I have been blogging full-time for a while now, but I still meet people everyday that don’t know what blogging is, or how I manage to make money from it. They tend to look at me strangely when I say that I am a Blogger because some just don’t know what that is. So, for today’s post I wanted to go back to basics.
This is quite a lengthy post, so I have split the post up into two sections. The first ‘How To Blog‘ looks at the basics of what a blog is and how you go about setting one up. ‘How To Blog For Money‘ looks at ways of making money online with a blog.
How To Blog
What Is A Blog/Blogging/Blogger?
The dictionary definition of a blog is; [quote]‘…a website containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc.’ [/quote]
A blog is essentially a website that posts articles written by one or more people that have something specific to say. Many people write a blog about their own life, sort of like a public diary where they can openly talk about their interests, opinions, favourite foods, what happened that day, etc. But blogs can be much more professional and written on a specific topic, just like this site!
A blogger is simply someone that writes or maintains a blog online. It doesn’t matter what you write about, or if you make any money, if you write a blog, you are a blogger. I am a blogger because I run this very blog (and others) that you are reading.
Blogging is a general term that relates to anything to do with a blog.
Fairly straight forward I know, but that’s the basics covered.
How Do I Set Up A Blog?
Many people find the thought of setting up their own website daunting or really complicated. I myself had the same thoughts before I started, but I found that actually it’s really simple & easy!
Essentially, to get a site up and online, you need 3 things!
- Domain Name – This is the address of your website, for example this site’s domain name is www.OnlineIncomeTeacher.com.
- Web Hosting – This is where all of the data for your website is stored online. This means that your site is available 24 hours a day to anyone that wants to visit it, rather than just when your computer is switched on.
- WordPress – This free software helps you easily run and design your website. You can choose from over 100,000 different layouts and thousands of free plug-ins, add content, edit your pages and so much more. This website runs on WordPress, just as millions of others.
That is it! That is all that you need to get a basic site up and running, which takes only a few minutes. Read our in depth guide to setting up your own blog to help you get started. Then you just need to get down to business and actually start writing your blog!
Picking a Topic To Blog About
There is an infinite amount of topics that you could write a blog about. You could, for example; blog about your favourite film/video game series, favourite foods, holiday destinations, music, fashion, health, etc. the list is endless!
One piece of advice that I would highly recommend is that you pick a topic that you are passionate about, a subject that really interests you! You will need to write about your chosen subject regularly, so being interested makes it so much easier.
How To Blog For Money
So now that we have covered the basics of what exactly a blog is, how can you make money from blogging?
These days, blogs are big business! A lot of major businesses use blogs to help attract people to their websites, where they can promote their own products. But there are plenty of major websites that make money solely from posting regular blog posts on a specific subject. This is because people like reading blogs.
Read our ‘Top 50 Earning Blogs!!!‘ list to see some of the best currently online making huge amounts of money.
Blogs are a very lucrative piece of web property, because they have the highest return on your investment. This is because they require almost no investment to set one up, but can result in high profits!
Now, this all sounds great, but to ensure your success as a blogger, you have to make sure that you are getting into the right niche to begin with!
Picking A Profitable Niche Topic To Blog About
Like I said earlier, there are an infinite amount of topics that you could build a blog around, but many of them won’t make you any money because they are either too general, or far too specific. For example, a site that focuses on entertainment would be a bit too general for an individuals blog, especially if you are writing one week about films, and the next about musicals. People would be confused about exactly what you are focusing on, therefore they will go elsewhere to find what they are looking for.
Similarly, a site narrowly focusing on films made in 1965 may not attract that many people. Yes, there probably will be people interested in a site like this, but you are limiting yourself to that narrow market. You won’t be able to make much money from a site that is too narrowly focused within a small niche.
A better idea would be to base your blog on films in general, or perhaps a certain genre of film like comedy or horror. That way, your visitors know exactly what your site is about, whilst being broad enough to be able to develop your site over time, after all there will always be comedy/horror films made.
Still remember to pick a niche subject that you are interested in. You could pick a great niche topic, with huge potential, but if you are not that interested in it, then you won’t put the work in that is needed to eventually make you money from it.
Currently, there are three huge profitable niche topics online. These are; ‘Health & Fitness’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Money & Finance’.
Developing a blog within one of these three niches is a good step towards making money online. To learn more about the potential of these niche topics, read our ‘3 Profitable Niche Blog Topics – How To Select A Blog Topic That Makes the Most Money?‘ article.
So once you have selected your blog topic that you want to concentrate on, and you have set up your initial blog site, you will be able to make money, right?
Whoa! Hold your horses! You can’t even begin to think about making any money yet. First you need to produce some blog content!
Blog content can come in many forms, be it blog posts (like this that you are reading), videos, images, competitions, games, infographics, tutorials, etc. Whatever your content is, you need to make sure that it is of a high quality. It is this content that helps to bring in visitors to your site! You can’t expect people to visit your site and read/watch any old rubbish, they will just navigate away. It is your job to produce something of quality that people want to read/watch and ultimately keep coming back for more.
Your content is by far THE most important part of your website, as it is this that draws in traffic.
[quote]Content = Traffic & Traffic = Money[/quote]
There is a lot that I could say here to help you create better content, but frankly there is far too much to include in a single post. Luckily, you can find a growing selection of articles on our site, based on creating quality content for your blog. Click on the link ‘Writing Content‘ to find loads of helpful information that you can use. A great starting point is our post on ‘10 Steps To Write Amazing Content‘.
Getting Traffic To Your Blog
Now that you are growing your site with quality content, you can begin to make some money.
WRONG! Like I said above, Traffic = Money, so before you can even think about making any money, you need to start promoting and spreading the word about your website!
There are literally millions of websites currently online, with more being added every day. This means that you have to work at promoting your site, to let people know about your site. Nobody will visit your site if nobody knows that it exists!
There are many ways for you to do this and thankfully the majority are completely free, but it still requires work. Some of these include; On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, submitting to Search Engines, Social Bookmarking, Forum Marketing, Blog Marketing, etc.
Don’t worry! That list may seem complicated, but it’s not that hard to understand the basics. Get started with our ‘4 Ways To Build Traffic To Your Website‘ and find more in-depth articles in our ‘Getting Traffic‘ section.
Making Money With Your Blog
Now that your site is attracting some traffic with your growing number of quality content, (Finally!!!) we can look at ways of making money with a blog!
The great thing about blogs is that they work differently than almost any other business. Lets say a business produces a product. Once that product has been sold, another product needs to be made to replace it (I know that is simplified). So, you can only make money based on the volume of product that you are selling.
With a blog, your blog content is your product that you are offering. Once it has been created and published on your site, that is it! Essentially, everyone on the planet could access it, without you ever needing to touch it again, freeing up time for you to produce more content, which over time grows your site.
But how do I make money from it? Well, in a number of different ways! Once your content is drawing people to your site, you can promote products, displays advertising, sell your own products, affiliate marketing, etc.
Read our ‘30 Ways Your Website Can Earn You Money!‘ for a bunch of ways that you can potentially make money with your blog. This is a great starting point and will open your eyes to the huge potential a website can have. Don’t forget to check out our ‘Making Money‘ section for regular posts on ways to monetize your blog.