Most everyone knows that I’m pretty excited about blogging. What started as a passion project turned into an amazing way that we’re able to support our family and still grown and learn as well. It’s actually pretty interesting how we got starting into the blogging world and how much we’ve grown through blogging as well.
What started out as a pipe dream to have John home more and retire him from the corporate world has now allotted us so much more freedom and fun. Never in a million years did I dream this would be our reality but every day I wake up, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This post is going to cover the basics of the way, the why, and the how that you need to know to jump with both feet into the blogging world.
It’ll help answer basic questions, too.
Like “Is blogging right for you?”
“Are you hoping to make this a full-time gig or a side hustle or maybe just an empowering hobby instead?”
We’re here to let you know from a REALISTIC perspective what blogging is really all about.
We want to pump your brains full of knowledge to help give you an educated choice.
*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.
My Journey From Hobby To Full Time Blogger
Many people wonder where I got started and how this all kind of happened to put me where I am now. I used to be a corporate girl. I had a great job but after we had our first baby, I knew that I wanted to stay at home.
Even though my job was remote, there were times when I was stuck on a conference call and I could hear our baby crying downstairs and literally after just a few weeks of this, I knew I wanted a change. It was SO hard to straddle working for someone else and caring for our baby as I was on a pretty strict schedule that didn’t give me a ton of flexibility.
I wanted more options. If the baby napped, I wanted to nap. (who doesn’t, right?) This made me realize that it was time to quit my job, and I did.
John was actually the one that had the idea about blogging because I already knew a lot of the online world from my previous position.
My blog started off with a few sales and started slowly growing and pretty soon I found myself teaching my friends how to start a blog and it just went from there.
We never thought that blogging would become our main source of income, ever. But here we are, living the blogging dream.
I’ll never forget the day that John noticed that my blog was creeping up on what he was making at his full-time office job in terms of earning. It was then that John and I suddenly realized that we could scale and grow this business together, in a way that was beneficial for us and our customers.
Are you ready to start a blog?
This is the big question and it’s an important one. Before anything, consider what you’re going to be focusing on when you blog. Are you good at writing? Do you enjoy the reporting and analytic side of numbers? Do you have advise you want to share with others?
There is really a place for everyone in the blogging world because there is so much going on. And if you have a spouse, get them to join in on the fun. Any of their super strengths can be applied to helping your blog grow.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that the biggest reason that I love to blog is that it allows me to slowly grow.
I don’t have to be at my computer, ready to work at 8 am…I can literally work when I want, and I don’t have to when I don’t want to. I don’t want to have tons of meetings on my calendar and I love that I can write a blog post when I have time.
However, in saying that, it’s important to note that your blog will only grow as fast as you make it grow. If you’re only working 2 hours per week on your blog, then be ready to see super slow growth as well.
But on the flip side, I love knowing that a blog post that I wrote 5 years ago is still bringing me traffic and income today.
You get out of your blog what you put into your blog. (if you remember anything else from this post, remember that!)
Make certain that you set realistic expectations from the beginning and understand that at the end of the day, business is business. You’re going to start slow as this is NOT a get rich scheme.
The more you post, the more good content you have, the more your blog will grow.
It’s really as simple a concept as that.
What are the benefits of blogging?
Blogging is a great way to grow quicker than other social media outlets. This is because when you post something on Facebook, it might go viral for a day or two (or a month if you’re lucky) and then it just dies off, somewhere into the Facebook abyss.
But when you blog, it’s there forever. It’s your content, your information, and it’s always available for people to find and read.
We have about 100,000 students enrolled in our courses and we know that courses are where we excel because we can give our customers great products that they’ll use to learn and keep coming back for me.
Advertising on Facebook is great, but our website is really where it’s at for us.
The other great thing about a blog is that you might not do any work for about 6 months, but Google is still cooking your content and you’ll find that it will rank and grow even when just sitting there.
Another big reason to start a blog is that you own your content and your website. As we’ve seen lately, even if you use social media for your business, you don’t own any of the content and can be shut down.
And last but not least, blogging built my confidence…I was in a world of a crying baby, my body felt pretty terrible and I just wanted to do something for myself. Whatever I did and whatever I wrote was mine, and I loved that. It’s a rush that I still get every time I post anything.
How do you make money blogging?
Confidence is good but doesn’t pay the bills, right? There are actually multiple ways that you can make money blogging and all of them are totally doable.
Your first blog post won’t get you a million page views but it very well may attract the right people who like your stuff and want to hire you for your services.
Think of your blog as a portfolio, an online resume, your brand builder. The more you write awesome content, the more chances of getting paid you’re going to get.
How do you get paid as a blogger?
Have you ever had someone ask who pays you when you blog? What a great question to have asked! And the answer is actually even better.
There are MULTIPLE ways to monetize and this is because you’re no one’s employee but yourself. You don’t work for Google. You are your own person and this is why we currently have over a dozen different income streams coming in daily.
There are hundreds (more like THOUSANDS) of affiliate programs that you can sign up for. You’re basically signing up to be a marketing rep for that client or company where you’ll get a special link that is your affiliate ID.
