This post may contain Affiliate Links (View Our Affiliate Disclosure on the Sidebar for more info)
If you are looking for ways to earn cash online, and you’ve stumbled upon what appears to be an impossible way to earn…blogging.You've heard your crazy cousin earn money selling stuff off eBay for years now, it's time to consider that there is money to be made online. The path we think is best is blogging.Click To Tweet
It’s become cliche almost that you can make money online writing your expertise or expressing yourself creatively, but the fact remains, yes you can make money blogging!
You can get started right away using SiteGround, one of the most recommended WordPress Hosting Services around!
WordPress is the writing tool where you’ll enter in your images, content, themes, and much more! Wouldn’t you want to the best service for it? SiteGround is the solution.
Learn How to Start a Blog
- Learn How to Start a Blog
- Frequently Asked Questions About Starting a Blog
- Step 1: Blog Name Ideas
- Step 2: Learn Affiliate Marketing
- Step 3: Start Affiliate Marketing
- Step 4: Social Media is Essential
*Caution* I’m not a YouTube Influencer!*
My Personal Contact Info:
Frequently Asked Questions About Starting a Blog
- What if I suck as a writer?!
We use Grammarly, which will give you spelling and grammar suggestions. We chose the premium version since it has a few more features than the basic one, and it works with WordPress, so you’ll have a spell-checking, grammar wizard on your side!
- I have a blog but it doesn’t make money…what am I doing wrong?
Remember to start a blog about something you know more than others! Or something you are simply amazingly passionate about. Also try to write in a tone where you aren’t a guide, but rather a friend discussing a topic. You can try affiliate marketing, Ads, and Paid Sponsorships, but unless you have people coming and listening to you, these opportunities will go for naught.
- How Much Does This Blog Make?
We make anywhere from $500-$2000 a month blogging. Most of it is passive, meaning once we write it, we’ll make money while we’re sleeping! It’s the best form of income around!
- What if I want to make $100,000/mo like some other bloggers?
Sadly, no blogger will tell you their formula to make extraordinary money like this. There’s a reasonwhy there’s only a handful of these types of bloggers out there! That being said, it’s possible if you capture your audience’s loyalty on a daily, if not hourly basis. Trust us, we’ve done the research!
- How do I start a Blog WITHOUT WordPress?
There are actually quite a few Content Services out there like Joomla, Squarespace, Wix, and more. We favor WordPress because of the additional plugins, easy theme integration, and overall support and popularity of the software. You’ll find a ton more helpful information about WordPress than other ones, but it’s possible to do well on those platforms as well. Most of the services including WordPress take away Coding, so you don’t have to learn much about that aspect.
- I have a Business, Should I have a Blog?
Not all websites need a blog. If you are starting a blog because it’s trendy…don’t. It may be helpful for SEO purposes, but in the long run, your time is better spent on your other business opportunities.
- Which Hosting Do You Use?
For two years, we’ve been using SiteGround. Whenever we have something wrong with our site, whether it’s lost information or an error, SiteGround always is open to either a call or chat through customer service. We’re happy, that’s why we recommend them!
- How to Start If I Have My Own Domain Name already?
There are several things you can do here. You can buy monthly hosting from a company like WPEngine and bring your domain over. Or just buy an Annual plan and set up your domain using whatever hosting your choose to go with, whether that’s GoDaddy, Hostgator, SiteGround, WPEngine, BlueHost, whatever. Each of these services willhelpyou with your domain issues and inquiries!
- What If I’m Based in India, UK, Austrailia, or other locations?
Getting started no matter where you are, require similar procedures. SiteGround operates internationally as do most hosting providers!
Step 1: Blog Name Ideas
Before buying a domain or hosting, ask yourself this simple question: What do I know more than others?
If the answer is clear, then you should continue to the next step. But if you don’t know the answer, or if you have trouble defining a particular niche or category, you will need to find this out first. Starting a blog requires you to write, consistently, to a specific niche and the audience that follows that niche. If you like fishing, for example, you could start a blog on different fishing aspects. Since your audience is defined, you’ll be able to target content towards them. Here’s a couple of neat ideas and possible domain names:
- Traveling Around Disney World (TravelingWithMice.com)(Mouseketteers.com)
- Different Types of Wine (WineThatisFine.com –probably taken LOL)
- Entertainment Gossip (WhoDunItThisTime.com)
- School Debt and College Experiences (Illneverownahousethiscentury.com)
- Running and Fitness (RunningwithMamaSandwich.com)
- Finance (HackThatMoneyMan.com)
- and many more!
Once you have your content focusready to go, you should consider branding your blog with a domain. There is debate as to whether, a dot com, or dot net, matter in this decision, but the answer is always clear, dot com is still preferred amongst the web since most are already used to typing that in. If you rely on people going to your website through Google, it wouldn’t matter as much, but if someday you want people totype in your site, a dot-com domain in necessary!
