Have you ever wondered what blogging is and how to get it all started? You’ve come to the right place! You can find a million resources that will get you to sign up for a blog, but what if you are just starting out and actually have no idea where to even start? Don’t worry my friend… you are in the right place!
A year ago, I didn’t really know what blogging was. I, like most, assumed it was like an online diary where people just wrote about their lives. I was so wrong.
But then I had an upcoming Cruise to Alaska and spent countless hours trying to find information about things to do and places to visit while in Alaska. My frustration grew with every click of the mouse because it seemed like the only information out there were ads by the cruise lines themselves.
Thank you cruise lines, but I don’t need to hear about the expensive excursions you are pushing… I want to know about the towns. I want to know the secrets and off-beaten paths to take.
So I started to look into creating a travel blog (just to be able to share my own information) and started to learn just how big this blogging world is. AND that people made money from it! Say Whaaaaatt!!!
Make Money from Blogging, You Say?
Blogging is so much more than telling the world about your life. It’s about giving helpful information to all sorts of things like recipes, parenting tips, travel tips, home DIY stuff, etc. The list is really endless.
And yes, you can make money from blogging. But where do you even start?
So I’ve put together a little down and dirty list of what blogging is and how to get it all started. This is kind of just like the cliff version of everything, cause there is a lot of information out there.
So here we go…
First Things First
First, you create a website. Which is actually a lot easier then I thought. I had wanted to start a blog so long ago but never did because I figured it had to do with a lot of coding and web design and I knew nothing about that stuff. I relied only on what advice I found on the Internet and didn’t know a single soul who did it. It was a lot of trial and error in the beginning, but I still figured it out and you can too!
Next, you start creating content, otherwise known as ‘posts’. Posts are basically your articles but in the blogging world, they are referred to as posts. So every article you read on someone’s blog, that is a post that they have written. For example, here is one of my posts on The Best Summer Cocktails.
After you create a post, you make a ‘pin’ for it. These are small graphics that you use on Pinterest to link to your blog. So when you are scrolling through Pinterest, all those little pictures with catchy titles are pins that people created, that link to their blog posts.
This is actually the crucial step because Pinterest is how you get traffic to your blog and traffic = MONEY!
I used to spend countless hours just scrolling through Pinterest looking at recipes and outfits and parenting advice. Little did I know that every time I clicked on one of those pins, it brought me to someone’s blog. Pinterest is basically made up of entirely of blogs.
So you created a website, and you wrote a few posts. You made pins for it and pinned them to Pinterest, linking it to your blog post. Hopefully get people to click on your pin to go to your blog. Your goal at first is going to be to do those steps over and over until you start getting enough traffic to continue on. Most bloggers say it takes around 40-50 posts for them to start seeing real traffic.
If you are not quite ready to create a website, start at least jotting down ideas for your posts. Inspiration is everywhere. Make a list of blog posts you could write about. You can even start writing posts in Google docs and just save the files until you are ready to place them on your website. Sometimes I just write myself emails with blog posts ideas and save them in a file to use later.
But What About That Money Making Stuff I Mentioned?
Ah yes, blogging is fun but making money… well that’s fun too amiright? There are actually many ways to make money from your blog but there are 4 main ways that I’ll start off with to get you going.
1. Ads Networks. You place ads on your site and get paid by how many people visit your site. So the more traffic you get, the more money you get paid by these ad networks. You may see some ads floating around my site. You literally can make money just by people visiting your blog. It doesn’t cost them anything. And if they click on the ads themselves, you get even more money.
Do ad networks work with anyone? Well, not really. If you are a brand new blogger then you can definitely sign up for Google Adsense. Google Adsense does have a few requirements but is otherwise generally easy to get started with as a brand new blogger. The only thing is, they don’t pay very much. But hey, you have to start somewhere right?
After you get 25,000 visits a month (don’t panic, it’s doable!) you can sign up with bigger ads companies such as Mediavine, which pays a lot better. Then at 100,000 views a month you can go to AdThrive which pays the best. Some bloggers just concentrate on that and get paid several thousand a month from those bigger ad companies.
2. Sponsored posts. Another way to ‘monetize’ your blog (another phrase you hear a lot)… is by doing sponsored posts. This is where you work with a company and they pay you to post about their product. Like a diaper company will pay you and send you free diapers to do a post about how much you love their diapers, etc.
Sometimes you can get paid for your sponsored posts and other times you can score a lot of free product from companies. I had the chance to work with JORD wooden watches in this cool post I did for them.
3. Affiliate links. Never heard this word before? No worries neither did I. An affiliate link is a link to a product. And if someone uses your link and then buys something, you get a small commission. Literally, everything can have an affiliate link. Clothing, food, travel… even blogging resources like paid blogging classes.
For example, I created this post on What to Wear on an Alaskan Cruise. In my post, I link all the items I bought and recommended to others. If someone clicks on those links and buys any of those products, I earn money! Pretty cool, huh?
4. Selling Products. You typically only see this by more established bloggers but anyone can make or sell a product. Some people make physical products like home decor things or baby outfits. But a lot of bloggers create virtual products. Blogging course are created and sold by other vloggers. I’ve also seen bloggers create fitness programs and even budgeting worksheets they sell.
So basically, if you are thinking about blogging… this is how you do it:
- Start a blog by creating a website
- Write posts on your blog
- Create pins for each blog post
- Pin those posts to Pinterest
- Get traffic and make money (this is the hardest part that takes the longest time)
- Add affiliate links
- Do sponsored posts
- Make more money!
Ok, I’ll leave it at that for now.
It may seem like a lot so if you really want to start a blog, start taking notes and just take it one step at a time. The world of blogging is endless with things to learn so don’t get too overwhelmed in the beginning.
But now that you know a little bit about what blogging is, head over to the next section to read The Benefits of Blogging (that have nothing to do with money!)
I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about blogging. And definitely get on Pinterest! Just type in ‘How to start a blog’ and you can just go through article after article. That’s how I got started!