In this video, I discuss some information you should before you start a blog for profit. This answers a lot of the questions you didn't know to ask. I also cover some of the challenges bloggers face as they start a blog for profit.
Rather than giving you a step-by-step guide or a how-to video, this one covers one of the ways many people will tell you to use for monetization, yet I disagree with.
Before you get started, you should at least know how you can start a blog for profit. That's what I talk about in this video, or rather what NOT to do to monetize your blog.
The most popular ways to make money with a blog are related to advertising.
But there are other ways as well, this is a short video, under 5 minutes that covers some gotchas and advice that will help you before you start a blog and should help you define your goals and do some planning in advance.
As a side note, obviously one of the things you need for a blog is web hosting.
Too Long; Didn't Watch?
If you didn't want to watch the short video, or you wanted more depth, then I'll give you a short summary and some tips next.
Advertising is the easiest way to monetize your blog. You can easily place contextual ads from Google, or Bing, or even other networks, but it may not be the most profitable.
Instead, I suggest you monetize your blog with other methods and with specific steps.
Here Are the Basic Steps to Start a Blog for Profit
Obviously, first thing is to get web hosting and start your blog. This should take less than two hours. Use the link I gave you above then follow the instructions to use the one-click installation service for WordPress and you'll be up and running in no time.
If you need help, make sure you use my link and I will setup your blog for you. It just takes about a day. Purchase your web hosting here, send me an email and give me your information. In return, I'll install the blog for you with everything you need to get started.
Once you have your blog installed, get an email list so you can begin a relationship with your readers. You will ask for their email address on your blog in exchange for exclusive information or an insider's view of your blog or content. You can use Aweber to accomplish this, they have a free month trial that will be enough to get started.
Once your Aweber list is set up and ready to go, connect it to your blog. You can use the Aweber code and the HTML widget in WordPress, or use a more sophisticated plugin like Optinmonster.
Start producing good content. Whatever topic you decided to write about, get to work. Start writing blog posts. Write the best content you can at this time, write fast, publish fast.
You will get better with time, and you can always go back to fix any mistakes you make, but put your best effort forward now.
The key here is to hit the publish button. Write five to 15 blog posts before you tell anyone about your blog. Try to write daily. Then you can start monetizing it.
Once you decide how to monetize it (I'll give you a few options next), start promoting your blog everywhere you can. The goal is to get people to read your blog and sign up for your email list.
You will monetize your blog posts directly, but having the ability to email your readers each time you post a new blog post is what's going to make you great money.
As the not so old adage goes, the money is in the list!
Here are the basic ways to monetize your blog
Obviously, advertising is the easiest, but as I mentioned above and in the video, it may not be the most profitable. In fact, you may not make any money for a long time. You could get lucky but ads most likely will take a while to yield results.
You could advertise affiliate products or your own products which I will cover next. To do that, use a WordPress plugin like Adsanity or OIO Publisher.
This is my favorite way to monetize my blog and social media. Affiliate marketing works very simply.
You find a product or service that offers an affiliate program. There are thousands and thousands. Some of the best-known brands offer an affiliate program.
You sign up for the affiliate program, obtain your personalized links and use them in your content. In case it wasn't obvious, the program should be a good match for your content and ideally, it should be a product or service you love or use.
It doesn't have to be, but it will inspire more trust with your readers if you are not only promoting the product, but also using it.
A tip here is this: find the product you use, or love, or the best match for your type of content. Then go to google and type in the product name then add this to your search +"affiliate program."
You can also search directly on the brand's website to see if they have an affiliate program, but often they won't advertise it there which is why I recommend you do a search specifically for affiliate program.
You can also search for "partner program" or "referral program" or "rewards program" because some companies refer to their affiliate program with their own name.
Create your Own Product
This can be extremely profitable, but it can also be the toughest. I don't recommend it for beginners because product development takes a lot of energy, forethought, and planning.
Don't let me discourage you from starting your own product, but be aware that it's a bit tougher than it looks and certainly a lot harder than many marketers will tell you. With that disclaimer in place, be aware that you can make all kinds of products.
Physical products could also be great for your blog. You could find a manufacturer and distributor and start making a product that you sell on your blog.
Or you could white-label a product, meaning you find a product that you can label as your own and market any way you want. Rumor has it that Kylie Jenner started her billion dollar empire this way.
The blog will serve as its own advertising and PR machine, and a plugin like Woocommerce can do the e-commerce part effortlessly.
Write a Book
This is just a slight variation of the previous method of "creating your own product" but a little more specific. As I mentioned, an information product is a viable option. It's relatively easy to write a short book and sell it, you can sell it in all kinds of marketplaces.
Amazon has a great program for people that want to self-publish. You could self-publish your book and sell it on Amazon anywhere from $0.99 up to $30.00 or more. Obviously, you will have to test out the pricing and build up a marketing strategy, but a big part of that can be done on the blog.
Once you write your first book, you can write another one and keep going. Amazon and your blog will continue to promote the book so you can focus on new products or other books. This could make a nice recurring income stream.
Here are some books that can help you with that:
- Publish Your Book on Amazon for Free: How to Self-Publish Without Paying a Dime (link)
- How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Third Edition) (link)
- Self Publish to a World of Readers: with Amazon, Apple, Google and Other Major Retailers (link)
This one can be a little tricky but it can also be highly profitable. First, a really quick overview of what native content is.
Native content refers to content that fits the topic, writing style but also promotes a product. Think about those advertorials you see in magazines. They're usually 2 or 4 pages long and they look like articles, but if you look closely, you'll see the word "advertisement" somewhere in the article.
The way you make money with this method is by generating traffic to your blog using your email list and social media, and then by making deals with brands. The deals will usually include what's called a "sponsored post" or an "influencer post."
Brands pay anywhere from $50 up to tens of thousands for a well-written article or blog promotion campaign. It will take time to raise your prices and to have the ability to make deals with brands, but you can do it if you focus on quality content that is niche.
There are tons of other methods you can use, so this blog post isn't comprehensive but you can start with any of these methods and grow more sophisticated over time. I wanted to tell you of four more ways you can make money with your blog, but I'll cover those in separate blog posts because they require some complex modifications to the standard blog. These include:
- directory blogs where you gather information about a niche group of websites, businesses or people.
- user-generated content blogs where your audience creates content for you.
- e-commerce where you sell a number of products with a proper shopping cart.
- membership-based blogs where you offer content to paying members.
Starting a blog for profit is a great way to make money online. To start a blog is simple, but to make money with it requires a little more effort. The main obstacle is being consistent and dedicated to it.
If you can overcome that, then you'll do fine.
You'll need to decide your main strategy for monetizing your blog, but all blogs need an email list. Then you can use advertising, affiliate marketing or even your own products to start making money.