The internet is full of advice and lectures on “How to make money blogging” but are those words the truth?
In the past decade or so, blogging has evolved as a proper profession and so many people have taken this field up as a full-time career. Blogging is their way of income and their day job, but can you also make a blog and manage it successfully to earn money blogging?
Well, given the hype, glitz, and glamour that is often associated with blogging and how it brings easy money; I am sure that many people are taking blogging as a full-time profession very seriously! And since you are also reading this post, I assume you hold the same intentions regarding blogging!
I know how people are hesitant regarding starting a blog; they wonder if they will be able to make and run a successful blog? Will anyone visit and read their blog? Is it worth the hassle? And can I do it?
Well sure you can! Why wouldn’t you? But to make your blog a source of income for you, you will need to create and manage your blog in a certain way and follow certain steps. The blog that you are reading right now has earned me a handsome figure this past year, so you can be sure that you are learning from the best!
Without wasting any more time, let’s dive straight into learning:
How to make money blogging?
Blogging is a full-time profession for so many people, and yes, they are making enough money to support their lifestyle, but remember that it is not something impossible or out of the ordinary that you cannot achieve.
Blogging is a relatively new concept; if we rewind 5 years, there were hardly any bloggers on the map. There is no formal degree or education that you need in order to start blogging and make money out of it.
Regular people like you and me blog and earn! If they can do it, so can you!
If you are wondering if money blogging is legit and is it something that you should be doing, then remember that you need to ask yourself if you can blog.
If you can, then believe me blogging is a legit and realistic profession that you can also earn money with. Like any other field, you can encounter scammers here as well, but blogging is real, it is effective, it is fun and you can do it as well.
How to make money blogging for beginners?
If you are a beginner and you are starting just now, then this post is especially for you. Because I will be taking you along all the steps that you need to check off your list if you wish to accomplish money blogging.
The world of blogging is big and very competitive in today’s world. If you are a beginner and have no traffic, influential friends, resources or insight into the world of blogging,
You can easily wonder if
- This is the right thing for you to do!
- How do these blogs work?
I can understand how confusing it can be for a beginner; to figure out how everything works, who will be paying you and why and what exactly do you need to do?
Don’t worry, as confusing as it may sound to you; it’s not very confusing. Let me explain to you how!
I believe that there are some basic rules and guidelines to set up a blog, make it reach its maximum potential and then finally making money off it. If anyone who wishes to start making money blogging will be following the basics guidelines; he will be off to a great start!
From my personal experience, research and observation; I have put together a bunch of steps that are absolutely crucial to set up a successful and money-making blog. Here they are:
- Select a blogging niche that holds a margin for profit.
We need to get one thing straight:
You can be passionate about a lot of things in your life but not every passion can be translated into a successful blog!
Consider for example, that you are passionate about deserts and how many vegetables can be grown in a desert. You might have all the information, expertise and knowledge one can possibly have about deserts and growing plantation in those conditions but if you decide to create a blog out of it; sorry, but not many people will be reading it!
Similarly, even if you have years of experience in the field and put in days and nights of hard work into making this blog successful, I am again sorry, but you will not be attracting a lot of readers if your niche is too narrow.
So, passion, expertise or hard work cannot guarantee success. Even if you have a burning passion for plantation in deserts, sadly you still won’t be able to make money because:
- Honestly, not many people will be interested in this topic
- And even if they are, they won’t be willing to spend money!
In a nutshell, what you need is a topic or niche that has the power to attract a large audience that is willing to spend money and buy things. If you fail to achieve this, then no matter what you do from this point onwards, it won’t make a lot of difference. This is the first objective that needs to be met in order to proceed further.
You need to set up a blog that attracts people, compels people to open the link and read the post; because this is the prerequisite to drive traffic towards your blog and eventually make money.
