Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash
A second income stream is something that just about everyone can use. This is truer than ever during this time of economic uncertainty. But if you’re stuck at home, you might think your options for generating extra income are limited. The fact is, however, that you could start blogging and soon be enjoying additional income.
Blogging is one of the best ways to earn money online. Although nurturing a blog to profitability isn’t easy, starting a blog is something that almost anyone can do. It’s also rewarding to cultivate your own personal brand and provide information that helps others.
What Types of Blogging Earn Money?
Before you can start blogging, you need to choose a niche. A blog’s niche is its main topic. The most important aspect of blogging for profit is that, if you want your blog to earn money, you need to choose a niche with a product-oriented focus. If your blog attracts readers who are looking for products to buy or could be convinced that they need certain products, you’ll have a high likelihood of earning money.
You might think, for example, that you’d enjoy blogging about a topic like cooking, parenting, or movies. Those are all popular blog topics. However, the problem with those topics is that the people who read those blogs typically aren’t looking for products to buy.
Blogs that earn consistent money publish content like product reviews, product comparisons, and articles about how to use products more effectively. To make money, you need to attract readers who are ready to spend money.
Choose a Niche Before Starting Your Blog
Now that you understand what types of blogs earn money, your next step is to select a niche. The more specific your blog’s niche is, the more likely the blog will be to generate traffic because there will be fewer other blogs about that same topic.
If you start a blog about electronic devices, for example, you’ll be competing with hundreds of blogs about everything ranging from computers to phones. A blog like Quality eCigs, on the other hand, only competes with other blogs about e-cigarettes.
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How Do Blogs Make Money?
Blogging is a great line of work for a creative marketer. Don’t limit yourself to the money-making ideas described here. If you can come up with a money-making idea that no one else has thought of, you could potentially become extremely successful as a blogger. These, however, are the five most common ways in which blogs earn money.
- Affiliate marketing is a system in which you link to a company or product from your blog. The link contains embedded code that tracks you as the referrer. If someone clicks a link and buys a product, you earn a commission.
- Display advertisements allow you to earn money by showing ads on your site. Some advertising networks pay you when people click advertisements, and others pay for ad views. Google AdSense is the most popular advertising network with people who are starting and running blogs.
- You can earn money by offering sponsored content on your site. Companies that want to earn links from your site will either pay you to write the content or will provide articles for you to publish.
- Some bloggers earn money from donations through websites like Patreon. Asking for donations from patrons is one way to earn money from a website without a direct product focus. Most blog readers, however, will not become donors. You’ll need a large library of high-quality content before anyone will consider donating. Running a donation-supported blog is a potential way to earn a little money from your passion. It isn’t usually a way to make a substantial living, however.
- Creating and selling your own products can be an excellent way to earn money from a blog. Some bloggers, for example, create e-books from their best content and sell them on Amazon and Apple Books.
Where to Host Your Blog
There are many platforms that will host a blog for free. However, you don’t really want to operate your blog that way because a free hosting platform is one that you don’t control. When you run a blog on a free platform, you’re subject to the platform’s whims and must always abide by the host’s terms of service. The terms may change without warning, disrupting your business—and that’s if you have a business at all. Most free hosts severely limit the ways in which you can monetize your blog.
The good news is that it isn’t difficult to find paid web hosts that give you complete freedom at a reasonable monthly price. Some hosts will even include your domain registration fees for the first year if you purchase a yearly package. And for a starter blog, a yearly hosting package can amount to just a few dollars per month.
What You Need to Start a Blog
To start a blog, you need three things: a domain name, a web host, and a blogging platform. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. It’s free, well-supported, and easy to use. You can find web hosts that provide all three blogging requirements by searching for the term “WordPress hosting” on Google.
When choosing your hosting provider and plan, the biggest decision you’ll need to make is whether to select managed WordPress hosting or standard hosting.
Managed hosting may be the better option if you’re starting out as a beginning blogger. With managed hosting, the hosting company handles issues relating to the security and reliability of your blog for you. When updates for WordPress or for your site’s theme or plugins are released, your host will install them automatically. Managed hosting may even include access to a support team that can answer basic questions about running a WordPress blog.
The downside of managed hosting is that there will likely be limits placed on what you can do after starting your blog. Rather than installing themes and plugins directly from the WordPress repository, you’ll only be able to install add-ons that your hosting company has approved. The good news is that, if you select managed hosting and decide that it’s too limiting for you, you can switch to standard hosting without losing your existing blog.
Is Starting a Blog in the Cards for You?
If blogging is something you’ve imagined yourself doing, now could be a great time to start a blog. Perhaps the information in this post will give you the inspiration to begin.
As your new blog progresses, come back to our blog from time to time for more ideas and inspiration.