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!
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.
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.
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.