I first found out about blogs via Facebook. I had a Mohito shop in my feed and I watched a blogger showing how to style for 200, 300 and 400PLN to get a full outfit in Mohito. They run a promotion at that time- 30%. It was interesting so I went to see what else this blogger- Eliza does. I was subscribing to her Facebook page since then. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this wasn’t just a blog for fun, but Eliza was making a good profit out of it. She had a lot of people who liked her channel and interacted with her on a blog or other social media platforms. So companies contacted her to make different campaigns.
After some time I started researching other popular blogs and checked out blogs which Eliza mentioned on her channel. One of the blogs that made me really impressed was jakoszczedzacpieniadze.pl I found this blog whilst researching best savings accounts. Michal has found a great deal with one of the Polish banks where you could get a 4% return on a 3-month investment. It was a standard rate at this time, but for new clients of this bank, they were giving 80PLN additional bonus which ended up giving you much higher return (over 35% if invested only 1000 PLN). As he had an affiliate link that people were clicking on his blog to get this deal from bank website, he was making 60 PLN per each new client he referred. Anyone could have done it. Those who didn’t have a blog could only share it with their friends and family, but still, they would get the same amount per new client as Michal did. The only difference was since Michal had a lot of readers, he made over 69k PLN within 8 days of promotion. 1153 people opened the savings account from his referral. Without a blog, you could probably refer this deal to 5 people and make 300 PLN. It is a good amount of money for referral, but with blog, you can simply reach much more people. That was really impressive. He shared all the details so you can verify all amounts yourself.
Recently I was researching how much money bloggers make. I looked at Pinterest and found an article. It pointed to salaries of 10 blogs. At the very top was Michelle’s blog, howtomakesenceofcents.com
Michelle is currently earning over $100 000 per month. She is posting her monthly statements on her blog so you can check out how she does it. When I saw that number and noticed that $50 000 was earned only through affiliate links I decided to give it a try.
How to start a blog
Starting a blog is very simple and does not cost you much. I paid around $80 to start my blog and this is once yearly cost. $80 per year is not a fortune and if you will be consistent as Michelle or others you can make a decent side or full-time income. All you need to do is believe in yourself, write content, be active on other social media platforms and promote promote promote.
As you probably noticed I mentioned Pinterest couple of times on my blog as I recently started using this tool for various purposes. Whatever information I am looking for I usually start with Pinterest than YouTube and if I won’t find the answer I am looking for, I search on Google. Yes, that is correct Google is not my first choice. Example I was in my grocery store and noticed this newspaper
I decided to take it as I wanted to know what I should start eating. Probably 90% were things I already had at least once in my life but there were some I never tried. One of them was acorn squash. So I typed acorn squash on Pinterest to find some tasty recipes. Once I picked the ones I liked I went to YouTube to check out what they have there, here is the result
soft & sweet acorn squash with walnuts and pecans (also had them first time in my life). It just seems so much easier to search visually on Pinterest than on Google.
Back to my point, Pinterest is a great way to promote your blog. There are 150 mln users of Pinterest who probably do similar thing that I just described, and maybe you are great at cooking and will share your recipe, that would reach millions of viewers. Maybe you travel and share some tips, that people are looking for as they are either thinking where to go or already booked their holidays in a certain location. If you prepare a nice looking Pin that will get you new viewers on your blog.
Additionally, sign up to others people boards. This will give you much bigger exposure. Best way to find out boards that accept contributors is to look through the boards of people you follow. If they are contributing to other boards you will notice a Follow button, which you don’t see on their own boards (as you already are following those boards).
Another way to promote your blog, which I use is Instagram. I literally never knew why people use hashtags before I started my blog. Adding related hashtags under your photos can give you additional viewers. When I went for a weekend trip to Washington and wanted to find out which museums should I go to I used #dcmuseums hashtag and was quickly heading to exhibitions that I found most interesting. It really saves you a lot of time searching for anything. Anytime I post any picture with hashtag I always get likes and follows from people I do not know, I often open their accounts as they are usually interested in similar things. I found a lot of great profiles this way that I really enjoy watching.
So once you decided you want to start a blog. There are a few things you need to know.
- You need to figure out what is your blog going to be about. Are you going to have one theme, or you will write about anything that interests you? When I was deciding on that I was thinking, I am regularly checking Eliza’s blog as she has Travel, Interiors, Healthy Recipes and other content that I enjoy watching/reading. I also wouldn’t be able to write on one topic only. That is why I decided to call my blog all the stuff I care about and that is what I write about: Bunnies, Travel, Food, Interiors, Money and there will be more.
