Ghost is a minimalist blogging platform with limited features focused on writing blog posts. It’s available as a hosted platform, and also as a software that you can install and host yourself. We’ll take a look at both options.
WordPress.org is an open source software platform which allows you to build your website or blog on your own. It is a self-hosted solution, which means you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider.
If there’s one guy’s email I never throw away before reading and dissecting, it’s Jon Morrow. First I was impressed by your back story and then I was impressed with the quality of your work and recommendations.
Hey Sumalee! It doesn’t hurt to start early – just make sure you have some great content published first so readers who are coming from social media sites can see what you have to offer and will want to come back and read more 🙂 And if you want to monetize – go for it! It took me some time to build up – mostly because I had no clue what I was doing – so the earlier you can get started, the better!
Just be aware that affiliate marketing with the wrong company can damage your brand. For instance, I started my blog w/ Blue Host because of Pat Flynn’s recommendation – which I am sure he was paid for. I am now on day 5 of my site, and e-mail being down, with NO estimate from Blue Host as to when it will be back up. As a consequence, I wouldn’t buy a thing he suggested or endorsed, because of my experience with someone he put his seal of approval on. Blue Host has a HORRIBLE reputation among the community, and I even wonder if anyone would “recommend” them unless they were being paid.
I did not make any money from my first blogs for almost 18 months (I didn’t even know you could so did not try) and when I did start to try to make money from them the first income was just a few dollars a week – but gradually in time my income grew from a part time income to a full time income and then beyond.
Consider affiliate programs. By finding an affiliate program suitable for your blog, you agree to provide links to a company’s products, and in return are paid for each reader who makes a purchase after following your link. You can find specific companies by searching an affiliate directory such as ClickBank, or by searching individual company websites for affiliate programs. Consider these factors before you choose an affiliate program:
Could you explain how you monetized your blog? I currently use Word Press (the free verison) and I just started blogging. So I have no idea how to do the Adsense thing. Any direcitons would be really helpful! 🙂
Instead of a job board, you could create an event calendar where you charge people to advertise their events. This also works well if you already have an established audience, because businesses will be willing to pay to reach your audience.
This post was so good that I had to sit in my car and keep reading after I left work, here in the garage. Ha! What caught my attention is the funnel analogy and the webinars. Starting with the expensive first, then offering the less expensive. Brilliant. Also, I want to do webinar but am not sure how to get started. But dammit if I’m not going to think of how to move in that direction! Thanks for the kick in the butt, Jon! 🙂
I started my first ever blog by writing on a consistent schedule about myself, my hobbies and interests. People found me via Google, Facebook, social media and my readership gradually grew over time to where it is today.
Write down every topic that you are knowledgeable or passionate about. You’ll have a much easier time making money from a blog you are interested in, rather than trying to write content you don’t like because you think it will make money. Some examples are hobbies that you enjoy, your career, or some specific and miscellaneous knowledge that you have.
Keep in mind you need lot’s of traffic that is actually targeted traffic which will help convert into money for you.. Let’s say you have a blog about dog grooming and you are getting backlinks on a high authority fashion blog. That traffic from that blog will not equal money for you or very little because those fashion freaks may not even care about dog grooming and find nothing interesting on your blog so they leave rright away. That effects bounce rate over time and you wasted your time getting a quality backlink on a blog that there visitors most likely don’t care about your blog.
Clarity.fm offer this and you can apply to be listed as an ‘expert’ within your niche on their site. In return, you’ll be able to run your consulting phone calls through them, and you even get a widget for your blog.
Create a digital business that can be promoted through your blog. For example, many of my graphic design clients are people who have found me through my blog. Other ideas are to create an Etsy shop or be a social media guru.
The most conventional (and least profitable) method is selling advertising, where you allow companies to promote their products and services to your audience in exchange for a fee. You can also form partnerships with other companies, promoting their products and services and earning a commission each time one of your readers purchases. This is called “affiliate marketing.”
Personally, I think that the most lucrative way to earn money from your blog is to use your blog as a marketing tool and stepping stone, rather than the whole shebang. Branching out also helps you to grow your blog in general, because it increases your presence around the web (and the world). So, what do I mean by “branching out”? Here are some examples of how you could use your blog to gain income and create more followers:
Another important thing to point out, which should be a bullet point for each of these, is social network integration. Blogger, for instance, is what I have been using for years and am now looking to move away from it because it has never done a good job of integrating with various social networks. Like, when sharing to Twitter it doesn’t even use a Twitter “card” so the only thing you see is an anonymous URL. Not very helpful when getting the word out about your latest blog post. Thanks for the great comparison, though. This has given me some good ideas on what to move to.
I have been blogging as my main source of income for the past 8 years. It has been a long hard slog ( making money online is hard ) but in the past few years I have managed to launch successful blog after successful blog which have meant that I can quit the 9-5 and spend more time with my family & start building a lifestyle I am happy with.
I like your blog. Im not making much money from my blog yet but what has been working for me so far are putting adsense ads on the top and bottom of posts and also using affiliate advertising (blue host, flex Offers).
Last year was an absolutely insane one for me and the Millennial Money blog. It has made more money and opened more doors than I could have ever imagined. It has literally changed my life. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2018. ??
From there, I went to work for other big blogs for a few years, helping grow Copyblogger and KISSmetrics into what they are today. Eventually though, I felt the itch to go out on my own again, so I left and started this blog. It now turns a fairly steady $100,000+ a month.
Wow, this is so inspiring to see how great you are doing from beginning to now. To see that the little bit of money I am making on my blogging has the possibility to increase like yours did. Thank you for sharing this!!
Jon, great post. I can tell you put a lot of time and effort into it. A very good read and you are right – I have been afraid to call myself a blogger up to now because most people don’t take you seriously. From today I will shout from the rooftops ‘Yes I’m a blogger’ 🙂
This is a step by step and easy to follow guide that will help you setup your own blog from the start. This guide is not to motivate someone to start blogging. It is best suited for someone who already made the decision to start a blog and need some step by step direction of the whole process.
I have read about being careful to charge enough to cover my expenses, also not to undercut others who must cover expenses, and really, I think that an admirable goal. I don’t want to run someone else’s life, to guarantee their life-long success if I’m the one in control. I just want to publish, successfully, and thereby help as many as possible.
Great information all in one place. I am new to blogging and having a blast. Deciding on a niche was a bitch. I am interested in so many things that I had to follow all of them until I found my groove. It’s a big problem not settling in one niche. At the moment I am in two niches and celebrating the focus.
You can do the same thing, even if your list is much smaller. If you have 100 subscribers, chances are two of them might be willing to buy premium products or services from you, and those two will often pay you more money than the other 98 combined.
Many blogs post funny videos and images around a certain topic. Fail Blog is a famous example, posting examples of mishaps, misspellings, and other “stupid” actions. It makes its money primarily through advertising, and now sells a highly successful book as well.
Write original content. Come up with your own topics for each blog post, and write the post yourself instead of tweaking or copy-pasting someone else’s work. Readers will come to your blog if they enjoy your writing style and your choice of topic, not to read rehashed content they can easily find elsewhere.
I started 10 years ago as a big ticket affiliate marketer. I made money quickly and quit the rat race 55 days later. It made sense to me to avoid creating a product (a tortuous path for a newbie) and let a third party take care of product creation and delivery, not to mention customer service.