Hello
Chrissy Owner of OrganiseMyHouse.com

... I'm chrissy

and I've been blogging since 2010. It's now my full-time career, and I truly LOVE it. I've got SO much to share with you about how to start a blog and make money, and I'd LOVE to help you get started on this amazing journey too - so, let's get going, shall we!

BIBs Award Winner - Pinterest Award
Amara Shortlisted Blog 2019
Huffington Post Logo
Get Organized HQ Summit
APDO Logo
Badge showing this is a top 10 lifestyle blog in 2017

Blogging has truly changed my life.

I wake up every single day excited to get started, to work on one of many current interesting projects, and to be my own boss.

It’s a career path that didn’t exist a few years ago – but one that fits perfectly into every day  family life while still being challenging.

It’s a great way to mix business with pleasure (hobbies can easily be turned into successful online businesses), and it truly has the potential to make excellent money as well – what more could you want!

I wrote this post to help you decide if it’s going to do the same for you, and how to turn it into reality.

Maybe one day we’ll meet up over virtual coffee and chat about how you got started – and we can brainstorm together!

So - if you’re curious about how blogs earn money, what makes it a fantastic career, and the nitty gritty behind the scenes stuff – then you’re in the exact right place – welcome!

QUICK NOTE...

This is a LOOONG post – so get comfy – I wanted to create an ‘ultimate guide’ that would truly help you, as if we were having a chat one day about it all (and believe me – I’ve done this a few times already with some of my friends, who have gone on to start blogs of their very own!).


I want to give you as many practical answers for all those questions that you no doubt have buzzing around your head right now (I know I did when I started to realise that there was this crazy online world out there where I could do what I love AND earn money from it).

.. and I can’t wait to share all the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years (I’ve been doing this since 2010 so am practically prehistoric in blogging terms!), and help you take a quicker path to get where you want to get to (why not learn from my mistakes!).

So – let’s get started, you won’t regret it!

QUICK NOTE...

Over the course of the post I’ve given you LOADS of extra links for guides, freebies, courses and more that I truly rate. I only ever recommend things I’ve taken myself, and have found to be invaluable (and believe me – I’ve taken a lot more courses and used a lot more things that I wouldn’t recommend!) – so, with all the blogging info out there that’s difficult to know what to listen to and what to stay away from – class this as your personally curated blogging resource – and I really hope it helps you get started on the right path for you.

My hope is that you can use this as your starting point – and go from there. If you want to know anymore, I’m on open book! – sign up below to my blogging newsletter, and then you get a direct line to me!

Why should I start a blog?

1. WHY SHOULD I START A BLOG?

So many times I’ve been asked what I do, and when I say the word ‘blogging’ I usually get a response something like “why would you do that, it’s not a REAL job, how can you make money from it?’

Well – blogging is a VERY viable business option nowadays – that works for SO many people.

Here are just a few reasons why people start blogs. Take a look and think about what YOUR ‘why’ would be...

  • THE VARIETY OF ROLES – editor, SEO, marketing, PR, social media, graphic designer, photography, product creation, tech, networking, planning, strategy etc… This can be SO exciting and I know that I love the range of things I can get to do each week. No day is ever the same! Also, things are always changing – so there’s always stuff to learn. I don’t think you can ever get bored in this world because there’s no time to!
  • DO WHAT YOU LOVE – I get to talk about organising every day – and I LOVE organising! You get to pick what you talk about – and that’s very powerful! You can share your passion with others – and form a network of like-minded people. A lot of people blog about their hobbies and passions – which is a GREAT way to start because you know you can talk about that for ages and not get in the least bit bored!
  • OPPORTUNITIES – I’ve travelled to the US, attended multiple conferences, met some amazing people, trained in things I never thought I’d learn, pushed myself out of my comfort zone (and loved it), and SO much more.
  • BE YOUR OWN BOSS – bliss! Seriously. I love that I get to pick my own hours, my own location, and I can work around my life rather than fit my life around work.
  • FLEXIBLE WORKING – some weeks I barely work due to other things going on – and other weeks I can work 60 hours easily. I work in the wee small hours because I enjoy that time of the day - and I don’t have to worry if my daughter’s ill and I have to take time off to look after her. It truly works well around having a family, which is why you see a lot of mums looking to start online businesses of their own when they’ve left work to start a family, but are looking to work again around their new priorities.
  • HUGE EARNING POTENTIAL. The earning potential is HUGE. I know bloggers who earn multiple 6 figures a MONTH. Seriously. I am in awe! Even just a few pounds a month would help most of us – but setting up your blog means you can tap into so much more than working hours for money. I started with a 1K a month goal in mind, and now earn much more than that – you find that once you start, you get slighting addicted to the possibilities!
Blue vase with Yellow Flowers - with wording overlaid saying ' best resources for bloggers'

2. BEST RESOURCES FOR BEGINNER BLOGGERS

So – you’ve now got your ‘why’ for starting a blog. It’s already sounding pretty good, right!

Next is to start looking around and getting more information about blogging in general.

When I started to find out about blogging, I had already left the corporate world (I was an IT Test Manager in IBM), and started my own Interior design and home organising business. I loved it, but knew that I wanted to stop trading my time for money, and so I decided that an online presence was what was needed. I didn’t at that stage know that it would take over completely – but that’s where it took me – and I happily followed! (Now I work full time on my blog, and couldn’t be happier).

The things that really piqued my interest were a handful of resources that I highly recommend you check out.

For very little (if any) cost – you can start to see a bigger overview of the blogging and online world – and you’ll start to see if it’s right for you.

Here are my favourites: -

My favourite Blogging Book for beginners (and beyond!) BY FAR: - 

HOW TO BLOG FOR PROFIT – Ruth Soukup.

She released the updated version in Jan 2020  and it's SO worth getting.

Click on the picture to find out more - OR why not listen for FREE as a new member on Audible with a 30 day trial – SIGN UP HERE

I also read lots of blogs to see what people were talking about, and I started to learn what I liked, what I didn’t – and what I would love to do myself.

Some of my favourite blogs are: -

and although I LOVE looking at the gorgeous photos, reading the interesting posts etc... - some of the most fascinating posts I found early on in my "what? you can earn from a blog?!" phase, were when people were talking about their income.

Yes – income reports are a real thing.

People happily tell you what they make, break it all down, and give you help along the way. This was what opened my eyes to the possibilities.  

PINCH OF YUM was one that I read their entire set of back copies of reports when I found them – woah!

(funny story - I actually was in a coffee shop in Manchester when I found them, and stayed there for HOURS until I'd read them all and taken notes).

They're a goldmine of information. 

A lot of bloggers write these reports for a while and then stop when they start earning very very good money as they get fidgety sharing such figures online, plus they feel like they are unrelatable to starter bloggers – but I really appreciated being able to look back and see what worked and what didn’t. I HIGHLY recommend reading some of these (google INCOME REPORTS for more!).

Then – when I started to want to know more deep dive stuff – I found podcasts. 

I would listen on my runs, in the car, on walks – everywhere!

My Favourite Podcasts that I still listen to (and read their blogs) are: -

SMART PASSIVE INCOME – Pat Flynn

AMY PORTERFIELD

FOOD BLOGGER PRO (yes, it's stemmed from Food blogging - but it's useful for any niche)


PLUS - THERE ARE LOTS OF FREEBIES TO GRAB AS WELL!

These didn’t exist when I was starting up – but I now would definitely, without hesitation – add some free downloads to this list – all of which are written by my mentor Ruth Soukup – who runs EBA (Elite Blog Academy).

This is a hugely popular training that’s expensive – but worth every penny – no matter whether you decide that this training is right for you, she has lots of free stuff as well that’s worth grabbing - here are some of the best to start your blogging journey with...

Build Your Blog Bootcamp

Build Your Blog Bootcamp

SMALL BUSINESS ROADMAP
Blog Structure Blueprint
EBA Waitlist

The EBA Blog - lots of free articles...

Sidenote – I will happily rave about EBA as I was one of the very first 100 people to do this course when it opened it’s doors back in 2014 – now over 11,000 people around the world have taken it, and it gets better and better each and every year.

Ruth is the founder, and her business now turns over multi millions – yes – she knows her stuff! She also has a fantastic teaching style – breaking things down into easy to manage chunks – with a clear roadmap for growth and success.

I love EBA so much that in 2019 I applied and was accepted into the amazing EBA VIP mastermind which was a crazy expensive (worthwhile investment) year of amazingness with ruth mentoring me and a group of 12 other women both in person in the US and through online meetings. Yes – I love EBA!

