Start a blog – 6 actionable steps to start blogging and make money online

Start blogging and make money online - 6 steps

Introduction

When you first heard the word “blogging” you might think this is only for big business (who have extra time for this), popular girls in Instagram or amazing photographers who post new lovely pictures and videos all the time. However blogging is actually for everyone. Blogging is easy to get started, require a very small amount of money and skills to get started, and can add very great value to your personal brand or business.

Don’t think making money online and making money with blogging is a get rich quick scheme. If other people are telling you to just post auto generated posts and get rich over night with you automatic SEO etc it’s a scam. That’s just the truth. It takes time and hard work. However it’s 100% possible for you to succeed with this, if you’re serious.

This post is for you if you’re serious about starting a real, legit business.

There are many ways to monetize a blog or website, and I’ll cover all the most common and important ones later in this article, just follow along (15 actually).

When you think  “blogging” think about a professional website where you can share information, knowledge, skills, experience, thoughts etc. in a way that you can add value to your readers/ clients /customers. You can literally blog about anything, so make sure to do a proper research before starting out, to check for the competition on your niche as well as the kind of content and quality level there is published in your niche.

If you’re dedicated, anyone can do blogging, and also make money with it.

I know what you’re thinking now, but let me explain and break this down into a few steps.

What is a blog exactly?

A blog is “basically” just a website with content. This content is often articles (textual), but can be anything from, video, infographics, audio, product lists, reviews or anything else. The most obvious way to create content is with text, just like this. Posting content about something you like and enjoy can be a good way to start out as a new blogger.

Make sure to stick with 1 niche for a few reasons:

  1. Your site would not rank well in Google
  2. Your readers will likely be confused about your topics and content if you write about all kind of random things
  3. You might not seem as trustworthy or just not as serious
  4. You want to an “expert” in 1 topic/niche and not jack of all trades

How does a blog make money?

With websites in general you can make money in a lot of different ways, this depends on what you like, what your blog is about and how you want to monetize it. We generally recommend that you don’t focus on monetizing this blog-part if you already sell products on your website. For example if your blog is connected to your e-commerce shop or SAAS business or something similar.

However if your blog is “standalone” asset and not connected to another business, these are some of the most popular ways to generate revenue and income by creating and publishing content (see more detailed in the lists below)

  • Affiliate marketing (linking to other people’s products and get commission)
  • Ad sense by Google (get money when people view and click ads on your website)
  • Sponsored posts (when other people share content on your site, they pay you to get the exposure)
  • Creating premium content/ forum (creating content which is only for premium members or in your forum)
  • Creating an e-book (selling an e-book typical a PDF guide about your topics/ niche on your blog)

We have made the full list about different income streams for owning a website and blogging, if you want to learn more about this specific topic below.

How do I create a blog and get started with making money online?

Step 1. Selecting a niche

The first step of getting started with blogging, affiliate marketing, your personal brand etc is to select a niche. If you already run a SAAS or e-com. business this part is not relevant for you, because the blog would just be an organic traffic add-on for you. However this is mainly focused for you, if your blog will be your main asset for your business, and the main way of monetisation.

When choosing your niche, make sure to think about the following filtering criteria:

  • Which topics do you find interesting (snowboards, fishing, online marketing, cooking etc. Can be literally anything)
  • Research the competition within your interests and niche
  • What kind of content you want to create (video, infographics, text, audio etc.)
  • Getting a niche matching domain

When selecting your niche, make sure you keep these things in mind. Don’t think about where you’ll make the most money, or where the monetisation is going to be fastest, because this will kill you and your website.

For the simple fact that you won’t be making any money in the start, because you need to setup the website, create content and some SEO and waiting to get organic traffic, unless you promote this. Because if this, if money is your only motivation you’ll get lost in the process and lose your motivation.

