My Journey from a Blogger to a Software Engineer, And What I have Been Up to for The Last 5 Years

Last time you heard from me was when I moved my life to Habiganj. Since then I haven’t shared much about my work and been keeping myself private for a while. The final nail in the coffin was when I decided to delete all my social media accounts, mainly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For those who are with me on Facebook have a little idea that I am now working as a coder, developer or whatever. But here in this post I wanna share my journey from being a blogger to a software engineer.

By doing so I hope I can answer some of your questions and maybe help anyone out there who wants to embark on the same path.

I Served as a Web Developer Teacher for Two Years

If you remember, I went to Habiganj and started a web development school, Tamal Anwar’s Academy. Over there I worked as a teacher for two years. I taught the basic skills of WordPress development and web coding.

It was my dream to teach some real people in a real setting. However the lifestyle was not suitable for me. I had to get up early in the morning, get dressed up in formal and travel to the other side of the town to attend my office and class.

Then I had to stay in the office all day wearing formals and talk to my students. During that time I was unable to do any creative or focused work. I had to constantly attend to new people who would come and look for info and the office was right next to a busy street so lots of noises around. I didn’t have any preparations or mindset of the kind of life I am entering so that was hard for me to keep up.

As I was teaching my students how to build websites using drag and drop builders, I was learning programming in JavaScript. I was fascinated about being able to write raw code and build “web applications”. That time I had no idea what that was.

So after completing two years, it was time to take a break from all of this and I decided to shut down the school. I was back to my home sweet home and by this time I had a high-speed broadband internet connection in my room where I can sit in peace and code.

Self-learning Software Development

I told my family that I am gonna take a break from work but actually I was learning how to build full-stack web applications. I would study JavaScript everyday from various sources. I started with PHP but soon I was stuck so I switched to learning NodeJS.

During this time I learned a lot and felt great about it. I would wake up everyday with enthusiasm, start learning various concepts, would code and write blogs about the things I built. It was a great feeling to go from WordPress to fully custom designs.

Soon I made new friends in the developer circle and was making a new name for myself. I even took an opportunity to speak on ReactJS in one of the Facebook Developer Circles.

As I was learning and sharing, I got inquiries from various startups and tech companies. I never realized that I could take a job as a developer in a company when I first started learning to program. I got into a few job interviews and even got an offer from a new startup company. I ended up rejecting that offer because I didn’t felt the offer was right and this is what I would want to do.

After this, I slowly started to distance myself from the Bangladeshi dev community and quit Facebook. This is because it’s mostly filled with people who wanna hire you for no money or even if they pay they will have unreasonable expectations.

That moment I was going deep into programming and was interested to learn more. I came across an online university course and decided to enroll in it.

Back to School Doing a Computer Science Degree

So instead of joining a startup company as a Software Engineer, I choose to do a four-year-long CS degree. I still don’t know whether I did the right thing, but time will tell.

I took this opportunity to learn computer science the right way, and I was right. After doing just one year of CS, I learned so much about programming and software engineering, that I couldn’t have learned it on my own.

I mostly kept this a secret because I never thought I would be able to follow through with the curriculum and requirements due to my inability to follow routines. As time went by, I passed the uni requirements and became an official degree-seeking student at the University of the People. So far I have earned 21 credits out of 120 and have a 3.5 CGPA.

Got a Part-Time Job

After waiting a bit I eventually got a job that pays well and not as demanding as other startups. The best part is, my boss is a great guy and he is mentoring me about the corporate stuff. The company I am working with is not a tech company and has Billions of dollars of yearly revenue.

My job is to build web-based tools to automate many of the current processes. This way I can relax, do the work I love and also focus on my other commitments.

I even got a laptop sent by my company to do this job since I get repeated power cuts in my area.

My Gaming Side

In 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown phase, I got super depressed thinking about life and death. That time I quickly finished my term studies and took a leave of absence from the university. Incidentally, I got an invite from Facebook Gaming, which is a new gaming live streaming platform from Facebook. I took the opportunity to give it a try.

Before that I was playing games whenever I got the chance and always wanted to share my fun gaming moments with others. I opened a gaming page and started streaming to the world. It was a hit and people seemed to enjoy my gameplays.

It was refreshing to play my favorite games and also be a source of support for many people during the lockdown. As of today, I am doing pretty well with my gaming page and it has over 25 thousand followers with over millions of video views. Nowadays when I go live I get hundreds of people watching me at the same time.

What’s Next?

The reason for me to share all this with you was to self reflect on how far I have come. Over the next five years I want to finish my CS degree and become a real software engineer. Although you don’t need a degree to be one, for me it’s a journey that I want to take.

I wanna be a source of inspiration to let you know that even some 30+ year old guy with no science or math background can learn and make it.

Blogging has been a huge part of my success because after sharing my journey, I was able to connect with lots of people who brought me so many opportunities. Gaming and online video creation is the new avenue I am finding great success, so I will keep that as a side gig.

So that’s what I was working on for the last five years.

Now it’s your turn.

Let me know what you have been up to?

Leave a comment, send me a message or even email me at hello [at] tamalweb [dot] com

{ 2 Comments }

Easy Ways To Optimise Your Business’ Online Presence In 2021

It’s a brand-new year, so why not get a head start on spring cleaning your business with some easy optimisation? Towards the end of last year, it felt like we were all doing what we could to just keep going, to keep our heads above water and get to the end of the shock to the system that was 2020. Now that we are out the other side of it and already racing through the weeks, it is important to take a step back and take stock of your online presence. 

We must all make that switch out of survival mode and make sure that we keep pushing ahead this year, so that when things start to get back to normal we can be in the best position possible for growth.

Remember To Stay Connected

Customer service is rarely on the top of anyone’s list of favourite admin jobs, but in a time when people are online more than they have ever been, whether they’re doom-scrolling social media to obsessively combing through reviews, it is absolutely essential that your business is easily reachable and that you show you care about the customer experience. Make sure those FAQ’s and contact details are up to date, remember to push those good reviews and get to the bottom of those bad ones. Make your customers feel like they are valued, and they will reward you with great feedback.

Remember To Do Your Housekeeping

When was the last time you gave your website a proper SEO upgrade? When did you last go through that content with a fine-tooth comb? When did you last check your Google placement? When was the last time you gave your site a facelift? As we head into the new year, this is the perfect time to think about what you can do to optimise your website, and making use of an experienced company for your SEO services is an investment that you won’t regret. YostratO knows that a generic strategy is never the right way forward, and they will work with you to make sure that they understand your business needs and to devise an SEO strategy that is tailored to you. As the big search engines are constantly tweaking and refining their methods, you need to stay flexible and stay updated.

Remember To Keep It Personal

Things are incredibly competitive out there right now and so many companies are struggling to make their voices heard. Many small businesses are putting a lot more effort into establishing an online presence when previously a social media channel may have served their needs, and big businesses are diverting a lot more of their resources in that direction to stay ahead of the pack. One thing that can set you apart, that can really connect with customers, is with honesty. Talk about the challenges that your business has faced over the last twelve months, the challenges you expect to face in the coming year. More importantly, talk about how you have overcome them and how you plan on being around for them in 2021.

{ Add a Comment }

Online Vs Offline Advertising – Which One Is Better Value?

For many years, a raging debate has been occurring thanks to the pressures that online/digital advertising has applied to more conventional methods of marketing. For eons, brands and businesses had to utilize offline forms of advertising to reach audiences: from mailers and radio to television and newspaper, these methods often require substantially larger investments in order to be viable.

With today’s access to a variety of online marketing tools and platforms (namely PPC advertising), many are asking themselves: which offers ultimately better value overall?

To answer this long-standing question, here are some important considerations, along with pros and cons for each method of advertising.

Online Advertising Offers Real-Time Monitoring

A meaningful structural advantage to online advertising is the reality that a plethora of metrics and analytical information can be collected in real-time, allowing for seamless campaign adjustments. 

Unlike with offline advertising, quick tweaks and observations about a campaign’s performance can be made as the campaign is occurring, helping to determine whether the specific campaign is providing good value or not.

Ad spend in particular is a vital metric to assess. If you learn how to calculate ROAS, your online advertising efforts be more efficient. Additionally, assistance from expert software such as ClickGUARD can help further mitigate negative effects on ad spend such as click fraud. 

Offline Advertising Offers Tangibility to Consumers

Many consumers prefer a tangible marketing experience – whether that be for a product or a service. The downside to online advertising is that everything occurs in a digital atmosphere: people can’t feel, smell, taste, or even easily visualize select ad experiences in the same way.

For optimal conversions and impressions, offline advertising offers such an experience to brands. By being able to more effectively resonate with audiences in such a manner, various forms of offline advertising can actually be more productive (though it depends on the brand and the exact campaign in question).

Online Advertising Scales Easily

As already mentioned, real-time monitoring allows metrics such as ROAS calculation and conversions to be monitored as a campaign unfolds. When a particular campaign offers a greater potential for success, reaching a large audience is often beneficial. Thankfully, online advertising makes it easy to scale a campaign larger or smaller depending on their precise performances.

Whether a campaign is best suited as a trial to determine the viability of new ad copy or ready to be deployed on a national scale, most online advertising channels offer complete flexibility in this regard (click here to learn more about the nature of marketing scalability).

Offline Advertising Reaches Audiences at Opportune Moments

Many platforms where online advertising occurs are very distracting. Users of social media and search engines aren’t usually very interested in ads at those precise moments of engagement, making the challenge of resonating with such audiences more difficult. 

With offline advertising, the pace of engagement tends to be slower and audiences are more primed to listen, read or watch select ad campaigns during commercials, in between news stories, or at other comparable times. Arguably, reaching audiences when they are most likely to engage with advertising is still a key advantage of offline marketing.

While each form of advertising still has its place, it is difficult to argue that online advertising isn’t the better value in today’s highly digital world. For smaller brands and businesses, in particular, online advertising offers easy, customized, and scalable solutions – though not without its disadvantages. Regardless of advertising used, it is always crucial to utilize ROAS calculation and assess other similar metrics to ensure every campaign is operating at peak efficiency. 

{ Add a Comment }

Where to Play Online and Have Some Weekend Fun?

