A recent post announcing the fact I’ve turned my blog into a business and gone
rogue self-employed generated several messages asking how I’m making money from blogging. Coincidentally, a few days prior, I’d also received a couple of emails asking if setting up a blog is easy and requesting some tips.
I’ve written two beginners posts before which I’ve put links below:
In terms of making money from blogging, I have to stress that I’ve literally just started down this avenue. I’ll attempt to clearly explain what I’ve done to get to this point, then I might do a recap in about three months so that I can share how it’s going. Truthfully, I think I need at least six-twelve months to really gain some accuracy about what is and isn’t working.
Okay, so I’m assuming some of you already have blogs that you may be operating with a free host. (The host is who is managing your site behind the scenes and keeping it live).
I’ve used the free WordPress (wordpress.com) host for a few years and really like the layout (dashboard) and find it relatively easy to navigate. Even though your host can change you are able to install wordpress (wordpress.org) so that you can still use the service. I think by doing this it makes it easier to keep getting your content out without having to learn a whole new system. You are also unable to monetize your blog with the free wordpress host so if you want this option you have no choice but to switch.
I originally tried to change to a paid host provider in late 2015. But with my high risk pregnancy and perhaps, epic baby brain, I found it really difficult and stressful. To the point where I had to return to my free host with the tail between my legs type scenario.
THE HOST I USE
I did a lot more research this time around though. I read consistently good reviews for SiteGround and found that they offered a package that would fit my needs. I asked them lots of questions via their online chat tool beforehand and was given simple instructions on how to switch over.
I did much of the actual transfer myself by using tutorials from my free provider and with the help of SiteGround online chat. When it became apparent that not all of my content had transferred over I quite easily lodged a ticket for help from a backoffice IT person to check it out. Within a few hours it had all been done for me.
Now, the reason I’m raving about this part of the service was because it was completely free of charge. My existing FREE host wanted to charge me AU$170 to do it for me! But the reality is, it wasn’t too difficult, especially for a blog of my size. It was also significantly easier than when I tried with a different host back in 2015.
Again, after doing some research and looking at other providers I decided to go with Google AdSense. It’s pretty easy to install on your blog but I’m still coming to grips with their reporting and seeing what works best for me.
Initially I did see some adverts for subjects that I didn’t feel fit well with the ethics of my blog. So, I had to go and opt out of the “sensitive” topics such as online gambling and naughty adult type stuff.
Again, it’s quite straight forward to do this but I wasn’t aware of it beforehand so treat this as a warning!
To be honest, I’m not sure how lucrative using affiliate links will actually be for me since I don’t refer to a great deal of purchases I make. However, I have signed up with Skimlinks who have merchants that will pay a small commission. The thing that swung it for me are that they are stores that I already personally use, such as Cotton On and ASOS. I figured there’s no harm in adding this service because I link to try and be helpful for readers anyway. If I make a buck that’s great but I’m not really aiming for this to be my main source of income.
A sponsored post is one where someone would like you to review an item or service or something like that. Now, again, I’m not counting on this one being especially income worthy. If I did get the opportunity I’d be very clear about the fact my opinion cannot be brought. I have been contacted about doing a sponsored post before but I felt it wasn’t really a fit for my blog so declined.
I think integrity around this kind of thing speaks volumes. You may even end up putting some readers off if they start to get the inclination that you’re just writing something for the sake of it. Of course, it’s completely your choice. Only you know the direction of your blog.
DISCLAIMER | LEGAL
If you do decide to do any of the above or have intentions to turn your blog into a business then I suggest adding a disclaimer to your site. A disclaimer advises people that you may earn commission. There are legal requirements but, even if there wasn’t, I believe it’s best to be open and transparent about these type of things. Personally I wouldn’t want people to feel anything is being done a bit shady. I think being honest always comes across in only a positive way to your audience.
I hope this has been helpful to you and good luck if you try any of the above. If you have any questions or tips please leave a comment below or on my Facebook page.