Blogging Advice

How To Start a Blog and Make Money

If you read my recent post My Advice For New Bloggers in 2020, you’ll know that as well as continuing with my blogging focused blog posts this year, I want to direct those posts towards new bloggers more than ever. Bloggers join the industry every day – there’s always going to be need for advice posts. And if you’re a new blogger or thinking about starting a blog this year, this post on how to start a blog and make money will be right up your street!

How To Start a Blog and Make Money

Way back when, the idea of someone starting a blog in order to perhaps turn it into a business one day was just… well, you’d have half of Twitter coming after you with pitch forks. But I don’t see how it’s different from an artist opening an Etsy shop, with the aim of selling their art work and turning their passion into a business.

I agree you can’t jump into blogging and think “great, I have a blog now, so where’s my free sh*t?” – it doesn’t work like that and nobody would give you “free sh*t” with that attitude anyway. But if you go about it the right way, with the right mindset and the right intention, I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to know how to start a blog and make money.

That self-employed life is ALL THE RAGE right now. It has a ton of perks and in today’s economy, working for yourself might be the right way to go. I also think that, especially within this industry, people are being more open and honest about money now more than ever:

Money is a motivator

There’s nothing wrong with being motivated by money

You are worthy of living in abundance

And all that good stuff. So with all that in mind, yes, it’s totally okay to start a blog in the hope that one day you can make money from it, take it part-time or full-time or create a full blown business from it. As long as the passion is there and your attitude doesn’t stink, it’s OKAY. I promise.

So settle down, grab a cuppa, a bottle of wine, a cheese toastie or whatever takes your fancy. It’s going to be a long’un! Here’s the basics you need to know about how to start a blog and make money:

How to start a blog: the basics

Choose a platform: WordPress is the best. But I might be biased. Whatever you go with, you need to choose a blog platform you’re happy with. WordPress, Blogger or Wix are good options to check out. But note that you’ll probably want to go self hosted later.

Choose a bloody good blog name: Ok so you want to start a blog and make money from it? You need a solid blog name. Something that will stand out and something that preferably reflects you and/or your niche of choice. Not something like SexyBitch123.wordpress.com.

Pick a clean, clear and easy to navigate theme: Nobody wants to be traipsing around 12 pages before they can find your recent posts. So a nice clean and easy to navigate theme is always a good option. They also tend to look more professional.

Create social media accounts for your blog: Preferably with the same name or at least something that allows people to recognize who you are. Creating a blog and ultimately making money from it is all about networking and building up a follower base. You won’t do that without social platforms.

Related: Hosting 1010: Complete Guide to Purchasing Hosting For Your Blog – Xomisse
Related: Should You Go Self Hosted With Your Blog? How To Do It and What It Means – Books Nest

Things you need for a money-making blog

Your own domain: Ideally you’ll need your own domain in order to create a blog you can steadily earn money from. Having your own domain means your blog URL doesn’t contain the .wordpress or .blogspot part of it.

A good knowledge of SEO, DA and all that dull stuff: SEO will help with your how your blog posts rank on Google. DA shows how high search engines rank your blog. Both important to have at least basic knowledge of in you’re serious about it, as good SEO techniques can sky-rocket your blog traffic!

Patience, persistence and drive: Making money from your blog can be a slow burner. So you need patience. It can also vary in consistency, so you also need to be persistent. And most of all you need the drive to carry on despite all that.

A visible email address: A pretty basic point but an important one – you NEED to have a visible email address on your socials and your blog. PR’s are NOT going to chase you. If they can’t easily find your email, they’ll choose someone else.

Consistent branding: Similarly to the point above about having the same name on your social platforms, consistent branding including fonts, colours and style is also important for appearances. For example, if you have a blog about minimalism, chances are, your design and branding ISN’T going to be full of neon colours and floral prints etc.

To register with the HMRC: Booooooring, I know. But if you’re earning money from your blog, you need to be registered as self employed / a sole trader. I’m not an expert on the ins and outs of this but check out THIS POST for more information!

