There are so many opportunities to make money from home my favorite is, of course, blogging. I want to help you start a blog today.
The first thing you will need to begin blogging is a plan. What are you going to write about? Are you going to write about family travel? homeschooling? personal finance? (it is possible to blog anonymously) lifestyle? gardening? The options really are endless.
Getting your website set up is easier than it sounds. I didn’t have any knowledge or training on websites when I started my blogging journey. Blogging is a beautiful thing in that you can start it knowing almost nothing and learn as little or as much as you want. Most everything I have learned has been from listening to podcasts or watching YouTube videos.
You will need a hosting company, & you will need to purchase your domain (the www.). I was able to do both in the same place with iPage. Use this link to sign up and get a free domain name, free email address, and as always iPage offers you a 30-day money back guarantee. So you have nothing to lose.
I operate my blog using WordPress. So, when I log in to my site I do so on the WordPress platform and use it to make all the changes to my site and to post my blog posts. When you sign up for iPage you can purchase the WordPress starter option for only $3.75 a month (for your domain & hosting)!
Now, before I continue I know that some of you are saying… but I can start a blog for free, can’t I? Yes, you absolutely can. Starting a free blog is a great idea if you are looking to do this as a hobby. I started a free website on WordPress a few months ago and I was not impressed with my options. (It was not a website of mine, so I didn’t have the ability to do it like I prefer.) When you have a free website everyone can tell it is the free version (it will have .wordpress.com in the web address). If you have the free version you will get a platform for writing, but it will not be a way to start earning an income. Placing ads, earning affiliate income, getting brand sponsorships will all be very difficult; if not impossible with the free version. Investing in your blog shows potential sponsors that you are serious.
Reasons I LOVE iPage for my web hosting
- Their tech support is amazing. I have messaged them with questions in the past and their chat support team was able to fix my problem in a matter of minutes. And I didn’t really even know what my problem was.
- They are extremely affordable. We currently have 5 websites with iPage. (You can purchase web domains that you don’t use.)
- FREE domain name
- FREE email address
- FREE website builder
- 30-day money back guarantee, so you really have nothing to lose.
- Using iPage means you will be “self-hosted”. You are far more likely to make money blogging if you are self-hosted. Being self-hosted will make you appear more professional than if your website is a free one.
- Being self-hosted also means you have MANY more options for your theme (how your website looks) than you will have with a free website.
Go here to get started on iPage.
Start a Blog in these easy steps
- Register your Domain name. You will pick out your website name based on what is available. You can get your domain free with iPage when you sign up through them for your website hosting. If your domain is not available iPage will give you other ideas on what you can use. My original choice was not available, but they were able to give me other options I was happy with.
- Get hosting for your blog. This is where all of your information is stored on their server. Paying for hosting month to month will be daunting. We have our sites set up to auto-renew so that we don’t have to worry about it. If you pay for 3 years you will get the best deal (saving you 75%). There are so many extra options they will add to your account. I highly recommend you add the domain privacy! iPage gives a great explanation of each and you can decide what fits your needs. Whether you get these tools from iPage now or wait until later to add them on after you are further in your blogging career doesn’t really matter as much.
- You will need to install WordPress on your website. WordPress will be where you will update your theme (the look of your site), publish blog posts, and add pages to your website. I watched several videos and the best explanation I have found for doing this properly is this one. If you have any problems setting up your blog you can contact iPage’s amazing customer service department and they will be able to assist you.
Congratulations! You now have a blog! You can update your blog theme and give it your own look. You can use a WordPress theme or you can purchase a theme outside WordPress. I have been using my theme for 3 years and love how easy it is to work with and how versatile it is.
Now, to get started earning an income you will first need to have content on your blog. Get some blog posts written on your topic of choice and get them published. I have found one of my greatest friends in blogging has been proper proofreading! Writing a post with great information is important, but to keep people coming back proper grammar, spelling… is also important. I am not in any way an expert in this area. So let me share a little secret. Grammarly! I used Grammarly to proofread my book. You can use the free version of Grammarly to edit your posts. There are many more options and great tools with the pro version, but it is not necessary.
Ways to earn an income
There are many ways to earn an income through your blog. Once you have some posts under your belt you can begin to monetize your site. First, add Google Analytics to your website. This will allow you to see your traffic, you can see what posts are most popular and you will be able to see how people are coming to your site. (I get 90% of my traffic from Pinterest, with a huge thanks to Tailwind.)
- Ads are the easiest way to start earning. Apply to Google Adwords and once you are accepted you will be able to get a code that is specific to you. You put the code in your page (my theme has a place for ad code making it simple to do). You will be paid on how many views the ads receive and how many clicks they receive. (Do NOT click on your own ads… they will know and you can be kicked out of the program.)
- Affiliate programs are great. You write about a product or service you know and love and when people make a purchase you make a commission from the company. Amazon is a great partner to have. I also use Share A Sale, and Commission Junction.
- Sponsored Posts These can be posts that you do on your own website. I have done a couple of these. The companies pay me to write a blog post about their products.
- Paid Contributor You can be paid to contribute an article or a portion of an article to a website or news service. These are wonderful as they generally pay well and all you have to do is write the article.
- Brand Ambassador With this you will be better off not using a third-party service to begin this relationship. If there is a brand that you love enough to write about it for free… do it. Write about the product, share images of it on your social media, follow them on social and chime in when they ask a question. Become someone they know because you are always there cheering them on. Email them, ask what it would take to become an ambassador for them. Send them links to blog posts you have already written about their product. Show them that you have always been a fan.
I hope you love blogging as much as I do. The blogging community has been the most supportive group of people I have encountered. There are so many others trying to do the exact same thing you are doing, and they want to help you get here as well. If there is some way I can help you out in your journey as blogger, let me know!
This post was proofread by Grammarly