This quick guide will show you, how to create a profitable blog AND make money online. Follow each simple step and you can have your new profitable blog up and running within the next hour!
This post contains affiliate links!
1. Pick a Topic
Creating a blog is a great way to create profitable content, since the setup is simple and you will be able to write about a subject that really interests you while continuously adding new content that you can make money with.
To find a subject for your blog/website, start out by looking at your own hobbies and interests – chances are that other people have the same interests.
Before you commit to a topic, make sure that you will be able to write a lot about it and that you do not get bored with it, otherwise you will not be able to create content that people actually want to read.
Potential blog topic ideas:
Hobbies (DIYs, painting, crocheting, home improvements etc.)
Business (how to start a business, business ideas, tips and guides)
Key takeaway: Make sure that you find a topic that people will be interested in otherwise you will not make any money.
2. Create a Strong Brand
There are millions of blogs and websites out there, so in order for your blog to attract people and become profitable, you need to create a strong brand, both visually on your website and in your writing and the topics you write about. This way people will know your brand and subsequently you and might choose to browse your website/blog over another website. Establishing a strong brand can be done by being present on several social media platforms:
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter
Key takeaway: Create a strong brand that will attract and provide authenticity for your readers.
3. Get a Domain and Web Hosting
At this point, you can choose to buy a domain for your website or you can utilize a completely free service, such as Blogger.
The benefits of buying a domain for your blog is that a unique domain that resembles your brand will make your website look more professional and legitimate. It will also help you create your brand and make it more visible to people.
It is very easy to purchase a domain and there are several websites to go to. The ones that I have personally used for buying domains are:
Bluehost – With Bluehost you can easily integrate your website (e.g. WordPress etc.) and still get all the benefits. BONUS: Combine your purchase with Cashback using Ebates, who offer you 10$ cashback on your purchase AND if you sign up using my link, you’ll get another $10! That means you can get a whole year of hosting including a free domain for only: $47.4 – $10 – $10 = $27.4
If you have the money to spend up front, I recommend purchasing 36 months of web hosting – that way you will reach the lowest rate (as of February 2018).
NameCheap – I use this site to buy my domains if I’m not immediately going to buy web hosting as well.
MARCH UPDATE: Get up to 15% off of professional hosting plans and 10% off of domains – see this post to get the offers!
My choice of the two for starting a new blog or website is Bluehost since they offer more tools and a very user-friendly setup of websites. Moreover, Bluehost is specifically set up to integrate with the WordPress-platform, but we will get back to that.
Key takeaway: Get a Domain and Web Hosting to create a strong brand.
4. Setup your profitable blog
It’s time to be creative! Actually, you do not need to be creative at all. There are so many great services to set up a professionally looking website and you can set it up for free.
Bluehost – If you choose to buy web hosting through Bluehost, you get the possibility to either use their website builder
or to easily install and get started with WordPress.
The benefits of using WordPress are that you get a lot more freedom in building your website. It does take a little longer to set up but it is still very easy to do. One great benefit with WordPress is that it works with so many different tools and plugins, so you can create exactly the website that you want.
I use WordPress myself and have purchased the theme I use on this website (Samantha) from: creativemarket.com. Here are a couple of my favorite themes: Oleander | TUULIKKI Nordic | Meringue (these themes are both for blogs and shops)
Wix is a FREE tool that you can use to create the most beautiful websites and using one of their many templates (both free and premium) you can have your new website set up in no time. I used to use Wix and I really like the layout and how easy it is to use however, I decided to switch to WordPress, because it gave me possibilities that I couldn’t get with Wix (mostly full control of the individual elements on the website).
A drawback with Wix is that it is very “closed” meaning that you do not have access to the HTML behind it. If you do not care about coding yourself, then it does not matter at all and Wix will be perfect for you.
Another option is Weebly, which is a very easy-to-use tool, and the bonus with Weebly is that it is cheaper than Wix, you have the option to edit some code and and you can download your website’s html and css.
If you are unsure about which to choose, go to Google and search for reviews!
Key takeaway: Easily and Quickly set up your website.
5. Start Creating Content
Ok, so you have a great website set up, now you need to provide something that will attract people and keep them coming back. Remember step 1 where you picked a topic? This is where you will need to create content about that topic that you will eventually use to make money online.
What I will suggest, is that you go online and search for your topic and see what other people are writing and asking about. Maybe you have knowledge about a topic that no one else seems to be able to answer?! If you are not the big writer – don’t worry, you don’t have to be. You can always get some help and if you don’t mind spending a little bit of money – there are thousands of freelance writers who will write excellent posts/guide etc. for a cheap price. I have myself been working as a freelancer on Fiverr where you buy a “gig” for only $5. Check it out – you can also find help to create a logo, create your website, translate, manage your social media etc.
Bonus: If you sign up for Cashrewards you’ll get a cashback of $4.90 on your first purchase on Fiverr if you use my Cashrewards signup link, you’ll get another $5 – effectively making money on the purchase!
Another way of finding inspiration is to look at which affiliate programs are out there and which offer good rewards. I will describe affiliate links in the next section but basically, it is a way of monetizing your content. There are several companies that offer databases of brands with affiliate programs and it is very easy to browse through them and see which products can be linked to.
