Your Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Blog and Make Money
If you've made it here, chances are you're a mom and want to know how to start a blog and make money with your blog. You want to write about your passions and things you love and at the same time make money so you can stay at home with your family.
You're in the right place!
I'll show you how to start a blog and the strategies I used to grow this blog here to make a full-time income at home.
I'm sure you can find hundreds of guides on "how to start a blog and make money" online, but in this guide I'll go several extra steps to help you create a blog today, but also to start creating money with a new blog.
This post contains a lot of tips so be sure to bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest so you can come back to this article later!
WHY DID I START BLOGGING?
When I was pregnant with my child, I knew I wanted to stay home with him.So, it became my goal to find a job at home that would work for me so I could afford to stay at home.
I had worked as a freelance writer before I started blogging, but I wanted to do something more creative, something that reflected on me, and something I'd like to do for years and at the same time would make me money.
I enjoyed reading other people's blogs and enjoyed sharing my ideas. And I thought to myself that if my writing clients made money from my writing, why can't I do the same for myself?
So, the idea of creating this blog was born!
But I'll be honest with you.When I started blogging, I was a real beginner.
I had no knowledge on how to make money with blogging.I didn't know what affiliate marketing meant, and I didn't know how to create a self-hosted WordPress blog.
I had no idea how to monetize this blog and I didn't even know what plugins were for.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry.You can still create a blog to make money even if you don't know these things for now.
In short, this whole blogging thing was new to me. However, I have come across many stories about moms like me whose lives have been changed because of blogging.
They made money blogging in ways I never thought were possible!
Inspired by other mom bloggers, I decided to learn the ropes in blogging.I also made a lot of mistakes, but in less than a year I started earning, at least $ 1000 a month, from ads through Mediavine.
Quickly moving to 23 months in blogging, I earned $13,000+ in a month!Nearly $11,000 of which was "passive revenue" from display advertising and $2,000+ from promoting other people's products or services (affiliate marketing).
I am not really comfortable sharing these numbers. That will probably be the last income-related numbers you'll hear from me on this blog. I only wanted to inspire you and give you one possibly life-changing idea on what you could do with your spare time today and what you could earn in the future if you started your blog today.
AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SPECIAL
Many people never get past this hurdle of getting their blog set up because they think they are not special. If this describes you, I want to tell you that you don't have to be really special to start making money blogging.
My blogging story isn't even unique, I am far from being special, and I am not even a great writer. But this only proves to you that you can start a blog and make money even if you are just like me.
You could be a homemaker sharing your best ideas on how to organize your home, a mom sharing your parenting tips or recipes that your friends or family love, maybe an adventurer who wants to share your travels with the world, or like me sharing my knowledge on how to save and make money from home.
I must admit, though, blogging isn't a get-rich-quick scheme and while some bloggers made money in their first month blogging, the majority made $0 in the first few months.
If you are looking for extremely quick results, you are going to be disappointed.
But if you are committed to your blog, you deeply care about the topic you are writing about, and you are willing to learn how to grow your blog, I believe you will succeed.
HOW TO START A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY
If you are now ready to learn how to start a blog and make money fast, I want you to follow these steps:
1. KNOW WHAT KIND OF BLOG YOU WANT TO START.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to blog about?What am I passionate about?
- Who are my target readers?
- I see myself writing in this niche for years?
- Is there a profitable need for my arguments in mind?
While you can blog pretty much anything, you also want to make sure there's a profitable need for your niche.After all, your goal is to make money from your blog, right?If no one cares about your posts, no one wants to come to your site (except maybe your family and friends).
Therefore, you want to write about topics that many people can relate to and that will help you attract more visitors.Below I've listed some examples of popular mom blog topics you might want to write about.
- Making money
- Fragial life
- Home decorations
- Health & Fitness
- Weight loss
- Food / recipes
I want you to really think about it because you want your blog name to reflect your topic as well.
2.CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM
I know that many, if not most of us, are hardly tech gurus, which is why choosing to start a site or blog on WordPress or any of the affordable blogging platforms is a smart and affordable choice.
The great thing about using these platforms is that you don't have to pay someone to design your site and set up the features you need.
