Today I tackle Blogging FAQ! Do you have questions about making money blogging? If so, today is your lucky day! I am going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that I receive regarding starting a blog.
And, I get it! In the beginning, I was in your shoes too. I had no clue that blogs could result in income or really grasp how they functioned. most of what I’ve learned about blogging came from making plenty of mistakes and retrying until something stuck–and over time, things changed and improved a lot.
Today, I’m going to help you by answering some of the most common questions I receive about blogging.
Some of the blogging FAQ I answer today include:
- How do I decide what to blog about?
- What if I’m scared to start a blog?
- How long does it take for a blog to make money?
- Do I have to pay taxes on blogging income?
If you have any other questions about blogging, just reach out, I am happy to help!
“One of the differences between some successful and unsuccessful people is that one group is full of doers, while the other is full of wishers.”— Edmond Mbiaka
Your top questions about blogging
So lets start at the beginning and find out what a blog is and then I’ll get into some of the more detailed questions.
There are affiliate links in this post. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, JoLarsen.com may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. View our disclaimer page for more info. All opinions are my own. Thanks so much for your support!
1. What is a blog?
A blog (shortening of “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological order, with the latest posts appearing first. It is a platform where a writer or even a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.
You can use a blog for anything that you want. You may journal, teach others about something, sell an item, or tell a story. Basically, there are no specific rules on what your blog has to be used for the the ones that work best for making money are ones that solve problems and provide solutions.
What is a blog post? A blog post is simply an article published on a blog. These entries usually just include text, but they can occasionally feature photos, videos, infographics, and more.
For instance, the very article you’re reading right now fits this definition of a blog post perfectly. It has its own distinguishable title along with a URL address where I share extensive information within the body of text.
What blogging is not – It’s not a personal diary. This was common in the early 2000s when blogs first came out, but it is no longer the case.
It’s also not a platform to just post random things without any purpose or structure. In order for your blog to be successful, you need to have a plan and a focus.
It’s not just posting pics on social media – although you can use social media to share your blog content, a blog is its own platform with its own unique capabilities and voice.
2. What is the difference between a blog and a website?
A website, on the other hand, is much more broad and can include static pages that never change. For example this is a blog but my Doctor has a website that contains basic information and contact information.
3. What computer skills do I need to start a blog?
The ability to start your own blog comes down to having fundamental computer skills—you don’t need to know how to code. In fact, the majority of bloggers lack in-depth knowledge about website design and function. And that’s perfectly okay!
I’m not an expert myself, yet I still manage just fine. As you create your blog, you’ll learn what resources and modules you need along the way to make your site work as intended.
The basics you should know are:
- How to create, edit, and format text using a word processing program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
- How to copy and paste information from one place to another.
- How to upload photos and videos onto the internet.
If you can do all of those things and have a decent ability to write, then you have the skills you need to start a blog. I learned basic HTML as well to understand some of the basic coding.
The good news is that if you do get stuck with the technical aspects, you can hire some help fairly inexpensively on Fiver or Upwork to fix an issue.
4. Is it too late to start blogging or build a website?
The online world is still relatively new believe it or not, and each year there are new ways to monetize your blog and grow your audience. The internet is a big place, and there’s always room for another voice with a unique message or story.
Plus, there are tons of different ways to make money blogging, and the options have continued to change since I started out. So don’t worry – it’s not too late to get started!
Feeling scared when starting something new is totally normal. But unless you take the plunge, you’ll never know if it’s for you.
If you’re afraid of putting yourself out there, start with a anonymous blog or one with a pseudonym. That way, you can ease into it and get comfortable before revealing your true identity.
Although the blogging industry is always shifting, that’s true for every business. If you’re apprehensive about starting a blog, remember that everyone feels that way at first.
Today is the day to take charge of your destiny and start writing, start building and start growing!
5. I am worried that I won’t be confident enough to post my work online. Help!
A lot of new bloggers I talk to are worried about putting themselves and their work out there online, open to the world’s thoughts and criticisms. Other common concerns include how long they should spend perfecting things before going live.
I’m not saying to aim for poor grammar and terrible ideas, but your blog should be more about expressing yourself rather than perfection. Let your voice be heard! What do you have to lose? Most likely, very little!
By writing your blog, you’re not only growing and developing yourself, but also giving your readers the opportunity to do the same. Take them on a journey with you!
6. What topic should I blog about?
This is one of the most common questions people ask me when they’re first starting out. And it’s also one of the hardest to answer definitively because there are an infinite number of topics you could potentially blog about.
The best way to choose a topic or your blog niche is to start by thinking about what you’re passionate about.