Once you have selected on a niche and started working on your blog to drive traffic, you need to wait to reap the results. It is not an overnight process; in order to make blogging your full-time income source, you will need to give it at least 24 months of hard work, dedication, and commitment to it.
After almost 2 years, you will start witnessing and reaping the results of your hard work. You will be putting in a lot of hours per week to build up your blog and maintain it as well. It is not easy money; you will need to give a lot of time, effort and energy to your blog before it starts paying you off.
How to start making money?
Now, since we have discussed how bloggers set up a blog the next point is how do they manage to make money?
When a blog is created, people on the internet visit the blog, read the posts, view the content and if they like what the blog has to offer; they keep coming back for more and even put up a word with their friends and family. This is how a blog grows.
The more the blog grows, the more traffic you receive. Now, once the blog receives considerable traffic, there are 5 basic ways through which a blog can make money. Each of these 5 ways is known as an income stream. Each income stream can have further multiple possibilities too, but these are the only 5 basic income streams through which a blog can make money.
What are the 5 basic income streams?
One thing that I want to clear in the beginning is that once a blog is created and it is made to grow, all the money-making work does not happen from the blog alone. The blog reaches out to different people and platforms and it branches out.
Once it branches out, these branches also serve as the money-making sources (which I will be explaining further later in the post).
Let’s start discussing these 5 income streams one by one.
- Advertising and Sponsored Content. There are so many companies and brands out there that are developing products and introducing services daily. They are also always on the lookout for new, innovative and creative platforms to promote and market their products.
Social media in general and blogging has emerged as a very strong marketing and advertising platform in the past 5 years. Brands consider promoting their products through social media pages and blogs that have a considerable fan following and hold the power to influence people’s decisions.
If you have a blog that is able to drive traffic and people visit and view the content, then you can advertise products and services on your blog and also post sponsored content and posts on your blog to earn money. This is exactly how you will be able to make money by blogging in 2020:
- Display Ads. We don’t really pay attention but often when we open a post or search something on Google, we see ads popping up left, right and center on the page.
Bloggers design their backend in a way that includes space for ads either in the header, footer or side of the blog. When a person opens the blog, ads are obvious and the chances of a reader opening them up and making a purchase are high.
You can also team up with platforms such as Google AdSense (if your blog receives medium size traffic) to post ads on your blog and earn money as a commission on every sale. If, however, your blog starts receiving more traffic you can also team up with platforms such as Mediavine and AdThrive and make money blogging.
Displaying Ads requires absolutely no effort or investment from your end and still helps you make money. All you need to do is to post ads on your blog.
- Giveaways and Reviews. I follow so many bloggers on Instagram and almost every day they un-box so many PR packages that they receive in the mail. This is the free stuff that is sent to them as giveaways so that the bloggers can use the product and post a review.
A positive review has a huge impact on the sale of the product and the person or company sending you the product will also be paying you for writing a review. You highlight the product and they offer monetary compensation along with the free stuff. This is great fun and productive way of making money through the blog. Who minds free goodies and money all at the same time?
- Sponsored posts. The idea of earning money through advertising on the blog uses the same basic strategy. You help companies and brands promote a product and they pay you in return.
You can either post about them casually in your routine posts or create a post just for the product. You can also post ads or an affiliate link on the blog. Whatever you do makes you earn a different amount of money.
If you partner with brands and create a sponsored post for them, you will be able to make money. You can either create a different post for the review of the product or mention the product in one of the posts.
- Video Sponsorship. You can also create a video message or a dedicated video to promote a brand and earn money.
Earning money through advertising and promoting products on your blog is a great and convenient method of earning money. It is a great option for beginners and many bloggers use it as an income stream.
However, there is a downside to it as well; you need to have solid incoming traffic in order to attract and convince brands and also it can turn your readers off.
I have always felt irritated and annoyed by so many ads popping up on my screen and most of the readers feel the same way. Many people even close the page because they feel so distracted by the continuous ads popping up.
