I don’t usually write about the business side of blogging here at Living Well Spending Less. My main focus and passion is helping my readers discover simple ways to live better, spend less, and have more time for the things that matter most.
That said, as someone who earns a full-time income through blogging, the topic of how to start a blog and how to make money blogging is something I get asked about all the time! You can discover the powerful secrets that most successful bloggers are using to fail-proof their online business HERE.
The truth is that I am incredibly passionate about helping other bloggers—or those who aspire to be—gain the knowledge to do the same. Don’t get me wrong, blogging is by no means “easy money”, but it is very possible to earn a full-time living writing about what you love and care about.
I know because I’ve done it.
When I first started blogging, I made a ton of mistakes and learned some very hard lessons along the way. I often wished that there had been someone with experience to hold my hand and share all their secrets. I swore that if I ever figured it out, I would help everyone I could.
Finally, in 2013, I wrote a book called How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) (and recently updated!) that shared in detail the essentials of creating amazing content, growing blog traffic, as well as a number of monetization strategies. That book has gone on to help tens of thousands of bloggers (or those who aspire to be) get started.
From there I began working individually with bloggers through private consulting. I loved helping and encouraging people one-on-one, and the results were pretty dramatic, but I also found that there simply wasn’t enough time in my already busy schedule to keep up with the demand. But I hated having to say no!
Thus, Elite Blog Academy® was born–an in-depth blogging course to help bloggers, step-by-step, exactly how to refine their message, grow their audience, monetize their platform, and build their business. In other words, it is everything I wish someone would have taught me when I first started blogging!
Because my time is limited, and because my main focus is on LivingWellSpendingLess.com and the audience I serve here, Elite Blog Academy® only opens for registration once a year, once in the spring. If you would like to join our waiting list, you can do so by clicking the link below, and when you do, you’ll also get instant access to my free eBook, “The EBA Blog Structure Blueprint“
That said, if you are just starting out and interested in learning how to make money blogging, here are five simple steps to follow that will get you started on the right track:
Elite Blog Academy is meant to be a hands-on course, which means in order to benefit you will need to have a real live blog to work with, not just an idea for one. If you haven’t already, you will need to set up your self-hosted blog on WordPress. This is pretty easy to do, especially when you use the detailed step-by-step tutorial found HERE. Furthermore, if your blog is currently hosted on Blogger or WordPress.com, I would strongly recommend that you make the transition to being self-hosted on WordPress, and do it sooner rather than later.
2. Set up your social media accounts.
Once you have set up your blog, you will also want to set up some basic accounts on social media to correspond with your website, including a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, and a Pinterest Business Account. Depending on your niche, you may also want to set up accounts for Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Other Social Media Resources:
- Social Media for Beginners
- How to Promote Your Blog on Social Media when You Have No Time
- Growing Your Blog with Social Media
3. Install a few basic plugins
The best feature of WordPress is that there are an almost infinite number of plugins available to install that can help you do almost anything on your blog, from fighting spam to building your email list to keeping track of your analytics and helping you easily add advertising or affiliate links. Here are a few that I recommend:
- Bottom of Every Post – This plugin does one thing, and that thing is to add some content to the end of each of your posts.
- WP Supercache – A caching plugin that helps your site load faster.
- Yoast SEO – Yoast WordPress SEO is the most complete SEO plugin available for WordPress. It offers everything you need to optimize your site.
Other Helpful Resources:
4. Get comfortable with blogging
Once you’ve set up your blog, it is important to get comfortable with the process of blogging. Don’t worry about creating the perfect blog design just yet, but instead work on writing blog posts and creating content for your site. Try to figure out what you feel comfortable writing about, how often you would like to write, as well as whether you think the topic you picked is a good one. I would strongly consider reading one or more of the following books:
- How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul–-jam packed full of practical tips, HTBFP is the very best place to start once you’ve got your blog set up. It will walk you through the process of creating content, building traffic, and then learning how to monetize.
- WordPress to Go—a great resource to help you get more comfortable with the WordPress platform.
- ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income—one of the original books on blogging, this was the first book I read when I started and it taught me SO much! While it is now a little dated, it still has some really great tips!
You may also like:
- How to start a blog in 5 easy steps
- Is it too late to start blogging?
- How to create a successful blog overnight
- Best blogging resources
- When should I monetize my blog?
