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Blogging initially started as an online journal. Not many people had them, and only a niche crowd read them. Then in the late noughties, it became a way of sharing lifestyle tips. We were all sick of glossy magazines promoting the products they were paid to, and relying on adverts and a few vague specifications we don’t understand to buy tech.
Blogging changed all of that. In fact, many beauty blogs went full circle and became the very glossy magazines they sought to destroy.
From 2016 onwards blogging for money became the new American Dream. The barriers to entry were low, and there was an endless stream of bloggers making six figures from their home, with a baby in one arm and a camera in the other.
Every year there are articles declaring that blogging is dead, and whilst it’s not easy to make money blogging any more, it can be done.
The only skill that you need is to be able to research, write, and be patient.
Blogs about blogging are EVERYWHERE. They offer a lot of the same advice, that can work. It worked for them. But we need something more concrete that can.
Obviously, I can’t guarantee that you find success, but I can help you wade through the unending sea of information.
Why me? Because I’ve been struggling for years. I’ve literally tried everything that can be done on a reasonable budget. And as a writer I hated it. I finally have a strategy that works, and relies exclusively on me putting the work in, not some tetchy algorithm that changes on a whim.
So, what are the best resources for creating a blog that makes you money?
In my experience, Youtubers that create blog content are either incredible, or crap. A lot of the information is out of date and a bit mon-bloggy, if you know what a mean. A lot of stuff about Pinterest and link parties and blog commenting.
Whilst these things aren’t necessarily bad (Pinterest can be a lucrative traffic source) they’re distracting to new bloggers.
- Don’t try to learn Pinterest until you have at least 30 blog posts
- Do link parties even exist any more? Showing my age here.
- Blog commenting is not part of your strategy. It can be an added extra that you can pursue in your spare time.
So, who is worth watching on YouTube?
Ok, before listing my favourites, I need to just highlight how important it is not to rely on one particular Youtuber’s advice. I favour some over others, but I try watch a variety of videos.
Income School’s whole channel is basically a promo for their course, Project 24. I don’t have the course, but it is one I’d take if I was struggling.
I like their attitude to creating content and emphasis on free keyword research. Whilst they are looking for Project 24 signups, you’ll learn more from their videos than you would from a thousand paid courses on blogging.
Check out the project 24 website – they have a timeline on there which I found as pretty spot on when it comes to predicting the amount of traffic you should expect to get in the first couple of years of blogging.
Location Rebel has videos on creating niche websites and freelance writing, so there is loads of information about creating great content. He uses paid keyword tools which I don’t personally, but his stuff on affiliate marketing is really goo.
Again, more information on affiliate marketing, with more of an emphasis on link building.
Personally, I leave all link building (excluding interlinking my own articles) until after I’ve hit 100 blog posts. A lot of people gasp in horror at that, but 1. I think writing articles is a better use of my time and 2. I like writing. I don’t like outreach for link building.
Whilst I do sometimes look at the suggested videos in the sidebar, I tend to find these gurus through the r/blogging subreddit.
If you’re a true newbie, this is a great resource for setting up your blog.
Pinterest was practically hijacked by the ‘blogging about blogging’ crowd. So whilst there’s a lot of great information out there, there’s a lot of crap and even more duplicate content.
What I use Pinterest for
- Specific queries
For example, how to hide Pinterest images in blog posts. I tend to ignore those ‘how to create a money-making blog in 2020 posts because it’s always the same outdated advice. Upload new posts consistently? Groundbreaking! And also not necessarily true.
- Design ideas
There are a LOT of blog pins on Pinterest, designed by professional graphic designers. IF you’re clueless about which colours and fonts work well together, then Pinterest is a great place to start
- Assess the competition
Almost all bloggers use Pinterest in some way. If they’re killing it, wait until you have a load of content before even thinking about Pinterest. If there’s not a lot going, create a few pins and add them to your boards. You may rank without having to do much more.
If Pinterest is so desperate to be the search engine it claims to be, it should rank great content not just content that wants to play it’s game.
To be perfectly honest, I can’t really recommend any really good blogging books, because, er, I haven’t read any. You see, blogging is evolving so quickly that by the time the book reaches the publisher, it’s already out of date.
And whilst many people use the same content-driven methods I teach, they’re not sexy enough to attract publishers.
‘How to make money blogging in 90 days’ is enticing.
‘How to make money blogging after 2 years and a lot of work just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way.
What reputable, self-respecting blogger blogging about blogging doesn’t have their own e-book?
Which is why I’m not recommending any. I’ve read loads, and none of them stood out to me as providing actionable, timeless advice. If I had an ebook, I’d plug it here, but I don’t Never mind.
Ah blogging courses. Even more popular amongst the blogging crowd than ebooks.
If I were to recommend one, it’d be Project 24, but like I said, I’ve personally not taken it, but I’ve had a lot of success with Income School’s method. Not this blog though – how I’m gonna rank in a blog about blogging I have no idea.
The only other Premium course I’ve purchased is Pinfinite Growth. Which, despite their best efforts to keep it updated is er, out dated. Whilst the basic principles are sound, it relies to heavily on expensive schedulers, and takes a lot of time to implement.
You know how I said before to not get too attached to one specific blogging guru? It’s because I spend a lot of time on Reddit, and for every one person that loves a specific guru, a thousand more will hate it.
There’s a lot of information here, so you must remember that everyone’s blogging journey is different. What works for one person/niche won’t work for another, for no logical reason.
Subreddits to join:
r/affiliatemarketing (at the time of writing Amazon slashed their commission and this subreddit is ON FIRE
Final thoughts on learning about blogging
You don’t need to pay to have all the information you need to learn about blogging. No one’s hiding the secret formula behind a paywall.
All you need to learn is this:
- How to set up a website
- How to pick a niche
- How to write for the internet (in short have a lot of whitespace and subheadings)
- Extremely basic graphic design
- Basic SEO – finding keywords you can rank for and having a user-friendly website
Past that, it’s just a lot of writing.