How To Start A Blog – A Complete Step By Step Guide
Building your own blog doesn't need to be difficult or expensive.
In fact, you can get started TODAY by following my simple, easy-to-follow steps. People who follow this guide are typically ready to start blogging within 20 minutes, it really is that easy.
My name is Lewis Ogden and for the last 5-years, I have been a full-time blogger. I put Pro Blog Builders together so that more people, just like you, can own their own blog.
This is the guide I wished I had when I first started out. I wasted countless days trying to figure it all out, and I don't want you to have to do the same. So here's my promise to you:
Guarantee: If you can’t get your blog online within 20 minutes by following the simple step-by-step guide below, I’ll complete the process for you.
And, I won’t charge you a dime. Bluehost compensates me in this situation so that you don’t have to. Contact me here if you need me.
Ready to start your own blog? Then jump to step 1 and let's create a blog!
Step 1: The Basics of Starting a Blog
To start your blog you need just 2 things.
- A domain name
- Web hosting
Below I will show you exactly how you choose them, what you need to do and how you can get this done in less than 16 minutes.
Choosing a Domain Name
This is the most exciting part…what to name your blog. A Domain name is the website address you and others will type into their web browser to find your blog. The domain name for this site is problogbuilders.com.
Now unless you need to target a specific country such as the UK (.co.uk) or Australia (.com.au) I suggest you go with either a .com, .net or .org domain extension.
It's also best to go with a ‘brandable' domain name, one that's catchy yet describes what your blog is about or perhaps using your own name.
Setting Up Web Hosting
This is the second and most important decision in setting up your blog.
A web host provides storage space for all of your blogs files, images, and content. It allows you to have your blog accessible on the web.
There are ‘free' options, however, I tried this option when I first got started and let me tell you I was let down badly.
What you need is a web host you can trust and is recommended by others. My personal preference is BlueHost. I have been with them since the very beginning and they have never let me down. Here are just some of the reasons why I recommend BlueHost for your blog:
By clicking on any link in this guide over to Bluehost, you will lock in a huge discount on their hosting service. Simply click through and you will see the Exclusive offer for ProBlogBuilders users. Pretty cool, eh?
I have been happy with the hosting service Bluehost provides for my websites. They provide great customer service, which enables me to recommend them to you with confidence.
Here To help
Step 2: Setting Up Your Blog
91% of people who use this guide are able to create their own blog in less than 16 minutes, with zero additional help.
Now Follow The Steps Below
You’ll have a blog in no time (I can do it in about five minutes):
1. Either click the orange button above or go to problogbuilders.com/bluehost to get your $3.49 per month special rate at Bluehost and click ‘Get Started’:
2. Select your plan. For new bloggers, I recommend the ‘Basic' Plan
3. Enter the domain name you would like for your blog. If it isn't available you can enter another option of go with one of the suggested domains.
4. Once you have a domain that's available, left click the blue “Next” button to visit the registration page where you will create your account by entering your payment details:
5. Then choose your hosting package by selecting the “Basic 12 month” option and un-ticking the boxes highlighted below:
6. The last action on this screen is to add your payment information, check the “Terms and Conditions” box highlighted below and hit “Submit”.
7. Shortly after your account has been set up, you will receive an email from BlueHost confirming your account has been set up. It will also contain the password you need to use to log in to your account.
8. That's the hard part done! We can now install our blogging platform of choice…WordPress. Simply click the “Home” menu item, scroll down and click “Install WordPress”
9. On the next page, click the green “Start” button to start the install
10. Select your domain name from the drop-down list
11. Complete the details as follows, adding your own information. Remember to jot down your Username & Password:
12. You will then see a progress bar indicating that WordPress is being installed…this should take a couple of seconds.
THAT'S IT – YOU ARE NOW THE PROUD OWNER OF A BRAND NEW WORDPRESS BLOG
STEP 3 WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO LOG IN AND START BLOGGING
Guarantee: If you can’t get your blog online within 20 minutes by following this guide, I’ll complete the process for you. And, I won’t charge you a thing. Bluehost compensates me in this situation so that you don’t have to. Contact me here if you need me.
