I think my family initially thought I was nuts when I first started my blog as a means of an additional income. I mean, how much could a website make without selling a product? Well, after a year of blogging, my income has grown from $5 a month to well over $1,000 each month (with spikes of $2,500+)! My blogging income has become everything that I hoped it would be and more. That’s why I’m encouraging you to start your own blog as a way to make more money!
What Are You Passionate About?
Luckily, I chose to write about a topic that I love: Finances! I have always been fascinated by this topic and find myself wanting to learn more about it each and every day! After blogging for a year, LifeAndMyFinances.com is still a pleasure to run.
If I would have chosen a site based on searchability and competition, I probably would be running a site about some random topic like “Centurian Warriors”, even though I have no interest in it whatsoever… While this topic may be profitable, it would be tough to stick with because I wouldn’t enjoy the research or the writing!
So what are you passionate about? Maybe you have a love for animals; or maybe you’re fascinated with airplanes; or perhaps you enjoy more advanced topics such as quantum physics, differential equations, or the space-time continuum (I think that’s something smart…or it’s something from Back to the Future….)? Just make sure that whatever it is that you choose, you’ll be able to stick with it for at least a year.
What Are People Searching For?
Now, you might have a topic that you’d really enjoy writing about, but if you’d like to profit from your blog, you need to make sure that people will read it! Without a following, advertisers won’t want to place an ad anywhere near your site!
When I was first thinking of a topic to write about, it didn’t take me long to come up with finance. Everyone wants to either get out of debt, save a couple of bucks, or shoot for the moon and become a millionaire, right? Turns out, my initial assumption was entirely true. Money is a popular topic and I think it always will be.
Who Will Advertise On Your Site?
Advertisers typically like to place an ad on a site that closely relates to their product. So, if your site is about kitty cats, chances are that Construction-Is-Us will not be begging to place their ad on your page. But, you may be able to advertise for a site that sells cat medicine.
My brother recently started a new blog about leadership. I initially couldn’t think of too many advertisers that would show interest in his site, but then I thought about how hot leadership books are! He could build up his reader base and make quite a profit by suggesting various titles through the Amazon affiliate program!
Unless your site is beyond weird, you’ll most likely be able to mesh up well with a few advertising companies. It’s best to brainstorm in advance though.
Make Sure You Have a Good Domain Name
This is the area that I wish I spent more time on. I thought LifeAndMyFinances.com was a pretty good name because it was easy to remember, but I didn’t think about the searchability factor. As it turns out, no one opens up Google and types in “life and my finances” (well, there’s actually 1 or 2 a month…but that’s not good…). A domain is best found when it has a phrase that’s searched often.
Using my brother as an example again, I wanted to make sure that he didn’t make the same mistake I did. To find a domain name that would fit with his leadership theme AND that was had high volumes of searches in Google, we visited the Google Keyword Tool. We entered in a few key phrases that we thought would make a good website name and were able to see how many times that phrase was searched each month.
Some were duds, but we did find a gem! One of the phrases was available for a domain name and it averaged over 18,000 searches a month! http://lessonsofleadership.com was born soon after.
How Do You Get Started?
If you decide that you want to start your own blog, the first step is to register your domain name and sign up with a web-host (which is actually done in one single step). My site is hosted through iPage, but here’s the complete list of reputable hosts that can be quite affordable:
iPage – they have great customer service and are quite inexpensive (I signed up during one of their promotions and paid only $44 for the first year!)
Bluehost – many of my friends use this service and have great things to say about it. I’ve heard they are quite dependable.
HostGator – this is another very affordable option and if you’re worried about your site being down, they provide an 99.9% uptime guarantee.
More Helpful Tools
Hopefully this post has been helpful for those of you that are looking to make some additional money with your blog. If you decide to get started, I just made a reference page titled, “Start Your Own Blog“. Here you’ll get some advice on what themes to use for your site as well as a bunch of plug-ins that will help make your site look clean, crisp, and professional!
If you have any questions or comments, you can always respond in the comment section below or contact me via my Contact Page. Good luck! 🙂
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.