Do you have questions about making money blogging? Today, I am answering the questions I hear the most about starting a blog.
I receive numerous emails each day with questions about blogging.
And, I completely understand!
After all, I also had no idea what I was doing in the beginning either. I didn’t know that blogs could make money or even how they worked.
Nearly everything I learned about starting a blog was through trial and error, and I have made many, many mistakes over the years.
It’s funny to think about how far I’ve come when it comes to blogging, because in the beginning I barely even knew what a blog was.
I had so many questions when I started my blog.
I know that many new bloggers probably have some of the same questions I had because I receive so many emails every single day from readers asking how to start a blog, how to make a living through blogging, and more.
Today, I’m going to help you by answering some of the most common questions I receive about blogging.
Some of the questions I answer today include:
- How do I decide what to blog about?
- Do I need to be good with computers to start a blog?
- I am afraid to start my blog and put myself out there. How do I get over this fear?
- How many page views do you need to make money blogging?
- How many blog posts should I have before launching?
- How long should a blog post be?
- How long does it take for a blog to make money?
- Do you have to pay taxes on blogging income?
If you have any other questions about blogging, just add them below in a new comment.
Your top questions about blogging
1. What is a blog?
A blog is a website.
A blog is content that is written on a website. It usually consists of articles, like the one you are reading right now.
What is a blog used for? Blogs can vary from person to person. You may create a blog to journal, to teach on a topic, to sell something, to tell a story, and so on. There’s no exact rules about what your blog has to be used for.
What is a blog post? Blog posts are individual entries on a blog. Blog posts usually include text, but they can also have photos, videos, infographics, and more. An example of a blog post is what you’re reading right now. There is a title, its own URL (that’s the web address), and text where I share in depth information.
2. Do I need to be good with computers to start a blog?
You simply just need basic computer skills to start a blog.
You don’t need to know how to code or anything like that.
Most bloggers are not computer wizards and many don’t really know much about how websites work. And, that is completely fine. I am definitely not great when it comes to websites and I do just fine 🙂
You can learn what you need as you go, install easy plugins, and more in order for your website to work the way you would like it to.
3. I am afraid to start my blog and put myself out there. How do I get over this fear?
I hear this question probably the most often. I think this is a fairly common fear for pretty much all new bloggers. After all, starting a blog is so new and you are putting yourself out there for everyone to read your content.
Plus, it’s completely normal to feel scared when you are starting something new.
But, you won’t know unless you get started.
So, you should just start and see if you like it!
I recommend just making the leap.
4. Can I blog anonymously?
Yes, you can do this and bloggers do it all the time.
I started Making Sense of Cents anonymously. I did stop after about 1.5-2 years into blogging as I didn’t feel the need to do it anymore. But, some people are anonymous for years and it suits them just fine.
You can write with a pen name, not share any personal photos of your face, and more in order to blog anonymously.
5. Is it too late to start a website/blog?
No, it’s not too late, and you haven’t missed out.
The online world is still so new, and each year there are new ways to monetize and grow your blog.
The online world is a huge place and it is just going to keep growing. Every blogger earns a living in slightly different ways, and everyone has a different message and story. Plus, there are so many different ways to earn money blogging, and the options have continued to change and grow since I started blogging.
Of course, because the blogging world keeps changing, there will constantly be new things for you to learn, but that will probably always be the case for managing any kind of business.
So, if you are thinking about starting a blog, today is the day. Don’t let your fears hold you back any further! You can find my free How To Start a Blog Course here.
6. How do I come up with a blog name?
Deciding on a name for your blog is probably one of the hardest parts of blogging.
Even if you know exactly what you want to blog about and have some articles written, deciding on your blog’s name may be stopping you from actually creating your website and launching it.
I don’t exactly remember how I came up with Making Sense of Cents, but I remember there being a lot of brainstorming involved.
Coming up with a blog name shouldn’t lead to stress, so here are my tips for deciding on a blog name:
- Make it easy. My blog name isn’t the easiest for people to spell, and even I sometimes jumble it when I’m spelling it. So, my top tip would be to make sure that your blog name is easy for people to type or spell out loud. I’ve seen blog names that are extremely long, contain words that are difficult to spell, and so on. Instead, you should make it as easy as possible for your readers to find you.
