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How to Start a Blog in 2020

How to Start a Blog in 2020

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How to Start a Blog

Learning how to start a blog is easier than it sounds once you break down each step involved. Even if you aren’t technically proficient, you can still design your own blog in less than an hour.

Blogging is one of the best ways to share your expertise or opinion with the world. If you build your own blog correctly and publish valuable content regularly you could even turn it into a source of income, or perhaps make it your full-time gig.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into how to start a blog. We’ll cover everything from building your blog website to the basics of writing amazing articles and even how to promote it. Here we go!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to use the services provided we will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

10 Steps to Start Your Own Blog

Step 1: Select the right niche for your blog

Step 2: Choose a blogging platform

Step 3: Pick a domain name

Step 4: Get a website hosting account

Step 5: Start a blog on WordPress

Step 6: Select a WordPress theme to design your blog

Step 7: Customize your blog with pages and launch your site. 

Step 8: Write content for your blog

Step 9: Promote your blog

Step 10: Make money blogging

Shortcut #1: If you have want to jump straight to building your blog website, go to step 4 now.

Shortcut #2: If you have a website already and want to start blogging, go to step 7 now.

Shortcut #3: If you want to have your blog fully built for you so you can just focus on publishing content, click here

Step 1: Select the right niche for your blog

A niche is a specific topic that you will write about in your blog. The most profitable blogs online are niche blogs. In fact, the more specific you can get, the better.

What you choose to blog about is the most important blogging decision to make. Why? Because it will take time for your blog to grow to the point of influencing others. Whether that means making money through your blog or simply building your authority as a leader in your topic, blog content needs to marinate. Here are two reasons why:

  • Fly-by-night bloggers show up all the time. Most people start a blog and quit within 6 months. When you continue to show up after a year, people will view you differently. You aren’t just a fad – you’re serious and you care.
  • Google will be your best source of traffic if you write good content. However, for your content to rank well on Google and bring you lots of traffic, you need to be writing for a while – at least 6 months to a year. 

So, choose a topic you are passionate about. It needs to be something you won’t get tired of writing about. Believe it or not, you don’t even have to be an expert on the topic. You just have to be excited to learn about it. In fact, many successful blogs are written from the position of a passionate learner. The blogger is learning along with the audience, and the audience loves it. When you are just ahead of your audience in terms of learning and becoming the expert, you can break things down into an easy-to-understand format. 

The Perfect Niche Formula:

Your Skills/Knowledge + What You Like + What People Want + What Converts = Profitable Blog

What if I Just Want to Blog About My Life?

You can have a personal blog about your life that is successful as long as it is written from a specific perspective or topic. For instance, blogs about being a parent seem to be popular. Or life-centered blogs around a specific hobby or profession. Remember, focus on a specific topic if you want to do well.

Step 2: Choose a blogging platform

In this step for how to start a blog, you will need to decide what kind of blog management platform you want to have. A blog management platform is like the backbone of your blog. It is all the stuff that happens behind the scenes…what people don’t see. It is where you’ll set-up and design your blog and publish your blog articles.

In the blogging sphere, there are two options: Free or Self-Hosted. It is highly recommended that you choose a self-hosted blog instead of a free option. While you may have to invest a little in a self-hosted blog, the benefits, including profitability, far outweigh the costs. If you are planning on using your blog to make money, then only take the self-hosted route.

Self-Hosted Blog Explained

Free blogging platforms like WordPress.com and Blogger make it easy to start blogging right away. They host your blog for you. However, these platforms own your name and all the content you create. You have to follow their rules and guidelines, plus your income potential is limited. Not to mention, if the platform goes down or closes up shop, you lose all of your content. 

A self-hosted blog allows you to be in control of everything. You choose a host yourself to host your website. You will own your name and have complete control over the design and content on your site. The good news is that in 2020 you can build and operate a self-hosted blog yourself for less than the cost of a Starbucks cup of coffee a month. Seriously, it’s that cheap. 

A good example of the difference in a blog setup on a free blogging platform and a self-hosted blog is in the domain name. 

A free blogging platform will own your name, like this: yourawesomeblog.wordpress.com

With a self-hosted blog, you would own your domain: www.yourawesomeblog.com

A self-hosted blog also guarantees you own all of your content, including copyrighted materials like photos, graphics, music etc. 

