How to Start a Blog for Free and Make Money?

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How to start a Blog for Free and Make Money

As you’ve landed here searching “how to start a free Blog and Make Money“, I guess you already know what blogging is?

So, I will skip the intro, and get to the point.

In this guide I have covered, how you can get started with blogging right away for FREE (almost) and make money today.

But before we go any further, I would like to suggest something.

If you’re planning to blog long-term, and if you’re really serious about making money from Blogging then I strictly recommend, go with a self-hosted WordPress blog.

Think of blogging as a business. And, like any business, you will have to make some investment to get started. But take my words if you stay consistent with blogging I can guarantee you’ll recover that investment along with some serious profits within a year.

So, if you’re convinced then follow this guide instead: How to Start A Blog and Make Money

And if you’re not convinced or not sure if you are ready to invest any money yet, then, continue reading this guide to learn how you can start a free blog and make real money from it.

The platform I will be explaining here is – Blogger.com.

So, you just go ahead and start your blog already.

In this guide, I have covered how to start a free blog on blogger.com with a custom domain and how to monetize it to generate a decent income from it.

If you’re wondering why Blogger.com? why not wordpress.com or Tumblr.com or any other platform?

Then, here is why…

Why Blogger?

Here are some of the best reasons why blogger.com is a better choice than any of the other top free blogging sites available.

  1. It is free and built by Google itself.
  2. They don’t force any ads on your blog.
  3. You can host a custom domain for free.
  4. It speeds up the AdSense approval process (you can directly signup for it from inside the dashboard).
  5. Despite being a free platform you get a lot more customization options than any other free sites out there.
  6. You get a mobile application to start blogging from your smartphone.
  7. Comparatively more SEO friendly.
  8. Most importantly it is beginner-friendly.

Okay, now that you know why Blogger.com is better, let’s get started on the actual blogging part.

BTW, I am no way affiliated with blogger.com; it’s my personal opinion and I’m telling you from my experience.

6 Steps to Start a Blog for Free and Make Money:

  1. Pick a niche.
  2. Signup for Blogger.com
  3. Buy a domain and map it to your blog (optional but highly recommended).
  4. Write quality content.
  5. Signup for Amazon Associates Program (having a custom domain will help).
  6. Promote to drive traffic to your blog.

Let’s get deep now. shall we?

How to Start a Free Blog and Make Money?

Step 1: Decide a niche for your blog

This is the most crucial part you need to take care of before you get started with blogging. A niche should be something you’re very comfortable with.

Niche: it is the topic or subject you want to write about on your blog. For example, if you like to travel,  you can share your travel experiences, you can suggest to people the best places to visit; if you love to eat out and try different restaurants or hotels you can review those places, you can write about the different foods you have tasted while traveling or maybe just in your area and so on. 

Don’t ever pick a niche just because it has a good record of making money; unless you already have enough money to outsource the content creation part. In that case, you just maintain the blog and get someone else to write the posts for you.

When selecting your niche, always remember, it should be something you like (if not love) to do or talk about. I have seen many beginner bloggers blindly following someone else’s niche and eventually quitting because they are bored out of creating new content on that niche. Trust me, it will happen if you don’t love the niche you have decided to write about.

So, always make sure you love the niche you want to start a blog around.

Here are the simple ways to figure out your niche:

  1. Take a pen and paper and make a list of the things that excite you. It could be anything; sleeping, reading, traveling, eating or literally anything.
  2. Narrow the things down to topics that you can actually write about. For example, if you’re not studying ‘sleep’ then you can easily go out of ideas after 4-5 posts.  But if you’re studying ‘sleep’, there’s a whole lot of things to talk about. Don’t listen to me just Google “books on sleeping” you’ll see what I mean.
  3. To make the process easy, write down a minimum of ten blog post titles for each one of those topics. Now pick the niches for which you didn’t struggle much to come up with the titles.
  4. By this step, you should have at least 2 or 3 topics on the paper, if not more. So, it’s time to find out if any of the niches have the potential to make money for you.

While deciding your niche, be practical and don’t pick it just because you think you’ll be able to make enough content. Think long term; for example, if you love to read, there’s always a new book to write about. If you love traveling, there’s always a new place to talk about. And if you love to eat, there’s always a new restaurant or hotel to review.

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So, pick a niche in which you’ll never go out of content ideas.

