Blogging is all the rage. From Jack Monroe to Perez Hilton, blog ‘superstars’ are now a thing. In its early days a blog was something a company had on its website, from where it’d dole out ‘top tips’ and news about product launches. Today, blogging is a commercial industry in its own right and, as well as a way to talk about something you love, can also make you some money. Here’s how.
How to get started
There are 4 key building blocks when it comes to making money from the blogosphere:
- Talk about something that a) you enjoy but b) will get a lot of traffic.
- Convert that traffic into email subscribers.
- Nurture a relationship with your email base.
- Start selling them products and services.
The first point is a very important one. It’s crucial that your blog is about something that a lot of people are interested in – be that fashion, chess, SEO, books or cooking. If your blog is a ‘hobby’ blog or covers a niche subject, then you’ll probably find that you just don’t get the traffic.
That’s why a lot of bloggers are now targeting vacant spaces – topics and subjects not yet covered by the blogging community.
Creating your blog
Follow these 4 steps to build your blog.
- Purchase hosting for it.
- Choose a domain – ideally something people will remember.
- Install WordPress or another blog management tool – so you can upload and manage content.
- Design your blog – yourself, or through the services of a professional.
You may want to consider taking out a short-term loan to help get you started and set up with the right equipment, and to cover any other expenses that may crop up along the way.
How can blogging make me some cash?
If you’ve ever wondered exactly how bloggers earn their cash, you’re not alone. After all, it’s just some words and a few pictures on a webpage, right? How does that translate into cold, hard cash? Well, the truth is there are lots of different ways to make money from blogging, including through:
- Advertising – letting someone advertise on your blog (i.e. through a banner ad) for a fee.
- Affiliate marketing – where you’re paid to promote a company’s product on your blog
- Digital products – here you’d sell parts of your blog (through a subscription), offering something like online courses and tutorials or, if you’re a snapper, sell your pics.
- Physical products – the really successful bloggers release physical products, such as a cookbook, to build on the success of their blog.
- Related services – if you’re a writer, maybe you could write for someone else. If you’re good at social media, maybe you could handle a brand’s social offering.
As you can see, a lot of the ways bloggers make their money is not directly linked to their blog – they’re not actually being paid to write. Rather, their blog becomes a kind of ‘hub’ through which they generate money via related means.
Key things to consider
What’s my passion?
Remember to write about something you enjoy, that you’re genuinely interested in, but that also has a wide appeal.
What’s the best strategy for me?
Not all the revenue streams listed above will be right for you. It’s rare, for example, to see banner and display ads splashed over fashion blogs. Generally speaking, these bloggers will focus on affiliate marketing and possibly digital and physical products. Work out the best streams that suit your blog.
How can I mix it up?
It’s not a good idea to focus on one revenue channel. If it fails, you’ll stop making money. Ensure you focus on several – 3 or 4 is a good number. And remember to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the blogging industry, as new ways to make money are always opening up.
Generic advice is not a service regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.