Nice cliché title! There are 101 ebooks and websites out there claiming “make money online” or “make money with Google” and want to charge you an arm and a leg for the information they claim to have. But that’s exactly what I want to lay out in this post: How to make money playing games or any other hobby that you enjoy… and blogging about it. And I’m charging $0.00 for it!
I started this blog in May of this year and in that short amount of time, I have built this blog to a place where I am now generating a nice supplemental income. I get to talk about things I want to talk about, games I’m playing or checking out, and enjoy and make a nice amount of money by doing it. I also set my wife up with a “mommy blog” using this same plan and she is already starting to make money!
Why would I share this plan with everyone else out there for free? Well, since I’ve been doing this, I’ve shared my surprise success with a lot of friends. Everyone always asks, how can I do that? Well, I’m going to spell that out here - all the steps that I took and you can take to get to this level. I know I didn’t expect to be making this much by this point in this blogs life… so I know firsthand that it’s possible.
I’m focusing on gaming blogs because that’s what this blog is about, but these steps could be applied towards whatever interests you. Even in the gaming space, there are so many niches that you can cover. For instance, the theme of this blog has evolved from talking about games you can buy and download online to mostly talking about full free PC games, other free online gaming, and free gaming in the news.
While there are many options when it comes to hosting companies, affiliate systems, etc. I will be talking about what I have used and what I can say has worked for me. If you decide to set up your own gaming related blog using these steps, link back to this post from a post in your new blog and I will do posts here with links out to your new site.
The first step of course is to come up with an idea or focus for your blog. Gaming blogs could focus on your favorite MMO, a specific video game console, a gaming genre… I could go on and on. Whatever you talk about, make sure it interests you! This will help drive you to continue to post and actually generate content people will want to read.
Next we need find a hosting company for your blog. There are many free services out there, but you won’t get nearly the love from the search engines as you would with a blog hosted with your own URL. I suggest the hosting I use for this blog: Blue Host. For $6.95 a month you get an incredible set of features! 500Gigs of storage, unlimited domains, more email addresses available at your new URL than you’ll ever need, and best of all an incredibly easy way to set up your blog or even multiple blogs! Check them out to see the full list of features.
You’ll also want to have an idea for the domain name you want to go after. Be prepared, many of your domain name ideas will have already have been taken. There are two strategies to picking a Domain name URL. One is going after keywords contained in the URL. Can you tell with a name like downloadfullversionpcgames.com that I was perusing this strategy? This has worked well, but there are times when I wish I had gone with option number two - Branding. A URL that focuses on branding is wide open to your imagination. You could pick whatever name you wish. As you develop your topics, you will begin to brand your name in relation to the themes carries through your posts. Many web 2.0 sites have gone this direction. The first thing Blue Host will ask you when you go to sign up is the domain name you want to use.
Once you have found an available domain name, fill out the rest of the info. One you have completed that, you’ll have access to the Blue Host dashboard. There’s a LOT you can do here… I’m just going to focus on the basics to get you up and running. First thing you should do here is create a new email address for new site. Click the “email accounts” icon and link. From here, you can enter your choice of email address, password, and optional mail quota (I wouldn’t suggest setting a quota). Once it is set up, you can come back and check your email from this location.
Ok, now let’s set up a WordPress blog! Go back to the main dashboard and click the “Fantastico De Luxe” icon and link under the Software / Services area. Here you’ll find an impressive list of software from Content Management systems to Ecommerce Shopping cart software you can automatically install to your URL. Look for the WordPress link under blogs and click it. Click the New Installation link. If you have set up more than one URL, choose the domain that you would like to install the blog to. Enter an admin username and password. Write these down, this is what you will use to log in to administer your blog. Enter your nicknameâ€¦ this will be your alias or the name you will be known as on your blog. My alias here is Boggslash. This is the name I use on most MMOs and is also my screen name on Xbox360. It goes back to my original Everquest days and has stuck ever since. Continue by giving your blog a site name. This could match your URL or be its own animal. This site’s title is again going after search traffic with a name like “PC Gaming Blog.” You’ll need to enter your admin email password here to make sure notification emails are sent correctly. Click install and continue to fill out the information.