What are the things that you enjoy doing or talking about? For example, if you love to cook, you could start a food blog. Or, if you’re passionate about fashion, you could create a style-related blog.
Blog niche ideas include:
- Health and fitness
- DIY/home improvement
- Product reviews
- Movie reviews
On JoLarsen.com, I share my insights on a variety of topics like personal finance, life, travel, inspiration, blogging and self-help. For me personally, I feel that by writing about multiple topics keeps things interesting – both for myself and the reader!
BUT I do try to make sure they are somewhat related – you won’t find an article on raising hedgehogs here 🙂
The key is to pick a topic or topics that you know about and that you think other people would be interested in reading about. You want your topic ideas to flow once you start writing and you also want to be somewhat knowledgeable.
If you have never built a deck, then you will struggle with what to write about and passing on that knowledge you don’t know a lot about.
Once you’ve brainstormed some ideas, the next step is to narrow down your list by considering things like:
- The potential audience for your blog.
- How much time and effort you’re willing to put into your blog.
- How will you monetize the blog (make money from it)
- Answering these questions will help you zero in on the best topic for your blog.
To help you focusing on writing about a certain topic, try brainstorming 4-6 ideas for each niche that interests you. This will allow you to reflect on which topic is most appealing to write about.
For example, if you’re interested in the DIY/home improvement niche, some ideas might be:
How to update your home on a budget
How to organize your home
Do-it-yourself projects for the home
How to make cleaning products
Were the topics easy to come up with? Would you enjoy writing about them? Can you come up with lots more related to this topic? Does it excite you?
If you answered yes to these questions, then it’s a good website niche idea!
When thinking about what topics to blog about, consider this: people want to read your blog because they’re interested in YOU and your story.
Your perspective is what makes your blog unique – not the topics you write about. So, while it’s important to choose topics that you’re passionate about and that you know something about, don’t get too bogged down in trying to find the “perfect” topic.
7. How do I come up with a blog name?
Coming up with a name for your blog might be the most challenging aspect of blogging.
Even if you’re certain about what topic you want to write on and have some articles ready, picking a name for your blog could be holding you back from putting up your site and getting started.
You have three options.
- Pick a name related to your specific niche – This is probably the best option if you already have an idea of what you want to write about. For example, if you want to start a cooking blog, some good names could be “Cooking with Christina” or “The Recipe Critic.”
- Use your own name – A lot of bloggers choose to use their own name for their blog, especially if they’re blogging about personal development or their life in general. For example, my blog is called JoLarsen.com – it’s simple and to the point! This allows you the freedom to be able to focus on multiple topics and pivot when you need to.
- Brainstorm a list of random words – This option can be fun, but it’s also harder to come up with a good name this way. If you choose to go this route, try to combine two random words that have some sort of connection. For example, you could combine the word “love” with the word “travel” to create a travel blog called “Love and Travel.” Think about it what does “Google” mean or “Reddit” – they are now household names.
Tips for choosing a website domain name:
Keep it short – Long domain names are harder to remember and can be misspelled easily. Try to keep your domain name under 20 characters if possible.
Make it easy to spell – Again, you want people to be able to remember your domain name and spell it correctly when they type it into their browser. Avoid using words that are difficult to spell or have multiple spellings.
Use keywords – If you can, try to include one of your keywords in your domain name. This will help people who are searching for that keyword to find your site more easily. For example, if you’re starting a blog about personal finance, you could use the keyword “money” in your domain name like “Money Matters.
Create a name that will stick in people’s heads – This could mean coming up with something funny, using alliteration, or anything else to make your blog name catchy and memorable.Check to see if the domain name is available – Once you have a few ideas, it’s time to check and see if the domain names are available. You can do this easily using a domain name checker like NameCheap.com and Get a .COM for just $6.98!
Coming up with a blog name shouldn’t lead to stress, so here are my tips for deciding on a blog name:
Once you are ready I recommend you head over to NameCheap.com and purchase that domain name before anyone else does! Use code NEWCOM698 for a discount.
8. Is it worth paying for a blogging platform or should I just stick to free versions?
If your goal is to make money from blogging, I recommend you start with a self-hosted blog rather than a free site. Blog web hosting isn’t expensive, and it’s one of the first things you should do when starting a new blog.
My suggestion is that you start on self-hosted WordPress (the following tutorial will show you how to commence your blog correctly). I can’t overemphasize this enough, but I do not recommend Blogger or WordPress.com (you want the self-hosted variation, which is WordPress.org).
The positives of being self-hosted on WordPress include:
- You own your content and blog. This means that if for any reason you decide to move your blog, you can take everything with you.
- You have more control over how your blog appears to the public. You can choose from thousands of themes and plugins.
