Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Blog Business in Your Underwear
Have you ever dreamed about waking up in the morning and just working in your underwear? Or, better yet, how about launching and running a profitable business while only wearing your underwear (or your pajamas, or whatever wardrobe suits you)?
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Most people love the idea of this, but never pursue it. They don’t think it’s possible, or because it sounds unrealistic, or they believe starting a business is too much work, or is too risky.
But, what if I told you it was possible to start and run a profitable business in only your underwear? And that it wasn’t only possible, but that it was also simple and easy to do? Would you do it, or at least give it a try? I hope your answer is yes, because it is possible and very simple to do so, but if you’re still not convinced, here’s a few more things to consider.
- 10 Business Terms Every Entrepreneur Should Know
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A Business that can Revolve Around any Niche
The type of business and business model which I’m about to share with you, is the type of online business I currently run, and there are thousands of others who successfully run the same type of business. I’m going to share with you the exact business model I use, and how you or anyone you know can implement it, have fun with it, and turn it into a profitable business.
This type of business can be used in any niche, and although the business model is the same for anyone operating this type of business, it can revolve around whatever you’re interested in or passionate about, that’s what makes this type of business actually fun! I know that sounds odd, but I’ll explain this in more detail later.
Before I tell go on and get into explaining how to start a blog business, you should know about some of the advantages and benefits this type of online business offers you.
Business Start-up Costs, Operating Costs, and More
- Extremely low start-up costs. You won’t need to take out a personal loan, business loan, or need a lot of money to start your business. Start-up costs are extremely low, as low as $3.49! (I’ll explain how)
- Low operating costs. Unlike other types of businesses, operating costs are extremely low. Expenses to run and operate this type business don’t have to be any higher than $3.49 per month, this also includes all the start-up costs (I’ll show you how).
- NO Inventory or Overhead Required. That’s correct, you won’t have to purchase or store any kind of physical inventory. Also, you won’t have to purchase or maintain any physical type of overhead.
- Operate Your Business from ANYWHERE. This type of business allows you to manage and operate it from anywhere with an internet connection, giving you freedom to travel and do whatever.
- Requires NO Experience and Minimal Technical Skills. Literally, anyone can start this type of business, from anywhere.
- A Large Market. The market for this type of business isn’t limited to a physical location, instead it’s global, anyone who uses the internet.
- Biggest Investment is Time. As I stated above, the monetary investment for this business is extremely low, your biggest investment in this type of business is time itself.
- Large monetary rewards. As with any business, you want to make money from it, this type of business offers many financial rewards and income, including passive income. Over time many people earn anywhere from $50,000 per month, to over $300,000 per month in this type of business, much of it in the form of passive income!
- Requires Little Maintenance. In the starting stages of this type of business, it requires a little work and effort on your part, but after, it requires little to no maintenance.
So… Did I get your attention and does this sound like a business model you would be interested in? If so, continue reading, I explain exactly what this type of business is, how it works, and how you can start your own blog business!
What type of business is this?
So far, many of you are probably thinking the type of business that I described above is too good to be true, but, I assure you that it is true, and everything I’ve said so far is very accurate. So, what type of business is this?
The type of business I’ve been talking about is a blog. That’s right, you read that correctly, I said a blog, B-L-O-G! I hope I didn’t just lose your attention, and if you’re in disbelief try and stay with me here, there’s a lot to go over and I’ll explain how a blog can be a fun and profitable business in more detail throughout this guide.
Most people don’t comprehensively understand what a blog is and all the components that go into a blog, let alone the fact that a blog can be business, that can be very-very-very profitable!
Whenever I try to explain to people that my online business is a blog, I generally lose them. When I tell people I have an “online business“, they’re usually very interested in learning and hearing about my business right up to the point where I tell them my online business model is a “blog”. At which point many no longer take me seriously and become disinterested.
This generally happens for a couple of different reasons, including:
- They don’t understand what a blog is. The concept of a blog is still fairly new, and most people (especially older generations) don’t fully understand what a blog is.
