How to Start a Money-Making Blog: Ultimate Guide

Are you in school and want to make extra cash? Or maybe you don’t make enough in your day job, so you want to start a money-making blog.

There are many reasons people start this type of online business. But you need to go about it correctly if you want to end up a success.

Before we get into the tips, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

How to Start a Money-Making Blog

When you want to start a money-making blog, you need to take the right steps. This isn’t just a place to share your hopes and dreams.

It’s a place to be strategic and put in some effort now that will (ideally) pay off down the line.

Review Monetization Options

Before you even think about starting a blog, consider how you’ll make money with it. You can monetize your blog in a variety of ways, including:

  • Display ads
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Digital products
  • Physical products
  • Services
  • Brand deals/sponsoships
  • Memberships

It’s vital to consider how you plan to monetize your new website. After all, you’re starting it with the intent for it to make you money.

Take a look at the ways you can earn from certain niches. And look for ways that will be the most profitable for you.

A lot of bloggers start with a niche, and the money comes after. But if you don’t have a plan for how you’ll earn money, you may end up choosing the wrong niche.

It happened to me with a couple of music blogs. I went to school for music, but it’s not a very profitable niche. Lesson learned.

Choose a Niche

Once you have an idea of how you’ll earn money from your blog, it’s time to choose a niche. Think about the topics you know a lot about or enjoy (both, if possible).

As you come up with niche ideas, think about the different monetization methods. Look into affiliate programs, for example.

Compare the niches and figure out which has the highest profit potential for you. The right niche combines profitability and passion.

Decide on a Name

The next vital step in starting a money-making blog is choosing the best name. You can pick a name that’s based on your niche.

Alternatively, you could use your own name, especially if you’re starting a personal brand. I’ve also mixed part of my name with my main niche on a prior blog.

No option is always right, so think about your goals. If you want the option to sell the blog eventually, don’t name it after yourself.

But maybe you want a personal brand and some flexibility to adapt your niche moving forward. In that case, using your name could be the way to go.

Brainstorm Topic Ideas

Don’t go out and buy your domain just yet. Before you do anything else, think of some blog post topics you can write about within your niche.

You can start with a few topic ideas, but make sure you can come up with more later. The last thing you want is to start a blog and only be able to publish a few posts.

A good niche will be broad enough to offer plenty of overarching topics. But it will be specific enough to help set you apart from similar, more established blogs.

I’d recommend coming up with post ideas for all stages of the sales funnel. You want some posts that can draw people in and educate them.

However, to really make money, you want bottom-of-the-funnel content. This includes reviews and comparisons of products, particularly if you’ll use affiliate marketing in your strategy.

Set Up a Website

Now, you’re finally ready to set up a website where your blog will live. It can be tempting to start with a free blog, like Blogger or WordPress.com.

However, this is your new business, so prepare to invest a bit of money into it. I’d recommend paying for self-hosting with a host like SiteGround.

You can create as many websites as you want. So you could choose a few niches to start blogs on, and you can turn them into full-fledged businesses.

SiteGround has an amazing introductory rate for your first year at just $2.99 per month. And if you do it right, you could hit profitability before it’s time to renew your hosting.

Write for the Reader

Gone are the days when you could write about your day or whatever else is going on and get views. You won’t have a money-making blog without views.

To get people’s attention, you need to provide value. Ask yourself what’s in it for your target reader and why they should read your blog, specifically.

Consider what makes you different and what experience you have that you can share. Educate people on your chosen niche.

You’ll also want to consider formatting tips to make your blog posts easy to read.

Avoid long paragraphs since they’re harder to read and since many people use their phones to consume content these days.

  • Consider using bullet points when you have a list of things to share.

Don’t forget to add headings as well. And when relevant, add an image or two.

Publish a Few Posts

You’re finally ready to get some content out into the world! Go back to your list of blog post ideas, and start writing.

You don’t have to choose the perfect topic to start with. And it’s okay if your first few blog posts have errors or sound a little awkward.

This isn’t my first blog, so even though this is the first post, I’ve written it from experience. You won’t have that, and that’s okay!

I cringe at the thought of reading my own first few blog posts. You’ll get better with time, and the only way to do that is to just start writing.

Use SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it involves creating your content so that it has a better chance of appearing in search results.