- You’re not limited in what you can do with WordPress.org. You can sell products, run ads, and make money in other ways.
- It’s easier to be taken seriously as a professional blogger if you’re self-hosted. Free blogging platforms are often associated with hobby bloggers.
The cons of being self-hosted blog on WordPress include:
- There is a small learning curve in the beginning. But, if you follow my tutorial on how to start a blog, it will be easy.
- You have to pay for hosting and a domain name. Hosting starts at around $3.95/month, and domain names are about $10/year. So for less than $5/month, you can have your own little space on the internet.
The pros outweigh the cons and I 100% recommend a self hosted WordPress website/blog.
You need web hosting so people can find your blog online. There are many web hosting companies to choose from to host your blog and I use SiteGround as my web hosting company to host my blogs and highly recommend this web hosting provider for your blog.
Why is WordPress better than Wix etc?
There are a few reasons why WordPress is the best blogging platform over Wix or other drag and drop builders:
- WordPress is more flexible. You can find a theme for almost anything, and there are plugins for just about everything else. This allows you to create any kind of website you want.
- WordPress is more customizable. Again, because there are so many themes and plugins, you can really make your website look however you want.
- WordPress is more Search Engine Friendly. This is because WordPress websites are typically better coded than websites built with drag and drop builders. This means that Google and other search engines will be able to find and index your content more easily.
- WordPress is more secure. WordPress websites are less likely to be hacked than websites built with drag and drop builders. This is because WordPress is constantly being updated with security patches, and there are many plugins and themes available that add extra security features to your website.
9. How do you create and design a blog?
Once you’ve selected a platform, you’ll need to create an account and choose a template or a “theme” for your blog. When you go to choose a WordPress theme, you’ll need to pick between free and premium themes.
To create your blog, I recommend heading to SiteGround and at the bottom of the page you will se a link to an in-depth WordPress Tutorial
When it comes to designing your blog, you will have two options:
- Paying someone to design your blog for you
- Purchasing a pre-made theme or design (the quickest and most affordable option).
One of the most difficult aspects about starting a new website is choosing the design for your blog. Oftentimes, bloggers get hung up on this part and try to spend too much time making things perfect. My advice would be to purchase a theme or design that you like and move 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.
10. How do I find the right theme for my blog?
The best way to find the perfect theme for your blog is to have a clear understanding of what you want your blog to look like and what kind of functionality you need. Once you know that, you can start narrowing down your options by browsing through themes that meet your criteria.
UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS: 50+ Million WordPress & Design Assets
If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend checking out some of the popular theme shops like Themeforest or Envato. In general, premium themes are more comprehensive in design and functionality than free themes.
The theme I use on this blog is called Kadence and they have a free and a paid version depending on the functionality that you want.
How to install a WordPress theme
Once you’ve found a theme that you love, WordPress makes it easy to add that theme to your site.
- Hover over Appearance
- Select Themes
- Click the Add New button
Adding a new WordPress theme to a free WordPress blog
If you chose a free theme at WordPress.org, search for the theme by name and click Install.
If you purchased a premium theme, click the Upload Theme button and upload the ZIP file you should have received when you purchased the theme.
After installing your theme, make sure to click the Activate button to make it active on your site.
How to further customize your WordPress theme
By using the WordPress Customizer, you can change your theme to better suit your needs without learning HTML or code.
You can access it by going to Appearance → Customize:
Accessing the WordPress Customizer
The left sidebar usually has different options depending on the theme you chose. But in general, you can:
– Use the options on the left to make changes
– See a real time preview of those changes in the website window on the right
– Save and publish your changes by clicking “Save & Publish”
– Utilize WordPress customizer
For a more detailed guide, see how to use the WordPress Customizer.
Once you have an idea for your site’s look, you can start setting up the WordPress platform. Here are a few resources to help get you started:
11. How much money do I have to spend to start my blog?
You can technically start a blog for free. However, if you want to make money from your blog or have more control over the design and customization of your site, then you will need to invest some money into it.
I would recommend spending at least $10 per month on your website.
If you want to save some money, you can always start with a free platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.com.
However, we would not recommend this if you are serious about making money from your blog. These platforms have very limited customization options and they will put their own ads on your site, which you will not be able to remove and often do not.
12. How do get ideas for blog posts?
The hardest element of blogging is regularly coming up with new topics, but I have come up with ideas that always gives me something to write about. Honestly, following this system has been so effective that I can’t imagine ever running out of content ideas.
If you’re wondering how I can still find topics to write about after years of blogging, here’s my process:
On JoLarsen.com, I usually only write about topics that I have some sort of personal connection to. This is what differentiates me from other writers, and also where I find the best source of inspiration–turning financial obstacles or wisdom gained from day-to-day life experiences into fun content!