My blog is set up on a WordPress platform and it was one of the best decisions I made for this blog.What I love about using WordPress is that it's so easy to customize.There are many themes available for WordPress that you can use for FREE and many free plugins to use to optimize your site.
However, your choice isn't limited to WordPress.There's also Blogger, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and more.
3. IDENTIFY YOUR DOMAIN NAME.
Once you've decided on your platform, now it's time to set up your domain name.
The domain name is essentially your web address, the word or phrase preceding .com or .net.Before setting up your blog, it is important to think carefully about the best name for it, so that it is recognizable and memorable, and therefore more likely to generate more traffic and possibly increase sales.
Spend a good amount of time choosing a domain name if necessary. You need to consider the niche you're writing about and what your long-term visions are for your blog.Also think of a domain name that is not excessively long (ideally only up to three words) and one without hyphens and numbers.
More importantly, it's something that should reflect and talk about your brand.If you're a creative mom, you'd want your domain name to showcase the art or art you do.
If you aim to establish yourself as an expert in your field, you can simply use your name as your domain name.However, if your blog is about your business, it's best to use your company name as the domain name as well.
If you wish, you can also get more creative with the domain name.The important thing to remember is that you'll be using the domain name to direct people to your blog, so it's important to choose one that really fits your blog.
For a no-frills extension, I would simply suggest choosing a ".com" extension as it is the most popular and easy to remember.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I could earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links at no extra cost to you.Please read my disclosure for more information.
4.HOST YOUR SITE WITH HOSTGATOR
Pushing away the domain name conundrum, it's now time to decide on a hosting provider.
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS HOSTING?
Simply put, hosting gives your blog its own space on the web.If your blog isn't hosted on its own, it's likely to read like www.domainname.wordpress.com or www.domainname.blogspot.com.
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY FOR HOSTING
Now you might be thinking, "Why not start a blog for free?"While you can start a blog for FREE, I strongly advise against it because it is difficult to monetize a blog on a free platform.
It also won't look professional, so you may find it difficult to find sponsored opportunities.
With free hosting, you can't earn money through advertising because it's the company hosting your site that has control over your advertising revenue.I could never have earned over $1k a month through advertising with this new blog if I hadn't hosted my own site.
So, I highly recommend creating a self-hosted site if you really want to make money with a blog.And it will only cost you $2.75 per month to get started!
Hosting is also an important part of setting up your website because it basically ensures that you are able to provide all the features of your site to your customers.When your blog or WordPress site is hosted by an outside company, you're given enough storage space to keep your site up and running as you'd like.
With the content I share, it is important for me to have a reliable and secure hosting company that will ensure that I will not have problems like my blog breaking when there is very heavy traffic on my site.
I found Hostgator by coincidence and haven't looked back since.They have amazing customer service and all my little concerns are always resolved quickly!
Hostgator is one of the most popular web hosts with over 8 million domains.They have 24/7 support, which you can access by phone, email, or chat; 1 click on WordPress install and 99.9% uptime.
If you've been thinking about blogging for some time and have read tutorials like this online, chances are you've heard of another company (I'm not going to mention the name here) that also offers a free domain name.Many blogs/websites promote this company due to its fantastic referral program.
The same company would also pay me a lot of money to refer customers to them, but I won't because I've heard a lot of complaints against them.In fact, many websites or blogs that promote it are not even hosted by the same company.
You don't want your site to keep breaking down or go through the hassles of switching to another company later.
I have been with Hostgator since I started and have been very happy and satisfied with their service.
You can start your blog with Hostgator here for just $2.75 per month.If you need a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog with Hostgator.
5. START CREATING USEFUL CONTENT.
A blog isn't a blog without content, so once you've set up your blog, now is the time to write your posts. But, if you really want to make an impact and get noticed online, you should focus on creating USEFUL content.Because?Because 2 million posts are written per day and you want to stand out from the rest.
It took me a long time to figure out how to write my posts. When I started blogging, I came across this common misconception that a blog post had to be about myself.
While you're free to include your stories, make sure they're relevant to your topic and can help clarify a point.
If you really want to make money with blogging, focus your attention on creating useful content that will help your target audience.And remember that your blog isn't just about you, it's about helping your target audience.
Over time, I realized that good blog posts are posts that are:
- Useful and providing a solution to a particular problem.This is your main purpose for writing your post.
