If you love getting free stuff and you are interested in making some extra money, blogging could be just what you are looking for. I have asked around several times on my site for bloggers that would be interested in helping me out, but what I frequently hear is that a lot of people are interested in blogging, they just don’t know where to start.
Companies and PR firms LOVE bloggers. Bloggers help get the word out about new and existing products and most PR firms and companies are willing to send out samples to bloggers to try and review! A lot of the time they send full size products out too!
Skills you need to blog:
- Know your way around a computer – You should be comfortable with photos, images and files.
- Know your way around Google – You should have the ability to search Google with relative ease. Literally everything you could need to know about any aspect of blogging is just a search away.
- Patience – Starting a blog does take some patience to get it growing. Social media makes networking so much easier than it used to be though, and with a twitter and Facebook account you should be able to find other bloggers!
Costs to start a blog:
- As little as free – You can start a blog for as little as NOTHING. There are services like Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr that allow you to blog for free! This has advantages and drawbacks. Advantage – Its free, duh. Disadvantage – A lot of PR firms may give more consideration to blogs with their own domain and hosting
- Domain & Hosting Costs – You can get started with a domain AND a year of hosting for less than $100. BlueHost is a WordPress recommended hosting company and you can sign up with them for as little as $71.40 for your first whole year! In addition, BlueHost offers 1 click WordPress installation so there is no need to worry about any coding!
How to Get Free Products:
- Start out with some filler content on your blog – Write about products that you already have or have tried. Post photos with the product and and describe what you love about the product. BE HONEST! Being honest in your reviews is necessary to keep readers coming back! Posting a few initial posts and reviews on your blog will show companies that you have done some reviews and give them an idea of what your posts and reviews look like.
- Email companies you like or companies with products you have been wanting to try – Look for a contact us form on websites of companies whose products you are interested in. Contact them, let them know that you have been wanting to try their products (let them know some specific ones, it will show them that you know their product line) and tell them why. Mention that you have a blog. You can go ahead and include your address in the first contact. Many companies are busy, and this might make things go a little faster for them.
But how do I find readers for my blog:
- Friends and Family is always a good start. Let them know on your personal social media channels that you are starting a blog and you would love for them to follow along. Keep in mind, not everyone may be interested in becoming a reader. If you decide to mainly review makeup, chances are the males in your family aren’t going to be interested. Know your potential audience.
- Social Media – When you sign up make sure that you also sign your blog up for a Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube etc. All of these sites can be really great sources of traffic for your blog. Once you get signed up for social media for your blog (free by the way). You can find similar followers and follow them and hope they follow you back. If you search on Facebook there are also some groups for bloggers that you can become a part of (I am considering starting one) and you can help each other out by liking each others social media.
Is blogging hard?
- Short answer – not really
- Long answer – Posting on a blog is relatively easy. I like to say that if you can update your Facebook status and post photos on Facebook then chances are you could probably blog. The hardest part of blogging is finding an audience who is interested that will become loyal readers.
How do I make money blogging?
- By not worrying about making money – as backwards as it sounds, if you focus on readership and your content (the blog post, photos, videos that you make) money will come. There are many programs online to monetize your blog some of my favorites include Google Adsense and Sharasale
- Is it really that profitable? – It can be. Not everyone is going to stick with blogging or grow an audience to the point where they make money, but there can be great rewards for those who hang in there, and give it their all.
Blogging successfully is not something that happens over night. It takes some time to get your rhythm and to build up followers. There is no real classes for learning to blog, it is very much learn as you go. When you have a question, search google for the answers or reach out to some blogging groups on Facebook to ask others for help.
Things to avoid:
- I’d steer clear of classes that want to teach you how to blog for a fee. All of the information that you need to become a successful blogger is available with a quick web search.
- Steer clear of extra add on services. I have never purchased things like “Search Engine Visibility Boosters” or anything of that sort. I have paid for advertising (and continue to do so) but basically anything that sounds super quick and super easy and costs relatively little is going to be not worth it in my experience