It’s worth getting on the waitlist (it only opens it’s doors once a year, so you may as well know when it does – to decide if its right for you).

Be aware – it IS pricey but I’ve earned the money I spent on the course many many many times over – and you have to invest in your business to move it forward. (You can pay in instalments, and you get lifetime access so you get any new training that is added over time – AND there’s a 100% money back guarantee which means it’s risk-free). I always say that it was the best money I spent because it was waaaay cheaper than my degree!

BLOG EQUIPMENT ESSENTIALS

Honestly - you don't need much at all when you're starting out - and I would advise that using what you have as much as possible is best because then you know what you need to upgrade first.

1

LAPTOP / COMPUTER

I use a Macbook air as it's a good mix of portability along with having enough memory and speed. 

2

MOBILE PHONE

I now have an iPhone 8Plus and this is large enough for me to use for work when out and about - and also has an AMAZING camera (I very rarely get my proper camera out, to be honest)

3

WIFI

Totally worth upgrading to fast wifi - as you're going to get frustrated beyond belief at waiting around...

still with me...?

If you’re still reading this, you’re probably on board with the fact that blogging is for you in some way.

Yey! (I'm doing a little happy dance right now...)

YOUR CHECKLIST SO FAR...

  • You’ve grabbed your EBA free stuff, 
  • you’ve got your Audible book and are listening to it in the car or when on a walk, or when cleaning the house, or at the gym...
  • you've signed up for a few podcasts
  • you've started to find some blogs you love
  • AND you've joined the EBA waitlist (there's no commitment, but at least you'll be in the know as to what's going on)
Orange tulips with glasses and laptop on a plain background

– so now it’s time to start brainstorming what you want to do with a blog of your very own….

(This is SO exciting – I LOVE starting from scratch, and miss that part of it in so many ways… - ENJOY IT!)

Just Begin
Home Office background with words overlaid saying how to find your blogging niche

3. HOW TO FIND A NICHE 

(WHAT DO YOU BLOG ABOUT...?)

If you have no clue what to write about, then you’re definitely not alone!.

There are SO. MANY.CHOICES out there, that you can be paralysed with picking your own niche.

Because - yes, you want to stand out in the crowd, and yes, you want to enjoy running a blog – but how do you pick a blog topic that will work for you for the long term?

Well – it doesn’t have to be hard – just follow these 3 steps: -


STEP #1 – BRAINSTORM BLOG TOPIC IDEAS


The first step to picking the RIGHT blog topic for you is to ask yourself some questions – as these will give you real insight to what you probably should be focusing on in some form or another: –

What do you truly love doing?

What do you find yourself doing/talking about a LOT?

What do other people come to you for advice for, or complement you for regularly?

What do you do in your spare time?

What do you read / listen to / watch?

Blogging is hard work. You're writing and thinking about it 24/7 at times – so you really need to ensure that you pick a topic that you love and that you can write many posts on that would help & entertain people over the long haul.

For instance – on this blog I have over 600 posts now – and I can still think of several hundred more that I want to write. I won’t ever be short of ideas because it’s a topic that I truly love. Homemaking (specifically related to making things simple) is most definitely the right niche for me.

ACTION : Spend 10 minutes with a pen and paper and brainstorm topics that fit the questions above. Just keep writing and see where it takes you – you may be surprised at the results! (want inspiration? - see the list below!)

Pink flowers in vase with laptop on table - and title wording overlay

(The ones in CAPITALS are more broad themes, with some possible sub topics below each one).

  • HOMEMAKING – Cleaning - Organising
  • INTERIORS - Design tips & inspiration - A renovation you’re doing - A specific style (industrial, shabby chic etc…) – Downsizing - Living in a small home
  • BUDGETING – Saving - Coupons and deals - Ways to make money - Planning for the future
  • PARENTING & FAMILY - Family life - Specific issues (breast feeding, Autism, sleeping etc…) – Babies – Pregnancy – Teenagers - Twins and Multiples - Being a single parent - Blended families – Divorce - Homeschooling
  • FITNESS – Yoga – Running – Weights – Walking - For beginners - At home fitness
  • HEALTH - Dealing with specific illness - Mental Health - Physical Health - Dieting
  • FOOD - Allergy specific - Family friendly - Testing recipes from recipe books - Vegan / Vegetarian etc.. – Baking - Sweet Stuff – Entertaining - A specific genre (chinese, indian, mexican etc..)
  • FASHION – Kids – Womens – Mens – Teens – Maternity - On a budget - Top end fashion
  • BEAUTY – Hair – Makeup - Skincare
  • BLOGGING & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • WORKING & BUSINESS - Working from home - Being a working mum - Work-life balance
  • A SPECIFIC SKILL YOU HAVE
  • TRAVEL - Living abroad - Travel on a budget - Family travel - Beach holidays - Train journeys to go on – Cruises - Travelling with children - 5 star travel - City breaks – Camping - Holidaying in a specific area/country
  • HOBBIES – Crafts – DIY – Drawing – Golf – Art – Football – Dance – Music – Sailing – Gardening - A popular game (chess, a computer game etc…) - Hiking
  • SELF HELP - Life coaching – Marriage – Motivation - Time Management - Personal Development – Meditation – Productivity – Habits - Religion
  • LIFESTYLE – your life in general
  • PETS & ANIMALS



STEP #2 – ARE YOU VERY NICHE, OR MORE GENERAL?


At this stage you may well have a few choices that you love and would want to write about.

You now have to work out whether it’s best to pick a narrow niche or a board niche – and that is totally up to you of course.

Think about an overall theme, and then what categories you may want to write about – basically how it would fit together, and if that makes sense.

For example – I write almost exclusively about homemaking and making life simple – but I have several categories as this is a very broad topic. I love the fact that I can write about pretty much anything related to home life, as long as I keep my overall blog focus in mind.

Some bloggers really do talk about anything and everything (often called lifestyle bloggers), some have very very niche subjects (i.e. talking about one specific thing exclusively), and others are somewhere in between.

The key is to ensure that you are happy with how your blog will come together…

ACTION : Drill down your blog topic ideas into what you think would work together – or one specific topic you are passionate about.

STEP #3 – IS YOUR CHOSEN TOPIC REALLY RIGHT FOR YOU?


The next set of questions in this process would be to understand the sort of blog that you could see yourself running over the next few years.

This is crucial because sometimes it can show up a mis-match between your passions and your goals (for example – you may love eating food and so think about writing a food blog, but you hate photography which is a key part of food blogging, so this would be a mismatch. Another example would be a blog about children – but you won’t want to talk about kids when yours are grown up…).

Here are some questions to help this process: –

  • Can I think of at least 50 possible blog posts for this topic?
  • How could I monetise this niche? (would I want ads, my own products, affiliate products etc…)
  • What parts of blogging do I think I will struggle with? (writing, photography, video, audio, technical stuff etc…)
  • What parts of blogging do I think I will enjoy the most?
  • Is this topic better kept as a hobby rather than a business?
  • Will I be happy to write about this topic for the next 5 years?
  • Can you think of a variety of post types that would work for this niche to make the blog interesting (video, reviews, Tutorials, top 10 list posts, your experiences, interviews with others etc…)

ACTION : Look at your chosen blog topic ideas, and check that you are happy that it(they) fit with your goals for your blog for the future.

got your idea? yey! let's move on...

4. WHAT SHOULD YOU NAME YOUR BLOG?

Choosing a name comes in 2 parts – not only do you need to choose a name you are happy with and that defines your blog – but it also has to be a name that’s available for you to use – so let’s get this done!


STEP #1 – CHOOSING YOUR BLOGS NAME


This is the really fun part!

Start to brainstorm potential names for your blog.

You can get inspiration from a variety of places: –

  • If your blog is about a certain topic – what words spring to mind when you think about that topic?
  • What type of reader do you think you will have – and what words relate to them the most?
  • Do you want a fun / serious / educational blog? – what type of blog are you creating?
  • Decide on whether you want the blogs name to be directly related to the content you will write, or a more abstract name or phrase. Think about the possibility of if you should change your blogs topic(s) over time and whether it would still work OK.
  • Will the name last? for example – if you are talking about blogging as a mum of one child, and want to pick something like then if you are planning on having more then maybe a more general parenting name would work better. (THINK ABOUT LONGEVITY)

You can literally pick any name you like for your url (OrganiseMyHouse.com made total sense for me as it does what it says on the tin!), but after you have chosen some great words or sets of words, then here are my guidelines to ensure that those words will work for you: –

  • What does it look like written down? What does it look like when typed into google? (some words look like other words when put together and you don’t want any unfortunate words created!)
  • Avoid hyphens as this makes it harder to type and remember
  • Avoid strange words that are hard to spell or remember
  • Avoid phrases or words that have different meanings in different countries if you are going for a worldwide audience (Organise was a difficult word for me as in America it’s spelt with a Z instead of an S so I worried that this would backfire on me – but I wanted to be true to the way I spelt it – and it has been fine so far!)
  • Something that is easy to remember
  • Something that isn’t too similar to a site that already exists (you don’t want to tread on anyones toes, infringe copyright, or confuse your readers)
  • Something that is easy to type
  • Something that works when you say it out loud as well – that’s easy to say and you don’t have to explain too much

ACTION : Give some time to choosing your blogs name, as it would be a real headache to change it later down the line and you want to avoid that as much as possible.