Step 3: WordPress Blog Configuration
In this step, I will show you how to access your brand new WordPress blog and make some important changes so you can have your very first blog post published to the web in no time. Excited?…You should be!
How To Log Into WordPress
The default login URL for any WordPress installation is: http://mydomain.com/wp-login.php
Simply add /wp-login.php to the end of your domain name in the URL address bar of your browser and you will be prompted with the login window:
Here we will use the username and password we created in Step 2. You should have jotted those down on a notepad or in a text editor, if not you can load up your email account and find the recent email you received which has the title “Enter Title Here”.
Once you have successfully logged in you will find yourself on the WordPress Dashboard…get used to seeing this page, this will be your command center from here on!
Permalinks control the way your blog displays its URL and pages.
For example, you can have various forms of permalink:
- Plain – http://problogbuilders.com/?p=123
- Day and Name – http://problogbuilders.com/2016/07/11/sample-post/
- Month and Name – http://problogbuilders.com/2016/07/sample-post/
- Numeric – http://problogbuilders.com/archives/123
- Post Name – http://problogbuilders.com/sample-post/
- Custom Structure – Choose your own
Head over to Settings > Permalinks to change yours. I recommend using “Post Name” as this is the most search engines friendly and it's much cleaner to read for us, humans!
Blog commenting is where you visit another blog you like and become a part of the discussion by adding your thoughts at the end of the article. Not all blogs have this option enabled however, it is down to the blog owners discretion.
You can access the comment settings via Settings –> Discussion from your WordPress dashboard.
From this page, you have a number of options when it comes to what you want to allow and disallow on your blog.
Primarily you should pay attention to the first 3 options:
- Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article – this is a built-in feature of WordPress, it will attempt to notify any other website you link to with a message called a pingback. Which is basically a notification that you've linked to their website.
- Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles – As above, however, this time, it is you that will get notifications when another website or blog mentions your website in the form of a link. This is a great feature to use when you first start blogging as it can help build a network of friends in your market.
- Allow people to post comments on new articles – This simply switches on/off the ability for others to comment on your new blog posts. You can override this setting for individual posts, however, the default setting is controlled here.
Imagine if your blog was a torso, WordPress Plugins would be the limbs. They basically add functionality to your blog for anything and everything you can imagine.
Want to have a content calendar so you can stick to a schedule? No problem. How about having a little popup message to new visitors? Yep, you can do that too.
To access the Plugins section, head over to Plugins on the left navigation menu of your WordPress dashboard.
The first screen show you the plugins already installed:
If you click the “Add New” button you are taken to a magical world with the entire WordPress plugin directory!
From here you can browse or search for a specific plugin/feature you need.
To install a plugin it couldn't be simpler…just click the “Install Now” button in the top right corner of each plugin.
If you want to read more about what the plugin does and how it works, you can click the “More Details” link, located just under the “Install Now” button.
Now there are waaaay too many plugins to list here, but there is one plugin that every new blogger should have, and that is JetPack.
Jetpack has a bunch of easy to use features that enable you to blog faster and smarter, such as easily adding images to your blog sidebar, automatically publish your posts to your Facebook page, and it also allows you to see how many people have visited your blog today, this week, month and year.
Here is how to install it: How to Install Jetpack
Designing your WordPress Blog With Themes
A theme is simply a “Skin” that makes your site look different. It changes the colors, layout and overall look and feel of your blog. So if you ever find yourself getting a little bored of your existing theme, WordPress gives us the ability to change themes with just a few clicks.
To choose a new theme lets head over to Appearance > Themes > Add New and install a free WordPress theme from the WordPress repository.
I usually choose a theme that looks professional and relevant to my niche. For example, if I was starting a Gaming Blog, I would go for a dark color theme, with perhaps red, black and gray are the main colors. Remember, your blog’s design should reflect both you and your personality, but also what the blog is about.
Have a play around with the “Feature Filter” to get even more search options so you can really narrow down the results to just those you really like.
If you’re looking for something a little different, something to make your blog unique and stand out from the crowd then a premium theme is the solution. Here are some options I have personally used:
- The Genesis Framework –This was the first theme/platform that I used and I loved it and still highly recommend it. You’ll also want to look into the available StudioPress Themes.
