Starting a side hustle online can be a great way to boost your income and explore your passion. Plus, since you’ll only need your computer and a WiFi connection, you can do it from anywhere in the world. Still, you might not know how to get started.
Fortunately, there are tons of ways to make money blogging. For instance, you can display advertisements, become an affiliate marketer, or create a membership site.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of starting a blog. Then, we’ll show you how to do this and discuss five ways to monetize your site. Let’s jump right in!
Who Benefits From a Blog?
First, let’s look at some ways that businesses and individuals can benefit from starting a blog.
The Benefits of Blogging for Businesses
A blog is a great addition to any business because it gives you a platform to drive organic traffic to your website. Additionally, since you’re able to target different keywords in each post, you’ll have more opportunities to show up in search engine results.
What’s more, if you answer common questions in your posts, a blog is a quick way to establish your business as an industry leader. That way, readers can come to know you as the authority on a particular topic.
Lastly, starting a blog enables you to establish meaningful relationships with customers. For instance, you might use the platform to share company news, celebrate achievements, or offer a behind-the-scenes look into your business.
The Benefits of Blogging for Individuals
Businesses aren’t the only ones that can benefit from starting a blog. Blogs are also a great way for individuals to establish themselves as content creators or influencers.
That’s because starting a blog enables you to extend your social presence. For starters, you can share your content on different social networks to find new readers:
Eventually, you may want to monetize your blog and start a passive income business. A blog is a great way to support this venture since posts can be discovered long after you publish them. Therefore, you can continue to get views, leads, and revenue.
How to Start a Blog
Now that you know the benefits of blogging, let’s take a look at how to get started.
1. Choose a Niche
The success of your blog can depend largely on choosing the right niche. A niche will determine the type of content you’ll create and the audience you’ll serve.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid saturated niches like fashion, beauty, and fitness. Choosing a more specific niche will make it easier to set your blog apart from the others.
For example, if you want to start a food blog, you might narrow it down to gluten-free baking or family meals:
Once you’ve settled on a niche, you can check whether this type of content is in demand by using Google Keyword Planner:
This enables you to see the popularity of certain keywords and search terms that people are using to find content online.
Typically, it’s best to choose search terms and topics with enough interest. However, you might want to avoid topics that are very popular since they may be difficult to rank for.
2. Install WordPress
WordPress is a free, open-source platform where you can create and publish content. It supports tons of different types of content like pages, blog posts, and digital files. Plus, it’s easy to add videos and images to your blog to make your material more engaging:
What’s more, you can use WordPress themes to get your site looking exactly the way you want. And, you can use plugins to expand the functionality of your site.
If you have some technical knowledge, you might prefer to download WordPress yourself. Otherwise, you can find tons of quality web hosts that include WordPress installations as part of their services.
3. Write Your First Post
At this point, you’re ready to start publishing content. With WordPress, you can create your first post directly within the editor. Simply click on the + to add WordPress blocks for text, headings, images, and more:
To increase your visibility online, it’s a good idea to populate your content with keywords. You can find the right keywords for your blog using Google Keyword Planner. Then, you’re able to add these terms to text areas like headings, permalinks, and meta descriptions.
If you’re happy with your post, click on Publish. Or, you can hit Save draft to finish it later.
How to Make Money From Your Blog (5 Ways)
Once you’re posting consistently and you’ve acquired an audience, it might be a good idea to monetize your blog. Here are five ways to get started.
1. Become an Affiliate Marketer
One of the best ways to monetize your blog is with affiliate marketing. This is a great way to earn a passive income. It’s also well suited to blogging because you’ll find plenty of opportunities to include affiliate links in your content.
Affiliate marketing involves partnering with brands or individuals that occupy the same niche or share a similar target audience. For instance, one of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon Associates which enables you to earn a 10 percent commission on qualifying purchases:
Once you’ve been accepted into your preferred affiliate program, you’ll be given a unique affiliate link to place on your website. This link may lead to the company’s site or to a specific product that they want you to promote.
Typically, if someone clicks your link and then makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission from the sale. Although, some brands will pay you simply for directing traffic to their pages.
2. Create a Membership Site
A membership website is a great way to monetize your blog. It also enables you to build a community of like-minded people. There are different ways you can execute this strategy.
First, you can make some of your content accessible to visitors and then save your best pieces for members. In this case, users will need to purchase a membership on your site to read your premium posts:
Or, you can create a full membership site that can only be reached by those with an active membership to your blog.
To get started, you’ll need to use a plugin like MemberPress. This enables you to set up multiple membership options. Then, you can use the plugin to protect your premium content with membership rules.
3. Display Advertisements
Advertisements are an easy way to monetize your site since they don’t interfere with your content. However, it’s important to be aware that ads can disrupt the User Experience (UX).
You can sell your ad space directly which gives you more control over the companies you work with. For instance, you’ll be able to set your own rate and determine the position of ads on your pages. But, you’ll need to be comfortable handling negotiations yourself.
If you don’t want the responsibility of finding advertisers, you can sell ads using Google AdSense:
Google AdSense is an ad network that matches advertisers with businesses selling ad space on their websites. It enables you to present more user-friendly ads that are tailored to your visitors.
Every time a user clicks on your ad, you’ll get a percentage of whatever the company pays Google. While this method is much easier, you’ll have to split the revenue with the network.
4. Sell Physical or Digital Products
If you run a business, you might already have physical products to sell. On the other hand, you might be able to make physical products such as personalized items that you see on marketplaces like Etsy.
In this case, you can use a plugin like WooCommerce to transform your blog into an online store:
Then, you can add a payment gateway to your site to accept and authorize payments.
For example, you can sell photographs, prints, guides, eBooks, and more.
Then, your blog can function as the perfect platform to promote these products. You can do this directly, by creating fresh posts for new product launches. Or, you can write tutorials, product reviews, or roundups that highlight your items.
5. Accept Donations
The easiest way to make money blogging is to simply ask readers for donations. You might feel uncomfortable doing this at first, but if you’re offering enough value, some visitors will be happy to contribute.
You may not earn lots of revenue this way. However, as a new blogger, it could be enough to cover basic costs like hosting, themes, and plugins.
To get started, you can launch a crowdfunding campaign with a platform like JustGiving:
Alternatively, you can collect donations using a plugin like GiveWP.
It’s also a good idea to maintain transparency when asking readers to make payments. Therefore, you’ll want to tell readers what the money is going towards.
Starting a blog is a great way to generate a passive income so that you can make money even as you sleep. Better yet, there are plenty of accessible and beginner-friendly monetization options.
To recap, here are five ways to make money blogging:
- Become an affiliate marketer
- Create a membership site
- Display advertisements
- Sell physical or digital products
- Accept donations
Do you have any questions about how to make money from your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!