Make sure you create a website around something your passionate and interested about. On top if this, try and search for the top 10 or top 25 websites with Google and look carefully about what kind of content they create, what is headlines like, how long are the posts, do they include pictures or not etc. This will give you a good idea of what kind of quality and quantity you will need to create to compete.

When you have selected your niche (should not take more than a few days in total) then you’re ready for the next step.

Congratulations, you have now moved 1 step further to making money online with your own business. Keep going!

Step 2. Buy domain + hosting (from bluehost)

So the second step is to get hosting and a domain. You want to be serious and that is also why you want to have a unique domain and not a free “noobie” website such as www.yourdomain.blogspot.com instead just go for www.yourdomain.com in the first place.

Buying domains and hosting is pretty cheap compared to other expenses of running a business, which is why start a blog can be done be everyone.

We generally recommend bluehost, because of their cheap pricing, fast customer service and easy to use backend. There are a lot of different options for hosting and buying domains, and everything will work for you, this is just our recommendation.

As you can see you can actually get hosting for only 2.75 USD a month. This should be possible for everyone who’s serious about starting their new business or blog/ affiliate.

bluehost - hosting

First head over this bluehost’s website.

 

bluehost - hosting

Select the basic plan. This will cover everything you need to start.

bluehost - hosting If you have a domain already, make sure to connect it here in the next step, otherwise signup for your new domain for your website.bluehost - hostingThe last step is the option list, before checkout and launching. You can select the pricing plan that fits you best, however we just recommend the “domain privacy” and not the other options, but you can of course pick whatever you like and prefer.

Sign up, and then you’re ready to go! Your site will be ready to go live with wordpress within minutes.

 

Step 3. Setup wordpress

In this step, head over to your c-panel of your hosting provider. For this example, we still use Bluehost. Depending on your provider, some have this 1-click install feature which require 0 effort or skills for you to install. Just follow the steps provided, connect your wordpress.org and then you’re ready to go.


bluehost-cpanel hosting - pryma

 

Within minutes you will have your new site ready to go. This is what your backend dashboard will look like on wordpress. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it easy to navigate around and edit your website as you like. We have another post going more in-depth of the features of wordpress, but for now, this is all you need. wordpress test site example

 

You can now pick one of the many free themes for wordpress to customize the look of your blog or you can buy a premium one.

Free wordpress themesFor your blog you don’t need any special (for most people at least) or advanced features. The most important thing now is that your site looks legit, matches the niche you picked, and is loading somewhat fast (which is often does, because wordpress is greatly optimised already). If you have any problems with loading speed, search for “fast cache” in the “add plugins” tab in your wordpress dashboard. Install one of the free plugins and then it will enhance your loading speed.

Once you have setup your site or had friend or freelancer to help you, you will be ready for the next step. Don’t overcomplicate it. Even though you want to have a fancy looking logo, and cool CSS content on your site, remember to focus on the things that are important for your readers and not you.

Your readers doesn’t care about your logo or if your site is just as fancy as some of the other competitors. They care about if they like you and your content, if they think you are legit or not, and whether or not you can provide them value or help them in any other ways.

Trust me when I say, you won’t generate any more revenue or profit by updating or changing up your logo, getting the right colours for your website or something similar. This is not important for this size of a business, and your time is better spend elsewhere.

Therefore, keep everything a little basic for now, make sure your site works fine, and create an about page and a simple homepage and leave it for now.

 

Step 4. Create helpful and better content

This step is crucial for your success or failure. Remember when you visit a website or business you don’t know, you’ll get a first-hand impression. This can be good or bad, and in this case, your landing-pages, homepages and especially your blog posts will often be your first-hand impression.

If your content isn’t well written, looks somewhat okay (not like the websites from 2001), doesn’t have multimedia included, and doesn’t look trustworthy you won’t stand a chance.