- Once you have a name you need to check if this is available for sale and decide on hosting. I picked Bluehost as they are giving you around $200 in bonuses. So basically your blog is for free. You can spend $200 on adverts in Google and Bing.I already used some amount and I could see an increase in page views. I can definitely recommend Bluehost .
- Once we are at statistics it is worth to have some plugins that help you monitor who accesses your page, what region, which posts ect. Having Google Analytics helps as well. I would recommend getting a corporate Pinterest account as then you can see statistics as well and add links to your Pins to direct to your blog.
- Next thing is to pick layout and start writing. Once your posts are ready, prepare some Pins and share it on Pinterest. A popular way to do it is to add a Pin this section at the bottom of your post and pin to Pinterest. You can not only share it on your Pinterest account but you can request to be added to some Pin boards where other bloggers are promoting their content. If you want to focus on a blog only then you probably need to research SEO strategies so your post will end up somewhere close to the top. In my opinion, this is unreal for a person who is just starting, Google won’t just show your post at the top, you need to build their credibility, get a lot of hits in a search result, post frequently and with time your posts can end up high. I think Pinterest is just so much easier, as when I am picking which post I will read I look at the nice layout not at the order, just scroll till I find something that makes me curious enough to check out what is inside the pin.
- Same way you can engage on Facebook, I never used this platform to promote my blog but I believe you can find groups of interest and direct to your post. Getting accepted to groups will probably take time, and you can be seen as a spammer by some people that is why I never gave it a chance but never say never, maybe one day I will start exploring FB. Instagram is very simple, just post a picture, add some related hashtags and you’re done. Some people would follow thousand of accounts just to get a follow back. I wouldn’t try this strategy as you can end up with a boring feed. I would follow people that I like their content. For example, I follow many bunny owners, and some of them follow me back as I do post my bunnies pictures. I follow travel accounts, I usually find them when I check if my picture showed up under the hashtag I added, or they like my photos. So slowly but surely I am getting bigger following. It also happens that bunny owners often like my cosmetic posts or my pictures from trips and holidays, that is because there is probably not many people who are only interested in one thing. I am not saying having a one topic blog is something wrong, I actually like those as well and am really happy to have a place I know I can find an answer.
Ways to make money blogging
- Affiliate links, easiest to start, once person purchases using your link you will get a small percentage from each sale. How to start you can simply google any company you would like to promote, as you are their satisfied customer and look for affiliate program eg. “ebates affiliate program“. You will quickly find a page that will tell you, step by step how to open an account and how to create links that company would know you referred new customers to them. All you need to do is add this links in your post. A blogger I follow is making over 50k/month just from affiliate sales. Her page has over 150k views a day.
- Ads, creating ads with Google Adsense or Media.net costs you nothing, but once you have traffic on your blog people would very often click on those ads as based on their cookies would show whatever they would have been searching for recently. This will not give you a lot of money at first but still, every $ count. It is very passive, you only create a space where the ad is going to appear and that is it. No need to maintain it. I found a blogger who makes $16k/month just from ads. This can happen when you have 2M page views per month.
- Sponsored Posts, for this you probably need to wait till you hit 2k followers, on all your platforms combined. Companies may pay you to post a review or create a campaign, but they need to be sure you are reaching their targeted audience. If you don’t have a following there are small chances you would be contacted. Here is also some trick. If you are following a blogger and every week she/he is promoting different cream or mask, it makes you wonder whether they just do it for money or all cosmetics works great for them. When I am planning to start a new skincare routine I am searching a lot on YouTube, and want to see as many before and after photos, of real users. Often times you can see stock photos shared on IG but never can see any contact to this person, not even IG name. It seems weird and hard to believe in. If a product that was recommended to me is totally different than a blogger described am I going to continue watching their blog- I don’t think so. You lose trust once. A great example worth mentioning is Lydia Elise Millen. She is doing loads of campaigns but they are all in good taste and you want to watch more and more.
- Products, usually you can see bloggers who are selling their e-books, courses. If you feel like you are an expert in some area go for it. There are plenty of instructions how to do it.
Have you already decided? Are you willing to start a blog? If you are still not sure HERE you can get a 30-day money back guarantee so you are satisfied with the hosting. Good luck!
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