Wouldn't you love to make money from sharing something you're passionate about with the world? There's an entire blogosphere out there of people doing exactly that. But there are also plenty of bloggers doing a lot of the same work without making a cent. So, why are some bringing in the big bucks and others aren't?
Here are 5 tips for beginners starting a blog in 2019 that makes money:
1. Create consistent content
2. Have a business mindset
3. Pick a niche
4. Test and reevaluate your strategies
5. Admit when you need to find help
When you have the right plan in place, growing a successful blogging business is a lot easier than you think. Don't get me wrong, it requires a lot of work, but it's more than possible. If you're serious about making 2019 the year that you start making money from a blog, follow along below.
You can also subscribe to the Allison Lindstrom YouTube channel for more blogging tips and mom hacks to help you on your blogging business journey.
How to start a blog that actually makes money in 2019
I want to highlight for a minute that this post is about making money from a blog. If you just want a hobby blog then, by all means, do whatever you want. But, if you want to start a blog that actually becomes a source of income for you and your family, this is how to get started.
1. Create consistent content
I know most new bloggers, and even some not-so-new bloggers, search for the perfect posting schedule. They all wonder things like, "how many blog posts do I need to write each month?". And they usually grow frustrated because there is no one-size-fits-all blogging schedule. Instead, it all boils down to consistency.
You don't want to post 10 days in a row and then disappear for 6 months. This doesn't give off the appearance that you're running a professional blogging business. People follow readers that are consistently providing them with valuable information. So, you want to show your readers that you're active in the blogging community.
Some bloggers post once a month, once a quarter, or even once every 6 months or so. If you really want to make money blogging, I don't recommend that you go that long in between posts.
However, if you really can only write one new post a month make sure it's incredibly valuable. Use that one post to teach people something. Include amazing graphics and make sure you provide a ton of value. That will make your readers more likely to come back the following month.
2. Have a business mindset
Anyone can start a blog. While that seems like a good thing, it also hurts the reputation of "blogging" for professional bloggers. There are plenty of people that don't make any money from their blog and they are perfectly happy with that. They know how to blog and run a website, but just don't care to turn a profit on it.
And, that's OK for them. But, if you're reading this right now it's because you want a blogging business, not a blogging hobby. You know it's going to take time and energy to start and maintain a blog, so you want to have a financial return for it. In order to do that you need to approach your blog with a business mindset.
You will need to think about things like strategies and business models. You'll also want to create funnels and then test and evaluate what works and what doesn't. Don't be afraid to try new things if something else isn't working.
It might sound overwhelming, but this is one of the keys to moving from a hobby blog to blogging business. You need to determine what works and what doesn't. Do you think Target would keep doing something in their store repeatedly if it wasn't working for them? Nope, and you shouldn't either.
3. Choose a niche
If you've researched blogging at all you've heard about the importance of "niching down". It's advice that many don't want to agree with but let me explain why it's so important.
Some bloggers try to write about everything on their blog. They may write about being a mom, doing crafts with the kids, recipes they use for dinner, and how they keep up with exercise in the midst of it all. They basically blog about their entire life.
I've found that it is a lot easier to find your audience, be found by your audience, and grow and monetize a blog when you're very specific on what you're blogging about (here’s my hack for narrowing your niche). I have thousands of students that have been in my blogging course and the ones that grow the fastest are the ones that have a very specific niche.
For example, instead of being a "food blogger" they are a "paleo food blogger" or they have a blog for "blogging moms with picky eaters in their family that need to cook 30-minute meals". These really specific ideas make it a lot easier to climb the blogging ladder.
You want your readers to quickly be able to identify what you're about when they arrive at your blog. They should be able to easily see what you're an expert at. And, you may be an expert in many areas, but you need to choose one or start multiple blogs if you want to grow a blogging business.
4. Test and reevaluate your strategies
This tip connects back with #2 above. Hobby bloggers do what their hearts desire. They don't have to use or test strategies in their blogs. But you need to take things to the next level when starting a blogging business.
You need to be willing to research and try out new strategies. It's all about testing things out to see what's going to work the best for you. And, even when you find something that works, you need to constantly reevaluate it.