Let it sink in for a few days, and run the idea past people you trust. If you still love it after this time then you are onto something!

Ideally I’d suggest having a few options at this stage, because the next part of this step may show you that you can’t actually use what you really wanted to use after all……


STEP #2 – IS YOUR CHOSEN NAME AVAILABLE?


Now is the time to make sure that your choice of name isn't being used elsewhere...

I use reg-123 to find out if my blog’s name has been taken already – but there are lots of other sites that can do this as well (just do a google search for domain name registration sites).

Ideally you would want something that is completely available in the main domain extensions you think people will try and find you using (.com, .co.uk etc…) – so keep searching on different names until you get something that you like the look of.

FYI - I have organisemyhouse.com as my domain name, but I also bought organisemyhouse.co.uk and forward that domain to my main one, as there may be people in my own country that type in that domain extension instead and I don’t want them not to find it.

But wait – even if the domain name is available – you still have to do some more checks….

  • Do a google search for the name or parts of the name, and find out if anyone is using something similar already
  • Look at business names / registered trademarks etc… in your country to check nothing is already used that may be copyright or legally unavailable.
  • Are people already using that name on social media? (You will want to register your blog with all the favourites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter – so make sure no-one is already using your exact name on those as you want to avoid confusion if at all possible)
  • As much as you possibly can, make sure that you can use your domain name in all places you would want to use it – and that it will not be confused with anyone else’s business/blog.

Once you’ve gone through this process (and it may take some time to find something that works on all fronts), you are ready to create your blog! – woohoo!

Great work – you will not regret spending that time to really think about your blog before you start – because you are creating a brand and you want to get it as right as you can right at the start.

ACTION : When you’ve decided on your name, then buy your domain name (I use reg-123), and grab your name on all the social media platforms. This will make sure no one else grabs them if it takes you a few days to get back to it. You REALLY don’t want to lose the name you want because you waited… (The worst that can happen – is that after a couple of days you change your mind. You will have only lost a few pounds on the domain name – so it’s worth just getting it tied down quickly)

Make Things Happen

5. HOW TO SET UP YOUR BLOG

And now comes the setting up of your blog on the domain you've bought.

It’s exciting – but VERY daunting. It daunted me, even though I had an IT background – so don’t worry.

There's plenty of help out there though - and I'd fully recommend looking at EBAs 'Build Your Blog Bootcamp' - as this is a one stop shop that will take you through everything.... (it's only open at certain points, but it's FREE!).

Another FANTASTIC resource that takes you step by step through the process that's written by a blogger I LOVE learning from (she really knows her stuff!) - is the START A BLOG BOOTCAMP.

But for now, I want to explain a little about the framework around a blog – as it can seem really daunting when you start out.

Basically you're here because you want to end up with a site that you can add articles and pictures to easily and quickly – one that looks good and you are proud of. You’ve got something to share with the world and need a way to do that….

To do this you need to have: –

  • Your own website – so you will need a url that represents your site. {ADDRESS} (you've already got this if you've followed this post and done the actions - woohoo!)
  • Once you have your url you will need space on the web to create your site and let the world see it. You get a HOST to do this for you. They simply allow people to see your url and what’s on it. {SERVICES}

QUICK NOTE...

When I started I used HOSTGATOR** and never had any issues with them as a hosting company so am happy to recommend them to you (another popular starting host would be BLUEHOST** whom I have never personally used but know and trust many people that are very happy with their service).

Other services I have used and would recommend for growth as well would be SITEGROUND and BIGSCOOTS (which is what I currently use).

  • To get things on the site, you need to have a platform to do it easily (otherwise you would be coding it yourself which wouldn’t be easy!) – and WordPress.org offers the industry standard for this. You simply install WordPress onto your site, and then you are ready to go!. {FOUNDATIONS}. Most hosts can help you add WordPress to your site - and once it's on there you can access to the admin part of your site by typing in https://yoururl.com/wp-admin/
  • To make your site look great, you can add a Theme – which is simply code that makes it look the way you want - and plugins which can help your site to do certain functionality you want. You can play around with themes and plugins at the start to get exactly what you want – but when you have something you are happy with (at least for now!) you can start writing articles and creating your site. Exciting hey! {DECOR}

QUICK NOTE...

When you’ve decided on the theme you want – you simply buy it and download the files to your computer and upload to your site. For my theme I use Genesis framework with RESTORED316 Cultivate theme right now - and am really pleased with it. There are thousands of themes out there - so my recommendation would be to pick one that's update regularly, made by a reputable company, and has functionality that you need. You CAN change over time (and I have a few times), but it's best to start on a strong foundation. Other great places to find themes are WoothemesThemeforest.netElegantthemes.comWordPress.org itself, and studiopress.com

  • The last step is optional - but I highly recommend - and that's to secure your site against hackers and other nasties. Also getting backups running is worth its weight in gold because you can always restore to a backup if you should mess anything up accidentally (who, me?!). For this I use (and am VERY happy with) SUCURI.
Crucial Things Your Blog Must Have

6. 23 THINGS A BLOG MUST HAVE

(& THE TOOLS TO USE)

It can be almost impossible when starting a blog to know what “blog must haves” you need to include for success.

There are no key places to go to look up what’s needed, and joining a course may or may not give you everything (some things are dependant on country that you are in, for example). 

As such, I wanted to look at the essential things to include in your blog that I have worked out over time.

This includes crucial pages, tech stuff, and things to make your readers happy. I hope it helps you understand a little more of what’s required.

Remember that this is YOUR business, and you are responsible.

It’s not just a fun thing to do – there ARE some things that you simply MUST HAVE to be a true blogger, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

This is by no means meant to scare you, not many bloggers have been caught out by not doing something properly – but the few who have have definitely learned from that – and so have we all when we found out about these cases. I am sure that as the online world grows there will be more to look at – so it makes sense to make steps towards keeping your blog up to date from the outset.

Just DO YOUR BEST!

As such – let’s get going on what I would consider to be the main blog must haves for right now.

ACTION : My advice from the outset to you is to join a few groups that you can trust for advice and updates on what’s going on in the blogging / online world. Facebook is great for this, but ideally you want to find a group associated with a training that you have done that you’ve got a lot out of and that you trust. This is a lesser thought of benefit of trainings, but they can be a goldmine of advice and info for keeping up to date with the latest news. My recommendation would be (of course!) to look at EBA training which I am affiliate of – because their Facebook group has bloggers from all countries and at all stages, and everyone is so helpful - you can ask everything!


#1 - GDPR COMPLIANCE

GDPR was pretty much all most bloggers were talking about / worrying about at the start of 2018. It was an EU law that was brought in to protect peoples privacy online.

As a reader of other sites online, I was totally for this change. It meant that no-one could email you unless you had specifically signed up for it (no more spam emails, hopefully!), and that any data you gave a site would be better protected. This was specifically for EU residents, but the web being the web, it meant that online business owners worldwide needed to comply because their sites were still likely to be visited and used by EU residents.

As a blog owner – learning about the changes that I need to implement, and making those changes, took up a good month of my blogging life – and was a headache to say the least.

BUT I am SO glad I now have a good understanding of GDPR because I am as sure as I can be that my site is compliant.

I would highly recommend getting legal advice for this – and I used the amazing Suzanne Dibble who is a UK lawyer specialising in this stuff – you can find out more in her free Facebook group (see what I mean about Facebook groups being handy!) – and you can buy her GDPR pack as well** (I am an affiliate – and firmly believe in it. I bought it and used it to update all the policies I will talk about in the next few points, along with SO much more….).


#2, 3, 4 and 5 - POLICIES

I’ve bundled these 4 together because some bloggers have them as separate pages on their site (like me), and other blend them together somewhat. You should of course do what you feel is right for you and your readers.

Links to them ALL should be available on each page of your site – so I recommend doing as I do and having them in your footer (scroll to the bottom of this page to see mine in action!).