- Elegant Themes – I think Elegant Themes looks great, is easy to use, and has quite a few different options. It’s also a bit cheaper than the other premium themes listed here. Take a look and see what you think.
- MyThemeShop – They have a TON of options and all of their themes look great. Perfect if you want something you can style exactly how you want it.
Creating Your Core Blog pages
Every blog should have a few specific pages as the bare minimum to get started. This include:
- Home Page
- About Me Page
- Contact Page
Below I will show you how to create these step by step. Don't worry, it's not complicated and one you've done one page, you will never forget how to do it. WordPress makes it so simple for us again.
How To Create Your Home Page
Your home page is typically the root URL of your blog, for example, my Homepage is http://problogbuilders.com. We create this page so that when a reader is looking to get back to the start or the central hub of our blog, they can do so easily by visiting this page.
Simply follow the steps below:
- Click Pages > Add New
- Give the page a name of “Home”
- Ensure the Permalink is your blog's root domain (e.g http://myblog.com)
- Click the blue “Publish” button
You do not need to add any content at this time, later I will show you why. For now, we can move onto creating an About Me Page.
How To Create Your About Me Page
This page will require some content, it's really easy as you will be writing all about…well…YOU!
We go through the same simple steps as before:
- Click Pages > Add New
- Give the page a name of “About Me”
- Change the Permalink to /about (e.g http://myblog.com/about)
- Write a few paragraphs about who you are and what you do
- Click the blue “Publish” button
When writing the about page, stick to my tried and trusted formula below, which includes 3 sections:
- Who Am I
- What This Blog Is About
- How To Contact Me
How To Create Your Contact Page
A contact page provides your reader with a way to get in touch with you should they have questions/suggestions or just want to give you praise for having such an awesome blog.
Again, we follow the same steps:
- Click Pages > Add New
- Give the page a name of “Contact Me”
- Change the Permalink to /contact (e.g http://myblog.com/contact)
- Write a short sentence and include your email address
- Click the blue “Publish” button
Simply follow the steps below:
- Head over to freeprivacypolicy.com and fill in the details as required
- Copy the text generated for you
- Head back to your WordPress dashboard
- Click Pages > Add New
- Paste in the text you copied from step 2
Creating a Navigation Menu
Now that we have some pages on your blog, we are going to create a way for our visitors to navigate around out blog. This is called a “Menu” and it is controlled via “Appearance > Menus”
From here you are just a few clicks away from having your very first blog menu set up:
- Click on the “Create a new menu” link
- Enter a “Menu Name”
- From the left section select your pages we have just created by placing a check in the box next to each
- Click the “Add to Menu” button
- Now you can change the order of the menu items and the text that is shown to your visitors.
Step 4: Learning WordPress
WordPress enables website owners to update page content and operates a blog page through a friendly interface (avoiding the need to learn web design skills).
Before beginning, it’s really important to understand the difference between pages and posts.
Your website will consist of any number of web pages containing updatable content. One of the pages is the blog page (unless you’ve chosen not to run a blog/news page). The blog page can sometimes be set as the home page or it might be a completely separate page called News, instead of Blog.
The blog page of your website automatically lists individual stories (posts) added by yourself. These can be of any length – short punchy updates or incredibly long features or stories. It’s your choice…
Posts are often dated marked (and sometimes the post author is displayed also). They appear in reverse chronological order; as you publish new posts, older posts get pushed down the page. If you’re blogging a lot, it can help users if you categorise your posts. But speak to your designer about this first.
Your design will determine how many posts are listed on your blog page. If you’re showing too few or too many posts, there’s a simple setting to control this in the admin area. You might need to ask your web designer to change this for you.
Once a post drops off the bottom of the page, it can still be accessed using other methods (e.g. ‘Older Posts’ links and Archive pages). And of course, each and every post is individually indexed by search engines.
Pages are more permanent. Typical examples would be your home page, About us, Contact us, etc. Here’s a good explanation from WordPress.com:
Once you publish them, they stay put. They’re handy for timeless content, like an About or Contact Me section. This stuff probably isn’t going to change very often, and you want your visitors to be able to access it easily no matter where they are on your site. Your pages are displayed in a menu somewhere on your blog that’s always visible (usually up near your header or in a sidebar), so people can explore your site with ease.