- Think about what you’ll be writing about. Think about the topics you want to write about, who your target audience is, and more, and then jot down descriptive words that are related to each. Brainstorming like this is a good way to come up with a blog name!
- Use a thesaurus to find similar words. If your first or second choices are taken or if you want to see if there are some catchier-sounding blog names, using a thesaurus can help you with some new ideas.
- Make it catchy. You may want to think of something funny, use alliteration, or something else to make your blog name catchy and memorable.
- Use your name. If you don’t want something catchy and/or if you think you’re not creative enough, then just use your name. It’s super easy that way, and more and more people are starting to do this.
7. What should I write about on my blog?
Below is a list of possible blog examples and blog topic ideas. The list doesn’t end here either. The list can go on forever:
- Lifestyle, such as raising a family, managing a household, relationships, and more
- Personal finance
- Crafts and DIY
- Small business
- The outdoors, such as hiking and camping
- Fitness and health
- Food and recipes
- Inspiration and advice
- Travel, such as part-time, long-term, RVing, and plane travel
And so much more.
I usually recommend creating a blog around a topic that you are passionate about, that you are an expert in, that you like, or something else along those lines.
This can make blogging feel fun instead of like a chore.
You can blog about several topics or you can blog about one specific thing, such as personal finance. For me, I cover several topics here on Making Sense of Cents. I talk about personal finance, life, travel, RVing, sailing, self-help, and more. But, I always try to bring all of my writing back to the topic of money in some way (for example, I would write a blog post about How To Make Money While RVing, instead of places to RV to).
Some things that you may want to think about when choosing your blog topic include:
- What are you passionate about? I always recommend that you start by thinking about what you love doing. Perhaps it’s a sport that you really love, crafts, cooking, managing money, travel, or something else. Whatever it is, blogging about your passion is great because that will show in your writing, and your readers will enjoy reading your posts.
- What blogs do you currently enjoy reading? If you are thinking about starting a blog, I’m assuming it’s because you probably enjoy reading blogs yourself. If that’s the case, then you may want to think about which blogs you really enjoy reading and possibly blog about something similar.
- What are you an expert in? Now, you don’t need to be an expert in your blog’s topic to earn money blogging, but if you are an expert at something, then this could be a topic that you blog about. There are many successful “How-To” websites because people love to learn new things through blogs. And, there is probably something you could teach (everyone’s an expert at something, even if you don’t realize that yet!). Think about the questions your friends and family are always asking you about, topics that you enjoy helping others with, and so on.
- What things do you like learning about? Like I said above, you don’t need to be an expert in a topic to blog about it. People also enjoy reading blogs from people who are learning or trying new things. This is because everyone has to start somewhere, and people love following the journey and seeing how something is actually done. So, if you are learning how to earn money blogging, for example, that could be where you start your blog. You can write about all of your mistakes, talk about what you’ve learned, show how you have tried and reviewed different options, and so on.
One way to try and narrow down what to write about is to think of around 5-10 blog post ideas for each niche you are interested in. This little challenge can help you realize which topic you are most interested in.
7. Should I pay for a blog platform or just use a free one?
I highly recommend paying the low cost to start a blog. I do not recommend the free sites if you want to make money blogging.
Your blog should be self-hosted if you want to earn money blogging. This is actually one of the first things you should do.
I recommend that you start on self-hosted WordPress (this tutorial will help you start your blog the correct way). I cannot say this enough, but I do not recommend Blogger or WordPress.com (you want the self-hosted version, which is WordPress.org – confusing, I know). Buying that $10 domain name from Blogger or GoDaddy does not mean you are self-hosted either.
The positives of being self-hosted on WordPress include:
- Your blog will look more professional meaning you will increase your chances of making money online.
- You will have complete control over your blog, such as choosing plugins.
- You own your blog, and it can’t be deleted for any reason.
8. How do you design a blog?
To create your blog, I recommend heading to my tutorial: How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost.
After that, you will have three options when it comes to designing your blog:
- Designing your blog on your own
- Paying someone to design your blog
- Purchasing a pre-made theme or design (the quickest option and affordable). I usually recommend that a new blogger simply purchase a pre-made blog design, such as through Etsy.