How to find out if a product is profitable or not?

To do that head over to amazon (since we are looking to start an Amazon niche site). Look for products in the niches that you’ve picked up. Make sure it has a lot of reviews; I mean the count, don’t worry about the reviews being positive or negative). It’s just important that people are buying products in this niche.

Another way to validate your niche is to find out if any bloggers out there already making money in your niche. Nowadays most bloggers share their income reports, so all you need to do is, find them and read them. Just Google something like, “blogger’s income report”.

Last but not least, ask yourself would buy any products in your niche? If it’s a ‘strong yes’ then you’re good to go.

Okay, you might ask, Biswajeet, what if my niche doesn’t have any profitable products to promote?

Well, in that case,  just find another niche.

There’s no other way around it. One workaround could be you creating your own product. But you’ll first have to create a need for the product since there is not enough demand in the market. Keep in mind though, it will take a whole lot of work.

But if that sounds okay to you then go ahead and create your own product. And you can stop reading this post here, coz it won’t be useful to you anymore.

On the other hand, if you wish to continue with the amazon niche site then my suggestion is – go back to the beginning and restart the soul searching process one more time. If even after that you don’t find any profitable niche, pick literally any niche that other bloggers are making money in.

Like, I have always said, “passion is an overrated word”; I believe with consistent efforts you can turn anything into gold.

Just give it a go; if you fail at one niche, try another one, then another and so on, until you find the one that connects.

Once you have finalized your niche, it’s time to set up your blog.

Step 2: Start a blog on Blogger.com

Here are the simplest steps:

  1. Go to blogger.com
  2. Click “Create Your Blog
  3. Sign up with your Gmail ID.
  4. Confirm Your Profile” and “Continue to Blogger
  5. Click on “Create New Blog
  6. Give your blog a name and pick a sub-domain (pick anything; we are not going to use this anyway)
  7. Pick a theme as well.
  8. Once all filled up, click on “Create blog!”
  9. Google will ask if you like to buy a custom domain, skip it by clicking “no thanks” (it will be costly if you buy here)
  10. Next, pick a layout and you’re done here.

Now you’ll be taken to the dashboard.

You can add new widgets or remove the existing ones, or change the placements of the widgets inside the ‘layout section’ itself. You can also do customizations like changing the color and font of your blog from the ‘theme section’.

Once everything is set here, you can now move on to the next step.

Step 3: Map a custom domain with your blogger.com blog

Before moving forward, go to GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com and buy a domain name first.

Once you’re done, come back and follow the steps below.

Here is how to set up a custom domain in blogger:

  1. Login to blogger.com
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Navigate to Publishing (Blog Address)
  4. Click on “Set up a third-party URL for your blog”*
  5. Inside “Third-party domain settings” enter your domain name and click “Save”.
  6. Blogger will ask you to add two CNAME records on your domain registrar’s website to verify the domain; Copy them.*
  7. Log in to your domain registrar’s website on a different tab and locate the DNS settings of your domain.
  8. Inside, you’ll see a button that says, “ADD” or “Add Records”. Click it and select the Type as “CNAME” and add the details (both) accordingly and click on Save (refer to the image below if you’re on Godaddy).*
  9. Head back to blogger.com and Save the settings.

*Step 4 reference image

Blogger.com custom domain settings

*Step 6 reference image

How to Set up a custom domain on Blogger.com

*Step 8 reference image

how to use a Godaddy domain on blogger.com

So far you have picked up a niche, signed up for blogger.com, bought a domain, mapped the domain with your blogger blog. Now, if someone types in your domain in their browser they will reach your blog.

So, what needs to be done now is put content in your blog, so that whoever lands on your blog doesn’t get bored.

Step 4: Write content for your blog

Creating content for your blog is the most important task. It’s not complicated, with efforts you can master this. But you need to be consistent if you want to be successful with blogging.

Here are a few simple tips:

Write your passion:

When it comes to writing great content, it should come from your heart (i mean original). And I know that won’t be a problem when you love and have knowledge about the topic.

So, your topic should be something that you love so much that you would never mind learning more about it.

Get started with curated content:

Since we are talking about an amazon niche site you are probably gonna pick a niche that is almost new to you.

So, what to do if you don’t know much about the niche that you’ve picked?

