Blogging has become a very lucrative work from home “job”. But I don’t really consider it a job. It’s one thing that I absolutely love doing, and earning money doing it is just the icing on the cake.
Being able to share my thoughts and how-to’s to the world is a blast.
The fact that I’m pretty introverted has made blogging even more of a bad ass adventure. I’ve gotten to meet and collaborate with some pretty awesome people, all through the safety of my computer and telephone. And someday I would like to meet people face to face, go to a convention or two, break out of my introverted shell.
Some of these people have been blogging for years. And some are even making six figures…a month. Yes, you read that right.
Femtrepreneur is one of them.
How to Start a Blog
This post may contain affiliate links. Like always, all opinions are 100% my own, and I will never share anything with you that I myself don’t absolutely love.
The first step of starting a blog is to find your niche, or the main subject that you are going to blog about. I will be honest here, the most successful blogs include a lot of how-to’s, recipes, diy projects, etc. They are the type of blog that not only inspires their readers but teaches them and provides value.
In order for your blog to get posts shared and increased visitors, I do suggest choosing an area that you can provide value to your audience.
And getting increased visitors is a must, because the more visitors you have the better your chances of being noticed by sponsors, or making affiliate link sales (more on that later).
Another thing about niches…try not to be a jack of all trades. If you post about recipes, craft projects, fashion, travel, and dogs it’s going to be really difficult to identify your target audience. And if you can’t identify your target audience, it’s almost impossible to find them.
Once you’ve narrowed down your niche, you need to think of a name for your blog.
Choosing a Domain Name
I suggest when choosing a domain name, create a list of names that you absolutely love (my free worksheet will help). Make sure that you do love it because it’s going to be a name that you’re “stuck” with for quite a long time, and changing domain names is a pain…in…the…arse.
I said to create a list of names, because it’s quite possible that the domain name that you really want is already taken. That’s quite common in the internet world.
One way that I chose the name of this particular blog was to think about every search that I’d ever done on the subject I wanted to write about.
I had remembered literally typing “Single mom works from home” into my Google search bar. I had been trying to find like minded individuals and single moms who worked from home. So think about what types of keywords people will use when doing a search for information on your niche.
Once you’ve written your list of suggested names, search them out. I recommend ending your domain name with a .com as that is the most common one out there, and it makes it easier for people to find you.
If a name is unavailable it will take you directly to a page that’s already set up with that name, or it might take you to a landing page of sorts which will ask you if you want to purchase the name. I highly suggest against this.
Some people make a living taking advantage of those that are desperate for a certain domain name. These people will purchase domain names at dirt cheap and then turn around and resell them to the desperate ones for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Steer clear of those. Purchasing a domain name from them is not a requirement and is not very cost friendly at all.
The Difference Between a Free Platform and Self Hosting
There are certain free blogging platforms out there that can be used for the ones not looking to make much money or spend much money. But these platforms are very unprofessional.
The key to making money with blogging is that you have to show your audience that you are an expert in your field. You have the right and the talent to be able to direct them and inform them. But if your blog is hosted on Blogger, it’s going to appear amateurish.
Self hosted blogs can be expensive, I get that. But they don’t have to be. I’m currently with Bluehost and love them a lot. Their prices are very reasonable and affordable, and if you sign up using my link you can get them for only $3.49 a month (actually, and I will keep an eye on this for you, it looks like they’ve dropped down to $2.95 a month if you use my link. For a limited time only…giggidy!! I love deals!!).
When self hosting, you own your site. You own the content on your site. You can design it how you like, purchase themes, add logos, redesign the layout, develop a strong brand…anything. On the free sites your options are very limited.
You have the option to choose one of their themes and then write content. But how can you leave a lasting impression if that’s all that you do?
After You Create Your Self Hosted Site
There are a few different options for actually creating the website, layout and design after you have established your self hosted site.
I personally suggest installing WordPress.
WordPress allows you to search through various themes and choose one that fits your brand as well as your preferred layout. And there are many free themes out there that are easy to work with and an excellent addition to your site.
While in your c-panel for Bluehost (the first page you will come to after signing in), click on the WordPress link and follow the on screen instructions for installing it onto your site.
Once it’s installed, log in to your website by typing in your domain name and clicking on the button for signing in. To check out the free themes, scroll down and to your left you will see a link that says “Appearance”.
Click on that link and you will have the option to check out the already installed themes. The ones that are already installed are WordPress’ simple designed themes. These ones are incredibly basic and, to be honest, a little hard to design.
I preferred doing a search for free themes and seeing what was out there. If you know the color palette you are going for, you can try searching for specific colors. You can also just browse through everything that they have.
The one that I have is called Vogue, and I really like how easy it is to create my own layout of posts and the fact that I can add my brand colors and design right in. But there are hundreds more to choose from.
Once you have your theme installed, start designing. An awesome tool if you are a designing newbie is Canva. They provide templates for creating your blog images and are an excellent place to house your color palette to make sure your brand is always on point.
Before Launching Your Blog
I highly suggest that before you launch your blog that you have at least 5 posts rip roaring and ready to go. That way when you start sharing your posts on social media your audience will have more than one post to read as they find you.
Also, it’s not a bad idea to create an About Me page, Contact Me page, and set up with an email host. I use the SumoMe plug in on my blog, as well as MailerLite to keep all of my subscribers organized and to send out weekly emails.
MailerLite is awesome because they are free to use until you get 1000 subscribers and they are REALLY easy to use. Drag and drop options make life extra nice.
So…how does one actually make money blogging? I would love to tell you that it’s easy peasy to make money blogging. But the truth is that it takes hard work and dedication.
In order to make money blogging you have to provide a good or service to your audience. One that is so full of value it will leave them wanting to come back for more.
Affiliate marketing is one way to make money blogging. With affiliate marketing you find a product or service that you love, and that you know your niche will love, and you post links on your site. The more that people click and purchase the product or service that you are marketing, the more income you will bring in.
The key here is to make sure that it’s niche specific.
I was reading an article the other day from a fellow work from home blogger. The post was well written and I enjoyed the content. I was actually about to subscribe to her mailing list, when I noticed something. At the bottom of her post were affiliate links to her favorite clothing and shoes brands. As awesome as it was that she was so excited about these brands that she wanted to share them with the world, it turned me off because I just wasn’t interested.
If you post affiliate links that don’t fit your niche, you will lose trust among your readers. And that is something that is incredibly difficult to get back.
The first rule of making money blogging, is that we don’t blog just to make money. Don’t consider your audience your customers unless you have a product or service that you are trying to sell to them (like an e-book, e-course, or consultation). And even then, still provide high quality content and encourage them to keep coming back.
I’ve provided some additional resources regarding using affiliate links in the worksheet that goes with this tutorial.
When you’ve gotten enough page views per month and your subscriber list has grown you can be approached by sponsors. Actually, you can approach them yourself.
If you know and love a company that is specific to your niche and you want to do a write up about them, why not get paid?
You know how, when listening to the radio, you’ll hear things like “This program is brought to you by…” or “Here’s a word from our sponsors…” well…that’s what you’re doing. The sponsors are getting advertisement, and you are making it possible to continue to blog and work toward that full time income.
Selling Info Products
Once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field, start creating info products that will add value to your audience’s lives. Create e-books, e-courses, or consultation sessions. Webinars are also a huge hit.
A Bonus For You…
If you sign up for your self hosting site using my link through Bluehost, send me a link to your website as soon as it’s up and running. I will become your first subscriber AND I will tell all of my subscribers about you!
I created a free worksheet to go with this tutorial. Enjoy!