How To Start a Blog That Makes Money

How To Start a Blog That Makes Money

Hey busy mummy, if you’ve ever wondered whether or not it’s worth starting a blog, then I’m here to tell you YES! It absolutely is. Read this to discover how to start a blog that makes money.

Here you’ll find out how to start a blog that actually makes money.

I started the GinGin & Roo blog by accident. Yep, you read that right. It was a total accident.

I’d started an Instagram account to record my babies’ childhood. You know, to document the major milestones, but also to remind myself of daily stuff I’d probably forget about as time went on.

Things like the sound of my tiny baby breathing in my ear as she slept on my shoulder.

Or those first babbling noises as she found her voice.

Precious moments that I didn’t want to forget.

But as time went on, I’d write more and more in the captions until it became obvious I needed more room to write.

And so I started a “mummy blog.”

I didn’t even know that was a thing. I was totally clueless.

So I muddled my way through starting my blog, which was actually more like a personal journal I wrote online for the first few months.

Search engines and trial and error were my learning guides. I read so much. Some of it was useful. Some of it wasn’t. Much of it was out of date.

But I learned a LOT about blogging.

And after a few months I had brands reaching out to me, asking if I’d like to work with them.

Then it hit me! People actually made money blogging!

{My blog posts contain affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything extra, but enables me to bring you great tips and advice for free. You can read my full disclosure here.}

Before You Start Your Blog

There are a few things you need to know BEFORE you commit to starting your blog. Because it is a commitment.

Firstly you need to decide who you’re writing your blog for.

If it’s just for you – a bit like my online journal – then you’re not going to want to invest a whole heap of your time and money into getting your blog up and running.

But, if you’re planning to write for your audience, and make money from your blog, then this route requires a lot more planning before you get started.

Grab my free ebook to help you decide what type of blog you’re planning to start.

Secondly, you need to decide on the focus of your blog.

What’s your blog about? What do you know a lot about – or are passionate about – that you could write about as a long term project.

This is called your niche.

The more clearly defined your niche is, the quicker you will attract regular readers who trust you and love reading your blog.

Lots of other bloggers will tell you to “niche down.” This basically means narrowing the focus of your blog as much as possible.

I would advise against writing about loads of different topics on your blog.

Not only will it be confusing (and possibly annoying) for your readers. But it’ll also give Google a hard time know what your blog is about too.

So decide on your topic BEFORE you set up your blog.

Thirdly, you need to come up with a blog name.

This is really important. And it will take a bit of time to come up with the right name.

You want to try and get your niche (main topic) or your target audience in the name of your blog.

And you need to see if the domain name is available to buy. If it isn’t choose another name for your blog!

Pro Tip: check to see if your blog name is available across all the social media platforms you’re planning to use. You want your brand to be consistent.

Fourthly, you need to buy your web hosting for your blog.

This is really, really important. If you want to make money from your blog, you have to have a self-hosted site.

I know this already sounds pretty technical, but it’s essential that you don’t waste your time with a free WordPress.com or Blogger.com website for your blog. These are both perfectly fine for your hobby blog, or online journal.

But for a money-making blog, you need to OWN your website.

To do this you need to buy web hosting. I personally use SiteGround and highly recommend their services. They’re super-reliable, fast and pretty cheap too.

One more brilliant thing about the Siteground team is that they’ll help you set up your website and install WordPress.org, which is what you need!

Finally, you need to sort out your blog’s legal pages.

As a blogger you’re in a position of trust. And so you have to make sure you’re following legal practices.

It’s also essential to do this if you’re planning to make money from your blog. You don’t want to put in all the time and effort, only to get your ass sued for not having your disclaimers displayed properly on your website.

You’re gonna need:

  • a privacy policy
  • a cookie notice
  • a GDPR compliance notice
  • an affiliate disclaimer

And that’s just for starters. Don’t worry lovely mummy, my next post will be all about the legal pages you’ll need.

How To Make Money From Your Blog

So now you know your blog niche, you’ve got your blog name, bought your domain name and web hosting and set up your legal pages, you’re ready to start making money from your blog.

Yay! Give yourself a little high five mama.

But just how the heck do people make money from their blog?

