Blogging is still a reliable way to earn some income on the side. Or even a full-time income, if you can dedicate enough time. Anyone can setup and start blogging, but making money from a blog is a bit harder. In this guide I'm going to walk you through what I believe is the best way to make your first $1000 from blogging.
Pick your Niche
The first step is choosing what you want to blog about. Don't just copy a blog idea or niche from someone else. My best results have come from finding a topic that isn't heavily competitive with other blogs. Think about things you're interested in – personal finance, health and fitness, cooking etc. And then see if you can bet even more specific i.e Healthy Cooking Recipes.
Don't worry too much about your niche to begin with. I find that I refine things as I go along.
Build your blog
I like to spend as little time on this step as possible. Don't worry about design too much at this stage. Pick a simple theme – you can change it later, it's not important when it comes to making money.
I use Siteground to host my blogs. It's fine for blogs of all sizes. They specialise in SEO friendly hosting by making sure there hosting is the fastest and also providing you with free tools to setup SSL certificates. I recommend them because you can setup a blog even without any technical experience. Make sure you use WordPress (which can be auto installed via Siteground). They provide plenty of tutorials on how to this.
Find affiliate programs to promote
The easiest way to make your first $1000 with a blog is with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is where you link to products and sites and if someone clicks your link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. No matter what niche you're in, I guarantee you'll be able to find an affiliate program to promote.
A good place to start for beginners is Amazon. They run the Amazon Associates program. Because Amazon has so many products you'll definitely be able to find something that is related to your blog.
The most important tip I have for you – incorporate affiliate links into every post you make. Every post you make. And don't be afraid to make entire posts dedicated to product reviews or how to use guides that focus entirely on an affiliate product. This is where you'll make most of your money.
When you're blog grows you can look at adding additional sources of revenue such as advertising and sponsored posts. But you'll need lots of traffic to make money from these methods. That's why you should start with affiliate marketing.
Build your initial Backlinks
New sites won't rank in Google. You'll need a few backlinks to make Google notice you. Now don't be fooled into thinking you need a ton of backlinks. SEO people love to tell you this and then charge you a fortune for their “link building services”. This blog is proof you can make a lot of income with very few backlinks. But you still need some!
The best place to start is to fine blogs that are similar to yours and start leaving some comments. Don't be a douche and spam – leave helpful and thoughtful comments. Don't be afraid to ask questions. This is a simple way to get noticed in Google.
Promote and Network
They often say it's not what you know but who you know. As a blogger it really helps to have a network of people that can you promote your blog. You can organise guest posting opportunities, reciprocal link exchanges and cross promotion on social media. This could mean the difference between your blog not making any money and it being a huge success.
The best place to network is on MyEzy, which is a dedicated community for bloggers. There's a forum to setup opportunities and some helpful tools to keep you motivated to succeed.
I don't think I made any money for the first couple of years. I don't think it will take most people that long. You don't need to keep reading endless guides (like this one 😉). The best way to learn about blogging is just keep doing it. I see many people start a blog and then give up a few months later when they don't earn any income. You need to push past that initial slow phase.