Four Ways To Earn An Income With Your Blog
One of the questions that I get asked a lot when people hear that I make a living blogging is “do you really get paid to blog?“.
The answer to that specific question is no. Not exactly. No one is paying me to blog, no one funded my whim to start a blog in the first place and I don’t earn an income simply by showing up and writing blog posts.
But yes, I do make money blogging (you can check out my income reports here to see exactly how I do that), and that’s because I built a readership for my blog, created multiple income streams and implemented strategies that allow me to make an income online. And you can too!
So of course, once people hear this, the popular follow-up
While my income reports cover that in a lot of detail – because the truth is that I make money blogging in about 4 different ways – I wanted to write a beginner’s guide to monetizing a blog that’s going to help new bloggers get started.
Because here’s the good news – you can make money blogging in a lot of different ways. With the way that blogging has evolved over recent years, it’s no longer a case of earning money by being spammy and filling your website with pop-ups and ads. You get to choose.
There’s a whole lot of ways in which can make money blogging and I’m about to share some of my favorite methods with you.
But before I get into that, if you haven’t started your blog yet, check out my free online course to help you put together the pillars and foundations of a profitable blog.
This free course will walk you through everything you need to know to do to come up with a blog idea, start it and grow a readership for it.
Also, please note that this blog post contains affiliate links, and while I only mention products and services that I’m truly a fan of (or that I personally use), I earn a small commission when you purchase something.
Before You Start To Monetize
Before you dive right in and start implementing any of these strategies, there are a few things that you should do to ensure that your blog is ready. As with most things, when it comes to making money online, it’s essential to get the basics right before moving onto the next step.
But if your blog is already created, and you’re ready to start making money with it, be sure to do the following things first:
PROTECT YOURSELF LEGALLY
If you’re just getting started, or if your blog is already up and running but you skipped this step, you need to make sure that your blog and content is protected legally.
The Contract Shop has you covered when it comes to keeping your site legal. Christina (a certified lawyer) offers ready-made templates to keep you safe and compliant.
All you have to do is pick the templates or bundle of templates you need, purchase based on the country you live in and copy them onto your site based on what applies to you.
Once you and your site are legally protected, it’s time to start growing your audience.
CREATE & DELIVER FREE CONTENT
Have you ever heard of the phrase “try before you buy”? This phrase applies to making money from your blog too.
I’ll explain. As you’re about to see, some of the most profitable income streams for bloggers involve getting your audience to invest in either something that you sell yourself (such as an eBook or digital product) or something that you recommend.
And if you want people to buy anything that you created or anything that you showcase on your blog, they need to get a taste of it first or trust you enough to have full confidence in your recommendations.
The way that you build trust is by providing your audience/readers with valuable but free content and ideas to showcase your knowledge and creativity and also connect with them. (So don’t be afraid to share stories and personal experiences either.)
People are much more likely to invest in a paid product or service from you if they already love your free content and feel like they know you. You want them to be thinking “If the free content is this good, just imagine how great the paid content is going to be!”
So before you start even thinking about making money with your content, brainstorm a few ways to create that content in a way that truly serves your audience.
GROW YOUR AUDIENCE
It probably goes without saying but, the bigger your audience is, the more money you can make down the line.
Of course, there are other variables to consider (conversion rates, how loyal that audience is, if you’re getting the right people over to your blog in the first place and how strategic you are in monetizing that audience), but blogging is mostly a numbers game.
So once you’ve created that content, it’s time to start promoting it and make a plan to grow your blog and build an online tribe of loyal followers. If you need help, my eBooks – The She Approach To Boosting Your Blog Traffic and The She Approach To Making Pinterest Possible – are the ultimate guides to increasing your blog traffic.
That being said, I know bloggers with an audience of less than 5-10,000 people who make way more money than content creators with a following of over 50,000 people. Because it all comes down to what you do with that audience, how you nurture it and how you monetize it.