Simply put, there are two ways a blogger makes money. They either create and sell their own stuff, or advertise someone else’s stuff.

Or they use a combination of both money-making techniques. There’s no right or wrong way to monetise your blog. It’s entirely up to you how you do it.

Just remember that your blog represents you and your voice. And your readers are going to value your advice, so maybe spend some time thinking about how you want to come across to your audience.

Do you want lots of adds and banners on your site. Or would you prefer a cleaner look to your blog?

Selling Your Own Products On Your Blog

Making your own products to sell can be extremely lucrative. Especially if you’re creative, or you’re making something that fills a gap in the market.

This can be digital products, which includes things like ebooks, printables, online courses, apps and stock photos. The possibilities are endless.

You can also make physical products to sell through your blog. Things like, baby clothes, cute t-shirts, candles, jewellery, kitchenwares. Again, the possibilities here are endless.

It all depends on your current skills – or the ones you’re willing to learn – as well as the focus of your blog.

For example, ginginandroo.com is primarily a blog about parenting, with a little bit about lifestyle photography in the pipeline. I might also really like making jewellery. But it wouldn’t make much sense for me to advertise my jewellery creations here, because that’s not what you – my audience – are expecting to find here.

I could make and sell meal-planners, or a pregnancy journal. Or even advertise a short course on how to get better photos of your little ones. Those products all sit well within the focus of GinGin and Roo.

Another example might be a blog about your scandi-style home. This could be the perfect place to sell organic candles that you make yourself.

See how your blog niche can influence the type of products you might sell?

Remember you’re writing for your audience. So the products you create to sell should be something they need – or want – from you.

Advertising Someone Else’s Products On Your Blog

You might have read the last bit and thought to yourself “gosh I just don’t have the time or energy to go making my own stuff!

And that’s totally fine. You don’t have to make your own products to be able to make money from your blog.

You can make money by advertising other peoples’ stuff too.

The most common methods are:

  • affiliate marketing
  • ads and banners
  • sponsored posts

What’s Affiliate Marketing?

Don’t be put off by the jargon.

Affiliate marketing is basically writing about products and services that you already love, and earning a small fee every time one of your readers buys that product or service through a link you put on your blog.

Most new bloggers start earning money through affiliate marketing. And I do too.

The easiest place to start is Amazon. Why? Because Amazon is a site trusted by millions of people worldwide already.

Plus they sell everything from nappies to home computers and everything in between. Most blogging niches can find products to sell from Amazon.

BUT. And this is a big but. The fee you earn from each Amazon sale is tiny. So you need to have a lot of people flocking to your blog and buying things from your affiliate links.

It is possible. And there are lots of successful Amazon affiliates. You could be one of them!

Ads and Banners

Another way you can make money when you start your blog is to rent out advertising space on your blog to other brands.

You’ve got yourself some prime real estate, so you may as well make some money from it!

I would strongly advise that if you do decide to display ads and banners on your blog that you limit how many you show on each blog post / page.

There’s nothing that will make me click off a site faster than millions of adverts and banners flashing in my face.

And you’re going to want to find a good company affiliate marketing company to work with to find high quality ads and banners that link to products and services that you’re happy to promote.

One of my favourites I’ve partnered with is a company called Awin. They’re awesome! And they have hundreds of fabulous companies in their programme that you can apply to work with, including Mamas & Papas, Frugi and The White Company.

You see all those links in the section above? They’re affiliate links. And the picture? That’s an advertising banner.

If you were to click on a link, or the banner, and buy something then I would make a small commission. And it wouldn’t cost you a penny.

So that’s how affiliate marketing, ads and banners work. And they can be very effective methods of starting a blog that makes money.

Sponsored Posts

This was actually the first way I made any money on my parenting blog.

What happens is a brand or company reach out to you and ask you to publish a blog post about them, which they pay for.

I personally only accept sponsored partnership for brands I truly love and would recommend anyway. That’s part of my duty as a responsible and honest blogger.

When you’re just starting out as a new blogger, don’t expect payment to be very high. Or even in money.

Most new bloggers accept “gifts” in return for a blog – or social media – post.

You don’t even need to wait for companies to contact you. It’s perfectly acceptable to pitch a sponsored blog post idea to your favourite brands.

