HOW TO START A BLOG & EARN MONEY WHEN YOU'RE CLUELESS

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WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT

Would you like to learn how to earn money talking about the thing you love most? That’s a blog in a nutshell. Whatever your passion is you can use that momentum for a blog that earns a real income. Many bloggers have quit their full-time jobs and retired their spouse!

Is there something you love and can talk about for hours? That would be your blog potential or niche. What is that thing if you have it in common with someone else it makes you squeal like a little schoolgirl? Is it cooking, saving money, using coupons, or romance? If you can talk about it, you can type it. Help solve your readers problems, this will make them want to come back for more.

I am passionate about helping people in general. I enjoy teaching people how to save ridiculous amounts of money. I am determined to cook organic meals on a budget. Some other topics I enjoy are family enrichment, parenting skills, and living a faith-based life.

PROGRAMS THAT HELP YOUR BLOG

You might say, “But I’m not that best at grammar wouldn’t that be a problem?” Not exactly. One awesome program that has helped me a lot is ProWritingAid. This has so many awesome features! It gives you a full report such as grammar errors, misspelled words, a plagiarism check, and writing style. It even works in Microsoft word. With ProWritingAid you can pay a lifetime subscription for a much better value for the service you need. Grammarly is also great with many awesome features. They offer similar services, but I chose ProWritingAid because of the price and it provided the features we needed. 

 I thought about starting a blog for TWO YEARS before I started. I waited so long because I didn’t think I could figure it out. If I only knew then how simple it was back then I would’ve started right away! There’s no telling how much money I gave up by stalling.

One of the most common misconceptions is you have to be super tech savvy to run a blog. You can outsource many of the tasks you’re not skilled in and still make a good profit!

A drag and drop page builder is a must for a clean and scalable website in 2018. If you are using WordPress there are a few good options out there. The best one to date is Elementor. 

The free version offers more options than one would expect from a free plugin. This makes WordPress much like the WIX page builder. Instead of messing with HTML code, you just drag widgets to the spot you want and edit them accordingly. 

This also helps the site scale across different devices for viewing from cell phones and tablets. Just make sure that the theme you choose is Elementor friendly.

 

Writing Improvement Software

BLOG HOSTING SERVICE

There are many hosting service providers for your blog. Choosing the right one can be overwhelming. After extensive research the one I recommend is Siteground. They have a 99.9% up time. They have a great reputation for their 24/7 customer service, anytime we had a question or concern it was quickly resolved. Bluehost is another great hosting service and are very similar. They both have a few negative and many positive reviews. After many hours of research, I decided that Siteground is the best for our needs based on the price to performance ratio.

You definitely want to be self-hosted which means you own your site which is a big deal.

You might think but why would I pay for a hosting site when I can get a site for free? Free websites will not allow you to add plugins, nor will they allow for a professional appearance. This will make it very difficult to earn money. Companies won’t take you serious if you’re not willing to invest in your own website.

You will dramatically limit your earning potential by resorting to the free site. You get what you pay for is the old saying right? It’s much easier for your audience to remember your site too. Which domain name looks better and is easier to remember?…

www.continuallyprospered.blogspot.com

www.continuallyprospered.com

If you’re already using a free site, you can transfer your website for free with Siteground. The startup plan is just $3.95 a month! To be clear, you will have to pay upfront one year of service.

You will need a domain name which is your website name. Mine is www.continuallyprospered.com. You need to come up with one that someone can take one look at and have an idea what your blog is about.

With my website I wanted my reader to know they can be continually prospered in their life from the information I offer.

THEME FOR YOUR BLOG

You’ll want to get a theme for you blog. This makes your site unique. They offer free basic theme which I tried to like but I couldn’t. It was an aggravating amount of work to get it to do what I wanted and had limited capabilities. Your theme will give your audience a first impression. You have about 3 seconds to captivate your audience, this will determine if they will come back. I used www.bluchic.com for my blog and I LOVE it. There are other providers such as https://my.studiopress.com. Be prepared to invest around $99 in your theme for a good one.

YOU NEED AWESOME PHOTOS TO CAPTURE YOUR AUDIENCE

You will need some amazing photos for you blog. If photography isn’t your gift in life don’t worry. There are many websites that offer free stock photography. Canva, Pexels and Pixabay are my favorites.