Designing your brand new blog is probably one of the hardest parts about starting a new website.
But, it doesn’t have to be.
So many brand new bloggers get overwhelmed in this stage, but I recommend simply purchasing a theme or design and moving on.
There are WordPress themes that will make it very easy for you to design your blog. That way, you can spend more of your valuable time on other important things.
Or, there are free themes through WordPress you can use too. Just go to “Appearance” on the left-hand side when you are logged into your WordPress website and click on “Themes,” then activate whichever one you are interested in testing out. By doing this, you can start designing your website easily!
Another option would be to buy a pre-made blog design, which you can find on Etsy or searching on Google.
9. How much do I have to spend before I can earn money blogging?
When I first started my blog, I spent less than $100 in the first year and not too much more in the second year.
In fact, I probably went a few years when I was only spending about 1%-2% of my revenues on blogging expenses.
Now, some of my expenses include:
- My computer
- The actual blog (design, hosting, etc.)
- Courses, guides, and ebooks that I learn from
- My email (newsletter) list
- Virtual assistant and editor
- Technical management
- Transaction fees
But, you do not need to spend money on all of these things to earn money blogging.
Learn more about my expenses at My Complete List of Monthly Expenses for a Multi Million Dollar Blog.
10. How do you think of ideas for new blog posts?
I have published around 2,000 articles on Making Sense of Cents. And, I’m not running out of ideas any time soon.
I currently have a few hundred blog posts ideas that are just waiting to be written and published.
Two questions that I receive quite often from readers include: 1) How do you come up with ideas for new blog posts and 2) How are you constantly coming up with new blog posts after several years of blogging?
One of the most difficult parts of blogging is creating new content, and sometimes you may feel that you have hit a brick wall and can’t find any inspiration.
For me, though, I have a system that has worked quite well, and due to that, I don’t think I will ever run out of ideas for content.
So, how do I still have things to write about after several years of blogging?
I find topics to write about through:
- Life experiences. Here on Making Sense of Cents, I generally only like to write about topics that I have experience with. I think this is what helps set me apart from others. I also receive the best motivation and inspiration from taking financial topics that I personally come across in day-to-day life and turning them into fun and engaging content.
- Reader questions. I receive a ton of emails and comments each day from readers, and most of them are questions, like the topic of today’s post –how long does it take for a blog to make money? If I feel like I have something valuable to share, then I like to turn questions into blog posts. This way, I can share my knowledge and expertise on a subject, and I also help a reader by diving further into a subject than what I could say in a simple email. Plus, if one person has a question, I know that many other people probably do as well! Turning questions into posts is also great because the next time I receive the question, I can easily send the link over to the reader.
- Research that I’ve done and articles that I’ve read. I read a lot of articles every day simply for fun, and sometimes I come across something that I feel should be expanded upon, a topic that I think the average person doesn’t understand, things that boggle my mind, and so on. For example, if I see a crazy statistic that I find interesting, I may turn it into an article.
- Brainstorming. Occasionally, I will simply sit down and have a little brainstorming session. While I do have a long list of possible content ideas, I like to keep my list fresh and update it often. Some of the things I do in my brainstorming sessions is that I may read older content of mine and see how I could possibly expand further on a subject to make it better, think of new blog posts that I could write about on a subject that is popular on my site (I may look at Google Analytics or Pinterest Analytics to determine this), and more.
- Survey readers. Sometimes I ask my readers what they want to read more about. This always leads to a ton of ideas for blog posts and can be a very quick and easy way to add to your content list.
As you can see, there are many ways to come up with new content to write about.
11. How can I increase pageviews to my blog?
There are many ways to increase traffic to your blog such as:
- Publish high-quality blog posts. Readers come back to blogs with high-quality and helpful posts.
- Be active on social media. Social media lets you interact with your audience more and can help you expand your audience. This may include Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, and more.
- Publish new blog posts regularly. If you want to earn money blogging, you should publish something at least once a week. Going for weeks or months at a time without a blog post can lead to readers forgetting about you.
- Network with other bloggers. You should look at other bloggers as friends and colleagues, not competition. This means you may want to interact with them on social media, reach out to them via email, attend conferences, and more. Of course, be genuine and give more than you take.