- Packed with information so your readers don't have to go anywhere else to learn more about your topic.
- Designed for your target audience.It is clear to whom they are writing (e.g. stay-at-home moms, working moms, anyone who wants to save money).
- Easy to read, consisting of short paragraphs and images.
6. LEARN THE DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WITH A BLOG
So, you have already created a blog and written some useful posts, now is the time to learn how you can actually make money with the blog.
The beauty of blogging is that you can choose to have as many income streams as you want and have unlimited earning potential.But as I mentioned, blogging isn't easy and it may take a few months or a year or more to blog for real money.That's not to say, however, that you can't make money on your first-month blog.
But first, let's learn the different ways to make money with a new blog.
Your sources of income aren't limited to this list, but these are the most popular ways most bloggers use to make money from their blogs.
- Ad networks (Adsense, Mediavine, Adthrive)
- Sponsored Posts
- Sponsored social content
- Commercial sites like Amazon
- Affiliate networks such as Flexoffers, Awin, Impact
- Private Affiliate Programs
HOW BEGINNERS CAN MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
As you can see, there are many ways you can monetize your blog.However, many of these sources of income require a lot of work. So, for a beginner, I recommend starting with the following so that you can soon make money with your blog:
1. EARN BLOGS WITH DISPLAY ADVERTISING
Google Adsense is great for beginners and if you want to make money right away, request Google Adsense.As a beginner with little traffic, however, you can't expect to earn much money from this source because, of course, display advertising depends on traffic.
The maximum I earned from Google Adsense before switching to Mediavine was $85.50 in a month.
Yes, it's not much, but advertising income is also like passive income.Once you've set up your ads on your site and you have increasing traffic, the ad money will keep flowing.
When you reach 25,000 sessions per month, I recommend that you turn to Mediavine immediately.I know I keep saying it, but Mediavine changed the course of my blog journey from earning $85/month on ads to at least $5000 per month with a small blog.
That said, while you're still with Google Adsense, keep improving your traffic so you can join higher-paying ad networks like Mediavine.
2. EARN BLOGGING WITH AFFILIATE MARKETING
First, what is affiliate marketing?In short, affiliate marketing is a way to make money promoting other people's products.
Here's Neil Patel's definition of affiliate marketing:
The idea behind it (affiliate marketing) is that you promote other people's products, often through an affiliate network, earning a commission if people end up buying thanks to your marketing.
As a beginner, you probably don't have your own products yet, but you can still make money promoting other people's products through affiliate marketing.You can do this through the following:
JOIN AFFILIATE NETWORKS
Each of these affiliate networks has hundreds of products/services that you can promote on your blog to earn a commission.Sign up with them and browse their offers to see which ones you think your target audience might like.
JOIN THE AMAZON ASSOCIATES PROGRAM
As a beginner, you can immediately apply to the Amazon Associate program to earn advertising/referral fees from Amazon.If there's a product you've mentioned or recommended in a post, link it to Amazon using your affiliate links and you'll earn a commission every time a reader buys an item through these links.
The great thing about using Amazon is that there are millions of products that you can promote and potentially earn yourself a commission.This might work well for you especially if you're blogging about crafts, food, home improvement, motherhood, etc.
3. EARN BLOGS WITH SPONSORED POSTS
Even as a beginner, you can also earn money by writing sponsored posts.I know, because I earned $120 for a 500-word sponsored post even as a new blog blogger in just 3-4 months!So, I increased my fee to $500-$1000+ per sponsored post after a year of blogging.
For sponsored posts, your rate may vary based on the following traffic, niche, or social media.But as your blog grows, you could easily ask for hundreds to even thousands for a sponsored post.
SPONSORED POST OPPORTUNITIES
If that interests you, here are some of the most popular places where you can find sponsored post opportunities for your blog:
- Social fabric
- One2One Network
- Central influence
- Blog meets brand
- Pollinate Media
- Pinch me
HOW TO GROW YOUR BLOG
Traffic is the lifeblood of your blog and I know every blogger would agree on this: more traffic = more money No traffic = no moneyHow do you ask for it?
More traffic will increase ad revenue and potentially increase affiliate revenue.More traffic can also provide more revenue opportunities for your blog, such as partnering with brands, ambassadors, or oral commitments.
