Make Money Blogging: The Complete Guide To Becoming a Pro Blogger

pro blogger

Hi, my  name is Andrew Holland and I am a Pro Blogger. 

It kind of feels weird saying that I am a professional blogger. I wasn't always and trust me this has not been an easy ride. But in this post I will share with you the story of how I became a pro blogger and how you can monetize your blog straight away. I will also share the best resources available to help you write. 

Making Money From a Blog: Is it Possible?​

This is the barrier we need to cross first.  Is it possible to earn money from blogging?

The answer to this is yes. I know lots of people who earn money from blogging or writing on line.. Some earn huge amounts and others earn enough to get by. However by the end of this article you will have enough knowledge to be able to go out and earn enough money to afford a family holiday, pay some bills, make your rent or anything else you want extra income for. It is not all about making mega bucks, it might be the case of getting a new past time and making some money from it or making some money out of your current hobby by blogging about it.

​The Big Earners

Now I  do not earn a fortune from blogging at this time but I earn enough to run my own pro blogging company. Yet there are some major blog earners out there. This post from Income Diary explains the big blog earners out there:  full post is at http://www.incomediary.com/top-earning-blogs

So now we see that blogging is huge business and it should be taken as seriously as any other out there. But let us be brutally honest this is not going to be you straight away.  You are  going to have to go out there and learn your craft first, then start to pick a market you can earn money from and then pick a method of getting paid.  

My Journey​

My journey from blogger to pro blogger has taken 5  years and although I will at some stage give a full break down of my method in a future article, I make money from advertisements, affiliate marketing and I am actually paid to blog for others. You can read an example from one of my clients at http://zoogly.co.uk/business-blog-case-study/

This article is all about you and my advice is if you are starting from scratch or have some experience that you do a 'reboot' and look at these resources first. These are the only blogs I trust and I assure you that each one is essential for your blogging success. Your goal should be to spend the next 4 to 8 weeks reading these blogs and then you can have a much better understanding of your future in blogging.

Best Blogging Resources​

Backlinko: Brian Dean

​I have been a student of Brian Deans for some time now and am even a graduate of his SEO That Works programme. Brian provides amazing free guides on SEO, backlinks (hence the name), content promotion and so much more. Check his blog out at http://backlinko.com/

​Neil Patel: Quicksprout and Neil Patel.com

Neil Patel is a prolific writer and he certainly sends out amazing content on his blogs Quicksprout.com and Neil Patel.com. Advice on every aspect of blogging is packed into the posts.  Visit at http://www.quicksprout.com/ and http://neilpatel.com/blog/.

Bryan Harris: VideoFruit​

Bryan Harris has a really useful blog because its focus is to grow your business. Packed with case studies, guides and everything in between. Your knowledge will skyrocket around blogging and on-line business. Check him out at http://videofruit.com/

​Noah Kagan: OK Dork

Noah Kagan will feature again in this blog because of his App Sumo business, however, his blog OK Dork is a must read. He doesn't post very often, but the resources and the posts are essential reading. Check him out at http://okdork.com/

​Sujan Patel

​Sujan Patel provides amazing information about SEO, growth hacking and so much more. Check him out at http://sujanpatel.com/

Derek Halpern: Social Triggers​

Derek Halpern has a blog that is really unique. Combining psychology and sales you will learn a lot about getting more from your visitors in this blog. Check it out at http://socialtriggers.com/

Blog Tyrant: Ramsay Taplin

​The last in our list is Blog Tyrant from  Ramsay Taplin. He has made money selling a blog and has some great advice on the subject. Check his blog at http://www.blogtyrant.com/

There are a lot of other great resources but by the time you read their most popular posts and their free ebooks you will have seen a good few weeks pass by.  However, at this point you will have a huge amount of knowledge about blogging and how to get it done. The next phase is to decide on a financial plan.

How Bloggers Make Money​

The Four main ways to make money in blogging are via Advertisements, Affiliate Marketing, by creating your own products and finally by blogging for others.  I am not going to give you a tour of all the various ad networks but in essence here are your main options:

Adverts​

You can go to Google AdWords and set up an account, and you will get paid when someone clicks on your link.  Other methods include offering people space on your site for ads or going with an ad network where you get paid whenever someone either clicks on your post or takes an action such as filling in a form.  This is a tough way to earn money, but it can be rewarding.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a core method for so many different people and there a range of networks out there offering products for sale that you can promote in turn for a fee. One of the most famous is ClickBank. This is the network I use, and I will go into detail about using them shortly, The basic premise is this; You promote other people's products on your blog and if someone buys you get paid between 50% and 75% of the purchase price. It is a pretty good deal!