What works for my blogging business right now is not the same thing that worked a couple years ago. Running a blog means that your entire business is impacted by technology. It's always evolving! And, that means your blog needs to be constantly blogging as well.
If you get comfortable in what's working for you today and don't reevaluate, it's going to impact the financial success of your blog in the future. It takes a lot of guts to constantly make changes to your blog. It's much easier to put a strategy in place and leave it along, but that's not how to start and run a blog that's going to make you money.
5. Admit when you need to find help
It's important that you are honest with yourself about what you can handle and what you need help with. This is tough because it's incredibly humbling to admit that you stink at a certain area of your blogging business. But, it's also important for the growth of your business.
This may mean that you have to admit that you struggle with the design side of your blog. Or, that the photographs you're using are subpar. Or, that you love writing but aren't great with your grammar and could really use someone to proofread your blog posts.
Trust me when I say that I more than anyone else understands that drive to be fiercely independent. I grew up in a huge Catholic family as 1 of 8 children. If any of you grew up in a large family, you know that you spend most of your childhood carving out an area in the family and trying to show you're unique!
With all that uniqueness comes a lot of independence. So, I know how hard it can be to admit that I need to either take a course to learn something new or hire someone else to help me. But not doing so can get in the way of growing your blogging income.
It's humbling to admit you need help. But, it's so worth it if you find that you're spending a lot of time on tasks and projects that you aren't happy with in the end anyway. Spending the time to learn a new skill or hiring someone to help you out with it can save you time and help you to be more efficient in your blogging business.
Starting a blog for beginners FAQ?
Maybe you're looking for a way to make money online from home and aren't really familiar with blogging. Or, maybe you already have an online business and are wondering how your business can benefit from a blog. Below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked blogging questions for beginners.
And, if If you're interested in learning more about how to actually build a blogging business that can make money join my free email course below!
What is blogging used for?
Blogs serve many different purposes. The reason behind them completely depends on who is running it. Here are some of the ways blogs are used:
Teach something- Blogs are great ways to share tips, how-tos, and provide other valuable content that teaches people about something or how to do something. You can find blogs on pretty much any topic that you can dream up. Both individuals and businesses start blogs for this reason.
Share an experience or personal story - Many hobby bloggers start blogs for this reason. Maybe they are headed out for a month long road trip and they want to document the journey so their friends and family can easily follow along. A blog can be used as a type of online journal. When blogs first started this was the most popular use of them.
Make sales - If you have a business that sells products or services online a blog is a great way to draw attention to what you have to offer. For example, if you sell monthly meal plans you can write blogs explaining the benefits of using a meal plan. Once you have readers convinced about the benefits you can sell them on the value that your products provide.
Build brand awareness - Blogs are a great way for individuals and businesses to show they are an expert in a certain industry. A well-written blog post that incorporates SEO keywords can perform well in search engines making it easier to get your name in front of your target market.
Attract website visitors - Piggybacking off of building brand awareness, blogs help visitors find your website. When they find your website, they can discover all the products and services that you have to offer on your site.
Why is blogging important? Can’t I just focus on getting followers on Instagram, etc?
There's no doubt that social media now plays a large role in marketing efforts. Millions of people are using the platforms and it's a great way to get your business or products and services in front of your target audience.
This might tempt you into thinking that starting a blog to make money is a waste of your time. Girl, it's not! Social media is great, for its own reasons. But you don't own the platform. That means if that's the only way you're trying to grow your business it's going to hurt every time the platform makes a change.
And, what if the platform that you love goes away? Think about MySpace. It was all the rage in its own time, but now, not so much. I know Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are huge right now, but the day will come when they will be replaced with something else as well. How will you draw people to your website when that happens?
Your blog is like online property that you own. It means even if social media goes away, your followers still know how to find you.
How much does blogging cost?
The answer here is really how much or how little you want it to cost. OK, not completely.
If you want to build a blogging business, you're going to have to invest at least a little bit of money up front. In my opinion, there are two things that you have to spend money on out of the gate—a domain and hosting.