Logging into WordPress
1. In your favorite browser, go to:
2. At the login screen, enter your username (or the email address for your WordPress account), password and click ‘Log In’.
Forgotten your username?
If you have forgotten your username (or the email address for your WordPress account), you will probably need to contact your web designer for a reminder.
Forgotten your password?
If you have forgotten your password, click the ‘Lost your password?’ text link.
On the next page, enter your username or email address and click ‘Get New Password’. You should receive a link to create a new password via email.
If all else fails, contact your web designer who will be able to reset your password for you.
Using the Admin bar
If you can see the Admin bar (as shown below) you are already logged into WordPress and can click on your website name (in the Admin bar) to go to your Admin Panel.
You must be logged in to edit pages.
Method 1 – from the Dashboard
- Click Pages (left sidebar)
- Click the name of the page to be edited
- Edit as required and click the Update button
(don’t forget to do this!)
Method 2 – from the Admin Bar
- Go to the page to be edited (on the live website)
- Click Edit Page (top right of Dashboard)
- Edit as required and click the Update button
Writing Blog Posts
You must be logged in to write blog posts.
Don’t forget to categorize your blog post if required. Categories can be selected using the tick boxes presented.
Method 1 – from the Dashboard
- Click Posts (left sidebar)
- Click Add New
- Add a title and post content
Select a relevant category (if required)
- Click the Publish button (don’t forget to do this!)
Method 2 – from the Admin bar
- Click New > Post on the Admin bar
- Add a title and post content
- Click the Publish button (don’t forget to do this!)
- Before proceeding, log into WordPress and open the appropriate page or post for editing. Also, ensure that you know the name and location of the image to be added. Your image should be a JPG, GIF or PNG type file.
For example, it could be a file called beach.jpg and could be located on your desktop or in your Pictures folder.
- Next, position the cursor carefully where the image is to be added. You are advised to position the cursor at the very start of a paragraph or heading (or blank line). It’s best to avoid positioning the cursor within text. You will be able to align the image relative to this position later.
- Click the Add Media button (above the toolbars)
- Click Upload Files if adding a new image (or Media Library if adding an image already uploaded).
- Click Select Files and locate the file to be uploaded. WordPress will now import your image to its media library, ready to be used wherever needed.
- When the image has been uploaded, complete the options using the help notes further below. Then press the Insert into Page/Post button.
Add Media dialog box Options
- Title: A short text description of the image
- Caption: Not required unless your design supports the display of image captions
- Alt Text: Usually the same as the title
- Description: Usually not required
- Alignment: As required. None usually works better when the image is positioned on a blank line (paragraph). Left and Right works best when the image is being positioned with text or headings. The available text will wrap around the image automatically. Center is often avoided.
- Link URL: Leave blank (None) or select Media File if the image is to be linked to the full-size version (this allows the user to enlarge the image). You can also link to any web address (URL) of your choice. This could be to another page on your website or an external web page.
- Size: Choose as required. If the sizes displayed are not appropriate for your design and layout, you may need to speak with your web designer. NB – If the image is too large for the containing element, this may cause the layout to break.
Changing the options after an image has already been inserted…
If you wish to edit the options for your image, click the image once and then click the ‘Edit’ button (pencil icon) which appears. Alignment options can also be changed quickly here. There’s also a button to delete an image (displaying a cross).
Another way to create image links
The Insert Link button on the Toolbar can also be used to create linked images (select the image first).
Imsanity! Compress your images to a sensible size
TIP: We recommend the use of image compression plug-ins such as Imsanity. This will automatically resize your image to a sensible size. This is especially important if inserting images which have come directly from a camera. This will save valuable disk space on your hosting server.
If you want to edit an image previously uploaded, go to your Media Library, click the image you wish to Edit and then use the ‘Edit Image’ button underneath the image.
The Media Library
All the images uploaded to your website can be viewed and edited in the Media Library. Click Media in the left-hand navigation menu of the dashboard to view.
Step 5: Let's Start Blogging
Right off the bat, WordPress give us everything we need to start blogging immediately, after all, it is the most popular blogging platform in the World.
