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.

104 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great tips! It’s good to know there are so many ways to monetize your traffic, not just ads.

    1. Absolutely!

  2. Hustling is in my blood! Money is definitely an end goal, but at the same time I love blogging. It’s a way to escape the world and leave your mark on the world at the same time.

    1. Even better if you love blogging that much!

  3. I’ve been blogging for just over two years now and I still found this post really helpful! I still haven’t really made any money from my blog yet but I know i will get there! X

    1. You absolutely will! Brands would be silly not to work with you!

  4. This was an awesome post with lots of good information for new bloggers. Gonna share it so more people can see ❤️

    Love, Tea
    https://teaspangsberg.com

    1. Thanks very much!

  5. Thank you for these tips – I’ve been blogging years but some of these I haven’t been doing! x

    – Charlotte / charlottesspace.com

    1. Glad you found this helpful!

  6. Some really great advice here. I don’t blog to make money, but I would like to do better with my affiliate links and increase my blogs DA. For book bloggers this just means more opportunity to review the book we are the most excited about.

    1. Definitely check out my post about DA!

  7. So many useful points!! I think the whole patience aspect and waiting to make money puts alot of people off. People think it’s easy money when they don’t know how much work goes into blogging and other social media income streams. It doesn’t just happen, you have to work at it!

    Loved the url example – SexyBitch123.wordpress.com hahaha

    Hayley || hayleyxmartin

    1. Absolutely agree – it’s actually quite annoying when people assume it’s a get rich quick scheme when it’s literally everything but!

  8. Really great post – again I am reminded about my need to actually create a media kit and soon! But I have already started working towards making my site much cleaner and having a theme that I actually like!

    1. Those are great steps! x

  9. Julia says:

    I’ve started my blog this year as more of a place to blog, but maybe making a little money down the line would be nice. This post is so insightful and honest, I love how you’ve laid out the multiple ways you can make money but not sugar coated how easy it always appears to be. I always find your blogging advice posts useful and rest assured this has continued the trend. Definitely one I’ll be bookmarking to take more note of later! x

    bumblingalong.co.uk

    1. Awh thanks so much, I’m so glad. Definitely didn’t want to sugar coat anything! x

  10. I love these blogging tips posts you write, Jenny. Yes, they’re aimed at newbies but I’ve been blogging for nearly 3 years (eeep) and I still take away a ton of useful info from you every time you publish one! xxx

    1. I’m so glad!

  11. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing, really helpful, thank you ❤️

    1. You’re welcome 🙂

  12. Oh wow, I remember those days! If you started a blog to earn from it you were an awful human! Now, it’s encouraged a lot more for sure! Great post Jenny xx

    1. Bloody ridiculous attitude wasn’t it haha!

  13. Millie says:

    This is a really insightful post, thank you Jenny! I am really enjoying how you don’t just concentrate on the obvious (that a lot of advice posts do) and I actually take things away to go work on! 🙂

    1. I’m SO glad you feel that way from my posts!

  14. Lisa Alioto says:

    I wish I had known all this when I started blogging – it would have made it all a bit easier – and I would have been jumping in with full knowledge. Thanks for sharing – great information!

    1. You’re welcome and same – I wish I knew all this earlier too!

  15. Great advice even if you are a seasoned blogger. It is not easy but rewarding when it finally get here.

    1. It is incredibly rewarding, I agree x

  16. This is exactly the kind of post I would love to have read before I started blogging, but even now, I love educating myself on all things SEO and DA. It’s all very straight to the point and clearly explained – I am sure anyone considering starting a blog or wanting to take it to the next level will find this post super helpful!

    1. I sure hope so, thank you! x

  17. It definitely took me a while to start making money from my blog. It’s one of those things you really have to build on, research and work hard at. I definitely think it can look and seem easy on the outside but knowledge is so key in this industry!
    This year I definitely want to start making a **proper** income from my blog and affiliate links are something I am determined to get my head around as well as finally brainstorming and releasing some sort of product I feel passionate about. I can’t wait to see where your journey goes this year Jenny!
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

    1. I’m the same really, it took me ages too! I wish I had know all this sooner though. I’m sure you’ll absolutely smash it this year – affiliate links are something I don’t even fully use yet! Oooh I’d love to see what product/s you come up with! xxx

  18. Your information on how bloggers actually make money was a real eye opener. Thank you very much for sharing your advice with us.

    1. You’re welcome 🙂

  19. Thank you for the tip about making sure my email is visible – I realised that it wasn’t so I’ve changed that now! Great tips xx

    1. Yayyy! It’s such a simple thing but can really make a difference! x

  20. This is incredibly useful and is going to be helpful to so many new bloggers! Whilst earning money from blogging isn’t easy, I can totally understand why more and more people want to at least try. I think being self-employed and working a job like this is only going to become more and more popular x

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    1. I totally agree, especially as it’s becoming a more recognised industry! x

  21. So very helpful x

    1. Glad you think so x

  22. Solid advice here ♥ I am currently on the freelance road – so note quite looking to monetize my blog but relate to many of these points in terms as a writer! x

    1. Oh yeah they can definitely spill over into freelancing too! x

  23. Great tips. Have a great week.

    1. These are really useful tips! Content placement is something I haven’t looked into at all yet – where do these sorts of opportunities come up?

      1. With content placements, I usually get emails directly. You’ve probably had them before, people wanting to feature a guest post on your blog? But don’t do it for free. If they don’t have a budget, say no.

    2. Thank you, you too.

  24. Lellalee says:

    This is such a useful post. It’s great you’re producing so much material that is helpful not only for new bloggers, but for those who have been blogging for a while too. It took me a while to figure out SEO and what all of that means and entails. But things like this, learning the trade are so essential to run an effective blog. Thank you for sharing your much appreciated advice xxx

    1. Totally agree. Took me AGES to learn about SEO too haha! xxxx

  25. This is definitely my next step so this was just the post I needed today.

    As always Jenny, clear and concise advice without the ‘tech-talk’ You know your stuff and it shows in the way you can articulate yourself so well every time.

    Sometimes I read blogging advice posts and think HUH?!? and assume that I must be making huge errors somewhere but with yours I am either reassured that I am doing something right or I feel completely sure that I can follow your advice and get shit done!

    Thank you for another belter! x

    1. I’m so glad my posts come across that way! I hate those posts that you read and just think, “what”. They’re so discourging! xxxx

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