When people first get the idea that they can make money blogging, they want to jump in with both feet and get cranking. It doesn’t take long for the early excitement to fail when nothing happens.
I’d like to help you learn to make money blogging and have created this beginners guide to give you insights and get over the hump and start earning.
How Do You Start
First and foremost, you need to decide what it is that you want to focus on. In the online world, this is called a niche.
You can start with a free blog but I don’t recommend that you do this. While blogger blogs and WordPress.com will provide you with a place to speak your mind, it is better to have your own self-hosted WordPress blog hosted outside of the free sites. However, if you really do need a free site, you can have the best of both worlds by creating a free site at Wealthy Affiliate. Not only is the site free, but it is a self-hosted WordPress site.
A self-hosted blog is recommended. Self hosting gives you all of the versatility of WordPress without any limitations. One small change can make any blog a website. You decide, website or blog, the software is the same.
There are two main reasons why having your own blog/website is necessary.
- You own all of your content. No one else can take it away.
- Your site has much more authority.
Do you have confidence in free blogs? These are fine for hobby bloggers but when you want to let people know you are here for the long term benefits, a .com site adds authority.
Most hosting companies such as Bluehost, Namecheap, Hostgator and others will provide you with a WordPress installation that is completely your own and won’t be subject to the whims of the free sites.
*Note: There are two WordPress’s.
WordPress.com is a free blogging site and is subjected to limitations as to what themes you can use, what content is allowed, and the inability to create links to items for sale.
WordPress.org is a site that provides software to install on your own blog. This is called a Content Management System(CMS) and enables you to create your own website with this software. This WordPress allows you to have a self-hosted website.
You will need:
- A URL or web address (URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator)
- this is where your site is located. You will need to purchase this at a registrar. Namecheap, BlueHost and many others are registrars. You choose a site name, enter it into the registrar and they will tell you if someone else has already purchased it or if it is available for you to purchase. You should spend less than $15.00/year for a URL.
- This is where the contents of your site reside. As you create content on your site, it is stored in your hosting account. The hosting then allows people to see your content in a safe manner. You will install the WordPress software on your hosting account.
- Most hosting providers provide an easy way to install the WordPress software.
- Hosting can vary depending on the level you need. Very basic hosting can be as little as $4.00/month, other hosting companies may charge more up to $30.00/month. This varies with the amount of visitors and memory needs that are required.
- WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to create a website without the need for programming knowledge. It is available free and has support from most hosting companies.
Starting Your Blog
Making Money on your Blog
I know, you want to know how to earn money with all this work you are doing.
Most bloggers will create an affiliate relationship to bring in money.
Affiliate income is essentially commissions on products that you promote on your site. You attach a code to a link that directs people to the sellers site. A cookie is set with this code notifying the seller that you have sent people to them and if a sale is made, they will provide a commission from 4% to as much as 75% for some products. You can learn more about affiliate marketing on this page.
This is confusing, Where Can I Get Tutorials
There is a membership site called Wealthy Affiliate that will provide you with a full set of tutorials, a community of people that will help you to get started and a place where you can ask questions.
You will also get two free self-hosted sites to get started and learn the ropes. These are free of all the limitations that other free blogging platforms impose, so come on over and check them out.
The basics of affiliate marketing are all laid out in the free membership. So you can get started, kick the tires a bit and see if this is something that you can do. Eventually, you will probably want to join the Premium membership. This is $49/month or, with an annual membership $349/yr. Less than a premium cup of Starbucks.
You can read a full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.