Since lockdown is happening, every other tourist destination is sealed up. You cannot just go to vegas on a weekend trip just like you used to do in the past. For desperate times, come desperate measures, so you have to look for sites where you can bet online.

Online casinos are dime a dozen these days but unlike the real thing where you can go in and get a vibe of how things are, here things can be deceiving.

Since anyone can set up an online website and claim they are the best out there, how can you be sure that they are the real deal? Of course, online reviews are a thing but nowadays even the reviews are manufactured by the website owners.

Fortunately, there are sites that are dedicated to reviewing casino websites like Stakers.

I came across this site when my friend Alex asked me how to know if an online casino is authentic or not. He trusted me because I can spot the bullshit of websites and Facebook pages with my technical know-how. 

Sorting through a bunch of review sites that claim they are the good ones, I found this site that has everything you need on one page.

Even though I am not into online betting, I can highly recommend anyone like Alex who is looking to find new sites to have some fun.

What I like most about Stakers is they are more than a top ten ranking website like others. 

You do get to see the best ranking of the most happening sites of the day but as you scroll down, you get to see many more options for your need. 

For example, you can see which sites have zero deposit and what are the sites that have a low withdrawal limit. All these categories can help you get a full marksheet of your chosen online casino website.

Finally, I loved how detailed and illustrative the entire website is with graphics and helpful articles. Like my friend Alex, anyone who is clueless about the world of internet gambling, Stakers could be the right starting point.

Check out the site and play responsibly.

{ Add a Comment }

What email should I use for my blog?

My friend Vicky just started blogging. 

You know starting a blog is as simple as signing up for a social media account. 

And what do you need to sign up for a blog? 

An email address.

So just like everybody else, Vicky innocently signed up for a blogging service with her personal email address. 

And this is where things got overwhelming for her to the point that she sent me an email wanting to fix the mess she got herself into.

Here problem?

She is getting promotional emails every day from various blog services. So many emails that she can’t keep up and missing the important emails from her friends.

The solution?

Have a different email address just for your blog.

It’s as simple as that, but most of us don’t know what happens when we sign up for a blogging service using our personal email address.

So the question before you start a blog is,

What email should I use for my blog? You should create a separate Gmail account just to use for your blogging-related work. Gmail is free and lets you use all the free Google services to grow your blog. Use this email address whenever you sign up for blog-related services and newsletters so that all the spam and promotions go to this email inbox, leaving your main inbox clean.

The overall goal of blogging is to automate most of our tasks and keep the headache minimal. Having a dedicated email address will let you have that. In this article, I will help you pick and set up a different email address for your blog. I will also share what happens to your email inbox once you start blogging (what kinds of emails you will get), and a few tips to rock email management. Finally, I will share all the free Google tools that come with Gmail you should use to manage and grow your blog.

How to create a separate email for your blog?

You are free to use whichever email service you are currently using, but for blogging, I highly recommend you use Gmail. It’s a free email service from Google that unlocks tons of free tools you can use. 

Other than the tools, Gmail is secure and filters out a lot of spam and harmful emails. Once you start your blog and sign up for a couple of your favorite blogs, you will start to receive lots of such emails. Gmail can help you stop a lot of these unwanted emails automatically.

To create an email for your blog, go to Gmail, and follow the steps:

When picking up the email address, make it the same name as your blog name.

I have a Gmail account called blogkori [at] gmail [dot] com 

Now your name may not be available, so in that case, you can use a modifier to get your desired email address. Like when I was coming up with a personal email for other things I added the word “online” at the end of my name to make this email address: tamalanwaronline [at] gmail [dot] com 

Why does it matter?

Just like your blog name, the email address name shows the trust that it’s a legit identity and not a spammer.

When you contact other bloggers or services with yourblog@gmail.com, you will be highly trusted as opposed to mailing from dickowner505@gmail.com 

You are free to use your blog name or your personal name when making a separate email address. Just make sure you are using this Gmail address only for your blog related stuff to have separation of concerns. 

Setting a strong password is MANDATORY

Oftentimes we use the same password we use to signing up for all other social media accounts. It’s okay when you are just signing up for something quickly, but when you are creating an email account for your blog, you must incorporate a strong password.

This is because some hackers might find your password and log into your blog email address. With access to that email, they can potentially hack your entire blog.

We are building blogs as a way to build passive income, so you cannot just leave the keys hanging on the door do you?

A strong and secure password looks like this:

Now you must be thinking, how on earth you would make one and let alone remember that?

And what if you forget that password and get locked out of your own account?

The answer is,

You don’t have to remember this password, you can use a tool to do it for you.

There are password managers out there that allow you to create strong passwords and fill it for you.

A password manager I am using for years is called LastPass.

Sign up for a LastPass account and install their browser extension. I am using Google Chrome and I have the chrome browser extension.

You just have to create and remember one strong master password to log in to LastPass. The service will hold all of the other passwords you save. 

I suggest you write the master password down to a diary or something.

Now that, the security is covered, it’s time you should finish the setup and continue creating an email account for your blog.

Your new Gmail inbox:

What kind of emails do you receive when you start blogging?

A variety of emails. 

First of all, when you sign up for a hosting service such as Bluehost, you are going to be on their email marketing list. They will start sending you promotional emails informing you on how to build your website. Now what they call “helpful” may be annoying to many because they will send one email every day and it will overwhelm you, just like it did to Vicky.

The same goes for all the other related services you will sign up for your blog.

All these services will start bombarding your email inbox with newsletters, promotional emails, special offers, and deals. At the root of their messaging, 99% of them want to sell you something one way or another. 

Now after the promotional emails, there is another kind of email.

The notification emails

Once you start a blog, you will start receiving email notifications from your blog. After setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog, you will start getting lots of spam emails. The sheer amount of spam a WordPress site gets can put off anyone.

This is why I recommend you do these steps after setting up a blog to reduce the number of annoying emails coming from your blog.

But since you are going to have a separate email inbox for your blog, all these notification emails will be confined to this little box you can check once a week.

The newsletter emails

You will often find email sign up boxes from your favorite bloggers. Many of these bloggers offer a free PDF report you can download, but for that, you will have to enter your email.

What happens next?

Most of these bloggers have an email newsletter sequence that will send automated messages to your inbox.

Unfortunately, the majority of these so-called email newsletters are crap and it will waste your energy because you did not ask to join their email newsletter in the first place, you were only downloading their free giveaway.

For this very reason, you should enter your blog email when you have to download a free report or signing up for a mailing list. 

Once your blog becomes popular, you will start to receive another type of emails from interested parties,

The marketing inquiry emails

When you have a contact page (that you should definitely have), you will start receiving marketing inquiry emails. 

So what are marketing inquiries?

These are people from various digital marketing companies and other fellow bloggers who want to get some promotional opportunities.

A common inquiry email is when someone asks you to check out and link to their blog posts. 

They will send the same email to hundreds of bloggers in the hope that one or two bloggers will comply.

In fact, this is the exact approach SEO bloggers like Brian Dean and Neil Patel are using. In their end, it’s called email outreach; at our end, it’s called begging and spamming the email inbox.

When you have a contact page or public contact info out there, you will start receiving a bunch of those. Some of these emails can lead to profitable deals so I don’t recommend you fully discount them. When you have a dedicated blog email address, you can control these kinds of emails and it’s always better to use precaution.

Tips for reducing email spam

As mentioned throughout this article, you should have a separate email address for your blog and never expose your work or personal email to your blogging audience. This will keep most of your sanity intact. However, your blog email address is still at risk of getting bombarded with spam so you should take other measures.

Use a contact form

The best way to hide your email address is to use a contact form plugin. Use the Contact Form 7 plugin along with the ReCaptcha robot verification. This way your email will not be exposed and you will also not get any automated spam emails.

Don’t type out your email in your page

These comment spammers will use automated programs to load up blogs and collect emails. If you really have to have your email listed on your page, don’t write it like this: youremail@gmail.com -this way the email scrapping software will check for the at @ symbol and detect it as an email address.

If possible, use an image of your email address or type it like this:

youremail [at] gmail [dot] com

Only a real human will read and understand it’s an email address; the bots will never know.

Use Gmail filtering

If you are getting too many emails from the same sender, you can mark the email as spam or mute the emails. 

Gmail has folders to keep the promotional and social media updates separate so you should be good to go when managing your email.

With a Gmail account, we can get access to various free Google services that I am going to outline below,

Google Services for bloggers

There are a bunch of Google services that can help grow your blog, and all you need is a Gmail account to access them. Below I am outlining some of the most prominent ones:

Google Drive, Google Docs

Google Drive is free web storage where you can store documents, photos, and media. Their free account offers 15 GB of online storage that is enough for the regular blogger. Drive gives you access to many of the office tools we can use like Google Docs.

Google Docs is an online word processing software just like Microsoft Word but you can edit it online. I like to draft my blog posts on Docs, proofread them, and finally publish them on my WordPress blog. Docs allow me to easily compose an article and have it as a backup.

Link: drive.google.com

YouTube

YouTube is an online video platform, and you probably know this already. You can create a YouTube account with your Gmail account where you can create up to 50 channels. Over there you can upload and host videos free of charge. 

I like to use YouTube as a platform for delivering video content. Other than that, I also create instructional and screen sharing videos to give to interested parties. 

Link: youtube.com

Feedburner

Feedburner is an old blog syndication service from Google. It’s still around and allows us to deliver new blog content via email for free. I still use them and have them as my blog feed service.

Link: feedburner.google.com

Other notable Google services

  • Google Analytics: Let’s you track blog visitors. It gives you a detailed report showing the devices and countries they are coming from and which pages they are visiting. 
  • Search Console: Yet another Google service informing about your Google search positions. It shows how many keywords you are ranking for.
  • Adsense: This one helps you put Google ads on your blog and YouTube videos to make money from your blog. Adsense is a good beginner option to earn money.

Conclusion & next steps

Blogging world is full of promotional emails so it’s better to have a separate email address to keep it clean. Gmail is the best free email service around so you should definitely check it out and the Google services that come with it. Make sure you are not sharing your email address on the internet to keep those spam emails in control. Up next you should:

{ 1 Comment }

What is a self-hosted blog?

You heard about the term self-hosted blog and the fact that all the big-name bloggers are blogging on it. Now you must be thinking, what is a self-hosted blog anyways, and is there other types of blogs out there? As a new blogger, you should definitely know what it is and why you should care.

