3 Ways To Make Money Online
Be a Freelancer
Start a Blog
So you're considering starting a blog, but you're not too sure. You know people are making money with their blogs – in some cases BIG money – but it also seems like a lot of work. Knowing how to start a blog and make money isn't easy.
And that's a good thing because when something is easy, too many people do it, and then the market gets too saturated for it to work.
Instead of getting overwhelmed with all the steps it takes for how to start a blog and make money, just put your nose to the grindstone and follow the steps in this 6-week plan.
Take one step at a time, and you'll be amazed at how far your blog will have come in such a short period of time!
How to Start a Blog and Make Money
You probably won’t make any money in 6 weeks, but if you follow this roadmap, you will have set up a blog the right way so that as your content starts ranking, you will start to see the money coming in.
The amount of money you can make and the length of time it takes to make that money really depends on how much time you have to put into your blog.
- If you are working on it full time, you can expect to start making money in about 3 months.
- If you only have 20 hours a week to put into it, it will likely take you 6 months.
- If you only have 10 hours a week, it will probably take you a year.
No matter what it is, it is sooooo worth it because when you know how to start a blog and make money from it, you will have created an income that is passive and that builds over time. So, let's dig in…
Week 1: Niche, Name & Site Set Up
This week, we are going to focus on just getting the bones of your site set up. You'll need an area of focus (a niche), a blog name, and you'll need the technical aspects of your site set up.
Choose a Niche
You won't get anywhere with blogging if the topics you write about are all over the place. Choosing a niche is the way to go because you'll gain a following of people who love that niche and you'll be able to write content that is geared directly to them.
To choose a niche, think about your own interests and expertise. You're going to be putting a lot of time and energy into your blog so you'll want to make sure you'll enjoy it. Don't choose a financial planning niche is you don't love financial planning and don't choose a dog training niche if you don't have a dog.
If you love journaling or gardening, consider making your niche about one of those. Maybe you've always had an interest in nutrition but you've never had time to learn about it – create a blog about it and now you'll get that chance!
Choose a Name & URL
Once you have your niche, start playing around with names. It's best to name your blog something that could be a keyword that people would type in to find the information you'll be providing. It's best, but it doesn't have to be if you have your heart set on a different name.
Once you choose your name, make sure the URL that matches it is available. You can go to godaddy.com and start playing around with potential domain names.
STOP: Don't purchase your domain name yet though because you'll get your domain name for free in the next step!
Set up Your Hosting & WordPress
Now is the fun part where you get to see your website come to life! It's time to set up your hosting and your WordPress site, theme, etc.
The easiest way to do this is to follow along with the free training that Spencer is offering in this video right here:
Week 2: Choose Your Monetization Methods
Now that you've got your site set up, the next step in knowing how to start a blog and make money is to start thinking about the ways you will monetize it. Let's look at my three favorite ways to do that…
Affiliate marketing is the number one way we recommend monetizing your site. If you don't know what it is, it's basically just referring people to products and getting paid commissions for those referrals.
We love affiliate marketing because when you are learning how to start a blog and make money, it's one of the easiest ways to do that. Plus, it doesn't require any investment on your part and you don't have to stock inventory or even worry about taking credit cards. You just refer people with your affiliate link and the company sends you commissions. It's simple, and we also think it's a lot of fun.
We have a gazillion different resources for you to help you learn affiliate marketing, but we're going to just give you two today because we don't want to overwhelm you.
Watch the following video and take the free masterclass to start planning out your approach now:
Free Affiliate Marketing Resource #1: How to Do Affiliate Marketing With a Blog
Free Affiliate Marketing Resource #2: Affiliate Marketing Masterclass
Free Affiliate Marketing Masterclass
Go inside Spencer Mecham's business and discover the 3 secrets to making passive income with affiliate marketing.
Get the Training
Dropshipping is when you offer a product on your site that another company sells, and when someone purchases it, you order it from the company that sells it and have it shipped directly to the customer that purchased it from you.
You receive the money for it up front when the person purchases it on your site and you use that money to purchase it from the company that sells it. The money that is left over is your profit.
It's another relatively easy way to make money with your website. To find companies that offer dropshipping, click here.
Your Own Products
Whether it's physical products or digital products like courses and e-books, there are a multitude of products you can create and sell on your website. The really awesome part about offering digital products is that you get to keep 100% of the sale price.
Spencer has already created a whole video about how to create your own course, so take a look at that here:
Week 3: Map Out Your Strategy
The next thing you need when you are learning how to start a blog and make money is a content strategy. You can't just start writing willy nilly about different topics relating to your niche and expect to gain any traction. You need your blogs to be seen in order to make money, and to do that, you'll need to play the Google game.
