I’ve been blogging for almost six years now and have been making a full time income doing it for over three years. It’s taken a lot of work, a lot of learning and a lot of mistakes to grow my little website into a real job, but it’s been worth every second!
If you’ve ever wanted to make money blogging but weren’t sure how to get started, you’re not alone! And when you launch your website, these four tips are ones that I wish I had known when I first started my blog. While I still managed to grow a successful business, these tips would have gotten me there even faster!
Spring for Proper Hosting
I didn’t want to take money out of my family’s budget for something that I wasn’t sure would be profitable, so when I first started blogging I used the free Blogger.com platform. Of course, as my website grew I quickly realized, like so many bloggers before me, that not owning and self-hosting my website was going to be detrimental to my business both because of the limited SEO customization that affected my traffic and the limited advertising options.
I then had to go through the hassle of moving my site and all my content to a WordPress website hosted by HostGator. I would have saved time, hassle and money by starting with HostGator in the beginning! And because HostGator offers easy one-click installation of WordPress, design services and 24/7 live support via chat, phone or email, launching my blog with HostGator would have been even easier than starting on Blogger!
Work with an Ad Network
When I started my website, I posted a few pay-per-click ads through Google Adsense and sold a few ad spaces directly to companies. While it did provide some income, working with an advertising network that pays a certain amount per impression (as opposed to per click) is one of the best ways to monetize a website. Since you’re paid whether or not anyone clicks on the ad, you’re earning money for just doing what you usually do.
I didn’t sign on with an ad network until my website was almost three years old and I lost out on easy money every month as a result. Best of all, if that recipe or parenting post happens to go viral, you’ll get a big boost in profits because of all the extra impressions.
Don’t Undervalue Yourself
When you’re a beginning blogger, getting that first paying job is exciting. But don’t let the thought of making money with your site lure you into taking too little. Even a website with a small amount of traffic has value when it has a specific niche or when it has a core network of loyal readers. And the time and effort that are put into a website should be considered when setting prices for articles or advertisements.
I took some pretty low amounts in my early blogging days and when I learned what bloggers of similar size charged, I was shocked. A blogging friend of mine once commented that in her opinion, bloggers should decide what their work is worth, and then triple that amount before sending the rate to a company. After all, it’s easier to negotiate down that it is to negotiate up!
Stick to a Content Schedule
Once your blog starts making money and offers start coming in with more regularity, it’s easy to end up posting nothing but sponsored content for days at a time. Make sure to schedule posts that fit your site’s original purpose in between the sponsored articles. For my website of contest lovers and travel fanatics, that means plenty of giveaways and family travel features. But no matter what your niche is, staggering paid content with original posts ensures your audience stays entertained.
I have to admit that this is still something I struggle with at times, especially during a busy season like Christmas. So I’ll often scribble down story ideas and save them for times when I’m working on lots of paid campaigns. As an added bonus, making sure I’m posting content that’s important to me helps to ensure that I stay passionate about blogging too!
I often think about how lucky I am to have a job and business that I love so much. And while I may have made some mistakes as I built my brand, the satisfaction of supporting my family through my own efforts is worth every challenge I’ve faced.
No matter what topics you’re passionate about, sharing your knowledge on a blog is a fun and satisfying way to earn extra money. And right now, just for Mommy Kat and Kids readers, you can save 30% off hosting services with HostGator AND receive a free website transfer, so there’s no better time to launch your website! Like any business, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. But I can promise that it’s work you’ll love doing, especially if you avoid some of the mistakes I made!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.