Are you a mom who wants to create extra income so you can spend more time with your family?
I am a mom like you. In 2014, I started this blog to encourage other moms on this crazy parenting journey we are all on. I was hoping to create some extra income for my family to be able to travel, save for our first house and allow my husband to be able to take a few extra days off work each month. I had no idea the blog would later become the sole income of our family, making more than quadruple what we were before, and allowing my husband to be able to quit his job only 18 months later.
If you’re brand new to blogging, this post is the perfect place to start. (If you already have a blog, that’s either collecting dust or just plain stuck, check out my blogging course, Successful Startup.)
Let’s chat real quick about the 5 main ways bloggers make money, 4 layers every blog needs and then step-by-step instructions on how to start your own blog (even if you’re not tech savvy).
5 Ways Bloggers Make Money
Those of you who have read my blog income reports already have a pretty good idea of different income streams bloggers have, but I thought it still might be helpful to hit on the 5 main ways in a nice neat list.
Now, it’s worth noting that not all bloggers do all 5 of these, some just do one or two but do it extremely well. That’s the beauty of blogging, you can build off your strengths, find what works best for you and do more of that.
- Display Ads — these are the ad boxes you usually see on the sidebar, top of blogs, etc. They are easy to set up and as you attract more and more readers to your blog you will, in turn, make more in ad money commission.
- Affiliate Income — affiliate income is when you recommend a product and make a certain percent of the sale for referring someone. Companies will provide you with unique referral links that keep track of who sends what sale.
- Sponsored Posts — when you work directly with a brand and create a blog post that weaves their product naturally into your topic for that day.
- Freelance Writing — You can use your new blog as the perfect portfolio to get hired for freelance work for larger sites, magazines, etc. And along the same lines, you now have the experience necessary to apply for virtual assistant positions.
- Your Products — This is something I didn’t do soon enough and was not as difficult as I had previously thought. Things you can create: ebooks, self-published books, courses or even something as simple as a printable that helps simplify someone else’s life.
This just skims the surface of ways you can make money blogging, the possibilities and potential with blogging are truly endless.
4 Layers Every Blog Needs
- Hosting — hosting is a fancy word for space in the internet world. You’ll need to rent a “plot of land” (internet space) in order to build your “house”/blog.
- Domain — your domain is the website address with your blog name and the way that people find your “plot of land” on the internet. (i.e. www.yoursite.com)
- WordPress — WordPress is your blogging “house”. It’s super easy (and free) to install on your site.
- A Theme — Themes are the fun part of blogging, they are how you decorate your blogging “house”. They are what make your site look like a professional website. Once you install a theme, it’s easy to customize it with your own logo, pictures, descriptions, colors and more.
I’ll explain exactly how to do each of these things below.
What You Need to Know
When it comes to hosting, make sure you are…
- Self-hosted — this means you pay and, most importantly, own your site and content. Your site will also look more professional and be easier to monetize.
- With a reliable host — From my experience, Bluehost is one of the best to start on. It’s only $2.95 a month (that price is only available through our link) and if you purchase 12 months of hosting, you get your domain for free.
How to set this up is next.
Step-by-Step How to Start a Blog
Click to Bluehost.com and then follow along with the video below.
- Click to Bluehost.com.
- Click “Get Started Now.”
- Enter the website address you want — if it’s unavailable they will suggest alternatives. Remember, don’t over think it and never start your blog because of it.
- Fill in your personal information.
- Choose your account plan — basic is fine, you can always upgrade later. I also highly recommend Domain Privacy Protection (it helps keep your personal information private).
- Special offers: get them if you want, however, I recommend skipping and hitting “no thanks.”
- Generate a password. Write it on a piece of paper or a secure document on your computer and save it in a safe place.
- When the pop-up appears, hit “Setup Your Website”.
- Install WordPress.
- Choose your domain from the drop down and then select “check domain.”
- View credentials. That’s your back end login information. Go ahead and login and then you’re ready to choose a theme. See below.
Note: If you have an existing website you can still migrate it to Bluehost by clicking below, hit “get started”, select your hosting plan, and fill in your domain under “I have a domain name.”
Don’t Forget to Verify Your Account:
You’ll be getting an email from Bluehost with the subject “Action Required: WHOIS Accuracy Verification For yoursite.com.” All you have to do is click the link in the email to verify your account. It takes 1 second and you’re done.
Next, Select Your Theme
When you’re ready it’s time to select a theme. There are a lot of options out there. We started with a free theme (called Sugar and Spice) and it totally worked but if I was doing it over I would start with the Genesis framework and a Genesis theme (which is what we use now). Genesis themes are very clean, professional and better for SEO (stands for search engine optimization) AKA traffic from Google.
Don’t get so caught up choosing a theme that you don’t start. Here’s a great list of Genesis themes to choose from, choose your favorite and go. If I was starting right now, I would choose one of these 9:
Here are 9 Best-Selling Genesis Themes:
- Altitude Pro Theme
- Digital Pro Theme
- Executive Theme
- Foodie Pro Theme
- Parallax Pro Theme
- Magazine Theme
- Showcase Pro Theme
- Aspire Pro Theme
- Glam Pro Theme
Note: All the links above include prices for the Genesis framework + theme, you will need both.
Moving Forward: Successful Startup
Continue establishing the right foundation for a successful, money-making blog.
Learn how to start a profitable blog.
Successful Startup is a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog the right way – walking you through every single detail, from the nitty-gritty details to the big picture stuff that turns into more paychecks.
Learn what works and avoid struggling for months on what doesn’t. This course is a fast track – you’ll know what to spend your time on (and what not to waste your time on) so you can get to the money-making stage pronto.
The key to success is a roadmap.
One of the big problems both new and experienced bloggers have is not knowing what the most beneficial next step is.
If you jump too far ahead, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
If you get sucked into too many small projects, you’ll never get anywhere.
If you miss something crucial, you run the risk of your business crumbling because the foundation isn’t set up correctly.
The best way to avoid this is to know your current stage and use a roadmap to get to the next one.
Successful Startup is a straightforward roadmap. Taking you through everything step-by-step without huge textbooks or long lectures. Instead, you’ll have…
• Systems that work
• Timeless strategies
• And easy to follow instructions.
“I more than RECOMMEND this course to anyone, I have learned so much about blogging from Alida, she has educated me in content creation, social media, and business. Everything you learn in this course is practical, applicable, useful knowledge that you will use literally every day on your blog. After taking Alida’s advice my blog traffic has QUADRUPLED and my following on all my social media platforms has grown. I now make over $45,000 a year working part-time on my blog.” – Jackie Houston, DIY Blogger, Iheartartsandcrafts.com
For just $97 today, and 5 payments of $97 to follow, you can quickly and efficiently get your blog to the next level!
Hope to connect with you in the course!
Happy Blogging! You can do this!
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