Aimee Thomas turned to the internet as a way to earn money whilst being able to stay home with her firstborn son. Now close to 10 years down the line and with another 2 more kids she feels able to offer advice to others who want to turn their passion into profit. Aimee shares her top tips on turning your passion into profit by launching your own blog…
Blogging is more than just a hobby: It can also be a fantastic way to make a full-time living if you know what you are doing.
If you have a great idea and a topic that you want to write about, you could turn your passion into profit by launching your own blog.
But how should you get started?
Fortunately, it’s easy to do. Here’s a guide to getting your new money-making blog off the ground in no time at all.
Research Your Niche
The first thing you will want to do is research your niche. There are blogs on every topic under the sun, but while some of them have the potential to make serious incomes, others are more of a hobby for the blog creators.
If you want to make money from your blog, you have to choose a niche that has the potential to earn an income. This means something that is not too niche because it may not have enough potential customers.
But it also needs to be a topic that you are interested in. You’ll have to create lots of content on countless topics to make a good income, so you need to make sure it is something you really have an interest in.
Once you have a few ideas, check out the competition and see who the big players in your niche are. Just because you have competition, it does not mean you shouldn’t start your blog. But you should know who the main players are because this can affect how you approach your blog, including the focus you take on your niche.
Get Your Own Domain Name
If you check out any blogging website like blogging.com to find out how to create the perfect blog, the first thing you will read is that you need to have your own domain name.
While many free hosts with free domains exist, you want to have full control over your domain. It also makes you look more professional and helps with your branding.
Go to a registrar like Namecheap, find out if your domain name is free, and pay for it. You can rent a domain for as little as a year, or for much longer.
Choose a Host
Just as you need a domain name, you will also need a host. This is completely up to you, and you have a lot of choices.
There are companies that provide hosting alongside website building tools, like Weebly and Wix. These allow you to design your own website and provide fast and secure hosting.
But you might prefer to use an open-source content management system (CMS) like WordPress. This is free to use, but you will need to pay for your hosting separately.
You can then buy a template to use as your website, or you can get a professional designer to create a template for you.
If you are just starting out, buying a good template is a good place to start. Once your blog starts to grow, you can always use some of your profits to hire a designer.
Create an Email Sign-Up Form
One of the big mistakes that beginner bloggers make is failing to start building their email lists from day one.
Don’t wait until you are receiving lots of traffic before you collect emails. Your email list is the best marketing tool you will ever have. It allows you to reach out directly to your most engaged readers and send them details of your latest posts, special offers, products, and more.
Setting up your email list is easy. Simply choose an email provider like MailChimp or GetResponse, sign up to one of their packages, and create your first few emails.
Create a form for your website where visitors can sign up to your list by leaving their email address. Encourage them to sign up by providing them with a freebie like an ebook, a report, an email course, or something else.
You might want to create a short autoresponder series of emails. This is where you send out anything from three to 20 emails automatically, and these should be really valuable for your new subscribers. You could also link to products that you sell.
Once you’ve done all of the above, start creating and publishing your posts. You will probably already have lots of ideas to write on, but if not, get brainstorming and come up with an editorial calendar.
Aim to publish blogs anything from once a week to multiple times.
Promote Your Content
The above steps are the basic process for getting your blog up and running, but simply writing great content is not enough to get traffic. You will need to promote your blog posts by sharing them on social media, reaching out to influencers in your niche, and making contacts with other bloggers.
Start doing this regularly, and in time you should start to generate a steady stream of targeted traffic to your blog. And then you are ready to make money by selling advertising, promoting affiliate products, and creating and selling your own products. Let’s look into these in a bit more detail.
Sell Advertising on Your Blog
Selling advertising is one of the best options for new bloggers because it’s so easy to do. All you need to do is set up an account with Google AdSense, and you can start advertising on your blog immediately.
Google will automatically choose which ads to display, but they are likely to be related to your niche. Then every time that a visitor clicks on one of the ads, you will make some money.
The amount you make per click can vary depending on the product being sold, but if enough people click on the ads on your site, you could make anything from a bit of extra pocket money to a serious amount of money.
Once your blog gets bigger and your traffic increases, you may find that you can charge marketers to advertise their products directly on your blog. You could work out a monthly fee based on the amount of traffic you receive, and this could be a great way to make some more money from your blog.
Promote Affiliate Products
Affiliate marketing is a popular way to make money when you have a blog up and running. The basic idea is that you promote someone else’s product, and when your visitors click on a link on your site and end up buying the product, you take a cut.
One of the most popular affiliate schemes is run by Amazon. Simply sign up, link to products on Amazon from your site, and if someone buys something you end up making some extra money.
But Amazon is just the start. There are thousands of ways to promote affiliate products, so search for affiliate schemes in your niche and find some that might work on your blog.
The best way to promote affiliate products is to send them to your email list. Once you have built up a large list, recommend or review an affiliate product. If a few of your subscribers purchase it, you can make a lot of money this way.
Sell Your Own Products
Finally, you could also sell your own products directly. The benefit of this is that you keep all the profits, compared to promoting affiliate products where you only take a cut. However, you have to create the products in the first place, which could take a lot of time.
What could you sell? Ebooks and courses are popular because you don’t need a lot of equipment to create them and you can sell them electronically. For example, you could create a video course packed full of your best tips and advice and then charge for access.
Alternatively, you could create a subscription product like a community for which people have to pay a monthly or annual fee to access. This could be a great option because it provides recurring income, making it easier to make a living from your blog.
Start Making an Income from Your Blog
As you can see, there are many ways that you can start making some decent money from your blog. The first stage is to start generating more traffic and signing people up to your list. Once you are doing that, experiment with different money-making strategies and find out which ones work best for you.