- They think blogging is only a hobby. Many people have it in their mind that blogging is just a hobby, or an online journal people do, and that there isn’t any profit in it. Although, it’s true, blogging is just a hobby for some people, in fact that’s how many people start out blogging, but let me assure you that blogging can be very profitable. Also, some people seem to believe (many older individuals) that blogging is something only children do. I honestly have no idea where this belief comes from, and people who believe this obviously do not have clear understanding of what a blog is.
- They expect to hear something more complex. When people think of a business, whether it’s an online or physical business, they think of physical goods and services, inventory, products, employees, imports and exports, customers, sales, funding and the seed money it took to launch your business. They want to hear about all the obstacles and hoops you had to jump through to get your business off the ground, and for some folks, the word “blog” takes all of the excitement out of the conversation.
- They don’t believe a blog is a business. Again, this goes back to people just simply not fully understanding what a blog is.
What exactly is a blog?
This is a key question that requires your full understanding. A blog, short for “weblog”, can be described and defined in many different ways, and one definition isn’t necessarily any more correct or accurate than another, as there are many different types of blogs.
To keep it simple without going into too much detail, generally a blog is a website or webpage that can be written in an informational or conversational style of writing. They generally have new content that is added and updated regularly or periodically, typically in reverse chronological order (the most recent article or post is displayed first). Blogs can be about news, events, and media related topics, or they can be centered on a specific niche, or both.
Most people who find information online or read online news sites don’t realize that the sites they’re reading are actually blogs. For example, the The Huffington Post and Techcrunch would both be considered blogs.
How to Start a Blog
Starting your own blog is actually much easier and affordable than what most people think. I’ll go over the basics of getting started below, but I’ve also written a detailed step-by-step guide on how to start a blog that you can read for greater detail.
To start your own blog business, you need:
- A unique domain name (your blog’s website URL)
- A “self-hosted” web-host
What is a domain name?
The first thing you’ll have to do in order to create your blog, is pick a unique domain name. Your domain name is the unique address (URL) of your blog on the internet. Your domain name is the name that you’ll be known for online, which is why it’s very important that the domain name you choose is a name that you’ll really like for years to come, and it should also go along with your blogs niche.
Your blogs audience and readers who know your domain name (website URL) will be able to easily go to your blog by typing it in their internet browsers address bar. New readers and guest will also be able to discover your blog through popular search engines like Google or Bing. This is why it’s really important that you pick a unique domain name that you’ll like for years to come and fits your blogs niche, because if you become unhappy with your blogs domain name down the road, it can be really difficult to change.
What is web hosting?
The second thing you need to do is choose a web hosting service, sign up for a hosting account to host your new blog business, and register the domain name with them.
A web hosting service provides your site with space on a server that lets you store your blog’s files. It’s a little like the files on your computer at home, only the difference is your blog’s files are always available online so that visitors can find your blog in search engines, or go to your blog directly by typing in your domain name in their internet browsers.
How to choose a good web hosting provider
Your web host is like the life-and-blood of your blog, and is critical for keeping your blog successful. Many problems can accrue if you pick the wrong (a bad) web hosting provider.
Tips for picking a web hosting service for your blog business:
- Reputation. The web host should have a good reputation.
- Uptime. This is important, as you always want your blog to be online, you don’t want any breaks in service.
- Support. A good web host provider has 24/7 tech support.
- Email Accounts. Established web hosts generally allow you to have unlimited email accounts for your blog.
- Security. You site will hold a lot of information, the last thing you want is to lose it all to some hackers.
- Price. The price should be reasonable, and web host like Bluehost offer special pricing to first-time customers of just a few dollars a month.
- Money-back Guarantee. Most web host providers will offer a full money-back guarantee for a limited of time when you first begin using their service, generally within the first 30, 45, and 90 days.
I’ve you plan on running your blog as a business and making money from it, you want to make sure you have a “self-hosted blog“, with a dependable and reliable web-host, such as Bluehost.
Bluehost is by far one of the most reputable web-hosting services, with a long-standing reputation of reliability, dependability, easy- usability, and has award winning 24/7 customer service and technical support.
