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LET’S GET INTO THE TALK ABOUT STARTING A PROFITABLE BLOG
If you’re hoping to start a blog for profit, there are some things you should know going in.
There are plenty of articles out there with headlines like “ How to start a money making blog in 15 minutes and earn $10,000/month in your sleep!” But the truth is, articles like those don’t include the important details. There is a reason for that. They want you to immediately sign up for a hosting plan so they can earn a commission on the sale. Some blogger’s earnings are strictly from hosting sales. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if those articles don’t provide any value to their customer on how to make a profit, then what is the point?
Good money can be made from blogging. I work full-time at my day job and still make GREAT income with my blog on the side. Anyone can start a blog! There’s just a little more work involved than putting up a website, sitting back and watching the money roll in.
STARTING A MONEY MAKING BLOG TAKES WORK
Setting up the blog isn’t hard. Not hard at all. Getting the basic technical parts set up is easy – even if you’re not computer savvy.
It’s what comes after that – is hard.
Coming up with ideas to write about. Time management. Educating yourself. Staying motivated when traffic is moving at a snail’s pace. Creating graphics, navigating social media, learning SEO, discovering your niche and expanding your audience. These things take time and effort, it doesn’t happen overnight.
For me, I knew that blogging wouldn’t be a walk in the park. I started a small coupon blog in 2008. Back then, there was not many how-to blog guides or resources showing me how to get started or even how to make money. It would have been nice to have help through the process. When I did come across a tutorial on “how to start a blog in 15 minutes,” it was such a disappointment. The tutorial fell short on how to make my little blog profitable. Why would they? After all, they get their commission as soon as I signed up for hosting!
I want to share my blogging journey with you (as of Dec 2017):
2008 – Started a coupon/savings blog by following one of those “how to start a blog in 15 minutes” articles!
6 Months Later – Got frustrated that I wasn’t able to grow my traffic, therefore wasn’t making any money. So I walked away from it and let the domain expire.
2016 – I wanted to take my newfound passion for cooking and start a food and lifestyle blog. This time I wasn’t going to fail. I purchased highly rated online courses/ebooks and learned, learned, learned everything I could about creating a successful blog!
(Every spare second I had went into post creation, studying what other successful bloggers were doing, and diving into how-to tutorials. )
3 Months Later – I had 15 (recipe and non-recipe) posts published. I was actively joining Pinterest group boards (more on that later), gaining followers on social media and seeing traffic trickling in.
2 Months Later – I had a traffic breakthrough! My Unbelievably Moist Banana Bread recipe went VIRAL!! I went from having 300-400 page views a day to 2500 on March 12th.
1 Month Later – I had 75,000+ page views in April. I was then able to get rid of Google Adsense and qualify for the “more profitable” ad networks. After switching to Mediavine, my ad income grew 900+% and still increasing every month.
3 Months Later (also my one year blog anniversary) – I was getting around 120,000 page views a month and cracked into the $1K/month dollar mark.
Starting this blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. It gives me an outlet to pour my creative juices into and make money at the same time. I want to show you it is possible for anyone to start a blog and make it profitable. I have included my income and traffic report stats from my first full year of blogging.
2017 BLOG INCOME AND TRAFFIC REPORT
Total Advertising Income: $7,621
Affiliate (Amazon) Income: $31.94
December Income: $1,403.63
December Pageviews: 131,567
Traffic Chart (Google Analytics) from January-December 2017 – 954,739 total pageviews!!
Traffic got off to a slow start the first few months because it wasn’t my primary focus at the time, but it should have been! I was concentrating on learning, reading and researching everything I could about how to blog. At the same time I was busy creating content, recipes and learning how to use various blogging tools. Once I started sharing my content on social media platforms, actively joining Facebook groups, Pinterest boards and studying SEO (Search Engine Optimization), my traffic started to increase.
As you can see from my blogging journey, it took commitment. With hard work, it is 100% possible to make an income from a blog, no matter what niche your in.
Q&A’s ABOUT STARTING A BLOG FOR PASSIVE INCOME
IS A BLOG FREE?
Yes and No.
It’s free to start a blog; but don’t expect to make money from it.
Invest in resources that will help grow your blog.
To make a profit, it is crucial that your blog is self-hosted. Self-hosted means you actually own your blog. Think of hosting as leasing a space on the web to show your blog to the world.
It’s important to own the content on your blog. Self-hosted allows for unlimited customization styling of your blog. Hosted has limitations on what you can change. If you want to earn a profit, you will need to be on a self-hosted platform. Plus, at some point you will be happy to have the 24-hour customer support available to you.
If you didn’t want to make money from your blog and just wanted a space to share photos, connect with family or publish your thoughts, then there is nothing wrong with having a free blogging platform like blogger or wordpress.com.
Bluehost has been my choice for self-hosting since this blog started. I first heard of them from Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income. If you get a chance, check out Pat’s massive money making blog and tune into his awesome podcasts! He is an inspiration.
Back to hosting. Bluehost’s services are affordable, even if you’re on a tight budget. They even include a FREE domain. Their customer support team is phenomenal at answering my questions or any tech issues I’m not understanding. You can get a 60% discount on their shared plans right here – that’s less than $3/month! I’ve also never had my blog crash since signing up with them!