5. Set aside time
Once you’ve got your blog set up, you will need to set aside time to work on it! Give yourself at least 5-10 hours per week to work on writing blog posts and creating content. Don’t worry at first about getting readers–just worry about finding your voice, discovering exactly what you most want to write about, and about making sure your content rocks. And then, once you are ready, Elite Blog Academy® can show you, step-by-step, exactly how to refine your message, grow your audience, monetize your platform, and build your business. It is possible to make a full-time living through blogging. I know, because I’ve done it, and over the past couple of years I’ve taught thousands of other bloggers how to do it too. Just check out a few of our Blogging Success Stories:
I began blogging about Christian living in 2010. I knew that I had great content but did not know how to gain traction, or what to focus on and when. I needed a plan — a step-by-step process I could implement — from someone who knew what to do. I enrolled in EBA in 2014 and doing so was a game-changer for me! The course presents assignments in an effective format and Ruth mentored me through the process, even providing other invaluable content. In about 10 months, my monthly page views increased from 10,000 to 150,000 and I received daily emails from people who were impacted by my message, which is my ultimate goal for blogging in the first place. I do not have ads or do sponsored posts, which means I rely on affiliate programs and my own products to monetize my site. Through EBA, I was inspired to launch my first online course, and not only earned $3,900 but also gained confidence that I will be successful going forward.-Arabah Joy
I began my blog as a journal about being a mom, recording milestones, describing outings, and most importantly, sharing parenting lessons. My message gained momentum and resonated with other parents in similar situations. My readers wrote to me, saying that my posts helped them handle their own parenting conflicts and find answers to their problems. Real life friends came to with questions, as well. Before EBA I was putting a lot of effort into my blog but seeing minimal growth, so it seemed safer to consider blogging a hobby. But then I learned that you have to invest in something if you want it to grow. Investing in EBA was the best money I ever spent on my blog. EBA presents all the information in one place — information that one would normally have to collect from several sources. The course also provides an effective timeline and an accountability piece. While completing the course, I set goals and worked hard to achieve each one. I believe you have to do so to stand out in the blogging world. Although I still love blogging as a hobby and use it as my creative outlet, I’m so much more committed to the blog and treat it more as a business. Now, all the effort I’ve put in has paid off. I went from having 29,000-30,000 in monthly traffic to 150,000-175,000 in just 7 months! It took me 5 YEARS to reach 29,000. Also, after my first 5 years of blogging, I was earning just $20 a month. After 7 months at EBA, I’m earning $1,500 and aspire to increase that even more. –Nina Garcia
I took part of Elite Blog Academy® in September of 2014, with a blog that was run on the blogger platform. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was determined. I followed every single step of the EBA program exactly as written. It took me 9 months to complete the class as I had a baby and ran a home day care at the same time. I worked on the blog in the evenings, while steadily growing my income and page views significantly every month. Exactly one year after starting EBA, I was blogging full time and made $5,000 in one month alone. I’ve even spoken at a popular blogging conference this year! Now, just 14 months after signing up for the program, I’m at $6,500 per month in income. Having taken many expensive online classes related to blogging, I’m able to tell you that EBA is the best! Ruth lays out step-by-step exactly what you need to do so that when you’ve completed the class, you understand how to make a living from your blog. –Rosemarie Groner
I help moms raise their families and stay sane. My posts tackle parenting problems as well as provide easy meals, delicious treats and a little style and beauty is thrown in the mix. As a parent located in Phoenix, AZ, I could not find a blog that had the level of detail I wanted about attractions in the area such as where to park, best ways to maximize time while there, what to see and what to avoid. So, I started the blog I needed and to provide a resource for other parents in the area. I initially enrolled in EBA to learn how to get my message out to even more people. Through EBA I learned how to market my posts on Pinterest and write better material. Now all of my focus goes into content and photos, because that’s what motivates reader to return. Pinterest has now become my new bestie! I also learned that you reach your goals when you have a plan. EBA assisted me with creating my business plan and my first product has now launched! My page views have tripled so my ad revenue has increased and I’m being contacted more often by outside PR companies. All of this is a direct reflection of my content. I will be eternally grateful to EBA and anticipate growing even more in the future! –JoAnn Crohn
I started EBA within a few months of beginning to blog because I wanted to start off on the right foot. Now that I’ve completed the course, I have a plan to follow — step-by-step — instead of aimlessly wandering and I have obtained the confidence needed to keep moving forward. I know how to grow my audience, build a brand, market myself, create products, start earning money, and fulfill my business goals. I have the additional bonus of being able to revisit the steps any time I need to. Since I have started applying what I’ve learned, I have enough page views to support applying to ad networks and I’ve created a book that is being sold on Amazon. I have two other products in the works as well. EBA is just such an awesome program, and I am so grateful to Ruth for her transparency, willingness to mentor and to teach other bloggers. It is such a great mission and the program is done right! –Jennifer Roskamp