Starting your own blog can be hard. For most people, blogging will open a whole new aspect of the internet and technology, and if you are like me, it will be unfamiliar and at times, very frustrating. As you get comfortable with the nuts and bolts of blogging, there will probably come a day when you start to think about how to monetize your blog. After all, you spend a lot of time working on your blog posts – in addition to having some fun, making some cash would be pretty cool too, right?
So where do you start? If you Google “How to Monetize Your Blog” you’re going to get a million results that will leave your head spinning and and will probably leave you frustrated. So where do you start? I’m suggesting that you take a step back, look and your blog, and determine if it is READY to monetize. So here’s a few tips I have to get your started.
1. Switch to a Self-Hosted Platform and Domain
There are free blogging platforms out there. You may be using one right now, and if you don’t plan on monetizing your blog, this works great! However, in my opinion, if you really want to be taken seriously and grow your blog to where you can effectively monetize it, you need to be on your own self-hosted platform with your own domain.
It can be scary to switch! I was so scared to try and move my blog over to WordPress that I started a whole new blog. I don’t recommend doing that – you’ve done a lot of work and you don’t want to lose it. Wordpress actually has a function now where you can import directly from your Blogger account. HostGator has great resources to help you do this – and with one click WordPress installs there is no messy downloading and uploading of files.
2. Make it Look Good
The reality is when you start blogging, your are not going to have a million page views per month – at least that’s not likely unless your last name is Kardashian. However, that doesn’t mean your blog can’t LOOK like a million bucks. One of the benefits of WordPress is that there are SO many templates that you can use that you can figure out what works best for you. HostGator is great, because they have one click and start website builders that are really easy to use. You just drag and drop – building your site is made super simple this way!
However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, there are lots of professional designers who can help you build your site. HostGator offers design services, so you can get a pro to help you right from your host! In terms of blog headers and themes, there are some great designers out there who can help you create a BRAND around your blog to use consistent across social media, etc. Yes, you will spend some money to do that, but I think you’ll find that the results worth it.
3. Find a Great Host
Having a reliable blog host before you monetize your blog is very important. Sponsors won’t be able to check out your content if your website is down, and readers won’t stick around (and potentially click ads!) if your blog runs at the speed of molasses. Picking a reliable host will help to ensure that not only will your blog stay up and running efficiently, but also that if problems do occur, you will be able to get them fixed quickly so your blog’s site is up and running as quickly as possible.
If you are looking for a good host, I recommend checking out HostGator. HostGator can help you purchase a domain if you don’t have one already, and offers 24/7 live support via chat, phone, and email. This can be so important because when you need tech support it’s usually because your site is down – you don’t want to have to wait until business hours to get it fixed!
The best part is, right now, on Host Gator, Parent Palace readers and get 30% OFF HOSTING, PLUS A FREE WEBSITE TRANSFER!! So if you’ve been thinking about making a switch to a self-hosted blog, maybe now is your chance! This can be your first step to building the blog that you want: one that will be attractive to sponsors and brands so you can have an easier (and more profitable!) time when you monetize your blog.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.