Thinking of starting a blog? Maybe you have a cool topic in mind that you’d love to cover or a particular community you’d like to start.
When I first started blogging several years ago, getting on sites like Bloglovin was all the craze. Running a blog requires a lot of work but actually setting up your site can seem just as challenging.
If you’re looking to monetize your blog eventually, you may be wondering if you can actually make money with a free blog. Technically speaking, the answer is a little more complex than just yes or no. Here’s what you need to know about setting up a blog that is optimized to earn you money.
Free Blogs Do Have Limits
Setting up a blog on sites like Blogger, WordPress, and Wix may be free but they do come with some serious limitations.
For starters, you won’t really have a direct URL for your blog since it will be hosted on the platform. If you’re aiming to run a more professional blog you’d do better with having your own domain name like SingleMomsIncome.com and not SingleMomsIncome.blogspot.com. Not to mention, using free blog platforms is not really SEO friendly if you’d like to get your blog to rank on Google.
Trust me, you want your blog to rank on Google so you can get search traffic and increase page views. More page views = higher earning opportunities.
Other drawbacks of using a free blogging site include the fact that you can’t put ads on your site which cuts off a crucial income stream. You are also often limited to the amount of traffic you can receive.
Again, this could deter you from making money since the more page views you have, the more money you can earn with the right monetization strategy.
With a free blog, you’ll also face limitations for how you can brand yourself.
Your Only Options For Making Money With a Free Blog
So can you make money with a free blog? Yes, your options for earning money will be limited, but it also depends on the terms of service that your blogging platform has enforced.
Sites like Blogger and WordPress.com were not designed for you to start a blog and monetize it so they tend to block a lot of monetization methods and strategies which can deter your efforts.
Your options are slim for earning money although you may be able to create an independent product and sell it on another platform. For example, if you write an ebook and sell it on Amazon or Gumroad, you can easily link to it in a blog post.
However, you won’t be able to take it a step further and integrate a functioning store right on your blog when you use a free platform.
In order to sell products, you need an engaged audience and some free sites just don’t have the bandwidth to support this. Again, you’d be facing extreme limitations and major obstacles when you start a free blog in the hopes of earning money from it.
How to Make Money With a Blog
Yes, starting a self-hosted blog does cost money, but it can be well worth it when you consider all the ways you can make money with your blog. Bloggers who have a self-hosted can grow their income faster and diversify their earnings with these options.
This is one of the easiest ways to make money with your blog. Simply put ads up on your site and earn money whenever someone views or clicks on the ad. It’s that simple!
Some ad networks pay per impression while other pay per click. Google Adsense is the most popular option to start with and they offer smart ad placements and content that will resonate with your readers. Plus, they don’t even have to click the ads for you to earn money.
Have a product or service that you’d love to share with your audience? You may be able to get paid if the company had an affiliate program. Affiliate marketing allows you to receive a unique link that you can promote on your blog.
Whenever a reader clicks the link and signs up or makes a purchase, you can get paid. This can also be a passive ways to earn money with your blog because once you write the blog post, all you have to do is promote it over time and you can keep getting paid.
Back in February, Alexa earned $1,800+ with affiliate income alone on this blog.
Paid sponsorships are another way to earn money with your blog. When you go the self-hosted route, your site will appear to be more professional than a blog on a free platform like Blogspot.
Brands may pay you to write a blog post or share something on social media. This year, I landed a 4-figure brand sponsorship deal for my blog. Building up your blog and your audience takes time but sponsorships can be a great way to monetize when you find a company that aligns with your blog’s mission.
Products and Services
Retain more freedom and flexibility to sell your products and services however you want when you pay for blog hosting. You can make the process easy for your audience by integrating different systems that allow them to purchase right from your site.
You can also use your blog to sell whatever you want.
Having a Self-Hosted Blog Is Better For Monetization
It’s pretty clear. Investing in your blog by paying for hosting can help you earn money faster and have the freedom to diversify your income streams so you can earn a part-time or even full-time income from your blog.
Now you may be wondering if you should pay for hosting right from the start or save money and set up a free site with Blogger or WordPress?
When I started blogging, I connected with other in the community who told me how they started out on sites like Blogger but later transitioned over to a self-hosted site in order to start monetizing.
This sounded like a hassle to me so I choose to get hosting with Bluehost right from the start. I two other blogs that are hosted with Siteground and both are awesome and affordable options.
Web hosting doesn’t have to be super expensive. Even if you’re a new blogger, you are likely to find a plan for $3-$4 per month which is less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It’s totally worth it if you’re serious about treating your blog like a business and earning real money from it.
Plus, you can get set up in just a few minutes. Check out this tutorial here to learn how to set up your own self-hosted professional blog.