When it comes to online money making ideas you have to ask yourself what actually has the potential to make money, and what is a big fat waste of time. Everywhere you look, there are obnoxious flashing advertisements claiming that you can make money online while you sleep with little or no effort. Unfortunately, trying to make money through these get-rich-quick methods can be super risky and more likely to take your money than make you any.
Fortunately, there are a few money making ideas that can really make you some money. They require some effort, but in the long run, they really pay off. In this article we provide you the basics of one of the most tried, tested and verified means to make some money – blogging!
So, What is Blogging?
Before we get to the juicy bits, a short explanation is required. The word ‘blog’ is a slang term for two different words, ‘web’ and ‘log’. A web log is an online journal meant to keep a person’s thoughts, ideas, rants, and opinions in a place where everyone who’s interested can read and enjoy. Blogging has been around for years, and with the growing popularity it doesn’t look to be going anywhere but up.
How Does it Work?
So how do you make money with a blog? Pretty much the same way as any other broadcast medium makes money. Let’s consider the analogy of a television show. First, the studio produces a killer show. The equivalent in the blogging world is that you create some killer content. Next, the television studio will try to increase the number of viewers, and as a blogger, you would try to increase the traffic to your site. Finally, when the show is broadcast, either it is aired with ads, or it is made a premium paid show. You could do the same with your blog, ie, display ads or encourage people to sign up for paid ‘premium’ content. Here’s the real kicker though. As a blogger, you do not need to spend a truck load of money to create your content, and you have many more options to earn income from the blog such as inserting links to websites in your blog, or selling stuff for commission. Stay tuned, and we will bring you all the intimate details of how to create the killer content, how to generate a ton of traffic, and most importantly, how to make money from your blog.
What Does it Take?
Well, first of all, you need to create a blog. This means that you have to find a niche that works (preferably one that you’re passionate about), build a website around it, and create content that people will want to read and subscribe to read again. Then there is the business end of it, where you find the best methods to monetize your blog, and implement it. Blogging is actually pretty fun, and can be as entertaining, intelligent, witty, interesting, odd, unique, or all out funny as you want it to be. You can write about anything you love and make money doing it.
What Does it Cost?
The cost of starting a blog can range from $0 to upwards of $1000 depending on how you go about it. If you choose to host your blog on a free platform and use the URL they provide for free (for ex: someblog.blogspot.com, someblog.wordpress.com etc.), and you write all your own content, then it won’t cost you a dime. On the other hand, if you choose to get a custom website with custom graphics, have your content written by someone else and pay for expensive ad campaigns, you can easily end up spending several thousands of dollars.
Since the focus here is on making money and not blowing up your life savings, we recommend –
- Get your own domain name. The going rate for a domain name through sites like 1and1 is usually less than $10 per year. So there really is no compelling reason to start with the free version now and then go through the pain of transitioning to the paid version later.
- Go with paid hosting. Hosting fees are fairly low too. A company like Bluehost charges you anywhere from $4/month to $10/month depending on what specials they are currently running. The reason I suggest this is, if you go with free hosting, you are tied to their blogging platform. If you make it big, you will eventually want to switch to a more flexible, better supported platform like WordPress. You might as well start out with WordPress and your own hosting.
- Stick with the free template. There are a tonne of them available out there and they look quite decent. If your site makes it big, you can switch to a custom site design and logo quite easily later, when you can afford to spend on it. Besides, even if you did pay for all this now, depending on the direction your blog success takes you may be very tempted to remodel in the future, anyway.
That said, when I started this blog, I paid exactly $0. I didn’t know any better. I went through the pain of moving to the gradmoneymatters.com domain name from a blogspot.com address first, but stuck with hosting it on blogger. Much later, I switched to wordpress and self-hosting. If you are tight on cash, this is a perfectly doable option. Just remember that you will have to go through several different transitions and learning curves along the way as your blog grows and your build up a bigger following.
What Are the Advantages?
This article wouldn’t exist if there weren’t advantages to blogging for money. Here they are:
- You can make money
- You can write about something you enjoy
- You can write as much or as little as you want
- You can share your opinion with the world
- With growing online commerce, the earning potential is limitless
What Are the Disadvantages?
Just like everything else on the planet, there does exist some disadvantages..
- This is NOT a get-rich-quick means to making money. As a matter of fact, it takes quite a long time before you can generate your first dollar. That said, if you persevere, you could potentially be very handsomely rewarded.
- If you do not find the right niche, it may take even longer to build the blog to a point where it can make you some money. (There are software products like Market Samurai to prevent this from happening to you, but more on it later)
- It takes a lot of hard work to generate the content, to market it, to find affiliate/advertisers etc.
Blogging is one of the money making ideas that carries some great benefits and demands some serious commitment. If you are serious about making money online, and want to do it with little or no investment, and take it at your own pace, this may be the way to go.