What is a self-hosted blog? A self-hosted blog is when you host a blog website in your own web server. Today you don’t have to program a web server yourself, because you can rent this service from any of the web hosting services providers. Some of the popular self-hosted blogs are WordPress and Ghost.

Since we are interested in blogging to build a passive income, we are going to invest in a self-hosted blogging platform. This gives us greater flexibility, customization, monetization options, and ownership.

On the other spectrum of the self-hosted solution, we have hosted blog services like Tumblr, WordPress.com, Blogger, and Medium. These platforms are often free and ideal for starting a personal blog.

We’re going to explore the anatomy of a self-hosted blog so by the end of this article, you will have a clear picture of what it is and why you should care. 

What does a self-hosted blog look like in action?

Before I tell you all about self-hosted blogs, it would be helpful to actually show you what does it look like from above and under.

From a surface level, a self-hosted blog has its own domain name like blogkori.com (yes, my blog is a self-hosted WordPress blog).

When you Google my blog, it will show up like this:

With a self-hosted blog, you can tweak and change the blog description.

Compared this to hosted blogs, if my blog were hosted on other free blogging platforms, the domain would look like:

  • blogkori.blogspot.com
  • blogkori.tumblr.com
  • medium.com/@blogkori
  • blogkori.wordpress.com (yes, WordPress has a hosted and self-hosted version)

Design-wise, every blog’s design can be unique. A free blog makes use of templates. Self-hosted blogs can also have templates + the ability to build their own custom design. Since I am a web developer, I sometimes customize my own design.

Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress.com blogs make use of a set number of available templates. Medium doesn’t have a template picker.

You would log in to a free blogging platform by first logging in the service and then access your blog. If your blog is in Medium, you would log in to medium.com

But for self-hosted WordPress blogs, the login address looks like yourblog.com/wp-admin

My blog’s login address is blogkori.com/wp-admin and it looks like this,

This is how my WordPress backend looks like for my blog,

And this is how I create a new blog post,

Since a self-hosted blog needs a web hosting service, there is another account you have access to.

This is the Bluehost control panel.

The web hosting control panel is the place where you can manage your blog(s), other static websites, files, and databases. We rarely visit this web hosting Cpanel because most of our time is spent on our blog’s WordPress admin area. The only time you would visit the Cpanel is when you need to contact support or do some manual server management.

Now at this point, you must be thinking, having a self-hosted blog means you have to deal with a lot of things like domain, hosting, and WordPress, so this must be scary. I assure you the scary part of server programming is over, here’s why:

Self-hosted blogs are not scary anymore

I remember the days in 2008 when I was trying to set up my first self-hosted blog (this blog)

Back then I was blogging in a free Blogger platform and everything was going fine.

Then one glorious day, a friend of mine suggested I should move to a self-hosted solution if I want to make money from my blog.

I searched on Google and looked at a few tutorials to see what are the steps needed.

To be honest, the process was overwhelming even for a technical person like me.

The process was horrible and it put me off for many months.

Finally, I bit the bullet and started the procedure of setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog. 

The entire process was painstaking,

I had to change my domain settings.

Use a file transfer software to upload WordPress CMS to my hosting.

Create and connect databases. Create database users and connect them with WordPress.

Do the housekeeping after installing WordPress.

In total it took me weeks to figure things out and the entire process made my blog unreachable for close to a month.

But when you are going to set up a self-hosted blog today, the process doesn’t look like the nightmare we had back then.

Today we have amazing web hosting companies like Bluehost who has made the process simple. What took me weeks, you can do it within five minutes just by following an installation wizard.

The process of setting up a blog website is the same as creating a Twitter account. If you don’t believe me, you can check out this article where I have shown you how easy it is to start your blog in Bluehost.

The bottom line is, we are living in awesome times now.

  • You don’t have to configure a server
  • Don’t have to download and upload any files 
  • No need for creating databases and file permissions

All of these things are being taken care of by your web hosting company.

Self-hosted blogs need a hosting account

The name suggests, the blog is self-hosted. But hosted where? In a web hosting service. When you sign up for a free blog at Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com, or Medium, these companies host the blog for you. Alternatively, when you are setting up your own custom blog, you will need to have your own web server.

A web server is a computer that serves the user with your website files. Every time a user types in www.yourblog.com, the request will hit your web server and it will serve the homepage of your site.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, many computer experts would have their own web servers in their garage to host their own websites, blogs, and forums.

If you wish you can too create your own server and start hosting your blog website. But this comes with some headaches for the non-technical folks.

For starters, serving a blog website means you have to have a specialized server computer and a fast internet connection to handle user requests. When this computer is running, you won’t be able to do anything else on it.

Configuring a server yourself requires knowledge of computer programming, server programming, and IT infrastructure. You will also be responsible for troubleshooting any bugs and errors that are common in this kind of setup.

Finally, you have to take care of power and internet bills. 

For these reasons only the computer experts who know what they are doing should have their own web servers.

Lucky for us, we can get away from all the hassle by paying five bucks a month to a web hosting provider.

A modern web hosting company has professional level server computers that are maintained by trained IT professionals. These companies also have a user-friendly web interface that allows anyone to sign up and host a website. Under the hood, your blog is being run on these physical machines that stay ON 24/7, 365 days a year.

On top of the web hosting account, another special kind of software allows us to create and manage posts: the CMS.

A self-hosted blog is powered by a CMS

CMS stands for Content Management System. The web hosting service provider only provides the interface to maintain your server, we also need another specialized software, a CMS to manage our content like articles, images, and pages.

Some of the popular content managers of nowadays are WordPress, Joomla, and Ghost. Each of these CMSs solves a unique set of problems, but for blogs, WordPress is the goto solution.

WordPress is the most popular content management system out there and all the top bloggers use the self-hosted version of WP. Other than the number of users, it also has a large ecosystem of extensions, themes, and services. You can start a blog with WordPress, but you can also turn it into a membership site, an e-commerce site, or even a job board.

I recommend WordPress because it gives us a nice user interface to easily manage the blog.

A self-hosted blog is a combination of your custom domain (blogkori.com), web hosting account, and the CMS. Together they create a blog that you can easily manage, extend, monetize, and transfer ownership.

A self-hosted WordPress blog is more than a blog

Earlier you learned that WordPress is a popular self-hosted blogging solution and it allows a non-techy person to easily manage their blog. I recommend you start with a blog website because it’s the easiest platform you can set up now. 

But what if you want to have more than a blog? Well, WordPress has you covered.

Although WordPress is a CMS for blogs, currently people are making all sorts of websites with this setup. WP sites have plugins (site extensions) that let you build a custom website.

You can build an e-commerce site using the WooCommerce plugin; turn your blog into an online ordering service using the Foodpress plugin; make your blog into a membership site using the Wishlist membership plugin, you name it. 

With a large ecosystem of custom plugins and functionality, there are endless possibilities of what can be achieved with a WordPress self-hosted site. You can turn your blog into a specialized site without having to do any custom programming.

When building with WordPress, you are future-proofing your online platform. 

Where to go from here?

Now that you know what a self-hosted blog is, you should definitely look into how to set one up for yourself. There is a lot more to cover so I suggest you take it slow. That being said, here are the next steps you should take,

  • Start a self-hosted blog using this step-by-step guide
  • Make a habit of publishing online
  • Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on self-hosted blogs

{ Add a Comment }

Why is it Important to Have a Blog?

You are hearing about this buzzword blog a lot lately, but why should you care? Is blogging actually worth your time or is it just some dumb fad? It would be foolish to pass on the idea entirely without inspecting it first, so today we’re going to find out if is it important to have a blog or not.

A blog is a form of digital automation that can amplify your message to a large number of people. You get to leave a digital trail of your work that brings you new opportunities.

But why is it important to have a blog? Because a blog allows you to showcase your expertise in the form of articles that will come up in Google search. Other than building authority, a blog is also a platform you own, can monetize, and sell.

Here at BlogKori, we like to blog as a way of building online businesses that generate passive income. We are interested in adding value to our audience and help them make better decisions. Having a blog enables anyone to be omnipresent; work hard once and reap the benefits for years to come.

The central idea of online-based passive income is to set up digital automation tools such as blog websites and serve customers while we chill. For this very reason, it is important to have a blog.

Let’s dive in deep and give you a clear picture of why having a blog is better and the alternative is a waste of time.

A blog is a digital automation tool

You already learned that a blog is a form of automation. But why would you care?

Because we are busy. 

At the end of your workday, you have a difficult choice to make:

Either you spend quality time with your family, work on your hobbies or

You could go to networking, promoting your stuff.

But time is limited.

We can only talk to so many people and it’s always a never-ending chore.

But if you blog…

You can spend some time writing extremely useful articles that help out your target audience. You create new content and your blog grows.

And over time that content comes up in Google Search and it automatically serves that audience.

A blog is a wonderful automation tool that can spread digitally. You will write a blog post once and continuously serve an audience for years to come. Having a blog makes it possible to replace yourself.

Instead of networking, you can take some time out to write an excellent piece of article.

Over time, the number of articles will pile up in your blog and once you have a dozen of those articles they will start popping up in Google search and bring you new leads and opportunities. 

In fact, this exact strategy helped me get new freelance clients on a constant basis. The posts I had written years ago are still bringing me fresh leads to this day.

Soon you will have enough content in your blog that it’s generating a constant supply of clients on a regular basis. At that point, you can decide to stop writing and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

You will have enough clients to work with and you will no longer need to spend extra time looking for new clients. So then you can enjoy spending quality time with your family or doing bar-b-que.

But now you must be thinking about social media. After all, social sites can help you do the same with an existing userbase. Why on earth you would spend time building a blog? It’s because blogging is better than social networks, here’s how,

It’s better than social media

Today, if you want to promote yourself or your business, you need to promote digitally.

Many experts recommend you spend time working on social media.

Well, that sounds simple but,

Please tell me if this sounds familiar:

You have created a social media profile, started following experts in your field and after a while, you know how it works.

Now it’s time to create content and show your expertise.

You put your heart and soul into crafting the best post you can possibly create.

Hit publish

…and the post is trending! 

You are receiving new interactions, comments, new contacts, and lots of positive response. 