All you need to do is to work out what you have to offer them and how much you’re going to charge for the sponsored post.

And this might be something you do regularly as you become a more experienced blogger.

One More Way You Can Start A Blog And Make Money

Okay, so we’ve covered a lot here already! But, I’m going to tell you one more way you can start a blog and make money.

And it’s a method I found by accident!

If you write well, and your blog looks professional, it’s entirely possible to land work as a freelance writer using your blog as a portfolio.

I did. I’ve landed freelance copywriting and blog writing jobs entirely off the back of the GinGin & Roo blog.

Even when it was still a relatively new blog.

In a moment of madness I responded to an advert for a freelance blog writer, and the very next day I was hired! The only link I gave them was to this blog. And the work I was hired for was about storage – no connection to my blog whatsoever.

But the company liked my writing style. And I was hired.

I still write for this company. And I’ve landed other writing jobs using this method too. So if I can do it, so can you.

How To Start A Blog That Makes Money: Summary

Phew! We’ve got through a tonne of information in this post.

So let me summarise the key highlights and takeaways for you:

  • a money-making blog serves your audience – it solves their problems or answers their questions
  • know your audience and decide on your niche
  • you need a self-hosted website that you own
  • your blog name should be linked to your niche or your audience
  • set your blog up with your legal pages sorted
  • you can sell your own products from your blog – digital and/or physical
  • and you can promote products or services from other companies through affiliate marketing, ads and banners, sponsored posts
  • and you can use your blog as a portfolio to get hired as a freelancer

So there you have it. This is how you can start a blog that makes money!

What Next?

Read these posts next or bookmark them for later:

Come and join us in my Facebook group Muddling Through Motherhood with GinGin and Roo where we chat about the highs, the lows and everything in-between of this little rollercoaster called motherhood! 

Why not follow us on Instagram too 🙂

And if you’d like to work with me, then drop me a message here, or email me at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you.

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How to Start a Blog that Makes Money. Blogging Advice for Beginner Bloggers by GinGin and Roo
How to Start a Blog that Makes Money. Blogging Advice for Beginner Bloggers by GinGin and Roo
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Jennie (GinGin & Roo)
Jennie (GinGin & Roo)

Hi, I’m Jennie and I’m the blogger and content creator behind the award-winning blog GinGin & Roo, a UK parenting and lifestyle blog.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

11 Comments

  1. April 22, 2021 / 2:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing.

    It’s amazing what can happen when we just let things flow naturally. Seeing your journey started as a online journal of sorts then to sharing your knowledge is inspiration.

    To your continued success!

  2. April 22, 2021 / 3:00 pm

    These are great tips! As a new blogger, Iā€™m working towards having a money-making blog eventually. Looking forward to that day. šŸ™‚

    • April 25, 2021 / 9:53 am

      Wow this a great in depth post on starting a blog and making money from it. I love how you got a writing job through your blog!

  3. April 22, 2021 / 4:11 pm

    Great tips! If you could include an example pricing guide for free lance writing or sponsored posts, that would be very helpful.

  4. Tyanne Johnson
    April 22, 2021 / 5:21 pm

    I am glad you mentioned the cookie notice. I will get started on that right away!

  5. April 22, 2021 / 5:54 pm

    This was really helpful! Thank you for sharing. I’m just getting started on my blog journey and I haven’t started trying to make money from it yet. Your article makes it sound easy and a lot less daunting!

  6. jimmy clare
    April 22, 2021 / 8:22 pm

    Very informative post thanks for sharing

  7. April 25, 2021 / 1:17 pm

    You’re some really interesting ideas here. You were brave reaching out as a freelance writer, I wonder if that’s something I could try… Definitely some things t think about more deeply here. Thank you.

  8. Nina
    April 25, 2021 / 7:30 pm

    Nice post! Very helpful for beginners.

  9. May 8, 2021 / 1:35 pm

    This has such great info, I am brand new to blogging and already now I have made a ton of mistakes lol! This gave some great insight into what I should be doing next.

  10. May 8, 2021 / 9:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing all this info! I was a bit confused about sponsored posts but you made it quite clear!

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