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How to earn money from blogging?

Written by: Ranjan Barman

What is a blog?

A blog is a kind of a website where we share our knowledge, emotions and experiences through writing. Basically a blog can be easily maintained with popular CMS applications like WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, Tumblr, Quota etc. CMS stands for Content Management System. These web applications manage the contents that we publish in our blog. The best part is we don’t need to learn any coding to run the blog on CMS platform. These CMS applications can be classified into two categories, Open source and closed source. The open source CMS web applications can be installed on any web hosting servers that we purchase to host our personal domain.

All the above mentioned CMS application providers provide users free space* and unique sub domains of user’s choice to start a free blog.

What are the types of blogs? 

You can’t force yourself to write an article in your blog. Blogging comes automatically when you feel like expressing your feelings from your heart. So before you start a blog you should be aware of the types of blogs and its future. According to my observation I have categorized blogs into two main parts Personal/Lifestyle blog and Niche blog.

Personal/Lifestyle blog
It is a type of blog where people write and share their personal experience, story and emotion. You can write whatever you want on any topic. There are no rules to follow. It will help you to find people like you on internet. It is something like sharing status, experience, emotions, pictures and videos in social media. But social media don’t give you money for all that activity, creativity and sharing. Also you got many limitations on social media to express your creativity properly. That’s why you need a blog or website. 

Niche blog 
Niche blog is something when your whole blog and writing is on a particular topic. It is one of the most popular options that people choose to make money from blogging. Basically through their writing the bloggers recommend third party products or services. Those are called affiliate products and services and sold by different owners/website. Niche bloggers use the links of the products/services with their unique tracking code. And whenever a visitor makes a purchase from the links then the blogger gets commission from the owner/website. The commissions can be 8 to 80 percent of the product price. One of the biggest trustworthy affiliate service provider companies is Amazon. Also there are so many like Commission Junction, Click Bank, ShareaSale etc. 

Examples of niche blogs:
There can be more than hundreds of niche for example Health & Wellness, Fashion & Style, Makeup & Beauty, Pets, Travel, Exercise & Fitness, Gardening and so on.

Popular free Blogging platforms depending on blog types:
WordPress.com:

WordPress.com helps you to grow your audience and community from inside WordPress besides google search and social media sharing. But it is not a good option to start a free Personal/Lifestyle blogging here. Because if you want to monetize your blog under Google AdSense for Content to make money and you are using free option in WordPress then you can’t do it. To monetize your blog under AdSense for Content you have to upgrade to premium plan and that starts at 96 USD/year (no monthly payment option). Where other popular hosting services provide much better facilities in less than 60 USD/year and also you get monthly payment options.

But if your target is niche blogging then wordpress may be a good option for you. Because you can earn from affiliate marketing with the free plan. But lots of AdSense ads of WordPress will definitely move your traffic in different direction. To remove the AdSense ads of WordPress again you have to pay yearly 48 USD. Besides you got no control over the emails of your subscribers.

Blogger:

Blogger was developed by Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003. Generally, the blogs are hosted by Google at a subdomain of blogspot.com. Blogger cannot be installed on a web server as it is not open source.         
If you start a free blog on “Blogger” then you will be benefited in every way whether you start a Personal/Lifestyle blog or Niche blog. Because blogger is owned by Google and Google won’t put their ads on your blog. Also you can apply for AdSense for Content program in your free blog when your blog will be eligible. And also you can buy and link your personal domain in your free blog in affordable price. As you know people make money for uploading videos on YouTube and they don’t have to pay extra penny like that people can make money from free blogs in Blogger.

Paid platforms for blogging:

“All free options have some limitations”

Beside the free platforms there are so many popular paid options available on internet. Like as a blogger I run my paid blog ” http://blogrator.com ” from a paid hosting service provider (Not from WordPress or Blogger or any free platform). A paid hosting service provider company provides different types of hosting options like WordPress Hosting, Panel Hosting (CPanel, Plesk Panel etc). As I told earlier that the open source popular CMS web applications like WordPress and Joomla can be installed on a web server. So if you buy a panel hosting from a web hosting service provider then you can install a open source application on your server and start blogging. The WordPress hosting are basically costly than panel hosting. Panel hosting means freedom to any web designer/developer. Only WordPress hosting is totally different from panel hosting.

You can use WordPress application to run your blog in panel hosting but with WordPress hosting you got no access to panel. My recommendations for paid web hosting:
HostGator is one of the most popular web hosting platforms that I recommend for India and all over the world.   

How to make money from blogging?
I already described in my above writing about how to make money from blogging. Here I am giving more info about it. So you already know from the writing there are only two basic ways to make money from blogging. First and most popular one is Affiliate Marketing and second one is Google Adsense.

You can make money from affiliate marketing but not from Google AdSense if you are using free blog/website in WordPress. But you can earn from both if you are blogging for free from Blogger platform.

There are two basic ways to make money from a blog. First and most effective one is affiliate marketing and second one is Google AdSense. Sounds familiar and easy? No, it’s not that easy to make money from a blog as it sounds. Whether it is affiliate marketing or Google AdSense you will need good traffic in your website/blog. 