There are many choices for a self-hosted website (often referred to as a Content Management System, or CMS). The best option available is through WordPress.org. Don’t confuse this with WordPress.com. WordPress.com is the free blogging platform owned by WordPress, and WordPress.org is the self-hosted platform owned by WordPress. 

The best (most user-friendly and most affordable) option for starting a blog on WordPress is Bluehost. We’ll explain much more on this later, so don’t worry about the technical side of things yet.

Ok, so by now you probably want to start setting up your blog to see how all this works. Well, before you do that, let’s move to step 3 and give your blog a name.

Step 3: Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name is your unique address on the internet. It is so important that you choose the right domain name because it will be how you are known online. It will also affect how search engines find you, a crucial part of getting visitors to your blog. This means your name needs to be unique, but it also needs to be relevant to your niche. If your blog is built around you, personally, then it’s normal to just use your name in your domain name. Follow these simple rules when deciding on your blog’s domain name:

  1. Use the best extension (dot com if it is available.)
  2. Make it memorable.
  3. Keep it short and to the point. Don’t use a long name.
  4. Make it something that’s easy to type..
  5. Make sure it’s easy to pronounce.
  6. Don’t use hyphens or numbers.
  7. Use niche-specific keywords if necessary.

There are many different extensions you can choose now for your domain. You’ll see dot com, dot org, dot net, dot biz, dot info, dot me, dot us, and so on. If possible, try to use the dot com extension. It has long been the most reputable extension online today.

Example: www.yourawesomeblog.com

If the dot com extension is not available, the next best option is usually dot org. 

Here is the challenge, though: there are millions of websites on the internet. There is a chance that the domain name you want might already be in use by someone else. Even your name may be taken as a dot com domain. 

This is where you will need to get creative. Try using a synonym to the word you want, or even a shortened version of the word or phrase you’re going for. 

As far as cost, a domain name should generally cost you about $12 a year. Sometimes the domain name you want is already purchased by someone who is selling it at a higher price. You can search for and purchase domain names from several different places online. Some of the most popular are:

Google Domains

GoDaddy

Bluehost

BEFORE YOU BUY A DOMAIN: Bluehost, perhaps the best hosting service available for new bloggers, provides you with a free domain name as part of their service. If you are building your own blog, then Bluehost is the most user-friendly, and most affordable option available. 

Step 4: Get a Website Hosting Account

Choosing your domain name is one of the most important decisions you can make regarding your blog. Equally important is the hosting service you choose. Your hosting service will be responsible for making your website available at all times. It’s also the place where all of your content will be stored online. The right hosting service will ensure reliable functionality and performance of your website. Basically, you need to choose a service that keeps your site up and running at its highest potential. 

Best DIY Option: Again, perhaps the best option if you are going to build your blog website yourself is Bluehost. Bluehost is highly recommended by WordPress itself because it makes it easy for people who aren’t super tech-savvy to set everything up and run it themselves. 

Best Done-for-You Option: If you want someone to do all of this for you so you can just focus on creating content, then consider using a web design agency that specializes in blog setup and design. At Dock Line, we have several done-for-you options to short-cut your way to launching your blog that can all be customized to fit your needs. For details and pricing, click here.

If you choose the DIY option and go with Bluehost, just follow these simple steps to get started right now:

  1. Visit Bluehost and click the Get Started Now button.
  2. Select the hosting plan you want. (Start with “Basic” and you can upgrade later when your blog starts to grow.)
  3. Input your desired domain name. (Remember, Bluehost will give you a domain name for free, so don’t purchase one beforehand.)
  4. Register with Bluehost.
  5. Select additional hosting options if you desire. (not necessary right away)
  6. Create your Bluehost account and set your password.
  7. Login to Bluehost.
  8. Install WordPress from the cPanel page. (Bluehost is famous for their “One-Click” WordPress Setup)

Bluehost really does make it as simple as possible to launch a blog yourself. The next step now is to get WordPress set up and ready so you can start blogging. 

Step 5: Start a Blog on WordPress

Once you have your hosting setup and WordPress Installed, it’s time to get everything set up properly on WordPress before you start blogging. You may have just used Bluehost to set up your hosting, but from this point forward, you’ll spend most of your time on WordPress. 

WordPress is where you will write your blog posts and manage your blog website.

Bluehost is where you’ll manage your hosting account and pay your hosting bill.

When you first log in to WordPress, you’ll start at the WordPress dashboard. It’s the hub of your blog. You should see a black column on the left full of menu items. That will tell you that you’re in the right place. 