Try our partner SiteGroundfor AMAZING Hosting Customer Support
(SiteGround Can Handle All The Technical Stuff Below If Needed!!)
Buying hosting off the bat isn’t for everyone. You can always create your own WordPress blog for Free! You’ll have to go directly to WordPress.com to get started. Keep in mind though that if you are serious about making money, hosting a blog through WordPress is an uphill battle getting your brand and content out. Most people like to see www.YOURDOMAIN.com, instead of YOURDOMAIN.WORDPRESS.COM.
Step 2: Learn Affiliate Marketing
You’ve seen it online on Pinterest. You’ve seen the success stories with monthly income reports. But, like many out there: You Have No Clue What Affiliate Marketing Is!Well, luckily we’ve dedicated a portion of our site to simplifying Affiliate Marketing so much that anyone can understand what it means, and how to apply it to business and life.
What is Affiliate Marketing You May Ask?
Affiliate Marketing has been around since the commerce world has started. Sure, it’s entirely different today, but the gist of it remains. Let’s say Caveman A brings a Tasty Treat to his tribe and Caveman B is impressed by the quality of the treat. If Caveman B goes and successfully hunts for the Tasty Treat, Caveman A should have been rewarded for finding the Treat, to begin with. Of course, Cavemen didn’t always share, but if there were a reward behind it, that would necessarily be a commission or compensation for showing the way to get to theTasty Treat. Affiliate Marketing works very similarly.
Technology and Referring People to Stuff
As a society, we’ve always been referring people to goods and services for as recorded history began. Whether it’s trendy clothing, food, or cleaning services that act of compensating the person that can connect the dots is what is somewhat new. And now, because the internet is all about connecting through links and social media, we can measure affiliate marketing and referrals down to the T. Thus the growth of the Affiliate Marketing world.
Affiliate Tracking Technology itself has been around for nearly 20 years now from utilizing powerful networks, to standalone services the guts remain the same since it’s inception.
- Affiliate Software hosts Cookie Tracking Ability
- Blogger/Publisher/Social Media Influencer Grabs Approved Affiliate Links
- When Readers or Potential Customers Click Links Cookies are tracked
- Should Reader End Up Buying – Publisher is Rewarded
Cookies are always a debatable topic amongst security and privacy concerns on the internet, but cookies are also the bloodline to most advertising systems, not just Affiliate Marketing. Cookies themselves also track where a typical user goes throughout their daily interactions within a browser. Advertising like Google Ads will tailor their ads based on Cookie movement. Nothing other than the IP address is typically tracked, so no need to worry about personal information like Credit Cards and such.
Affiliate Networks and Programs
Probably the most frustrating thing to see being an Affiliate Marketer is seeing other popular Pinterest pins failing to differ from Affiliate Programs and Networks properly. It’s straightforward actually, and if this terminology is confused then, you as a blogger or reader will probably be confused when you see it elsewhere. Here’s the difference:
- Affiliate Program: Is a single merchant like Macy’s or Kohl’s that offers Affiliate Links and Commissions
- Affiliate Network: Hosts multiple Affiliate programs, like having Kohl’s and Macy’s under a single roof
- That’s it
Typically, I’ll see on Pinterest:Top 10 Affiliate Programs and they’ll be ShareASale, FlexOffers, Commission Junction, when these are Affiliate Networks.
Affiliate Links and Commissions
There have been many breakthroughs in the affiliate world, but one major thing remains. Using your approved Affiliate Links are the guts of what you need to make money. When you are accepted by not only an Affiliate Network but an Affiliate Program, you’ll be able to extract Tracking Links (Affiliate Links). When you share these links with your readers, and they end up clicking them Cookies are transferred. Should a reader buy through the link, you’ll be rewarded with commission. Rare cases exist when an affiliate program offers Coupon Codes that act as affiliate links, but that is rarer than stumbling upon a 30-carat diamond.
What does this mean?You need to share affiliate links with your readers to make money. Bloggers do this strategically through:
- Creative Content
- Social Media (Pinterest is approved for it)
Bloggers that can creatively write and place affiliate links are the ones able to make large incomes through this aspect.
Affiliate Marketing vs MLMs
There’s no doubting that Affiliate is a tad technical. Those who don’t take the time to actually comprehend it are likely to flock elsewhere for business opportunities. Some take advantage of this. MLMs do, or as we like to call Mom’s Losing Money. We go over MLMs vs Affiliate Marketing a bit here, but really all MLMs consist of are affiliate links you pay for. Affiliate marketing is really a free marketing aspect and is based on performance.
Step 3: Start Affiliate Marketing
Choose an Affiliate Network
One of the major pain points of becoming an affiliate marketer is finding the right products that fit your following. There is a solution likeFlexOffers, an affiliate network, that provides products ranging from Groupon, Kohls, Newegg, Best Buy, Etsy and much much more. Since you won’t have to join multiple networks, which can be recommended once you are a pro affiliate marketer, FlexOffers has everything you need right there in front of you.