In my daily research and reading, I often come across topics thatI think are fascinating or misunderstood. For example, if I read a crazy statistic, it might inspire me to write an article on it. If I come across an article that’s poorly written, I’ll use it as motivation to write a better one.
Popular types of articles to write :
- How to’s
- List posts
- Case studies/Testimonials
- Expert roundup posts
- Comparing and contrasting different products, services, or ideas Industry news
- Product reviews
- How-to guides
- Opinion pieces
- Personal stories
When you’re ready to start writing your post, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. Write a catchy headline.
2. Make sure your post is well-researched and well-written.
3. Use images, infographics, and videos to break up your text and make your post more visually appealing.
Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to be found by the search engines and make sure your post is properly formatted.
As you can see, there are many ways to come up with new content to write about.
13. How do I increase pageviews to my blog?
There are many ways to increase traffic to your blog such as:
- In order to keep readers coming back, blog posts must be high-quality and helpful.
- Using social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube is a great way to remain active online and engage with your audience. Not only that but it can also help you expand your reach and grow your following. If you are just starting out, just pick one that you like and use regularly, otherwise they will take up too much time.
- It is essential that you publish new blog posts on a regular basis if you ever want to make any money blogging. At the very least, try to post something new once a week. If you go for prolonged periods of time without publishing anything, your readers are likely to forget all about you.
- Instead of looking at other bloggers as your competition, see them as friends and colleagues. You can connect with them on social media, reach out to them via email, attend conferences together, and more. Of course, always be genuine in your interactions and try to give more than you take.
- Writing a guest post is an excellent opportunity to introduce your work to new readers and form relationships with other bloggers in your field.
- Your post’s title is a significant factor in whether readers will click on it or not. To help me write attention-grabbing headlines, I use Jasper to help me tweak mine.
- Learn about SEO (search engine optimization). I can’t teach you everything there is to know about SEO in such a small section, but it’s important to do your research and learn more about what it is and how it can help you.
- Research what people are searching for online and write content that is relevant and needed
- Use Google Analytics to track your pageviews and analyze your traffic. This will help you gauge what topics are popular with your readers and which ones need improvement.
14. Where can I get images for blog posts from?
Images are an important aspect of blog posts; they help to break up text, make a story more relatable, and can be used across social media platforms.
If you Google image search or use Pinterest to find photos, of images, without permission from the owner, you could get into legal trouble.
Just as you wouldn’t want someone to plagiarize one of your blog posts, you shouldn’t take photos without asking the photographer’s permission first.
Looking to Make Graphics: How Much Is Canva Pro and is it worth it?
You can find copy free photos from sites like Unsplash, Pexels, and more. My favorite paid option is DepositPhotos – a great, budget-friendly place to buy photos in bulk. I’ve purchased MANY packages of 50 or 100 photos from them and have never been disappointed!
15. How often should I write a post?
I normally publish a blog post once every week because remaining consistent is key for blogging. At first, I would posts multiple times throughout the week. Now though, I try to do one lengthy post per week; that system works best for me and JoLarsen.com
The ideal length varies depending on your niche and the topic you are writing about. I usually recommend posts be at least 1,000 words. However, most of my own posts are closer to 2,000 words – and some like this one are even over 5,000 words long!
Feeling stuck or have writers block? Read this >> Know the First Sign of Writers Block & 11 Surefire Ways to Overcome It
16. How many blog posts should I have before I launch my website?
I believe that it is best to launch your blog with your first post or blog article. You can continue adding more blog articles or content as you go along. The reason I recommend this course of action is because you won’t have very many readers in the beginning anyways, so it’s better to just get started.
A lot of people overthink this question needlessly, which only puts off actually starting their blog.
17. How long will it take my blog to make money?
It’s tough to answer this question since it’s one of the most common blogging FAQ I get. Some bloggers make thousands of dollars per month only a few months after they start blogging on their own website.
There are also bloggers who started Blogging a year or two after me and now make hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly. Conversely, there are other bloggers who don’t make any money at all from their blogs.
Blogging isn’t a way to earn money overnight, as you can see. There’s also no telling how long it may take before you start seeing any monetary benefits, if you ever do at all. It really varies depending on the person blogging, effort put in, time available to learn about monetization methods, and more factors.
On average a blog can make money within 6 to 12 months. But this answer is just an estimate because again, it really does depend on a lot of different factors.
Some people will make money from their blog much sooner than others. There are even some bloggers who make money within their first month or two! It really all depends on you and your blogging journey.
