How to Start a Blog and Make Money

I’ve had so many people ask me how I got started blogging and if I make money with my blog. As a matter of fact, I do make money with my blog. I would’ve loved help and guidance in the beginning. I learned everything about blogging by jumping in with both feet and failing several times before I finally got my stuff together. I want to make your life easier so you know exactly how to start a blog and make money.

How to Start a Blog and Make Money2

Building a popular blog takes time and effort, so be prepared to work your butt off for a while. No one said it would be easy! Spend some time researching other blogs, leave valuable comments and email the bloggers to connect. You may be surprised how helpful other bloggers can be. 

Choosing a Niche

One of the first things to consider is the type of blog you want. Think about your interests and do a little research to see if there are groups that support the niche. One of the biggest growing communities is Mom Bloggers. Companies have figured out that Mom’s read blogs by other Moms’. If a Mom recommends a product or recipe, odds are the product or recipe will be a hit for other Moms’. Health related blogs, techie blogs and blogs about blogging are all popular too. 

If you decide to start a Mom blog, there are plenty of sub-niches within that category. Here’s a good list of niche’s within the Mom Blogging community

Web Hosting and Domain Name

If you’re looking to make money with your blog, you need to invest in a domain name with private hosting. Many popular blogging platforms, like WordPress, Blogger and Blogspot offer free domains, and hosting, BUT you won’t be able to earn money AND YOU DON’T ACTUALLY OWN THE BLOG. So, if your end goal is to make money, you MUST buy a domain and hosting.

Web Hosting

There are many options when it comes to web hosting for a blog. I recommend Bluehost. They offer web hosting WITH A FREE DOMAIN NAME, 1 Click WordPress Install and 24/7 support for only $3.95/month. That’s a pretty good deal and you don’t have to put up a bunch of money to get started with your blog.  It’s a win-win! 

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Domain Name

If you choose Bluehost, you get a FREE domain name. But you still need to consider what your website name should be. My domain name is: organicsunshine.net and the name of my blog is Organic Sunshine. It’s best to choose a domain name that is relevant to your niche. It’s also good to make your domain name as simple as possible. 

Check out this post to learn How to Set-Up Hosting and WordPress for Your Blog.

Blogging Platform

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I’m a huge fan of WordPress, it’s the platform I use for blogging. WordPress is a free software, which means it can be downloaded, installed and changed to fit your needs. They offer thousands of themes (the way your website looks to visitors) and over 30,000 plug-ins (extra add-on’s to your website). This article is helpful for understanding Why WordPress is the Best Website Platform.

Choosing a Theme

Choosing a theme for your blog can be overwhelming. WordPress offers a variety of free themes, but you may struggle to personalize them they way you want. After changing my theme several times, I discovered Elegant Themes. They offer tons of great themes for any type of website. I was looking for a responsive theme, which means it’s mobile friendly and changes to display properly on mobile devices.

I fell in love with the variety of choices Elegant Themes offers. I was also excited that I could pay a small annual fee and have total access to ALL THEIR THEMES. The membership gives you access to helpful support staff who can help you customize the blog and make it perfect. 

Increasing Blog Traffic

The key to making money is to have plenty of people visiting your blog. This can be one of the most challenging things in the beginning. You may feel like you’re writing to an audience of NONE. There are a few ways to increase traffic to your website, without paying sky high fees to traffic companies. 

Blog Hops

Find blog link-ups to join. Be sure you visit some of the other blogs and leave valuable comments. You’ll naturally start to gather more blogger followers, which will organically lead to more traffic. Here’s a super massive Blog Hop and Link-Up list

Giveaways

Another easy way to increase traffic, especially in the beginning, is by hosting giveaways. Check out some of the sponsored post sites below to find brands to connect with. I recommend writing a product review and offering a giveaway for ultimate exposure.

Check out How to Design and Promote a Giveaway on Your Blog

Directories

Find a few directories where you can add your blog. Do a little research into your niche. If you chose wisely, you’ll find a variety of directories to advertise your blog. Directories get your name out there and help you get noticed. My favorite Directory is Top Mommy Blogs.

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Button Sharing 

Button Sharing is a great way to spread love in the blogging world. If your blog meshes with mine, let’s share. Feel free to CONTACT ME. Or visit my button page to grab mine.  Oh and here’s the site that will help you design a button if you don’t already have one: Grab My Button Code Generator.

Organic Sunshine

Guest Posting

During the research phase, find influential blogs in your niche and reach out to the bloggers. You’ll probably make some really cool friends along the way. Ask if you can guest post for them. Be sure to write compelling content that gets you noticed.

You’ll end up writing for free, but you’ll get exposure and a link back to your website.  Hopefully you’ll pique the interest of their followers and they’ll want to follow your blog too. Want to guest post for me? Shoot me an email: nicole@organicsunshine.net. I’m always looking for guest bloggers and product reviewers. 

Making Money

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So, here’s the million dollar question. How do you make money with your blog? It’s easy, if you know how. I want to take the guess work out of it, because it took me years to figure it out! In order to make money, YOU NEED TRAFFIC! So take time to follow the tips above.

Be sure to write compelling content, hit up your friends and family to share your posts on social media. Connect with other like-minded bloggers for cross-promotion. Once you have traffic, you can monetize with Ads and Sponsored Posts. It will take some time to build your blog into a money maker. It’s not a get rich quick scheme, but if you’re dedicated you can make it happen and earn an income with your blog. 