Before we choose a theme and start designing the blog itself, you need to optimize a few of the basic settings first. 

Link Settings: This setting is to ensure your links are displayed properly in the url structure. Under “Settings” on the left menu, choose the “Permalinks” option. Make sure the “Post name” option is selected. It’s the cleanest way to display your post links.

User Settings: Under “Users” on the left menu, choose the “All Users” option. Create a new user with your name, or the name you want to be displayed as the author of posts. This could be your blog’s name if you want. 

Plugins: Your website will likely come with several plugins installed already. However, there are a few plugins that you should install right away to improve the quality of your blog. 

  • The first is Yoast SEO. It’s a simple plugin that allows you to optimize your posts for so search engines like Google find and rank your posts better. It’s also free. 
  • The second is Akismet Spam Protection. This will help protect your blog from being spammed with fake comments and traffic, among other spam tactics. 

To Install a plugin, on the left menu choose Plugins. Then select “Add New”. You can search for the plugin you want and once you find it, click “Install”. After it is installed, click “Activate”. 

General Settings: Under Settings on the left menu, choose “General”. From here, set your Site Title and the tagline you want displayed. Then change your email address so you can receive notifications. Then adjust the timezone to your correct timezone. 

Next, you’ll need to activate your domain. Hopefully, you purchased your domain on Bluehost while you were setting it up. It’s free and it will make this part much easier. First, Activate your domain in Bluehost. Check your email for the activation email and click the button inside to complete it. Wait a bit and Bluehost will automatically switch your domain over. 

There you have it! Your WordPress site is ready to be built now!

Step 6: Select a WordPress Theme to Design Your Blog

The “theme” of your website is basically the visual representation of your website. It’s the starting foundation that you will build on. It dictates the look and style of your website, including font types and sizes, colors and other aesthetics of your site. Your theme should represent your brand and be tailored to your ideal customer’s experience.

When you start on WordPress you will have the default theme from WordPress installed. In 2020, it’s simply called Twenty Twenty. You can actually use this theme if you like. It’s very simple and easy to use. However, it is limited in its appearance and you’ll likely want to make your blog look as appealing as possible. 

The great thing about WordPress is that there are thousands upon thousands of free themes for you to use. While there are also some amazing paid themes out there, they can be more complicated to use and require more maintenance. The average premium WordPress theme costs around $40. To start, just stick with a free theme. 

One of the most often recommended free themes available is called Astra

To install a theme on your website, from your dashboard, choose “Appearance”, then select “Themes”, then “Add New”. From here, you can either search directly for a theme by name, or you can filter themes by “Free’ or “Premium”. 

Once you have found a theme you like, click “Install” then “Activate”. That’s it! Your blog is set up to start editing and building now!

Step 7: Customize Your Blog with Pages and Launch Your Site. 

Now that your theme is set up, it’s time to build your site with the right pages and visuals.

First, you need to understand the difference between pages and posts. “Pages” are permanent, more static pages on your site that will be linked through your main menu bar. Posts are the articles you write for your blog. 

Pages: When you are designing your blog, you will want to include the following pages on your site:

  • Home Page (This will be included by default when you install a theme)
  • Blog Page (This should also be included when you install with Bluehost.)
  • About Page
  • Contact Page
  • Privacy Policy (use www.generateprivacypolicy.com to generate one.)
  • Other pages: Resources Page, Tools Page, Store, etc.

To add a new page, just hover over the “+ New” button on the top of the Dashboard and select “Page”. Or you can click on “Pages” on the left menu on the Dashboard and choose the “New” option at the top. The same method is used to create a new post. 

Posts: When you officially launch your blog, make sure you have a few posts published when the site goes live. 

Images: If possible, try to include an image on each page of your site. If you have original images of yourself or original photos in general, then use those. If not, using stock images is the next best thing. You can find royalty-free images at Pixabay and Pexels.

Design: Obviously, you will want to design your blog to fit your liking. However, before you do any design customization, keep this tip in mind: less is more. Simple always works better over fancy. The more design elements in your theme, the more likely something will break or the slower your site could run. The most important aspect of your blog is the content you create, not how pretty your website looks. Use a few clean and compelling high-resolution images, make your site easy to navigate, and keep things simple.

To view your website while logged in to WordPress, just hover over the house icon in the top left corner of the Dashboard and click “Visit Site”. Or you can simply type in your website into a new tab on your browser. Anytime you make a change on the backend of your website, you can do this to see what it looks like on your site. 

