Anyone can start a blog, and you do not need a lot of money or technical skills to get your site up and running.
If you are not in a position to purchase a domain name and a hosting account, there are many organizations that will allow you to run a blog free of charge as a sub-domain of their own service.
Ideally, if you are interested in making money from your blog, you should purchase a domain name and a hosting account, but this is not compulsory in the early days.
Many people who are now successful entrepreneurs got started on free hosting accounts, and reinvested their early income into building a more professional looking blogging empire.
From Idea To Income – Blogging to Make Money
The most important part of blogging to make money is having an interesting idea. As long as you have a good idea and the passion and patience required to follow through on it, the rest of the equation will come.
If your primary motivation for blogging is that you want to make money, then it is worth doing a little research into the niches that you want to operate in. Some niches, such as movies, video games, and music are quite hard to monetize. If you truly love a particular niche then you may want to launch a blog just for fun, but trying to make a full-time living out of blogging about blu-rays is an exercise in futility.
If you want to make money as a blogger, you should choose a niche that is less competitive, and one where you can carve out a reputation as an expert. That niche could be travel, motoring, a particular sport, arts and crafts, technology, or even money saving.
Once you have a loyal following, you can sell advertising space, accept sponsored blog posts, and use affiliate links to make money. The challenge with monetizing blogs is finding the balance between engaging in enough money-making activities to make a living while still managing to entertain and inform your loyal users.
One common pitfall that new bloggers encounter is that when they attempt to monetize their blogs they alienate their core readership and end up losing traffic.
The Sustainable Way of Blogging to Make Money
To keep your regular readers coming back, you must post new content regularly. You cannot build up a loyal readership if you post only once or twice a month, or if you post a flurry of content at the start of the month and then abandon the blog for several weeks.
Consistency is key. Rather than posting in spurts, whenever you have some spare time, write posts in advance and schedule them. A blog updated every Wednesday afternoon is likely to get more traffic than one that gets four posts at the beginning of the month and then is left abandoned until the blogger has time to make the next update.
Content is the most important part of your blogging strategy, but it is not the only thing you have to think about. Once you have good content, and you have joined some affiliate programs or started accepting ads on your blog, the next thing you need to do is work on promotion.
The good news is that WordPress is quite search engine friendly even out of the box. So, you don’t have to put too much effort into SEO beyond setting up your permalinks and installing a good SEO plugin such as the all-in-one SEO pack. However, you still need to network with other webmasters and get some incoming links.
Take a moment to join some blogging communities that relate to your niche. Don’t think of your fellow bloggers as rivals – rather, look at them as partners. If you help them to succeed, they will help you to succeed.
Trade guest posts, comment on each other’s blogs, and write posts that reference ideas others have shared. A good blog cannot exist in a vacuum. The more you engage with your fellow bloggers, the bigger an audience you will net for yourself, and the more appealing you will be to advertisers. You may be blogging to make money but along the way, you can learn a lot and make good friends.