You have to build a “brand” around your website, so people trust and like you. If they don’t the will never buy anything from you, trust your affiliate links etc. The point is that you need to be transparent, real and provide a lot of good, genuine value. Always think value first. You’ll first need to provide value to your potential customers, visitors etc. then you start the relation. The better the relation the more time and money they’ll spend on/with you.

Well, how do I create better, helpful content?

When you’re just getting started, you’ll need to choose what kind of content you want to create. We generally recommend video or text. Text is the most common and easiest to get started with. You can always add-on a youtube channel to your blog/website as well as Pinterest or Instagram account to promote your posts and reach other audiences.

These are some easy steps to create better content (this example is for an e-commerce blog) :

  1. Pick a topic / problem within your niche (Example: how to increase your conversion rate for shopify stores)
  2. Research the top 10 posts, answering the problem / providing most value (Example: Quora, Shopify, Digitaldarts)
  3. Read all the posts and find similar posts for related search terms (Example: how to increase conversion rate for webshops)
  4. Write longer + better content

The last part is the crucial part in this step. If your competition write 1500-2000 words articles for this question. Then you write 2500-3000 words instead. If your competition have a “best 5 tips for increasing conversion rate for e-commerce” you’ll write “best 10 tips for increasing conversion rate for e-commerce” and so on.

The point is, do what they do good, and just make it better. Include more multimedia, a pros/cons list, make the post longer, link to other helpful content etc.

This is the best way and most genuine and real way to generate more traffic, increase your organic search rankings for SEO and create a really good and helpful post and blog. If you do this for every post you create, you’ll have a killer blog in no time.

 

Step 5. Share and promote your content + SEO

At this point you’ll have your own custom website and domain and some content to work with. Good job! 👍 Like seriously. Most people don’t take action.

When you have created your content, we generally want to focus on SEO to generate organic, free and targeted traffic. This is the slowest way of getting traffic because SEO takes time and you’ll have to wait for google to index your content and start to rank it.

If you want to learn more about SEO and how you can improve this for your business make sure to check out all our SEO posts here.

However there are a few ways to can promote your content here is a list for the ones we recommend:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Pinterest
  4. SEO (this is long term)
  5. Youtube
  6. Forums / magazines in your niche
  7. Reddit

There are many good ways to get around this and no right or wrong way. However our recommendation we also use for our clients is to focus on SEO + 1 of the other platforms. SEO for long-term traffic and 1 other channel for more “instant” traffic.

Reddit screenshot - ecommerce

You’ll have to pick yourself, whatever that fits your niche and target audience. If you have the time or once you have created some trust and traffic for one of the other platforms you can move on to the next one. Let’s say you’re getting great traffic with Reddit and you’re still working on SEO. If you got the time then test youtube on top of it.

On the social media platforms it’s often hard to grow a big site organically today because of the algorithm changes lately. But, this can get you a lot of social proof, a nice amount of social signals and can be great for running targeted ads etc. later on.

 

Step 6. Monetize your blog (affiliate, e-books etc)

This is the fun part. Once you have created your new awesome content on your new awesome wordpress site on your own domain, and you have worked on your SEO, you’re ready to monetize it.

The reason why we don’t recommend to start with monetisation in mind is because we generally see that a lot of people get distracted by the affiliate links especially, and always linking to 1000’s of different people and products for no reason. When you’re doing this, people think you’re are spammy and not trustworthy.

What you’re going to do now is to pick 1 or multiple of monetisation options from the list I have created below. I have tried to cover every possible option you could think of (and make make sense and money). I have divided these into different monetisation groups depending on what you want, and there are really no “best” option, it depends on your site and niche.

Make sure to read them through to find 1 or some that fits you and your business and website and stick to them. You won’t make money by choosing all of them. Try and focus on fewer and scale it.

In general, most blogs will do great with affiliate marketing and/or Google Adsense combined with coaching or some kind of personal help/services. However you can pick whatever you like.