To get started all we need to do is log in to our WordPress Dashboard and navigate to Posts > Add New. Once there you will see this page:
Let's go through each of those numbered items to get yourself familiar with the blogging interface:
Don't be alarmed if your's doesn't look EXACTLY like this, various plugins can add elements to your blogging page for easy access. However the main elements we discuss below will remain the same regardless.
- This is where you enter the title for your blog post, make it something catchy and enticing.
- This is the “Add Media” button which lets you…well add media such as images or videos.
- This is the editing toolbar where you can make text bold, center-align things and generally format your post just how you'd like it.
- This is the main text editing window where you type out your content and add images etc.
- The “Publish” section allows you to do 2 things, 1) publish, schedule or save your post as a draft for future editing, 2) preview your post in a new tab using the “preview Post” button.
These are the core sections.
Things To Think About When Blogging
Whilst writing a blog post on WordPress is very simple, there are some other things to think about before you finally hit that Publish button.
Knowing your target market is a must when blogging. It is true that you should write naturally and if you are blogging about your hobby that there's a good chance you already know who your target market is…just write for yourself.
If however you are writing a business blog and are trying to target your ideal customer, you need to stop and think what it is that would want to read, and how you can best deliver that to them.
One of the biggest overlooked factors when blogging is VALUE.
I see far too many blogs throwing out content like it's going out of fashion. Some feel the need to publish a post multiple times per day just to keep up with the Jones'. However, I am here to tell you that VALUE and QUALITY beats quantity hands down every time.
So know your target audience, create a persona if it helps you to frame your writing better…and then use that persona by writing content as if it were just you and your ideal reader together, chatting over coffee.
Titles & URL's
The title of a blog post is by far one of the biggest drivers of clicks to a website. If you can master the art of writing enticing headlines you will be able to grow your visitor base quickly. Take a look at BuzzFeed who have made their name with catchy headlines you just have to click.
People lose themselves for hours at a time on their website and their website, business and income grew all because of great headlines.
URL's, on the other hand, are not so great for attracting visitors but they are great for the search engines. You see Google, yahoo, Bing and all of the other search engines read certain information about your page to determine what that page is about and where it should place you in their search results.
Now the page title is one of those elements, so again not only does your title need to rock, but it should also be search engine friendly. As should the URL.
For example, let's say I have an article about a Kayak I just purchased. being an outdoors person I have a blog about my outdoor adventures and I want to tell everyone about this great new Kayak, let's call it the “Kool Kayak 120”.
The chances are there are people search in Google for this product and also combining that search term with other keywords such as “review”.
So, I would craft my article as we discussed earlier, and I would give it a title such as “Is the Kool Kayak 120 The Best Kayak of 2016? – Read My Full Review”
This title contains both words people will be using to search for this product and it's also enticing to read as I added a question into the title. Kayak lovers will be intrigued and want to see if this Kayak really is the best product of 2016.
Then the URL would be “kool-kayak-120-review”. You see, it's not too long and it's easy for the search engines to read and it also tells them what my article is about.
So keep it simple, don;t try to be fancy or clever as that very rarely works and it will be a waste of your time.
the best thing I ever did for my blogging career was to create a content schedule. In the early years, I just blogged whenever I felt like it, however as your blog grows in popularity and you have an audience that anticipates, heck expects content in a timely manner…you have to deliver or you will lose them.
Create a schedule ahead of time makes things easier. You don't have to come up with ideas on the spot, you always know when and what you're going to write and you keep your audience happy. It's win-win-win.
Here's what I do:
Create a spreadsheet or Google doc. Add the columns “Date – Title – Comments – Published”
- Date – this will be the date you will write/publish the content
- Title – this will be your title or even enter a few ideas in here
- Comments – use this to jog your memory about what the blog post will contain
- Published – a simple Y/N field, just enter a “Y” if you've published the article
Now, grab your favorite beverage and start jotting down ideas. Don't assign dates yet, just add ideas into the Title or Comments columns. Keep going until you have 50. Yes, 50.
