Last Update 9th May, 2017.
I'm going to share with you my action steps so you can know exactly how to start your own blog and get paid.
Let me assume you're a complete beginner interested in starting a profitable blog and need some pointers to get you going in the right direction.
You can read my own blogging journey here but in a nutshell, three years ago I started my first blog and now I get paid roughly $6,000 a month from that first site alone.
In the beginning I really doubted I could write anything people would be remotely interested to read and, apart from spamming my friends and family on Facebook, I didn't have the first clue about how I would tell people my blog even existed.
But there were two things that spurred me on; I've always loved writing and I always believed in the potential of the internet to earn money online full-time.
Fortunately for me, while researching how to make money blogging I came across the biggest community of bloggers and entrepreneurs online; namely WealthyAffiliate.com (more on this in a sec). Here I learned how to set up my first blog, how to drive traffic and monetise my blog.
But before we get into exactly how you can start your own blog and get paid a monthly income from it, there's a few things I should tell you…
- Don't quit your day job just yet. Blogging is a profession; not a get rich overnight while you sleep scheme. It took me 12 months working evenings and weekends before I consistently hit the $1,000 per month mark.
- My blogs are my online businesses and work is required. If you're serious about starting your own money making blog you'll have to create content for three months before you start to see any serious traffic (visitors to your site) or money generated. You'll see trickles before this but to be clear: commitment (aka stubbornness) and hard work are required.
- You'll need to invest in your online business. As well as your time, you'll want to plan for start up costs such as domain registration, web hosting and make money blogging training. Combined should be no more than $49 per month.
Are you still with me? I'm not trying to put you off, but I want to be very upfront with you and set your expectations going forward. This way, you won't quit before you start seeing the results.
So if you're serious, let me show you exactly the journey I took to start my first revenue generating blog and how you can do the same.
1. Understand how to earn money with your blog
The best way to get paid from your blog is with the affiliate marketing model.
Simply put, you (the affiliate) promote or recommend products or services online for companies (the merchants).
There are thousands of affiliate programs online which are all free to join. You sign up with as many as you want, get a unique link and when your blog reader clicks on this link you get paid.
The commissions affiliate programs offer varies from 4%-75% and if you've ever bought anything online, you've probably done so through an affiliate link.
The beauty of the affiliate marketing model is that you don't need to create your own products, deal with customer or payment and there's no storage or shipping involved on your part.
Your blog is your online platform you use to promote offers helpful to your readers and relevant to your chosen blog niche. (We'll get onto how to chose your blog niche in the next step.)
If we take Amazon as an example, they pay their affiliates a starting commission of 4% which increases to 8% are you sell in higher volumes. Let's say you have a guitar blog and you link (via your affiliate link) to this Gibson Le Grand Vintage Sunburst electric guitar.
The price of the electric guitar is high ticket at $11,999. Your affiliate commission at 4% would be $479.96!
You get paid every time you refer traffic to a site where can buy what they're already looking for, simply for referring them. This is just one example and can be done whatever the topic of your blog. There is an affiliate program for everything!
Are you starting to see the potential here?
How much can you make from affiliate marketing?
As much as you like….seriously!
Acording to FinchSells.com there are five earning brackets in this industry:
- Affiliate Apprentice – Losing money.
- Low Level Affiliate – Anywhere from $0/day up to $300/day.
- Intermediate Affiliate – Anywhere from $300/day up to $3,000/day.
- High Level Affiliate – Anything above $3,000/day.
- The ‘Bag of Dicks’ Affiliate – He who considers anything less than $10,000/day to be ‘doing it wrong’.
It all depends on how much traffic you get to your blog. The training at Wealthy Affiliate will teach you the strategies you need to be implementing to generate serious amounts of traffic.
As an example, let's say your blog gets 1,000 visitors per month. Broken done this equates to 33 daily visits – this is easily done.
Out of these 1,000 blog readers, 20% of them click your affiliate links.
1,000 x 0.20 = 200 affiliate clicks
Scenario 1: If just 2% end up making a purchase you'll have generated four sales.
Scenario 2: If just 5% end up making a purchase you'll have generated ten sales.