For the Privacy and Cookie Policies specifically I paid for the wording, and changed according to my blog – but make sure yours is written specifically for you, and ideally from a lawyer (this is where the GDPR legal pack** was invaluable to me).

PRIVACY POLICY – Tells a reader exactly how you will use their data, and how safe it is.

COOKIE POLICY – Tells a reader how cookies are used on your site, and why they’re needed.

DISCLAIMER – Goes through what you are and are not responsible for in terms of what you write about, comments, social media etc….

DISCLOSURE – Specifically states things like where you receive compensation for what you blog about, and how you earn your money etc…


#6 - AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE ON EACH POST

Along with your disclosure policy you need to be even more obvious with your reader about whether you have earned or will earn from anything you put on your blog. Most readers, after all, won’t know to look at a Disclosure Policy before they click an affiliate link within a post, or whether you have been paid to review a specific product in a post – for example.

As such, I have a statement at the top of each and every post that says something like (it changes every so often): –

This post may contain affiliate links (shown as **). To find out more about these links please Click HERE

I like to also show my affiliate links when in situ by adding a ** to them as well – and some bloggers put (affiliate link) by the side of the links. It really is up to you how you do it as there isn’t a one-rule-for-all as yet – but take a look around at other blogs and see how they do it.

NOTE - Some companies need specific disclosure statements in specific places on your site – such as Amazon. These can also be dependant on where you are based. Please make sure you comply with these because otherwise you may be kicked off their respective affiliate networks.


#7 - PROPER USE OF PICTURES

Basically – you can only use pictures on your site of the following types: –

  • Anything you have specifically photographed (always the best way as you know for definite they are OK to use, and they show more of your personality)
  • Any images you have paid for (as long as you paid for the right use – check their terms for whether you can use for what you want). Also check whether you need to give credit (a link under the photo) as part of the agreement as well)
  • Any images from sites that state specifically they are free to use without obligation (Copyright free). Unsplash is one of these such sites that I use at times, they are great because you don’t need to give credit for the photos if you don’t want to, and you can use them for anything you like. However - there have been issues with some photos being uploaded without the originators permission - which is a very grey area...
  • Any images from blogs where they state that you can use one photo if you give credit back, or that you have asked for and gained permission directly from the blog owner.

QUICK NOTE...

To make pictures look amazing - and to add writing to them, I use CANVA and PICMONKEY - I highly recommend both, and I have the premium versions as these are worth the cost.


#8 - START HERE PAGE

Always good to include, because it gives new readers a definite place to, well, get started! You can include first steps to take, an invite to join your newsletter, a run-down of what your site’s about – whatever you want to really – but it’s main goal is to draw a reader in and make them feel like they are in the right place for their needs.


#9 - ABOUT PAGE

This is more of a CV/resume about you. You can be personal and have your story if it’s relevant to your blog theme, or more business oriented and have information about awards your blog has received, and information about why you do what you do.


#10 - PICTURES OF YOU

Having your personality on your site is what makes it stand out from the crowd. Yes, there may be several thousand budgeting bloggers out there for example – but YOU are what makes your frugal themed blog your readers favourite.

You HAVE to put your personality and voice into your blog, and one of the first steps to that is to put a face to your name. You could add your photo on your about page, on your sidebar, on your home page, within posts, in your emails – wherever works for you – but make sure it’s there!


#11 - YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

People won’t search Facebook for your page, they just want to be told where to go to find you there – so don’t miss out on visits to all your social media networks and have icons clearly visible that readers can click.


#12 - CONTACT PAGE

Whether it be a reader wanting to give you feedback or chat about something, a PR company wanting to contact you about some sponsored work, or a potential customer needing to get in touch – you NEED to make it easy for people to get in touch


#13 - MEDIA PAGE

If you want to work with brands and do any sponsored work, then you will want to include a media page as well.

This is where you can show what work you have done with brands before, and even give an idea of your stats for your site so that PR companies and brands can get more information about how great you are to work with!

Some of what you may want to include would be: –

  • Links to previous sponsored posts and work you have done for brands before
  • Your target market – who reads your blog
  • Your blog stats – page views, unique visitors, social media numbers etc…
  • Any awards and exposure you’ve had (media coverage etc…)
By the way – some people like to create a media pack for their blog – which is a specific pdf with loads more details of your blog and also rates you charge and work you are happy to do. I like to give more basic info on my media page, and then get them to contact me to request my media pack – that way I can see who is interested and talk directly to them at the same time


#14 - GENERAL SIGNUP OPTIN

Having somewhere for readers to signup to your newsletter is crucial. The easiest way is to simply add a subscription box to your sidebar, on your homepage, or even have a specific landing page set up – the choice is yours!


#15 - SPECIFIC OPTINS

The other option for signups that works even better than a straight forward signup request is to give away something as a freebie.

As an aside – You HAVE to say that they are going to become a subscriber and will get x for free as a gift from you – OR give them the freebie and then invite them to join your list specifically (for GDPR compliance!).

I have specific signups on my site - the Printables Library, and my 'How Organised Are You?' Quiz

QUICK NOTE...

The first thing you should be doing when you start a blog is to start your email list. This will give you so much – and help you talk directly to your readers.

 I LOVE Active Campaign for this as you can do so much with it. You can create automations that take your readers through sequences of emails, and tag readers that do certain things so you can send them much more targeted emails that they will enjoy. It really is a win-win.


#16 - SOCIAL SHARING BUTTONS

I can’t state how important it is to have social sharing buttons on each post / page you have on your site.

If your readers want to share your content, then you need to make it as easy for them as possible.

Clicking on a button that shares that post immediately is a no-brainer for them – but be sure that they won’t bother if they have to copy your url and paste it into their social media of choice and write their own words…..


#17 - SHARING POLICY MENTION

I talked about photos in point #7, but it is highly likely that you will absolutely WANT other bloggers to use your photos on their sites.

Why? Well – you can specifically state that using 1 picture from a post is fine with you AS LONG AS YOU GET A CREDIT IN THE FORM OF A LINK TO THAT POST.

This will mean that you get all-important backlinks to your site, and your work is being shown to a whole other readership. You can see my sharing policy in my sidebar – I have it there to make it very clear that I am happy as long as the sharing is done on my terms.


#18 - SITEMAP

A sitemap can be thought of as a chart that shows how your blog has been put together. It will map out what categories, tags, pictures, posts, pages etc… you have – and is used by Google to help them index your blog so you can start to appear in searches.

(You can create a sitemap AND submit it to Google through the Yoast plugin, the easiest way!).


#19 - SEARCH BAR

Having a search bar at the top of your sidebar makes it even easier for your readers to find what they’re looking for.


#20 - NAVIGATION MENU

Think carefully about your blog structure, and what you will include in your menu. Make use of dropdown menus to give readers more choice


#21 - MOBILE RESPONSIVE-NESS

In todays world MOST people will look at your blog on their phones, and so you need to make sure that everything about it is mobile friendly.

This starts with your choice of blog theme. Ensure that you choose one that’s mobile responsive because that will do the hard work for you in terms of moving items around and making it easy to navigate on a smaller screen.


#22 - GOOD TEXT SIZE & READABILITY

For any website, it’s easier to read words when the text is a decent size, and the font is clear.

You may be tempted to have a light grey font in a handwriting effect – but trust me – this will turn off readers as they won’t want to take the time to read more slowly – they will simply move on to the next blog that has easy to read words.

It’s a simple thing – but really does make a massive difference, and can’t be overlooked.


#23 - LOGO & BRANDING

Last but not least – a good logo and clear branding will help your readers know it’s you wherever they find your work. Having your logo and brand colours on your pictures means that when they come across them on Pinterest or Social Media they will immediately know it’s you, and that can only be a good thing!

15 Blog Post Types for Big Traffic


7. 15 BLOG POST TYPES FOR BIG TRAFFIC

The first step along the path to increased traffic is to create amazing content that will attract your readers and bring them back again and again.

This list of blog post types will help you to write posts that your readers will love, and are all posts that I’ve tried over the years so I’ve got some examples for you as well that should help see exactly what I mean! – so let’s get going…


#1 – LISTS

I’ve added these at the number one spot for a reason. They are hands-down the most popular posts for most blogs.

The reason being that readers like to know that they will be getting easy to consume and quick ideas – and also will know roughly what they will get before they click through.

Some of my most popular posts that are list formatted are: – 101 Items to get rid of without regret – shared over 140K times, 52 Habits that will change your life – shared over 55K times, 25 Easy Morning Habits to try – shared over 7K times

Posts like this can be AMAZING at driving loads of traffic for months or even years to come. I can pretty much guarantee that when I look at my real time stats in Google Analytics, there will be people reading these posts – which is fantastic!

