How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners
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Today I’ll be share how to make money blogging for beginners. You may have seen this post: The Foolproof Way to Start a Blog
It’s one of my most popular posts. I talk about starting a blog, what to do, how to start, etc. Today, I’ll be breaking it down newbie style PLUS telling you how you can monetize your blog!
Learn all my secrets to gaining Pageviews, setting up easily, getting photos, and more.
Lets get started. First step to starting a blog is..
Pick a Niche
So, you wanna blog. Kudos! First things first, what do you want to blog about? What is your purpose for blogging?
Just to be crystal clear, in case you don’t know what a niche is, it’s your blog topic. Basically, what you will be blogging about.
Something most people won’t say is that the popularity of your blog depends on, among other things, your niche. A heart jewelry blog may not be as popular as a gluten free cooking blog, for example.
If one of your goals is to monetize your blog and make a healthy income in the future, make sure you pick your niche carefully. Some winners to get you started:
- Start an Business
- Budgeting and saving money
- Healthy cooking
- Making money online
Successful blogs to follow
- Fashion (The Styled Fox)
- Budgeting and Saving Money (The Busy Budgeter)
- Food (Pinch of Yum)
- Make Money Online (Drink Coffee & Prosper)
You wanna hyper focus on your niche. So, if you decide to do fashion, how can you narrow it further? You can do plus size fashion or kids fashion, for example.
This part is super important. Once your niche is picked, move onto blog set up.
Setting up your blog
Here’s a framework for setting your blog up:
- Pick a hosting company
- Pick a domain and buy it
- Pick a blog platform (WordPress, my dear. If you pick Bluehost for your hosting provider, Bluehost has a WordPress installation wizard that’s the easiest thing ever. It’ll help you get your site up and running in no time. Highly recommended)
- Design it (Bluchic and Studiopress are my favorites)
- Add content
- Publish and go live!
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- Highly recommended: A self-hosted blog. This means a blog with your domain name, not a www (dot) yourdomainname.wordpress (dot) com or similar blog, instead just www (dot) yourdomainname (dot) com.
- Your blog platform: WordPress, wordpress, wordpress
- Make sure you have clear categories that make sense (subcategories are great too)
- Have a search bar
- Add a gravatar (See this post from my friend Elna at Twins Mommy
- Make sure you spellcheck and grammar check posts before they go live (Grammarly, darling)
Social Media Bandwagon
Yes, you gotta hop on! Social media is awesome and a great way to get exposure to your new blog. There’s a lot of back and forth about which social platforms to have and which ones not to have.
What it boils down to is…
You get to choose which platforms you want your blog on. I have Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus. I focus on one to really build up, which is Pinterest and the rest I still participate in, but tend to pay less attention to.
Wanna build up ALL the social platforms? If you have plenty of time, go at it. If not, but still wanna tackle each one full force, look at hiring a virtual assistant.
You might enjoy: 6 Reasons Why a Virtual Assistant will Save Your Blog
Social Media Tips:
- Select a profile name that matches your blog or is very similar. Try to have the same profile name on each social platform that you belong to.
- Add your blog url to your bio.
- Use your personal picture instead of your logo as your profile picture.
- Be active and engaging.
- Embrace tools to help you automate, outsource, and be a more efficient blogger.
- Join Pinterest groups. Mine is: BEST OF BLOGGING
Social Media Tools I Recommend:
- Tailwind-for Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook automation
- Boardbooster-for Pinterest automation
- Milotree-for building up social media followers
- Pinterest Strategy Guide-actionable strategies to build up your Pinterest account and increase page views quickly.
Social Media Helpful Reading:
- How to Get 100,000 Instagram Followers Fast
- The Super Tool that put my Pinterest Growth on Autopilot
- 8 Favorite Super Amazing Pinterest Articles
- How to Supercharge your Pinterest Following
- 5 Tips to Skyrocket your Instagram Following
Content is KING, Promotion is QUEEN
Have you heard this before? When you write your blog articles, content is super important. You wanna publish super quality, information-rich articles with NO FLUFF. Your readers will thank you for this, trust me.
- Paragraphs should be 1-3 sentences (one sentence paragraphs do very well, I know it sounds funny but it’s true).
- Lots of photos:you want your post to be easy on the eye and attractive. Add photos, social media graphics, infographics, charts, graphs, etc.
- Longform content rules: Aim for articles that are longer, at least 1000 words. In fact, if you can crank about 2000-3000 word articles often, the search engine gods will shine on you!