Read below and implement this on your site and make money 👏🏼💰

 

15 Ideas & Tips for making money online with blogging [list]

Monetize on-blog content:

1. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is very well known by most online marketers. Affiliate marketing works for most bloggers and similar businesses. Affiliate marketers is getting paid by generating traffic / leads or sales for other businesses, usually by recommending their products.

There are both individual business you can work with, who have their own affiliate program (shopify, aweber, regal assets, junglescout amazon etc just like on our page) but also affiliate networks, who can help and guide you, and provide a lot of different affiliate business offers for you to choose from.

If you choose a network remember to do a background check on the offer you find, because some businesses doesn’t treat their customers well.

Some affiliate networks include:

  • Shareasale
  • Tradedoubler
  • Clickbank
  • CJ Affiliate

 

2. Google Adsense

Google Adsense is always a common way of generating revenue and profit for blogs and websites. When doing Google adsense, it’s one of the easiest way to monetize a website, because it’s basically just turning it on and then you make money for the visitors who come on your website.

You need to have some amount of traffic before you can generate even some amount of money, however it’s really just to implement a short text of code Google provides for you, and then you’re ready.

The good thing about Adsense is that you can solely focus on publishing more content, and not monetisation itself, because you just need the traffic and then you get paid.

Google Adsense is actually that simple, if you want to sign up, learn more here.

 

3. Using WordPress Advertising to sell Ads directly

If you spend some more time with actually adjusting your ads and optimising your pages to have higher dwell time (more time spend on each page) it can sometimes be more lucrative to just sell the ads directly by yourself.

You can for example use the plugin “buysellads” which is a marketplace where you can sell and distribute your ads yourself. Then Google doesn’t take as big of a cut and often you can charge a fixed banner price instead of CPM or CPC with Google adsense (paying per view or per click).

However the downside of selling your ads directly by yourself is that you have to spend more time managing the ads, updating the banners, negotiate pricing etc. Even though you can install the wordpress plugin where you can adjust and manage the widget for easy setup and install.

 

4. Getting paid to write reviews on your blog

Instead of having a review site with loads of spammy links and fake reviews, and not even knowing who’s behind the website, you can get paid for doing reviews of other products.

If you’re for example in the Fitness niche, and you get a solid, trusted following who like to engage with your content and you provide them with a lot of helpful tips and training related content, Fitness brands might get in touch with you so you can test their products. This can also be a lucrative way of both earning some good money online on your website, but also get products you can write about etc.

The exact payment of doing paid reviews is very individual and is determined both by the brand, the exact product, your following size and engagement and a lot of other things, so this can vary a lot. However it can be a great additional side income for your site.

 

Selling digital products:

1. Sell ebooks on your website

After some time when you get the hang of it, and you start to generate some traffic, you can create an ebook. An ebook can just be compiled PDF with a more in-deepth and detailed look about some of topics you cover on your website / blog. It can be something totally new and different, but that’s up to you. Sometimes you can just have a 20-30 page PDF or even less. It depends on your niche and audience.

Having ebooks for sale, also shows your audience that you’re serious about what you’re doing and you feel somewhat more like an “expert”. If people start paying for your ebook you can easily do more up-sells later, because they already know you, and can see you help them and provide them with good helpful content, or help them with their problem(s).

Ebooks are easy and fast to create and basically cost you 0 money. Therefore this can be an easy start to get into monetisation of your website, without big budgets.

 

2. Sell online courses on your website

Selling courses can also be very lucrative. This is very common in the online business industry, where teaching can be an enormous part of peoples income. They sell at a premium and go minimal to no cost of selling it, once it’s created.

Online courses is often made up of both video and textual material, can also be added with slideshows, checklist and similar content. Some courses sells at only 49 USD but some courses can also be 995 USD or even 5.000 USD depending on the niche, the person and the business behind.

 

3. Host paid webinars

Hosting paid webinars is the premium version of the regular webinars available. Hosting paid webinars is more like getting your audience to join you live, where they pay you a premium for getting you live with Q&A and showcasing some of your latest news and info. It’s similar to online courses, but it’s live instead.