That means, you need to create an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Everyone has their own way of going about this, but here's my favorite way…
Perform Keyword Research
Perform keyword research based on the products you are promoting and your niche. You'll want to find two different types of keywords:
- Main Keywords – These are the keywords that will be used to name your main pages on your website pages.
- Long Tail Keywords – These are the keywords that you'll use for your blog posts. They are related to your main keywords and help you to get more specific about your topic. When Google sees that you are going into depth about a topic, they reward you with good rankings in the search results, so long tail keywords are essential.
You can use Ubersuggest for free to do your keyword research. Let's say your niche is home decorating. When you type in a search term related to your niche, you'll get a list of keywords that looks something like this:
The SD column lets you know the difficulty. When the number in that column is green, it means it is easy to rank for, yellow means it is medium, and red means it is difficult. This is a pretty competitive niche, so it's giving us a bunch of medium keywords.
Choose Your Main Keywords
For your main keywords, choose 2-3 keywords that you want to go into depth about on your website. They should also be words that you can turn into pages on your site. So, if one of your main keywords is “home decorating styles,” then you will have a page on your site that is named after that keyword.
Your main keywords should be evergreen, which means they will never go out of style. You wouldn't want to choose something that is seasonal or trending now as a page name because your pages are meant to remain on your site forever.
Choose Your Long Tail Keywords
Then, take each main keyword and type them into Ubersuggest separately. The list that comes up for each one contains the long tail keywords that you could use for your blog post topics.
Here, you can see some ideas for long tail keywords using our main keyword of “home decorating ideas”:
- home decorating ideas for the living room
- home decorating ideas for Christmas
- home decorating ideas on a budget
And if we kept going, we would get even more.
Create a spreadsheet of potential long tail keywords for each main keyword and the monthly search volume of each.
Choose Topics Based on Those Keywords
Now, it's time to turn those long tail keywords into topic ideas for your blog posts. For example, the keywords we found above are pretty self-explanatory. You could write a post about each one very easily.
The best keywords to use here are ones with commercial intent because those are the keywords that people search for when they are looking to buy something. Here are some of the best words to use in this regard:
- Free Shipping
- Brand Names
- Specific Products (iPhone 11)
- Product Categories (nail polish, winter jackets, toddler shoes, etc.)
When you're done this step, you will have months worth of content ideas for your blog! How awesome is that?
Week 4: Write Your First Stellar Post
It's time to start writing your blog posts! Are you excited?
Here are some tips to help you create the best blog posts possible…
Make it Your Best
When you are writing your blog posts, don’t write fluff or crap. No one wants to read that and it's a waste of your time and everyone else's time. Create something you are proud of and that really solves a problem that people have.
Not only that, but Google ranks quality content that is on the longer side and full of valuable content. There is no magic number, but at least 1200 words is usually a good parameter.
Write for the Internet
To know how to start a blog and make money, you'll need to know how to write for the internet, and that is very different than if you were writing a novel, an essay, or a nonfiction book.
When people are reading articles on the internet, they don't want to read long paragraphs and they tend to skim through to find exactly what they are looking for. So, you need to adjust your writing to suit what your readers are doing. Here are some tips:
- Use Short Sentences – Less than 20 words is ideal
- Use Short Paragraphs – Even if a topic isn't fully completed, it is best to keep your paragraphs to 2-3 sentences (sometimes even one). This makes it easier for people to skim though.
- Use Headings and Subheadings – Break your content up so that there aren't more than 300 words in each section. Use H2 and H3 subheadings to do that.
- Use Bullets – Bullets are also a good way to break up content and to make certain parts of your content stand out in outline form.
- Use Images – Further break up your text with photos to make it visually appealing. You can find free photos on unsplash.com or pixabay.com. Or you can create graphics that have quotes from your blog on them by using Canva.
- Use Bold or Colored Text – Make certain words stand out by bolding them or putting them in a different color.
Use the Yoast SEO Plugin
You can't make much money with your blog if you don't know SEO (search engine optimization), but you would have to read many articles, watch many videos, and spend months learning SEO to really understand it in depth. Luckily, though, Yoast has put together an amazing SEO Plugin for WordPress, and it's free!
So, add the Yoast SEO plugin to your website and then all you have to do is follow the tips it gives you on your articles. You can make adjustments as you go until it gives you a green light.
But if you want some additional training right off the bat, here's a short video that Spencer put together on how to improve search result rankings in any search engine:
Create a Timeline of When You Will Write Your Articles
The faster you publish content and build out a robust site, the faster you'll get ranked, and the faster you'll start making money.
If you have the time, it's always great to get all of your web pages and your first five to ten blog posts written within the first few weeks so that you can call it a real site. Then, build from there by adding 1-3 blog posts a week depending on how much time you have available.
Link Your Main Keywords and Long Tail Keywords
As you write a blog post, add a link to it on the page that contains the main keyword for that long tail keyword. Think of your main pages as places where people can go to find all of the possible content they can find on the topic. As you create more content, you'll build out your pages more and more.