18. How can I make money from my blog?
Some of the ways to make money with your blog include:
· Affiliate marketing
· Selling digital products
· Offering consulting or coaching services
These are just a few of the ways to make money from your blog. There are many other methods as well, so be sure to do your research and find what works best for you and your blog.
“How does the money actually get to you? WHO is actually paying bloggers?” The answer is that you receive blogging income from whoever is paying you.
- You earn commission from the company you are affiliating with – such as ShareaSale – when somebody buys a product or clicks on your sign-up link.
- Companies will pay you to display ads on your site. You get paid by the company whose ad you’re displaying.
- Sponsored posts are those for which you, the blogger, are paid by the company whose product or service you feature.
- You earn money from companies such as Google when you display ads on your website.
If you want to earn more money by blogging, there are many businesses and networks you can join. These companies usually pay members through PayPal or with a check in the mail.
Learn about more ways to make money Online:
19. How important is keyword research in blogging?
Again this is big topic and there is not enough time to cover off here but in a nutshell, this is very important to the success of your blog. Keywords are important in blogging, but they’re not everything. If you want to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to focus on creating quality content that is relevant to your target audience.
That being said, keywords are still important because they can help you get found by potential readers who are searching for information on the topics you write about.
Do some research to find out which keywords are being used most often in searches related to your blog’s topic. Then, incorporate those keywords into your blog posts and website pages. You can do some keyword searches on Ubersuggest for free to get you started.
Just don’t go overboard with keyword stuffing, which is when you stuff too many keywords into your content in an attempt to rank higher in SERPs. This will not only hurt your chances of ranking high, but it will also turn off your readers.
20. Can you make money on TikTok?
If you’re curious as to whether you can generate revenue through TikTok, the answer is a resounding yes! I advise reading How Much Does TikTok Pay? for additional details.
21. Do I have to pay taxes on blogging income?
Bloggers must pay taxes on their blogging income, just like anyone else who earns income through full-time or side hustles.
22. What else 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.
- Terms and conditions
- Affiliate terms and conditions
23. What blogging books 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. I also like to keep up-to-date on the latest blogging trends and information.
Here are some of my favorite blogging ebooks and courses for new bloggers:
The She Approach To Starting A Money-Making Blog: The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Profitable Blog
In this eBook, Ana–the blog growth strategist behind The She Approach–will teach you how to create a profitable blog from scratch. With an easy step-by-step process and actionable strategies, you’ll learn how to build the foundation of a money-making blog.
Make Money From Blogging: How To Start A Blog & Profit From It: A Step-By-Step Guide
Want to find success with your blog? In this book, seasoned business analyst Sally Miller and successful blogger Lisa Tanner show you how.
The Blog Startup: Proven Strategies to Launch Smart and Exponentially Grow Your Audience
Now imagine if you knew exactly what to focus on, despite all the distractions pulling you away in a million different directions. And then imagine if, within a year, you accomplished more than you ever thought possible. That’s what I’m here for – to help make that vision of yours into a reality.
My favorite course I have personally taken that really helped:
Pro Bundle 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.
Launch your Blog Biz – If you are just starting out, you can always begin with this course as well. Learn the skills required to start your own six-figure blog from two experts who are already making it happen with this comprehensive, step by steps course. You’ll get access not only to a variety of tools and techniques that will help you launch an exciting new career as blogger but also some secret bonuses too!
And that brings us to …..
“One of the differences between some successful and unsuccessful people is that one group is full of doers, while the other is full of wishers.”— Edmond Mbiaka
24. What are some blogging myths that you’ve heard?
There are quite a few blogging myths floating around out there. Here are some of the most common ones:
1. You need to be an expert on your topic to start a blog.
2. You need to have a lot of money to start a blog.
3. Blogging is easy and anyone can do it.
4. You need to be perfect to be a successful blogger.
5. You need tons of traffic to make money blogging.
6. You can’t make money blogging unless you have ads.
7. Only popular bloggers get sponsored posts and brand deals.
8. Blogging takes up too much time and is not worth it.
The thing is, none of this true, and I’m here to bust those myths wide open! Blogging is for everyone, and it can be a great way to make some extra money or even a full-time income.
So if you’re thinking about starting a blog, don’t let these myths stop you. Just get started and see how far you can go!
Do you have any other questions about blogging and have more blogging FAQ? Feel free to reach out
- Conflict Resolution 101: Essential Strategies for a Stronger Relationship - September 27, 2023
- What Are The 5 Foundations Of Personal Finance? Build a strong Financial plan - August 31, 2023
- Essential SEO Tools that Every Blog Owner Should Use in 2023 - August 28, 2023