If you can make a post into a list – then do it! – especially is you pick a topic that’s evergreen (i.e. won’t go out of date).


#2 – QUICK TIPS / ADVICE

Another favourite with readers, because you are helping them with either something quick and easy that they can do and see results, OR you are giving them something to think about that they may not have thought about before.

Examples - Why you should always put your home to bed every night6 things to do every Sunday to be prepared for the week aheadWhy “Filing” is better than “stacking”


#3 – SERIES

Ideally each blog post that you write should answer/refer to one specific point.

Sometimes (OK, OK, a lot of the time) you will be tempted to carry on writing and your post will become far too long and try and cover far too many points.

(Side note: there is NOTHING wrong with long blog posts, they are actually a good thing – BUT if they cover too much then you may leave your reader confused…)

As such, think about whether it would work better as a series of posts instead.

You can have one post talking about each specific point, and link to each one in each post (great for internal linking, which Google LOVES!).

My “How to organise your Wardrobe” is an old series that is in need of updating, but I split this into 4 separate posts and it does great! I will at some point make each post cover a very specific point – but you can get the idea of what I mean by linking posts to each other.

I have also made mini-series’ on the blog for certain topics – where I have written specific posts about a subject, but interlinked them – a great example is my HOME MANAGEMENT BINDER series.


#4 – CHALLENGE

Readers LOVE challenges! They are also a great way to get new subscribers – as you can send the challenge via email as well as post on the blog.

I have done a few different challenges over the years – the first was a 100 day quick organising tasks challenge, where I posted on the blog each day for 3 months a quick challenge and some tips and advice to help achieve it.

This increased my page views because people were checking back daily for the next challenge, but it was EPIC to create, and I would never recommend doing something this long, unless you are charging for it!.

I have since taken it off the site and I produced a new challenge that is also very successful: – the 30 Day Clutter Blitz.

I actually don’t have this challenge on my site, because it was built as an email subscriber generator as a priority – but I do get lots of traffic to the landing page for signing up, and from a few hidden pages for those taking the challenge, and the people that do the challenge usually hang around and look through the blog which drives traffic as well.

TIP – If you do a free challenge for traffic – consider writing no more than 5-7 days of challenge for free – as it will save you so much time and still drive traffic in a great way.


#5 – HOW TO / STEP BY STEP GUIDE

We all look on the web for help when we want to learn something – so think about what your readers will be asking to learn, and create some meaty posts as guides and how-to’s for them.

Some examples from my site that are popular are: –

How to fold a fitted sheetHow to successfully declutter anything in your homeHow to create a cleaning schedule that really worksHow to make a Home Management Binder – step by step guide


#6 – RESOURCES / TOOLS / FAVOURITES

Again – what do your readers want help with? You can really help by offering resources to them that will genuinely help.

I have a Printables Library, and a Products to Love page that do really well for pages views, and these have something important in common for this type of post – they are HUB pages.

Basically – you can create extra pages on your site that will collate things together for your readers – and help them to find stuff they want to read. You can drive traffic to this page and then you will increase page views because you will have click throughs from your links.

Category hub pages work well for this – for example, my Holidays Category has some info at the top, shows off my products and then offers all the other posts in that category. If you wanted to plan your summer holidays then this would be a fantastic page to find, and you would be likely to stay on the site for a while.


#7 – FREEBIE

Everyone loves a freebie!

A lot of the internet is full of people wanting money for products, and yes, as a blogger wanting to make money you’ll probably be offering products at some point as well – BUT it’s always good to have some freebies on your site as well.

If you can drive traffic through to your freebies, then you will start people on the journey with you. You will earn their trust, hopefully give them things that are truly useful, and they will likely stick around for the longer term.

I write posts for each freebie I offer on my site, from TO DO lists, to Planner Pages, to Checklists for specific posts. You will drive much traffic if you gives stuff away!


#8 – INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION

A lot of searches on the internet are due to people not really knowing what to do next in whatever they are up to. They may be unmotivated, or they may need some inspiration as they are stuck.

Whatever you write about, make sure there are some great motivational and inspirational posts in the mix. You will find that readers love these because they are speaking directly to their worries.

I like giving inspiration by showing ideas from around the web (so you can save them time by doing the searching for them), quotes for a specific topic, or just general positivity.


#9 – SEASONAL

People are ALWAYS searching for things that are time specific – so try and work out some great posts that will work for whatever season, holiday, month etc.. you’re in.

Even if you don’t think you write about seasonal things – you can find a way to get this into your post and make it timely.

For instance – you may write about blogging. What about writing a post on “What you should be doing in Q4 to increase your Blogs Income”, or do a Christmas Gift Guide for a Blogger.

If you think outside the box a little, there are ways to introduce seasonality into your blog pretty easily, and drive traffic year round.

Some examples from my blog are Christmas Tips, Spring Cleaning, and New Years Resolutions. I also have a popular post on “How to get organised year round” which works for whatever month you’re in!


#10 – DEFINITION

Whatever niche you’re in – there are terms that people may not understand.

Create posts to help them learn about each one – and you’ll drive traffic quickly. They are also really useful to be able to link to in other posts you write because you may well use the term(s) a lot.

Some posts I’ve written are: –

The A to Z of Home StagingThe A to Z of Blogging TermsWhat is Clutter? The Meaning Revealed (it may surprise you!)


#11 – ANSWERING A QUESTION

I find myself asking google a LOT of questions each week – and your readers will be doing the same. Why not make sure they get your blog in the results Google offers them by answering specific questions in your posts?

You could ask your readers, and do a series of reader questions, or do an FAQ page on your site that links to all the posts where you answer questions – the list really is endless!

Here are some examples of ways I’ve answered question in posts – whether the title has been the answer, the method, OR the actual question: –

1. QUESTION – What do I put in a Home Management Binder? – POST – What to put in a Home Management Binder

  1. QUESTION – How do I get organised? POST – How to be organised all year
  2. QUESTION & POST! – How long should I keep financial paperwork for?


#12 – UPDATES & NEWS

I don’t write a lot of these types of posts, because I like to keep my updates and news to my emails – but each blogger is different, and I know that I LOVE to read posts about bloggers updates and news – so you pick whether this would work for you.

Some amazing traffic can be driven to your site for things like income reports, or you can drive your email subscribers to a post each month about your blog etc….

I usually only write a post for a new product launch, as this works well to drive traffic for me – here’s an example for when I launched my Clutter eBook.


#13 – REVIEWS & COMPARISONS

Another fantastic way to drive traffic is to look at what products your ideal reader would be looking at purchasing or using – and reviewing them.

(QUICK TIP – Adding the word “review” will help drive traffic because that’s what people tend to put in their search when they are thinking about buying something)

Whether it be a specific product review, or a comparison post of several different products – these can really help your reader.

Just be totally honest and up front about your thoughts, and never be afraid of saying the negatives as well as the positives, because your readers will thank you for that!

Some examples from my site: –

QUIDCO reviewThe best coat hangers you can get for your wardrobeLeesa MattressOttoman Beds


#14 – SECRETS

We all love a bit of gossip – so if you can make a post feel like the reader will learn something secret and/or new – you may well hit gold!

The secret to a successful morning routine….A peek inside a Professional Organisers kit10 Productivity Secrets organised people use everyday


#15 – MISTAKES

Last but by no means least – no-one wants to be doing things the wrong way…

You can twist around the perspective of a subject by making it things NOT to do, or mistakes that you shouldn’t be making etc… – and these can often be really popular.

10 Mistakes to always avoid when getting rid of clutterThe 6 biggest filing mistakes people make7 Common TO DO list mistakes, and how to fix them


And there you have it!

Whether you decide to use them all, or stick to a few of them – that’s totally your call – but I would definitely say to try them out and see what resonates with your readers.

Some will work like a charm, others not so much, but until you try them out you can only guess what they will be. I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised at the results, because I am always surprised at what works and what doesn’t on my blog!

Also – you can see that for some of these they actually fit a few of the blog post types – there are lists within several sections, for instance. It’s brilliant if you can do this, because you’ll hopefully hit a home run!

And lastly – always keep in mind that you need to be creating high quality content that people are looking for. Getting traffic means you have got your post title and description right, which is fantastic – but if your post delivers high quality content, that reader will be back for more and your traffic will keep going up and up.

That’s what’s called the holy grail of blogging!

8. WHY YOU DESERVE TO EARN MONEY FROM YOUR BLOG

There are a number of good reasons why earning money from your blog is a good idea: –

#1 – BLOGGING COSTS

However small an investment starting a blog is, there IS still a certain amount of cost involved (hosting, domain name, a laptop etc…) – and so it makes sense to earn some of that money back if you can.