When someone makes a purchase through your link, you’ll get a percentage of the sale.
It’s really as simple as that. This is passive income and a great way to keep money coming in for years.
Ads and Banner Ads
If you’ve been to any food blogs lately, you’ll see a lot of ads on their site. This is because they get TONS of traffic and they make money by people scrolling down their posts.
I’m not a fan of ads as they take up time for pages to load and tend to create a negative user experience if you’re not careful. But this is a simple way to get Google to send you a check every single month. (or more specifically an ad network)
We choose not to have ads based on our traffic because we want our users to have a good experience when purchasing our products on our site.
Once you get a good audience or start building up the traffic to your site, you’ll start getting the chance to work with companies. This is when you write about their products and they pay you.
This is a huge income resource for influencers and if you ever see anyone talking about beauty products or the latest and greatest ketchup flavor out on the market, you can be pretty certain that they’re getting paid to give you their thoughts and opinions.
Creating your own products
This shouldn’t be a shocker that this is my favorite way to make money blogging. I’m a huge fan of digital products because I can easily create them and make them very valuable to my customers.
I love that I’m able to create a product that solves a problem for my readers and then I get to sell it over and over again, without having to worry about inventory, shipping, or anything like that.
It’s beautiful and I love everything about digital products. Everything.
If you’ve been struggling to monetize your blog, I’d suggest checking out this video.
How do you get traffic to your blog?
If there was a magic trick to make the traffic come fast, you know I’d share it with you…but all I can tell you is that you need to focus on SEO and great content.
Focus on writing blog posts that you hope are going to rank and make them as helpful as possible by adding videos, bullet points, checklists, and more. Your articles or products should help someone with a question or a pain point and be useful!
Don’t forget the power of Pinterest. Make certain that you add pretty pins to your blog and pin them on Pinterest so that people who are scrolling through Pinterest will be curious enough that they want to click through.
Warning though, the Pinterest algorithm changes frequently (but then again, so does Google.)
My personal opinion is that using social media to get traffic is like a dog chasing its tail. It can be fun for a while, but it’s overwhelming as well. I’d focus on SEO and Pinterest (if you were to choose a social media platform to start with) and work on those consistently.
When it comes to getting traffic, you need to be thinking long term. Spend the effort early on so that it comes to you later down the road.
I know what I just said about social media but YouTube is actually one to pay attention to. Since it’s the number two search engine in the world, having YouTube videos can be a great way to get traffic to your blog fast.
Millions of people are visual learners and will go to YouTube before going anywhere else to get the answers because they want to see someone else doing it before they try.
The Importance of Digital Products
If you’re looking for something that can convert well, digital products are where it’s at! There are tons of benefits to having digital products on your site and they can be anything from small printables to homeschooling worksheets.
You can literally sell them on your blog, link to them with a funnel, upsell to other paid products…the list goes on and on!
Digital products are super simple to create and people will buy them! You can easily create printables, ebooks, workout sheets, toxins to avoid in your shampoos.. anything that you have knowledge about that other people could benefit from.
Make certain that you name and price your digital products accordingly to create a desire for them to want it. You don’t want to overprice and under deliver because you’re missing out on a great chance to build an audience that will buy from you again in the future.
Other digital product ideas that sell great are:
- Workshops that are hands-on computer learning
- Coaching classes
- Self-help ideas
Since people are starting to do more things virtually, this is opening the door wide open to selling more digital products!
Tools Needed to Start a blog
There are a few tools that we love that we thought we’d share with you. Some might be a fit, some may not be but they’re worth your time in checking into them and seeing if they can help you automate your blog.
We use this to help sell all our products online. We use this for our check out process and to help create funnels as well. Additionally, ThriveCart now has Learn, which allows you to use ThriveCart as a Learning Management System! It’s a fantastic deal!
We use this for our email marketing list and it’s pretty user simple, too. There are also other choices to consider like Active Campaign and MailChimp.
I’ve used this forever to create my printables and I’m so used to it now I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
Canva is an amazing online research that you can use to create free online graphics and pins for Pinterest.
The best blogging platform to help teach people to build blogs and get traffic. Free to get started, too!
There are so many tools for blogging out there that you just need to find one that fits your budget and start there. You can always invest more as you grow.
How do you keep going with blogging?
Mindset is huge. It takes a while to grow your blog but be patient. Patience can and will pay off. There are blogs out there that make over a million dollars per year. Blogging can literally be life-changing.
For your first year of blogging, focus on creating great blog posts and growing your brand and email list. Set goals, be mindful of your time, appreciate the small wins, and over time you’ll grow and start to see that progress.
I always set goals and once I hit that goal, I move those goalposts and set all new goals. It keeps me motivated and just might work for you, too!
If you need a plan to keep you motivated and how it all works – get the Free Blog Plan here; we’re here to help you learn how to start your blog and grow!
100% Free Blogging Course!
Get the exact plan I followed to grow my blog from $0 to over $9,000 per month in my first year.