Transition Your Hobby Blog Into a Money Maker
Danger, Will Robinson — a haphazard blog could explode your income.
Who’s Will Robinson, and what’s a haphazard blog?
You have to be over 40 for the first question — it was the best Saturday morning show ever. Haphazard was exactly what my first personal blog was. I had no idea what I was doing. The point is, you don’t have to be an expert right away to eventually make money blogging.
There are some power bloggers — quite a few, actually — who have the blogging for money thing down to a science. That’s not me. I’m growing a blog brick by brick. Enjoy your journey!
For most of us, the key to earning great money with a blog is patience and persistence. Mostly persistence — don’t give up!
Whether you’ve considered starting a personal blog or a blog to earn money from home, it’s exhilarating to name and claim your little corner of cyberspace. Just think — your very own tiny house in the wide, wide world. Except your planet is “Web” and there aren’t any trees.
I started a blog for stress relief two and a half years ago when my 21-year-old daughter died. It was a place to pour out my grief so I wouldn’t lose my sense of humor and mad-scientist mind. That personal blog eventually led me to this corner of cyberspace I own and love.
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Blogging is Good Therapy and a Great Creative Outlet
For several months, I wrote whatever was on my mind in my private WordPress blog. It’s free to start, and you can release any ponderings, fears, and general craziness you desire. I didn’t have money to spend, so I was relieved to find a spot that didn’t cost a thing or require fancy skills.
A friend of mine liked a particular post, and I’ll never forget her comment: “Stephanie, I didn’t know you were a writer!” I would never have called myself a writer at the time, but my heart warmed to the thought that another person was moved by my words.
Blog Writers Don’t Have to be Professionals
At the time, I thought “real writers” were the ones selling books, memoirs, and fancy articles for the New York Times. It occurred to me, when a fellow friend and grief writer got the attention of Good Housekeeping from her little personal blog, that ANYONE can be a writer.
For me, it took another person to tell me I was a “writer”. Why are we so hard on ourselves? It’s weird. All of us are writers in our own way.
The joy is in the writing — it chronicles your feelings, experiences, and growth. It’s one of the single most therapeutic habits you can form — who cares if you haven’t sold any books!
My Therapy Blog Led to Full-Time Writing for Pay
I ended up taking Holly Johnson’s amazing writing course. She earns over $200,000 a year as a freelance writer. Earn More Writing propelled me to put myself out there and see what I was capable of professionally.
It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I’m now writing and blogging for pay. I encourage you to take advantage of her Freelance Writer Workshop that’s totally FREE!
There are successful bloggers and writers who make good money in almost any field and niche you can think of. If there’s something you love, are an expert in, or just plain passionate about, chances are, there are people out there who want to know what you have to share!
Writing and blogging can also be a great marketing tool for already established businesses. It seems like every major corporation and local business has an online presence now. It’s great for reaching the masses.
The best thing about “planet Web” is that everyone vacations here. For introverts, it’s the best place on earth…everyone’s here, but you can’t see them! Finding your audience doesn’t require you to talk — how great is that?
Some Great Tools to Make Money Blogging
The following are the programs I started with for my personal blog as well as the valuable tools I use these days in order to make a good income with my money making blog.
Quick side note: One of the best things I’ve done for my blogging career lately is go through this amazing FREE 12-day Blogger Bootcamp! Paul “Scrivs” is the genius behind The Billionaire Blog Club, and he offers his expertise for FREE to get bloggers started off on the right foot. Click Here to sign up for the FREE 12-Day Blogger Bootcamp…you won’t regret it!!
WordPress is the most popular online website/blog building platform. It has two different versions.
WordPress.com is a FREE platform. It hosts your blog or site for you, and is very basic. There are no fancy themes to choose from, and your blog/site name (called a “domain”) will read @ WordPress.com. If you’re simply wanting a place to jot down your thoughts (like I did) and relieve some stress, this is a perfect place to start.
WordPress.org is the platform that the majority of blogs and businesses use. It requires you to first purchase a “hosting” service; it’s a company that stores your information and provides internet access to your blog.
WordPress.org enables users to customize the name of their site (as long as that name or “domain” has not been purchased by someone else). This is the platform that serious bloggers use to earn a good income online since it offers full customization.
Bluehost web hosting service is the one I started with, and I highly recommend it for all beginning bloggers. They make it so simple!
- It has great pricing if you purchase a 2-3 year plan (comes with 30-day money back guarantee)
- You get a FREE domain (the name you choose for your website)
- For as little as $3.95 per month, you can start your own blog/site including your domain cost
- They offer a 1-click immediate WordPress setup option (in 15 minutes or less, you can begin building your site)
- They offer 24/7 help
WordPress themes for your blog:
If you go with WordPress.org, you’ll love perusing the various “themes” you can use to express your unique personality. There are hundreds to choose from — some more user-friendly than others. There are FREE themes, low-cost themes, and bundles you can purchase if you plan to offer web design services.
Customizr Pro enables web designers to purchase their design package for an unlimited amount of sites for a one-time purchase price.
- Perfect if you want to build your own web design business as a freelancer
- Known for its amazing customizing features
- One of the most popular WordPress themes ever
- It’s beautiful and elegant
- The one-time price is phenomenal for all the bells and whistles you get to make a stunning blog design
- Most importantly–it’s easy for beginning bloggers to use and design with
Weebly – Websites, eCommerce & Marketing is a beginner’s dream if you have no prior blogging experience and don’t want to start with WordPress. My first business site was on Weebly, and it was a joy to build.
- Very user-friendly approach for simple websites that look professional and are easy to manage
- Known as a “drag and drop” builder, and it’s just what the term implies…easy
- Hosting is included in the price, so you have less steps to start your site
- The starter package is only $8/month and includes your domain name (when you pay for one year upfront)
Freshbooks is a cloud-based accounting and invoicing service for online businesses who sell products and services. This is one of my all-time favorite companies to work with. I use them for invoicing proofreading and writing clients.
- Create amazing invoices with your own logo in seconds
- Tracks expenses and work time
- Create an end-of-year report of earnings and expenses for tax purposes
Aweber is an email marketing service that’s very popular with bloggers who want to make money blogging as well as online businesses. It enables you to build an audience of readers and stay in touch with them. It’s great for newsletters, sending free PDFs and products to your readers, and gives you a selling platform down the road if you create your own products or courses.
- 30 day FREE trial
- Easy-to-use forms and templates for emails, newsletters, and more
- Only $19/month for an email list of up to 500
- Email experts available 7 days a week to help you design and grow
Pinterest will be your very best bet for marketing to make money blogging. It’s a powerful search engine that drives good traffic to new blogs. Put in the time to learn the basics, and Pinterest won’t disappoint.
Carly, over at the wildly popular Mommy on Purpose blog, is a Pinterest expert. I started with this course when I wanted to grow my blog with Pinterest marketing. Highly recommended! Click Here for the amazing Pinteresting Strategies Pinterest Course.
There you have it…starting a blog or online business doesn’t have to be hard or expensive! Whether for stress relief, enjoyment, or to make money at home, blogging is a great way to express yourself.
**If you’re a brand new blogger, and feeling overwhelmed, I’ve created a 31-day Beginner’s Blogging Calendar just for you! Sign up for blogging tips and news below and get your FREE calendar with 31 actionable daily tasks to set your blog up for success.
If you have any questions at all about any of the resources mentioned, feel free to email me at: email@example.com
You can read my personal story of hope right here: The Power of Coffee and Routine Saved My Life
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