You are thrilled!

But after a few days, the notifications stop coming.

You don’t see any engagements coming from that post anymore because the post is buried deep into the newsfeed.

Suddenly you are back to square one and you have to start the process all over again.

With social media, you have to constantly keep posting content and engage with people. Those of us who have done this for a while know how much time it takes to keep up with sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. 

It just never ends.

The worst part of pushing content on social media is: your content expires quickly in the void of the news feed.

It’s extremely difficult to find and categorize your old social media posts in the flood of all other posts.

Compare that to a blog, you get to organize your blog posts in categories. 

The best thing about blogging is, your content has a longer shelf life because the visitors come to the site through Google searches.

Even this day, I get new visitors coming to the blog articles I have written over ten years ago! Will that be possible with social media?

Not a chance!

But there is one more reason you should blog, and that’s because it’s a platform you own and control.

A platform you own

Your blog is your own platform. Here, you will get to set your own rules. You won’t be restricted by what you can post and monetize.

The biggest complaint social media has is, they often restrict the topics you can talk about. On YouTube, many topics get demonetized. Some creators spend weeks pouring their heart and soul into a video, writing, shooting, editing, and then promoting, only to be demonetized by YouTube. It discourages them from creating their next video because they don’t know if the new one is going to be slapped again or not.

Twitter and Facebook will ban a user if they did not follow their content guidelines that change too often. Many Twitter users had to delete the tweets they posted ten years ago just because these will not go according to their updated terms of service.

Now imagine this…

You are a content creator in social media who has spent years building your audience with lots of quality content. 

One fine day, the gods of the platform decided to pull the plug on you because one of the content you posted many years ago does not abide by the rules they updated recently. As a result, they decided to either delete those posts, demonetize them, or entirely ban you from the platform. Whichever way, you are screwed and you have nothing in return for your hard work.

Having a blog reduces this risk because you own it. When you start a self-hosted blog, you own the entire platform. 

There won’t be any topic you can’t monetize, there won’t be anything you can’t say (make sure you are not actually breaking your country’s law).

Now I am not saying you should drop social media entirely. Social media is important to grow your brand, so it’s better to keep your blog as your primary hub and use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to bring new people to your platform. This to make sure, if someday, one of your social media accounts gets banned, then you won’t have anything crucial to lose.

Finally, the most important reason to have a blog is that it’s an asset with resale value.

It’s a transferrable asset

Blogs are no joke, they are serious business. If you don’t believe me, then have a look at how much they are going for in the auction.

Having your own blog and making money from it makes it a lucrative asset. You can sell off this blog just like you would sell any physical property. This single attribute makes blogging the best investment to make.

Earlier I talked about blogging to get customers to your existing business. I want to take it one step further and fulfill the customers directly with the blog. 

With a blog, we can make money by:

  • Selling affiliate products and earning commissions
  • Placing banner advertisements
  • Offering paid membership option
  • Selling our own digital product

All these things are only possible when you have your own blog. You can start monetizing your blog and once you are generating decent revenue, you can sell this blog in the marketplace.

Build it and forget it

We are not interested in having yet another job of blogging. A blog is an automation tool that can run on its own, once we have put enough work into it. It will then keep on serving users and earn us a regular paycheck every month.

Even if you don’t wish to directly monetize a blog, it’s still a great investment for your business because it lets you amplify your reach. Blogging regularly will help you come up on Google search and you will be seen as an expert in your field. 

I highly suggest you look into blogging and give it a go. If you are interested in how to build blogs for building online passive incomes, then you should follow my blog and check out my other helpful tips.

Go ahead and,

  • Start a blog website to build an online business
  • Leave a comment in this post and let me know what you think
  • Share this post with a friend who might want to hear about this

{ Add a Comment }

Can I Blog About More Than One Topic?

Here’s an interesting problem, you want to start a blog, but you are not being able to decide on a single topic. You want to talk about your professional expertise, you want to share about your hobbies, you also want to talk about PIZZA!! Why not cover all the topics in your blog, since that would bring a variety of visitors?

But in BlogKori, we are interested in building a blog as an online asset, and for that, 

We have one golden rule for success: 

Cover one topic per blog.

Can I blog about more than one topic? No, you should only cover one central topic per blog if you want to grow it fast. Blogging about more than one topic makes your blog diluted and you will lose your reader’s interest. To grow your blog quickly, you should always blog about one topic per blog.

Having a single topic to cover in your blog cuts down the workload because now you know how many articles you want to write. When you blog for just a single topic, your readers will see you as an authority in that field, that is not possible when you are covering many different unrelated topics. Finally, Google favors a single topic blog for topical authority rather than a multi-topic one.

The one time when you can blog about more than one topic is when you have already covered the primary topic with enough blog posts and now it’s time to expand your niche. But in that situation, you will have to make sure the next topic is closely related to the first one.

Now that you have got a basic idea for why you would want to blog about one topic, let me give you a more in-depth analysis.

Having a single topic blog cuts down the workload

When you are blogging to build a passive income, you don’t want to make blogging your fulltime job. We need to write a specific amount of blog posts so for niche sites, that number is around 20-30 blog posts. By starting a blog on a single topic, you can easily reach that number. 

And once you have written 30 quality blog posts on that topic, you will find that you have covered all the important topics of your niche. After that, it’s very easy to manage your blog, because all you have to do is to update these posts with new information and maybe post a new article every now and then.

Imagination time!

Let’s see what happens when you have a multi-topic blog. You decided you want to talk about your professional experiences, your hobbies, and PIZZA!!

You start your blog by writing a few articles talking about all the topics. After a while, you notice you haven’t written enough about your hobby, so you start posting more about that.

Sometime later, you realized you have 20 posts about hobbies, 20 about your profession, and only six for pizza. You suddenly get the urgency to write fourteen more posts about your favorite food. 

As a result, the year passes, but your blog never gets complete. And since your blog topic is all over the place, it’s really hard to pinpoint something specific. For this very reason, you won’t know what’s your strongest post that is giving you the most bang for the buck. 

To save you from all the trouble, it’s better to have a laser-targeted focus for your blog. If you want to talk about pizza, then why not start a personal blog on the side?

Since you have a definite, yet a low number of posts to write, the side-effect of this approach is building topical authority.

Build authority fast by blogging about a single topic

Some of the single topics are actually too broad if you think about it. Your single topic could be pets, but that covers cats, dogs, horses, fish, birds, and the entire animal kingdom. You could focus on dogs, but even then there are too many dog breeds and too much to cover. We want to pick a specific niche where we could be the authority in the field.

You could be that guy who is an expert in pugs. You could be the goto girl when it comes to oriental necklaces. When you focus on a single topic, you can build an authority fast and this gigantically increases the chance of success.

This is how it works in the real world,

Someone will come to one of your blog articles following a search result.

If they like what they read, they will be interested to stick around and check out your other blog articles on the same topic. During this time, if your blog really helped the reader get the information they wanted, they will become your blog follower.

Now even if they didn’t bookmark your site or sign up for your mailing list, they will still make a mental bookmark for your blog. When the next time they think about the topic, they will come back to your blog and look for other articles about the same topic. As time goes on, this reader will become your true follower and you are going to become the goto guy/girl for them whenever they need info about the topic.

Since we already know, a single topic makes it easy to complete our blogs, you will have enough updated information to cater to all the needs of your target audience. Your audience will love your blog and do you know who else is gonna dig your blog? Google.

Google loves single topic blogs

Since you are blogging on a single topic, you will have an easy time climbing the search rankings of Google search. 

Let me explain,

If a person is searching for “how often should I feed my cat?

And there are two websites competing for it,

Site #1 is a large site about pets, they talk about cats, dogs, fish, and even horses. They have 1,000+ articles and one of the articles best matches this topic on how often you should feed your cat.

Site #2 is a niche blog that talks all about cat food: what to feed them, when the cat is hungry, the side effects of feeding the wrong food, etc. you get the idea! This site only has 20 articles but they all are super focused on feeding the feline companion.

Chances are, Google will love to rank the smaller site on top of the large site just because the smaller site has a much higher topical authority.

Google and other search engine do this because they like to understand the search intent of the user. This means if the person is concerned about feeding their cat, there is a high chance they actually have a cat and will have other questions about it. If Google can direct the searcher to the best website for this problem domain, it’s a win for them and the visitor.

Using a single-topic focus will easily help you get higher search rankings quickly.

At this point, it’s worth to mention, when it will be the right time to blog about more than one topic.

When can you blog about more than one topic?

Earlier, you learned that when building a blog as an online business, there is no point in diluting the blog with multiple topics. However, there is one situation you could benefit from blogging about more than one topic, and that’s when you are expanding your blog niche.

Let’s say you created a blog about training pug dogs. After working for months, you have written 30 blog articles and covered almost everything in your niche. The blog is also getting a steady amount of visitors every month and it’s growing. Now you can take your blog to the next level by targeting another topic.

You can target a new topic, but make sure it is highly related to your first one. When you are blogging about training pug dogs, you can cover a new topic like food for pug dogs, or competition training for pug dogs, you get the idea. 

You may also expand your topic beyond pug dogs and target another breed like training a Doberman.

At this point, your audience consists of pug owners and it’s common for a dog owner to have multiple dogs of different breeds so they will benefit from the new information. This way you can expand to other dog species and maybe even target the entire dog training broad category. Using this process, you are growing your niche blog into an authority blog.

It’s okay to experiment, but don’t go so far away from your core topic to write about motorcycles when your blog is about dogs (unless you are writing about dogs riding motorbikes).

Key takeaways

You should always blog about one topic when you are blogging to build a passive income. This will cut down your workload so you can build a helpful blog fast. Focusing on a single topic or niche is ideal to quickly build your topic authority; your readers and Google will love you for that. Finally, you can target a new related topic once you have fully covered the first topic but make sure it’s highly relevant to your blog theme.

Now that you know why you should blog about a single topic, here are the next steps:

  • Pick the central topic of your blog
  • Go ahead and start your blog the right way
  • Leave a comment on this blog to let me know what’s your blog topic

{ Add a Comment }

How to Start a Blog Website for Your Online Business

Today we’re going to take some serious action. I am going to show you how to start a blog website and be online.