If that sounds impossible, try these tools to help:
- http://buzzsumo.com/ – enter a blog URL in your niche and see what their most popular topics/titles are
- https://news.google.com/ – enter some keywords from your niche to see what's happening in the news
Once you have 50 you can then start putting them into some for of order. I try to blog at least 3 times per week, other prefer daily, I would start with a minimum of 2x per week and adjust once you've gotten used to it.
A blog with no visitors is no fun, so let's find out how to get people to our blog and build up an audience shall we…?
Step 6: Marketing You Blog
There's not much point in blogging if there is no one to read it right? You may as well just keep a journal. So we need to do something about it. No don't think that marketing is a dirty word…it's a necessary step that will take your blog from obscurity and place it in front of the very people you are trying to engage with.
This is an obvious place to start. Social media has grown at such a rapid rate over the last decade that we now get our news quicker from our “feed” than we do the television or radio. It's no wonder it's so popular, it's where all of our friends and family hang out and not to mention those cute cat pictures…I digress.
The average Facebook user spends 50-minutes per day (source) on their platform. It is a great way to reach your potential audience and get would out about your blog. You can also create a Facebook “Page” which is similar to your personal profile but for your blog. This will allow you to advertise and/or publish your blogs content to that page which can then be found by people interested in your topic.
Twitter is one of those platforms that works great for some niches and not so great for others. For blogging and marketing, it's great, for a food blog, not so much. This is because a Food Blog is very visual and despite twitter now allowing images to be attached to your 140 characters it is still very limited.
That said you should always create an account and test it out. If nothing else, by publishing your new post on the platform, each piece you write will get a backlink and some potential traffic over to your site.
Now when we are talking ‘visual' niches, Pinterest is your go-to social media platform. With over 80% of its userbase being Female, if what your writing would appeal to Women then you need to be on Pinterest.
That's not to say men's topics don't do well on Pinterest, they can and do. From Beards to Guns, Motorbikes to DIY. There are so many great boards on Pinterest, just check it out and I guarantee you will find something that interests you.
This is another platform that does well with some topics, more so than others. It is great to get your content onto a Google Plus page as it helps to build author credibility and as with all of the above, you get a backlink to each piece of content you share.
Good in front of the camera? You should get on YouTube…it's the 2nd largest search engine, behind Google…and did you know it's now actually owned by Google?
If your topic is visual and your readers/views would benefit from a video then this is the place to be. You can even earn money by allowing ads to play at the start of your videos…some people earn a lot of money doing this.
You can create YouTube Channel via your Google Plus page.
Whatever you like to do in your spare time, chances are that someone somewhere has created a forum for everyone who's into that specific thing to gather together and talk about it.
You can join these forums and get involved talking about what you love and from time to time mention your blog. Don't over do it but if you can help someone then it makes sense. Also, many forums allow a ‘signature' which is placed under each forum post you make, which we can use to showcase your blog.
Visit any other blog in your niche and you will find at the bottom of each article a change to make a comment. This is to continue the discussion and add helpful tips and advice. You can also use this to market your blog in a non-spammy way.
In the image above we have added 4 pieces of information:
- Our Name
- Our Email
- Our blogs URL
- Our comment
When we submit this comment, our name will appear as the person who made the comment, in this case, John Doe. Also, this name will be a backlink to http://problogbuilders.com like so – John Doe
Doing this on related blogs in your field will do 2 things:
- People will read your comments and if they find it helpful/entertaining they will click over to your blog
- The search engines such as Google will recognize this as a backlink for your blog (which is kind of a vote of confidence in their eyes and this helps with ranking in their search results)
Building An Email List
One way to ensure you get returning visitors back to your blog is to start an email list. This is a list of email address from people who have decided to “Sign Up” to get updates from you or for a freebie you offer.
In the industry this is known as a “Lead Magnet”, essentially you offer, say “10 Ways You Can Do X” in exchange for their email address, we call this an Opt-In. The more opt-ins you get the larger your list and each time you send out an email to your list a portion of those (typically 20-40% will click over to read your latest blog post or perform whatever action you have asked of them.
Again, we have software to help us with this task which makes it a breeze.
- ConvertKit – The latest and easiest email marketing tool for bloggers. You get unlimited everything and 30-day refund option.
