How to start a blog and make money

Fancy yourself as a bit of a wordsmith? You might be interested in creating your own blog. If you want to know how to start a blog and make money, read on.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Young lady working from home office during coronavirus pandemic.

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Do you think you have a way with words? Do you want to make some extra cash? Read on if you want to know how to start a blog and make money.

1. Pick a theme

Your blog will need a theme. It’s best to choose a subject that is not too broad. Your theme needs to be something specific enough to reduce competition, but broad enough to attract enough readers and make money.

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For example, a vegan cooking blog could be better than one about cooking. Similarly, a blog about making children’s clothes could be better than a dressmaking blog.

It needs to be something you have extensive knowledge of and ideally feel passionately about, because this will show through in your writing. Make sure it’s a theme that lends itself to attractive and informative blogs that generate interest.

When thinking about how to start a blog and make money, market research is key. This will give you an idea as to what people find interesting.

2. Create your own website

Free blogging platforms seem attractive, but they are not suitable for creating blogs that make money. They have limited design features and they often don’t permit adverts and affiliate links, which are important if you want to make money.

When thinking about how to start a blog and make money, it’s better to create your own website.

You will have more control over the design. You will also be able to create your own personal brand, which is very important for marketing and promotion.

You will need to decide on the following:

Domain name

This is the website address so it should be the name of the blog. Think about this when picking your theme.

Web hosting provider

This is a company that will manage your website. This will ensure it is kept safe, secure and accessible to anyone that uses the correct domain name.

Expect to pay around £10 to £20 per month for a basic service. You will need to do some research to find the best one for you.

Website design

You can either do this yourself or hire someone to do this for you. If you want to hire someone, expect to pay around £75 to £150 per year for a simple website.

Alternatively, you can check out YouTube tutorials, or sign up for a web design course. A course will cost money, but think of it as an investment.

The amount of content accessed using smartphones is increasing, so make sure your content is smartphone friendly.

3. Start writing content

A common mistake bloggers make is setting unrealistic goals for content creation.

If you work full time, it’s pointless to assume you will be able to write 3,000 words every day. The same applies if you have children to look after.

When thinking about how to start a blog and make money, creating interesting content will be key to the success of your blog. It is therefore important that you take your time.

Set yourself realistic targets. Writing 1,000 words of good quality copy per month is better than 4,000 words of badly written copy.

4. Promote your blog

This will be crucial for increasing interest. The most effective methods for promoting your blog are as follows:

Social media

It’s worth considering setting up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn. The accounts should use your domain identity and brand. Share and promote your posts on these accounts.

Connect with others in your community

If there are any organisations with the same interest as your blog, reach out to them. Similarly, contact any relevant social networking communities.

Connect with other bloggers

Treat other similar bloggers as colleagues rather than competitors. Inviting a guest blogger to post on your website is not unheard of. It’s also worth sharing the content of other bloggers as well.

5. How to make money

You can make money using the following methods:

Affiliate marketing

This involves adding affiliate links to the content. You make a small commission every time a reader clicks the link.

Banner adverts

You sell advertising space on your website to relevant brands. The most common areas are the banner across the top of the screen or the sidebar.

Sponsored content or posts

If you have a strong following, a company will pay you to promote a service or product using your blog or social media account.

Selling digital products

You could sell online products such as ebooks, courses, tutorials or workshops.

Take home

When thinking about how to start a blog and make money, you need to be prepared to put the hours in.

You will need to register for self-assessment tax returns if you make extra money.

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