Blogging is a great way to express yourself. It’s also an awesome way to start a side-hustle project. You can also build a significant business and make money from blogging.
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How to Start Blogging to Make Money
I know you’re eager to learn how to start blogging, and I’ll get right to it as soon as I share a bit of background information as to why this How to Start Blogging guide is different than others available on the Internet today.
You Can Count on Us to Get You Started Blogging
There are quite a few How to Start Blogging guides on the Internet. I’m happy you started reading ours. Let me share with you why we may be a bit different than the other Internet resources who provide guidance on how to start a blog.
Starting a successful blog takes more than being at the right place at the right time and working hard. We’ve distilled what it takes to build a remarkable blog, to build an engaging social media following, and to monetize successfully and have broken that into a series of best practices for you throughout this free guide and our two courses.
Read the Transcript
David: So hi and welcome, I’m David from Bizbudding and one of the things that I wanted to talk about today was how to start blogging. We get so many requests from customers and new bloggers on how to get started blogging that we went and took a look at what was available on the internet for that content and we freaked out. Every blog post that’s out there seems like it’s an affiliate post for a hosting company. When you are thinking about how to start a blog one of the first things you should think about is why you’re going to be blogging. What are you going to be blogging about? Are you trying to change the world? Do you want to make a difference in your town? Do you want to work on diversity and inclusion? All those are great things that you should think about when you’re trying to figure out how to start a blog and we put together this free guide for you on how to start a blog that’s focused on the right way to start a blog, thinking about content, thinking about your market, your audience, and how you’re going to reach. We put together three components in this series: a free guide on how to start a blog, a course on Start Blogging Today where we actually guide you through building a WordPress blog on Mai Solution where you can have it up and running in a matter of days, and then the third thing is we built this remarkable course called How to Build a Remarkable Blog and what this course is about is real inside information, real knowledge, and my business partner and I Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, we joined forces to create this for you because we felt that the information out there today was just not enough.
Sarah: Hey, that’s me! I’m Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. And I am the founder of the PaleoMom.com. I have been going to a lot of business conferences and entrepreneurship conferences. Sometimes as a presenter or sometimes as a VIP guest, and I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the type of advice – business advice – that’s out there for aspiring bloggers, for small companies, for people who want to take the amazing technology that’s available to us and turn that into a profitable career and I’ve been getting more and more frustrated with the frequency that that advice boils down to be at the right place at the right time and work hard which I don’t feel, as somebody who does a fair amount of mentorship to aspiring bloggers on a one-on-one basis, I don’t feel that that’s particularly useful information. I think that there’s a lot more to it than work hard and be lucky and I think it’s really easy to distill what it takes to build a remarkable blog, to build an engaging social media following, and to monetize successfully. I think we can break that into a series of best practices, which is exactly what David and I have done with our course How to Build a Remarkable Blog.
David: And I think one of the other things that’s unique in this is that it combines both sides of technology infrastructure, design, content creation with real actual examples of how to create your email list, how to build your social media following, and a lot of people say to me: “Okay. Well, why are you the expert to teach this? Why is Bizbudding the group that I should be working with?” and my answer to that is we’ve been very very fortunate to work with some great amazing bloggers like the Paleo Mom and our customers. We’ve learned so much, we’ve shared so much, and we create this kind of environment where we all grow through working together with infrastructure and marketing and at Bizbudding our taglines kind of we’re a marketing technology company, we understand the technology, we understand the marketing, and we’ve taken what we’ve learned over five years of working with some of the top leading fantastic customers and boil that down into this course and the series of courses that we put together. So my answer is we’ve got the experience we work with wonderful customers. We have knowledge and we want to make a difference and we want to make a difference for those people that are trying to figure out. How do I start a side hustle? How do I start a new business? How do I take my blog and grow it from a hundred visitors a day to a thousand visitors a day? And then how do I put a course in place and then market that course? You know, we’ve worked with customers over the last couple of years and we’ve seen people come to us. They start a small site. They have a hundred visitors then they get to a thousand visitors. This is the third time we’re launching the course with one of them and they just broke $10,000 in sales on their course. It’s super exciting to see somebody brand-new grow through that and I think change in the economy, change in the future in 2020 people should take a look at their side hustles. What do they want to do? How do they want to make change and how do they build a successful blog from that? We’re here to guide you through that. We’re not selling a course and walking away from it. We provide the infrastructure. We have a support line. We will be here to support you through it. I think that’s one of the major reasons why this is going to be different for you.