#2 – YOU COULD CREATE A NEW CAREER

I never for a second thought that blogging would become a full-time gig for me – but here I am, doing just that! – and loving every second. My point is that even if you start a blog as a hobby, you never know what it may lead to – and earning a living from it could be a real possibility.


#3 – YOU’RE SPENDING A LOT OF TIME DOING THIS!

OMG blogging really does take time. A LOT of time!

On average when I started blogging seriously, I was working on my site 40+ hours a week. Properly full time (my day job became part time!).

Now, I work slightly less than that, probably nearer 35 hours a week – and as time goes on my plan is to work less hours as I will have done a lot of the hard work up front (creating products, having a lot of posts written, setting up email and the tech side etc…).

But still, it’s a big chunk of time that you will be spending – so why not get paid for your time? I don’t know many people who wouldn’t want to earn a little bit back, even if it’s just a part time/hobby thing for you….

5 Ways to make money from a blog

9. 5 WAYS TO MAKE MONEY FROM A BLOG

So – hopefully you’ve decided that making your blog pay is a sensible idea.

Whether you’re just wanting to cover the costs of blogging, or create a business which will pay the bills (and more!), then you need to consider how blogs make money, and decide whether any or all of these are things that you want to add to your own blog.

So – let’s go shall we!


#1 – ADVERTISING

This is a really popular way of earning from your blog because it doesn’t require your readers to buy anything, and it’s fully passive income.

You basically put ads on your site (you choose where, but common places are in the sidebar, above each post, within posts, and at the bottom of the page), and you get paid a very small amount for every 1000 page views you have. This amount varies from site to site depending on what you are talking about, how competitive the niche is, and what ads you use.

TIP – Keep in mind that you want to create the right balance between earning from ads that are placed in great positions (some positions earn more than others) – and reader experience. Never overfill your site with ads as you won’t have readers for long….

Here are some of the most common ways to use ads: –


GOOGLE ADSENSE

To get started, most bloggers (me included) use Google Adsense.

You sign up, and they give you code to add to your site. You can put the ads wherever you like, and you get paid monthly (once you reach a minimum payment amount). It’s really easy, and a quick way to monetise your site – however, you don’t tend to earn a lot from this method (although every penny counts!).


PRIVATE ADS

Some companies may contact you direct (or you can go to them) with an offer of adding an ad to your site for a certain amount of money. You can set the amount (usually dependant on your traffic levels – or based on what you get from your Google Ads so you are getting a comparable amount for the space), and they will give you the code to add to your site.

I did this a little at the start, but as it was more work to keep on top of which ads I had, when they had to be up on the site and when they had to be taken down etc… It wasn’t a good fit for me. Some bloggers make a great income from this though, and I may revisit at some point now I’m bigger.


AD NETWORKS

This is my favourite way to have ads on my site – because you can leave it to the people who can get the best income for each ad space you have on your site.

Most ad networks have criteria to join, usually page views per month – and that’s why you are best using Google Adsense or private ads at first, while you’re growing.

I have used 2 ad networks during my years blogging – firstly was The Blogger Network, which is now called Monumetric. They were great and needed 10,000 page views per month to join.

When I got to 100,000 page views a month – I moved to Adthrive. I had heard such good things about this company (it was actually formed by a bloggers husband originally to meet the need for easy advertising), and I have LOVED it so much. Ad revenue for me now is around $10 per 1,000 page views, and so is a good chunk of income each month that I can pretty much rely on.


#2 – AFFILIATES

I had never heard of affiliates before I started blogging, and my mind was blown once I did!. The basic idea is that you talk about someone else’s product or service on your own site, and if your reader clicks through and buys that item, you will get a small commission.

Everyone wins here. The product owner does this because they may not have got the business otherwise, you are earning from the links, and your reader is getting great recommendations that will help them. Readers don’t pay anything more for going through your link, your commission is paid through the product owner.

TIP – ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS only promote items that you truly love and that you use yourself. Don’t sell out for commission. Your readers will trust you if you do this, and you won’t feel like you are selling rubbish. Be true to your values.

TIP – Although there are thousands and thousands of affiliate opportunities out there, you will always be better off if you stick to a select few products that you absolutely believe in and trust. You can go deep into marketing these, rather than spread yourself thin with trying to market everything!

TIP – It is now mandatory that if you are using affiliate links in your blog you have to disclose them – and this disclosure has to be before the link itself (you can see at the top of all my posts I have an affiliate disclosure statement, and I link to my full disclosure policy). I also use ** by any affiliate links to try and make it even more clear. Different affiliate companies require different disclosures – for instance, Amazon have specific wording that needs to be on your site. Don’t worry about all this – it’s easy – for now though you just need to know that telling your audience you are an affiliate is KEY. (This is the same for social media as well – just think of people who are talking about products online that haven’t disclosed a relationship – you may be more likely to buy because you think they are talking about that product through the goodness of their heart, whereas they may have been paid to talk about it). Adding #ad or #affiliate before the link is usually good enough (but check this out as things change constantly).

Here are some of the most common affiliate methods to try: –


AMAZON AFFILIATES

I don’t think there’s any people who are online that haven’t bought something from Amazon** (affiliate link – see what I did there!) – and they sell pretty much everything! They have their own affiliate membership that you can join (with specific terms etc…), and although the commission is pretty small (1-5% on average), every penny counts!


DIRECT WITH THE COMPANY

Just as Amazon have their own affiliate system set up, so do other companies. Usually you can find out at the bottom of their site whether they have their own system or whether they use a Network (see the next bullet point).

One example of a company that I promote heavily because I truly love them is Ultimate Bundles**. They have an amazing affiliate system, and you can earn 40% (or 70% if you have a product in the bundle) from each sale. I wouldn’t hesitate to promote them if they offer something that your audience would love. (For instance, I always promote their Homemaking bundle because it’s a fantastic fit for my readers and amazing value, and I also promote their Bloggers Bundle and Work at Home Bundle** to those interested in blogging because they are things I use and love as well).

On occasion, brands don’t have an affiliate system set up, or it isn’t shown on their site – so it’s always worth asking if you love the product and want to promote it as they may be able to set something up for you specifically.


AFFILIATE NETWORKS

There are companies that house multiple companies’ affiliate schemes all in one place, and these are fantastic because you get to apply to many under one roof, and then get paid in one go. Networks that I use are Affiliate Window (my favourite!), Rakuten, and CJ Affiliate.

Extra Help – If you want to learn more about Affiliate Marketing as a way to work out how make money blogging? Here are 2 eCourses I’ve taken an LOVED. They are how I am making money from affiliate marketing right now, and they go deep into things step by step: –

1. Making the most of Affiliate Marketing**

2. Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers eBook – Tasha Agruso


#3 – SPONSORSHIPS

Working directly with a brand/company is a great way of earning for your blog while offering value for your readers.

TIP – ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS only work with brands you love and believe in. Just as with affiliate earnings, you only want to work with and promote brands you love, because you are building trust with your readers. I say NO about 95% of the time to brands that email me – and although I lose out on income, it’s worth it for the longer term because I am staying true to what I believe in.


SPONSORED POSTS

You can see on my site where I have done a sponsored post (again, as with ads and affiliates, all sponsored posts and relationships need to be clearly marked so readers are aware you have been paid).

These have come about either from being approached directly from the company, or through working with a PR company. (There are also networks that offer collaborations, which I haven’t used extensively, but one I have worked with has been Nuffnang).

When you are approached, it will usually be with an idea that the brand want you to look at. Feel free to reply with your own ideas, based on what you think would work best for your audience. I always send a copy of my Media Pack as well which is purely a pdf document with my site stats and my rates etc.. on it which means that they have all the information they need in a professional way, but I don’t have to write it out again and again!).

You set your own rates – there isn’t really an industry standard. Think about how long a post will take you, what is being asked for (for instance, video takes longer than written posts, do you need to use a product for a while, do they want specific photos taken etc…), and roughly what you want/need to earn hourly. As a rough guide I charge around £1-£2 per thousand pages views that month (so, if I have 200K page views that month, I would charge a company between £200 and £400 dependant on what’s required. Or you could set a rate that averages it out – a fixed fee of £300 for example).


BLOG AMBASSADOR

When you have a truly great fit between your blog and a specific company, you may want to create a series of posts for them, work with them on their site, and generally become a spokesperson for that product/brand.

This is a great opportunity, and you can decide on what you want to offer them , over what time scales, and for what amount.