Once your pages are set up and your design is ready, it’s time to officially launch your blog!

If you use Bluehost, you’ll need to turn off the “Coming Soon” mode. You should see a yellow button at the top of your Dashboard titled “Coming Soon Active”. Click the link and follow the prompts to turn it off.

Congrats! Your blog is now live!

Step 8: Write Content for Your Blog

Alright, now it’s time to make some magic. Let’s start writing amazing content for your blog. If you are planning on using your blog to make money, or get any readers for that matter, then the content you create is the single most important aspect of your blog. 

But it’s not just about having quality content. That’s only half of the coin. The other half is consistency. You need to create a posting schedule and stick to it. Most bloggers fail simply because they stopped blogging consistently. They launched with excitement and then after 6 months, they stopped blogging regularly. The content dwindles down and eventually, they stop altogether. 

But that doesn’t have to be you! 

One of the best ways to ensure you continue blogging for the long run is to use a blog-writing formula. You may already have lots of topic ideas to write articles about, so using a blog-writing formula will help you write faster and clearer.

Here is the Blog-Writing Formula that we use for content on Docklinemagazine.com and all of our clients for whom we write blog articles. 

Dock Line Blog Writing Formula:

1. Title: Be specific and clear. The title will compel people to read an article, or not. 

2. Intro Paragraph: Tell people what you’re about to tell people. Explain why you’re writing the article.

3. Transition Paragraph: Move people from your introduction into the value you want to give them. Typically only 1-2 sentences long.

4. Value-based Paragraphs: Provide real value here. Answer the question your title implies. Break up the content into 3 paragraphs or more. 

5. Conclusion: Summarize everything you just said and bring it all to a satisfying conclusion.

6. Call to Action: Give people an action to take. It could be to read more articles, sign up for something like your email list, buy a product, or whatever else you want people to do from reading your article.

Here are some guidelines to follow to optimize your content so more people find it and enjoy it:

Blog-Writing Guidelines:

1. Write between 500-2,500 words. The highest ranking articles on Google are sometimes over 2,000 words.

2. Use a specific keyword or phrase that people might search for in Google in your title and throughout your article. 

3. Keep the specific keyword around 1-2% density though. Don’t over optimize by overusing your Google keyword.

4. Write at an 8th-grade reading level. This will make your article more digestible and shareable.

5. Use sub-headings throughout your article. This will break up the content into manageable chunks.

6. Include links in each article. Have 3 links to other articles or pages on your blog and 3 links to other content on other websites. (At least 3 but don’t overdo it.)

7. Include an image with every article.  Use original images if you have them, otherwise use royalty-free stock images from sites like Pixabay and Pexels. Change the name of the image so it matches your title. This helps improve SEO. Upload it on the right menu on WordPress in the section called “Feature Image”.

8. Include a direct call to action. We said it before, but it’s worth repeating. Tell people what they should do next and be direct. Don’t be afraid to ask and don’t beat around the bush.

Finally, here are some pro tips to follow to make your blogs get more readers and to bring in more leads.

Blog Writing Pro Tips

1. Write list-based articles. People love list-based articles. They tend to get more clicks, reads, and shares.

2. Write a catchy, specific headline. Your title will be the biggest persuader to get people to read your article. Be specific in your title and not generic. Use language that is compelling. Don’t resort to clickbait, however.

3. Write evergreen content. Write content that will be relevant any time someone reads it. Remove the date stamp on the article in the settings on WordPress.

4. Collect leads and grow your email list by offering your article as a PDF. At the end of every article offer a downloadable version of the article in exchange for the reader’s email address.

Keep in mind that the best blog content you could write is the kind that speaks to a specific audience and adds value to them. It also needs to be attractive, so use high-quality images and double-check your grammar and spelling. Also, stay true to your content by never sacrificing value for profit. If you just write to make money, your quality will reflect it. If you write to add value and make an impact, the money will follow.

Step 9: Promote your blog

If you were to search Google for “how to promote your blog” you’d get hundreds of tips to follow. However, not all methods of promotion are worth the effort. You only have so much time to devote to your blog, and chances are, if you’re using this blog article to start, then blogging probably isn’t a full-time gig for you yet. With that being said, let’s focus on just a few of the ways that work best to promote your blog.

