about your journey – it will turn more people onto your blog than it turns off. Developing trust is a key element – people will want to know that what you are recommending comes from a genuine place of your wanting to help. People love authenticity.
Keyword research: It is likely that I will do a separate post on keyword research as it is very important but for now, you can check out this training from my mentor – you can either read it or watch the video. There are lots of keyword research tools out there including the one he uses, Jaaxy – you can sign up for 30 free searches just to get your going.
Your posts: Having done some keyword research, you need to create your posts without allowing the keywords to take over the content. You only need to use them a couple of times (ideally in the headline and in the first paragraph) and it is essential that they fit in with the flow of your post. The quality of your content has to be number one.
Make your content is unbiased. It is absolutely fine to write reviews of competitor products – in fact it’s a great strategy as people who are ready to buy search for reviews – but do not mark something down just to make your product or service look better.
Last but not least, make sure your posts are at least 1,000 words long but also include some longer posts of 1,500 – 2,000 words or even longer. Google ranks longer posts higher than shorter ones, but make sure that you are not substituting quality for quantity.
Promote your content
There are many ways you can do this. You can build an email list and notify subscribers of your new post and there is a plug-in where people visiting your site can opt-in to receive push notifications (this is useful as not everyone will want to give your their email address).
Pinterest is an excellent way to promote content as it is essentially a search engine (while also being considered as social media). It doesn’t matter how many followers you have – if the topic you are writing on is a searched-for topic AND if you post enough (it is recommended to create 5 PINs for every post) then you will get exposure.
Social media – find out where ‘your’ people hang out and use that platform. Do not try to do all of them! I would recommend picking one plus Pinterest and doing it really well.
Once you have got some traffic going organically using keyword research, you can help it along with some paid ads. However, if you can see what is already working that would be a good help. Having said that, if you want to jump in with a brand new blog, just make sure you have around 10 posts ups beforehand. This will give you a chance to split test.
Google ads or Pinterest ads would be a good option as they will be shown to people who are searching for what you have (and therefore potentially in a buying mindset). Facebook ads can work great as they are very targetted, but you have no way of knowing if people are up for buying when they happen to see your ad – if you are just looking at capturing email addresses and building a potential future customer list, this could work although you will need to offer them something of value to get their email address.
Making money through ads on your site
Google Adsense (among others) will pay you to host ads on your site. Mediavine is one of the better paying companies but you will need 25,000 sessions on your site monthly to qualify.
Personally, I find Google Adsense ads borderline offensive so I don’t use them but don’t be put off if you want to give it a try – you can sign up for an account at any time, monitor the ads and the value they bring, and make an informed decision.
Getting started using your own products
If you already have your own product, you are already well on your way. There are plug-ins for your WordPress site that will create the necessary platform for e-commerce.
However, if you don’t yet have your own product, have a look for something you would buy and see if you can make it better or adjust it for a particular type of audience – e.g. book publishing for beginners. Digital products are a great option as you only have the cost of creating them one time then the rest is profit. Blogging is also an excellent vehicle for anyone who has a service (local or global) as you can use case studies from existing clients and potentially help anyone anywhere (subject to language constraints).
Alex Chris from Reliablesoft.net came up with a very clever strategy for testing what his audience would potentially buy.
He created a banner ad for his website offering visitors the option of making a purchase and then had a message saying ‘sorry, that product is not available yet’ when they clicked on it. This enabled him to test which banner and which offering was working the best. It also showed which country prospective purchasers came from. When he launched his product, it sold even better than anticipated. Genius!
This is a really solid option for people who either do not have their own product or indeed who love the idea of developing a course (for example) but need to get some experience before introducing their own.
To get started in affiliate marketing, you would follow all the processes outlined so far but instead of selling your own product, you would sell someone else’s for a percentage of the sale. (The product owner would know from the link that was clicked that the sale and commission belonged to you.)
At the point of establishing your niche, you would have a look for suitable products to promote. However, if you can promote one that you use yourself, then that definitely lends credibility to your offering. If not, do your research and make sure you are offering something that your followers will be happy with. While you don’t deal with customers directly, your reputation is on the line.
One word of caution – don’t go mad with the affiliate links and from time to time just post content because it is helpful.
No matter what you decide to sell online, your number one priority (even over making money) has to be delivering value to your visitors. If you target them properly, provide good quality content regularly that helps them to solve their problems and DO NOT GIVE UP, you have every chance of becoming one of the many thousands of people who can work anywhere in the world while doing what they love.
My number one recommendation
My original attempt at blogging was not entirely successful (as you can imagine, there is way more involved than I can include in this post). I got stuck building a website, couldn’t move forward, and ended up giving up on it. 18 months or so later, I found a training platform that I could get started on for free. Between the training and helpful community, I am now on my way! Check out my in-depth review here and if you like what your see, sign up for the free starter membership.
Alternatively, check out this blog post from someone who started just two weeks ago which pretty much sums up what is possible for a beginner with no skills.
I would love to know if you have got started with a blog and what your challenges have been. Or are you knocking it out of the park already? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.