A blog website is the easiest online platform you can set up for your brand. When building online businesses, you need a place where you can post useful information and nurture your audience. Your blog is your own personal platform where there are no restrictions. Today I am going to help you set up your first blog website.

By following the steps of this article, you will have your very own blog website on the internet ready to be seen by the world like www.yourblog.com

Here’s a quick overview of what we will do:

  1. We will sign up for a Bluehost account to start a new blog
  2. I will share all the details about online blogging you should know
  3. You will learn how to write and post your first blog post

After that, you will also learn how to set it up the right way and will have a guideline for posting your first article. This blog will enable you to build your own platform and start earning a passive income but most of all, it is going to be an asset you can sell in the future.

I have written this article from a beginner’s perspective. You may have a few questions about blogging before you start one so I have put everything any new blogger would want to learn.

However, if you have made your mind and want to start now, then click here to jump straight to the setup instructions.

I hope this article helps you make the right decisions.

What are we going to build?

We are going to build a blog website. A blog is a special type of website where you can post text-based content like this one you are reading in BlogKori. This is going to be a self-hosted blog powered by the WordPress platform. You won’t have to use any programming language or deal with complex server software to be able to publish online, and I will guide you through every step of the way.

At the end of this exercise, you will have your very own blog website like www.yourblog.com

Why is it important to have a blog anyway?

I outlined in this post that having your own platform is the best way to generate a passive income. When you are creating content and making money (like YouTube or Udemy), you should not be tied down to platforms owned by other corporations. 

There are many ways you can build your own platform like an App, a membership site, or a mailing list but a blog website is the easiest of them to set up and maintain.

Having your own blog allows you to promote your services, affiliate offers, or run display advertising to make money online. Since you own your blog, you will have no restrictions on what you can monetize or not, and no one can ban you from your blog, unlike Instagram or YouTube.

The general plan is to publish relevant and useful content to your blog so that people who are searching for this content can come and get help. Some of these contents will have your product recommendation with your affiliate links, and some of them will run display advertising. You get to write & publish once and have it read by new people for years to come.

Since your blog stays online 24/7, it can serve your audience constantly, even when you are sleeping. This is the central idea of online-based passive income and with a blog, you are going to replace yourself with technology.

What are the best topics to blog about?

Some of the popular topics to blog about are the ones where people spend money. Topics like health, finance, relationship, and self-improvement are the broad categories that are at the top.

These broad topics have many sub-topics like fitness, weight loss, diet, etc. for the health niche; personal finance, mortgage, retirement planning, make money online, etc. for the finance niche; finding love, getting your ex back, pick up artist, etc. for the relationship niche are just to name a few.

In a nutshell, if people have problems and if they are willing to spend money on the solution, then that’s a good niche. Since we bloggers can add value to their lives by offering a good solution, we can make money serving that audience. This is also called being an influencer.

That being said, there are so many niches out there and anything can be a niche. If you can think of a niche, just do a Google search. If you find a few good blogs out there already covering it, then there is money to be made and it’s a good niche to get in.

You may already be serving a niche if you are a YouTube creator or a Udemy course instructor. Why not start a blog on the same niche as an extension of your current business plan? Are you a professional like an accountant? Then accounting for [group of people] can be your niche. If you are a fitness trainer, then fitness for [your target audience] is your niche.

If you are a doctor, software engineer, writer, or a truck driver, you can draw inspiration from your field to find a topic for your blog. You may also bring your hobbies to be the topic of your blog. 

If done well, any topic will work and any niche can be turned into a profitable niche. So remember to pick a single niche!

Does a blog have to be about one topic?

Yes. If you want to succeed in the quickest amount of time, then you should blog about one topic only. If your blog is about oriental necklaces, then make it all about oriental necklaces. You might find that after writing five of six posts about this topic you are hitting a dead end and can’t find any new posts to write about. This is why you have to think and plan out your niche. 

You are okay to cover other topics that are closely related to your primary topic. If you are blogging about necklaces, then you might also cover bracelets because they go together really well. But if your blog is about jewelry, then don’t suddenly start writing about children’s toys. 

When making a blog, you have to keep your audience’s expectations in mind. If your visitor reads your blog about jewelry, then he/she will think your blog is a good place for that and think you are an expert on the topic. But if the next time they find a totally unrelated topic they don’t care about, they will think your blog is just a collection of unrelated topics and go away.

In order to build a sustainable long term asset, we are going to build this blog as an authority blog in that niche, and the first step to do this is to focus on a single topic. Once you have decided on your area of focus, it’s time to pick a good name for your blog.

How to come up with a name for your blog?

The best way to name your blog is to put the topic name and add a modifier like [topic]spot, [topic]guide, or [topic]place. Put the primary keyword or main topic in the name with a prefix or suffix to come up with a unique name for your blog like PaleoClub, BaseballHub, DrMeatballs, CatPalace, WhyAloevera,  you get the idea.

Look at my blog name, blogkori. It’s a combination of two words, blog, and kori. Blog means a blog website and kori means I am doing (in Bangla). My blog name means I am blogging. Since my blog is all about blogging, I have kept the word “blog” in the name. Similarly, you will add your primary blog topic so your visitors will instantly know what your blog is about.

But what if you don’t have the topic already? 

You want to start a blog immediately but you haven’t figured out what you want to blog yet. Maybe you will settle on a topic six months down the road, so how to name your blog?

When you absolutely have no clue what you are going to blog, then you can use your own name as your blog name. Using your own name as the blog name is a common practice among bloggers and in that case, the person’s name becomes the brand of the blog. Some of the established blogs out there using their personal name as their blog name are Neil Patel, Marie Forleo, and Drew Binsky.

Now here comes the dilemma,

Do I have to use my full name on my blog?

It totally depends on what are your goals with your blog. If you are blogging as a hobby, then you can get away by blogging under a pseudonym. But since we are blogging for business, and people want to do business with a legitimate person, it’s a good thing to use your full name on your blog for building trust.

Using your full name can come up with certain privacy issues, so you can use your partial name for operating this online venture. Some bloggers have invented a new identity to run their blogs. This way they have separated their blog identity from their other profession. 

When you use your full name in your blog, the blog will come up on Google search whenever someone searches for your blog. Now it’s up to you, do you want to get credit for your blog or not? 

If you are an expert in a professional field, a coach, a Udemy instructor, or an Amazon author, then you will benefit from Google search when your blog is the same topic as your field. This will add credibility and flow both ways. When I started my blog, I wanted to be known for my blogging expertise so I have used my real name in my blog.

If you already have a YouTube channel or a brand, where you are not using your real name, you can easily use that name in your blog.

Once you have decided on your blog topic and what to name your blog, it’s time to take action and start your first blog website.

What will we need to start a blog website?

To go online with a blog website, we need these crucial things:

  • Email address
  • Domain name
  • Web hosting
  • Content Management System CMS

Email address

An email address is no brainer, and you probably have one already. But for starting your new online journey I highly recommend you set up a fresh new email address to be used for all of your online business-related activities. This is so that you don’t get your personal email address exposed to various email marketing lists. 

The moment you start your blog, you will start receiving lots of marketing emails trying to sell you various solutions. You will also be bombarded with spam blog comments and automated emails. So to save yourself, it’s always a good idea to register a fresh new email address to use for your blog.

Fortunately, there is Gmail that allows you to have a free email account. We are going to use Gmail because it also gives access to many free Google services including Drive, Docs, and YouTube we can use to grow our blogs.

Domain Name

A domain name is the DOT COM address of any website. For my site, the address is blogkori.com. Similarly, you will obtain a domain name for yourblog.com or yourbrand.com.

A domain name is a unique name and by using that anyone in the world can access your website. Your blog name becomes the domain name, so when you pick “Your Blog“, it will become yourblog.com.

Something to note about domain names:

  • A domain name costs $13 per year, you have to renew it every year. I have been renewing blogkori.com for 10 years now.
  • There are many domain extensions like .com, .net, .org, .co, .io but .com is the most popular of them all so always pick a .com
  • Most of the good .com domain names are already taken, so you have to be creative. Don’t pay thousands to choose the perfect domain.

Since a domain name is also the name of your blog and brand, you might find it hard to come up with a good domain name that is a DOT COM, but you should not worry about it.

My tip is that your domain name is not that important, your content is. Starting your online business is more important than starting with the perfect name.

In fact, many successful blogs are using an obscure domain name they registered in their early days like HongKiat tech blog, Labnol tech blog, or the Shout Me Loud internet marketing blog.

If you can’t figure out a name, why not register your own name as the domain name like JohnSmith.com? The important thing is you should start first and can always pick a better name six months down the road.

We are going to grab the free domain name that comes when signing up for the Bluehost account. It will save us $13.

Web Hosting

Your web hosting account is the physical data storage where all of your website files, content, and pictures will be stored. A web hosting solution will be responsible for storing files in disk, managing the database, and handling user requests. This is the one component that allows you to serve your customers 24/7 helping you make money while you are sleeping.

Web hosting comes in all shapes and sizes depending on the monthly active users they can handle. For a beginner-level blog website, you can start with a basic package. As your platform grows and you start to get thousands of monthly visitors, you can switch to an advanced hosting plan in the future. 

The most common entry-level web hosting package is called a shared web hosting solution. Here you are going to rent a portion of a server computer that makes it easier for anyone to host online without having to run and maintain the server yourself. And the best part is, you get to rent a high performing web server for as low as $5 a month. This type of web hosting solution is ideal for starter websites and can easily handle a few hundred visitors per day.

Content Management System (CMS)

A Content Management System, CMS allows you to publish and maintain your website without having to do any programming. It’s a website software that goes into a web server and presents you with a rich user interface for creating pages. Normally it takes a lot of programming knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP to build websites but with the CMS, we’ll be able to run and manage the website without doing any coding. We will use the WordPress CMS for our blog.

How much does blogging cost?

To have a self-hosted blog website, the monthly costs are as low as $6 per month. A domain name is $13 per year and a hosting account goes for around $3-5 bucks a month. With this nominal cost, you get to have your own domain name and valuable online platform you can make money from. 