Sarah: I think the other thing that makes this course so remarkable is that it’s a collaboration and so David and I both bring a very different set of experiences and expertise to the topic of blogging and you can get the entire technical side from David, all of the things that they’ve learned working with a variety of different clients in different areas, but then I’m also bringing some experience from the more forward-facing aspect of blogging. So more from the strategic content creation, social media audience building and engagement list building, and monetization and getting the experience from both sides. The forward-facing sides and the … behind the scenes is what makes this course so amazing because it really does take having all of those different pieces in place in the current day and age with the social media algorithms being as challenging as they are now, with the way search engines are ranking websites being as challenging it is now, it’s really important to have all of those different pieces of a website optimized along with the other aspects of building a brand and we’re able to give you all of that information in this course so that as you’re working on a blog it’s no longer just writing a few paragraphs and throwing it up on a website. It’s really about getting all of these different moving pieces aligned to be able to maximize audience growth, maximize monetization, and really take your blog to the next level.
David: So we’re really excited that you’re here then that you watched this video, and we’re very very confident that as you go through the free guide, the course materials, and the Remarkable Course that you will be able to make a difference in your life and in your blogging, and if you have any questions along the way, feel free to reach out to us and ask us those questions. Thank you so much.
Sarah: Thank you!
Trying to Improve Upon what the Internet Currently Offers You
Much of the standard advice today about how to start blogging is misguided.
Almost all of the articles on the internet today on How to Start Blogging discuss the same five steps.
That process is wrong if blogging is anything more than a hobby for you. You are being told to buy infrastructure and a WordPress theme before you even learn how to start blogging, how to write and engage your audience with great content, or the options of how you could make money blogging. Follow steps like that when starting your blog and there’s a good chance you’ll end up with cruft for a website.
Analogy: Would You Buy A House This Way?
Please indulge me for a minute with this analogy about buying a house. Pretend that you are super excited to buy a home for your family.
Whoa, what!?! Who would do that? You would want to research homes and their locations to learn about the town, you’d want to learn what the schools are like, and you’d want to understand the demographics of your new neighborhood.
Follow steps like those listed above and your new neighbors might think you are Freddy Kreuger wandering around at night.
But I digress. Let’s get back to the current state of start blogging articles. Most of those articles sell infrastructure first—making money on the hosting company’s affiliate programs.
Now don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with affiliate programs. A robust affiliate program is a great way to make money blogging. We offer an affiliate program for our blogging products and our courses. And when you start your blog, you might choose to be an affiliate for products you use and want to promote.
Chances are you landed on this free guide about How to Start Blogging because an affiliate partner of ours, who you follow, recommended this guide to you.
The Remarkable Way to Start a Blog
Here’s what I suggest the ten-step process should be when starting a blog:
Most people research their online purchases before hitting the Buy Now button. I want you to do the same. Focus on learning about how to start a successful blog before you make your first purchase. Don’t get sucked into buying just because you get a free domain name.
As you are working on your blog, it is no longer just taking a few paragraphs and throwing it up on a website. It’s really about getting all these different moving pieces aligned to be able to maximize audience growth, maximize making money, and really take your blog to the next level.
We’re not part of an affiliate program selling other people’s web products.
We sell our own blogging products and services and include help desk services to support you on your journey. We’re confident (with a bit of optimism and hopefulness mixed in) that you will enjoy the information we put together and that you will want to start your project or side-hustle with us.
We Have Experience Blogging and Building Blogs
Our company has focused on helping pro bloggers and businesses grow their business for almost ten years. We’ve served as a boutique agency to our customers, providing them everything from web hosting to WordPress development, to content strategy, to lead generation, and monetization.