Create Your Own Products​

This is the way that most people make money from their sites, and I will be doing the same soon. The premise is again very simple, either sell a physical product or an information product.  This again is quite simple, and most opt for digital products.  These can be videos, e-books, audio programmes or even entire membership sites and programmes. 

Blog For Other People​

This is my current model at this time although I also make money from affiliate marketing. The idea behind blogging for another person or company is that you write for their audience or go out and create an audience for them. This model requires you to have pre-existing knowledge of blogging and traffic generation. It is not for a newbie but as I am finding it is an efficient method of earning income. I will be creating a guide to  how I gained my clients soon

​How To Start a Blog

Now that you understand just how bloggers make money you need to go out and start to plan your blog. Yes, plan!!!! To do this, I suggest getting a simple piece of paper and going deep into a subject you like and finding a section that is not competitive.

You might want to write about weight loss. However, that is a really competitive niche, and you will struggle to get ranked on google and get discovered. So I would start by breaking it down and going deeper, such as; weight loss for ladies over 50. Now I haven't researched this field so I am not even sure that there would be readers for this subject. However, I suspect there would be. My point is that you should avoid writing about a subject that is too broad or too narrow. Find on that is just about in the middle. 

The first step forward in your blog planning is keyword research. I will not go into detail here about keyword research as the web is littered with guides on the subject, but my recommendation is Brian Dean's guide on keyword research  (see below). 

http://backlinko.com/keyword-research​

Where To Blog

One of your first decisions to make will be as to the platform you want to blog on. This is the easiest decision you will make as WordPress is the best solution. This is because you will not have to spend much money and your platform will have a lot of options and tools available for you. 

Now once that decision is made you need to go and look at getting the rest of your equipment and this is:

  • ​A Domain (a name for your site such as www.zoogly.co.uk
  • A host for your site. 
  • A wordpress theme.  

Deciding on a Domain for your blog

Your domain name is going to be your brand but please do not over think this. Bryan Harris has Videofruit, Noah Kagan has AppSumo. I have gone with Zoogly. What is important is that you  have something that is easy to recall and is different. 

The next aspect is to decide if you are going with a .com or a co.uk or any of the other variations. My personal favourite is .com if you are targeting globally or if you want to target you country then choose what suits you best. Again it depends on your needs, we even have .London domains these days. 

To  purchase a Domain you will need to go to a Domain provider. I use Namecheap.com  but, there are a lot of variations out there. 

Once you decide on your domain name and purchase this, you will need to hook up with a host and a hosting package. So let's break this down for you. 

Hosting​

There are a lot of hosts out there, however if you aim to just build one blog I suggest you using the same location you purchased your domain at. In my personal experience, I have found Go Daddy  the better option for beginners but they can work out more expensive and have a lot of upsells  that you will not need when you first get started.   Go Daddy now includes videos inside their hosting packages that help you navigate how WordPress works.   I have clients I work with and they have found this very useful. 

Do not over think all of this, just get a decent host and get started by installing wordpress and move on.

WordPress Theme​

The final aspect of getting your blog up and running is deciding on a theme. Your word press is a bit like a skeleton, and the theme is the muscles and skin. It's what people see. I have been using themes for a long time now and changed mine so often. My view is pretty simple now. I use Thrive Themes at www.thrivethemes.com as I find their themes and tools to be better than the others I have used, but there are thousands out there. You might find that you change themes over the years because you don't like it very much. It's totally up to you.

Make Money From Writing​

So now we have your basics down let us start by getting you a plan to make money from blogging. This is the exact plan I suggest that you use to make money on-line. I call it Fast Lane Blogging. 

Fast Lane Blogging​- 4 Weeks To Earn Money From Blogging

The Idea behind this is to show you that you can make money from blogging and that get this achieved quickly. There are 2 very good reasons for this.

  1. ​You Need To Know If Your Niche Blog Idea Can Make Money Before You Invest Years of Effort
  2. On an emotional level getting a quick financial win from blogging will help you to keep on doing it, It is a bit like weight loss, you need to lose weight quickly and see results otherwise you scrap the diet. 

I recall the first cheque I had through the mail from Click bank, I was pleased beyond imagination that I made money from thin air. In fact, it was from a lot of hard work but I will explain what you need to do. This method should take you no more than four weeks if you put in an hour each day. The point is I made money sat in my house, while asleep and doing fun things.  Here is my process to earning money in a short time. 

Step 1. Get your blog set up

Step 2​. Go To Clickbank.com and create an account

Step 3.  Browse Products in their market place

Step 4. Get writing content that links to your products but do not publish yet!​

Step 5. Place an Ad on Your sites sidebar linking to that product

Step 6. Start to publish your blog posts 

Step 7  Develop a traffic generation method: Check out our last article on this .