Surprising, Bluehost isn’t only the best web-hosting service, but they’re also the most affordable. Currently they’re running a really great promotion for new customers that sign up for their services. New customers can get their web-hosting service for only $3.49 per month, and receive a free domain name (normally, $15). I’m not sure how long they’ll run this promotion for, but if you need a web-host and a domain name, this is a very good deal that you don’t want to pass up.
This promotional offer for Bluehost is only available through my Bluehosts links on this page. The promotional pricing includes, blog hosting starting at only $3.49 per month, and on top of that you’ll receive a free blog domain (a $15 value), when you sign up for at least 12 months of blog hosting.
Backup Your Blog and It’s Content
Your content, posts, and articles are what makes your blog, well, a blog. Your content is what makes your blog successful and profitable, and the very reason readers visit your blog. It takes a lot of time and creativity to create your blog’s content and posts. You could lose countless hours’ worth of work and effort, if there was ever a server crash and ended up losing all of your blogs content.
All of your blog’s content and data gets stored on a server, which is provided to you by your web hosting company. It doesn’t matter how good or reputable your web host provider is, technology fails, it happens all the time.
Web hosting company’s do everything they can to protect your sites data, but all it takes is for one server to go out or stop working, and instantly all your content and hard work can vanish. It’s your web hosts providers job to provide space for your blog online, it’s your job to protect and backup you blogs content.
How to backup content
To prevent anything from happening to your content or losing it permanently, you need to back up your blogs content. There are a number of services that will continuously backup your blogs content and data. If your blogs server ever crashes, or your blogs content gets lost or destroyed for any other reasons (such as human error), you would be able to recover it instantly as long as you had a good backup service.
I recommend Carbonite for backing up your content and data. Carbonite is the pioneer of online backup services and has been around longer than any other similar service provider. All your data is backed automatically on a regular basis to both their physical servers and in the cloud. In the event you ever lose your blogs content or data, you’ll be able to recover it instantly from the cloud, or if you prefer, they’ll even send you a hard copy of your data.
How to Get Readers to Your Blog
In order to make money with your blog, you’ll need to get readers and traffic to it. Starting out, you won’t have a ton of traffic, but overtime, it is something you’ll want to increase. One thing you’ll quickly realize is the more traffic and visitors you have going to your blog, the more your income will increase.
As you get more experienced at blogging, you’ll begin to understand what your readers want and how to convert new readers. You’ll continue to learn new ways of monetizing your blog, that depend less on the amount of traffic your blog has, like reaching out to companies for sponsorship and charging them a flat rate to place ads on your site.
Although, when you’re just starting out, traffic is king. There are many different ways to increase your blog’s traffic so you can make more money.
How to increase traffic to your blog
- High-Quality Blog Posts. All of your blog’s content should be informative, helpful, and high-quality. Good informative content will make readers want to revisit your blog on a regular basis, and refer others to your blog.
- Be Active on Social Media. Being active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are good ways to market your blog and send traffic to your blog.
- Easy to Share Content. You should have social media icons by all of your blogs content to make it simple for readers to share. When your blogs readers and visitors find content on your blog that they want to share with others, they’ll simply be able to click the social media icon they want to share your content on. This is the easiest way to get free traffic to your site, basically your readers are advertising your blog and its content for you!
- Guest Posting. Guest posting (posting articles on other blogs) is an effective way to get readers to your blog.
- Good Content Headlines. You’ll want to create catchy headlines for all of your blogs content, this is what catches the reader’s attention and makes them decide whether or not they want read your content.
- Easy Site Navigation. I’ll admit, I still struggle with this, but your site should be easy for your visitors to navigate, they should be able to easily find other content on your blog to read.
Outsourcing Web Design, Content Creation, and Other Tasks
If you’re running your blog as a business, everything needs to look professional, clean, and neat. This establishes yourself and your blog as a credible content source and as an authority in your niche.