That’s something that I teach all my 1-on-1 coaching clients in private, but I’m also going to share a few insights into that in this blog post. So carry on reading!
How Do You Make Money Blogging?
As I mentioned at the very beginning of this post, there are lots of different ways that you can make money blogging.
Generally speaking, when it comes to monetizing your blog, bloggers fall into two categories based on the number of monthly sessions their blog gets.
This isn’t to say that you can’t use the methods from the other category, but in my experience, these are the most profitable options based on your current audience:
If you have under 25,000 monthly sessions…
If you have under 25,000 monthly sessions on your blog (if you’re not sure, go and check your Google Analytics now), the best ways to make money blogging are to sell eBooks or other digital products and through affiliate marketing.
WRITING & SELLING EBOOKS
A large chunk of the income I make from this blog is through creating and selling digital products, including eBooks, courses and downloads.
Selling eBooks is one of my favorite (and most successful) ways of making passive income from my blog. And, if you’re using the right tools, you can actually create and self-publish an eBook for free – which means no upfront costs.
After publishing 3 eBooks of my own (both on my own website and on Amazon), I’ve compiled a list of must-have tools and resources that I use to write, design, format and sell my eBooks and you can access it below for free:
The beauty about eBooks is that you can write one about pretty much anything that you have expertise on and that your audience wants to learn more about – so it’s a great way to make money online, no matter what niche you are in.
And, once the eBook is written and published, all you need to do to make sales is to promote it! So you get paid for the same work over and over again, without having to put in any extra effort – which is what passive income is.
If you want to learn how to write and publish an eBook in less than 30 days, check out the following resources:
- The Quickest Way To Write Your First Ebook
- How To Publish, Launch And Sell Your First Ebook
- How To Make Passive Income By Selling Ebooks
- Ebook Bestseller Bootcamp – my online video course that takes new and aspiring authors through the entire process of writing, publishing and selling their eBooks step by step!
Affiliate marketing is another income stream that I love and heavily rely on. And fun fact, I made my first $100 blogging all through affiliate marketing, even if I had a very small following.
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, check out my free affiliate marketing course here. But basically, you can earn affiliate income by partnering up with different brands and service providers (everything from Amazon to your favorite online clothing shop), linking to their websites or products, and earning a commission for every sale made through your links.
When I got started with affiliate marketing, I began to slowly include affiliate links in my blog posts whenever I would mention products or services that I loved and used, sharing my experience with them and urging people to check it out.
So even if I didn’t have a huge audience, I made anywhere from a few cents to $50 per sale (depending what I was promoting) and in time, that added up.
If affiliate marketing seems like the right fit for you, check out the following resources and tutorials to help you get started with it:
- 5 High-Paying Affiliate Programs For Bloggers
- How To Make Your First $1000 In Affiliate Sales
- How To Become An Etsy Affiliate
- My Affiliate Marketing Training Bundle For Beginners – a bundle of video trainings, case studies and a step-by-step eBook that will get you started, no matter what your blog is about.
If you have over 25,000 monthly sessions…
In addition to the income streams mentioned above, if you have over 25,000 monthly sessions on your blog, you can also make money through ads and sponsored posts.
These two options are unfortunately rarely possible, or slow to earn you money if you have a low number when it comes to your blog traffic, but they can be quite profitable once you get a constant stream of visitors to your website.
In return for impressions (how many views your ads get) and clicks (which pay better in general) on their ads, these ad networks then pay you, so the more website visitors you have, the more you end up earning.
You can find out how to achieve your first Google Adsense payout in this blog post if you’re still struggling to reach those first 25k monthly sessions, but once you do you can apply to more exclusive ad networks that pay better (such as Ad Thrive, Momumetric or Mediavine).
⋆ A word of warning on ads: don’t have too many on your site as they can look spammy! If you combine ads with affiliate marketing, and you know you will earn more from affiliate sales then ad income, consider turning your ads off for particular blog posts, to keep visitors focused on your content instead.