Step 8. Wait until you  start making money from click bank​ (get those cheques through)

Step 9. Take The Ads Off Your Site and plan for the long term.​

Step 10. Blog 2.0- The next iteration of your blog will need to be planned out and launched tactically

This is 10 step approach I use to validate blogging to yourself or your family. It is a major tour of how to make money on the line and is the first stage you need to get passed. Think of it as validating your idea. One of the hardest things to do is believe in your ability, or the fact that you can make money on the line.  Therefore, I firmly believe that you need to experience making some money online to justify our belief in this concept.  Once you have made your money and honestly think that this works you need to develop your long term plan. 

My hardest battle was convincing my loved ones that I could earn cash from blogging. After all, most people do not know what a blog is let alone how to make money from one. So get this bridge crossed early!

Breaking Down The Fast Lane Approach​

The fast lane approach is all about believing in blogging if you are new to this it is not about trying to rank on page 1 of Google for competitive terms. Instead, you should look to gain a very quick victory. Now if you have done your keyword research, you will have a niche. This is when you need to start writing but do not publish.

Fast Lane blogging is all about getting traffic via social media and not Google and is based on my 'social hubs' technique. Your articles, therefore, need not be war and peace but things that are likely to be shared online quickly. Your site is quite young with only a few pages so just look at this as all about income and not longevity. 

Picking The Right Products​

Fast lane blogging only works if there is a product to sell in your niche. That is not to say you can't blog and go straight for the long term approach or try using AdWords but this is all about proof that blogging works in your niche and there is no better proof than money in the bank.

To start off go to clickbank.com and log in:

​Click on the market place tab.

Then you will enter the market place:

​Click on the categories on the left hand side and pick your niche. Let us use E business in this case.

When you go into E-business you will see a drop down box which our arrow points to. At this time you need sort the results by Gravity. Gravity is a matrix that click bank use to show you a rating, according to them gravity means:  

  • Grav: Short for GRAVITY™ performance statistic, this number represents a unique calculation by ClickBank that takes into account the number of different affiliates who earned a commission by promoting this product over the past 12 weeks. Since more recent transactions are given a higher value, this number can give you an idea of what products are “hot” at the moment, in terms of being promoted by many affiliates and making a good number of sales. However, high gravity can also indicate that there will be a lot of competition in promoting this product.

​As you can now see this product has a high gravity and an average sale of $134.73.  

Recurring Income​

The real key to making money on Click bank is recurring income. By this, you can focus on products that deliver monthly payments to you. This is a pretty good deal because the product the vendor is selling will provide you with money each month from just one sale via your website. I have made money this way.

By this point, you will have a rough idea if your niche has earning potential. If there are not many products in your niche then earning money might be difficult. However, if there seems a good number I would suggest you go ahead and get a domain and install WordPress. 

How To Set Up Ads on Your Blog 

There are a lot of useful banner management tools out there however I use a wordpress plugin conveniently called 'Useful Banner Manager'. UBM runs on most of the sites I have ever developed and is very simple to use. 

Simply go into your wordpress dashboard and search for banner managers. Once installed it is a simple case of uploading  an image into the banner manager and adding your Clickbank affiliate link to it. You get that link from pressing the big PROMOTE button in the market place. Once this is done you can then go into  your widget menu and add the banner.

Where To Find Your Ad Images​

If your product is any good then the vendor (you are an affiliate) will have images for you. All you need to do is look in their marketplace ad and you will see either a link or the text of a link, or a vendor spotlight tab that will take you to the vendors  page where banners and ads are located.

Once you have this in place you have a platform to make money from. An ad from an affiliate that you know sells due to the gravity score from click bank and now you also have a site. All you need to do now is publish an article or  two and drive traffic to them. 

​Traffic Generation For Blogs Or Products

In my fast lane approach to blogging we are not after long term success straight away. We really need to know if the niche is profitable and scalable. You may have decided on your blog topic and found out there is zero money in this niche, great. You can now move on and look at other niches.

If however you are on to a winner (or at least you think you are) then move onto  generating some quickfire traffic to your blog.  To do this you need to  get on social media.

My suggestion with your blog is pretty simple,  go out and find social hubs. These are small centres for activity that exist in your industry and start socialising in them. At the same time you can be writing posts that focus on gaining audience traction. 

Outside of this traffic method there are many more. ways to start to grow your blog traffic. Some of these are:

YouTube- Create great videos like my Judo friend Matt D'Aquino who has 25,000 subscribers and about  4 million video views. He also  has a blog and numerous products that he sells related to his niche

You might find that Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media platform is a great way to get traffic. It all depends on your niche. The object here though is to get people to your site and hopefully some of that traffic will result in a few purchases of your product.