Apply to Affiliate Programs through the Network
UsingFlexOffers as an example, you’ll be able to apply to programs. Some may take a bit to review your application, and in many cases, these reviews consist of making sure you are a legit person, an also an excellent source of organic (natural and not bogus) referrals.
Before you apply, be sure to review the terms and conditions of each program, sometimes an application will restrict a specific promotional method like buying AdWords campaigns. You can also see the commission rate attached to the program. The commission rate is what you’ll be making if someone ends up buying your product through a referral (affiliate) link.
Affiliate links are the guts of any affiliate marketing aspect. It’s what bridges you from the referral to the commission. When someone clicks on a referral or affiliate link, there is a cookie transferred. No personal information is transferred through the cookie, only the click ID that identifies the user from the network.
To put it simply, the click acts as a connection between purchase and the network, again in this caseFlexOffers. To get a link, it will work the same amongst most major affiliate networks:
- Find the approved program by search or use the Links menu option
- Click the Approved checkbox
- Hit the Orange Search button
- See your authorized links
- Sort by advertiser by typing them into the advertiser search box
Tip: An advertiser is the host of products, for example, Groupon is an advertiser. In affiliate marketing, there is the advertiser (merchant) and the publisher (blog or one who posts the affiliate links)
From this area you’ll see a few things, you’ll see the HTML code, which would include the text you would put in front of the link or even a graphic. You can consider this option should you want paste a sale or promotion directly into your website’s code area. For now, let’s focus on thelink portion. The link is in the HTML but hidden somewhat. If you click on the Link tab on you’ll note the affiliate link shows up. The affiliate link here is “https://track.flexoffer…..fos=1″ the other text right after, rel=”nofollow,” is not technically the affiliate link and can be disregarded. (For that more savvy nofollow is a proper function of SEO).
Keep going and build your following
Most affiliate marketers start up and go away within the first few weeks. It’s tough to convert sometimes when a user knows you are pushing another’s products. Leverage your networks reporting options and find out who is clicking on your links!
Through passion, being technically savvy, and willing to be consistent there may be no better way to make money online than affiliate marketing.
Profiting Through Other Monetization Methods
We’ve talked about this term a few times already but are you clear on it? Here’s the simple meaning:A Way to Get Your Blog to Produce Money. Some ways bloggers monetize?
- Advertising (Google Adsense and others)
- Digital Products
- Coaching or Tutoring
Google Adsense is the most popular way to earn money through passive advertising. You’ll have to sign up to Google Adsense:
- Get Verified
- Apply for Ad Types (like Banners and Text)
- Insert these Ads
- The More Views on these Ads The More Money You Make!!
Here’s why these methods are so darn useful (and accessible): Little to No Overhead
What this means is there is little cost to you to use these techniques including starting a blog compared to other business models. So if your blog fails, there is little out of pocket expense for you. However, don’t let this be a factor in your motivation to keep your business growing!
Step 4: Social Media is Essential
You’ll need to connect with your audience through social networks. One thing we’ve noticed about Social Networks these days is that it’s vital for your blog’s success if you aren’t necessarily skilled at SEO. Without a Social Presence or SEO knowledge, your blog will have a hard time going. Be thorough and get yourself onto these social networks (and be active on them):
Yes, in that order. According to multiple sites we’ve researched, Instagram rarely helped a blog’s overall success. We checked the Student Loan Hero’s Instagram page (which was recently acquired for 50 Million Dollars), and there were only a dozen pictures on Instagram. That being said, it’s your formula that you’ll have to master.
For Pinterest, we’ve heard that outside of Google’s Page Rankings for your posts, Pinterest will be the best source of organic (natural and not bought) traffic around. We’ve had an OK experience with this, although we can confidently say that out of all of the networks out there, Pinterest seems to be the best for your blog’s business overall.
We took a course on Pinterest that we recommend you start with. In fact, we wish we had just bought this course first before all endeavors into the Pinterest world. The Pinterest Traffic Avalanche course is a bit pricey but worthy of your money considering the authors have legit made a ton of cash and won a lot of traffic through the platform.
Believe it or not, no blogger will tell you their exact recipe for success as that’s their competitive advantage.
You’ll Need Hosting:
SiteGround: $3.95/mo Hosting (Annual Includes Domain and SSL)
DreamHost Hosting: $81 per year (Includes Domain)
BlueHost Hosting: $3.95 a month (Includes Domain)
Start Making Money Via an Affiliate Networks
FlexOffers: Free Sign Up (Need Website with Content to Join)
Tailwind: Pinterest Scheduling App
Leadpages: Landing Pages for Getting Email Leads (Advanced)
Themeforest: Most Popular Source for Quality WordPress Themes (yes, this one is from there!)