What originally started as a way for amateur writers to express their thoughts and ideas, much like an online public diary, blogging has become one of the most popular ways of making a living, online, in the 21st century. Becoming a professional blogger lets you work from home and talk about your passion seven days a week. Sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that?
However, making a living from blogging has become a little more difficult in recent years, due to the boom in popularity. Research and planning need to be carried out beforehand to ensure that your efforts won’t be wasted on an unprofitable or unpopular niche.
Following the advice in this guide should give you the headstart you need over the competition, and even if you don’t stick it out long enough for blogging to become your primary income source, we’re sure you’ll be able to hit triple monthly digits at least.
What is a blog?
In layman’s terms, a blog is a website that shows posts in reverse chronological order (i.e., showing the latest one first). The original conception for blogs was they were to be used as online diaries or journals. As their popularity increased, so did the blogging options. There are so many platforms to choose from now, as well as the process of making a blog being incredibly easy; there really hasn’t been a better time to start one. No technical skills are needed; most blog owners have no idea about website language and programming and are just “regular” people.
What are my options?
When starting out a new blog it’s likely that you’re looking for free options. You don’t know if blogging is right for you, and would prefer to not have a monetary loss in testing it out. That’s absolutely fine and this is how most people start. Free options usually have limited features, and you won’t be able to make them look like a leading website, but if your goal is just to scrape a couple of hundred dollars per month, then a free platform is an adequate start.
These free options are known as self-hosted blogs, and we have compiled a short list of the top three for you to choose from:
- Tumblr – The simplest platform out of them all, Tumblr blogs are better aimed at those who like to share and reblog images of interest. Although this may be a good one to start with, it’s likely you’ll struggle to earn an income, compared to the other popular options. Your domain will end with “tumblr.com”.
- Blogger – As the name suggests, Blogger is a very good option from the folk at Google. You’ll be able to customize your theme, and your domain name will end with “blogspot.com”.
- WordPress – WordPress is pretty much the kind of self-hosted blogging, as well as those who own their own hosting. Easy to set-up and is free, WordPress offers a decent option to those looking for a good blog platform. Customization is fairly limited, but there are lots of decent themes available. Your domain name will end with “wordpress.com”.
If you want to skip the free options and get stuck in with paid hosting, then choosing any hosting company will usually give you the option for having WordPress, as well as other paid blogging options, installed for you.
I already have a blog, how do I make money?
You’ve now created your blog, or you’ve skipped straight to this part as you have an existing blog, and you now want to know how to rake in the cash.
With so many options available, you may find that you want to try a little bit of everything. I would definitely advise against this. Your best bet is to focus on one, or two, advert options and stick to them. Choosing one advert option will make your blog look cleaner, rather than having several scattered all over the place. It will also mean that you get paid quicker, as you’re only waiting for one payment threshold.
- CPC Networks – These type of networks will give you money for every click that your ads receive. The price on these can vary depending on what country the person is from, and how much the business that is advertising is willing to pay. One of the most famous and fruitful advert platforms is Google Adsense. Although Adsense isn’t the only option for CPC networks, it’s the only one that’s worth it.
- CPM Networks – Having a CPM advert alongside your CPC ads can work, as long as you have a lot of traffic. CPM is where you get paid per 1000 unique views. Some of the more popular networks are Casale Media and Adotize.
- Affiliate sales – Affiliate marketing is becoming one of the most popular methods of generating an income. Also, a lot of people doesn’t even realize they’re being referred. An example of affiliate marketing would be, if you sold lawn care products and I referred a customer to you, you would pay me a percentage of the sale. This not only lets me generate money but helps you gain traffic and exposure at the expense of a slightly cheaper sale. A lot of people create blogs specifically to promote Amazon products, due to their Amazon Affiliate Program. The great thing about Amazon is, anything purchased by the individual you referred within 24 hours of that person clicking your link, will grant you a commission.
- Direct Adverts – Selling ad space is another popular way of generating income. If your blog was about dog care, you could let an online pet shop buy a banner slot on your website for a certain price per month.
How long does it take for me to earn?
If you’re looking for a get rich quick scheme, or a way to get out of debt next month, then blogging isn’t the answer. However, if you have the time and patience to commit a few hours a day to your blog, for several months, then you can guarantee that your hard work will pay off and if you’re lucky, pay the bills!