It only took me like a month to write Part 2 of my Blogging Guide. Sorry to the two readers who check my blog daily.
In Part 1, we discussed what type of blog you want to start, your writing, social media, etc. Today we shall learn what platforms to use, how to make money from your blog, how to sustain it, and so on.
Once you have all your ideas and material ready, you will need to look at the blogging platforms available. You have two options available at the start-
- Hosted Platforms (Free or paid plans)
- Self-hosted websites or platforms (free, or open-source, or paid plans)
If you are doing it as a hobby or unsure of how much you want to invest, then choosing a hosted platform for free makes sense. The most popular choices are Blogger.com or WordPress. I host my website on WordPress and it offers multiple choices, themes, and amazing designs.
Free platforms have their limitations. Your blog will be a subdomain. Suppose you have a cooking blog, then the name will culinarytales.wordpress.com (an example). This is a good option for beginners or bloggers who aren’t keen on doing it full-time or as a business. You can just select a free plan and get writing.
Self-hosted websites (Content Management Systems) allow you to set-up or run your own blog and domain. One of the most popular ones is WordPress.org.
There is difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org so do your research before buying a paid plan on either of these platforms. Even the paid plans are decently priced and for anyone looking to invest in full-time blogging, it is a investment worth considering.
You get access to premium designs, themes, layouts, and the blogging software is free. If you want to run ads, sell products or services then makes sense to buy a premium or business plan on any blogging platform. Most platforms give you the domain name for free for the first year.
Choosing the correct domain name is very essential as it indicates your brand and your niche. Many bloggers select their domain name according to their label or category. It will also make it easy for readers or audiences to search for you if you have a remarkable domain name.
Study your industry and read up on important keywords or target words. You can use them to build an unique brand name that suggests your values and beliefs. Domains can be ‘dot com’ or country specific (.uk, .au, .in, etc). Generally speaking, selecting ‘dot com’ makes sense as it keeps it vague. There are alternatives like .org, .net, etc.
Play around with several variations and think before locking a domain name. Your domain name should be in sync with your other marketing materials, logos, brand, and mission.
MONETIZING YOUR BLOG-
Now that you are all set-up and launched your blog on the right domain, the next step is to monetize your blog.
The first step most bloggers take is to run ads on their blogs. You can opt for ads that are specific to what you are writing or select generic ads. Google Adsense is one of the most popular and user-friendly choice for running ads.
Bloggers can also participate in Affiliate programs. Affiliate programs are where bloggers collaborate with companies or brands to promote their brands and products. Your visitors or readers will click on the links you include and visit the brand pages.
Bloggers will need to notify readers that they use affiliate links.
For bloggers who have a product or service to sell, then they should do so on their blog. You can use payment plugins and offer your product or services to people who read your blog. This can be books, art, clothes, accessories, handicrafts, services, or courses.
There are several ways to monetize a blog. Your ability to make money through your blog depends on your credibility, your consistency, and your honesty. Don’t dilute your content or voice to sell some stuff. It will affect your readers and distract from your brand.
That concludes my guide Blogging 101- How to Start Your Blog. These tips are a great resource for writers looking to start writing and blogging.
Do leave a comment if you like the post or have any suggestions!