First, let’s break down what it means to “promote” your blog. To put it plainly, you want readers. That means you need to get people to visit your website and to stick around. Like we said, there are many ways to do that, but only a few that work exponentially better than the others. Let’s talk about the best ways to promote your blog. 

  1. SEO
  2. Social Media
  3. YouTube
  4. Email List
  5. Guest Blogging

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of creating content that ranks high on Google search results. When people are looking for specific content, they’ll ask Google to help them out. Google displays results for websites and pages that it believes will help the searcher the most. Your job as a blogger is to provide that kind of content. That means you need to write content that provides value to your readers, but also lets Google know that it will help them. You do that by writing about very specific topics and including keywords and phrases in your content that people would use in a search engine. It also helps to write content that answers specific questions or provides real value in some way. 

SEO is a long term approach to getting readers to your blog. It can take 3-6 months or longer to start seeing increases in traffic from SEO. Why? Because Google will display sites in search results that it deems to have authority on a subject. The more authority a site has, the higher the ranking in the search results. A brand new blog with little content is not going to be considered an authority website. However, if you publish consistently for months and years, Google will notice and start to promote your site more often, and higher in search results. 

So, yes, it will take some time to see results. However, done effectively, it can bring thousands upon thousands of readers to your blog every month. Some of the biggest blogs on the internet get millions of reads every month all from using SEO properly. 

Social Media

Social media is somewhat of an obvious answer to “how do I promote my blog”. Literally billions of people use social media sites like Facebook and Instagram every day. However, before you start to post your blog on social media sites, there are a few things you need to know. Let’s break it down by each of the major social media platforms where you could promote your blog.

Promoting your Blog on Facebook

First, organic reach on social media sites like Facebook is very low when it comes to promoting anything. Even if you have a Facebook page for your blog and thousands of followers already, most of them will not see your posts. Plus, Facebook posts have a limited life-span, often losing most of their reach and effectiveness after a couple of days. If you have an active Friend’s list who are willing to help you out by sharing your blog articles, then you can get a lot more traction out of Facebook. 

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The other option is to boost your posts so they reach more people. You could also run Facebook ads if you are using your blog to generate leads.

Promoting your Blog on Instagram

Instagram can be a good place to promote your blog if you have a solid following. However, it is visually based, so you’ll need to create custom image posts with your blog title on them, and they need to be visually appealing. However, you cannot add links to Instagram posts, except through Instagram ads. So, you’ll have to put the link in your profile and instruct followers to visit the link in your profile to read the blog.

Promoting your Blog on Twitter

Twitter is a good place to promote your blog and create discussions around it. You can post links, however, you are limited to 240 characters. So, you’ll need to be compelling and to the point quickly. 

It’s best to tweet often and join in other conversations on Twitter to build up a solid following. Twitter makes it easy for people to share your content by re-tweeting, so encourage others to share. Twitter ads also allow you to reach a larger audience of people other than those who follow you directly. However, Twitter is not the best place to advertise your blog as far as social media sites go. 

Promoting your Blog on Pinterest

Of all the social media platforms to promote your blog, perhaps the best one to use is Pinterest. The reason it can work so well is that your posts live forever. Meaning, people can view and access your content any time, not just within the few days after you post it. Pinterest is also built around a visual experience. So, create posts using compelling images and catchy quotes. You can also include links in your posts or link your post directly to your blog. 

YouTube

Believe it or not, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, behind Google. That means it holds tons of potential for your blog, if you utilize it. Yes, you will have to create videos and get in front of a camera, but the payoff for growing your blog could be huge. Simply turn your written content into a video and publish it. Link to your blog in the video and in the description and you’ll get even more traffic to your blog. Plus, video is consumed much more than written content in today’s world. YouTube is free to use and as long as you put out valuable content, it could only help you grow your blog.

Email List

Once you start getting readers on your blog, get them on an email list! Experienced online marketers will all tell you about the overwhelming importance of an email list. If you plan on using your blog to make money, then an email list is a must-have. Plus, once someone is on your email list, they get notified when you send out emails with new blog posts. Your email list is perhaps the best way to keep readers of your blog coming back again and again.

But before you can email anyone, you need to get them on your list. Create something valuable to give away for free. This could be an eBook, an exclusive video, a checklist, a free guide, or a number of other things. Whatever you offer, it needs to be valuable – something that someone might pay for, but can get from you for free. Offer it exchange for their email address. This is called “permission marketing“. People are giving you permission to email them when they give you their email address.

