If you are looking to start a business from home, blogging is one of the best and cheapest ways to do it. You should write about something you are passionate about. You then grow the blog by adding more and more posts and increase the number of visitors to your blog. The aim is to get as many engaged readers as possible and the best way to do this is to offer interesting and helpful advice. The more readers you have, the better your chance to turn your blog into a viable business.
How can you make money? Most bloggers monetize their blog through advertising, in a very similar way to how magazines and newspapers earn a living. But that is just one of many ways to earn from your blog, and it’s best to have more than one income stream.
Another very popular way to earn money from blogging is through affiliate advertising. This is where you link to a product from a company (Amazon or eBay for example) and if somebody clicks on that link and purchases something, you earn a small commission. This doesn’t cost your reader anything extra, but the company pays you the commission for sending your reader to their product.
You can also earn by offering services or even your own products on your blog. A very lucrative way to earn from your blog is to sell digital products like eBooks and courses.
There are so many ways to make an income from blogging, but it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes hard work and determination and will also take time to see any earnings. But once you have set up your blog and filled it with useful and informative content and you grow your audience, you have all the potential for a very lucrative business.
I will go into all of this in detail in my follow up posts. For now, in this post, I will summarise the steps you will have to take to get your blogging business off the ground. I will be following up these steps in individual posts so that you can copy my instructions step by step, but this post will tell you briefly what these steps are going to be. So grab a coffee and let’s start on this journey together!
1. Decide what your blog is about
If you already know what you want to write about in your blog, then that is already a big step forward! Skip this part and head on straight to number 2.
Some of you may have decided that you want to start a blogging business, but what can you write about?
Your blog should be about something that really interests you. Remember that you will have to write a great deal about the subject and that’s always easier if it’s something that’s close to your heart.
Somebody once said, write about something that you can’t stop talking about! Makes a lot of sense, because writing is not always easy (you’ve heard of writer’s block). But when you write about something that interests you, it can be hard to stop!
I will be giving you some ideas for niches (topics) in my post ‘find your blogging niche’. And you can download my blogging niche cheat sheet which has over 200 niche ideas!
Once you have decided what you want to blog about, you’re ready to go to the next step!
2. Pick a name for your blog
Boy, this was a hard one for me! When I started my first blog it took me weeks to come up with a name. I wanted it to be unique but recognisable, I wanted it to be memorable and I wanted it to reflect my niche and my personality. I played about with different names and finally settled on one I liked.
After you pick a name, you need to register it as a domain. That means, you want to buy the dotcom or the name of your website. So if you pick the name ‘My little garden’ for example, you want to register the domain for www.mylittlegarden.com.
Guess what! After I had agonised over different names for my blog for ages, it turned out that the domain for my name was already taken!
This is quite common, you pick the perfect name for your blog only to find that somebody else has already bought the domain. But don’t worry, read my follow up post on how to pick a perfect name and find a matching domain and why the name doesn’t really matter that much. Yes, that’s right, what really matters is to get your blog started as soon as possible. I will explain later.
3. Pick your blogging platform and why you should go with WordPress.org
All blogs are written on a blogging platform and you have probably heard of WordPress or Blogger. There are also other well known blogging platforms like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and more. These are generally free platforms that you can use immediately without having to pay anything. Some of them have upgrades that you can pay for but generally, you can get started for nothing. If you are a hobby blogger, then any of those free platforms are great.
If you want your blog to make money, the platform I would recommend is wordpress.org. And be careful because there is WordPress.com and WordPress.org, don’t confuse them. WordPress.com is free and I would recommend this if you’re blogging for a hobby, not for a blogging business. The platform you need to choose to turn your blog into a business is WordPress.org and I will go into the details why this is so important in my follow up post.
4. Find a good hosting provider
Now that you have your software sorted out, you need to find a company that will host your blog. Imagine that your blog lives in a house; WordPress.org is the building and the hosting company is the land the house is built on. So your domain name is the address and the hosting company is your landlord.
If you’re with one of the free blogging platforms, then they usually host your blog themselves and you don’t need to worry about separate hosting. The problem with that is that your blog belongs to them. If you want to turn your blog into a business, you really want to own your blog, and that means you need a hosting company to host your wordpress.org blog.
This is not expensive and different hosts will charge different amounts depending on the hosting package you choose. This can be as little as £3 a month, so it’s a very affordable cost for a new business. Again, I will go into more detail in my follow up post on how to choose the best hosting company.
5. Customise your blog
Now comes the exciting bit! You’ve come really far now and all you need to do is to make your blog look good! Everything is ready, your domain is set up, your blog is up and running and now you want it to look good so that your readers find it easy to read and visually attractive.
Gone are the days when you needed a degree in coding and webdesign; even a beginner can create a fantastic looking website or blog on wordpress with the help of themes. Themes let you customise and design your blog, so that it looks the way you want it to. There are hundreds of free themes for wordpress or you can pay for a premium one with more features. There are lots of really great looking websites that run on free themes.
Themes are very easy to install and I will explain how to do this.
6. Write and publish a post
Now you’re ready to blog! How exciting and you should be so proud of yourself that you got this far already. This post is just a summary of the steps you need to take to start, so take a look at my posts that explain these steps in more detail. And as usual, if you need any advice or help, you can leave a comment below and I will do my best to get back to you.