PRODUCT REVIEWS / COMPETITIONS

I offer very few of these on my own site, but actually I have been told by readers that reviews are especially useful as they trust what I have to say about things – so I may end up doing some more.

A review usually costs more than a sponsored post, because it is very specifically all about that item, and as such will get more attention than a sponsored post (which could be based around a topic related to that item rather than specifically about that item).

… and a competition is a great addition to a review as it gets people talking about it, sharing it etc….

I always ask for the product to be sent to me to review, and then charge for the post on top of that. For competitions then the brand would sort out the prizes and delivery to the winner(s), and I would charge for hosting it. Do what you feel is right for your own blog.

(It’s also worth mentioning that always try and ask companies to email me before they send a product to me, because if it’s something I don’t believe in, it won’t go on the site. Again it’s not about free stuff for you, it’s about your reader and offering them value based on what you believe in – am I sounding like a broken record yet…?!)


SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUT OUT

When you have a decent following on social media, you may well be approached to do a shout out for a product just on one of these platforms – so you can decide if this is something you want to do. Again you need to always disclose that it’s a sponsorship/ad, and again only do so if you love the product.

TIP – My rule of thumb when working with brands is whether I would talk about it even if I wasn’t being paid to do so. If the answer is YES, then it’s a good fit, and if it’s a NO then I pass.


#4 – YOUR OWN PRODUCTS

This can potentially be the best way to earn from your blog, because it’s totally your own product so you get the full income rather than a percentage, and you can provide value for your readers in exactly the way that would help them most.

Ideas for products are: –

eBooks, eCourses, Printables, Planners, Membership site, Paid for Facebook group, ‘real’ products – books, t-shirts, mugs etc…

There is always a product you could look at creating – whatever you blog about. If you’re in doubt then ask your audience, look at what they are asking you more about, or take a look at what else is selling well in your niche. You’ll find something perfect before you know it!

I sell eBooks and planners through Teachable** so I don’t have to worry about the technical side of having a shop on my site, and some other legal stuff (which I won’t bore you with now!).

TIP – You could also set up your own affiliate program for your products, and get others to sell for you as well! (Teachable let you do this really easily).


#5 – SERVICES

The last way to make money from your blog is an indirect way, but can be very lucrative.

You can earn from providing services: –

Virtual Assistant (V.A) work, Freelance writing, Speaking at conferences, on TV or Radio, Consultancy

Remember, you are an expert in what you write about, and your blog can become a C.V for your work. You also have many skills now you are blogging, and so helping others is the natural next step.

I have helped other companies on various things over the years, including being paid to be an admin on a Facebook Group, writing for other blogs, consultancy for starting a blog etc…. – and it can be a brilliant supplement to your own blogs income (or even become your main way of earning!).


WOW! – WHEN IT COMES TO HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING, THERE’S LOTS TO CONSIDER, ISN’T THERE!

The main things I want you to take away from this article though are as follows: –


#1 - DIVERSITY RULES

If you are serious about earning, then pick more than one method. You never know when one of these won’t work anymore, or when something changes (the online world is constantly moving) – and you don’t want your cash to dry up overnight….

#2 - TEST THINGS OUT

Some of these methods will work amazingly well for you, others not so much. This is dependant on your reader, your traffic levels, and so much more – so you want to start testing things out as soon as possible. For instance – if you are wanting to have ads on your site, my advice is to have them asap – from the start really – as if you try and introduce them later down the line your readers may push back. If they’ve always been there then your readers won’t really mind.

#3 - DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS RIGHT FOR YOU

If you know where you can make money blogging, you test things out and stay true to your own blog and readers, then you’ll be able to hit that sweet spot of being able to help your readers while giving them huge value AND earning a small or large income in the process.

Deep pink flowers with laptop in background, and the article title in the foreground

10. BLOGGING TRUTHS TO REMEMBER

  • TRAINING WILL SAVE YOU TIME – BUT CHOOSE WISELY– Keep learning – blogging is ALWAYS changing. Social media changes their rules, new ideas change the landscape, better software and apps are created – so you need to stay on track with what’s out there. There’s a lot of training out there, on every part of blogging you can imagine. Lots of bloggers spend a LOT of money training all the time – trying to find that secret sauce that will transform their blog. But the truth is they have to actually DO THE WORK as well – and although training is totally vital – you need to choose well, and then implement what that training says before you move on to the next one.
  • INVEST IN YOUR BLOG – You should never feel bad about investing in your blog either. For a long time, anything my blog made I put back into it – spending on things such as training, tech help, software to make life easier etc….Some of these things have honestly saved me so much more money in time than I would have spent/wasted if I’d had to do it all myself – so it really is worth it. In fact – I still to this day have quite a hefty sum for training and conferences put aside each year, because this blogging world changes so frequently and you HAVE to keep up!
  • DON'T TRY AND DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE – When you start this blogging journey, you’ll want to read as much as possible about it – and there’s a LOT out there to choose from!You will start to read from someone who has had loads of success in social media – so you add that to your TO DO list, then you’ll read about someone else who loves making products – that goes on the list as well….Before you know it – you’re trying to get all these things done at the same time and overwhelm sets in.The trick is to plan out where you want to get to eventually, and plot the route to get there. You can then work out what’s the most important thing to do right here right now, and concentrate on just that thing until you’ve mastered it. A good example of this is social media. You have seen how many different places you can be – Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon etc… – the list grows each and every week. But you can’t be everywhere at once. Pick ONE and really deep dive into that, then, when that’s up and running you can look at another one. Honestly this is the best way to go. I’ve tried doing it all at once and it’s a recipe for disaster…
  • TRY LOTS OF THINGS – You can delete things that don’t work – it’s YOUR site. You never know what will be a winner – and it usually is the one thing you wouldn’t expect
  • LESS IS MORE - Quality over quantity. Gone are the days when quick posts rank in google – people are looking for valuable help that shows through the noise on the internet. Be that place for your people
  • PERFECTION ISN'T POSSIBLE - Oh so true – and Oh so hard for me to hear!I am a perfectionist through and through. I talk about being a recovering perfectionist because I truly am trying to stop aiming for 100% all the time.It’s far too exhausting – and (spoiler alert…) it’s impossible to get to most of the time…When you have a massive TO DO list (which you will have as soon as you start blogging), then you have to start prioritising getting things done over getting things perfect.This applies to everything – blog posts, pictures, products etc… – yes, of course you will create amazing things that your readers will love and that will truly help them, but will anyone REALLY notice the extra tweaking at the end?For example – spending an extra 10 hours on an eBook may make no difference at all to the content, it may just be a few things that you can’t leave alone, or that you are overthinking that make you feel better if you keep looking at them. Surely those 10 hours would be better spent promoting the eBook and getting the word out there?You will always be learning, improving etc… – so you will always be looking over your past work and wanting to revamp anyway – it’s natural (I’m currently looking at all 600 of my posts and having a site audit to check all is OK..), so don’t let where you are today stop you making progress
  • DON'T JUDGE YOURSELF BY THE BIG NUMBERS - 100 totally amazing readers that love everything you do is far more valuable than 100,000 that have liked something a while ago but never really come back. Numbers are a vanity metric to a large extent.
  • DON'T JUDGE YOUR OWN PROGRESS BY OTHERS' - You are on your own journey. I can’t remember where I heard this first – but it’s a really bad thing to compare your own blog with another persons.This is because you really don’t know their story.Even if you’ve been blogging for the same amount of time – there are so many variables that can make a difference to what you’re doing and what they’re doing: –Time spent each day/weekTraining takenSkills (writing, graphics, tech etc…)Help receivedFocus and driveEveryone is different, and if you compare then you’ll pretty much always come off worse. You may be seeing success from a blogger who on paper has done the same things as you, but you really don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes and what struggles they’ve had.They may be comparing themselves to you, too!
  • ENJOY THE JOURNEY - This takes time. You are laying the foundations for things later – enjoy the journey as that’s the main part!
  • LISTEN TO A FEW - Choose 1-2 mentors to listen to – and pick wisely, because you want to learn from someone who is doing what you want to do. If you listen to too many, you’ll always second guess what you’re doing because they may well contradict each other.
  • DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT FOR YOU -I’ve honestly lost count of the number of emails I get each day/week/month from companies wanting me to talk about product x or brand y – offering decent amounts of money for me to add a link in a post etc…. – and 99.9999% of the time I say NO.Why?Why not earn as much as I can? Well, my friend, then you lose what your readers come for. You lose their trust, and that is the very last thing you want to lose.I only EVER promote products and brands that I have used, or that I have been introduced to and genuinely love.I think of my readers as my friends, and if I wouldn’t recommend something to my best friend, that’s the litmus test as to whether it belongs on my blog. After all – it takes a long time to gain readers trust. If you aren’t genuine, then they will soon lose faith in you, and you will lose them. Don’t sell out! The longer I have my blog the more I am thankful that I stay true to what I believe in.
  • REMEMBER YOU ARE UNIQUE - It doesn’t matter if there are lots of blogs on the same topic out there – that just shows there’s a market for it. YOU will find YOUR fans. Whether you’re writing, doing video, doing audio or anything else – always be as real as you can possibly be. People like to see real people online – they don’t want a perfectly presented person who hasn’t got character. This is harder to do than to say, believe me.
  • SERVE YOUR READERS WELL - You are writing, creating content, talking on social media, emailing your readers – and probably much more each and every week.It’s important to realise as quickly as possible that IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s your voice, it’s your blog – yes – but it’s your readers that you want to reach, and whom you want to come back for more because they relate to you and trust you.If you can truly get to know your readers and be there for them, then you are much more likely to succeed. Ask them questions, see what they are asking you, check comments on your posts, and check out other similar blogs/social media accounts etc… to see what people are talking about – and you’ll get loads of ideas and inspiration for content that your readers can relate to properly.
  • BE AWARE OF BURNOUT - It’s not uncommon for me to be tapping away at my laptop until 2 or 3am in the week – and I have easily worked 50-60 hour weeks in the past.I love what I do, it’s slightly addictive – and because I work for myself and from home – then I always have access to work and it’s always on my mind.Those books/magazines I used to read for pleasure? – well, now they can be inspiration for a blog post or two.That music I listened to in the car? – now I happily listen to podcasts (even my daughter’s picked up a few Facebook tips along the way….!)Any project I do in my house – my camera is ready to take pics of every stage as it may make it onto the blog at some point.Get the idea?You see, there’s always so much to do.That in itself is great for me. I love being busy. I love learning new things, and I LOVE to push myself. But I have phases where I have to take a break from things because I can’t see clearly for a while.Overwhelm sets in, things become blurry, and I lose sight of what I love for a while.This is very short lived usually – luckily.And I’m becoming so much better at spotting it, better at giving myself time off, and better at that all elusive work/life balance – and I want to stress that this will be crucial to you as well if you are in this for the long haul.
  • SET BOUNDARIES - If you work at home, and for yourself, then you need to be able to switch off from work mode.For the sake of you, AND your family.Some ideas to consider would be: –Try and turn your phone off (your mobile office!) or have it out of the room when with family.Have a tech free day where you can’t have phones or computers on.Set office hours for yourself, and stick to them (whether you work in the evening, early morning, or a standard 9-5 – whatever you prefer and works for you – that’s fine!)Monitor how many hours you do a week – is this reasonable? Are you doing too much?Have one to one time with each member of your family and switch off anything to do with workThis most definitely is a work in progress for me, but I will get there!
  • FACE TO FACE TIME IS CRUCIAL - Blogging can be very lonely.I love alone time – I’m an introvert at heart and thrive in my own company – but even I struggle sometimes with being lonely.If my daughter wasn’t at home, then I would go literally days each and every week without talking to anyone if left to my own devices.As such, I’ve learned to socialise whenever possible.I work in cafes so that I feel less alone, I arrange weekly catch ups with friends, I email/watch videos etc.. with other bloggers, and I attend at least one blogging conference each year.As such, I get to chat to all types of people, and that face to face time really makes a difference to my sanity.A great idea if you want to blog but thrive on being part of a team is to create a blog with someone else, or get a team as quickly as possible. You can, after all, create the blog that works for you – and it doesn’t have to be a lonely experience.
  • BATCHING IS YOUR FRIEND - I’ve tried a LOT of different ways of working over the years – and I can firmly say that batching has been the best thing ever for my blogging work.When you’re in the mode of working on something, it’s easier to keep going – rather than switching constantly.So – now I will time block my days and have larger chunks of time for specific tasks.I love batching specifically for the following types of tasks: –Drafting postsSocial Media schedulingCreating graphicsProof reading postsWorking out the editorial calendar (posts AND emails)All of these make sense to do in batches because I am in the right mode.For example – When I draft posts I don’t have to think about making them perfect, I simply write and let myself brain dump. I can get loads done in this mode – but if I try and switch to writing AND finishing a post at the same time, I get too distracted by making pretty graphics, making sure it’s keyword rich, making each sentence as good as possible etc…. It’s far easier to draft a few posts in one session and then in another session go back and re-read and tweak.
Best Blogging Training

