Does having a blog make you money? If you’ve ever thought about making money online then it’s quite likely you’ve asked yourself this question. The simple is yes having a blog can make you money.
However, simply having a blog doesn’t guarantee you’ll make money. A money making blog is just like any other business – if it’s not done correctly, it won’t make you any money; do it well and could make you plenty.
But be aware from the outset; it’s not an easy or quick route to making money. There are plenty of internet marketers who will tell you they hold the secret that will make you buckets of cash if you just pay them and follow their trusted formula. It’s not to say that none of them are to be trusted as there are plenty of great tutors out there but the best ones will always be upfront about the amount of effort required to get a blog off the ground and generating income.
There’s a lot of things to learn and integrate in order to create a successful blog but the great thing is you don’t need to learn all of them at once and you don’t need to implement everything all at once. Get the core basics right and you’ll be on the right track.
If you’re still reading and are still keen on starting a blog then congratulations because if you can persist with it, blogging still offers one of the best ways to make money online.
Below we’ll take a look at:
- How you can monetise your blog
- The steps you need to take to start your blog
How Can You Monetise Your Blog?
A blog can be a great tool for making you money through driving users to your content.
There are 5 main ways that you can monetise your web traffic with a blog and make money:-
1 – Affiliate Marketing
One of the most popular ways to monetise blog traffic is via affiliate programs. These programs will pay out a certain $ amount when you refer them customers who purchase their products or services. Possibly the most well known affiliate program is Amazon’s with stories abound of people making life changing money referring shoppers to Amazon products.
They’re not the only game in town however, with plenty of other networks out there offering good commissions for referrals to their products.
Clicks are tracked via cookies and when someone buys after clicking on your link you get paid a commission.
One of the best things about this form of monetisation is that you can (theoretically) start making money with very few visitors especially if they already plan to buy
For example if you had a blog about cycling you could write a series of posts about your favourite types of kit (e.g. lights, bags, cycling shoes) and then link to them on Amazon.
2 – Advertising
Another major way you can monetise your blog is via advertising. There are several platforms out there that will pay you a fee everytime someone either clicks onto an advert on your website or simply sees the ad.
In most cases ads will also be relevant to your content so for example in the cycling blog example if you wrote an article about a recent road trip to Austria, you may find adverts being displayed relevant to that location or products related to cycling tours like insurance.
The most well known ad platform is perhaps Google Adsense where advertisers compete for ad space on your website.
Google Adsense’s own calculator estimates you could make as much as $4k – $7k per month if you have a page that gets at least 50,000 views.
The one major barrier at least at the start for most bloggers is the number of page views you need to start making any real money. However, there’s also nothing stopping you from signing up from day one with zero traffic and seeing the ad revenues grow alongside your blog.
In addition, it’s probably better for your readers to get used to ads from the beginning rather than introducing them later on.
3 – eCommerce
Selling your products or services through an online store is another great way to monetise your blog. This is one of the oldest models but still one of the very best as just about everyone now shops online.
When it comes to physical products you can create your own or sell other companies’ stuff. One of the best ways to sell other company products without having to pay for the inventory upfront is via dropshipping. This is where you display products stocked by others on your website and only order them once a customer actually pays you. It’s a great way to make sure that you don’t invest any money unwisely as you only respond to actual customer demand.
For example in our cycling blog, you might setup a t-shirt dropshipping shop on your site that sells clothing related to cycling and your adventures.
The margins aren’t always too large for dropshipping which is why developing your own product can be attractive if you can find the right item.
4 – Subscriptions
Another alternative source of revenue for your blog could be to offer subscription services for users of your site. This is where you charge a monthly or yearly fee for readers to have access to content or tools or materials that others do not have access to at a price. Think of a newspaper or magazine that has a paywall for certain content.
This can offer a steady and consistent revenue stream as you know how much you’ll get each month for each user you can sign up.
On the cycling blog you might offer a paid subscription service for users to receive exclusive tips on the best riding locations, best upcoming events, exclusive content and how-to videos on different elements of maintaining and handling their bikes.
With a model like this one of the main things to make sure is that you’re offering your subscribers real value.
5 – Coaching
An increasingly popular form of monetisation for your blog is via offering coaching or training services.
If you are in a category that easily lends itself to providing training material on various topics then this could be a good way to add a revenue stream to your blog.
With this avenue, you offer users training material through videos, how-to articles and tools on particular topics. In our cycling blog, this could be courses on advanced riding techniques for example.
Creating learning material can take a lot of effort upfront but if you pick the right topic and you have an engaged audience it could be a revenue earner for some time.
What Steps Do You Need To Take To Start A Blog?
Now you know the 5 main ways you can monetise your blog, let’s take a look at what steps you need to take to actually start your blog.
Step 1 – Decide On A Topic (Niche)
The first thing you need to do is pick a topic for your awesome new blog. The main driving force behind your blog is good quality content. So ideally you want to pick something that will keep you interested and prepared to write consistently.
When deciding on a niche, as well as thinking about a topic that interests you, try to make sure it’s something that will have a big enough audience to make it viable.
A good way to make sure there’ll be enough potential traffic for your new site is to do some keyword research. Simply put keywords are words and phrases in your blog’s content that make it easier for users to find your material via search engines. Keyword optimisation is a big part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you can find the right keywords from the start of your blogging journey it will make it much easier to rank highly on Google and other search engines like Bing, driving a good level of organic traffic to your website.
There are plenty of tools out that can help you find keywords that have a good level of search volume and won’t be too competitive. One of our favourite ones is KWFinder by Mangools:-
Step 2 – Select A Great Domain Name
Once you have your niche selected, it’s time to find a domain name for your blog. A domain name (URL) is the address that users type into their browsers to find your website. Think of it as the address for your house.
When selecting a domain name try make sure:
- It’s memorable
- It’s less than 15 characters long
- It does not contain any hyphens (associated with spammy sites)
Step 3 – Select A Web Host
Once you have a domain selected, it’s time to choose a web host. Selecting a web host is possibly the biggest decision you’ll have to make as it can make or a break a web site in the long term.
Web hosts provide the necessary infrastructure to make your site live and visible to customers. Think of the web host as the land your house sits on (except it also comes with connections to the utilities). Web hosts allow you to rent out server space alongside other websites typically for an annual or monthly fee.
There are plenty of options out there but our favourite and the one we recommend is Bluehost because:
- They offer excellent 24/7 technical support
- Offer great value for money
- Comes with automatic WordPress installation
Step 4 – Setup WordPress
WordPress is one of, if not the, most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world. A CMS is a fancy way of basically saying a website builder.
Most blogs setup today will be powered by WordPress. It’s so popular because it’s so easy to use and does its job very well.
The great thing with Bluehost (step 4) is the fact when you are setting up your account, it will automatically install WordPress for you. This means as soon as you’re signed up you can get cracking with designing your website.
Step 5 – Get Writing
Now that you’re all setup the only thing left to do is to create great quality content.
The more you write, the easier it will become. Some people manage to get blogs up and running posting one or two articles a week; others with more.
Whatever you decide, just make you keep it consistent.
Does Having A Blog Make You Money?: Tell us what you think.