Check out my recent blog posts and articles if you’re looking to boost your blog traffic:
- 65+ Ways To Promote Your Blog Posts
- Best Blog Traffic Tips From Pro Bloggers
- Three Ways To Grow Your Blog
- Getting Started With Pinterest – A Guide For New Bloggers
SPONSORED BLOG POSTS
Unlike affiliate marketing where brands only have to pay you when you bring them a sale (which is why even new bloggers can join affiliate programs and start earning right away), sponsored posts are only benefic to brands and companies if you have a large, well established following that trusts you.
Influencer marketing is taking over traditional marketing, because bloggers can create content around a product or brand that will get other people interested in trying it. So brands love to work with content creators such as bloggers and Instagrammers.
If you have an established audience, and you haven’t already – start pitching to brands and try to find collaborations with companies in your niche!
You can get anywhere from $100 to $500 per blog post (I even know bloggers that charge more, but they have audiences of over 100k monthly viewers) along with certain perks, depending on your niche. (For example, I know travel bloggers that get paid to go on cruises and review on their blog, and of course – they get the cruise ticker for free.)
If you’re looking for more guidance, I highly recommend checking out this course on How To Find and Pitch For Sponsored Posts that will teach you how to find brands to work with (that will actually pay for your work) and how to wow them as well!
How To Boost Your Blogging Income
So now that you know the 4 main ways in which you can make money blogging (which are not exclusive by the way – you can get creative and also sell services, physical products or offer ad space on your website, but they don’t tend to be as profitable or popular), you might be wondering what’s the best way to take all this information and actually turn your blog into a profitable hobby (if not business).
And because I don’t want to leave you high and dry, here’s what you should consider doing to maximize your blog’s potential:
DIVERSIFY YOUR BLOGGING INCOME
If you’re serious about making money blogging, the best approach is to use a few of the techniques available to you and mix & match.
The best way to decide which income methods you’re going to use and which will make you the most money will depend a lot upon your strong suits, what you enjoy doing and what you’re audience wants from you.
If there’s anything we learned from Facebook and Instagram going down recently, is that it’s important not to have all of your eggs in one basket! And the same is true when it comes to making money blogging. It’s important to diversify and make money from a number of different streams, like I do, instead of relying on just one method.
In addition to the above income methods, you could also consider offering services alongside your blog such as becoming a coach, freelance writer or a VA.
As an example, I make money by selling digital products (I started small – with eBooks, but have also created my first online course this year), offering coaching, through affiliate marketing and ads. This means that if I don’t make any income from a certain affiliate link one month, I still have income coming from other places.
So take a look at the methods I mentioned above, and choose at least 2, or even 3, to focus on and pursue as part of your blog monitazation strategy.
SCALE & PLAN FOR PROFIT
Making money from your blog comes with a lot of moving parts.
Initially, there is a lot of research and planning, then there’s the creation of the content or implementing the strategies. This is all followed by promoting, growing and scaling. (So you should always strive to grow your audience.)
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by it all, or even to struggle to know where to start or what to focus on, depending on where you are in your journey.
And that’s why I love the Profit Planner Lounge.
Inside the Profit Planner Lounge, Haley teaches you how to create a profit plan and a playbook for what your day-to-day will look like. She also teaches you how to automate lots of things so that you can work smarter, not harder and make more money without working more hours (once the initial work is done, anyway!)
Remember those bloggers I mentioned that were earning way more then other popular content creators, even if they had only a fraction of their audience? That’s because they knew exactly what to do with that audience and how to spend their time wisely.
>> Check out the Profit Planner Lounger here and turn your blog into a profitable business!
Ready to earn a profit from your blog?
There are endless possibilities when it comes to making money from your blog. And earning money online this way certainly isn’t dead!
Once you’ve started, it’s then simply a case of scaling things and making more and more profit each month!
If you’re making money from your blog, or you plan to soon, let me know how in the comments below.