With my expert guideline, you are going to pay only the bare minimum and get the most out of your investment. Don’t consider it a cost, think of it as an investment towards building a solid online business. People spend thousands of dollars on building their websites, (I know because I am a freelance developer). But since we are going the DIY route, you won’t have to spend an arm or leg to have a blog. Here’s a basic rundown of the costs of blogging:

  • Domain name: $13/yr (free from Bluehost)
  • Web hosting account: $5/mo
  • WordPress CMS: Free

What is a self-hosted blog?

Blogs come in two flavors, a hosted platform like Tumblr, Medium or Blogspot, and the self-hosted version like WordPress and Ghost. A self-hosted blog means you host it yourself. 

When you hear the phrase, self-hosted, you might think about running a server computer and messing up with programming code and databases. But worry not because nowadays, having such a blog is as simple as signing up for a Facebook or YouTube account. All the technical aspects of the past have been taken care of by the rockstar hosting companies.

Now you must be asking, why do I have to set up and get a paid service when I can set up a free blog from any other services?

This is because we are not blogging as a hobby, we are doing it for building an online business. A self-hosted blog website has no restrictions. You can easily run ads, promote affiliate products, and even sell the entire blog to someone else in the future.

This blog is flexible, meaning you can turn it into a membership site, a forum, or even a social network of your own.

Finally, a self-hosted blog is portable. If in the future you want to turn your little blog into a large application, you can easily do it without any restrictions. Free blogging providers, on the other hand, have total control over your blog and you won’t be able to transfer or sell it to someone.

Out of the many self-hosted blog solutions out there, WordPress is the number one choice and trusted by all the top bloggers. We are going to use the WordPress platform to build our blog. Even this blog, BlogKori is also built on this platform. 

What are the benefits of using WordPress?

WordPress is a battle-tested content management system that lets you publish online without having to do any programming. It’s secure, easy to use, and has a large community of users. The best part of using WordPress is the vast array of custom plugins and themes you can use with it.

This all means you can easily turn your blog website into a membership site, e-commerce, or even a job board when you need it. Having thousands of themes can help you achieve a design you desire without being a designer yourself.

But the important thing we are interested in is the ease of use. WordPress user interface is simple and gives power to the non-techy folks. 

A note about WordPress.com

When making a search for WordPress, you will notice there are two versions of the same thing, WordPress.org, and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is the CMS software we will use to build our own platform. 

WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a free blogging platform for hobbyist bloggers. We don’t want to use the free WordPress.com service because in that platform we won’t own our site and won’t be able to monetize it or sell it in the future.

If you are starting a blog for the intention of starting an online business, then you should move forward with the .org version.

Setup Instructions

Now that we are all set, we can get started with the actual setup of starting a blog. The good thing is, when you sign up for a hosting account, it will handle the domain, hosting, and WordPress all at once. This means you will have just one account to manage your entire blog website.

There are many web hosting solutions out there but for this tutorial, we will be using Bluehost. They are user friendly and since we are going to use WordPress, Bluehost will be perfect because it is officially recommended by WordPress itself powering over 2 million websites (WordPress, 2020).

Click this link to visit Bluehost

Click on the green Get Started button

You will be presented with various hosting plans. Pick the basic plan because for the first blog you don’t need anything fancy. 

Here enter the domain name you wish for your blog. Bluehost will offer you a free domain name when you sign up for a web hosting package.

Enter your billing details here

Now pick the payment term from the dropdown. I have selected a 12-month plan that saves me money, if you want to save even more you can pick 24 or 36-month term.

Uncheck all the extra offers, we’ll do just fine with the basic features,

Enter your payment detail (your credit card info)

Click Submit to make the payment and continue to your account creation page. 

For my Bangladeshi readers, you can pay using the Payoneer card or can borrow someone’s international credit card or PayPal account.

Now create your account, this is going to be your web hosting control panel login information. Make sure you set up a strong password and write it down somewhere for safekeeping.

In a moment your account will be created and you will be prompted to log in

Enter your password to log in to your account. You will also receive the details via email

You will be prompted to create your website. Enter your site name and tagline below. Also, enable “Do you want a blog?”

Select the features you want for your new blog website and continue,

Now you will be presented to pick a theme for your blog,

When picking up a theme for your website, don’t spend too much time searching for the perfect design because we are going to change it in the future anyway.

I say you pick the one that you feel okay and continue.

This will install WordPress!

Now click on start building.

This is your WordPress dashboard and we are going to spend the majority of our time working here writing, publishing, and managing our website.

This dashboard is called the backend of your blog website.

This is your fresh new WordPress dashboard.

And this is how mine looks like:

You will notice that your site is in the Coming Soon state.

This means no-one in the world can use your website except yourself. We need to disable it and make the site public. This is because by this time no one knows or cares about your site. The sooner you make it available, the sooner Google will index it, and the sooner you can start building your platform.

Click on the Launch your site to make the site public to the world

View your website by clicking the site name on top or going to www.yourblog.com

Congratulations!

You have started your own blog. 

You can call it a day now because you have taken the first step towards building a sustainable online business that will provide you continuous results in the coming years.

Still here?

Let me share more,

I started my blog, now what?

Starting a blog is just half the battle, you have to write content and make it successful. By following my plan you will write awesome content and enjoy doing it. And it’s not like you have to get a new job of writing blog posts forever, you are going to publish a set amount of blog posts and win from that. After all, we are blogging as a way to build passive income. We will work hard once and reap the rewards for years to come. 

But before you start publishing content, it’s time to tweak a few settings in your blog to have peace of mind.

By the way, anytime you want to login to your WordPress backend, you should go to your Bluehost account and click on Log in to WordPress

WordPress Settings

Change timezone and email

The first thing you should do is to set up your site’s timezone and localization format. This way when you post on your blog, the time and dates will be consistent with your local time. You should also change your administrator email to the one you created for blog related matters.

In your WordPress dashboard, locate Settings.

The settings menu has a submenu. Open General submenu,

Now from the general settings page, change your administrator email to the one you opened for your blog.

So that all the spam and blog related emails lands on that specialized email account.

We are not done yet!

One the same page, scroll down to find the localization settings:

Change your timezone, date, and time format and when you are done, click Save Changes.

Disable comment spam

After you have set up your first blog, you will start receiving comment spam within the first 30 minutes. I know it’s crazy, so we gotta make sure we don’t tolerate that.

Go to Discussion menu from the Settings tab,

Now, uncheck:

  • Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the post 
  • Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new posts 

This will stop getting useless link notification and also stop sending a notification to other blogs, speeding up your site.

Also, uncheck:

  • Anyone posts a comment 
  • A comment is held for moderation

This will disable the email notification for new comments/spam comments.

This will keep your blog clean and discourage comment spammers. If you don’t disable email notification, your email inbox will be filled with unwanted comment notifications.

Click on Save Changes at the bottom of the page,

You can log in to your blog every once in a while to check on the comments when you feel like.

Change your display name

At this moment your name is shown as Admin, we need to change this.

You will find the Users menu,

From the submenu, select Your Profile

Set your first name, last name that you want to publically use in your blog, and from the dropdown, set the preferred name you want to display alongside your blog posts,

Save the changes by clicking the Update Profile button,

Recommended Plugins

WordPress uses the feature of plugins to add custom functionality. Think of plugins like extensions for your website. The default WordPress installation comes with just the barebone features for you to start publishing, but if you want to do more with it, you will need to use plugins.

There are many useful plugins you will come across in the future so I am not going to overwhelm you with all these boring details. It’s better to know about various plugins once you come across a specific need. For your new site, you need to protect the site from hackers by installing this plugin called WordFence.

Locate the Plugins menu in your dashboard,

From there, click on Add New submenu,

You will see the plugins page. It’s just like the app store of WordPress. Locate the search bar,

Type in wordfence in the search bar,

The page will change and you will see a list of plugins, the first one should be the one we are interested so click on Install Now button,

The install button will change into Installing icon, wait a few seconds until the button changes,

Once the button changes into blue Activate button, you will know the plugin has been installed into your blog and you have to enable it by clicking on the Activate button,

It will show up the sign-up button where you should enter the email where it will send security emails. Check their terms, select “No” you don’t want to join their mailing list and click Continue.

After you sign up, it Wordfence will prompt you to get their premium protection, say No Thanks because the basic protection will do just fine,

After you do this, you will be back to your WordPress dashboard.

Just installing and enabling basic options will be enough to protect your blog from unwanted hackers so you can have peace of mind.

Now that we are done with the essential settings, let’s move on!

Promoting your blog? Forget about it!

We are not going to promote the blog in any means; okay maybe you can tell a few friends just for the sake of it but that’s it. At this stage, there is no point in doing any external promotion since your blog is empty.

Some other bloggers will recommend you create a Twitter profile, Facebook page, and other social media profiles for your blog but that’s just a huge waste of time. We are going to spend 80% of our time writing quality blog articles and the rest of the 20% optimizing the blog to better serve and monetize the site.

We have to fully focus on the content creation side until we have a good amount of quality articles in the blog. So you can rest assured that you will not have to do any blog promotion in the early days of your blog (maybe six months).

Now you might be thinking if you don’t promote your blog, how on earth you would get visitors? 

Answer: Google Search.

Yes, Google, the ultimate source for endless visitors who are actually interested in your blog topic. With quality blog articles, you will be able to gain organic search traffic without having to spend a dollar on advertising.

Just think about it, how you came across this blog? I am 100% sure that you first came to my blog by following a link in the Google search results.

I am going to teach you how exactly you can do the same for your blog, but before that, you need to focus on writing.

How should blogs be written?

Blog writing is not like writing for the press or for college. Blog articles are more like conversational pieces. Think of blogs like a letter you are writing to your friend. The more engaging and easy to follow the article, the better you will be able to keep your reader’s attention.

That being said, you should not forget about grammar and writing best practices. Make sure your articles are coherent and flow naturally.

You can start off by following the rule of the five-paragraph essay. An essay should have an opening paragraph outlining what you are going to cover. Then you will have three paragraphs supporting three important ideas of your essay topic. Finally, the last paragraph will draw a conclusion to your essay. Use this exact formula to write your blog articles.

Have an opening paragraph that oftentimes acts as a summary of your blog topic. Discuss each of your points with three or more paragraphs. Draw a conclusion using the last paragraph. In blogging, the conclusion also acts as a call to action or the next steps to you want the reader to take.