CREATE AN ICON

You will want to create a simple and unique logo for your blog. The good news is that you can use Canva to create one for free. I think I made about ten rough drafts before I made one I liked. You can hire freelancers to create them through services such as fiverr. The only downside is it’s kind of a gamble since you could get one you don’t like.

TRAIN FOR YOUR SUCCESS

If you’re serious about making money with your blog, you need to be properly trained. I highly recommend Ruth Soukup’s book “How to Blog for Profit without selling your soul.” This book answered so many of the questions I had that I couldn’t find online.

 There are a few things you should know about Ruth. She is dedicated to helping other bloggers become successful. She has by far the most helpful resource I’ve seen on how to blog for profit. Ruth is a successful seven figure blogger. She is very generous with the amount of resources she gives away to help bloggers.

Ruth also has a course that just knocks it out of the park. This will help you with everything you need to know to make some serious cash with your blog. This is NOT a get rich quick scheme.

Here is some hard truth. If you’re not ready to treat your blog like a business, this isn’t for you. This course is more like a college level class but it’s easy to understand. It comes with a college level price tag but its way under priced for the information and resources you get.

Many bloggers have earned full time incomes and hundreds of them have earned six and seven figure incomes. It’s called Elite Blog Academy. There is a downside, enrollment is open only once a year.

You need to get on the waiting list as soon as possible. She will send you several free resources in the meantime to help you become successful. They do offer a money back guarantee. That was a huge deciding factor for me since it was a big investment. They also offer a payment plan and accept PayPal.

HOW TO EARN MONEY

Sell a product or a service. That can sound intimidating but it’s not, I promise! I have recipes that people are always asking for so I am creating an organic recipe book. I love creating organic versions of favorite restaurant dishes. 

You can take your top 5 posts in frugal living and write an e-book. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages long either. You can create a mini e-book 10-15 pages for $5 for example.

You can also create a course, a physical product you manufacture, or printables to sell. Maybe you rock at sewing, you could turn your skill into a class and sell in online. What will drive people to your site is if you can help solve their problems. The most common drivers are lists and helping readers solve a problem.

AFFILIATE MARKETING 

This is where you recommend products you believe in. This is a big deal because your audience is loyal to you. If you’re advocating anything and everything to earn a buck, they’ll sense it a mile away. As long as your priority is to be helpful to your audience, you have real potential.Whatever you do, don’t just become a salesman.

I was clueless about affiliate marketing when I looked into starting a blog. There is a blogger who is the go to person for affiliate marketing her name is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. She is a seven figure blogger and has a class that teaches you about affiliate marketing. I found her course “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” extremely helpful! It answered many questions I had that I could not find elsewhere. In the course it’ll cover:

  • What affiliate marketing is and how it works
  • The exact steps she’s taken to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
  • How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing (yes, this includes the newest Pinterest affiliate rules!)
  • Tons of other information that will help you succeed

MAILING LIST

You’ll also want to create a mailing list. These are your most loyal customers. I was hesitant to even create a mailing list. I thought people found them annoying. Here’s the thing, people will come to your site and they will click with you.

They will see your page and sense you have common values and goals. They will want to hear what you have to say.

This is where you can offer exclusive deals to your most loyal readers. I use Mailer Lite for my email service. The best part about them is its FREE for your first 1000 subscribers! They have other plans if you have a bigger mailing list. My favorite part about Mailer Lite is how user friendly it is. They layout is so simple even if you’re not tech savvy it’s so easy to use. 

AT THE END OF THE DAY

Can you start a blog without taking all these classes? Of course you can. I actually thought about holding off on classes and trying to wing it. I started reading how other bloggers made it. The ones that quickly achieved their financial goals were the ones that invested in training.

I chose to learn from other bloggers mistakes and do it right the first time. I wanted to earn money my first month blogging. I didn’t have a year to wait before I had an income. If you want your blog to have a business potential I recommend you invest in it.

At the end of the day it may seem like it’s a lot to invest in but ill share a secret with you. My ultimate motive to invest in a blog was love. The worst part of my day is when I have to kiss my husband goodbye before he leaves for work.

We’re extremely close and I was determined to find a way to keep him with me as often as possible. I want to retire my husband so I can kiss him anytime I want (imagine with southern twang) The point is I have a goal that constantly keeps me motivated. You need one too, find your light at the end of the tunnel and make it happen.

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Lizzy

Wife. Mother. Friend of Jesus. Blogger

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