DO I NEED TO BUY MORE THAN HOSTING TO GET STARTED?
That is entirely up to you. It depends on what you you want for your blog and what you want to spend. There is no blueprint on what you must have after hosting. However, most people install a theme to get the site layout and style they want. There are both free and purchased themes.
Honestly, investing in your blog will help in turning a profit quicker. Things like signing up for blogging courses or buying ebooks to learn what to do to grow traffic, affiliate marketing, managing email list…there is always things to learn.
When I started my blog I initially spent around $200. I purchased hosting, a paid theme and a few ebooks. It was a risk, of course, because I didn’t know if I would ever make my money back. Some bloggers spend more than that before even launching their blog. For me, I wanted to spend a bit more to get the layout that reflected a professional blog.
I recently read an article from a successful blogger that said, if you want to succeed you have to be willing to invest in your passion. It is so true! Because I invested my hard earned dollars into my blog, it motivated me to succeed. I absorbed as much useful information as I could and applied it to my blog.
THE BLOGOSPHERE IS HUGE! CAN I REALLY MAKE MONEY WITH MY NEW BLOG?
I had that exact same question! Do you know what made me get serious and finally take action on starting my blog?
Three Words. Blog Income Reports.
One day, I typed in “make money starting a blog” (or something like that) on Pinterest. My feed was flooded with titles similar to “How I made $xxxx in one month blogging”. I was intrigued. I started googling and reading articles in blogs from all different niches that had Blog Income Reports published. It was fascinating to see how much they were making. What was their secret? How did they make a full time income in less than a year? I wondered if that could be me one day?
With so many blogs out there, you wonder…is there anymore room left to make serious money?
YES there is, my friend! Not every blog is the same. Some don’t invest anything into it once they set it up. Whether that is time, blogging education, money or simply effort. Those are the things that will make a blog stand out and be successful among the masses.
A blog I follow frequently, called Chasing Foxes, always mentions WIIFM. That stands for What’s In It For Me? The readers that come to your blog generally aren’t interested in what you did that weekend or the story behind how you stubbed your toe. They come to get information.
Your blog needs to be a resource for your readers. You help them solve a problem or make something easier for them. People go online to find information. If you see a blog post titled “15 Clever Cat Training Tricks ”, and another one titled “My Weekend Playing With My Cat”. Which would you be more likely to read? This is why WIIFM is so important if you want a profitable blog.
It’s the perfect time to join the blogging community. It’s growing because brands, ad networks, and industry leaders are seeing the benefits of working with bloggers. They see them as influencers to their customers and they are willing to pay you for that! It doesn’t matter what niche your blog is about. There is room for ALL!
CURIOUS ON HOW SOON YOU WILL START MAKING MONEY BLOGGING?
Truthfully, this will depend on you. How much time and effort are you able to put into your blog? Will you stay motivated to keep writing and learning, even if it seems like nobody is reading it?
Traffic takes time. But if you keep your chin up and put in the work, it will pay off!!
I made my first few pennies within a few days of putting Google Adsense on the blog, about a month after launch. I made my first affiliate sale from Amazon around the 3 month mark (82 cents). Yep – cents! Granted, those first few months I spent a lot of time reading how-to ebooks instead of trying to get traffic to my blog. With that being said, you should expect to see small profits come in 3-4 months after launch, if you stay at it. Your blog will grow. You will see your profits increase. It isn’t a get rich quick overnight kinda thing!
It’s RARE, but there are blogs that turn a good profit right after they launch. You can check out one such blog and their blog income reports here. It’s pretty cool to see that it CAN happen. It’s just not that way for everyone. This husband and wife team did MONTHS of research, wrote 40+ blog posts BEFORE they even launched and INVESTED in their blog!
Traffic will be a key factor in becoming a profitable blog. I was struggling gaining traffic the first 3 months. After reading and incorporating the strategies in Lena Gott’s Traffic Transformation Guide where she went from 17k to over 400k pagviews in ten months, my traffic started to soar!
ARE YOU READY TO START YOUR BLOG?
Let’s Do This!
One of my biggest regrets is not starting sooner. If I had, maybe I would have a self-published cookbook by now (my food blogger dream for 2018). But back to what I was saying….
Let’s REALLY Do This!
SO WHERE TO START?
- Work through the lessons in this tutorial on How to Start a Blog and Make Money. (Also check out my blogging resources page to see what resources have brought me the furthest in my blogging journey.)
- Subscribe to my mailing list to get weekly updates on new posts.
BEGIN THE FREE “HOW TO START A PROFITABLE BLOG”: STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL
Lesson 1: How To Start A Blog
Lesson 2: Choosing A Theme
Lesson 3: Before Writing Your First Post
Lesson 4: Blogging Essential Checklist
Lesson 5: How To Install WordPress Plugins
Lesson 6: Time to Write Your First Blog Post
Lesson 7: Blog Monetization Plan (available Feb 1st 2018)
Lesson 8: Writing Profitable Content (available Feb 1st 2018)
Lesson 9: Affiliate Marketing (available Feb 1st 2018)
We’re so glad that you joined us in 2017 and that it’s been a successful move for you!
We’re planning on an even better 2018, and we’re getting there by working with awesome publishers like you.
If you ever need anything from us, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the kind words in your post.
~Jenny, Mediavine Marketing Associate