1. Ads and Affiliate Links

I’m sure you’ve heard about ads and affiliate links to earn an income. These are good ways to earn an income with your blog, but again you have to have an audience to see results. Either way, it’s a good idea to get your accounts set-up so you can develop a passive income with ads in the future. 

Below are a few ad and affiliate link sites I recommend:

2. Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are a great way to earn money with your blog. Just be sure you stay authentic and don’t allow your blog to become overrun with sponsored content. The easiest way to find sponsored posts is to join some online groups that can help connect you with brands and companies looking to promote their brand. Be sure to clearly notify your guests that they’re reading a sponsored post, so you won’t get dinged by Google. The links within a sponsored post should be “No Follow” links. 

Below are some sites I recommend for discovering paying gigs: 

You can also connect directly with brands. Be sure to clearly display that you accept product reviews and sponsored posts with an easy way to get in touch with you. Visit my Product Review Request page for some tips. 

Other Ways to Improve Your Blog

If you’re looking for other ways to improve your blog, don’t miss my other How To Blogging articles. I want to help you succeed and I’m always here to answer questions and help you along the way. I even provide Freelance writing services and Blog Design, so shoot me an email: nicole@organicsunshine.net. 

How to Set-Up Hosting and WordPress for Your Blog

How to Design and Promote a Giveaway on Your Blog


Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That’s one of the ways I make money to support the blog and you can do it too! 🙂

Nicole

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About

Nicole is the owner, primary blogger and copy editor of Organic Sunshine. She has a passion for healthy, natural living and hopes to encourage others to live a similar lifestyle. Nicole has a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration and over 10 years of experience working in Cancer Research. She's also an experienced content writer, producing high quality articles on a variety of topics for many online publications.

Author: Nicole

Nicole is the owner, primary blogger and copy editor of Organic Sunshine. She has a passion for healthy, natural living and hopes to encourage others to live a similar lifestyle. Nicole has a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration and over 10 years of experience working in Cancer Research. She's also an experienced content writer, producing high quality articles on a variety of topics for many online publications.

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6 Comments

  1. Under Domain and Hosting you mentioned that certain blog platforms won’t allow for making money but there is no clarification on what exactly you mean by that. Affiliate links and other sources like AdSense can be used on those platforms you mentioned. Please comment here or feel free to send me an e-mail. I would like to know more about why you suggested that these blog platforms can’t be used to make money and what more can be done on to earn money blogging using web hosting. Thanks for your article and time

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    • To say you can’t make ANY money on a free blogging platform isn’t necessarily true. You may be able to make a small amount of money with a free website on WordPress or Blogspot, but your earning potential is limited. Here’s a good graphic, which explains the difference in a free WordPress site and a paid Worpress site: http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/self-hosted-wordpress-org-vs-free-wordpress-com-infograph/?display=wide

      From my personal experience, many brands decline working with blogs that have “blogspot” or “wordpress” in the domain. As a self-hosted blog, you also have the freedom to display and accept payment for ANY AD FORM you choose. Something to remember is that a “professional” or “self-hosted” blogs appears that way. If your blog name was alwaysbecreating.com, it comes off as more professional to companies looking to promote themselves and pay bloggers. Free platforms also limit your advertising options. So, although you may be able to earn a little bit of money with Adsense, the amount of money you earn is minimal. Adsense is the lowest form of income I make on my blog.

      Self-hosted blogs also come with professional emails, so your email could be Mindy@alwaysbecreating.com. Your earning potential with ads and working with brands is expanded because you’re running a professional company. With a self-hosted blog, you’re also in full control of your SEO and URLs, which can give you a substantial boost when someone searches for what you blog about. If you’re easier to find, you’re more likely to have a bigger audience and earn money.

      One thing to remember with your Blogspot website is that it’s owned by Google, so of course they want you to use ONLY Google Adsense. Why would they give you a free platform and let you choose other ads? They won’t. There’s nothing wrong with Google Adsense, and I’m sure plenty of bloggers make decent money with it, but there’s potential for more. I’m approached all the time and paid for ad placement for companies and make much more money in a year than I’ve made the entire 4 years I’ve used Adsense. I know it’s a lot to take in, and if you feel like you’re meeting your earning potential with your blogspot website, that’s great! My experience is if you’re blogging as a business, it serves your purpose to be self-hosted.

      Feel free to shoot me an email, if you’d like to chat further: nicole@organicsunshine.net

      Post a Reply
      • Thank you for your blog and tips on where to start. As a mom and massage therapist i wear many hats and have always thought about sharing my tips and info. It all seemed so confusing and this is a great list for me to start with thank you!!

        deannaraihl.com

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  2. Thanks for helpful information about blogging. I have a question regarding web hosting. I have a yldist website and a domain name from godaddy.com. Do you still use WordPress ? It appears that the yldist format is very similar to WordPress. ( I am totally new to the whole blogging thing, so please excuse me if I ask obvious questions.) I’m not sure how to go about connecting these 3 things. Do you have any advice?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Cindy. I also have a YLDist website. I use WordPress for this blog, and I wouldn’t use anything else. WordPress is pretty awesome because they offer tons of free plug-ins. YLDist actually uses WordPress as well, so if you’re somewhat familiar with that set-up on the back-end, you should have no trouble with your self-hosted blog. I added links directly from Organic Sunshine to my YLDist website. I have them open to a new tab, but it makes clicking around a seamless transition. I also added a YLDist link in my social media bar. I hope this answered your questions and best of luck to you with your blogging and Young Living businesses! 🙂

      Post a Reply

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