As with any business, you the owner will not be able to complete every task yourself. Even if you could and knew how to do everything, it would be extremely difficult to accomplish and complete every task in a timely matter, serve the customer, and run a successful and profitable business.
When it makes sense to outsource:
- Tasks you don’t know how to do.
- Tasks you’re not good at.
- Tasks you don’t enjoy doing.
- Or, simple tasks that simply eat up your time, when it would make more sense and be more profitable to have someone else do them, allowing your time can be better spent elsewhere.
If you were starting a brick-and-mortar business, you wouldn’t build your business’s building yourself, set-up your entire store layout yourself, answer every customer call and email yourself, make every sale yourself, manage all the accounting and bookkeeping yourself, manage inventory and vendor relationships yourself, etc. So, why would you try doing everything with your blog business yourself?
If you tried doing everything yourself, not only would you have to learn how to do everything (coding, graphic design, and other technical skills), but it also take up a lot of your time, which could more profitable spent somewhere else.
Most people don’t have the technical know-how do their own web design, blog layout, and logo creation. Many people don’t have the time to always create content and write articles on a regular basis, or just simply are not good at writing.
There are also other tasks, such as the accounting side of your blog business, like bookkeeping, keeping track of income and expenses, and doing taxes. Also, managing all your blogs email accounts, answering and responding to reader’s emails and post comments, and managing your relations with your business affiliates. Below I’ll explain common tasks and jobs that bloggers outsource.
- FreshBooks Review: Accounting Software for Small Business and Bloggers
- Grammarly Review: Make Fewer Mistakes Writing Content and Earn More Money ← this service is 100% free to use and a must for bloggers and content writers!
- Reliable Global Website Hosting – TD Web Services Review ← this is good for websites and businesses with extremely large amounts of traffic and data, it’s pricier and not really necessary for a regular blog, or for yourself. I just put this review link on here in case you wanted to compare, but I still strongly recommend Bluehost for you. Bluehost is by far the best option for your blog, it’s the most affordable, and the simplest way for you to create your blog. You’ll be able to use Bluehost for the life of your blog as it’ll meet all your needs, and they’re the most reliable and user friendly web host available.
Outsourcing web design, blog layout, and logo creation
Your blogs design, layout, and logo are the first things your visitors will notice on your blog. Like everything else, the first impression a visitor gets from your blog’s web design and layout is what will initially put an image in the visitors mind for whether or not your blog is credible, and it’s what will make them choose to stay or leave your blog. Which is why it’s important that your blogs web design, layout, logo, and everything else look professional.
You’re blogs web design and layout are like your storefront, it has to look professional, clean, and easy to navigate so visitors can find the things they’re looking for. If it’s not professional, clean, and easy to navigate, readers won’t go past your blogs main page and may disregard your site and never come back to your blog ever again.
You can have the best content in the world but if your blogs layout and navigation is setup poorly, readers may never be able to find that great content they’re looking for. Even worst, if your blog’s design (your blog’s image) looks unoriginal, generic, or unprofessional, visitors will leave your site completely and never attempt to read or find your content.
You always want to design a professional logo for your blog and its brand. Your blogs logo represents your blogs brand, and is how your blogs visitors and the public will remember and recognize your blog. It’s important that your logo looks professional.
To get Professional Blog / Web Design:
- Godaddy Website Builder – Godaddy’s website builder offer’s you all the tools to completely build professional looking website yourself. It’s currently only $1.99 per month and you also receive a free domain.
- DIYthemes – Allows you to choose from countless professional designed WordPress themes.
To get Professional Logo Design:
- Deluxe Logo Design – They will have one of their professional designers develop a professional logo for your blog.
- Tailor Brands – They make it simple to create a logo design for your blog, with instant custom-made logos. (You can try Tailor Brands logo maker and logo design for Free and receive 10% discount, this promotional discount is only available by clicking my Tailor Brands link on this page.)
- LogoGarden – Another DIY logo maker and logo design. If you’re short on time, you’re able to create a professional looking logo in only 8 minutes.
- Fiverr – fiverr’s professional logo designers create custom logo designs starting at $5.