- Don’t forget to monetize (we’ll talk more about this later in this post): add text links and banners IN YOUR POST (if permitted by the affiliate merchant).
- Add a newsletter: Don’t skip this, take my word for it. Your subscriber list will be your best friend in the future.
Plugins can be a HUGE help!
Theres a plugin for just about anything from cloaking links to adding fonts.
You don’t wanna go too plugin crazy. Start with the basic ones. You can always add (or remove) them later.
Here’s a list of plugins I recommend, to get you started:
- Yoast SEO- the only search engine optimization plugin you’ll need
- Pretty Link- for cloaking/tracking your affiliate links
- WP Simple Speed- increases site speed
- Akismet- spam protection
- Bluehost affiliator- Easily add Bluehost banners to your post
- Commentluv- Allows commenters to add their site link at the end of their comment
- Contact Form 7- contact form
- Milotree popup- configures with Milotree so you get the popup
- SumoMe– huge suite of analytics and engagement tools
- WP Smush- reduce image size/optimize images
- WP Super Cache- fast caching
Additional plugins that I use:
- WPConvertkit- configures with Convertkit so you can add short codes within your posts for subscriber capture
- Revive Old Post- helps to drive traffic from old posts to Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn
- Quick Adsense- ad Adsense code to the body of your posts
- Medium- cross post to Medium platform
My Promotion Strategy
First, you wanna have an 80-20 balance of promotion to content. That means 20% content/80% promotion. The big focus is promotion. Don’t get me wrong, a strong article is a MUST, for sure, but if your post doesn’t get seen, its a moot point. Do you feel me?
Now, for my personal promotion strategy.
The minute I hit publish:
- Post to: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Stumbleupon
- Add to share for share Facebook group threads (Check out my Facebook group Pinning Ain’t Easy)
- Add pins to Tailwind calendar and Boardbooster queue
- Answer 10 Quora questions and insert my post link in my answer
That’s about it.
Content Tools I Recommend:
- Outbrain: paid syndication if you want to go the paid advertising route. Outbrain is SUPER AMAZING and produces great results very quickly.
- ConvertKIT: Great for collecting subscribers and newsletter distribution
- SendinBlue: Subscriber collection and newsletter distribution
- Canva: Easy to use and versatile graphic design tool for creating pinnable images
- Grammarly: Spellcheck and grammar check tool
PRO TIP: Before you launch and go live, consider preparing at least 10-20 articles that you can publish to your blog right away.
This beats killing yourself to produce A TON of articles in the first few weeks that blog is live (and getting burned out). You want there to be a good variety of content on the blog so your readers will stick around and be able to look around a bit when they visit your site.
Make Money Blogging for Beginners
Yes, it can be done! Monetization shouldn’t be the focus right away. Take some time to fall into a nice blogging schedule, network, make friends, get to know your readership, etc.
When you’re ready, it’s time to monetize!
Making money blogging as a beginner can happen. Look at these successful newbies:
- $4,010 in 7th Month of Blogging by The Practical Saver
- $400 in 2nd Month of Blogging by Moms Make Cents
There are so many ways to make money blogging: freelance writing, sponsored posts, sponsored tweets, affiliate marketing, create your own products, etc.
Figure out how you’d like to start. Here are some helpful sources:
How affiliate networks work?
Basically, YOU are the affiliate and promote a merchant’s products for commission.
If you make a sale, or a lead (varies according to merchant program) you will get a commission. This is no additional cost to the customer. Your commission fee comes out of the merchant’s pocket.
When you join a network (like those shown above), you will get your choice of working with all the merchant’s in that network.
You browse through merchants and pick the ones you wanna promote.
Step 1: Apply to the affiliate network
Step 2: Get approved! (Yippee) Keep in mind, each network has a screening process and approval is not guaranteed.
Step 3: Search merchants, apply to promote them, upon approval, get links, banners, and other promo tools to start promoting.
The merchants you decide to promote are based solely on YOU. You get to pick who you want to work with.
Examples: A fashion blogger may promote a clothing store merchant or footwear brand. A food blogger may promote a kitchen appliance merchant. A kids blogger may promote a toy brand or kids clothing retailer.
How to Promote?
Generally, promotion methods are by content marketing (this means promoting in your blog posts and on your blog), email marketing (this means sending your subscribers merchant info, text links, and banners in the newsletter), social media (promo via your social media channels), paid advertising (like Facebook ads, etc.), etc.