When you have more traffic, you can also easily earn by selling your products.More traffic means it's easier to mark sponsored posts, and the list goes on…
Therefore, your goal is to increase your blog traffic to succeed.
SO HOW DID I GO FROM 0 PAGE VIEWS TO 100,000 PAGE VIEWS?
As a beginner, these are the things I did to increase my traffic from 0 in January 2018 to 3,000 page views in February, to 100,000 page views in January 2019.
1. Use PINTEREST
Pinterest is free and can bring tons of traffic if you know how to use it.At the time of writing this, Pinterest is still my main referrer.
There's a lot to learn about using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog, but below I've listed the first important things you need to do as a beginner.Note that there's a lot more to each step, so I recommend doing your research if you need tutorials for each of the steps below.
1.CREATE A PINTEREST BUSINESS ACCOUNT AND ENABLE RICH PINS.
2.CREATE PERFECT PINS FOR EACH OF YOUR POSTS
To promote your posts or blogs on Pinterest, you obviously need to create pins for your posts because Pinterest is a visual search engine.
You want click-worthy pins that stand out on Pinterest so other users want to click, save or share pins.I know mine aren't the best pins out there yet, but I've definitely improved my graphic design skills as I create more and more pins.
There are a few sites or tools you can use to create your own pins, but I do mine on Canva.It's FREE and absolutely beginner friendly.They have many FREE templates plus tons of FREE images and vectors to help you customize your pins to your liking and branding.
3. CREATE YOUR OWN PINTEREST LISTINGS AND SAVE YOUR PINS TO YOUR LISTINGS.
First, create the "Best of your" blog wall that will contain ALL of your blog's pins.That way, if someone finds your profile, they have a board to browse to learn more about your topics and posts.
So, create at least 10 niche or topic cards to rank your posts. For example, I typically blog about money but I write about many topics related to this main theme.So, I created the following topics:
- Financial freedom
- Top money tips
- Budget tips
- Make money from home
- Earn fast
- Housework for mom
I also recently added new boards for recent topics I've added to my blog:
- Budget recipes
- Weekend work
- Women's jobs
Once you've created the themed boards and the best of your blog's dashboard, save your pins to these boards.
Also save other people's pins to your personal boards/topics, as you probably don't have enough content to add.
4. JOIN THE GROUP'S BOARDS OF DIRECTORS
A group card works like a regular card.The only difference is that other people/bloggers can hang on these boards.
Using group boards is a quick way to promote your new blog, especially if you've been able to join the boards of groups whose members are power pinners or big bloggers.If your pin is collected by another blogger and shared with their audience, it's likely that that pin gets more exposure as well.
Make sure to block other members' pins as well.After all, helping each other is the purpose for which these boards were created.
HOW TO FIND GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS
I simply chase other bloggers in my niche and check their Pinterest boards to see what group boards they contribute to.The group councils look like this:
If a group board is open for contributors, then most likely the owner of the group board has left an instruction on how to participate in the description of the board.Simply follow the instructions and wait for the owner's invitation.
There are tons of group boards out there, but you just want to join relevant boards that will generate results for you.
- Join group boards relevant to your niche(s).
- Sign up for keyword boards because Pinterest is also a search engine.Keyword cards are probably more visible on Pinterest than those that aren't.
- Avoid joining "all niches" message boards or "best posts from bloggers" boards.
- Don't join the absurd active boards with over 100 members.You want your pins to be seen by other bloggers as well, but if the stream moves too fast for other members to see and repeat the pin, then there's no point in joining these boards.
I'm constantly excited about this eBook because this was the product that really helped me increase my traffic using Pinterest, from 10k page views per month, to 50k page views and then 80k page views in December.In January 2019, I finally reached 100,000 page views, all thanks to this product.
As a beginner, you may be skeptical of investing in a blog that isn't making money yet, but I truly believe this is a great investment to make if you're a beginner and want to learn more strategies on how to use Pinterest to grow your blog.
I'm not saying this because I'm an affiliate but because I really believe it's a worthy investment for those who are new to Pinterest.It only costs $35 and is chock full of a lot of information.
6. DAILY PINS AND PINS TO YOUR CARDS
Yes, pin every day to group cards and my personal cards.This is MANDATORY if you want to grow your Pinterest account to increase your traffic.