We’ve put in the hard work helping our clients build successful blogs. And they have rewarded us with great relationships and a wealth of knowledge.
For bloggers who like to do things themselves, we’ve built a premium theme for WordPress called Mai Theme. At this time, there are several thousand installations of Mai Theme running successful blogs.
For our pro bloggers and aspiring bloggers, we provide a wide array of professional services ranging from Mai Theme customization and content development to membership site and course creation.
We manage our own hosting company, named Mai Hosting, which delivers dozens of millions of page views per month to our clients’ audience. We only host clients whose sites run Mai Theme.
For new bloggers and aspiring bloggers, we offer Mai Solution—a unique combination of web hosting, WordPress, a premium theme, plugins, and the BizBudding Academy filled with free guides and extensive courses.
We believe it’s your turn to take the amazing technology that is available to us today on the Internet and turn that into a profitable business.
Later in the Setting Up Your WordPress Blog section of the How to Start Blogging guide, I will expand upon our blogging platform called Mai Solution. For now, it’s time to jump into the reasons why you might want to start a blog. I hope you can tell we are passionate about helping you start your blog.
You see the ads on social media all the time: you too can create a new blog and make passive income. While those ads may seem enticing new bloggers, they don’t really cover everything you need to know about starting a blog and how to make money from blogging.
Establish Your Blog Foundation
Could you imagine starting construction on the first floor of your dream home without having first put a solid foundation into place? The same principle should be applied to planning your new blog.
Establishing a solid business foundation is perhaps the single most important blogging tip when you begin thinking about starting your side-hustle, launching a new business, or creating your own blog to share your thoughts.
Thinking about the foundations of business is a bit scary when you want to first blog. I highly recommend a brainstorming session to write your thoughts and answers to the following sections. Doing so will certainly put you on the right path to creating a solid business foundation to launch a successful blog.
This may seem like hard work to you but trust me, it will help people understand your motivations and it will help you set parameters and expectations for how much time and energy you invest in getting started in the blogging world. Best of all, when you are ready to write your “about me” section of your new blog you will have the content readily available.
Figure out Your Reason Why
Should you start a blog? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself that question at least one hundred times as you begin to wonder if the idea is right for you. Perhaps your friends and family are asking you the same question. They may be suggestions you start your own blog. Or perhaps they advise you to stay focused on your full-time job.
A lot of people ask me if I think they should start a blog. The next question they ask is for advice about how to start that blog. Of course, I think they should.
Both the economy and technology are different today than twenty years ago. A few days ago (us older crowd) we were laughing about how excited we were (almost 20) years ago when we could print driving directions from a website. No more maps to read! Now mobile phones have built-in GPS systems.
These technological advances enable you to reach a global focused audience. Your side hustle project can easily reach a select niche worldwide. Twenty years ago, our side hustle projects to earn extra money were based upon you building local community relationships—with projects such as Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, or StampIn’ Up.
Back then the term influencer didn’t exist. And there wasn’t the opportunity to create a WordPress blog and reach new people around the world. With the technology available today, you can easily publish your own podcast.
That’s why I think you should start a blog today. It would cost you less than going out to dinner with a friend once a month (less than $20/month). The rewards can be quite astonishing after a few months of sharing your content with like-minded people.
Before you begin thinking about your plan on how to make money blogging, I think it’s important to brainstorm, write down, and review the reasons why you want to start a blog. Do this before you try to choose a domain name or pick a blogging platform. But go ahead, send out a tweet to the world announcing your plan to start a blog. And then ask your closest friends to support you and encourage you along your journey to blogging. Ask them to be your first blog readers too.
Usually determining why you want to start happens after you’ve had a few good blog post ideas and then realizing you have heard about others who made a lot of money from their blogs. Then the I can do that too mentality sets in. Realize that you can start a blog, but start it for your own reasons and not just making money. Then your passion will shine through.
Reasons to Start A Blog
There are so many different reasons to start a blog. The best reason to start one is that you have a passion for a particular subject and you want to help people. Don’t think that helping people is limited to providing charity work, selling a service, or working as a consultant. You can help people by sharing your know-how to solve a problem they have. You can help people by selling them products and services that will make their life easier.