A media kit: A media kit is basically a CV for you and your blog and showcases your stats, brands you’ve worked with in the past, a bit about your blog and basically is a chance for you to show off and show brands why they’d be silly not to work with you!

Related: 5 Tips To Brand Your Blog – Charlotte Shares
Related: An Epic SEO Deep Dive: Search Engines, Key Words and Algorithms – Rachael Hope 
Related: 8 Ways To Create KILLER Imagery For Your Brand or Blog – Girly Gabble

6 different ways to make money through your blog

Sponsored posts: A sponsored post is where a brand wants you to write about them and link to them in a blog post. They might provide a brief (e.g “write a post about ‘Ways To Save Money’ and link to us”) or they may give you creative freedom to place the link where you see fit, in a post about a topic of your choice.

Content placements: This is where a brand will provide you with a pre-written post to publish on your blog in exchange for a fee. Not everyone is comfortable doing these, which is fine. I think it depends on the topic (relevance to your blog) and the fee provided. Some of these offer PENNIES for you to publish and they’re always met with a firm no.

Advertising packages: I provide advertising packages for bloggers and also offer sidebar ad space for brands, if that’s something they’re interested in. This won’t make you millions but it’s a nice little extra and also gives you the freedom to create the perfect package.

Affiliate links: This is where someone buys something through a link on your blog and you receive a small % from it. Affiliate links and affiliate marking is very popular and a huge success for some people. Lots of brands and companies have affiliate programmes. AWIN is a good one to sign up for.

Social media promo: If you’ve got a decent social media following and engagements, some brands might want Instagram posts or other social media posts. You see a ton of AD’s on Instagram these days and these beautiful shots are a great way for brands to get their name out there.

Selling your own products: Once you’ve established yourself, you could then look into creating and selling your own products, on something you have a lot of knowledge on and something that you could contribute to the community. As you know, I focus on blogging advice aimed more at beginners, so I sell two relevant eBooks.

Related: How To Get Blogging Opportunities Regularly
Related: How and Where To Find Blogging Opportunities 

Things to remember when it comes to starting a blog and making money

It won’t happen over-night: It won’t. It just won’t. Unless you sell like four million eBooks in one go. Lots of people jump into this thinking it’s a quick money-making opportunity. When that’s so far from the case I could literally cry.

It’s hard work: Let’s be real here, blogging is far from the hardest job in the world. But consistently making money through your blog IS hard work because work can be inconsistent and it requires a lot of different skills.

It requires you to hustle: Which reminds me that you have to be prepared to hustle. Money isn’t going to land on your doorstep. You WILL need to have the confidence to put yourself out there and contact people yourself.

It’s still business: When you start making money from your blog and getting serious about potentially turning it into a career, you need to remember you’re a business and act accordingly. Don’t get caught up on the little things or take things too personally.

If you’re thinking of starting a blog this year, I hope this is helpful for you! I’d HIGHLY recommend checking out all the extra links provided in this post for more detailed information on everything mentioned. Have you just started a blog? How are you getting on? Pin this post for later:

How To Start a Blog and Make Money

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

101 Comments

  1. WOW so many good tips, you are my go to for blog posts of this ype!
    Rosie
    loverosiee.co.uk

  2. I’m so glad I found this post! I’ve just started up with my blog again and this time I know exactly what direction I want to go in. I find it’s hard driving traffic to my blog but thats probably due to me being so inconsistent! I’m taking this advice on board and hopefully make some good changes 🙂 xx

    Coralle
    justcoralle.com

    1. Consistency is definitely key when it comes to traffic and growing your blog 😌 So glad you found this post helpful! Xxx

  3. So many great things for new bloggers to help get them off the ground.
    I’m so glad I went with WordPress and my own domain from day one.

    https://littlemissmelanie.com/

    1. Thank you!

  4. thanks for sharing! I’m wondering why the domain name is important? Just wondering because I currently use a free wordpress account and, so, don’t own my domain name (I’m waiting until I feel like my blog is gaining enough traction to warrant spending the money on a paid plan).