You can use SEO to increase organic website clicks. That’s an amazing way to increase your earning potential because you don’t have to spend any money.

However, it can take a while to build up your SEO juice, particularly with a new website. But if you’re consistent, you may see results in a few months.

Just make sure you stay up to date on SEO best practices as they always change. You’ll need to adjust your strategy with time to keep your rankings.

Add Monetization

You’ll also want to monetize your site from the get-go. Some options require a bit of time before you can get approved, such as display ads.

However, almost anyone can start affiliate marketing from day one. And if you have an idea for a digital product or a service you can offer, start promoting that.

Even though you may not get much traffic right away, you never know when you may go viral. You don’t want to lose out on affiliate commissions because you didn’t have your affiliate links ready.

The worst that can happen is that you don’t earn anything for a while. But you could earn your first commission sooner than you think.

Continue Publishing Content

For better or worse, running a money-making blog isn’t a one-and-done type of deal. You need to start creating content consistently to build that library of posts.

Doing so will also help you get more traffic from search engines in the long-term. And you’ll have more ideas for content to repurpose for social media to grow your business even more.

Ideally, you would create a posting schedule that you can stick to. It’s okay if you have to work a day job or tend to other responsibilities while growing your blog.

Even if you can only post once per week, that’s a good start. But if you’re busy with other things, it’s a good idea to create a schedule so that you always have new content to share.

Get on Pinterest

It can take time for search engines to start to recognize your blog. To help fast-track your traffic, you NEED to share your blog posts on Pinterest.

Create an eye-catching graphic in Canva or another tool. Then, you can go into your Pinterest account and upload the graphic.

Attach the link to the coordinating blog post, and let the algorithm work its magic. Pinterest can also take time, but it won’t take as long as Google.

Plus, it never hurts to diversify your traffic sources in case one has a dip in the future. You want to protect yourself and your revenue.

Treat It Like a Business

If you only follow one of my tips to start a money-making blog, let it be this. Always treat your blog like a business. Because it is.

There will almost certainly be days when you don’t feel like writing a post. You might think since you aren’t earning money that you can just write when you’re inspired.

That’s okay if you want to do your blog as a hobby. But for it to make you money, you have to take it seriously.

You may be creating content, but it’s still very much a business. If you don’t treat your blog like a business, no one will.

Why Start a Money-Making Blog

Before you start your new blog business, consider some of the reasons why you may want to start one.

Remote Work

If you’re one of the many people who got to work remotely during the past few years, you may have fallen in love with it. But remote jobs are getting harder and harder to find.

So why not create your own by starting a blog or business?

When you work for yourself, you can control when and where you work. Whether you don’t want to leave your house or you want to travel, a remote business can be great.

Passive Income Options

Another great reason to start a money-making blog is the chance to earn passive income. Now, I prefer the term scalable income because it’s a bit more accurate.

So called “passive” income isn’t usually entirely passive. You still have to put in the work upfront, but you could earn more as your blog grows without necessarily working more.

Hence, as your blog or business gets larger, so does your income.

Ads, affiliate marketing, and digital products are all great options for passive or scalable income streams.

Different Income Opportunities

Unlike some businesses, a money-making blog offers a lot of flexibility regarding revenue. You can start with affiliate marketing, for example.

As you grow, you might choose to show ads and earn money that way. Then, you could create a digital product or offer a service to your audience.

Doing multiple things with your blog can help protect you in case something goes south. If one income stream doesn’t work out, the others can make up the difference.

Express Yourself

Some people don’t start a money-making blog for the money. They start it for fun, and it so happens to make them money after a while.

Maybe that’s where you are, and you really just want a place to express yourself. You can monetize it to earn a little money on the side of your day job.

Doing it this way can be very freeing because you don’t have to stress about the finances. Anything you earn is just icing on the cake.

Lead to a Different Business

You might also want to start a money-making blog that could become a different business but in the same industry.

Starting a blog is a less expensive business, and it can become profitable faster. You can then use those profits to start another business, such as a marketing agency.

At that point, your blog can turn into more of a marketing tool for your next venture.

Final Thoughts

If you want a flexible way to earn an income, consider how to start a money-making blog. You can start a blog on any number of topics.

Make sure you choose something profitable and that you’re passionate about. That will make it much easier to enjoy the process, especially before you turn a profit.

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