Each merchant will have specific rules you must follow for promotion so make sure you review them carefully.
What are sponsored posts?
A sponsored post is an arrangement where YOU, the blogger get paid to post on your blog. Whoohoo!
This is truly getting paid to blog. Sponsored post opportunities can be quite lucrative and you can bank a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars per post!
Check out network of interest (above) to get started.
CREATING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
Product creation usually comes from more seasoned bloggers that have gotten their feet wet in the blogging game for some time but really, don’t let that stop you! If you wanna try your hand at creating an ebook or guide, then do it! I certainly did.
After 2 months of blogging, I created 2 ebooks! And, have gotten sales. Take a look at them below:
Skyrocket your Instagram Following-an ebooklet about how I grew my Instagram accounts to over 150,000 followers with record speed. I share the exact strategy I took to get me there.
Website Flipping: My Secret Formula for Banking $80,000 in 2016: I share my website flipping story and a secret strategy that is a rinse-and-repeat formula that can help you flip site after site.
Some places to help you sell your digital products:
RECOMMENDED BLOGGING COURSES
I am a nut for taking a course. I love them! Any time I can learn, it benefits me. I make more money, I gain a new skill, I am more proficient at a task,etc.
Here are some top blogging courses that I have personally taken and LOVE:
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: The ins and outs of affiliate marketing. Learn Michelle’s secrets and tips to earn her over $50,000 per month in affiliate income. Highly recommended.
Strategies Worth Sharing: Learn how the author went from 2,000 to 100,000 Facebook likes in just FIVE MONTHS! Her ebook is thorough and a great read. I just reread it for the second time, a few days ago. Winning strategies here.
17 Strategies I Used to go from 17,000 to 350K+ Page Views in 9 months: This ebook takes the cake! You’ll learn actionable strategies that will get you traffic. I just finished this book about a week ago and I’m so excited to put Lena’s strategies into play to boost my traffic. Very affordable and highly recommended.
Building a Framework: I’m still going through this course but I love it so far. There are 3 packages. GET the $75 one (you’ll thank me later). What you will love? The creator, Abby interviews a bunch of experts so you’ll have a huge resource library of videos from experts about blogging, Pinterest, traffic, and so much more!
So, at this point, you would have:
- Picked a niche
- Selected and bought a domain (Namecheap is great)
- Picked a blog platform (WordPress, darling)
- Got hosting (Bluehost is recommended)
- Designed your blog (Studiopress is where I got this blogs template)
- Set up social media accounts
- Written content
- Dabbled into monetization (maybe)
Helpful reading on Making Money Blogging:
- How to Make Money Blogging with Flexoffers
- 12 High Paying Affiliate Offers for the Money Hungry
- 20 More High Paying Affiliate Offers for the Hungry Blogger
- 8 Ways to Make Money Blogging
That’s all I have today friends! Go forth into your make money blogging journey.
Already earning a living blogging? What are your favorite ways to make money blogging?
PRODUCTS YOU WILL LIKE
WEALTHY AFFILIATE: The best beginner blog training I have taken. It spells everything all out! 7 phases total and helps with everything from setting up your blog on platform to PPC advertising to Facebook and more! Truly amazing. Highly recommended.
BLUEHOST: Amazing web hosting starting at as low as $1.95/month! Streamlined set up and easy integration with WordPress. Check out The Foolproof Way to Start a Blog. Bluehost is currently the host used for this blog, Drink Coffee & Prosper. Highly recommended.
CONVERTKIT: Newsletter services to your subscribers AT ITS FINEST! I have to admit, I am not a techie, AT ALL! ConvertKit makes it all so easy. Lots of easy tools, streamlined newsletter creation, affordable packages. It takes me a few minutes to shoot out a newsletter to the blog’s thousands of subscribers. Easy peasy. You’ll love ConvertKit!
BOARDBOOSTER AND TAILWIND: I’ve tried these Super Pinning tools separately but I have BOTH! The minute I made that change, my repins increased by 200X, no joke! I love the features and tools from both. You’ll like the simple, easy navigation of Boardbooster. Not too complicated at all. Tailwind has tribes! Another awesome way to connect and grow your pins exponentially. They are both very affordable. A must have and my secret weapon for exploding my blog pageviews!
MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING COURSE: Join the ranks of Michelle Schroeder and be on your way to earning $50,000/month in affiliate income like she does! In fact, she had a record SIX FIGURE MONTH in July 2016! Learn from the very best. Read my full review of her course on my post, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Reviewed.