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Make More Money: Start Your Own Blog

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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! 🙂

Money Start Your Own Blog

AUTHOR Derek

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.

39 Comments

  1. This is a great post! When you started blogging, how long did it take before you earn your first pay check?

    • In the first month, I earned $5 through Adsense, the next month was $0.95, and the month after that was $11 I think. The money didn’t come pouring in right away, but then I started writing for other sites (which earned me $15-$25 per post) and continued to write quality content for my own site. After 6 or 7 months, Google finally gave me a PageRank of 3. That’s when things started to get awesome! Advertisers were emailing me left and right, and they still do today. Check out my Income Reports (select the tab near the top of the page to see multiple months) and you’ll see that I have all of this documented.

      If you plan on starting your own site, I’d be willing to help! 🙂

      • Adsense took my money because they said I had garnered it “unethically.” They suspended my account because they thought it was suspicious I had so many people clicking. Needless to say, I’m not a huge fan. I’m trying to get my fiancee to start her own blog. Perhaps after we’re married I can get her motivated to. It is a great way to earn some side cash.

        • I can’t believe Google would do that to you! I know you wouldn’t do anything unethical! Ahh well, I’m sure you’re making things work without it. Always love to hear your comments!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful info sir derek. Maybe i could start with blogspot.com. My interests are in photography and money too…

    • I would actually caution against blogspot. It’s great for blogs that don’t seek to make a profit, but if you’d like this venture to be a money-maker in the future then I would not go that route. There are rules against profiting from your blog when you go through blogspot or a free WordPress account. It’s best to self-host your own site through HostGater, iPage, or BlueHost. It’s really not any more difficult either.

    • I agree with Derek. Blogspot and wordpress.com doesn’t allow you to place ads.
      Also, wordpress is much better looking, and a lot more customizable.

      • Yep. Plus, if you go with blogspot and then decide to change over later, it really is a huge pain in the butt….

  3. Great story! I never realized the potential money in blogging. I probably would have started sooner! lol
    But like you, I started because it was my passion to teach finances. If it wasn’t my passion, I probably would not still be blogging now.

    • I had an idea that blogging could bring some financial success, but I never dreamed it would be so easy! Sure, it takes some time, but this is fun! And I get paid to do it! 🙂

  4. Excellent article. Create content about topics that interest you. Heck, for anyone who is not enthusiastic about what you are writing about, I guarantee your readers will not be fascinated, either.

    • Yep. The readers will definitely notice if you’re faking it. It’s not worth it. Pick a topic you enjoy!

    • Thanks Christa! Hopefully it helps out quite a few people!

  5. Derek,

    You hit the nail on the head when it comes to choosing your domain name. I wish I would have choose a more keyword friendly name as well. But, there is a ton of money in blogging I know a few people who made roughly 20-40k a month via blogs

    • I think your domain name is better than mine!

      That’s cool that you know some people that are making some good money blogging. I bet that gives you some good inspiration! 🙂

  6. Hi Derek,

    Your post was timely – have inspired by your blog and just recently started my blog this month 😀 Hope I could generate extra income from my blog like you.

    Cheers,
    AK

    • I hope you can turn your blog into an income source too! I’ll do my best to help you out. Good luck!

  7. Derek,

    Send me some of that mojo so I can have a month where I crack $100!

    In all seriousness, congrats! You’ve built a nice community here.

    • I will do my best to send the mojo! 🙂 Let me know if it works.

  8. These are great tips Derek. I am really hoping that one day my blog will bring in a steady $1000-$1500 a month. I started my blog on a whim and when I look back I would have done things a bit differently but oh well, things are still going ok. I didn’t plan like I should have but hey, I haven’t lost because of it.

    • Thanks Miss T! You have a great site and I bet you’re still making some pretty good coin! Plus, I bet you have some future ventures up your sleeve. 🙂

  9. Congrats on your success Derek! I would be interested in how you went from just starting out to gaining enough readers to begin earning a decent income. I’ve just started out within the past month and don’t really know how to get readers to come to my site. Any marketing tips from your early blog days that helped get you going?

    • I guess I’ll have to write a post about this huh!? The basic answer to your question is, get your site link in front of as many people as possible (I did this for free of course, but it takes more effort). This can be done by submitting articles to sites like ezinearticles.com, buzzle, etc. (there are a million of these types of sites – I’ll submit more in my future post), commenting on similar sites as your own, and also guest posting. All of these methods will include a link back to your site and hopefully those that are reading will find their way there! Promotions/Giveaways are also a great way to reach those that would not have seen your site otherwise. There is much more to it of course, but that’s the basics! Hope it helped!

  10. Great tips 🙂 Definitely important to blog about what you are interested in otherwise it can become even more work and less enjoyment.

    • Yep. Burn-out can happen in a matter of weeks if you don’t enjoy what you’re writing about.

  11. Great post Derek! I never considered making money from my blog. You’ve given me lots to think about. I started my blog to share my passion about investing, and to support my investing course. Perhaps my blog could stand on its own?

    • I bet you could earn an income with your blog. If you need any help, just let me know!

  12. People are always shocked when I tell them that they can be up and running for less than 70 bucks for the entire first year.

    • Yep. It really isn’t expensive to purchase a site. The real cost is the amount of time you need to put in to make your site profitable. I’m sure you know that!

  13. Making money online is definitely possible. I have made thousands of dollars networking online. You just need to be able to build some traffic. Building free traffic is out there for the taking. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to build traffic. There are millions and millions of people out there on those sites. Just imagine if you could just make $1 off every person off facebook. You would be a billionaire! Affiliate marketing can be tricky at first but it can be done trust me. There are tons of people out there such as myself who make their livings working online. The best part about it is that you are selling someone else’s product! So you do not need to invent anything or carry products in your home to ship out. Right when a person submits their order you get the money instantly! Just imagine the possibilites.

    • Good comment Roland! You’re right, affiliate marketing is a pretty sweet deal considering you don’t actually have to create the product you’re selling! If you have a lot of traffic on your site, this can be a great money-maker.

  14. I look forward to your next monthly income update Derek!

    Do you think there is an income amount where one should stop highlighting bc it might be too out there?

    • Thanks FS. I don’t think I’ll ever stop reporting my income. If I’m making $500,000 a month online, I want to be able to report it and let others know how to do the same.

  15. Hi Derek, your post came in very timely for me. I’d just kicked off my blog a month ago (free WordPress account). My goal had been to start slow but eventually make money off it some day. I was planning to use the free WordPress account to get my foot in the door and find my grove in what I want to write about. My plan had been to move to my own host site in early 2012. Was this the wrong move from the beginning? Would it be easy to move the blog to my own host site eventually? Should I just scrap it and start over? Thanks,

    • I don’t think it’s a bad thing to start your blog in a free WordPress account, but I just know that it takes quite a lot of time to transition your site into a self-hosted account (through iPage, Bluehost, HostGater etc.). I started building my blog with Weebly, which I found to be very limited. 60 posts in, I decided to switch to a WordPress format. It took probably 20 hours for me to move everything, and my site was pretty new. If you want to avoid the hassle (and you want to profit from your venture), I would switch as soon as you can. Don’t start from scratch. Just move your articles into your new account. Good luck!

  16. I love reading your posts. You are a big inspiration to myself and others.

    • I’m glad you enjoy all of posts, and I’m especially glad that you are inspired by my writing! I’ll have to keep on learning so that I can keep teaching!


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