Did you know that more new fortunes have been created from blogging than anything else? Ariana Huffington, Mario Lavandeira (Perez Hilton), and Mike Arrington have all made between $50 and $400 million as bloggers. In addition to these names, millions of site owners and bloggers around the world have made their part-time or full-time blogging efforts into real businesses and brands that generate billions of dollars collectively.

The remarkable thing about blogging is that you don’t need a ton of money to get started. You could start a blogging business with $50 and start making a six-figure income within a year. It requires extensive planning though. This is usually as simple as registering a domain name, setting up hosting and going live with a WordPress site. This is something we continually focus on, as it’s easy enough for anyone to get started within just a few minutes time.

Here is a blueprint to set you on the right path.

Starting Your Blog

You can launch a blog and publish your first post within an hour. Just follow these steps.

Choose a Niche

The most important part of the process is choosing a niche to focus on. Some bloggers have spent months struggling to grow blogs in niches that were impossible to monetize. You want to find a niche that:

  • You are good at (or can become good at)
  • You enjoy it
  • Doesn’t have too much competition
  • Has a large enough market to monetize

Don’t settle on a niche too quickly, because you will be very frustrated if you hate doing it or can’t compete.

Buy a Domain and Hosting

Resist the temptation to get free hosting or a free subdomain on another platform. They don’t rank well with Google, have poor uptime and don’t look very professional. If you are serious about making money, you need to buy professional hosting and your own domain.

Install a CMS and Start Blogging!

After setting up your hosting account, you can install WordPress (or another CMS of your choice) and begin writing content. The installation process should only take a few minutes.

Choosing a Monetization Strategy

There are multiple ways to monetize a blog. They include:

  • AdSense
  • Premium advertising solutions
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Offering services (such as freelance writing)
  • Generating leads for local businesses

There are pros and cons of each of these models. AdSense doesn’t usually generate as much revenue as affiliate marketing or lead arbitrage (although some bloggers make a killing with it), but you can run AdSense throughout your entire site. You can also generate money from any visitors that find your site, while affiliate marketing generally requires you to reach visitors that are actively searching for a product.

One option is to run AdSense ads on most of your pages, while creating specific landing pages for certain affiliate products. You could make sure your affiliate pages are optimized for relevant keywords and disable AdSense on them.

How Much Will I Make from My First Blog?

There is no way to predict how well your blog will do. John Chow created a blog that started earning $40,000 a month in less than 30 days. Other bloggers fail multiple times before they start making money.

Some bloggers generate a sizeable income from a single blog. Others create dozens of blogs that each make a few hundred dollars a month.

Unfortunately, there is no formula that will tell you how much money you will make or how long it will take before you find success. You just have to trust the process, be persistent and know that the payoff will eventually come.