Other than these general tips, you should read your favorite blogs and see how they have structured their blog posts. The way I write my blog posts are inspired by countless other bloggers whom I read from regularly. 

There is no universal rule of how a blog should be written, just make sure the information you are presenting is useful. 

How long does it take to write a post?

It totally depends on your writing speed and the more you write the faster you can write it. For me, it takes roughly an hour to write the first draft of a blog post. You can easily start writing 500-word blog articles within an hour or two. A 500 words article is a good starting point to explain a single idea.

There are many different types of writing and each of them takes a different amount of time. There are creative writing that takes a lot of thought; conversational writing like this one that can be written at the speed of your thought and there is technical writing(for tutorials) that doesn’t take much effort on the writing side.

Depending on your type of writing and your expertise the time will vary but don’t think about it too much. Just keep track of how long it takes to write an acceptable quality article and use that as a benchmark. Overtime your speed and quality will increase. It’s possible that you already have a writing background, so you can bring that expertise over here.

Since we are blogging for business, think of writing as an investment, and don’t worry too much about the time it takes to write. The time you invest is going to be well worth it. 

How do I write my first blog post?

You would write a blog post just like you write a Facebook status or an email. But since you are going to write for your own publication (your blog) you should put enough effort into writing and editing it. 

You may have a couple of topics ready that you want to cover in your blog, so start with the one that interests you the most. Yes, you should only cover one topic per article.

If your blog is about traveling, write an article about your experience visiting a country, or if you have many different memories to share about that country, then divide them by cities or events. The idea is you should only cover one topic per blog post. 

To start off, have your topic and outline all the points you want to cover. It’s a good idea to just do free writing and stop worrying about grammatical errors. Just keep writing and you will find your start.

Oftentimes we know what we want to say but don’t know how to write the opening paragraph. In that case, just ignore the opening paragraph for now and write the parts that interest you the most. Most of the time I want to write parts of the article but I still haven’t figured out how to write the other parts yet. So I just write the ones that I am most comfortable with and stop worrying about the rest.

When you are writing don’t worry about the length of the article, just keep writing. Don’t worry about writing 500, 1,000, or 2,000 words, just think about writing the next line and the paragraph. Just say to yourself, you are going to write one more paragraph, one more line and soon enough you will have some quality blog post.

In college, I had to come up with 500-word essays twice per week. It’s so tiring to come up with an article when you have not much knowledge of the topics. I followed the above method to just write one sentence, one paragraph at a time and soon I was finished writing the essay, meeting the word requirements.

It’s a good idea to write the blog post in a word document, format it, and then publish it in WordPress. I like to write the raw version of my articles in Google docs and then copy it over to the WordPress posting interface. After that, I do some formatting and hit publish.

If you are a non-native English speaker like me, then you can take some grammar lessons. The Grammarly browser extension helps a lot in checking for common spelling and grammar errors. Proofread your blog for any obvious spelling or grammar errors. If possible send it to a friend who’s English is better than yours and ask them to read and check for any mistakes.

Don’t worry about making it perfect, publish fast and you will improve over time.

Should I write a hello world, this is my first blog post type post?

There is no point in writing such posts because in the beginning nobody is reading and no-one really cares why you are blogging. The only time people will read this post is when your blog becomes popular and your fans want to dig deep and wants to read your first blog post.

Other than that, there is one benefit for writing a “Hello World” type post and that is to lose your blogging virginity. You can write anything in this post without being judged about it. Just write what comes into your mind, why did you start this blog and your motivations behind it; maybe even link back to this post if this article motivated you to start blogging.

Choose your own adventure

Now that you have your first blog, it’s time to work on it. You just laid the foundation towards building a successful passive income. This is just the beginning and I’m sure you will be making and flipping more blogs in your lifetime.

This is just the start and there are many things to do for building a successful blog website, so keep an eye out on this blog for my new articles.

Wish you all the best. Now I want you to take action:

  • Follow the instructions of this post and start your blog
  • Leave a comment in this article with your blog address
  • Write your first blog post and link back to this article if it motivated you to start
  • Check out the overview of how to make money with your blog and start planning your other blog posts

{ Add a Comment }

COVID-19 is the Right Time to Start an Online Business, The Big Picture

Summary: This article outlines various ways you can start building an online business that pays you even when you are not working. The methods I explained in this post are divided into short term, midterm, and long term. It will give you a big picture overview of why and how to build an online business.


I have known Craig for a while, but I have never seen him this upset. 

I knew something was not right.

A few years ago I got to know Craig, he took one of my Udemy courses and sent me a personal message that somehow my course helped him save his job. 

Since then we exchanged emails every now and then. I would tell him what the latest and greatest technologies I am working with and he would reveal bits and pieces about his happily married life, raising his little girl, and finding just enough time to spend together.

During the Corona outbreak, I got in touch with Craig quite a few times, wanting to know if he was doing well and being safe. His responses were positive until the last time I heard back from him.

Craig’s message felt a bit sad…

I asked him if he and his family were okay? Is it what I am thinking it is?

Craig assured me that it’s not the virus and his wife and daughter are safe staying indoors. 

So I asked him again what else?

He told me he got laid off from his job, and he is not happy the way he was treated by his superiors.

Hearing this, I did what any good friend would do.

I tried to sympathize with him, telling him that it’s going to be okay, you will get over this tough time and all that.

Craig told me it was not about the money. 

He had close to a year’s expenses saved in his bank account. 

So if it is not about the virus and not about the finances, what are you upset about? I asked.

Is this about losing your job? 

I am sure there are plenty of companies out there who will happily hire you.

After that, Craig wrote me a very lengthy email.

One by one Craig told me all the things he had done for his company.

All those long hours, reports, and meetings; going over the mile just to see his company succeed.

He maybe got off from his job at 6 but he was thinking about his company even when he was at home. He missed so many family gatherings, birthdays, and even his daughter’s school play because he was too busy in a meeting.

And after all these years of sacrifice…

He was never expecting that such a passionate worker like him would get fired on a Zoom video call along with hundreds of his colleagues.

He told me many more things in his long email but the summary is, he could never work with this passion ever in any other company in the future.

Craig’s heartfelt email was the motivation for me to write this article.

His experience is nothing new.

I am sure there are many of you out there sacrificing a lot for your jobs, but at the end of the day, you are just a number to these companies. 

At the first sign of danger, these companies will DO NOT hesitate to cut you off.

And it’s not the first time this happened.

Every time there is an economic downtime (Recession of 2008), thousands like Craig gets fired. 

Instead of giving the dedication to your employer, why don’t you give it to something you own?

It is high time you should look for ways to build your own business. 

Online business is something you will own, can work from home, and will generate revenue for you while you get to spend quality time with your family.

During this time when you are staying at home, lay the foundation of your first internet-based business, and protect your income from any future financial disasters.

The internet-powered business explained

This is the story of my student Niloy. He is a freelancer just like me.

A while ago Niloy fell sick and had to admit to the hospital for five days. 

Just like you, I also wanted to know what he was in for? But he insisted that his illness was not that important and just focus on the story.

So Niloy was in his hospital bed.

If you don’t know how it’s like, staying in the hospital is boring.

In the hospital, every hour feels like a year when there is nothing to do. Five days seemed like forever from his point of view.

Although Niloy was chilling, he could not fully rest because the idea of not being able to work and not earning money was constantly on the back of his mind. 

To spend the time he was doing what we all do…

Browsing the internet on the cell phone, Facebooking, and Instagram scrolling.

When he was catching up with the latest memes, he got a new mail notification. DING!

It was from Amazon Affiliates. 

He had just gotten the monthly payment for one of his websites he set up a few months back.

Excited, he opened his analytics to check on the sales. 

What he saw would change his idea about work forever.

He saw that his website had sold a few items for the past few days while he was in the hospital.

Thrilled, he realized that the little website he had set up is still working on its own and earning him money.

From that day onwards, Niloy continued to build these online websites that would generate his money on autopilot. 

He was very kind to share this info with me.

I got thrilled too when Niloy told me his story and the motivation behind working on his own online business rather than trading his time for money as a freelancer.

This is the true beauty of having an online business. 

You could put some work once and get paid many times in the future.

Make money while sleeping, but how?

Online-based assets can generate an income even when you are sleeping. The power of the internet can make this a reality. 

When you are sleeping at your bed, someone else on the other side of the world is awake and can access your digital offerings. 

Not just that, 

If your website is very popular, then hundreds or even thousands of customers can simultaneously purchase from your site without you having to be physically present to support each one of them.

Think about this, 

You are reading this article on an internet site and where am I right now? 

I’m maybe sleeping depending on the time zone or maybe doing something else but not with you at this very moment. I have set up my site in a way that it can fulfill your needs. 

The world of the internet and computers have made it possible to be omnipresent and I will teach you how you can harness this power.

Are you ready?

Things to keep in mind

I have some good news and some bad news.

What do you want to hear first?

The good news is, it’s much easier to start than ever. 

Even if you think you wasted all your years, you can still start today and become successful with proper planning and execution.

Today we have more helpful resources freely available at our fingertips that can be applicable to any situation.

Now, the bad news is…

You are not going to see an immediate result. 

You won’t be able to replace your current income anytime soon, but it’s definitely a start in the right direction. The real income from your assets will come once they mature and when you have a bunch of winners. 

So are you ready to learn some details?

Let me share a few of these online assets and a high-level overview of what we are going to do.

Established Platforms (Short Term)

These are well known established online platforms that offer users to make money from their content. Usually, these platforms work as a middleman between you (the content creator) and the consumer. 

Often times these companies make money from either selling your content or running advertisements and they offer a revenue share option. I like these platforms because they already have a large customer base and they can handle all the technology and marketing for you. 

All you have to do is to create content according to their specification and update them as you go.

These are some of the popular established platforms that came to my mind for building passive income in the short term:

YouTube Monetization

YouTube is the biggest video platform in the world. It offers free video hosting and a chance to reach a wider audience. You can also start monetizing your videos and get paid for video views via Google Adsense. YouTube has its own ad platform and they will offer you a cut for the ad revenue you help them generate. Usually, YouTube pays between a dollar to ten dollars per 1,000 video views (depends on your niche and viewer demographic). This really scales well when you have a lot of videos getting lots of views.