Understand Your Financial Motivation
Understanding your financial motivation for launching your blog is important. Knowing your motivation can help you set realistic goals for the amount of time it takes to launch and monetize your blog.
My recommendation is to start your side hustle project while still working full-time. I prefer the terminology of starting your passion project. Both are closely related but I feel a passion project has the opportunity to run deeper and provide greater growth for your soul.
Get started blogging and you may be getting started on your next career move.
Determine Your Time Investment
The time investment to start your passion project directly correlates to your financial motivation. Jumping full-steam into your next career move is going to require you to invest a signification amount of time in writing content and marketing your blog.
Combining a service or product to sell on your site will help you expedite the time to revenue for your blog.
If you are starting a side hustle project, find something that enriches your life. Work on it every week and give it a full year before moving on.
Focus on things that make you excited. The energy contained in your excitement will transfer to your writing and your audience (don’t worry about not have great writing skills—you can learn those).
Be intentional with your choice and choose something that you are passionate about.
Look for local writer groups, WordPress WordCamp meetings, or other meetups where you can meet some new friends to share experiences.
How to Be Successful Blogging
Having a successful blog is an amazing feeling and empowers you to shape and direct the future of your blog.
Success isn’t measured alone by the size of your email list, your ranking in search engines, or if you make lots of money blogging.
A successful blogger can be someone whose target audience keeps coming back for new content. A successful blogger can be someone who works part-time, earns extra revenue for their family, and is able to take care of their young kids during the day.
The point I’m trying to make is you define what your success will be. Don’t let someone else define it for you and don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. The same point can be made when determining how to build the best website.
Take Baby Steps
You don’t need to jump into your project full-time. Put together a step-by-step plan to launch your own blog. Take your time while still setting goals for yourself. There are a million reasons to procrastinate. There’s only one reason to start writing—and that’s to start.
Start small and develop your craft
- Work evenings and weekends
- Find something that nurtures work-life balance (rather than inhibiting it)
- Build a positive mindset
- Do workshops for free to gain the trust of your audience
- Iterate on your products after starting with a minimum viable product offering
- Hone in on what makes you excited and what you’re great at
- Consider outsourcing non-essential components such as bookkeeping and social media management
- Set a growth plan
- Get feedback from both blogging experts and non-bloggers
- Stick to the brand identity you put together for yourself
- Scale-up as needed
- Scale-down as needed
- Stay organized
- Be aware of seasonality
- Budget and plan for 3 months of expenses
- Unexpected emergencies are never expected
Big projects always seem easier to tackle when they are broken up into small tasks. We break up larger lessons into smaller topics in our blogging courses. You should also break up starting your blog into smaller steps.
Understand Your Market
A big challenge for new bloggers is defining the market where their customers exist. Understanding your market is more than just knowing customer demographics.
Try to learn the formats in how your customers access information. Does your audience read blog posts from cell phones during the day? If so, readability is key. Do you provide sensitive information about mental health? Your audience might be more likely to read at night, and not download any ebooks that require an email to collect.
Build your funnels and call-to-actions based upon your best understanding of your market.
A great way to learn more about your market is to ask them for feedback. Surveys promote a connection between you and your audience. Respect your audiences’ time by keeping surveys short. Summarize the results and share them via your email list or blog.
Successful blogging starts with building trust with your community. Create high-quality content to showcase your expertise. Help your audience solve problems to build authority. And gain their trust by sticking by your brand principles.
Google E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. It’s been at the forefront of SEO discussions in the WordPress community for quite a while.
Your online community needs to be developed similar to how you would develop a community around your local business. External links back to your website (from other high-quality trusted blogs) might provide a signal to search engines that your content can be trusted.
Networking and building links in the online world are similar networking and establishing connections in the real world. When speaking at events, provide a summary of your talk online and ask people to link back to that page. Ask your audience to share your summary on their social media.
Support Your Audience
Providing bad-ass customer support is critical.
Focus on Operations as You Grow
Focus on operations
- Implementation plans
- Process management
- Monitor everything you can