But how to get the traffic?  

Traffic can be got in two ways organic and inorganic. Organic traffic is when your articles are visible in the search engines and the visitors are reaching your blog through the search results. The inorganic traffic can be got in two ways paid promotions and social media sharing.  

It is the raw materials of your blog (called contents) that attracts the search engines to give you the organic traffic. Organic traffic is very important because you don’t have to pay for the traffic. But besides adding good contents in your blog you should know little technical skills called SEO. 

What are the basics of SEO? 

1.   Whether your have added your free/paid blog/website as property in Google Analytics.2.   Whether you have confirmed your property in Google Search Console (webmasters tools).3.   Whether you know how to use Google Search Console (webmasters tools)?4.   Whether you have submitted your sitemap to Google.5.   Whether you have requested Google for indexing and render for both www and non www versions, mobile and desktop versions, http and https versions.6.   Have you confirmed whether you want www or non www version to be visible in Google search engine? 7.   Have you selected your targeted country?8.   Have you used language tag in your every blog posts? 9.   Whether you know about Keywords and content writing strategy. 

So if you can create (or hire content writers for) great SEO friendly contents then only the contents are not enough to give you good organic traffic. Now I will discuss about some paid promotions. 

What are the paid promotions? 

1.   Google Adwords and bing ads. 2.   Social Media Advertisements.3.   Email Marketing.

You can also get traffics in your blog if you promote your entire blog or blog posts in search engines like google.com and bing.com through Google Adwords and Bing Ads like platforms. Then your blog or the articles will be visible at the top or bottom for some related search results (you can set the keywords at adwords). Also you can geographically target your audience. The traffics you get from the Search Engine Advertisements (SEA) are called paid inorganic traffic. 

Social media advertisements are another way to get inorganic traffic in your blog. You may have seen in your facebook page there are boost options for every single post. Like that from twitter, linkedin, tumblr, instagram etc you can promote or boost your posts/tweets to hundreds, thousands of people geographically by paying some money (depends) to the platform.
Now comes email marketing. It is the spacial weapon that every blogger should give their full attention. Its not easy to grow subscription list by email. Experience and proper planning can help you grow your email list. 

Why email list is very important for any blogger?      
Growing email list is not only important for the bloggers but also companies. When a visitor subscribes your blog by email then the visitor will be notified by mail for every single post you publish after that. So from one side it is free promotion that brings back your old visitor again and again and that is the best promotion for your blog. But when you will grow huge subscribers list then it won’t be free anymore. If you use free emails like gmail, yahoo, outlook etc then the free mails have daily or monthly or hourly limitations for sending mail. So you can’t use your free mail to sent bulk mails to your subscribers. In that case you  will need some professional platforms to send bulk mails. Those platforms charge some money depending on monthly limits. 
My recommendation for bulk email sending is AWeber. 

Why you need a professional email address to send new post notifications from your website?
If you don’t know what is a professional mail then here is an example,mail@blogrator.com this is a professional mail for my registered domain blogrator.com

If you are thinking to send new post notifications with your free email then you never can win your customer’s trust. The free emails have no standard if you are representing whether your blog or business. 
Besides if you send new post notifications to your subscribers from a free email like gmail, outlook then the subscriber may not recognize the sender. Also the subscriber may think the mail as spam and then report and unsubscribe it from your mailing list. It will be a big lose. So a free mail is not a solution to send new post notification to your subscribers. You will need a professional mail. 

How to get a professional mail?
To get professional mails you need to buy a domain name (e.g, blogrator.com) from a hosting company (if you haven’t been already running your blog from your personal domain). If you are running a free blog then you can buy a similar like name of your blog. After purchasing a domain from a hosting company you can buy a professional mail of your domain name from there. Also google Suite provides you to get professional emails as many as you want in exchange of very little price.

I am describing here the steps how to do it:
Step 1: Buy a domain name from a hosting company ( Hostgator, Bluehost etc)

Step 2: Create a professional mail from Google Suite. (because it gives you lot more facilities besides a professional mail at the lowest price.)

Step 3: To send bulk mails to the subscribers (or to grow subscribers list) use bulk mail sending service AWeber  Now I will be talking about the social sharing option to grow your audience (free inorganic traffic) in your blog.

What is social media sharing? 

1.   Sharing in the facebook page and timeline.

2.   Sharing in twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, Instagram like platforms.

3.   Making videos for your brand YouTube Channel on the blog topics. 

4.   Writing answers in Quora and Yahoo answers like platforms.

Social media sharing is a very good option to get free inorganic traffic. I believe the social media platforms help to get traffic inside the platform. Like you may have seen that you get free likes followers and requests in your facebook, twitter or linkedin accounts. You need to create the accounts in social media with your blog/website name. And don’t forget to link your social media pages with your blog. Whenever you publish a new article then share it with those pages as soon as possible.   

This way you will get all round traffic in your blog and that will help you to get commission from the products you recommend whenever there will be a purchase. And also you will earn some commission from the AdSense for Content Program.

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