- GetResponse – I have used this tool extensively. They offer a free 30-Day Trial and I use this software on this very site
- MailChimp – Good for beginners as they offer your first 2,000 email subscribers for free
This is one tactic that can explode your blogs growth and is one I have used for the last few years. Guest Blogging is where you find other related blogs in your niche, build a relationship with the owner and offer to write a blog post for them that they will publish on their blog.
You may think that's strange, why would you waste your time doing that right? We'll here's why…
Inside of your blog post, you will also place a link (or 2) that point to certain pages of your own blog. Now, when your article is live, the readers of your new friends blog will see what you have to say and also pay a visit to your own blog. Which, when used in conjunction with growing an email list discussed above, is the perfect recipe for growing your blog to 10-20k visitors per month in a matter of just a few months.
Step 7: Make Money Blogging
There are several ways you can make money from your blog. In this step, we will discuss some of the most popular methods to get your creative juice flowing.
So let's kick off with by far the most popular way to monetize a blog…Google Adsense. You have likely seen these ads before and may not have realized that the blog owner will get paid for each time someone clicks on an ad.
Here's an example of a Google Adsense block being used on a website:
That image highlight with the pink box above is actually a Google Adsense ad. You can tell by the small blue triangle in the top right-hand corner of the “Unchartered 4 image”.
How It Works
Google have a “Paid Ads” option for business owners to market and promote their products and services. You can buy these ad slots and advertise on other websites and even in the Google search results themselves (see image below).
Those two boxes indicate paid ad placements in the Google search results. So yes, you can pay to have your website show up in Google…however it does cost and that will vary depending on the number of people bidding for those ad spots.
So, what Google does is offer a “cost per click” meaning you pay a set amount each time someone sees your ad and clicks on it to direct to your website. This method of advertising is called Google AdWords.
So, we as blog owners can become the middleman. We use Google AdSense to get paid. We install our AdSense code on our blog and whenever someone visits a page on our blog and clicks on that ad, we will get a portion of that click cost, which is typically around 70-75%.
So if Google charges the business owner $1 per click, we'd get 70% of that, so $0.75 for each click. No too shabby eh!
AdSense works best with sites with a decent volume of traffic. The more traffic the more times your ad blocks are shown.
Affiliate Marketing is similar to Adsense in that we become the middle man between in the customers buying cycle.
For example, let's say we run a guitar blog and we recommend a cool guitar for beginners. We would join an affiliate network that would provide us with special product links/URL's that we would place in our article. Now, when someone who is interested in learning how to play the guitar visits our page and clicks on one of those special links (called affiliate links), they are directed over to the product age and with it, our unique ID is tracked by the affiliate network.
If that person decided to purchase said product, we would get a slice of that pie, with what is know as a commission.
Some of the biggest brands in the world offer affiliate accounts, such as:
There are literally hundreds of thousands of businesses offering us the chance to promote their products in exchange for an affiliate commission. This provides us with millions of potential products we can review or recommend.
One of the easiest and best programs to get started with is the Amazon Associates program. They have the largest range of products and do very well at converting a visitor into a buyer, meaning more money for you!
Your Own Product
This is another great option, however, it requires some time and capital investment to get started. Depending on what your blog is about, there could be any number of products you could create and sell to your audience.
Have a blog about growing a beard? How about a beard oil you source from China and brand it with your own name/logo. Or perhaps a Kindle book about how to grow the best beard.
The possibilities with this are endless and you are only limited by your imagination. Have a look at what other blogs in your industry/market are doing o get some ideas, chances are if you are blogging about your hobby or passion, you may have even purchased some of these products in the past.
That wraps up our lesson on how to make money from your blog. Whilst we touched on just 3 ways, there are many more options that are outside the scope of this guide. However, the three methods above are how I got started and how thousands of others are able to fund their lifestyle and more by blogging.
Even if your ambition is to make some extra pocket money on the side of your regular job, making money with your blog IS possible…I admit, I was skeptical at first until I tried it. Now I do this for a living, full-time from the comfort of my own home…or more recently the beach in Morocco.
Now you've got your blog set up, we'd love to show off your handy work by clicking the button below and submitting your blog to our gallery.