How to Start a Blog and Make Money

Today I am going to talk about how to make money blogging. It’s really pretty easy to do and only costs a few dollars a month and you can make hundreds or thousands of dollars per month doing it. The start up costs are so low that even if you only make a little effort every month you can earn some extra cash. And who knows, it might really take off and make some serious cash for you. All you have to do is start!
There are a few different ways to make money with your blog or website, and affiliate marketing is at the very top of the list when it comes to successfully making money from your interests and passion.
So what is affiliate marketing? It’s really nothing more that a way to sell and promote other people’s products and services on your blog, and get paid in the process. The key word here is “marketing”. You are talking to people about something they are interested in (coffee, cars, clothes, how to make money, how to save money, etc.)  and you are discussing the pros and cons, benefits, and advantages of whatever your site is about.
Sites can be about most anything but they should be grouped around a theme, like restoring cars, or remodeling your house. People love to explore and learn about their interests on the way to making a purchase decision…and that’s where you come in. Your job is to help them along the way, offering choices and new ideas for what they are interested in. If they are interested in restoring cars they might want to learn about a new technique to fix fenders. If they are interested in kitchen remodels, they might want to learn about new types of counter tops.

A Great Website is the Key to your Success

Affiliate marketing is all about being online. You don’t have a store or a warehouse or trucks or workers so you need a great website. Fortunately the cost of setting up a great website is very low and all you really need is your time and effort to provide value in the articles and blog posts that will make your site great. I am going to show you exactly how to set up and run a great affiliate marketing website for only a few dollars a month.

It’s Easier Now than Ever Before

A few years ago when I started building websites, blogging and monetizing my websites it was quite a bit harder. It was also more expensive. At that time you had to spend way more time and money to get your website up and running and organized. What I mean is that there is no better time to get going on making money online. People are now comfortable shopping online (Thank you Amazon!), more comfortable paying online (Thank you PayPal!), and just spend more time online taking care of their personal business and shopping.

Here is Exactly What you Need to Do to Get Started

The three first things that you need are a domain name, a hosting account and a WordPress theme. Fortunately this is so standard now that it’s incredibly easy to do. I recommend Blue Host and here’s why. In addition to great service and great pricing (only $3.95 per month) they offer a free domain name when you sign up. A new domain will usually cost about $10 per year but it’s included for fee. They also offer a free SSL certification, which is about $55 per year at other hosting companies. SSL certifications are becoming the new normal because they help prevent fraud and data theft on your contact forms. An even better reason to get this certification is because Google will drop you down in the search results if you don’t have it and even flag your site as dangerous to the user. That may not be true but visitors are not going to be very interested when they see angry red letters before visiting your site. Finally, Blue Host offers great 24/7 technical support so that you can get the help that you need quickly and easily. Also, Blue Host is offering a $150 credit toward Google advertising which you can use to get inbound visitors to your site. That’s a sweet deal! Here’s the link for BlueHost.

WordPress is a Breeze to Load on Blue Host

As you probably know, WordPress is a free open source web design protocol that is the basic platform for web design for many millions of web designers. Blue Host makes it really easy to load up a WordPress theme and if you have ever had any problems with this you will know how great it is to use a hosting company that understands WordPress! Blue Host offers a “one click” installation.

Time to Get a Theme

OK, now you have signed up at Blue Host, gotten a great domain name with an SSL certification and you are ready to choose a theme. Choosing a theme now is much easier now than in the bad old days and the themes are much better. It used to be that you had to do some major customization to get your theme ready but now it’s really easy if you pick a good theme. I wrote a whole blog post about how to choose a great theme. You can read it here.

How to Choose (and Monetize) a WordPress Theme

Now that your site is up and running you need to make your most important decision; what to talk and write about, and what products or services you will be marketing. I imagine that you have already done this and have a good idea of what your site is going to be about. Here are a couple of pointers for you as you get started. The articles and blog posts that you write should have a strong overlap with the affiliate products that are on your site. What I recommend is that you plan out 5 to 10 articles that you are going to write and several products that you will highlight and promote. If you review several products carefully you will probably get some good ideas of what to write about. For example, a product is new, improved, different, cheaper, better, faster or shinier and that’s why it is great!

How to Write a Great Blog Post or Article

The main purpose of a blog post or article is to teach, inform, educate or entertain. Readers want to learn something new, or be presented with a good idea, or a different way of doing something, or find a way to solve a problem. After all, that’s why you buy something; to get what you want, to solve a problem, or to be amused or entertained.  Your job as a blogger is to provide context, background and needed information about the product or service. And of course people always like to be entertained so writing in a friendly style is always helpful. Just reciting boring statistics or functionality doesn’t really add anything to the conversation. Readers want to know your thoughts, opinions and recommendations!

You’re Ready to Start!

If you have done all of these things, you are ready to get started. Of course there is lots more to do, but your website is open for business. Good luck!