Understanding blogs and what the talk is all about.
When I first heard about blogging and making money as a stay at home mom, I was excited. It sounds great! Right? From that moment, hours were spent researching, googling, and looking for answers to the most basic questions to feed my new found curiosity.
Not that the answers were complex, but it took what it seemed like FOREVER! I was learning a new language, and there is a lot to take in.
I don’t pretend to be a professional blogger that knows everything about blogging.
Every day I am learning something new and adding to my understanding of what blogging is and how to do it.
However, hours and hours of research has been done to find the answers to your most basic questions.
So you can be 10 steps ahead in half the time that I was!
And even better, if you have a question that hasn’t been answered, leave me a comment or email me, and we will find the answer together.
WHAT is a blog?
In the 1990s, the word and concept weblog came about. A blog is the abbreviated version of a weblog and a web page or website run by an individual or small group. This page or site is updated regularly and written in a casual or conversational format.
WHAT Is The Purpose of a Blog?
The purpose of a blog to convey information to others. At one point, weblogs were used as an online journal in some cases, and in others, they were used to market and make money. However, blogs are now used to promote yourself or your business on certain thoughts or subjects and can often be monetized (make money as well)
WHO is a blogger?
A blogger is someone who writes material for a blog website regularly. They are individuals that share their talents, passions, and expertise online with a target audience. Bloggers can blog about a wide variety of topics. While some pick broad topics, others can blog about a narrow niche.
For example, someone might blog about health care as a broad range of topics vs. blogging about runners’ organic paleo diets.
WHY do people blog today?
From online journals to now, people have realized that blogging has become an opportunity to share skills and knowledge with others. It has contributed to the overwhelming information we have on the internet today.
If I ever run across a question that I don’t have the answers to, I google it. Most of the time, those answers are coming from a blog. From someone who has put in the work to educate others.
The second reason why people are starting blogs today is that there is money to be made blogging. It is not easy money by any means, but it is doable.
Lastly, having a blog means you work online. There is no boss or deadlines, and it allows you to work remotely.
CAN you make money blogging?
- affiliate marketing,
- sponsored ads/posts, and
- selling digital products, or courses
- having a membership fee
- Freelancing by helping others with their blog/advertising
These are your basic ways to make money blogging. A lot of these options are reliant upon getting traffic to your site. Many bloggers post their income reports to prove that it can be done if you want to see actual numbers.
HOW much can you make blogging?
You can make anywhere from $0 to $1,000,000 a month.
The truth is the majority of blogs don’t make very much money. Of course, there are a lot of factors that play a role in that.
Here is only one survey from Problogger, but it gives you a good idea of what to expect.
Like I said before, blogging is no walk in the park. It is competitive and always changing and growing. That being said, if you want to make money blogging, then go all in and make money blogging. I am a firm believer that you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to.
It’s never too late. You’re never too old. And there is never a better time to start.
WHAT does having a blog require?
Having a blog requires time, energy, and patience! You need to be stubborn enough not to give up and teachable enough to adjust to change and grow where it is needed.
It is helpful to know how to ask google or work YouTube when challenges arise.
Some bonus skills that help is being able to research topics and relay information. Also, the ability to write clearly and in the right tones is essential (so it’s not boring). If you have skills with technology or graphic design, that is a bonus as well.
Here are 8 steps to start a blog.
Step 1: Think of a niche (topic) you enjoy and then think of your audience.
Is there a way to help your audience with a problem in the niche you chose?
This article will help you get a good look into 7 niches that get good traffic and make you money.
Step 2: Get a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress or Website builder.
A lot of people have put step 3 before this step BUT this is why I put it second on this list.
If ultimately you choose to go with a user-friendly website builder, then you DO NOT need to buy a web host because that company usually provides it. Also, most of the website builder companies provide opportunities to purchase a domain from them as well.
There are a few fundamental differences between getting a CMS like WordPress vs. website builders, and you can read about them here.