Once it’s set up, you can access your blogs admin area at www.thenameofthesite.com/wp-admin. Enter the login and password you entered here. The first thing you will see is the WordPress dashboard. Once you get things going, this is a nice overview page to see the latest happenings on your blog. Let’s move on to getting your blog looking the way you want.
There are many skins that can be downloaded for WordPress. I’m going to move on here with the default Kubrik theme. If you would like to look into changing the theme, click the presentation tab and scroll down to the “get more themes” area. When I give code examples in this post though, I will be referring to areas, widths, and code from the default theme. Moving on…
Click the Options tab next. Make sure the Title is what you want to move on with. Enter a tag line to be shown under the title of your blog. The tag line on my blog is: Reviews and Information About Free PC Games Available to Download Online. Again, think about keywords you may want to target in search engines here. Click update options to commit the changes.
Click the permalinks sub-tab under the options tab. Change the option to the second one, Date and Name based so that the name is passed into the URL. Click the Update button.
Now click the presentation tab and then the Header Image and Color sub tab. Change any of the colors here to your preference.
Next click the widgets sub-tab. Widgets are great since you can change the way your navigation works without any programming. Just drag and drop each item you would like displayed in the order you would like them to be. Order them however you would like… the order on this blog is Categories - Recent Posts - Archives - Links, everything else is coded in by hand. We’ll get into more of this as we add affiliate and adWord code later. Click the Save Changes button once you are finished arranging the sidebar areas.
At this point, you probably want to go into the Blogroll tab and delete out the defaults that are there. If you would like to add any blogs related to your site, you can add them to your blogroll here.
Click the comments tab. Once you have activity on your blog, if you have comments waiting to be approved, you can do that here. For now, delete the Mr WordPress test comment.
Click the Manage tab. You can view edit or delete posts you have done here. Let’s delete the “Hello World” test by clicking the delete link.
Ok, now you’re ready to click the write tab and type up your first blog entry. Make sure you make a category for it. Again, think search engines with your categories and the titles you use for your posts.
Once you a few posts entered, it’s time to start monetizing this thing! One of the easiest ways to start doing this is by using Google AdSense. AdSense will spider through the content of you page and show ads targeted to the content that you have entered. You will get paid for every click on the ads. So:
to generate the code you will need to enter into the layout of your blog.
Now, the toughest part for people without any coding experience is to get the ad code into the right parts of the site code. You’ll want to click on the presentation tab and the theme editor sub tab to past in the code. The easiest place to do this off the back is in the header and in the sidebar area.
If you are using the default them and would like to put ads under the header like you can see above in this blog, first generate a 728×90 content block and get the code from your AdSense account. Then, enter the code below with your code pasted from google where it says Paste AdSense Code directly above the last <hr/> in the header:
Paste AdSense Code
There are many other affiliate systems and services you can check out and experiment with. Here’s a list of ones that I have had success with:
- Azoogle Ads - Many offers to choose from here. You should be able to find product to target in almost any market.
- AuctionAds - Auction ads has worked really well for me here. AuctioAds will generate ads for ebay listings based on keywords you enter. If people click through and buy, you get a percentage of the sale.
- LinkShare.com - Many sites to choose from. For me, both WildGames and Direct2Drive links come from LinkShare.
- Text Link Ads - This site will pay you for posting links on your site. The money you can make is dependent on the popularity of your blog.
- ReviewMe - Review other sites on your blog for cash.
- Get paid for posting on different topics, products, or services. This site is great… you can monitor available topics and choose to post on one when it fits the theme of your blog.
Also, if you are serious about getting traffic from the search engines and would like to learn more about Search Engine Optimization, I suggest buying Aaron Wall’s SEO Book. It’s a great launch pad for learning the basics and getting more traffic to your site.
One last resource I would suggest checking out is John Chow’s free ebook “Make Money Online“. John lists out many ideas that expand on what I’ve talked about here. He also lists out many of the wordpress plugins that can help take your blog to the next level.
Now it’s up to you to put together some great content and start generating income talking about what you want to talk about. Play games - talk about them - get cash… it’s amazing how easy it really is!How to Make Money Playing Games
Subscribe and Get Info on the Latest Free PC Games.