A frequent question that comes up when someone begins to investigate creating a blog is around how it is possible to make money with the time and effort they spend, especially if it isn't a passion blog in the first place and they are looking for an income. So then how do beginner bloggers make money?
A beginning blogger will make money by driving traffic from organic search, this requires writing content that can reach page one and be better than current posts. This then allows you to serve ads, affiliate links, info products, and more to your visitors.
Now that you have a good idea of how you can begin to make money with a blog as a beginner we can look at the process to the core steps that will allow you to build something that can get the visitors to make an income from your chosen monetization method(s).
There is a core set of things you will need to learn and understand to do well as a beginner blogger to make money, each of these things are critical to your overall success and some may take more time than others to fully learn.
First things first, we are going to dive into why you want to have a self-hosted blog and not to choose a service like Wix, WordPress.com, or other as they will end up causing you more hassle then they are saving you.
You may wonder why you would want to build a self hosted blog as this will cost you money when there are "free" options available for you to build a blog on.
The thing most don't understand is that you don't own your "free" blog on those services, at any point they could shut down or decide you don't match their values and you would be removed and all that work lost.
When you choose to build your self hosted blog you control the hosting you want to run on and you retain all the data as your own, you should continue to make off site backups though to maintain no losses.
This allows you to move hosts should your host crash and not be able to be up you can point your domain at a different host and bring up a new hosting service and then apply the backup and be back running super fast.
At this stage you will have your niche site built and ready for you to start writing, when you reach this stage you need to stop and build out content ideas.
The worst thing any blogger can do when establishing and building a fresh blog is to write based on "feelings" and things they perceive that their readers want to know, this is the road to a crash and burn.
You will want to find keywords for posts and use methods from Google search ideation to tools like AnswerThePublic and SEMrush. These tools can cost money but can make research much more expedited to get content generation started.
The keywords you should be targeting are the longer-tailed, that means looking toward the smaller search volume with multiple words in most cases.
These can also be called zero search keywords because the tools that provide search estimates don't get enough volume to provide you the actual search volume.
You're goal is to look for keywords that are worth much less to a large company who won't target due to lower volume, this gives you the possibility of an easy couple wins to start your site.
Additionally, when you start to search typically target and that are serviced by forums and similar low quality sites. This will help you get your posts written to rank onto the first page with good writing and get visitors to click on links.
This step is frequently missed over looking for "search volume" but if you find search volume but can't rank on page one you have done yourself a disservice, focus on ranking content and getting the niche site growing as growing income requires traffic.
This will be where your success or failure will be finalized as you need to write content that is on point, lacking of fluff overall, and able to be monetized in at least one way if not multiple ways.
The most fun and exciting part of this process is building the site and taking those first steps to get content online and available to the search engines so that people can read about it.
The last step for you to work on is actually monetizing your information, this can take many forms, I wanted to list out some of the most frequently used below so you can start to think about what your would want to be your website strategy.
There are many options available even beyond the list below but these are the five more common methods that site owners will look to monetize their blogs and achieve some income for their work.
The cream of the crop for monetization as many major companies will offer an affiliate program. An affiliate program allows you to create links that are credited to you when someone visits the company website or store in question.
All you would need to do is to sign up with an affiliate, typically you would prefer one that resonates with your blog readers, like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, or others.
Then you will want to take some time to process through your content and add links where they fit in your content, paying careful attention to not overly spam in links as visitors will typically look at this less favorably, I prefer using the LinkWhisper functions for auto-linking text to a URL.
While this is a very nice monetization method it does have some drawbacks as your affiliates may change and you would have to swap out links or lose credit, additionally products can be sold out and this may lead people away and lose you a sale also.
The absolutely most passive way to add generation of income onto your website is through adding ads into your content. For many starting this will be through placing ads with Google AdSense, but after you reach more pageviews you want to expand to higher performing services.
The service I use on my affiliate blogs is Ezoic, this is because they offer more tools to maximize your income and learn what content can be added that pays you more per view, this allows you to focus on increasing your content in ways that help your visitor and your income.
This can continue to help you gain a solid income from your blog when readers visit without clicking on any other offer you provide, this is especially helpful when you are in the offseason for your niche.
The information product has been a big thing in the internet marketers playbook for over a decade due to the ease of setup and that it doesn't typically require any upkeep when done on evergreen topics.
These will typically be a purchased ebook (pdf) that covers a topic and allows the reader to build skills or understanding around a specific topic, since there is no costs to print or manage they are big profit makers.
These are something that you perform for the visitor who makes the purchase, for example, keyword research, site audit, or many other tasks that make use of skills you own that others would like to utilize.
This is one of the most simple ways to monetize your site but comes at the direct cost of your time and effort to get the job complete, though with some planning you could build an agency around the service to remove yourself from many of the day to day tasks.
One of the ways that allows you to sell a physical product from your site but that you don't actually have a stock of on hand. This allows you to sell without the high overhead that would be necessary to stock the product.
This method involves getting in contact with vendors so that when someone makes the purchase from you then you place the order with your vendor and they ship the product directly to your purchaser.
This will leave you out of pocket though as you will have to purchase the item from the vendor to ship to the purchaser before their payment will clear to your account, leaving you open to losses on returns or cancellations.
Many new bloggers get caught up trying to make an income from everything and this leads to making subpar or unhelpful content. What you need to focus on, especially in the first year when you are just wanting to get found online.
Choosing to put the reader first may feel like it is hurting your own chance for longevity but in fact nothing could be further from the truth in building yourself an identity online.