There is no hidden secret to making money online. It’s as simple as starting a blog, dedicating yourself to growing that blog, and setting achievements. Your blog can provide you with enough passive income to quit your day job no matter how you choose to monetize.
Blogging 101: Getting Started
There is some basic stuff that you need to know before you even consider what type of blog you want to create. First, consider what your skills are. What are you good at? Are you an expert at anything? What subjects are you passionate enough about to focus on day in and day out?
Making money blogging doesn’t involve many secrets. The single most important ingredient is your dedication. That means working on your blog every day—especially while starting our. There is no “official” set of instructions on how to blog. As you go along, you will find your voice and style. Maybe you’re creating videos—maybe it’s article—the first step is the same: choose your subject matter.
Successful blogs all have one thing in common: they all have really good content. While you’re figuring our how to start a blog it’s likely you’ll find yourself looking at other blogs for ideas. This is a good thing. I want you to pay attention to the titles, presentation of content, and the subject matter. Different audiences respond to different content.
Podcasts are great for long-dives and inspiring overviews. Illustrations and step-by-step breakdowns are great for technical discussions. Video can be great for art, design, and instructional content. Once you know the subject you want to start a blog with start looking to see what shape other blogs’ content takes. Don’t copy—just take note.
Create a Website
Yes, you have to build a website to start blogging. There are platform like Medium, Blogger, and even social media like Instagram and Twitter that provide pre-built tools. These are ok choices but you want to build your own audience and associate a unique website with your brand.
This way, you’ll have as little reliance as possible on third parties. Remember when Facebook “adjusted” their algorithm and pages lost 90+% of their reach overnight? That’s why you want a website.
WordPress is my favorite tool for creating websites. It’s fast, easy, and comes with aboatload of support. Forget about having to hire a developer—just Google any issue you run into! The WordPress community is so large that it’s hard to compare it to anything else. WordPress sites account for more than 50% of the entire Internet. That statistic still baffles me.
In as little as half an hour, you can register your domain, select a WordPress Theme, register for hosting, and be ready to go. I have gone through this process for so many different sites that I can almost do it blindfolded. The first time wasn’t quite as easy but still was doable with no prior knowledge. You do need hosting though, and that can be hard to choose.
Best WordPress Hosting
There are dozens if not hundreds of websites that advertise wordpress hosting services. You’ll see ever host brag about their speed, pricing, and comparative advantages to other hosts. In most cases, I see these companies making shit up to compare. At the end of the day—there are only a few things to really concern yourself with:
- Regular Price
- Backups & Restore Points
- Optimized for WordPress
Three. That’s all that really matters. There are dozens of other attributes to weigh but these are the three I find most important. Let’s talk about each, briefly:
Regular Price vs. Promotional Pricing
The price you see advertised is not the price you’ll be paying. Every webhost advertises pricing at 75% or greater discounts. They’ll give you this price for 3 months, 6 months, or sometimes even a year—depending how far in advance you pay. Always see what the pricing will renew at to know what you’ll be on the hook for this time next year
Backups & Restore Points
Things go wrong. Your website might get hacked, you might delete a post by accident, or you may install a new theme and plugin combo that crashes things. Expect disaster. Webhosts like SiteGround create daily backups so you can click an button and have your website restored to its former glory. There are plenty of third-party backup services but having a service native to your hosting provider is something I recommend.
WordPress can cause a webserver to have a panic. Fortunately, there are measures that engineers can take to make things run smoothly. If you would rather spend you time making money with your blog rather than tweaking the server I suggest get a quality host. Look for hosts that offer “managed WordPress hosting.” This hosting means you’ll never have to touch a database, learn what the hell CPanel is, or manually adjust caching or server settings.
Marketing & Promotion
You may think that starting a blog only means creating content. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Starting a successful blog is 1 part content creation and 1 part content promotion. Connecting with your audience in forumns, social networks, and other avenues is essential. Jump into discussions about similar topics and link to resources on your page that are helpful.
Other strategies like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are essential to the success of your blog as well. Starting a blog without planning for SEO, advertising, and other channels of marketing is setting yourself up for failure. Hiring a marketing agency is always an option—but I recommend learning yourself. Having a strong sense of what it takes to market your blog successfully will help better understand how to connect to your audience.
Starting a blog is a rewarding experience. Making money from a blog is an even more rewarding experience. Blogging is, at its core, about creating content to connect with like-minded individuals in a way that provides value. If you aren’t providing value to an audience you’ll not have one for long. Keep this in mind during every keystroke, every Photoshop manipulation, and every comment you leave in forums. Successful blogs offer value first and expect payment later.