One way that you can create a side income is to start a money making blog. Literally thousands of bloggers from around the world are generating both side and full-time incomes from their blogs and you can too. This series will take you step by step through the process. I’ll guide you through coming up with an idea all the way through to starting to make money with it.
Skeptical? I know, I was too. Many money making ideas on the internet are a bit sketchy, but you have my word that you can honestly earn money by blogging and at the same time build a website that is beneficial and helpful to others. How do I know? I did it and am still doing it.
My first blog
In early 2007, I was on a quest to get my personal finances in order and was soaking up every book and website I could find. Fortunately I stumbled across a few personal finance blogs. I found that I really enjoyed reading blogs as they are very different from traditional books and magazines. Blogs to me seem less formal and more down to earth. I can relate to the authors and I like that.
I made a bold decision one evening to start a blog on personal finance. The sole purpose of this blog would be to share what I was learning with others. At the time I had no idea I could make money blogging. I sincerely had no intention to start a money making blog. I sincerely just wanted to help others. I also seriously doubted anyone outside my family would actually read it. My incentive was that at least by writing down what I was learning it would help me remember it. A few days later, Gather Little by Little appeared on the internet along with my very first article. Little did I know that 2 years later, Gather Little by Little would have more than 3,000 subscribed readers, receive more than 1500 visitors per day, contain more than 550 articles and that I would earn an income blogging of around $1500/month.
What is a blog anyway?
Some of you at this point might be wondering what a blog is exactly. Well, you’re reading one! A blog (short for weblog) is a category of websites that range from online personal journals to sites very similar to online magazines. Active blogs are updated frequently. Updates are made by publishing posts. The term post is an accurate name for an online journal, but for a magazine style or more authoritative blog, I prefer to call them articles, as that is truly what they are. Blogs can contain posts or articles on just about any topic: politics, sports, religion, relationships, technology, hobbies, cars, etc. Some blogs don’t have text at all but are used to publish photos or images. These are called photo blogs.
One of the features of blogs that sets them apart from more traditional web sites is the ability for readers to add comments. Most blogs have a comment form at the bottom of each article where readers can comment on the article, ask questions or voice their agreement/disagreement with the views of the blogger. When I read blogs I often enjoy reading the comments as much as the blogs articles itself.
Some blogs are so popular that they get visited by literally tens of thousands of people daily and even get mentioned in mainstream media. Problogger.net, run by Darren Rowse, is one such example. These types of blogs aren’t just your average Joe or Jane publishing posts about their day, these blogs are generally run by companies or full-time bloggers who at some point chose to start a money making blog and in many instances multiple money making blogs. The income from these blogs grew grew large enough that it’s now their primary income. These folks treat and run their blogs as a business.
Why are blogs so popular?
There are many reasons blogs are so popular, but for the owners and authors I think the main reason is that they like to be heard. I enjoy writing and sharing my knowledge on my blogs very much. I also love it when I get lots of comments and especially when the article gets picked up on social media and and becomes popular. It’s really a great feeling, something you can feel proud of.
Readers like blogs for many reasons. I think the core reason is due to the personal experience that blogs share. Normal media consists of very factual articles that are cleanly written and work to show both sides of the story. While blogs can certainly do the same, many are more “raw”. Raw to me means real. Blogs are a great way to read the perspectives and gain the expertise of people that until blogging took off, just couldn’t be heard.
Why earn an income blogging?
For the reasons above, blogs over the past few years have taken off in a big way. They are popular with web surfers and for our purposes here, also very popular with search engines which drive a great deal of traffic to the various blogs on the internet every day. With that traffic comes earning potential in the form of advertisements.
If you like writing, reading, interacting with people, and enjoy growing something, blogging just might be a great option for you. Note though, blogging is neither a get rich quick strategy or a short term earnings strategy. Blogs take time to grow and are more of a long term investment. What is attractive about blogging is that you can work when you want. As with most things though, the more time you spend on your blog, the quicker it will grow.
When I started Gather Little by Little, I had no idea that I could start a money making blog. Fortunately I was contacted by another blogger named Pinyo who was starting his personal finance blog Moolanomy. Myself, Pinyo and a small handful of other personal finance bloggers decided to work together to benefit and learn from each other. I learned from them that I could earn money blogging on Gather Little by Little. Within 3 months of starting Gather Little by Little, I making money blogging. Granted, I wasn’t earning much, but even on days when I only made a $1, it was $1 more than I ever thought I could earn. My earnings increased steadily each month.
One of the wonderful things about blogging for me was the fact that I could take the weekends off if I wanted and when I checked my earnings on Monday, I had made money. I loved that I wasn’t directly exchanging time for money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of the time I spent creating the blog and writing the articles, but it was just rewarding to know that even when I wasn’t working on the blog, it was making money. While not 100% passive income, it was much closer than my full-time job.
Have I convinced you to start a money making blog? If so great! If not, I suggest you give it a try anyway. The worst case is that you don’t like it and you can consider the many other side income possibilities I’ll be discussing here on Side Income Blogging.
How to start a blog
Starting a blog is pretty easy and can literally take less than just a few minutes using services such as WordPress.com or Blogger. Starting a blog the right way though takes more thought, time and isn’t as easy. Don’t worry though, it’s not that hard either and I’ll take you step by step through the process. Here are just a few of the topics I’ll be covering in the Start a money making blog series:
- Planning – I’ll walk you through the process of choosing topic, help you think through the reasons you’re starting a blog, make sure their is audience for your topic and get your brain wheels turning on article ideas.
- Blog Set-up – Next we’ll set-up the blog. This will include choosing a domain name, reserving it, choosing hosting company, and setting up and installing the blog software.
- Blog Design and layout – Having built and run more than 10 different blogs over the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to blog layout and design. I’ll walk you through exactly how to set your blog up for the optimal reader experience.
- Creating Content – On the internet, content is king. Your articles are the core of your blogging business. This part of the series will walk you through the basic framework of a good article and teach you how to optimize your articles for both your readers and the search engines. I’ll show you as well how to create articles that go viral on social media and drive traffic to your site. We’ll spend a great deal of time talking about content.
- Traffic – You can have all the great content you want, but if people aren’t reading it and visiting your site, it’s all for not. I’ll teach you about the numerous ways to begin driving traffic to your site and I’ll even share some insider tips that will give you the edge. I’ll keep you from learning the hard way like I did.
- Monetization – Since we’re discussing how to start a money making blog, of course we’ll need to discuss how to monetize your blog. We’ll review the different options and how to make them work most effectively for you. We’ll spend a great deal of time here as well.
- Keeping it going and growing – Finally, I’ll conclude the series by discussing what it takes to keep your blog going and growing.
Are you ready? I am and can’t wait to help you start a money making blog!