Well, in that case, you will need a lot of effort to get comfortable with the niche. But thankfully there’s a workaround for this problem.

Curated content, is a form of content where you don’t create an original piece, instead, you collect a lot of information from the web or anywhere on a particular topic and put the best information together, probably in one post using your own words.

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Most niche bloggers and content writers, (including me) use this technique.

It’s a completely legal way to create content as long as you don’t just copy-paste the content from different sources.

This is, in fact, a great technique to get started because you can not decide the best pieces without actually reading it. So, doing so will eventually make you knowledgable on that niche.

Make your posts conversational:

Write your content as if you’re having a conversation with your friend. Be casual, use a friendly tone and don’t try to sound smart by using some fancy words that no one understands.

Know your Audience:

Always keep your audience in mind when writing a post. If your posts are meant for readers who are familiar with your niche writing beginner level of content will bore them and vice versa.

Structure your post:

Have a layout of your post way before you type the first letter.

When you create a proper structure or formate for your post/posts, it becomes very easy to finish the post on time. you can break the post many parts and finish one by one, which also helps you to stay away from procrastinating.

You should know upfront how you’re gonna start and how you’re gonna end the post.

Write an Intriguing Start to your post:

The first few sentences of a blog post are what a reader sees when they land on your blog post, and it’s the best time to catch their attention.

It’s important that you use the right keywords, this will not only be beneficial for SEO but it will right away let the users know what they can expect from the post.

Use a catchy title:

When a reader finds your post in the search engine or through social media the title is the first thing they see. So,  make it irresistible.

Write a title that excites the users and makes them curious about the post and is ready to dive in and see what’s inside.

Use keywords related to your topic, this will help them to decide whether they would want to read your post or not.

Use Headings, bullets and small paragraphs:

Make use of headings and bullets whenever possible.

Not all readers like to read every single word. So make it easy for them that even if they just read the highlighted sentences they can still get what they came in for.

Headings are a good way to engage the readers, it makes reading easier and also using small paragraphs makes it easy to read fast.

Headings make it easy for Google to understand your content and by doing so you can increase your chances of being ranked high in the SERP.

Also, increase the font size of your blog. it will make your blog posts easier to read.

Here are a few more tips to write awesome content for your blog.

Step 5: Signup for Amazon Associates Program?

Not sure what affiliate marketing is?

You might like to read this first: What is Affiliate Marketing?

Okay, once you’re done with learning what is affiliate marketing, check out the Amazon affiliate program and signup for it.

Although, without any content on your blog, there’s a chance that your application might get rejected. So, I would suggest before applying to the program, first fill your blog with a few quality blog posts and then try.

If you already have an account with Amazon for shopping, you can use that email id as well. It won’t create any problems and also you won’t have to log in and out every time you want to check any of the accounts.

While filling out the form they will ask you to share your blog/website name; share your blog URL.

They will also ask you to share a little about your blog and about the promotional methods that you use. You can specify a few or all of the promotional tactics that I have shared in the next section.

After submitting the application you should hear back from them within 24 hours and it’s most likely that your application would get accepted.

How to create an affiliate link for a product?

Once your application is approved, you will be able to log in to the amazon affiliate dashboard by following the link they have shared in the email or from the link that I have shared above.

Inside the dashboard, you can checkout your income reports and also create product links; but here I would share the easiest way to get an affiliate link for a product.

Step 1: log in to your Amazon shopping account.

Step 2: find the product that you want to promote.

Step 3: At the top, you’ll see the Amazon Associates SiteStripe bar. at the left top of the bar, you’ll see a link that says Text right below Get Link.  Click the Text and that’s it, it will give you your affiliate link.*

Now all you need to do is copy and share the link in your post and drive traffic to it. Whenever someone makes a purchase through your link you’ll make a commission. Inside the affiliate dashboard, you can track everything like – how many orders have been placed, how many have been shipped and how many have been converted.

You’ll get paid every month, once you hit the minimum amount.

Step 6: Promote your blog to drive traffic

This is the tricky part about blogging, your all efforts are wasted if no one shows up to read what you have written.

So, get out there and spread the words. Be present at every place where your readers like to hang out.

Here are the most famous platforms that you can use to promote your blog in India – Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,  Pinterest, Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn, and Email.

The best thing about all those platforms is you can use them for free. Although, if you’re looking for quick results,  you’ll have to pay for ads.