One of the key things here is to write content worth talking about or sharing. With your social hubs, you should have an idea about the type of content that does well. You just need to create some and drop it in your social hubs. From there keep a good look out for your traffic figures and your Clickbank sales.  This method should provide you with your first few dollars in a matter of weeks if you pick a niche with good products and get some traffic to your posts. 

The Next Step After You Have Earned Money From Blogging

​So you have a few dollars in your clickbank account, now it is time to plan for long term success.

First you need to get rid of your ads. This might sound like a crazy idea to get rid of an ad that is making you money, however please let us be clear, your goal is to make long-term money from blogging and this will best come via your own products. I personally think your ad space should be for your own products. Feel free to leave them there though until your own stuff is developed. 

Now you understand the power of blogging it is time to be strategic. I never had this aspect ​when I started so I think it will help you. 

Blogging Strategy​

Over the course of 3 months, you need to create some great content in your niche, remember the keyword research guide from Brain Dean? If not scroll up and re-do this part. By doing your keyword research, you will have a list of phrases people are searching for. Your goal is to carry on using your social hubs and create great content for them at the same time as creating your own products. The strategy I will outline below has variations to it depending on your niche but it is a good plan to follow. 

Your strategy should be as follows:

  1. Create Content- Do  Not Publish yet​ but aim to have at least 5 good posts
  2. Get an Email Auto responder- I use Aweber but others use Mailchimp, Get Response and others.
  3. Create a Free Porduct Such as a Small course or an Ebook 
  4. Give that away for free in exchange for sign ups for your list
  5. Create an auto responder sequence that operates on a calender and take the sign ups via a set path.
  6. Publish Content on your site
  7. Create and then sell your first product to your audience
  8. Continue Creating great content
  9. Build your email list
  10. Create other products or a monthly recurring membership site

Your first product should be a free guide that helps your niche and this should literally be a sign-up gift to get people on your list, aim for a good quality lead magnet such as a 25-page ebook.

 Setting Up an Email Auto Responder

The ability  to collect emails from site visitors is essential to your goal of building a great blog. The money is in your list and having a good email list can help keep your traffic levels high. 

My service of choice is Aweber ​

Once you sign up for an account you can create a sign up form in seconds and the create your autoresponder sequence. 

I have tested a variety of ways with my small lists in the past but this is the best method I suggest. By the way I didnt come up with this; it was part of one of the first free courses I ever took. This information came from ViperChill.coms cloud living programme but, to be honest, I am not sure if they removed it as I can't seem to find it. Anyway your sequence should go something like this:

  • ​After sign up send 5 emails with free content
  • ​Then sell a $7 product
  • Follow this with a case study
  • Then send 8 mails with free content
  • Then sell  a $27 product
  • Send 11 more emails with a product and sell a membership site service

Now this is just a general outline, your audience size and you niche may dictate a very different approach. I know I had to do something very different due to having very little time to work on my blog. However, this structure can easily be adapted for the affiliate model where you promote other people's products and I  do think it  is quite a good plan.  

It would be fair to say that the Viper Chill approach is considerable work, however it is very structured. 

Essential Tools For Bloggers​

Every blogger is going to need some tools to get their job done, and here are some nice to have and some need to have.

Need To Have​

WordPress Self Hosted and Domain

An Email Service​

A Pop Up Box​

Nice To Have​

Writing Tools

Graphics Kits

Stock Photos​

​Free And Paid For Blogging Tools

To help you on your blogging quest I have included a list of  tools I am using for my blogs and other tools that  I know my blogging buddies use to great success.

Thrive Themes​

They have great themes, awesome content builders and so much more​.

https://thrivethemes.com/​

App Sumo

Free pop up boxes, sharing apps and lots of deals. App Sumo is both a daily deal site and a plugin with lots of free and paid for services

http://www.appsumo.com/​

Lead Pages​

A paid for service that lets you get sign ups and create landing pages instantly​.

http://www.leadpages.net/​

Canva

A web based graphics creation tool  which is very useful for creating content graphics. 

https://www.canva.com/

Grammerly

A programme that is in your web browser that checks your spelling, grammar and so much more.

https://app.grammarly.com/

​Conclusion

I hope I have helped to educate you regarding the ways you can make money from blogging. It is not all about earning a fortune from your blog; you might find that £150 a month is a life changing amount for you. Your aim from blogging may be to pay your mortgage or just to pay for a holiday, or perhaps money is not your goal, that is awesome. Either way blogging is great and becoming a pro blogger is easier than it seems. 

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