Starting a blog is an exciting way to share your passion with the world. Anyone can start a blog as a hobby, side hustle, or business. The financial investment to start a blog is typically quite small. It’s time, patience, and dedication that’s required.
I started my first blog in 2010 without a clue in the world what I was doing. Year one was me basically playing around with no intention of it ever becoming a full-time income source. After three years, the blog started making enough money for me to take it seriously.
With the resources available today, I don’t recommend flopping into blogging as I did if you want to make money from it. Trust me; after nine years of winging it on my main blog, there’s now major cleanup needed. If you’re starting a blog as a hobby, that’s a different story. But this post is about working from home and earning an income from blogging.
Allow me to address some of the questions I often get about running a blog, how to start a blog, and how to monetize a blog.
How do Bloggers Make Money?
One of the first questions people ask me when I disclose what I do is, “How do bloggers make money?” Although blogging is a lot more popular these days, this is still not the quickest question to answer.
The types of income streams for bloggers are usually the same, but the amounts the blogger makes in each category depends greatly on the niche.
For my main blog, I make the most money on sponsored posts, social media shares, and ad revenue as of right now.
Here are several ways blogs can generate an income.
- ad revenue – selling ad space on your site either through an ad network or through brands directly.
- affiliate marketing – promoting products using a special link. If someone purchases through that link, the blogger gets a small commission at no extra cost to the buyer. Essentially, bloggers earn a commission for referring a product.
- sponsored posts – brands pay the blogger to promote them in a relevant article on the blog.
- brand ambassadorships – an ongoing partnership with a brand that includes promoting them in a variety of ways.
- social media shares – sending out sponsored tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos and stories, paid Pins, and more.
- speaking engagements – influential bloggers can get paid to speak at events and conferences.
- courses and ebooks – bloggers can create all sorts of products to sell through their blogs, courses and ebooks being among the most common.
- consulting – charge a consulting fee to teach others once you’re an authority in your niche.
- more, depending on your niche and specialty – there are a ton of possibilities!
What Type of Blog can you Start?
Blogs are started in any topic under the sun which is both awesome and terrifying. With so many new blogs popping up daily, I recommend you choose a topic and stick to it.
If people can tell exactly what your blog is about, they are more likely to subscribe and become a loyal fan.
Some of the most popular blog types are the following:
- Literally any topic
What are the Pros & Cons of Running a Blog?
Running a blog is a lot of work, especially in the beginning. I am not here to sugarcoat anything. In my experience, it’s hours and hours of work.
If you enjoy it, it’s a labor of love. If not, well, you’ll probably tire of it quickly!
Pros: Unique opportunities, partnerships, and experiences. Once you have influence, you’ll be amazed at some of the offers that come your way. As much work as it is, there’s no ceiling. Anyone on planet Earth can contact you with an opportunity.
Cons: Unless you lockdown some sweet ambassadorships or another somewhat-stable monetization strategy, it’s difficult to gauge how your year will go money-wise. It can also take a long time for a blog start earning an income. My experience is not comparable due to my lack of knowledge when I started, and how times have changed now. There are a ton of new bloggers popping up daily with killer skills going through zero awkward phases. Algorithm changes often throw major curveballs, as well. Traffic can change at any time, so there are a lot of variables that affect your traffic and income. In other words, it’s difficult to ever feel comfortable, which is probably true for entrepreneurs in general.
How to Find Blogging Jobs
Maybe you don’t want to run your own blog. Businesses hire bloggers. I suggest checking your local businesses first if this interests you. See if any of them are expanding their websites and adding blogs. Add to your LinkedIn profile that you’re looking for freelance blogging work.
How to Start a Blog
How to start a WordPress blog post coming soon. You can start a free one on Blogger.com, but if you’re even a little serious, I highly suggest you start off right on self-hosted WordPress. That way there are fewer things to go wrong during a transfer later!
As far are the writing is concerned, I do suggest you learn the basics of SEO without obsessing over it. Your focus should be to write quality and helpful content. Shoot for a minimum of 1,000 words in each post and try to answer questions people search for about your topic.
Blogging Tips for New Bloggers
My biggest advice to new bloggers is to do a lot of planning before you launch a new blog. Rushing through any part of the process usually just causes a mess to clean up down the road. On the other hand, you don’t want the planning process to hold you back forever. You have to start to have a chance at success and “Done is better than perfect.”
- Blog name – Take your time with your blog name. Is it too vague? Is it hard to spell? Does it trap you into too narrow of a niche? Is it available across all social media channels? Is it good for SEO? Is it good for branding?
- Blog topic – Think about your passion first, money second. If you’re starting a blog to make money, that’s fine, but money cannot be the main focus. You have to choose a topic you’re passionate about, can write a lot of content for, and something you won’t get sick of easily. If you write about something you love, that shows through in your work.
- Learn before you start – I recommend learning about SEO and blog structure before you begin. Make sure you set up your URLs, pages, categories, tags, etc correctly on your blog from the beginning.
- Focus on quality – It’s easy to get stuck on SEO and become completely frozen in your process. The better approach is just to write helpful content. If you help people, they want to share, subscribe, and click your links. The smarter search engines get over time, the more they consider user experience as a ranking factor. The only way to possibly algorithm-proof yourself (if that’s even a thing) is to publish articles that clearly give the searcher what they’re looking for.
- Be yourself – Find inspiration from other bloggers, but stay true to yourself. Obviously, never ever copy. Your personality will set you apart from others. We see it all over viral memes – There’s Only One You – so, be funny, be quirky, be genuine, and let your readers get to know the real you. You won’t be for everyone, and that’s fine – but your people are out there – so, let them find you! The connection will keep them coming back just as much as the content will.
- Find your tribe – As an introvert, it’s easy for me to put my head down and work for days without human contact. However, it’s so helpful to brainstorm and even collaborate with other bloggers. Seek out Facebook groups of bloggers in your niche. It might take a while to find a true blogging friend, but even if you find one real one, the friendship is invaluable.
Introvert rating: 4 Frenchies
Blogging can be an introvert’s dream. Depending on the topic you pick, a blog can allow you to stay home quite a bit. However, I find that some networking is necessary to stay in the loop and get your name out there. Human interaction is also a must when working with brands and PR companies.
What else would you like to know about starting a blog?