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FYI, 90% of my blog’s traffic comes from Google and Facebook.

In my job as a digital marketer, I have mostly worked on these two platforms only; So, I have more knowledge about them than any other platform. And they are by far the best I have used.

However, I don’t run ads for my blog on Google. Instead, I do SEO to get free traffic from it.

I do my paid promotions on Facebook. Because Facebook has better targeting options than Google and also it’s comparatively cheaper.

Anyways, since you are looking for FREE options, let’s talk about the platforms to drive traffic for free.

Search Engine:

There are many search engines available out there; Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Ask.com are the famous ones. However, Google alone is dominating the search engine market with its 88.47% share.

So, even if you can only manage to show up in Google, that is more than enough. And this is the perfect place to get unlimited free traffic from.

But to show up on Google or any other search engine you need to optimize your blog for it; this is called search engine optimization, shortly, SEO.

Here’s something to note, it is a bit difficult to optimize your blog for the search engine if you’re using a free platform. But the good news is you can still take care of the 70-80% of it.

If you don’t know what is SEO or how to get your blog search engine ready, I would recommend reading these 2 guides that I have shared below.

For On-Page SEO: On-Page SEO techniques and strategies

For Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO techniques and strategies

Social Media:

Even if you can’t beat the competition in search engines, social media alone can make your ventures a success.  In India, there are 351 million users using social media every day. Just imagine, if you can only manage to reach just 1% of those users, how much money you can make.

Facebook: it is still the highest used social media platform available out there. Although, over the years Facebook has rolled out many algorithms, and due to that, now getting free traffic from Facebook has become very tough. But if you can maintain a good engagement on your page, it can still work for you.

Youtube: Video is on the rise. The number of users is growing every year for Youtube. In fact, in the coming few years it might surpass Facebook’s market share. So, it is the best time to get onto this platform. I would suggest along with your blog start a youtube channel as well.

Instagram: Instagram is also growing very fast. The only problem with Instagram is you can’t post links, due to that you are dependent on ads to promote your links on this platform. The workaround for Instagram is, build huge followership and keep them engaged with great content and eventually you’ll be able to redirect some of the traffic to your blog.

Twitter: Over the year twitter is getting less popular. People aren’t using it as often as they used to. That being said, Twitter is still a great place to drive traffic from. Unlike Instagram, you can share links on Twitter, so that’s a plus. If you have a good number of followers who are actually interested in your niche, Twitter can do a miracle for you.

Reddit & Quora: these 2 are the perfect places to connect with your audience. Quora is more like a Q&A site than a social media site, use this platform to build an authority in your niche by answering questions from your prospect readers. On the other hand, Reddit works as a forum where you can actually have a conversation. You can join many groups or communities that are in your niche and connect with the users. Once you’ve gained some trust you’ll be allowed to leave your links here& there and that can be a huge source of free traffic.

Pinterest: it’s all about links. You can pin all your blog posts or anything interesting that you found on the internet. The good news is it’s easy to convert the pin views to blog’s page views; because the users can’t read your posts in Pinterest itself, anyone who is interested to read the posts they have to come to your blog. But the bad news is Pinterest takes time before you see any positive results. So, don’t give up, keep on creating relevant boards and keep pinning useful content.

Linkedin: it is not an ideal platform for affiliate niche bloggers. if you’re already an authority in your niche then only it will work best for you. Also, in recent years, LinkedIn is becoming a job site than a social media platform. The users you’ll find here are either business owners or working professionals (mostly HRs).

I would suggest don’t focus on all the platforms at once, pick 2 or 3 from the list that works best for you and limit your focus to them only.

Over to You

Well, congratulations, you’ve just learned a simple way to make money blogging.

I have literally shared all the steps you can take today to start a blog for free and make money.

However, if you find it daunting to finish in one go, break the process down into small tasks and complete each one separately.

Remember, dreams don’t work if you don’t”.

So, take action today.

With that thought,

Chao!

P.S. If you liked the post don’t forget to let me know in the comments. Also if you want me to cover something more on this topic let me know that too.

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The man behind Honingbird. A full-time Blogger and Digital Marketer. A late bloomer in the blogosphere; but I am finally finding my way in and I am here to help you find yours. Join me for the Laptop Lifestyle. Subscribe above!

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