- Guest post. Guest posting is a great way to reach a new audience and helps build partnerships with other bloggers.
- Make sure it’s easy to share your content. I love sharing posts on social media, but it gets frustrating when blogs make it difficult. You should always make sure it’s easy for readers to share your content. This could mean making your social media icons easy to find, having all of the info input that is needed for sharing (title, link, and your @username), and so on. And, test it out yourself to make sure everything looks correct by sharing your own content from your buttons as well! Probably about 50% of the time I try to share someone’s content, there is a problem. This is an easy fix.
- Create catchy headlines. The title of your post is a major factor influencing whether readers click over or not. I like to use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to help me with my headlines.
- Learn SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) is not something I could teach in such a small section, but I recommend doing your research and learning more about what it is and how it can help you. I do talk about SEO more below.
- Make it easy for readers to browse. If you want more pageviews, you should make it as easy as possible for readers to read your other blog posts. Readers should be able to easily find your blog homepage, categories, search bar, About/contact pages, and so on.
12. How often should I write a blog post?
I recommend publishing a blog post at least once a week.
This is because consistency is important when it comes to blogging.
I started out publishing short blog posts a few times a week. Now, I try to do just one long blog post each week. I find that works best for me and Making Sense of Cents.
Others may decide to blog every single day, and some may try every other day. It all depends on what you would like to do.
13. How many blog posts should I have before launching?
I recommend simply just launching your blog with one blog post. You can continue to add more as you go.
This is because you won’t have a ton of readers in the beginning anyways, so just getting started is going to be your best plan of action.
Too many people overthink this question, which just delays them from actually starting their blog.
14. How long should a blog post be?
The ideal length varies. I usually recommend that a blog post be at least 1,000 words.
For Making Sense of Cents, my blog posts are almost always at least 2,000 words, and I have written some long ones (like this blog post) that are well over 5,000 words too.
The ideal length for your article will depend on your niche, and the topic that you are writing about.
15. How do I get my blog noticed by Google/SEO?
For your blog to be found on Google search results, you’ll want to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You can sign up for The SEO Starter Pack (FREE Video Training) – Level up your SEO knowledge with this FREE video training.
Here are some articles on SEO that you may want to read as well:
16. How long does it take a blog to make money?
This is a hard question to answer, and it’s also one of the most common questions I receive.
As you can tell from my past income reports, it took me nearly a year of blogging to start earning a few hundred dollars a month from my blog. After two years of blogging, I was earning several thousands of dollars a month, which was all on the side of my day job.
But, I also didn’t start my blog to make money so held me back significantly because I made lots of glaringly obvious mistakes that held me back.
I know some bloggers who were making thousands of dollars a month after just a few months of blogging. There are bloggers out there who began a year or two after me and are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. There are also other bloggers who aren’t making any money at all.
As you can see, blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme and there isn’t a timeline for when you will start to earn money blogging. However, if you are serious about it, you never know what it may turn into.
It all depends on you, the effort you put into your blog, whether you have the time to learn how to monetize your blog, and more.
17. How do blogs make money?
Some of the ways to make money blogging include:
I go in-depth on each way monetization method here – How To Earn Money Blogging: Your Top Questions Answered.
18. How do bloggers get paid?
“How does the money actually get to you? WHO is actually paying bloggers?”
You receive blogging income from whoever is paying you.
- If it is affiliate marketing you are providing, then you are paid by the company that makes the product or service. When someone buys something or signs up through your link, that’s when you get.
- If someone is paying you to place an advertisement on your website, then you get paid by the company who you are advertising for.
- If you are publishing a sponsored post, then you are paid by the company who is sponsoring your blog post.
- If you have display ads on your website, such as with Google Adsense, then you are paid by Google or by any number of other companies.
There are many companies and blogging networks out there that you can use to earn money blogging, and they usually pay you through PayPal or with a check in the mail.
19. What’s your process for publishing a new blog post?
This may sound like a long process for each article that I write, but it has become quite routine over time.
