Welcome to the latest instalment in my series for new bloggers. This time, I’m discussing how to earn money via blogging. It’s something I never imagined I’d end up doing when I wrote my first post, but here I am making a living out of it seven and a half years later.
Obviously, this isn’t something that will happen overnight. Similarly, I’m not suggesting that people quit their jobs and pin everything on their blogs, but blogging can be a great way of making a little extra money.
My blog became my vocation more by accident than design. My plan was to make a living as a freelance copywriter and supplement that with blog collaborations. They quickly took over though and that was that.
Here are the things you’ll need to do in preparation to earn money via blogging.
First things first, you need to own your site in order to monetise it. Morally, you can’t earn money via a web presence that isn’t your own and a number of PRs will be looking for sites with a decent domain authority – more on that shortly.
So, if you’re on a free platform, you will need to upgrade to a self-hosted presence. Select a hosting provider and migrate your existing content to your blog’s new home.
Create loads of content
The good thing about this item on the to-do list is that it’s something that should occur naturally if you’re enjoying blogging. Brands and PRs want to work with bloggers who produce quality content and plenty of it.
Write posts about topics you are interested in and be true to yourself. Never underestimate the importance of this as it will become an asset as well as the best approach.
Grow an engaged audience
As well as having great copy that PRs and brands will love, you need to have an engaged audience. After all, they need to be confident that you will help them reach more people.
Take time to build up a following that you enjoy engaging with. Reply to comments, comment on other people’s blogs and follow and chat with others on social media.
Build up your domain authority
A number of PRs will want to know your domain authority before working with you. In short, it’s a score that estimates how well sites rank in search engine results. Anyone can find out the DA of any site so you may not be explicitly asked. What you need to do is concentrate on increasing yours.
You can do this by creating quality content, optimising your posts for SEO, getting links to and from other sites, linking to your own pages and fixing or removing broken or spam links.
Put together a media kit
As well as adding a Work With Me page, consider a media kit. They’re a great way of showcasing who you are, what your blog is about and the kind of content that you produce. They make the process of picking who to work with much easier for PR folk.
Include information about you and your blog, topline stats, what you offer and, of course, contact details. Once you’ve got some posts under your belt, add examples of previous collaborations. If design isn’t your forte, you can buy a template or create a free one.
Keep an eye out
Once you’re established, PR people will approach you with opportunities but there’s no harm in being proactive – particularly early on. Join Facebook groups where opportunities are shared with bloggers.
Register as self-employed
Technically, you don’t need to register as self-employed until you’re paid for the first time. That said, it’s worth keeping this in mind. Even if you have a job and pay tax already, you still need to register so that you can pay tax on anything you earn out of blogging.
I won’t lie here; it’s a pain and tax returns are far from fun, but it’s the law so you have to! You can find out more on the HMRC website.
As far as I’m concerned, these are the most important things to prepare to earn money via blogging. Good luck – who knows where it could take you?
I think I’ve covered all the important considerations and tasks for starting a blog, so this series will continue under another guise. I’ll be back with another post next week!