Although making money through advertising products and including sponsored content on your blog is an effective way but not a very recommended way. Even if you decide to use advertisement as an income stream then make sure you don’t go overboard with it. Always know how much is too much, because you want your real content to shine on the blog and not be overshadowed by ads and sponsored content.
- Affiliate Marketing. The second income stream for bloggers is affiliate marketing. If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is and how it works; you can read my post, “How to earn money through affiliate marketing”. I have done a detailed post on it that you can read and learn all about affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is simply when you refer a product or service to other people by including a link in your content. You promote someone else’s product through your web page and every time your referral link results in a sale, you will earn a commission.
To be honest, affiliate marketing is a great source of income and rather passive. Passive income is the most reliable way of income. If you include an affiliate link in your posts or on your blog, even if you are not doing anything, people will come and visit your blog and every time they make a purchase or perform certain actions, you will make money.
There are so many affiliate programs that you can be a part of. If you love or use a product, you can check their web page to check if they have an affiliate program. If you don’t find any, you can always contact them and ask them about their affiliate programs and let them know about how you wish to include the link in your blog and promote their products.
I have also included ways through which you can get into affiliate programs (in the post linked above). Once, you have gone through the hassle and managed to be a part of affiliate programs, you can easily start promoting and start earning.
The top affiliate programs that I am also am a part of are:
- Amazon Associates– every time someone makes a purchase on Amazon through your referral link, you will earn money.
- WP Engine and Bluehost– These are web hosting services. If you recommend them to your readers and people buy hosting services from them, you will also earn a commission.
- Surveyjunkie, Swagbucks, and Vindale research. Different services, products, and retail brands pay you for promoting them on your blog. Easy money, right?
Affiliate marketing is the most used income stream all over the cyber world. Just like word of mouth acts as a very strong marketing medium in the physical world, affiliate marketing does wonder in the online world.
When I look at my favorite bloggers wearing an accessory, a clothing item or talking about a brand they love; I listen to them and most of the time purchase an item as well. It is effective and it works and that is why brands and companies are willing to pay you good money for it. If you want to know further about:
What is Affiliate Marketing and how you can start is as well?
Don’t forget to read my post on affiliate marketing linked here.
- Digital Products. Once you have a blog, you have the power to influence people. You also have direct access to a huge audience and a potential marketplace. A great way to earn money through a blog and take advantage of a large customer base is by creating digital products and selling them on the blog.
Even, if you don’t directly sell on the blog you can add links to your Etsy and Shopify stores. You can create digital products that require absolutely no inventory and sell them for profit (because the investment is practically zero).
Here is a list of all the digital products that you can create and sell online to earn profit:
- E-courses- You can give online lessons about anything and everything that you know and can teach people. For example, you can conduct an online course on blogging and educate people about your own journey, experience and the tips and tricks you know about blogging.
People will enroll in the course and will pay you a registration fee.
- Workshops- You can also conduct workshops and educate people on “how to” do several things. You can teach them live on Skype. Again, all the users who enroll in your workshop will pay you registration fees.
- E-books– You can also publish e-books and every time people purchase your book; you will make money.
You can also include premium content in your blog that will be accessible only to people who will pay an access fee. You can also include photos, downloadable art, videos, jingles and love codes on your blog so that people can buy, and you can make money through your blog.
The important thing is to utilize the exposure and coverage you have as a blogger. When you have enough traffic and people open your blog and read your content then you hold the power to achieve A LOT.
Also, you can link your blog to different social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. These platforms provide a huge boost to your blog and the more traffic you attract to your blog the more are the chances to make sales and earn a commission.
- Physical Products. Just as I have been mentioning in this post, bloggers hold the influence and power to make a difference. You can use your platform to convince people to make a purchase.
You can either promote products that other people own (Affiliate marketing) or promote your own products. That can be digital products or they can be physical products. Digital products are easier to sell because they don’t require an inventory and absolutely zero investment.