Can you blog on a free platform? Yes and no. Yes, if you want to build a hobby blog. No, if you want to build a blogging business. Free platforms are great if you want to blog just for fun.
But if you want to earn an income you shouldn't be using a free platform for several reasons. Here are a few:
The platform will own your content.
You can't monetize your site with ads.
You lose credibility when your URL is blogname.blogger.com (or fill in any other free platform)
There are too many limitations
Now, after your domain and hosting, you can spend money on all kinds of things. You can pay for web design. Or, pay for plugins and additional services to make building a blogging business easier for you. The options are endless when it comes to spending money.
If you want more information in this area here are some blog posts where I go more in-depth on the topic:
How do bloggers make money?
If you find yourself wondering how to make money with a blog for beginners, there are actually several strategies you can use. They all fall into one of two categories: active income and passive income.
Active income includes all the ways that you trade time for money. For example, if a food blogger decides they want to offer personalized menu planning services this is active income. It requires them to spend time consulting with their client and then building a meal plan that is tailored to that person. They trade their time for the set price of the meal planning package.
With active income, you make money once on the time that you spend. This includes services like coaching and freelancing.
With passive income, you still invest some time, but then you're able to profit from it over and over again. Examples include things like ad revenue, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and product sales.
Let's go back to the example of our food blogger. If instead of customized meal plans, she decides to create a 7-day gluten-free meal plan she can sell that meal plan over and over again. Anyone that's gluten-free knows it might be a great fit for them. She spent the time once and is able to sell it a million times if she wants.
It's important that you keep this in mind when you are creating your plan on how to make money in your blogging business. One source of income is not better or worse than the other. It all depends on your situation and preference. I do recommend making sure you diversify your income streams though so you're never fully dependent on just one thing.
If you want more information on how to make money blogging here are some other articles to check out:
If you want to see how much I really make blogging, you can check out some of my income reports. I include a breakdown of my sources of income:
How do I find blog ideas that make money?
The best way to find blog ideas that make money is to remember 2 things:
1. Focus on a niche
Let's hit on choosing a niche one more time. It's that important. I recommend staying away from overly saturated niches like "mommy blogs", general personal finance, and general exercise. It's not that these are bad areas, there is just a ton of competition making it hard to stand out.
If you like one of those areas look for a way to niche down further. For example, instead of having a "mommy blog" think about something you have direct experience with. Maybe you have a child with a sensory processing disorder. Then, start a mommy blog for moms with children with sensory processing disorder.
If you want to start an exercise blog find a way to niche down. A few ideas would be an exercise blog that is focused on helping working moms to make time to exercise in their already busy day. Or, an exercise blog that's all about exercising with children to teach them the benefits while you stay healthy too.
Don't be afraid to niche down because there are people out there that are going through the same thing you are. If I couldn't eat gluten, I'd be looking for a meal planner that specialized in this area instead of just a general meal planner.
2. Focus on providing value
People will want to come to your site and spend money on what you have to offer if you're providing valuable content. Make sure you're always teaching them something while they're on your blog. That's what keeps them coming back for more.
The easiest way to make sure you're doing this is to choose a blog topic that you love and are passionate about. If you try to choose something you don't know a lot about or don't care about, you're quickly going to run out of things to say. But if you choose a topic that you enjoy talking about and learning about you constantly be coming up with new ideas.
How do I start a blog?
Starting a blog is a lot easier than you might think. There are only a few steps that you need to follow to get it up and running. I walk you through them in my blog post How to Start a Blog So You Can Work From Home.
Once you have your blog up and running it's time to start putting out content. Don't forget the importance of being consistent. From this point on there are many ways that you can continue growing your blog.
If you want support and encouragement from others going through the same process, I suggest you join the Blogging Business Club. You can also check out the following articles for more information:
You can do it
If you've been sitting on the fence thinking about starting a blog in 2019, do it! Don't let fear hold you back. It takes time, energy, and hard work, but the financial reward is there waiting for you if you would just get started. Do you still have questions on how to get started making money blogging as a beginner? Drop them in the comments below.