The average sale (depending on what you're promoting of course) is around $30. Taking this example, in the first scenario you would get paid $120 and in the second scenario you would get paid $300.
Please note I'm giving an example here with very low numbers. As soon as you start your blog it won't take you long to exceed these number within a few months.
And remember, this same traffic you're generating to your blog and referring to your affiliate offers are going to be working for you all year round, 24 hours a day.
2. Find your blogging niche
Our second step here is to decide what you're going to be starting a blog about. Let my offer some advice on this for what it's worth.
I've helped hundreds of aspiring bloggers start getting paid with their blogs over the last few years. The biggest hurdle especially beginners struggle with is choosing their niche.
Choosing a niche or topic for your blog doesn't have to be a scary concept – just try not to overthink it.
When it comes down to choosing a blogging niche that's right for you, think about a topic that you're interested in, know a lot about (or want to learn about) and are passionate about.
Remember, blogging shouldn't be a chore – you should sharing your knowledge and experiences with people about something you love.
Almost any interest can be a profitable blogging niche and almost any topic you can think of has millions of people searching for information on it every day.
The idea of a niche can be a little confusing at first, so Wealthy Affiliate have created a video walk-through to help you find the right blogging niche fit. Here's the video, it'll help you choose the right direction for you to go in online:
Note: Just because you choose a blogging niche today doesn't mean you're stuck with it for the rest of your life – so don't worry too much and don't spend the next 7 days deciding on your niche. In the next 15-30 minutes (maximum) you should have your “starting point” niche chosen.
3. Start your blog
Now that you know the general direction of what you want to write a blog about, it's time to actually start building blog.
Just like any other type of business, your online business will take some initial investment on your part.
I'm not just talking about time and energy either; you need to register your domain name, hosting and as get access to full training and support to give your blog the very best chance of success.
Some Useful Definitions:
- A unique domain name
This is the online address of your blog, the .com or .net thing that people type into their browsers to land on your blog.
- A reliable web host
Hosting is where all of your posts, images and videos are stored online so they can be accessed whenever sometime types in your domain name. Reliable web hosting means your blog is online 365 days a year and is safe and secure from hackers.
- A blogging platform like WordPress
This bits for you as the blogger – it's the platform you use to write your posts, make changes to your theme and anything else you can think of. Once you’ve purchased your domain name and web host you can install WordPress for free with just a few clicks.
Please don't be overwhelmed if this at all seems technical – it's really just a matter of a few clicks.
Wealthy Affiliate: The All in One Online Business Centre and Biggest Online Community of Career Bloggers
Why do I talk so much about Wealthy Affiliate? Because it's where I finally pushed through all the make money online nonsense and starting building my online businesses.
More than a basic web hosting service, Wealthy Affiliate is the best place to set up a blog and make money.
The way I like to explain it is, it’s the ultimate online business center where all the tools, training and community support you need to run a successful and profitable blog are in one place.
[alert-note]After your FREE 7 day trial Wealthy Affiliate domain registration, hosting, training and community support can all be accessed for $19 for the first month and $49 per month (no minimum contract).[/alert-note]
I host all my blogs with Wealthy Affiliate for a few seriously good reasons:
- Wealthy Affiliate offers the fastest, most powerful and secure web hosting in the world. The Site Rubix website builder comes fully WordPress-integrated website builder, 1400 website themes to choose from, full website health checks, daily backups and full 24/7/365 technical support, be assured your blogging business is in the best hands.
- Wealthy Affiliate equips you with the best training, knowledge and practical know-how I’ve ever experienced. Everything you need to know about making money blogging is explained within the easy to understand video training modules and step by step tutorials. Each lesson comes with actionable steps so, even if you’re a total newbie, you build your blog as you go. From everything I've seen, Wealthy Affiliate is the best affiliate marketing training for beginners by far.
- Wealthy Affiliate is is the most active affiliate marketing community. Really. How far could you take your blog if you knew you had expert advice on tap? I wouldn’t be where I am today without the friendly and helpful Wealthy Affiliate community. It’s where you can ask questions, get answers, get feedback and support around the clock.Every day people share their Wealthy Affiliate success stories and help one another succeed online.
- Wealthy Affiliate gives you all your online business tools you need to run a successful blog. No up-sells, no spam. Included within your membership are domains and web hosting, website builders, website heath checks, keyword research tools, weekly video training, site comments and site feedback.
Here's a step by step guide on how to start your own blog (takes 3 minutes max.)
Once you’ve completed your Wealthy Affiliate profile, head on over to the SiteRubix website builder to register your chosen blog domain.
Then you can choose a WordPress theme, your blog's skin that will make your site look professional and give your readers that all important first impression. Choose from over 1,400 free WordPress themes and click create, give it 10 seconds and you’re blog’ll be up and running.
4. Use keywords to find your first blog post ideas
I personally use Jaaxy Enterprise, but inside the member's area, you'll have lots of blogging tools at your disposal, including th free Wealthy Affiliate keyword research tool.
Whatever your chosen blog niche, keywords are a great way to get ranked in Google and help people find your site.
I won't go into too much detail here as the Getting Started Online Certification Course will guide you through the process of how keywords work and how to find low competing, high traffic keywords you can target in your content writing going forward.
5. Write good blog posts
It's funny, the blogs I see that make the most money are those where making money is not the primary objective.
Please let me explain what I mean…
If you're serious about building a successful and profitable blog your main focus needs to be on helping people.
When you're writing your blog posts and making videos, always remember that you're writing to real people.
Your new job as a blogger is to help as many people as possible, answer people's questions about your chosen niche and provide solutions you know are relevant and helpful to your readers.
As we've already talked about, blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It's about building a loyal readership who trust you, being credible and offering high value content.
With The Make Money Online Blog it would be wrong for me to say to my readers, “Yes, of course I’ll help you earn money online! I’ll support you every step of the way!” and then not deliver on those promises.
This is why every day you’ll find me interacting with the Wealthy Affiliate community, giving honest feedback, offering advice, help and support. When I say I commit to help people make their first sale, I take that commitment very seriously.
6. Find the best affiliate programs to promote
So you've started your blog, used keywords for every post and have a decent and growing amount of daily blog traffic, now it's time for the all important getting paid bit!
When it comes to finding the best affiliate programs to promote, there's so many options out there to choose from.
Google: “whatever your chosen blog niche is + affiliate program”
So what should you promote on your blog and how can you make the most money? The key is quality and relevancy.
Choose relevant affiliate programs to promote
If you have a blog on how to care for your pet chihuahua, don't try and sell your readers garden sheds. How do you think that’s going to work? Not so well. Find a product or service that's gonna be helpful (there's that word again).
What problem will what you're offering solve? How does it help your reader?
Choose quality affiliate programs to promote
Check the reviews and do your research before recommending anything. Better still, be a user of this product yourself. If you're going to put your name to this, you want to make sure people will benefit from it.
Blogging is about building a long-term loyal readership, not squeezing one sale out of them never to see them again because you lost all of your credibility promoting a sham product or service.
A good place for you start to might be ClickBank. I recently wrote an article on how to make money online with ClickBank. They have a huge database with thousands of digital and information products to choose from, they handle all of the payment, they're free to join and you could earn anything from 25%-75% for each referral.
You can see how well other affiliate have done on a particular product and most importantly, you can check out reviews of customer's experiences to see if they found this helpful or not.
What else do you need to know to start your own blog and get paid from it?
I've skimmed over a lot information here to give you a broad overview of what making money with blogging involves and some useful strategies to keep in mind, especially if you're starting out as a beginner.
Here's a quick video overview of what you'l learn if you take up the the free affiliate marketing training at Wealthy Affiliate:
I’d really like to know what you guys think about starting (or running) your own blog and the steps I've outlined here. Do you disagree with any of the points I’ve made or have your own you'd like to share?
Simon Crowe is the founder of The Make Money Online Blog and is on a mission to help as many people as possible kiss their bosses goodbye.
Get his free Affiliate Marketing Guide For Newbies to learn exactly how to build a real income online and make your dream business a reality.