Selling physical products is also an effective way to make money by blogging but requires a little more effort than selling digital products. You will need to have an inventory and deliver products. Physical products can include books, handmade products, products made by another manufacturer but sold through you (you can collaborate with brands to design a customized line of products for you) and social events.
- Services. As a blogger who holds the influential power, you can also offer your services and get paid in return. As I have said in this post, blogging might not have been a very influential platform a few years back but now it is a very big profession.
Blogging provides you with a platform to connect with a huge audience. You hold the power; the voice and people listen and follow you. You can:
- Speak at different platforms and gigs as an influencer and guest speaker. Of course, you will be paid for your services in return. This is one of the biggest ways through which bloggers earn money.
- You can also become a virtual assistant. Although many people are striving to land the job of a virtual assistant, since you are a blogger and have already proven your mettle, chances are that you will be hired as a virtual assistant quite easily.
- You can also work as a freelancer. Whatever is it that you can offer and provide, people will be willing to buy your services!
- You can also provide services related to your niche. If you are a lifestyle blogger you can offer people ideas related to home décor, interior designing and if you are a food blogger you can offer paid services such as dinner menu, table set up and so much more.
Offering services to earn money by blogging is a great way to earn money because it requires almost no investment and you will be getting paid for a skill that you already have. Yes, the only limitation is that you will be able to earn depending on the time that you will be investing in your work. The more you work, the more you will earn.
You can also use your blog to merge one of these income streams into your blog and make money. You can also employ multiple income streams at the same time.
Most of the bloggers including me don’t make all the money through their blogs. A blog is the main platform through which one can promote products and reach out to other mediums and earn money.
Social media is full of opportunities and incorporating mediums such as Facebook groups & Instagram in your blogging life is a great way to boost your earnings.
If I had to summarize the gist of this post, then here is what I will say:
- Start a blog and work on it to drive considerable traffic to your blog. It might take months and years to grow organically and develop a popular and successful blog but once you do that, you will have a lot of opportunities to earn. (If you want to get more traffic to your blog faster than read my “how to make money on Pinterest” post)
- Next, you can select any one of the above-mentioned income streams (or even more than one) to start making money blogging. Once you have selected the income stream, you can then incorporate them into your blog and start making money.
- You should then interact on other social media platforms to keep your blog visible and attract more and more people.
Another tip to earn money through blogging is to keep your blog (through your posts and content) SEO optimized and at the top of your niche. Once you set up a blog and create 15-20 optimized blog posts, your objective should be to be ranked the highest in your niche.
Your goal and objective should be to become the go-to resource in your niche.
SEO optimized content will drive A LOT of traffic to your blog and this is what you want in the first place.
I hope that I have answered and addressed all the topics that you need to know in order to make money blogging. But still, I would like to address some frequently asked questions below:
- Can I start a blog for free and earn money?
Yes, you can but I would say that this will not be the best approach especially if you want to earn through your blog. A paid blog will give you more authority and power over the free blog; so, it is better to have a word press blog with Bluehost hosting.
Once you create, manage and run a paid blog you have more power over your blog, the content you create, the collaborations you commit to and over the design and functionality of the blog.
- What are the top three tips to earn money through blogging?
Always remember that the first and foremost step to earn money through blogging is to create excellent content. There is no short cut to that. You will not be able to run a successful blog until and unless you have good quality content.
Don’t copy and imitate the identity and content of another blogger. Stay unique and original. Make sure you have original content to offer.
Although money-making tricks and tips are important, you need to be passionate about your blog. You need to enjoy what you do, and this should reflect through your writings and your work.
This is all you need to know to start a blog (if you don’t own one already) and make money through it.
My objective was to tell you about how to make money blogging for beginners and inform you about the tips and tricks one should know to make money blogging.
Let me know in the comments below if you think this post was informative and if you think there are some other ways to earn money through blogging.
I would love to hear from you! Happy reading everyone!