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How To Earn Money Blogging – Common Questions Answered
When I started monetising my blog, I had so many questions. And I learned 99% of what I know that hard way – by making mistakes. But you don’t have to!
I know that many new bloggers probably have some of the same questions I had back in the beginning because I receive around tons of emails from readers wanting to know how to start a blog, how to earn money blogging, and so much more. So, I’m hoping today’s post will answer your blogging questions.
And if the post so far hasn’t done that, I’m going to break it down even further:
What is the best topic to start a blog for earning money?
Let be bust down a common blogging myth. The myth that only certain niches or topics can be monetised. It’s fake!
It’s not about the topic, as much as it is about your audience, the problem you can solve for them and your strategy to earn money by doing so.
I have friends in almost every niche (travel, crocheting, home decor, parenting, recipes, wellness, fashion, camping and a lot more) that make an income from their blog.
Of course, there are certain niches that are harder to monetise via traditional means because there are not so many opportunities out there. For example, it’s harder to work with brands as a DIY blogger then it is for a fashion blogger. (But it’s not impossible! Companies have paid me to feature them in blog posts – and I write about blogging & online business, and even my friend who blogs about crocheting patterns has been approached by yarn brands.)
So find something that you are passionate about, and something that can be helpful (even if it’s helpful to a very small number of people – such as people who love to crochet), stop finding excuses and start your blog today!
Why do I need a self-hosted blog to make money blogging?
If you’re serious about blogging, it’s not really a question – you should have a self-hosted blog from day one…or as soon as possible if you’re already past day one!
If you’re not sure what a self-hosted blog is, read my blog post on What Blog Hosting Is And Why You Need It. And if you’re ready to make the big step, you can go self-hosted for under $3 a month right now using the discount I negotiated with my web host especially for my readers.
The primary reason that myself, and other bloggers, opt for a self-hosted blog (aka paying a company to host your website, instead of using a free service) is the level of control and ownership you have over everything you create.
With a self-hosted blog, both your URL and website appearance look more professional and unique, and therefore, you stand out and you have a better chance of being taken seriously (by both brands and readers). And in a world oversaturated with blogs, you need to take every advantage you can to stand out.
Going self-hosted is super affordable, but the best part is that it ends up paying for itself because it allows you to start earning from your blog. (I paid for 3 years of blog hosting upfront and I made all my money back within the first 5 months of my blog launch – even I had no previous blogging experience.)
How Long Before You Actually Make Money With A New Blog?
This is really a case by case situation. Some bloggers start seeing an income in the first year, and for others it takes longer. (A few factors to consider are their blog topics, how much time they invest in building/growing their blogs, their chosen revenue options and the quality and quantity of their content.)
Fun fact: most ACTUAL businesses report a loss in the first year. That doesn’t mean their business isn’t doing well, but there are start-up costs to consider, along with the organic growth of a business which takes time.
The same applies for bloggers. Luckily for us, starting a blog does not require a huge investment (you can easily get started for less than $100) and if you know what you’re doing, you can expect to generate income within the first 6 months.
⋆ In my case, it took me 10 months to make my first $1,000 blogging and another 5 months to generate $10,000 blogging. And I wasn’t even blogging full-time. (I was a full-time student and had a full-time job at the time as well.)
Here’s the truth: blogging takes a LOT of hard work and a lot of time. If you’re in it for a quick buck, you’re never going to succeed. But if you’re dedicated to making this happen, YOU CAN DO IT! (Even if you have to stick around your day job until you start seeing enough income from your blog.)
I strongly believe that you can start earning money blogging in the first 6 months, and that you should be able to generate a full time income in 2 years. (If your blog is not earning any money after 2 years, I would suggest reconsidering either your blog topic or your monetisation strategy.)
If you have any other questions about how you can come up with an idea for a profitable blog, start it, grow it and generate income from it, be sure to sign-up for my free course below, because all that (and much more) is covered in detail there: