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There is no question that blogging is one of the best ways to get keyword-rich content on your site, get your content on the search engines, and get traffic to your website.
But how do you get started blogging and how do you make money?
Take it from someone who had a total of 5 blogs.
I had NO IDEA what I was doing when I started my first blog. I was 21, still in school, and just wanted to be able to express myself in some way. At this time, YouTube was not that popular yet (it mostly had cat videos) and I wasn’t a fan of Facebook.
But I had so many ideas that I just wanted to share with the world and I didn’t know how to do it.
When I discovered WordPress, I fell in love with blogging and the process and creating content.
Unfortunately, however, I did not think about how a blog could become a business so a couple of my blogs failed because I simply couldn’t keep up.
So in this article, I am going to help you avoid the mistakes that I made when I first started out blogging.
How to start a blog as a beginner
There are numerous choices when it comes to deciding where to start your blog. An incredible method to begin publishing content to a blog rapidly (and for FREE) is to utilize an online ‘independent’ administration like WordPress or Google’s Blogger.
These are free, exceptionally adaptable tools that help both new and advanced bloggers.
The negative is that you can’t utilize your site’s domain name. For example, if you use WordPress for free, your address would be something like ‘yourblog.wordpress.com.’
One of the most notable benefits of these platforms is the ease of use and advanced functionality of the service. Neither Blogger nor WordPress require you to know any coding and allows you to build and post to your blog with an easy-to-use interface.
Trust me it wasn’t always simple.
Having the ability to utilize these platforms allows people to create blogs that are high-tech and can work like full-blown professional websites.
If you are occasionally ‘offline’ you can benefit from WordPress’s ability to import posts. This means you can put your blog together while you are not connected to the internet and then import it later. If you already use another blogging service, you can also import your posts directly into Blogger or WordPress.
Another huge benefit of using these platforms is that they have a large widget, element, and theme library that allow you to add useful features and professional-grade styles to your blog.
Should you host your website or blog?
Yes…and No…but Yes..but also..No?
Let me explain.
When I first started as a blogger, I had no idea what I was doing or where I wanted to go. I just wanted to write and share my content. I wasn’t looking into building a business or a brand or even making any money. So, I started with a free wordpress.com blog.
If this sounds like you, then NO, you should not invest in a hosting service for your website or a domain name.
A couple of months down the line, I decided that my blog could become a business. That is when I decided to write a business plan and look at things like ad revenue, affiliate marketing, and email lists.
If this is where you are right now, then absolutely, YES, you HAVE to host your site.
Not only is it more professional, but it is the only way to be able to monetize your blog with ads from AdSense or WordAds ( as well as any other ad platform). Unless you manually enter affiliate ads on your blog (which is a lot harder to do if you have a free blog) then there is no other way to get your site monetized with ad agencies.
It also makes it a lot easier when applying for certain affiliate programs to get excepted into these programs when you have a website with your own domain.
There is just no way around it if your blog is truly going to become your business.
I recommend using BlueHost if you are just beginning. You can get a fully functioning website, domain, and hosting all for under $3 a month which is perfect for any beginner. It is also the platform that I host this website on.
But to give you some perspective on what you can get with all for of these sites, you can refer to the table below:
|Host||Cheapest Price (mo.)||Sites Available||Disk Space||Free Domain||User Rating|
Another option to consider would be blogging software that you can directly integrate into your website. Basically, you would be hosting your own site without these hosting packages.
There is a bit of a learning curve but it comes with a lot of advantages as well.
The benefit is that the content of your blog becomes part of what search engines see for your domain.
As an alternative, Google’s Blogger gives you the ability to publish to an FTP site, which means that you can blog from your own domain.
However, it should be noted that you do lose some of the flexibility of the out-of-the-box service. So you will have to put in some effort, to make sure you can customize your templates and make your posting capabilities easier.
If you feel like it is all too complicated, then obviously this method isn’t for you.
If, on the other hand, this seems like it could be an option for you then you may benefit from the expanded flexibility an integrated application could provide.
In the end, you have a wide, wide range of very inexpensive (or free) options to get started.
Should you build an email list as a beginner blogger?
I am always surprised that people still ask this question.
I wrote about email lists in-depth in my post about GetResponse and I still talk about it in my other posts.
The short answer: YES
How to make money with your blog as a beginner?
There are several ways to monetize a blog in general. However, as a beginner, there are 2 main ways that you are going to want to focus on:
- affiliate marketing
How to make money with ads?
When it comes to ads, there are several different ad agencies that you can use.
Each one with its pros and cons. Unfortunately, though, you will only be able to qualify for a few when you are just beginning because bigger agencies are going to require more traffic to your site (read more about that below).
How it works is that these ad agencies will show ads on your website and depending on what agency it is, they will pay per click, per view, and/or per sale
Here is a list of some quick pros and cons of each:
|Adsense||– Is completely free to join and the barrier of entry is a lot easier. |
– Monetization is available globally.
– Ads are also customizable and easy to integrate with any platform.
|– You only get paid after making at least $100. |
– Your ads ar limited to Google only and they do not pay as much as many other ad agencies.
|Ad Words||– Is owned by WordPress so works great with WordPress sites. |
– Makes ads that are optimized for your website and can generally convert better.
|– Requires thousands of page views to be eligible which is difficult for a new blog to reach.|
|Media.Net||– Better quality of demand means that advertisers will be willing to pay more.|
– Ads are more targeted to the user. Huge advertiser budget.
|– The majority of your traffic has to come from top-tier countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.|
– Only pays in US dollars.
How to make money with affiliate marketing?
This is BY FAR my favorite way to monetize any blog or website.
If you do not know what affiliate marketing is then you should read my post where I explain How to Start Affiliate Marketing as a Beginner for a more in-depth look.
With affiliate marketing, you add referral links into your blog post that lead to different companies or products, If someone purchases something from that company, you will get a commission because they purchased through your link.
The commissions that you can get with affiliate marketing are significantly higher than with ad agencies so I highly recommend that you get started with this first.
The best part is that you do not even need a purchased domain to have affiliate links and most of the time, it is completely free to sign up to be an affiliate.
Most of your favorite companies already have affiliate programs. There are also affiliate marketplaces like Amazon Associates and Clickbank where you can promote several things and have all the payments in one place.
It is very beginner-friendly and easy to start with and if you keep up with these tips, you should be getting your site off the ground in no time.
It still amazes me that people think that blogging is dead or that it is hard to get into.
Blogging is not hard.
It is our constant need for instant gratification that makes us give up too easily. Blogging and building an online platform needs time to marinate.
Unfortunately, we tend to focus on the exceptions to the rule. You know, that one girl that blew up overnight, or that guy that made $1000 his first month blogging?
Those are not supposed to happen, they just…happened.
The norm is that it may take you anywhere from 2-3 months or maybe even up to a year of putting in work before you start to feel the real benefits.
But it is TOTALLY worth it.
Imagine if you had started a year ago. You most likely would be reaping the benefits of your labor right now.
So don’t get disappointed if you find that in your 3rd month of blogging, you have $0 and 10 pageviews.
It is a part of the journey and will only make the success that much sweeter.