The other day I was perusing Amazon for some new books to throw on my reading list when I stumbled on this short Kindle edition book on blogging entitled…
The book had some rave reviews, was a quick 60 pages, and best of all…free, so I figured what the heck… I’ll read this one before bed tonight and see if I can’t find a few little nuggets.
What also grabbed me about this book was the author’s backstory. The author, Bob Lotich, started a blog in 2007 about personal finance from a Christian perspective, which was a pretty good niche idea I must say! Anyway, a year or so after starting the blog, Bob got laid off from his job.
Rather than go look for a new 9 to 5, Bob instead decided to live off of his severance for awhile and work full time on his site. Prior to getting laid off, Bob had been working on his personal finance blog part-time, putting in about 10 hours each week. He was earning some income from it, but not nearly enough to pay the bills.
His plan was to try and make a go of it as a full-time blogger for a few months and see what happened. If it didn’t work out, he’d go back to work, but I think you can guess how things worked out for him… 😉
How to Make Money Blogging: An Overview
First off, the book is pretty up to date and relevant, which is awesome – especially considering it’s free! I half expected some semi-outdated info from 3 or 4 years ago, but everything he talks about is current for the most part.
Getting started with blogging
The goal of the book is to outline the process of starting a blog, getting traffic to it, and monetizing it. It starts right off with the basic steps needed to launch a self-hosted WordPress blog. The author spells out exactly what needs to be done, with links to the services he recommends for domain registration, hosting, etc…
Note: Bob is in love with Host Gator, but this is one of the few things I have to disagree with him on. For affordable, reliable and professional hosting, go with SiteGround (shared hosting) or InnoHosting (reseller hosting). ‘Nuff said.
The book gives a brief description of the 3 main blogging platforms: Blogger, WordPress.com and WordPress.org, but the main focus is on a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, of course.
Setting up your blog
The author won me over right away when he recommended Genesis and Thesis as the two premier theme options for WordPress. Since 2008, those are the only two theme frameworks I’ve used; however, I’ve recently been moving most all of my sites away from Thesis to Genesis for the same reasons the author indicates in the book.
The section on themes is very brief, but he highlights the importance of a well optimized theme, which I think is a great point. A lot of beginners take that step for granted, but using a good theme is hugely important and Bob knows this.
How to make money blogging
The next section deals with the different monetization types, and he does a good explaining how each payment model works. He also offers a few recommendations for ad networks so you can go check them out and apply once your site is up and running.
How long does it take to make money from blogging?
Like the rest of the book, this section is but a few paragraphs, but he sums up the answer to this question very well. Bob worked an average of 10 hours per week, posting 4 times per week for a year before he started to see some decent results. He also provides a snapshot of his Analytics graph showing the traffic curve, which demonstrates the importance of sticking it out. Bob is an example of the select few that make a career out of blogging because they kept at it and didn’t give up before their efforts finally started paying off. The graph shows virtually no traffic increase for 12 months, then a sudden rise on the 13th month, leading to a steady climb after that.
Bob goes on to say that the book should be seen as a huge time-saver, as it provides a lot of tips and short-cuts that will give readers a head start, but he forewarns that it’s still going to be a ton of work.
Here’s a great quote from the end of this section:
The two keys are consistency and a willingness to learn.
Getting traffic to your new blog
He offers up some fantastic traffic-earning tips for beginning bloggers. These tips are pretty basic, but they are quite valuable. Anyone just starting out can take this advice and get some results from it, guaranteed.
Tips on SEO
This is a lightning fast crash-course on SEO. Here he explains SEO and what it means to you, as well as basic things you should do, and how to do them. In this section you get a clear and concise overview of good SEO practices.
Tips for improving earnings
After the portion on SEO, Bob discusses a few tips on things you can try to improve your earnings. There is some helpful advice in here, along with a few more slightly technical pieces of information.
I always love seeing other internet marketers share their tools of the trade, and that’s what you get here. Bob lists out some of the helpful tools and resources that he utilizes, a few of which I use as well.
Note: The stock image sites listed among his resources are a little iffy… One of them appears to be outdated and offline and the other is not what I’d consider a fabulous option. If you want a decent free stock image resource, check out MorgueFile.com. For premium stock images, I like to use DepositPhotos. DepositPhotos has fantastic images at a great price, and really flexible payment options.
To close out this quick intro to starting a money-making blog, Bob sets some reasonable expectations and offers a few closing tips, including a few notes on diligence and productivity.
Well that about sums up what’s covered in this handy little intro to profitable blogging. It’s a quick and easy read, with some valuable pieces of advice for beginning bloggers. I’ve been blogging for nearly 7 years and I still found it a worthwhile read, due in large part to the author and I thinking very much alike!
How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day-Job With My Blog is a short book which will get you started out the right way. I highly recommend it!