I personally do manual pinning and also automate pinning via Tailwind.But as a beginner, I assure you that you can still grow your Pinterest account without a programmer.
I did manual pinning during my first few months of blogging, but as I wrote more and more posts and created more and more pins, I later decided to invest in a time-saving programmer.
If you want to save time and be able to schedule your pins for the week or month in advance, I highly recommend Tailwind as it is a Pinterest-approved scheduler. You can get $15 credit when you sign up through this link.
2. WRITING ABOUT POPULAR TOPICS
A quick way to increase your traffic is to write about topics that are popular or trending on social media.Honestly, I wish I had done this earlier or had learned this lesson earlier, and that's why I'm here to share with you how important it is to grow your blog.Popular topics tend to gain more traction or are likely to gain shares.
I was able to reach 25k sessions to qualify for Mediavine with just one viral post.So, yes, it only takes ONE viral post to increase your traffic and improve your revenue!
But how to find trending topics?
There are many sites you can use to find trending topics, including Buzzsumo, Quora, LinkedIn Pulse, and Pocket.However, because I promote my posts primarily on Pinterest, I usually only search for what's trending in my niche on Pinterest.Simply hover your cursor in the search bar and Pinterest will tell you in the drop-down menu the current trending topics on the platform.
This means that if making paper flowers is trending and is RELEVANT to your niche, then it might be a good idea to write a post or make a tutorial about it!
I also use Tailwind to see how many reshares other bloggers' pins have, allowing me to see what kind of topics have the potential to go viral on Pinterest.
3. KEEP LEARNING!
There's so much to learn about blogging, so it's very important to keep learning to keep up with trends.
If you want to continue your training on blogging, I highly recommend the following:
LEARN SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)
I understand that as a beginner, there are so many things you need to learn to start your own blog and you need a lot of time to write posts and promote your blog.But I think it's just as important to learn SEO from the beginning. You don't have to learn everything right away, but at least learn basic SEO practices like using keywords, using the Yoast plugin, or optimizing your snails.
I'm really sorry I didn't learn these things from the beginning when I could have read them online.
When you are ready to expand your knowledge about SEO, I recommend taking this course.
Kind regards: this course only opens a few times a year, so if you want to be on the waiting list or know when it will open, take a look and sign up using the link above.
That SEO course is by far the MOST VALUABLE BLOGGING PRODUCT I have ever purchased and that I highly recommend if you want to SEO your site from the start.Thousands of bloggers have taken this course and there are also many successful bloggers within the course!
The course is chock full of information you most likely won't find anywhere else.This course will also teach you strategies on how to outperform the competition on Google.
I decided to purchase this affiliate marketing course in October 2018 to improve my affiliate income by $37 (September 2018).I have read many great reviews about this course because it was created by a successful blogger who consistently earns $50ka per month through affiliate marketing and in this course he shared all his strategies.
After taking the course, my affiliate income increased from $37 in September to:
- USD 65.13 in October 2018 – more details in October 2018
- $262.65 in November 2018 – more details in November 2018's Income Report.
- $397.41 in December 2018 – more details in the December 2018 Income Statement
- $627.81 in January 2018
The course itself is short and easy to follow.And while it only took me a few hours to finish it, the strategies the course teaches take a long time to implement.So, I didn't expect immediate results from this course, but I was really surprised that, even though I was only able to implement a few tips, my affiliate income increased by a month after following it.
ARE YOU READY TO START A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY?
Blogging was one of the best decisions I've ever made.I know I keep saying it here but it's the truth.I really enjoy what I do, I make money with my blog and I can share my passion with the world.More importantly, blogging allows me more freedom and more time to spend with my family and it's a dream come true!
I know, however, that blogs are not for everyone.Blogging requires a lot of work, learning, patience, time, and more, but all of these sacrifices will pay off when your blog starts receiving a significant amount of traffic.
It can help you achieve your financial goals, leave your 9-5, be with your kids full-time, and maybe travel the world and live the life of your dreams.
The thing is… You'll never know how blogging will change your life if you don't try.
Are you interested in making blog money?Why this or why not?What's holding you back?
I sincerely hope you learned from me today.If you have any questions about starting a blog and making money, let me know via my Contact Page or leave a comment below!