Webinars can be a great way to build your audience while getting some revenue, and also get more people into the funnel of your business.

 

Create paid membership content:

1. Creating restricted members only content

Creating a members area can be a good way to gain some additional revenue from your readers and followers. Your most loyal fans and readers will be willing to pay you, to get access to the latest blog posts, videos, audio content and whatever else you create.

The members area can require some investment for you in both time and money for creating and setting it up, but is a great way of generating more revenue for your strongest followers. This can also be created as a recurring membership, which then generates your income and profit every single month.

 

2. Creating private Facebook members only forum

Creating a private Facebook group for members only, is similar to creating the forum on your own site. The most loyal readers will be able to join your “mastermind group” or whatever you want to create, where they will be able to get in touch with you, get your advice, or where you share some special, unique, premium only content.

This service can be provided as a recurring membership as well, and is very popular by many different online businesses.

 

Sell online services using your website:

1. Offer your skill as a freelance service for other businesses

When you’re writing/ creating more content on your blog, you will soon begin to get attention by other businesses or persons who (if you’re doing the steps mentioned above) is interested in what you’re doing and the skills you got.

Even though you don’t want to create webinars, courses etc. you can still be able to provide you own hours. Because you now have some, even little, but some authority you will be able to charge some more. This can therefore be a great way to earn some extra cash, by offering your skills for a hourly rate for other businesses.

 

2. Start your own consulting business

This is a little similar to the tip above, but instead of working as a freelancer in a one-man show, you can create and consulting business around your niche (if possible in your niche).

You will then have the capability to charge even more for your service and you still don’t have any start-up investment, it’s totally free.

 

3. Do 1 on 1 coaching

If consulting won’t work well in your industry or niche, maybe 1 on 1 coaching might be a better fit. Can work for many different niches and interests, and you can pretty much provide your customers with any kind if help, as long as they feel the live 1 on 1 connection, because that’s really what they’re paying for. They’re paying to hear and see you, with them.

It’s easy to get started with as well, and you get actually get several different plugins for WordPress, where you can do calendar scheduling, and people will be able to book their time directly to your calendar.

 

Sell physical products online

1. Start an e-commerce store with Woocommerce (Print on demand, own items, dropship)

Starting and e-commerce shop/ store after you have created your website, can be a good way to get proof of concept. If you have no traffic or followers yet, this might be too early to launch, if not, this can be very lucrative as well.

If you already have the traffic this is a very way to generate revenue, because you already have targeted, trusted traffic who might already like what you’re doing. When you promote your own items, or even dropshipped items, this can be easy money for you.

You can even do print on demand woocommerce, where you can sell merchandise (cups, hats, t-shirts etc.) related to your niche or website. You can get the items cheap, and make quite a good profit by doing so.

 

2. Create an Amazon affiliate shop

Amazon affiliate is also like “regular” affiliate I talked about earlier in this list, however you can actually created a separate sub-page or WordPress site where you include your recommended products divided into different categories, where you showcase your favourite products.

This is very easy to setup and people can browse freely within the products that aren’t even your own, but just amazon sellers, but if they buy anything you’ll get a commission, just like other affiliate offers.

 

Other

1. Accept Donations

Accepting donations is also another way of generating income from your blog, and make some money online.

You can simply add a paypal button or stripe checkout to your site, a landing-page where you describe that you offer all your value and great content for free, but hope that people will like to support you. Donations are generally more limited compared to the revenue / income sources, but it’s also the easiest to setup require you to do absolutely nothing.

 

Final thought 💭

I know this is a long article with a lot of informations, tips, steps etc. but I hope that you learned a lot. I’ve tried to compile everything down to 1 single article with everything included.

Please let us know what you think, and tell us when you have launched your site.

We hope that you will keep following along on our site. Good luck with your blog and website.

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