I started this blog close to five years ago. Prior to that, I had absolutely zero experience blogging. I started it in hopes of being able to help people with their money decisions, taking lessons from my own personal failures in the past and hoping to use them for good. I asked a friend who has their own blog for some tips and off I went.
Then, I noticed something. I enjoyed this blogging thing. It wasn’t as difficult as I once thought and I was actually able to make an income from my little blog. Fast-forward those five years, and I’ve been able to replace the income from my day job, and honestly, make substantially more than I did in my old day job.
If you’re new to blogging, or have been at it for a brief time and are looking for some tips to take your blog to the next level, this post will help.
The Hosting Decision
When you start a blog the first main decision you have to make is hosting. You can either choose a free platform, like Blogger, or you can go the self-hosted route. Free sounds great, but it comes with some significant drawbacks – mainly in that you don’t technically own the content, and you’re limited in how you can monetize your site.
This leaves self-hosted as the only real option if you want to monetize your site and make money blogging. Thankfully the self-hosted route can be relatively inexpensive, and in some cases, they will even help you set up your site.
The best option for new and growing bloggers is Bluehost. There are several reasons for that:
- Bluehost costs $2.95 per month when you sign up through our link. That’s extremely cheap when compared to other self-hosting options.
- One-click installation. If you’re not technically inclined, Bluehost allows you to install WordPress (the platform you need to use if you self-host) with one simple click.
- 24/7 Support. Let’s face it; a blog lives online 24 hours a day. If you need help with a problem, they’re there 24 hours per day.
The best thing about Bluehost is they do everything to set up the site for you. With one click they get your site up and running, which is great if you’re like me and not technically inclined. Additionally, you get your domain name for free with Bluehost when you sign up through our link, which normally would cost you $10 or $15 through other channels.
Side note: If you need helping setting up your blog, check out my complete guide on how to start a blog. It’s a step-by-step guide that walks you through the entire process of setting up and starting a blog.
Advanced Blogging Tips
I’ve shared some blogging tips for beginners on the site in the past. You can check out that post for a more detailed explanation of some of those tips, but I’ll provide a brief synopsis of it below:
- Have a consistent posting schedule. It doesn’t matter how often you post, just make it consistent, so your readers know what to expect.
- Comment on other blogs. You will struggle to grow your site if you’re a hermit.
- Reach out to other bloggers. Network, network and then network some more.
- Backup your site. I’ve had a site hacked before; it’s a pain to bring it back up if you don’t backup your site.
- Respond to comments. If you want to build a community, it’s important to let your readers know you have seen their comment and care enough to respond.
What I didn’t cover in that previous post are more advanced blogging tips to follow if you want to take your site to the next level. Here are some more advanced tips to take your blog to the next level:
- Start an editorial calendar. I didn’t do this in the beginning but started one several years ago. There are many benefits to having an editorial calendar. It helps protect against writer’s block when you don’t know what to write about and helps you formulate an idea of when you’d like to run particular topics to take advantage of seasonality. I now plan out an entire year, with themes for each month so I don’t have to struggle to come up with a topic last minute.
- The money is in the list. If you’ve been blogging for any sort of time, you have likely heard this saying. I ignored it for my first few years, which was a big mistake. The list is your email subscribers who sign up to receive posts. I now send out weekly emails to my readers with exclusive content, not found on the site. This helps nurture the community and allows me to get to know my readers. I personally use ConvertKit, and they’re very easy to use in setting up a newsletter for your site.
- Take advantage of social media. Social media is a great tool to bring readers to your site. I personally never used platforms like Twitter or Pinterest before I started Frugal Rules and now they’re both major sources of traffic for the site. If you personally don’t use much social media, pick one or to platforms to get your feet wet and grow from there. You’re overlooking significant sources of traffic if you don’t use social media.
- Make it easy for your readers to read your content. Most of your traffic will be from mobile devices. Have you tried reading a 2,000-word article with no breaks? Yes, it can make your eyes glaze over. Break up your posts into shorter pieces and not big chunks, your readers will thank you and likely stick around longer.
By following these tips and some of the beginning tips, your site will hit the ground running in no time.
Yes, You Can Make Money Blogging
It is definitely possible to make money blogging. It’s not truly passive income, but there are some ways that are pretty close to passive income. It’s also important to remember that you can’t just put up a site and expect to have money falling from the heavens.
It takes time and a lot of work, and if you put in both, it’s possible to make great money through your blog. With that in mind, here are some ways to make money through your blog:
- Affiliate advertising. Affiliate advertising is one of the best ways to make money blogging. You promote products you like on your site – such as something from Amazon, a banking product or something else and when a person uses your link to buy the product you get a small commission. My friend Michelle makes over $50,000 per month just through affiliate marketing. If you want to start with affiliate advertising and learn some of her best tips to make money from affiliate marketing, sign up for her course to get started.
- Create your own product. Affiliate marketing is great, but creating your own product is even better. Creating your own product to sell does take a lot of work, but the great thing is you get to keep everything you sell. You’re not getting a percentage like with affiliate marketing; you get to keep 100 percent of what you sell.
- Sponsored content. Companies see that bloggers have a following. When that following matches well with their target market, companies like to sponsor content. This is simply another avenue for the company to advertise and can be a great way to monetize your site. Platforms like IZEA, TapInfuence and others match influencers to companies to create sponsored content. This isn’t as regular as other advertising possibilities, but it can be quite lucrative.
- Offer different services. A blog can be a great platform to jumpstart income possibilities. I’ve mentioned freelance writing in the past, but a blog can be a great way to showcase other services you can offer to clients. This can be as simple as being a virtual assistant to a bigger blogger, creating images for social media platforms or something else – if you have a marketable skill a blog can be a great way to attract clients and make money online from home.
There are many other ways to make money blogging. This list only scratches the surface. I will say that it’s important to keep in mind the importance of multiple streams of income for your blog. Things change, and one way you earn will dry up, so you don’t want to be overly dependent on one source or another.
As you grow your blog, remember it’s what you make of it. The beauty of blogging is that you’re in 100 percent control and you get to say what goes. You can also make a decent income from a blog if you put in the time and work.