The Internet has made it possible for any average Joe or Jane to become a celebrity. People can break into television or movies because their YouTube channel was so popular, and others wind up with book deals because their blog was such a hit with readers. In fact, many full-time bloggers (without book deals) are able to make a great living, and countless others who still have regular day jobs use their blogs to earn some extra spending money.
Are you thinking of starting a new blog that deals with your favorite hobby or pastime in hopes of earning a bit of extra cash? It’s possible to turn your passion into income through blogging! Here are 8 steps to help you get started:
1. Pick your Passion
Do you love makeup? Are you an expert couponer? Maybe you are the best baker in your family. Decide which ones of your passions you are going to center your blog around. (Yes, you can have a blog that is about more than one central topic, but keep in mind that readers generally come to a website to find information about something specific—not how to make homemade birdhouses and how to make the best lasagna you’ve ever tasted.
2. Set up a Blog
Now it’s time to set up your blog. You can use a free platform like WordPress.org or Blogger.com or you can reasonably host your blog through a hosting company such as HostGator. Some people get started on a free platform then decide to start hosting their blog elsewhere so they have more control over it.
Once your blog is good to go, make sure to add content regularly. It may not be feasible to blog every single day, but the more you write, the more content you have. Be sure to include phrases and keywords in your blog posts that deal with your passion or niche, as it’s often known in the blogging world. This will help attract visitors to your blog. Ask yourself, what would you Google that could reasonably lead to your blog?
4. Take advantage of Social Media
Initially, your readers may be a handful of your friends and family. It takes time to gain a following and may take time for search engines to start indexing your site. In the meantime, use Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and your other favorite social media platforms to help lure people to your blog.
Just remember that it’s called social media for a reason—interact with people, don’t simply post links to your blog and hope they click on them. Make them want to go there! Visit other people’s blogs, too. Leave nice comments that will hopefully bring other commenters over to your blog.
6. Use Google AdSense
Many successful bloggers use Google AdSense to monetize their blogs. It’s a fairly easy way to earn revenue by displaying relevant ads on your site. Once you sign up, you use their free tools to build code that will allow ads to display relevant ads on your blog. For example, and ad for an online craft store may appear beside your blog post about arts and crafts.
When people click the ads on your site or better yet, you earn money. Google AdSense is what’s known as a “pay per click” program because you are paid when someone clicks one of the ads.
7. Banner and Text Ads
Banner and text ads can also help your blog earn an income. You can sell space on your blog where companies can place ads that are not affiliated with Google AdSense or other programs.
8. Paid product reviews
If you enjoy blogging about products that you use, you may be able to get paid for trying and reviewing new products. Many companies send free samples to bloggers and some even pay the bloggers to sample and write about the products. Some bloggers do not like to do this while others feel it’s an easy way to get free stuff, make some money, and generate more content for their blog.
There are just a few of the many ways to turn your passion into income through blogging. Many new bloggers are excited initially then give up quickly, but always remember that building a blog and gaining a following takes time. You can do it!