Of course the first thing that comes to mind for many people when discussing ways to make money online is blogging. A successful blog is an incredibly valuable tool because it essentially provides you with a platform through which you can promote any other type of business model. For instance, if you chose to become an affiliate marketer, then building up a popular blog with a large, regular readership is one of the very best ways to sell those products.
Likewise, if you want to be a drop seller, then you can really benefit from a blog by simply creating an ecommerce store and using the blog to promote that. We’ve already seen that you actually need to have a good website or blog in place if you plan on CPA marketing. The same goes double for subscription sites. There are more options with blogging too. One is to use PPC advertising such as AdSense. AdSense are ads from Google that pay out each time someone clicks on them.
You simply add some ‘ad script’ to your website and then it will show different adverts at different times. Or perhaps you just want to use display ads? Get big enough and many brands will pay you monthly to feature their adverts on your site. Likewise, you can use a blog to launch all kinds of other business ventures or you can get paid by sponsors to recommend products.
A website can even be used to sell a service – if you provide web design or writing services then your website can be a great place to demonstrate your talent and your knowledge. There are countless examples of people who have become very wealthy through running a blog. Simon Nixon who created (www.moneysupermarket.com) is one such example.
Simons blog is very easy to read and provides a ton of great information and as a result, he has achieved almost superstar status and is invited to big events. This is just an ordinary family guy! Simon makes his money mainly through adverts on the sites and via sales of information products. Another great example is The Art of Manliness (www.artofmanliness.com). This blog was founded by Brett McKay in 2008 and focusses on a range of topics relating to what it means to be a man in the 21st century.
It’s a unique niche that allows him to cover diverse topics ranging from beard trimming, to weightlifting, to how to smoke a cigar and drink whiskey. The site is now highly successful and provides far more than a full time income to Brett and his family. He makes his income through various types of advertising, possibly commission on physical products and through sales of his own products through an ecommerce store.
How to Get Started, And Succeed!
The problem with running a blog is that it’s not easy unless you have the right tools. In order for a blog to become profitable, it’s often necessary for you to be getting hundreds of thousands of views a day and to have a smart form of monetization in place. The question is, how do you get to this point? Easy if you know the shortcuts!
Setting Up a Blog
Thankfully, actually setting up a blog is a relatively easy process. To do this, you’ll need to find a hosting account and a domain name and you’ll probably want to use a CMS such as WordPress. A hosting account is basically what gives you the ‘space’ to store your files on the web. You’ll be paying a monthly or yearly fee in order to rent space on a ‘server’ which is a giant computer that remains constantly connected to the web at all times.
You place your website files on that and it ensures they’re able to be served up when someone wants to find them. In order to find those files though, your visitors will need to use your domain name or URL. This is the address that people will type in order to find your website and this address is going to point at the specific directory within the server so that people are shown your website when they navigate there.
Fortunately, finding hosting and a domain name are both relatively easy tasks and shouldn’t set you back too much more than £150 a year to begin with (tops). A great example of a hosting site that also offers domain name registration and web hosting is Siteground (www.siteground.com).
A quick search on Google though will yield many, many more. Next comes the CMS. CMS stands for ‘Content Management System’ and essentially what this is, is a tool that will allow you to easily change the look of your website and to add and delete pages of content. The best known CMS is WordPress and it’s highly recommended that you go this route. WordPress will allow you to create a website in minutes rather than months, it will manage your files and it will look highly professional.
WordPress is not a ‘beginners’ tool by any means but rather is a professional piece of CMS software that is actually used by many of the biggest brands on the planet. Huge websites like Forbes, the BBC and Mashable use WordPress, as do the aforementioned successful blogs we mentioned. Using WordPress also ensures your site will be compatible with a ton of useful tools and features including WooCommerce and Amember. The great advantage of using Siteground is that they are there to help you through every step of the way so no matter if you’ve never picked up a laptop before or your only internet experience is Facebook and Twitter you’ll have the support to get you through.
It also means you’ll have a community of people out there who can help with any technical troubles you may be having and that your site will be easy for most web developers to understand and edit. In short, WordPress makes life much easier for you and also makes your site far more professional. It is tried and tested and known to succeed… so why go with anything else?
If you choose a prominent hosting service like Siteground, then the option to install WordPress will even be right there in the control panel meaning it takes literally just one click. All that said, there are other CMS options if you would prefer. One is Joomla! (www.joomla.org) which is similar to WordPress and offers a lot of flexibility. It’s a lot more fiddly though and there’s less support available mostly it is used in house for companies creating backend software. Another popular choice is Drupal, which is again much more complicated.
Of course you could always create your own CMS or forego having one at all, but either of these choices will drastically increase your workload while actually putting your business at more risk. be very limited in terms of space, bandwidth and the other elements of your website. Blogger is also highly limited in terms of the features it offers for building your own web design.
In other words, if you want to create a proper website with the potential to grow and scale into something that will earn a lot of money, you can’t use something like Blogger.