When you link up your main keywords and long tail keywords in this way, it is an indicator to Google that you are going into depth on your content and that they should rank it because it will answer people's questions about the topic.
You can break up your pages into sections and also use it as monetization opportunities. For example, if your page was called “home decorating style,” your page could have the following headings:
- Home Decorating Style Ideas – This could contain any of your own blog posts that make sense in this category, plus curated posts from others.
- Home Decorating Deals – This could include a list of coupons to stores you are an affiliate of.
- Best Home Decorating Books – This could include a list of your favorite books on the subject with affiliate links to the books on Amazon.
- Home Decorating Inspiration – This section could include your best pins on Pinterest.
- Favorite Home Decor Products – This could have links to products that you can have dropshipped to customers or affiliate products.
Week 5: Set Up Pinterest & Join Pinterest Groups
Once you've got some content to put out, it's time to consider putting it on Pinterest. Pinterest is not a social media platform; it is a search engine. And it's a lot easier to rank on Pinterest than it is to rank on Google.
We've already written a pretty concise article about how to use Pinterest, so we aren't going to go into depth about it here. The article talks about making money with Pinterest without a blog, so since you have a blog at this point, you'll go about it a little differently. Take the same steps but instead of linking to your affiliate products directly as suggested in the article, you will link to your blog posts.
Learn How to Get Traffic From Pinterest
When you want to know how to start a blog and make money, Pinterest is one of the best ways to do it because it provides easy traffic to your site.
Learn How Here
If you dedicate a week to learning Pinterest, you'll be able to get your profile up and running and you'll even be able to get some repins. Pinterest is a pretty easy platform to rank on and it's pretty quick. Whereas Google can take several months, Pinterest can take a couple days or even less. So, it's a great way to gain some good results before you start ranking on Google.
Next week, we'll dig further into Pinterest groups and Tailwind Tribes, and that's where you'll see your content really explode on Pinterest.
Week 6: Set Up a Facebook Page, Pinterest Groups & Tailwind Tribes
This week, we'll work on building you a following so that your content will get seen by more people.
Set Up Your Facebook Page
This week, start by creating a Facebook page for your new blog. Try to name it the same name as your blog and use consistent graphics and photos.
You can get 50 page Likes pretty quickly by asking your Facebook friends to Like your new Facebook page.
Don't worry about doing too much with Facebook right now. In the next section, we'll link it to Pinterest so that anything you post on Pinterest automatically posts on Facebook. That way, you don't have to add yet another thing to your schedule just yet.
Set Up Tailwind & Pinterest Group Boards
Now that you have your Pinterest account set up, you can automate it and expand it by posting your content to Pinterest group boards and Tailwind Tribes.
Pinterest group boards are boards that individuals have set up in a way that allows a group of people to pin to them. Each board has its own rules, but in general, you will be required to pin someone else's content each time you pin your own content on the board.
This is awesome news because it means that other people will pin your content on their boards, which helps it to get further repins from their following, and so on.
Tailwind is a third party site that makes it very easy to schedule your Pinterest pins. If Pinterest is going to be part of your strategy (and I think it should be if you want to know how to start a blog and make money), you've got to have a Tailwind account in order to stay on top of it all. Here are some of the many ways you can use it:
- Set up your best posts to loop on autopilot every four months or so using the Smartloop feature.
- Schedule out your new posts using the scheduler so that they will automatically post at the best times for your audience.
- Join Tribes that are related to your niche and post your content in them to get reshares and repins. Tribes are very similar to group boards, but they are easier to get accepted into, and they skyrocket your repins.
Link Up Your Facebook Page & Tailwind/Pinterest Account
Next, link your Facebook page to your Pinterest account. You can do that both in Tailwind and in Facebook so that whatever you post on Tailwind for Pinterest, you can also post on Facebook, and visa versa.
Weeks 7 & Beyond: Maintain a Consistent Schedule
One thing is for certain: you will absolutely fail if you don’t stick with it. Persistence pays off big time in blogging. So, stick with it!
It takes persistence, consistency, and delayed gratification to succeed. But if you have tenacity and the will to learn, you can create an amazing blogging income for yourself.
To achieve success, do the following:
- Develop a writing and posting schedule and stick to it.
- Develop a Pinning Schedule and stick to it.
Don’t keep checking your stats every five minutes because it'll make you crazy. Once you are ranking and seeing results, follow your stats by running monthly and possibly weekly reports.
Before that, just put your nose to the grindstone and keep putting out content and promoting it.
With this plan, you can get the bones of your site up and running as well as an effective way to promote your blogs in the works so that all you have to do after that point is keep it going by writing awesome content.
By doing these steps, you will know how to start a blog and make money from it without a lot of trial and error. Happy blogging!