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Blogger on laptop

On the Scottish Friendly blog we have written long and often on saving and investing money. However one area we haven’t touched upon is actually making money, specifically in the form of a residual income.

Speaking from experience, I hope to give you a crash course in just this and take you through the steps from start to finish on how to set up a blog which could generate an alternate revenue stream for yourself.

This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, in fact quite the opposite. If you want to pursue this path it may take over a year before your start to see revenue coming through, and it will take some hard work even to get to that stage.

There are no guarantees! However if you look on it as I do as a part time hobby, you may get the most out of it.

Earnings from Adsense

As mentioned I talk from experience. I’ve made over £8,000 from this method in the last six years. I’ve made many wrong turns, mistakes and blunders along the way, however, it’s all part of learning something like this. The earnings aren’t what they were however, I still make a minimal residual income from this method which, when saved up over the course of a few months can come in handy for holidays, Christmas and the like.

Google AdSense

Getting started

In this first of a series of articles, I will go through the first steps you need to take towards making money from blogging.

Step 1 – Your niche

Get thinking about your website theme or niche. Your website should have a definable topic. And it must be something that you are knowledgeable about and can write authoritatively on. Some niches may be more profitable than others e.g. financial services, parenting or travel, however you should weigh this up against the competition you would expect in these sectors.

Think carefully about the content you could produce. As an example let’s take ‘Cycling to work’.

If you cycle to work, you could blog on the enjoyment you get from cycling to work. You could write about your increasing fitness levels, money saved, weight loss, best bikes, best equipment for commuting. You could create videos on bike maintenance and best routes through town. The list could go on and on. But this is just one example of how a seemingly everyday pursuit could provide the basis for an interesting (and potentially lucrative) blog.

If you have a genuine interest in the subject and you blog honestly about your real life, you have a good chance of being a success, engaging with like minded people and establishing a blog that is going to attract traffic and in turn revenue.

Step 2 – HMRC for self-assessment

First things first, you will need to log all your payments (once they start coming in) and declare them each year by filing a tax return. The good news is that in this day and age, this can all be done relatively easily online.

All the details are here – and you won’t need to register until you start earning, but it’s a good idea to take a look over this page before you start.

Step 3 – Register your domain name

Now for the fun part – once you have your fantastic blog idea, you can register the name. It may help to have an indicator as to the topic of your blog in your web address – but don’t fret over this. A good example of this is this popular cycling blog where the name initially would give you no clue as to the content within.

The name should be memorable and easy to remember and spell (and type). If it’s aimed primarily at a UK audience, a is preferable – if not, a .com may work best. These rules are not set in stone – and are merely guidelines however.

You can register your domain name with a registrar such as 123-reg, however, other companies are available – you could try a Google search and read company reviews to get a recommendation.

Part 2 of Make Money Blogging will continue with hosting, creating content and WordPress.

No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.