Good morning! Today we continue with our series about making money online. You can check the previous posts about. Starting your own website. My failed attempts at making money online I failed at making money online, then succeeded, with freelancing and starting my own website.
Starting a blog is very easy. Making money blogging is another thing. Before I offset my costs on Reach Financial Independence, I spent over three months blogging for free. It took another three months to start making over $2,000 consistently. And I know it was quick. Anyway, if you would like to start a blog, be warned that making money from this blog may take some time, if ever.
Choosing a theme for your blog or website
If you want to attract a loyal readership, unless you have the wit of The Bloggess that will allow you to talk about random stuff for a whole 1,500 word post, you will have to choose a theme. My other blog Reach Financial Independence is about personal finance, achieving your dreams, and a bit of travel. If I start talking about terminal care or puppies all day long (although I can fill up a whole post about raising chickens), my readers, who came for motivational posts about how they can live the life too, may get bored to death. No pun intended.
And if I weren’t able to talk about those topics for more than 20 posts, my blog would be extinct. So choose your topic carefully. Can you write 100 posts about that topic? Are there other people interested in that topic? Would you form a community around you of similar minded aficionados? It may be better to try to reach out to the 300 fans of that particular brand of classic cars from 1967 and write passionately about it, than to write the same advice everyone gives about the 1,000 uses of vinegar in a monotone.
Once you have chosen a niche, it is time to look for a name!
Choosing a name for your blog or website
There are two approaches here.
1. You can target a specific audience, and chose a name related to that, like HowToFixYourIphone5.com, ToyotaRav42003.com or 1001usesofvinegar.com.
2. You can choose a brand name, something fun or memorable that people will match with your site. For example, Gajizmo is a site about personal finance. Hrostoski is Mike Hrostoski’s personal site about self improvement and location independent living. Both are unique names that cannot be confused with anything else.
Hybrid approaches would include sites like Frugal Rules, you know it is a site about frugality, but it is not targeting a keyword like HowToLiveFrugally.com.
Including your name can also help you build your brand. PaulineTravels.com could be my personal travel site. It is less likely to be taken than general domains like TravelGirl.com.
Once you have chosen a name, you need to make sure no one has thought about that same name too.
Registering a domain for your blog or website
Like for hosting in the next step, you could start your blog with a WordPress address, making it look like yoursitename.wordpress.com. That is generally a bad idea if you plan on monetizing your blog down the road, because accepting most forms of advertising on your site would break the T&Cs of WordPress, and also because all the link building you will do while on WordPress will need to be redirected correctly later on. If people have put you on their blog roll, etc. this could be pretty complicated.
I use GoDaddy to check if the name is available. Most providers are the same, so unless there is a better offer elsewhere, that would be my go to site. Just enter the name and check out if it is still available.
YES!! Congratulations, go ahead and register the domain. I have registered Make Money Your Way for a year, but just renewed Reach Financial Independence for 9 years since I do not want this blog to go anywhere. At the end of the first year, you will have the option to renew for a year, but if you let it lapse other people can buy your domain.
NO 🙁 Sorry, but did you really think money.com would not be taken? If you really love your keywords, you will need a variation. MoneyTip, MoneyTips, FreeMoneyTips, BestMoneyTips, MyMoneyTips, MoneyTips101, and so on. Or if many of those are taken you may go back to step 1 and choose another domain altogether, and set your site apart.
Choosing hosting for your blog or website
If you are looking to monetize your blog or website, you should go straight to self hosting. You will not lose much if you decide to drop the project, at most it will cost you $100, but if you start your blog on WordPress or God forbid Blogger, you will have more complications the day you decide to move to self hosting.
I have chosen Hostgator for hosting, because I read a lot of good recommendations and they were competitive on the price. After a year, I have renewed my service for three years, and never had a problem with their customer service. They have a live chat and a huge database to help you with most problems webmaster face.
There are lots of other providers, such as BlueHost or GoDaddy. What you want to look for is their average downtime over the past year, giving you an idea of how long your site may be down next year. It should be under 1%. Will you be on a shared server with other websites, and if so how much space will be allocated to your site? How many sites can you run under that package, do they allow your domain to be parked?
On Hostgator, you can have several domains point to one website via a redirect. But if you want to run two websites, you will have to pay a package for multiple hosting.
That is it, you have a name, a domain, and a hosting package, you are almost ready to start blogging. See you next week for the next step!