A couple of tips to creating good content:
Be original (please don’t ever copy someone else’s work).
Always reference! That way you won’t be in trouble if your sources are incorrect 😉
If you are using pictures: Make sure that they are of good quality.
Look at similar websites/blogs to get inspiration.
Think about how you can make money and create content that will accommodate that.
Key takeaway: Spend some time researching and creating good content.
6. Monetize your Website (This is How you Make Money Online)
This is where things get interesting. You have created a website and some content and now you want to know how you can make money. You can do this by monetizing your website and there are several ways to do that:
Sell Ad Space
Companies will pay to have you promote their website/products. This is basically a banner or box with a link to their website and you get pay a small amount every time someone clicks on it. You can use Google Adsense to set up an account and then you do not have to worry about contacting anyone – because everything will go through Google Adsense.
It might be tempting to fill out your entire website with Ad spaces however, keep in mind that your visitors might be put off by all the ads and then quickly leave your set. Use it, but in moderation and if you can, implement it into your website so the visitors are not immediately aware that it is an ad, they are looking at.
This is the most used method to monetizing a website. An affiliate link is simply a trackable link, where you get paid every time someone clicks on it and in some cases buy the product that you have linked to. It’s actually just about you promoting a product or service.
If you are writing about a piece of software that you want to link to, then simply go to Google and type in the name of the software and then add “affiliate” or “partner program”. Not every brand has an affiliate program but many do. As previously mentioned there are affiliate databases and these are the ones that I use:
CJ Affiliate by Conversant
Affiliate Window (AWIN)
Sign up and then go search for products and companies that you are interested in promoting.
Companies will pay content creators to write a blog post or post a picture, video etc. where they talk about their product. You will probably not get this opportunity until you have built a large base of monthly viewers but there is no harm in creating content about products and then sending a link to the companies behind those products – just to make them notice you.
Sell a Product or Service
If you have a product or service to sell, then that is ideal for making money on your own website. At the moment I don’t sell anything but if I were to do that, I would create some graphics (for posters, cards etc.) and sell them or write an eBook and sell that.
You could also sell pictures that you have created or taken or offer translate or content writing services. The possibilities are endless – again, look to your own strengths and skills.
Create an Online Course
This follows the previous text. If you are very knowledgeable in one area and you can see yourself teaching that to others, then create a course and sell it on your website. This is a great way to make money because you produce some content one time and then you can continue to sell that online.
Udemy – I have used this to take online courses. It’s really great, you can find courses about every subject and you can publish your courses here and enjoy the benefit of their huge user base.
If you are offering content that you think people might pay for, then create a Members Only Area on your website, where people need to pay a fee to enter. If you are using Wix, you can easily set up a password-restricted area, where only selected users can login.
Sell your Website
Hopefully, you reach a point where you have tens of thousands of monthly views and at that point, you can sell your website and most like make a good profit. This does take a lot of time and work and you need to be both lucky and hit the right time and market in order to gain a massive following – but it is not at all impossible.
Key takeaway: There are several ways to make money off your site (affiliate linking, selling etc.)
7. Market your website
You have your website, your content and your monetized content – now all you need is people. People to go to your website and click on all your wonderful affiliate links and buy all the stuff you are selling.
Basically, share your website with everyone you know.
Use Social Media to market your brand: Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn. Create an account for your business and start market it. Create some powerful illustrations and use them in your marketing – pin them to Pinterest, Share them on Instagram, Link them on Twitter etc.
I will create a guide to using these Social Media however for now, go to Google and search for: “how to use [Social Media] to market your website”.
To easily create beautiful illustrations, go to either PicMonkey or Canva, who are two platforms that offer easy-to-use tools for creating graphics (posters, logos etc.)
Key takeaway: Tell Everyone about your Website
8. Keep Moving
Once you have set up your website you need to keep working on it and improving it. Hopefully, you will soon start to see some of your efforts converted into money, but you might not. If you don’t get the visitors that you are expecting or people are not clicking on your affiliate links – don’t give up!
Figure out, why people are not responding to your website. Some of the reasons could be:
- Your website comes across as being to “sales-y” – remember to focus on the content and not only on selling.
- They feel like your website doesn’t look professional enough – see other popular websites to get inspiration for your layout.
- People can’t find your website – Optimize your SEO (with Wix you can go through their Wix SEO Wizard), promote your website and keep promoting it, create great e-mails and prompt visitors to subscribe.
- Your website is not optimized for mobile use – this is really important because a lot of people use their phone to go online. If you use Wix, they have a Mobile Editor, where you can instantly see how your website looks on a smartphone and you can edit it to look perfect.
A little piece of advice: Sign up with Google Analytics and use their tools to track the traffic on your website. It’s free and you can get a really good overview of how your website is doing and what people are looking at and ultimately, when they will keep browsing.
Key takeaway: Always Improve your Website – What can you do better?
That’s It! For now…
I hope that this guide provides you with some tools to get out there and create your very own website. If you want some feedback – feel free to share your website in the comments. That way I and everyone else can go look at your website (and you have just promoted your website for free 😉 )
Also, if you want another guide to some of the things that I have mentioned (market via Social Media, Create Fantastic Visuals etc.), please let me know.