Outsourcing content, posts, and article creation
- HireWriters – This is the best and most affordable option in my opinion, you can have posts, articles, eBooks, and other content professionally written for as little as $1.50!
Hirewriters is probably the best and most affordable place to get professional content written, like posts, articles, and eBooks for websites and blogs. Read the HireWriters Review or go to the HireWriters Website to learn more.
- Fiverr – You can pay someone to do just about anything on fiverr for $5, including hiring someone to write an article, post, or other content for your blog business.
When using fiverr, it’s important to always use caution and read user reviews before hiring someone to complete a task. Most of the people on fiverr are freelancers, and some people on there are very good at what they do, but others are not. Most are non-professional amateurs looking to make a buck and they don’t offer refunds. If you’re not careful on fiverr you might be very dissatisfied with the work you get back.
How to Monetize and Make Your Blog Profitable
This is the section many of you have probably been waiting for, how to make a profitable blog business, in other words, how to make money blogging. After all, the entire point of starting any kind of business is to make money.
In this section, I’ll teach you on how to prepare your blog for monetization and go over some blog monetization strategies, these strategies will work with small and new blogs, but also blogs that already have established medium and large audiences, these strategies will work for all blogs. In order for you to implement these monetization strategies into your blog business, you must first have a blog to monetize.
If you haven’t already started a blog, scroll back to the top of the page where it talks about starting a blog, and follow the directions and links for creating your blog before reading any further. Otherwise use this link to go to Bluehost’s website to set up your account and create your blog quickly, by using that link you’ll get the special $3.49 pricing and a free domain name. Although Bluehost makes the process of setting up and starting a blog fairly simple, if you get confused or lost at all during the process refer to this tutorial on How to Start a Blog in 20 Minutes – The Complete Guide From Start to Finish, it’ll help you out.
Now that you’ve started your blog and have it set up, let’s begin on how to monetize your blog. For those of you who are just starting your blog business, many of you may have a day job, and earning money from your blog is a great way to generate a side income, and if you continue to grow your blog income on the side, eventually you could quite your day job if you choose.
For all you diehards, who are jumping into your blog business with both feet first, by using these monetizing strategies and putting in some dedication, it’s possible for you to use your blog as a regular source of income.
Common Monetization Misconceptions
I’ll get started on how to monetize your blog really quick, but first, I need quickly to go over some very common misconceptions with you guys about monetizing a blog.
Common Misconceptions about Blog Monetization:
- “Once I start my blog, I’ll start earning passive income” – This is completely wrong, your blog won’t begin earning passive income over night. After you have put some time into your blog, created good content, and have a decent amount of traffic going to your blog, will you have an opportunity to just set back and generate passive income while you sleep.
- “I shouldn’t start monetizing my blog until I have a big audience” – I hear of a lot of new bloggers doing this, and I also hear a lot of people giving this advice to people with new blogs. In my opinion, this is a bad idea. You don’t want your readers to get use to your “ad-free” blog, only to shock them over night by putting ads on your site. Instead, begin monetizing your blog immediately, your readers will be used to it and not taken by surprise.
I know in the above paragraph I said you should begin monetizing your blog immediately, but there is one thing you should do before-hand which could greatly help the success of your blog business – first begin establishing an email list.
Email marketing is by far one of the best ways to monetize your blog, but the only way for you to do that, is to first build an email list. Email marketing is very important to the future monetary success of your blog business, and luckily it’s not very expensive. For those of you just starting out, Campaigner allows you to have up to 1,000 subscribers for only $19.95 per month, but for their next package up which is only $10 more, you’re able to have up to 3,500 subscribers. Whichever package you choose to go with, Campaigner offers a 30-day free trial that you can take advantage of.
If you just started your blog, you probably only need the basic package which allows you up to 1,000 subscribers, this way you’re not paying more money than you need to, and when your email list eventually gets close to the 1,000 subscriber limit, you can always upgrade to the next package up at that time.
How Monetize a New Blog
For a new blog just starting out, or a blog without much traffic, I’ll go over some strategies for monetizing your blog which you can implement to generate revenue from your blog.
