This site is a result of my own story. In a nutshell, it grew out of a desire to supplement our family's income. My husband is a public school teacher and while we are very grateful his salary meets our needs, we decided to try to increase our income for two reasons:
- To expedite the paying off of our mortgage so we can be completely debt free.
- To sock some savings away in the event we might have the opportunity to serve others in Africa someday.
I'm so glad you're joining me! Let me tell you where we're headed.
Are you skeptical like I was?
What we're about to do is build a blog from scratch—not just any blog, but specifically, a blog that will generate income. I'm sure some of you are feeling a little skeptical. Sounds a little sketchy, no? I get that.
When I started blogging in 2004, I thought anyone who made money online was a scam artist. Then I found some seemingly legitimate people who really did seem to be making money, but they were all men working about 80-100 hours a week to do so. As a stay-at-home mom trying to keep meals on the table and kids dressed in clean clothing, that just wasn't an option for me. So, I sat back and watched.
In the last few years, I started finding more and more "average" people like myself who really were making an honest income through their blogs. Needless to say, I was intrigued, so I set out to figure out how it all worked and how I could do it too. The guide you're about to dive into is what I've learned.
Before I get started, though, I should say a little somethin':
Things in the blogging world change at an amazing rate. Because of this, there are many ways to blog. What I present here is my blogging process—what I've found to be effective after countless hours of research and my own trial and error. Feel free to pick and choose what is helpful to you. And also?
If you don't read anything else on this page, please read this: Blogging for income is a lot of work. Expect that it will take months before you start earning some coffee money and a year or more before you start to really see some significant income. If it happens earlier than that, great, but this is not a quick process. Stick with it, though, and there's great income potential for sure.
Will this be worth it?
If I'm looking for a job—any job—I want to know what it will require and what the compensation will be. Do you have these questions like I did?
- How much can I make?
- How much will this cost me?
Well, I can tell you what I've learned after blogging for more than 6 years. And let me tell you, I'm as skeptical as they come. Here are my answers:
- How much can you make? If you read my FAQ, you'll know there are bloggers making well over 6 figures—in some case, significantly more. That's the exception to the rule, but there are plenty of "average" people making part- to full-time incomes blogging. We had a discussion about this recently when I posted How Much Do Real Bloggers Actually Make? I asked my readers how much they make and I shared how much I made my first two months on this blog.
- How much will this cost you? Well, to get started, there are only 2 things you really need: a domain name and hosting. (Actually, you do have the option of starting a free blog using a free service, but if you are serious about making an income, I highly recommend you don't go the free route; you get what you pay for, as they say.) A domain name will cost between $10 – $20 per year and hosting costs $6.95 per month (paid annually) on the host I use & recommend, Bluehost. In other words, the cost to have a blog works out to be less than $10 a month. Not a huge investment for something that has great potential.
My First Tip (and a sidebar):
You won't get rich quick blogging. It's surprisingly hard work. But if you're like me, seeing a little money come in—even just a trickle—is motivating. So, before you even have a blog, let me introduce you to Swagbucks. In fact, Swagbucks has nothing to do with blogging directly, but, it's a simple way to start earning some spending money right off the bat. Here's how it works. (Go ahead, go check it out. You can come right back.)
End of of sidebar.
OK, where was I? Blogging. Right.
Wanna see how it works from the beginning?
What we'll cover in bite-size pieces
Alright, let's talk about the main topics we'll cover. This is a general overview. I am completely aware of how overwhelming the topic of blogging is, so I've decided to present the information in bite-size pieces. To that end, expect there to be multiple posts on each topic. Also, you'll see as we go that there is some overlap between topics, so it won't necessarily go in this exact order:
- Building a strong blogging-for-business foundation – We'll talk about ways to set ourselves up for blogging success.
- Getting started – In this section we'll talk about the nuts and bolts of getting your blog set up.
- Design basics – Next we'll go over ways to make your blog your own.
- Monetizing – Once we're up and running, we'll discuss ways we can make money.
- Branching out – Building relationships with others is key to successful blogging.
- Blog maintenance and improvement – We've got to make sure we know how to protect that which we've spent so much time building.
My goal is to find a balance between providing enough information to get you started, without overloading you with nitty-gritty details; those you can research on your own (Lesson #1: Google is your friend). This is not an exhaustive manual, but a "teach you to fish" sort of guide to help get you well on your way to blogging success.
I'll warn you up front, it's not going to be easy and it will most likely not be quick. And I can't even guarantee you'll make money at all. But with some hard work, I'd say the likelihood of doing so is good great!
Let's get started! Move on to Step 1: How to find your passion.
Disclosure: The link to Bluehost.com in this post are affiliate links, meaning, if you click on one of them and purchase your hosting there, they will give me a portion of that sale…at absolutely no cost to you of course. I like to think of it as a win-win situation. I’d be grateful for a click through my affiliate link, but that is completely up to you. FYI, here's my full Disclosure Policy.