Make sure you are sending emails regularly, so people don’t forget about you. Email your list when you publish something new or when you want to share something helpful. Every now and then, you can promote something or sell something, but keep it sparse so you don’t come across spammy.

Guest Blogging

One of the best places to get readers for your blog is from other blogs. Guest posting on popular blogs will gain you exposure and send lots of traffic to your blog quickly. However, it can be challenging to get accepted to write on some platforms. Research other blogs in your niche and email the blog owners asking to guest post. Provide ideas for posts upfront to see what sparks the most interest and provides the most value to their readers. If you are going to guest post, then honor the blog on which you are guest posting. Write your very best content and provide as much value as possible.

There are some huge platforms that allow guest posting as well and can work wonders for growing your readership fast. Check out this post by Neil Patel, a legendary online marketer, on guest blogging. 

Just know guest blogging, although one of the best ways to grow your own blog, can be a challenge to get into. The larger your own blog becomes the greater the chance of landing guest posts on other blogs. Early on, you may experience lots of rejection. Be persistent and keep writing. Eventually, it will pay off!

Remember, there are hundreds of ways to promote your blog. These are just the methods we recommend the most. Do your research for your specific niche and test different methods to see what works best.

Step 10: Make Money Blogging.

There are two main ways bloggers make money online: passive income and active income. Passive income is popular among bloggers simply because you can make money 24/7 as long as people are visiting your blog. Let’s take a look at each type and the methods involved.

Passive Income from Blogging

Passive income from blogging sounds attractive, but it needs to come with a disclaimer. Although it’s referred to as passive, it still requires some detailed work upfront and ongoing maintenance to make sure it’s working properly. That being said, once the work is done and the systems are in place, you can do quite well with passive income. Here are the two most popular ways to make passive income through your blog.

  1. Displaying ads on your website
  2. Affiliate links

Ads on Your Blog

Perhaps the most popular form of passive income for blogging is by displaying ads on your website. It’s simple to do and once the ads are in place, you can sit back and make money on each impression. 

Before you start to look into displaying ads on your new blog, you must meet some minimum requirements for this method to be most effective. To make any substantial amount of money through your blog by displaying ads you need to average well over 10,000 visitors per month. In fact, if you want to make a full-time income through your blog using only ads, then you really need to be getting around 100,000-200,000 visitors PER MONTH. Yes, that’s a lot of traffic, but as long as you are writing content that is optimized for SEO and you are writing consistently, you should be able to get there, depending on your niche.

Also, try to have at least 50 articles published before you consider running ads. Obviously, the more content you have on your site, the better. 

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are an easy way to make money through your blog, as long as you have enough traffic. An affiliate link is a link to a product or service that someone else owns. If someone purchases the product through your site, you get a percentage of that sale. A good example of this is Bluehost. They are the best hosting service for starting a new blog and we recommend it to anyone who is willing to build their blog themselves. They happen to offer an affiliate commission for anyone who signs up through the affiliate link we provide, at no additional cost to the purchaser. It’s a win, win.

There are many affiliate programs to use on your blog, including the most popular, Amazon Affiliates. With Amazon Affiliates, you can link to specific products that you mention in blog articles or on resource pages on your blog using an affiliate link. When people click on that link and shop on Amazon, you will get a commission on anything they buy (not just the product you linked to on your website) within a 24-hour period as long as it is an eligible product. 

A great way to utilize affiliate links on your blog is to write content that reviews certain products or ranks them and then include affiliate links to those products on Amazon. Also, you can create a “Resources” page with links to tools and products you use in your niche. 

Active Income from Blogging

Passive income through your blog is an effective way to make money in the long run, especially if your blog stays strong for more than two years. Perhaps even more effective, however, is taking an active approach to making money through your blog. Here are the most effective active income methods to apply to your blog.

  1. Online courses
  2. Coaching/Training
  3. Writing sponsored posts
  4. Selling your own products
  5. Writing books

Online Courses

Create a course based on the knowledge and information you provide through your blog. Chances are, if you are blogging about something for long enough, you will be considered an expert on the subject. Take that expertise and package it in an online course. For example, if you blog about home gardening, you could create a course that teaches how to create and manage your own garden. If you are a fitness blogger, you could create your own workout program or diet program. The point is, whatever you are passionate about and can teach others about, you can probably package into a course that people would pay good money for. 