Here is a list of what goes along with each new article that you see on Making Sense of Cents:
- Think of new article topic ideas. I have a list of over 100 possible article topics that I keep on my laptop and my phone. The topics you read about here on Making Sense of Cents come from life experiences, reader questions, research, articles that I’ve come across (like if I see a statistic that I find interesting, I will then turn that into a blog post), and so on.
- Create a schedule. I have a schedule of topics for at least one full month, including the dates articles will be published. And, I like to make sure I cover a good variety of topics each week. For example, I don’t usually like to have a month full of blog post about different side hustles. Instead, I like my posts to vary between making money, ways to save money, and so on.
- Write content. I like to sit down and write an article from beginning to end without any breaks. It may take me an hour to write an article or I may be at it all day. Sometimes, writing a single blog post does span a few days, but for the most part, I like to finish it in one sitting. I then hand over the content to my editor to fix anything from grammar and punctuation to the general flow of the article.
- Add images and formatting. Once I get the content back from my editor, I add images (one for Pinterest and one for Facebook), format the post the way I want it to look, add links to related content on my website, decide which newsletter optin I want to include within the blog post, and more.
- Publish the article and share. Once the article is published on Making Sense of Cents, I share it to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. My virtual assistant will also schedule out the blog post for future shares on social media as well.
- Email my subscribers. The last thing I do is send an email to my subscribers about a new blog post being published.
I also do this for all of the articles I write for other blogs too. So, if I’m taking part in an interview or writing content for another website, I usually share it even more than I do for my own content. If you guest post on a person’s website, you should do the same – the more you share it, the more traffic that person will get, and the more likely they are to re-share it too.
20. Can you make money on TikTok?
Yes, you can make money on TikTok.
I recommend reading How I Make Money On TikTok – How I Grew To 350,000 Followers and Made $60,000 In 6 Weeks to learn more.
21. Do you have to pay taxes on blogging income?
Yes, blogging income is just like any other type of full-time or side income that you may bring in. That means you will have to pay taxes on your blogging income.
To understand taxes for bloggers, I recommend reading: Your Top 14 Tax Questions For Bloggers and Digital Nomads Answered. You will learn about:
- Blogging and self-employment
- What self-employment tax is
- Filing taxes as a blogger
- Tax deductions for bloggers
- What if your blog is just a hobby?
It’s a very informative read, and it will help clear up many of the common blogging and tax questions that you may have.
22. Where can I get photos for blog posts from?
Putting pictures in your blog posts is important.
They can help explain your story, break up text to make a blog post easier to read, and you need them for social media too (such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram).
Now, you can’t just do a Google image search and use the pictures you find, and the same goes for images and pictures you find on Pinterest. Doing those things may get you in trouble with the person who owns the photos. Similar to how you wouldn’t want someone to copy and paste a blog post of yours, you shouldn’t take photos without permission.
Currently, I source the pictures I use from three main areas:
- My own photos. These are usually found in my travel-related content and Instagram. I use both my cell phone and my old DSLR for pictures. Photography is an area that I’m still looking to improve, so I mainly use the following option for the majority of the pictures I publish directly on Making Sense of Cents.
- Ivory Mix. I absolutely love IvoryMix. They have great stock photos that fit perfectly with the vibe of Making Sense of Cents. They add over 100 photos monthly, and you can use them on your blog, social media, and more. Plus, Ivory Mix comes with unlimited download access.
- DepositPhotos. DepositPhotos is an affordable place to purchase photos. They usually have a deal for around 50 or 100 photos, and it’s one of the places I purchase photos from.
23. Do I need an email list?
Yes, you need an email list.
I didn’t start my email list until years after I started blogging, and that is probably the biggest blogging mistake I’ve made. It took me even longer to take my list seriously, which I did after switching to Convertkit.
I didn’t really use my email list right away because I didn’t really understand newsletters, and I also didn’t realize how having an email list could help me engage with my readers and earn money blogging.
I really wish I would have spent more time on my newsletter in those early years, but I’m glad that I eventually did learn from my mistake.
This is why I recommend that all bloggers spend time growing their email list. Actually, starting an email list is important for anyone who wants to make money online.
Here is why having an email list is important for bloggers:
- Your newsletter is all yours. Unlike Pinterest and Facebook (and other social media sites too), your newsletter and email subscribers are all yours, and you have your readers’ undivided attention. You don’t have to worry about some social media algorithm not showing your content to your readers, as they are your email subscribers so you aren’t fighting with anyone else to have them see your content.