The overall consensus is that WordPress gives you the most opportunity for growth and customization.
I would recommend WordPress over a website builder.
Keep in mind, I am not a tech-savvy person and had to look up the meaning of half of the words I am using now. So do not let the technology involved scare you away!
There are more support videos and information on the internet for WordPress than any other system.
Choosing from companies such as WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and more will be the platform on which you will build and customize your website.
Step 3: Look for a domain and hosting site.
Once you choose your platform, you will want to get your domain and hosting site if you are going with WordPress. If you are still wondering what a domain name is, then this will help you understand a domain and its part of a web address.
I put these together because some hosting sites provide a domain for free. (I bought my domain after step 1 and didn’t realize I had the other options mentioned)
Here are the top 4 hosting sites that are worth your time looking into
- BlueHost- the fastest uploading site with a low start-up cost
- HostGator Cloud- Also fast uploading with free migration and SSL certificate
- Hostinger- Cheapest start-up plan, fast upload, FREE domain but SSL not included
- Siteground- Easy to use, fast and great support, WordPress friendly, free migration and SSL certificate but not the cheapest site and limited storage space.
For more information on the top hosting sites rated by speed, performance, and cost, check out this website and the results they found.
Step 4: Choose a Template or Theme
Once you have your domain name, hosting site, and WordPress installed, you now want to choose a theme. This part starts getting fun because you can get those creative juices flowing.
What is the purpose of your blog? Which style complements those ideas?
I ended up with Authentic from ThemeForest. However, there are tons of cute, functional themes out there, so look around to see what speaks to you most.
Don’t forget to look at the sales and deals going on with each theme. I would not recommend spending over $60 on your theme. This is the average price of most WordPress themes.
STOP, BREATH, GO FOR A WALK AND DO THESE 3 THINGS BEFORE STEP 5
1- Change your Permalinks in WordPress. Go to settings > Permalinks > Click Post Name
2- Set up your email and configure to with your personal email for ease.
3-Consider Installing a Child Theme. This is really on the techy side, but there are videos and instructions to help every step of the way. This article will help you understand what a child theme is and what to do if you want to install one.
Step 5: Design your blog and write posts
If you have made it this far, you are doing amazing! Keep it up! Now let’s get your blog up and going.
When should you publish your blog?
There are thousands of half published, half-finished, or abandoned blogs out there. This is not a bad thing but something to consider when you think of your personality.
Consider setting a due date to keep yourself accountable and push yourself to work on your blog. There are many free blog planners out there as well to help you keep going.
It’s good to have 10-20 posts on your blog before you publish.
(Confession: I published right away so I could really see how it worked and looked online. At that point, I didn’t know how else to do it. However, I didn’t start PROMOTING until I had that many posts.)
Step 6: Promote your Site
Promoting may or may not be a whole other ball game and learning curve. Depending on how well you know how to use Pinterest and SEO (Search Engine Operatives), this will take some research.
I liked the analogy that having a blog without promoting is like standing in a big crowd holding a sign and hoping people will come by to shop. That is not a very effective method to get people to come by. When you promote your blog, you are advertising and actively driving the traffic to you.
Traffic is important to monetize (make money for) your site and help others with your knowledge. You may have found the cure to cancer, but if you tell no one, what good can it do?
So learn to promote!
Step 7: Monetize your Blog
Advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored ads and posts, and selling digital products, courses, or memberships are ways to make money blogging.
There may be some people who are making a blog for fun. Just remember that it is fun to earn money doing what you love as well. But I know that it is nice to get paid for your hard work and the time it takes to have and keep up with a blog.
Step 8: Continue updating with new content and promoting.
The success of your blog will depend on your tenacity to never give up. Once you have your blog baby up and growing, you need to constantly feed and nourish it until it gets a little older and can start sustaining itself better.
So keep writing, learning, and working at it. The internet is constantly growing and changing. There is never a wrong time to start. “Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.”
You got this!