Before you decide to create an online course, however, take time to build up an active audience and provide them with tons of free value for 6 months to a year at least. Collect their email addresses and once you have a large enough audience, pitch them the idea of the course and get real feedback about it. See if it is something people are interested in and would spend their money on. Ask them for input about what should be in the course and what they’d most like to learn about. Once you get the approval of your followers, start building the course. You can even pre-sale the course to start making money before it officially launches. 

Technically, once your online course is launched and all your systems are in place, it could be considered passive income. 

Coaching/Training

Another popular way to actively make money through your blog is through coaching. If you provide some level of expertise in your niche, then you could offer a more personalized level of help through coaching. This works especially well in the personal development sphere. Bloggers offer coaching for performance improvement, wellness, relationships, and many other areas. 

If you want to provide coaching to your readers, first determine the level of interest they have in it. Sometimes your readers will bring it up first and ask you for coaching. Other times you’ll have to ask your followers if they would want to invest in coaching. Email your list and see what kind of response you get.

If you get a resounding “yes!” for your readers, then you need to develop a coaching program to walk people through. Develop something manageable that will both challenge your students to grow and that they would be willing to stick to and implement. Common coaching programs last from 3 weeks to 6 months, and even sometimes up to a year depending on the program. 

The only downside to coaching is the time commitment and the limited availability. You can only coach so many people one-on-one. If you find the demand too high, consider moving to group coaching or even creating a membership site that offers in-depth training and personalized teaching. 

Writing Sponsored Posts

A sponsored post is an article you write on your blog specifically to promote an advertiser’s product or service. The advertiser will pay you a fee for writing the post or a commission for sales earned through the post. Typically, you will need to have a large, active reader base to get opportunities for sponsored posts. Larger brands will often reach out to bloggers and influencers to help promote their products or to push a big launch. 

If you are considering writing sponsored posts to make money from your blog, make sure that you only write for brands that fit your blog’s niche. Also, make sure it provides real value to your readers and not just a sales pitch. 

Selling Your Own Products

If you have a large reader base/email list and have some capital to invest upfront, you could make money through your blog by creating and selling your own products. A good example of this is Pat Flynn, who runs smartpassiveincome.com. He created the Swtchpod, a souped-up version of the selfie stick, combined with a tripod. Since he helps people make money through content creation online, the Switchpod is a perfect fit for his follower base. 

Another example is Brendon Burchard, a performance coach and digital marketer who created a daily planner to improve productivity. Many fitness experts who have a large following on their blogs have created their own products like supplements, workout gear, and apparel to sell to their audiences. Whatever product you decide to create, make sure it fits your audience and that they actually want to buy it first. 

Writing Books

Writing a book is one of the best ways to make money through your blog. In fact, many bloggers who have built up large followings have been offered book deals by publishers since they already have a large number of potential buyers. However, you don’t have to wait on a traditional publishing company to offer you a book deal. You can write a book and self-publish it through Amazon. If you are writing the book primarily to make money from it, then self-publishing might be your best option. You will have much higher royalties than through traditional publishing and have more creative control over the content of the book. 

Again, you will want to build up a large following before you can expect to make a substantial amount of money from selling a book.

Ready to start building your own blog right now? Click here to get started on Bluehost.

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Blog Website Design from Dock Line

Do you want to start your own blog with a huge head start? At Dock Line, we’ll design and build your blog website for you, then hand it over so you can run it. You’ll get a professional, clean design that is attractive to readers and helps you stand out as a blogger. 

Blog Web Design Options

Basic Blog Website

  • Built on WordPress
  • 1-3 Pages (Home, About, Blog)
  • Responsive Design
  • Subscriber Email Optin Capability
  • Domain Included
  • First Year Hosting Included ($120 value)

$995

Ready to get the Basic Blog Website built for you? Click here to contact us.

(If you’d like us to run your blog for you, including publishing and all maintenance and updates, the cost is $195/month)

Pro Blog Website

  • Built on WordPress
  • Up to 5 Pages (Home, About, Blog, Resources/Tools, Contact/Other)
  • Responsive Design
  • Subscriber Email Optin Capability
  • Domain Included
  • First Year Hosting Included ($120)
  • Basic Logo Design

$1,495

Ready to get the Basic Blog Website built for you? Click here to contact us.

(If you’d like us to run your blog for you, including publishing and all maintenance and updates, the cost is $195/month)

View Comments (5)
  • You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I
    think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
    the hang of it!

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