- The money is in your list. I believe that an email newsletter list is the best way to promote products, from affiliate products to ones you create such as an ebook. Your email subscribers signed up specifically to hear what you have to say, so you have their full attention. Your email list, over any other strategy, will almost always lead to more sales.
- Your email subscribers are loyal followers. If someone is allowing you to show up in their email inbox whenever you want, then they probably trust what you have to say and enjoy hearing from you. This is a great way to grow an audience and to grow a loyal audience at that.
- Email is a great way to deliver other forms of content. With Convertkit, I am also able to create free email courses that can automatically be sent out to my subscribers. This makes life easy because all a reader has to do is sign up, and then Convertkit drips out the content daily, weekly, or in whatever other timeframe I choose.
24. What legal disclosures do I need for my blog?
I receive a lot of emails about the legal side of blogging. This makes sense as you want to be safe.
If you are looking for legal templates, I recommend checking out the Website Legal Templates Bundle. It includes:
- Terms and conditions template
- Disclosures templates
- Affiliate terms and conditions template
- Sponsored post disclosure and more
You can learn more about why these are important at 3 Super Common Legal Mistakes Bloggers Make (and How to Fix Them).
25. What blogging ebooks and courses do you recommend?
I’m almost always taking new blogging-related courses because I know that there is always something new to learn.
Here are the ebooks and courses that I recommend for bloggers:
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I share my exact affiliate marketing strategy and tips in this informative online course. I show you exactly how to make passive income from blogging, even while you’re sleeping or traveling.
- Making Sense of Sponsored Posts. I launched this course with my sister, Alexis of Fitnancials, to help bloggers earn money through sponsored posts. In this course, we help you with finding sponsorship deals, maintaining partnerships, and how to always make sure that you are helping your readers.
- Traffic Transformation: 21 Strategies I Used to Increase My Monthly Page Views from 17,000 to 400,000+ in 10 Months is a great guide full of actionable strategies that you can put into place on your blog right away so that you can learn how to increase your blog’s page views. If you are feeling stuck or if you are a new blogger, check out this resource!
- Pinterest Traffic Avalanche – This is one of the best blogging courses on Pinterest traffic! You can learn how to get 10,000-100,000+ free monthly visitors to your website through Pinterest with this course.
- Pinterest Pin Templates – If you want to make beautiful eye-catching pins, I recommend checking out these pin templates. I recently started using them and they look very nice, plus they are easy to use.
- Six Figure Blogger – This is more of an advanced and complete blogging course, but it has many actionable strategies that you can apply to your blog right away. This course will teach you how to earn over $100,000 from your blog.
- Blog By Number – This is a very popular beginner blogging course that takes a step-by-step approach to covering topics like how to start your own blog, blog post templates, and launching your blog.
- Stupid Simple SEO – This is my favorite overall SEO course, and one of the most popular for bloggers. I highly recommend taking it. I have gone through the whole course, and I constantly refer back to it.
- Easy On Page SEO – This is an easy to follow approach to learn on-page SEO so your articles can rank on Google. I have read this ebook twice, and it is super helpful.
- Easy Backlinks for SEO – This ebook will show you 31 ways to build backlinks for your blog.
- Get Your Keywords Together: How to Do Keyword Research Using Only Free Tools – This ebook shares the five steps to keyword research so that you can get organic traffic to your blog.
The blogging ebooks and courses above will help you start a successful blog.
How To Start A Blog Free Course
If you don’t have a blog, then I recommend taking my free blogging course How To Start A Blog FREE Course.
Here’s a quick outline of what you will learn in this free course:
- Day 1: The reasons you should start a blog today
- Day 2: How to decide what topic to write about
- Day 3: How to create your blog on WordPress
- Day 4: How to make money with your blog
- Day 5: How to make passive income from your blog
- Day 6: How to grow your traffic and page views
- Day 7: Miscellaneous blogging tips that will help you be successful
This free course is delivered directly to your email inbox, and you will learn how to grow a blog from scratch.
You can sign up for free in the form below.
What other questions do you have about blogging?