Other than Adsense, YouTube creators also monetize their videos with sponsored deals, affiliate commissions, selling merchandising, Patreon donations, and fan subscriptions. 

I like YouTube because it gives a chance to reach a wider audience for free of cost. You can work on a video once and get repeat views coming to that video for many years.

Requirements

  • Minimum 1,000 channel subscribers
  • Minimum 4,000 total watch minutes
  • Certain restrictions for what kind of video topic can be monetized
  • The video should not use copyrighted content including music, clips, or even images

Official Links

Udemy Course Instructor

Udemy is a popular course marketplace where people go to learn a variety of topics. If you can think of the skill, you will definitely find a course in Udemy. This platform allows anyone who is willing to teach, set up an instructor profile, and start selling courses.

I like Udemy because the barrier for entry is relatively low and Udemy does all the platform maintenance and marketing.

They also offer various courses and free services for the instructor to get better at teaching. If you can teach a skill, you should definitely try out teaching at Udemy.

Udemy offers revenue sharing and they have a payment structure depending on where the student is coming from. 

If you send a student directly from your website, you will earn 97% of the course fee. But if the student finds the course from Udemy search or from an advertiser, you will earn 50% or 25% of the course fee respectively.

Requirements

  • Meet the audio and video quality standard
  • Videos need to be in high definition (HD)
  • Total course length should be a minimum of 30 minutes

Official Links

Amazon Kindle Publishing

Kindle is the largest publisher of digital books and they offer anyone to become an author to publish their work and make money. With Amazon’s platform, you can reach the global reader base of Kindle ebooks. Using the online interface you can submit your books and earn a revenue share for every ebook sales.

Why I like this platform so much is because, if you like to write novels or short stories, you can use this platform to jump-start your writer’s career. Books are not limited to fiction, they can be non-fiction too but I have found that Kindle users love to read stories from a variety of genres and usually pay between a buck to three dollars per ebook.

Other than the monetary gains you can also use this platform to build your authority as an expert in your field that is more important when you are going to build a brand online.

Requirements

  • The ebook should be a word document formatted in a specific way

Official Links

Why you should not solely depend on established platforms?

Established platforms like YouTube and Udemy are great for getting your foot in the door and get your first taste of passive income but you should not entirely depend on them. This is because when you use their platforms, you have to abide by their rules and you won’t own your content. These platforms are notorious for changing their terms and conditions overnight and cut down the revenue streams of content creators. 

Finally, when you use these platforms, you won’t actually own your customers, they own them. So if you want to ultimately build a sustainable revenue stream for the mid to long run you have to look for other ways.

Your Own Platform (Mid Term)

Once you have earned some money from the short term methods, you should start working on your own platform as soon as you can. Your own platform can be a website, an app, or a mailing list. 

Building a platform can be too expensive or technically challenging (app) but if you are a beginner you can easily start with a blog website

With a blog website, you own your content and can directly interact with your customers. It costs just a nominal amount to set up and maintain the platform. Most of all, the technical side of setting up and running a blog website doesn’t require any coding skills. If you have ever used Facebook or Twitter then you can run a blog. With a blog you have the following revenue generation methods:

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a way to recommend other people’s products or services and earn a commission from each sale. Many online products have their own affiliate program where any web publisher can sign up and start promoting.

Why I like this opportunity so much is because we as humans love to recommend great products to our friends. By making these recommendations we don’t usually get paid anything, but affiliate marketing can make that happen. 

When you sign up for an affiliate program, they will give you a unique tracking link. When you are recommending the product on the internet, make sure you share your unique link. Once someone makes a purchase using your unique link, you will be credited as the referer. 

Let’s say the product costs $100 and the affiliate program pays you 50% of the product price. You will receive $50 for each time someone buys the product through your affiliate link.

With your own platform (your blog website) you are free to write recommendations and product reviews that include your affiliate links. You will then be able to reach a wider audience and automate the entire process. 

With a manual recommendation, you can earn the commission only once (your friend buys it) but with your blog set up, you can earn every time someone comes across the review and uses your tracking link.

There are so many different kinds of affiliate programs out there and each of the programs operates differently. I have used affiliate marketing as a great source of revenue in my blog just by recommending the services I use on a daily basis. Bluehost web hosting, Divi WordPress theme, and GetResponse email marketing are just to name a few of the amazing programs I use. Even this article I am sharing with you has a few of these affiliate links. When you make a purchase following my recommendation, you won’t be charged extra but I may receive a percentage for being the affiliate. That’s a win-win for both of us!

Requirements

  • A blog website for promoting the offers
  • PayPay or Payoneer (US Bank Transfer) payment method
  • Affiliate disclosure
  • Terms vary from affiliate to affiliate

Display Advertising

While affiliate marketing requires you to write honest and updated recommendations that are trying to sell something, however, you can run display advertisings alongside your general web content. 

Let’s say you are running a blog to share useful information and you are receiving a lot of visitors every day. Display advertising puts relevant ads in your pages and they pay for every 1,000 ad views or from ad clicks (similar to YouTube).

Google Adsense is one of the most popular display advertisement solutions out there and supports small blogs. You can create ad slots from Adsense and put the ad code inside your website. Google Adsense will manage the ads themselves and they will display the most appropriate ads depending on your website category and viewers.

Display ads are truly the set and forget type passive earning method so all you have to do is to make sure your blog is getting new visitors every day.

Requirements

  • Your blog must have a number of good quality text content
  • The site should be on your own domain

Official Links

Website Flipping

Blog websites can be a fantastic digital asset that can be sold to other people. Once you have a blog website that is getting regular visitors and you have monetized it with affiliate links and display advertising, you can flip the site for a one time sum. Often times the sum is 20x or even 30x the value of its monthly revenue.

My student Niloy told me the story of selling his first niche website. He had a website that was earning him $150 per month in revenue.

He went on to sell his site and got a whopping $3,500 for the digital asset. 

The great thing is, you don’t even need to spend five years to build and flip these kinds of sites. If you know what you are doing, you can start, earn, and flip a site for as soon as six months.

This is the beauty and the true potential of digital assets. You can build a site that earns you monthly revenue and then if you decide you can sell it for an instant payout.

Requirements

Official Links

Check out these online marketplaces where people are selling their niche sites.

And of course, this is not the limit of what can be done. If you really want to get to the next level, you have to go for the long game by building your own brand.

Your Brand, Your Audience (Long Term)

The previous step informs you to build your own platform (your own blog website) that is going to enable you to build your own brand and audience. With your own audience, you can sell your own products, keep a large cut, and get to serve them over and over again. However, in the beginning, you won’t have a large and loyal audience to sell to, and building a product really takes some time and investment. This is why I suggested you start your platform and sell “other people’s” products as an affiliate and grow your loyal userbase. 

It may take a few years to finally find your mojo and a unique voice to fully delight your audience base. 

So if you are just starting out, here’s an overview of what can be done when you will have your own audience.

Sell Your Own Product

You have your brand, you have your audience, now it’s time to create a product. A product can be a simple ebook, a video course, or even a tool/software. Rather than selling other people’s products as an affiliate, you will get to keep a large share of the income (sometimes 100%) of the product price. 

When you sell to someone once and make them your loyal customer, you will get to sell to them again and again. You will have to find new ways to add value to their life that how you can help them achieve more.

The product can be any type even a physical book, but I am emphasizing on digital goods because you can make millions of copies of a digital item without any extra cost. 

Your own product is the holy grail of making money online and with your own brand and audience, you can easily replace your job income, maybe even more.

If selling your own product brings you a one-time income, you can take it one step further by adding recurring revenue with membership websites.

Membership Website

A membership website offers continuous value to your audience. Instead of selling a product and getting paid once, you can get paid every month when you offer memberships to your users. A membership solution could be an inner circle, access to use a software tool, or an ongoing coaching/consultation.

The main thing is, you get to add recurring value to your customer base and for that, you earn recurring revenue. 

A monthly subscription is the most popular payment plan for membership services. Think about how many other services you are subscribed to and paying monthly? Now think how many other customers they have and earning recurring revenue? 

The good thing is, you can too build your own membership solution once you have your own audience and you don’t have to spend millions to have that kind of setup. 

Sponsorship Deals, Joint Ventures

Once you have your own brand and audience, you can monetize them in a variety of ways. Sponsorship deals are when you become a partner of another popular brand and they pay you to become their ambassador. As a partner, you can earn a large signing bonus and you don’t have to deal with any of the technical setup, promotion, or customer support. You are giving that other brand access to your own customer base.

Joint ventures act like the same way, but in this deal, you are collaborating with another blogger with their own brand and audience. Oftentimes you can achieve great results by teaming up with other experts in your field.

There is so much potential when you start thinking about “your own” business rather than working for someone else. These were just the tip of the iceberg of the world of online business and I am sure that you are more intelligent than I am and you can think of more ways to generate revenue once you get the hang of it.

Where to go from here?

Now that you know what is possible, I suggest you Google search each of the methods mentioned in this article and get an overview of each of them. If possible take action right away and start working towards building your own home-based online business. 

The internet is full of information and sometimes all this information can overwhelm anyone. 

Be warned that there are make money online scams all over the internet so I suggest you not believe anyone who says you can make a life-changing amount of money by pushing a few buttons. An internet-based business is after all a business and it takes years to build your audience and a sustainable business model, so always use your gut feeling and be skeptical.

While you are researching on your own, you keep an eye out on my blog blogkori.com as I am going to publish supporting articles in the coming weeks. 

I also started my passive income journey with you and I am going to be sharing my experiences and tips over here.

A note to my Bangladeshi readers

It is possible to earn a passive income from Bangladesh even if you are living in a village. All you need is a stable internet connection and electricity. Nowadays it’s much easier to build a business online and receive the money in your local bank account. There are a few more steps involved when working from BD, so I will try to do my best to keep my countries perspective in mind.

Final Thoughts

We just only scratched the surface in this post. Once you start laying the foundation for your online-based business, there will be more things to cover as you go. So keep an eye out on my blog as I will be posting more information detailing each of the money makers. Remember, it’s about taking action.

Now I want you to take these actions:

  • Start a blog and begin your journey
  • Comment on this post and let me know where you are at
  • Share this post with a friend who might benefit from it

{ 1 Comment }