11. BLOGGING TRAINING THAT ROCKS!

Having spent thousands of pounds on training over the years, this is my list of resources that I truly recommend - no hesitation.

If you can find someone you totally trust who is ahead of you in the blogging life (me, I hope!), then take their advice on what they class as a good training course.

I have taken a LOT of courses that haven’t been worth the time or money I spent.

I’ve learned the hard way that there are only a handful of courses I would ever recommend to you – and only a handful that have really made a true difference to me (like EBA**, which is by far the best all-round training I’ve ever invested in when I got serious about blogging as a business).

Before you take any training, read as much as you can about it from people who have taken it.

You also need to be aware that buying the training does not guarantee success – you have to also be willing to follow what’s said – so the last thing you want is to be overwhelmed with all the training you’ve bought and not have time to do it.

Do training WHEN YOU NEED IT and you’ll have massive success.

TIP - A LOT of blogging courses tend to go up in price each launch, so you could be paying more if you wait a few months - and that can be quite annoying (the reason for this is that they launch at a lower price to get testimonials and to beta test everything). So, *if* you can stretch to getting a course sooner, it will be worthwhile (you usually get lifetime access once you're in).


#1 - EBA (Elite Blog Academy - OVERALL BLOGGING STRATEGY)

Gives you the framework to start a blog that really works. Lots of extra trainings are included as bonuses, and you get access to the updates for the life of EBA. I have gone through this again and again, and I learn something each and every time.


#2 - STUPID SIMPLE SEO (GOOGLE TRAFFIC)

A very in depth course that opens for new people a few times a year. Full of analysis that really helps you work out how to write posts and create a site that will rank well in Google search.


#3 - ADVENTURES IN SEO (PINTEREST AND GOOGLE TRAFFIC)

A great SEO course that I love because it's done like my mind works! - The key is to make posts that drive both Pinterest AND Google traffic - which are the 2 highest driving places for most bloggers.

NOTE - Lena also has lots of free stuff that's fantastic as a way of seeinghow she teaches - BLOG TRAFFIC BONUS GUIDE,  FREE VIDEO SERIES ON SEO


#4 - AFFILIATE MARKETING

Written by my friend Tasha - she is AWESOME at affiliate marketing, and this course is a must-have


#5 - PINTEREST ADS

When you are further along in your blogging, you'll want to start making the most of ads to drive traffic to performing posts and pages. My friend Monica is THE BEST person to learn from. No doubt! - see all her amazing courses HERE


#6 - FACEBOOK ADS

The only time I have ever had profits from my Facebook ads is with this course - it quite simply rocks! Beth Anne is a fantastic teacher who really cares about getting you results, and is very hands on during the 12 week intensive. It's an application process to get into the course but it's very straightforward, and I like that this is done because it means that if you're accepted you have a high chance of getting big results. You can find out more about the Facebook Ads Intensive course HERE.


#7 - MONEY MINDSET

A missing link for a lot of people - and most definitely missing for me for far too long - is the mindset behind earning a living online (and potentially earning a lot online). I LOVE LOVE LOVE Denise's stuff - and have invested in her Money Bootcamp which I highly recommend. It isn't just worth it for your business, but for your life in general!

12. BUSINESS BOOKS I TRULY LOVE

On the same vein as training - I am always reading books related to my business, my mindset, or some kind of strategy.

I've read a LOT - some were not worth my time, but others are on my Audible app on my phone and have been played multiple times.

Here are ones that I highly recommend you listening to or reading (whatever works best for you!): -

Chillpreneur / The Compound Effect / Company of One / The ONE Things / Building a Story Brand / The Power of Habit / Atomic Habits / The Miracle Equation / The 12 Week Year / Life Leverage / Profit First 

and that's it!

We're all done with my HUUUGE post (told you it was long!) - I REALLY hope it gives you lots of ideas and helpful links to follow to get going on your online business/blogging adventure.

Just to go over exactly what's been covered - so you can check you have done it all and haven't missed anything: -

Should you want any more questions answered, or just want to chat about blogging in general - please signup to the blogging newsletter below - but for now - good luck, and I cannot wait to see you rock your very own slice of the internet!

Just Begin