Affiliate marketing, for new blogs and blogs with little traffic, is one of the most effective ways for you to begin monetizing your blog. Affiliate marketing can allow you to generate revenue by promoting another person’s or companies product or service on your blog, in exchange for a commission. For those of you just starting out, this is the easiest way for you to monetize your blog. As long as you have a blog, most affiliate programs will accept you into their program even if you have a small audience.
To begin affiliate marketing, you first need to get accepted into an affiliate program or two, which you can do through affiliate networks. Affiliate networks are websites that connect publishers with advertisers who are interested in promoting the advertisers product or service. Two well established affiliate networks, are Shareasale and Flexoffers, I would recommend starting off by using one or both of these services, which are completely free.
Most affiliate programs will accept you into their programs as long as you have a “self-hosted” blog, even if you currently have little traffic going to your blog. Your blog must be self-hosted, otherwise affiliate programs will turn you away. This is also true for all other monetization methods, your blog must be “self-hosted” if you plan on monetizing it, this includes having your own domain name. You can get a self-hosted blog through Bluehost for only $3.49 by using this special promotion link, which includes a free domain name. I strongly recommend you do this, as Bluehost is the best web hosting service available and by using that link it’s also the cheapest. I’m not sure how long Bluehost will run this promotion, but I’d take advantage of this deal while it lasts.
Until you’re able to get your blog fully set-up, get a decent amount of posts, articles, and other quality content on your blog, grow your email list, and significantly grow your audience and traffic to your site; affiliate marketing for now will be the most effective way for you to monetize your site and blog business.
When picking affiliate programs to promote and to gain the trust and loyalty of your readers, it’s important you only promote products and services you actually use, can stand by, are knowledgeable about, and well benefit your readers. Write detailed reviews on your experience using these products and services, and talk about why you use them.
There’s a lot to blogging and monetizing your blog, and it’s going to take some time and effort for you to get a grasp on everything, but just keep at it. It took me a year-and-a-half before I really began to understand how to monetize my blog and find out what readers wanted from my content, and I’m still learning new things every day.
I covered a lot things in this post, so for now I’ll end it here, and let you try to digest and implement some of this information into your own blog and business. I only covered the very basics of starting, running, and monetizing a blog in this post, and there is much more complexity to blogging which you’ll learn as you get more experience. You don’t want to try and do too much at once, especially when you’re just starting out. I could go on and on about different ways to monetize a blog, but it would be unproductive information for you and wouldn’t help you unless you already had a well establish blog and audience, and you would have an information overload.
For now, your only focus should be on setting up your blog, creating awesome content, joining a few good affiliate programs, and growing your email list and audience. If you can master those things, everything else will come in time, and as your blog business grows, you’ll grow with it.
If you stayed with me and read this entire post to the end, I’m glad you did. It was a long article, but I wanted to be sure and cover this important information in detail, as it’s vital to anyone just starting out. This information is useless unless you actually implement it, so get started now! Re-read this article to really soak everything up, and use this guide as a reference that you can come back to in the future. Remember, try not too do to much at once, or you’ll burn out, and your blog and content will suffer as a consequence.
If you’re just starting your blog business now, I’d love to hear back from you in the future and hear about the success you’ve had with your blog. Have fun with your blog and good luck!
Author: Tyler DeBroux
Tyler started Oddball Wealth towards the end of 2014 after graduating college, as a way to stay relevant in his area of study, stimulate his mind, and to educate and help others.
Tyler has worked in the financial services industry, as a financial advisor, helping his clients make wise financial decisions and personalized long-term financial plans. Since graduating college in December of 2014, Tyler has paid off more than $15,000 in student loan debt and counting, his goal is to have all his student loans paid in full by the in of 2016.
Tyler is an entrepreneur and an expert in personal finance. Two of his many hobbies include investing and building online businesses. He is also a big advocate of early retirement and an aggressive saver, who utilizes any financial resources and tools available to him to help reach his goals for achieving financial independents.