    1. Brands mostly work with blogs that have their own domain, that’s why it’s important 🙂 And also with things like DA, you can have your own DA score if you don’t have your own domain and a lot of brands look for bloggers with a certain DA score for their campaigns 🙂

      1. ooh, ok. That makes sense 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Such an amazingly helpful post, thank you! I’m definitely going to be putting together a media kit!

    1. You’re welcome 😌

  6. So much solid information for newbies here. SexyBitch123.wordpress.com had me cackling. I bought my domain and set up my social accounts months before I finally published my first post because I didn’t want anyone to steal them after I got the idea. And thanks for reminding me I need to update my media kit! x

    Sophie

    1. That’s a really good idea!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing, these tips will definitely come in useful this year now I’m hoping to branch out and steer my blog in this direction!

    1. Glad you found this helpful!

  8. katy gilroy says:

    defo need to bookmark this as I’m hoping to make more money from my blog in 2020 x

    1. Yasss x

  9. This is so helpful for people! I’m still in the camp of “Don’t start a blog just to make money” as it shows and looks awful but this would definitely help people that have been doing it a while xx

    1. Thank you x

    2. Sarah says:

      I had no idea there was so many ways to make money lol I do it for fun x

  10. Very nice advice, love it!

  11. I need to be better, I am so not taking full advantage!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    1. Hope this post helped x

  12. Brilliant advice, hun! I’ll hopefully be able to put some of these tips into action later on in the year but we’ll see what happens! x

    1. Good luck Daisy!

  13. Boss Babe Chronicles says:

    Very solid advice Jenny, perfect for complete newbies to blogging as well as to those who are interested in monetizing.

    1. Thanks babe x

  14. Great post! I HMRC is so annoying but it is definitely needed if you earn anything from your blog x

  15. I definitely need to work harder on my affiliate sales! I love this post 🙂

    1. Thank you x

  16. Thank you for this post! I really want to turn my blog into something special and hopefully earn some money but, I’m so under confident and unsure on how to approach the subject. I hope I can at least work with one brand this year as my blog grows and am already working on my media kit.

    Kate | thelittlecrunch.co.uk

    1. Great steps to take – I’d definitely recommend setting yourself small and achievable goals too 😌

  17. Thank you for the tips and motivation girl! I loved it and I definitely am thinking of getting serious on my blogging career haha.

    1. Glad you found it helpful!

  18. I love that you have included links to other posts to cover the topics mentioned here.
    There is no doubt this is easy to follow and engagingly written; I will be keeping it in mind as a mental checklist for the future!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Absolutely – there’s bloggers who know MUCH more about certain things than I do haha!

  19. lindapurcell724gmailcom says:

    All great advice.

    1. Thank you, glad you think so.

  20. Suchhh a useful post! Reading a few that you’ve linked now to up my game a bit.

    1. Hope you find them all helpful!

  21. Oh lots of great info, it is a lot harder today but not impossible, thanks for posting!

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

    1. It definitely is harder today but with the right advice and resources, definitely not impossible!

  22. These tips are absolutely amazing!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Thank you x

  23. This is such a helpful informative post Jenny. You’ve covered a great range of topics here and referenced great material as a follow up for people to learn more. Thank you! I’ve already bookmarked a few of them to read later on and I’ve pinned your post for future reference too. 💞

    1. Thank you! Hope you find all the additional posts helpful! x

  24. This is great (and so true) blogging is way more work than people realise but as you said, we deserve to live abundantly (just have to get there first)

    Ash | thisdreamsalive.com

    1. Absolutely 🙂 x

  25. This is such a great and comprehensive post about how to go about making money with your blog with some healthy reminders too – all good things take time and this is no different. Your work ethic and drive really inspires me as someone who is doing such big things from your blog – Thanks for sharing as always Jenny x

    1. Awh thank you so much, that’s so lovely to hear!

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