Starting a blog for profit is an exciting and ambitious goal. You create an opportunity to get in touch with your inner creative, connect with your audience, and make a little bit of money on the side. Starting a blog was one of the best and most fulfilling things I’ve done this year. And I get to make a little bit of money on the side. Lately, others (on & offline) have been asking me how to make money blogging.
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How to Make Money Blogging
How do you make money blogging?
It’s not the easiest question to answer briefly. After all, there’s a lot that goes into monetizing your blog.
And truth be told, sometimes blogging can be overwhelming.
After all, it’s far too easy to compare yourself to others and their successes. It’s far too easy to push yourself down when you should be pushing yourself forward.
So first thing’s first: if you want to make money blogging, get into the mindset that you will be blogging for business. Even if it’s just to make some change on the side.
This article will walk you through 10 steps you can take so you can make money blogging this month. Be ready to:
- Channel your inner creative
- Solve your readers’ problems
- Promote products without being too salesy
- Feel the excitement when you see commissions roll into your account!
1. Build a good-lookin’ blog
Inititally, your goal should be to create a blog that looks like a dime. Yes. You need to design a good-lookin’ blog.
Strive to make a good first impression with your readers. When you have a beautifully-designed website, your visitors will be more inclined to read your article, more inclined to browse your content, and more inclined to return.
First of all, what platform are you using for your blog? I recommend investing in a self-hosted WordPress blog. It’s easier than it seems! There are so many benefits, including having a fully customizable website, and having access to your own email address ([email protected]) which make you appear more professional as you move forward. To learn more about starting your own self-hosted WordPress blog, read this guide.
I’ve also seen stunning blogs designed with Wix. They let you start for free and then as you grow, you can upgrade from there.
The elements of a good-lookin’ blog are:
- Minimal theme (I use one by Cityhousedesign, but Themeforest also offers a variety of themes.)
- Your blog’s header (Not a designer? Not a problem. You can get one designed using Etsy or Fiverr.)
- Beautiful photos (If you’re not taking your own, try IvoryMix or Photodune.)
- Simple fonts (Don’t get too fancy!)
For more blogging resources, check out my blogging resource library.
2. Partner with the right affiliate programs
You should partner with the right affiliate networks for your audience. Affiliate networks are large companies specifically designed to connect you (the publisher) with advertisers. They make it super easy to search for and connect with advertisers based on niche.
My personal favorite affiliate networks are:
- Awin. It’s $5 to sign up for Awin, but you get that money back in its entirety once you receive your first payment. They offer great partnerships including partnerships with Etsy, Swagbucks, and Trusted Housesitters.
- Share-a-Sale. Share-a-Sale has a huge range of affiliates you can work with including Pura Vida Bracelets, Tailwind, and Grammarly.
- Flexoffers. Flexoffers also offers partnerships with a variety of programs for every niche, including Betterment and Skyscanner. For many of the advertisers, their commissions per lead are some of the highest I’ve seen!
Some of my other favorite ways to earn affiliate commissions include:
- Maven. Maven is just like Pinterest…but on steroids. Using Maven, you can create boards just like you would Pinterest. What’s unique about it, is you primarily “pin” products to boards. If someone purchases a product from your board, you earn a commission! These boards can be shared on your social media channels or your blog.
- Ebates. Ebates is totally blogger friendly! You can offer your readers $10 cash back after they make their first purchase. This is in addition to the cash back they will receive from every purchase they make through Ebates! You can find deals relevant to practically every niche, so I highly recommend promoting Ebates on your blog.
3. Add advertisements to your blog
You have three options for this: cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-mille (CPM), or cost-per-action (CPA) advertising.
- cost-per-click: Generally, with this method of advertising, you get paid for every click you generate.
- cost-per-mille: CPM advertisements are when you get paid for every 1,000 (mille) impressions on an advertisement.
- cost-per-action: With CPA advertising, you get paid for every action that is completed (for example, making a sale or generating a lead for an advertiser).
Right now, I have CPA ads on my sidebar using banners provided by my affiliates. I’m considering implementing CPC advertising instead because I’ve seen bloggers who earn a majority of their blogging income through CPC advertising.
If you are a new blogger who wants to implement CPM and CPC advertising on your blog, try Media.net. They even give you an additional 10% of the revenue you earn for the first three months if you use my link!
4. Join websites that link you to sponsors
A sponsored post means that the blogger is compensated in some way to write the post.
While it’s possible to approach brands you want to work with on your own, there are websites that connect you to advertisers who want to work with bloggers and social media influencers. These are the websites I’m currently signed up for:
- Linqia (you need 2,500+ social media followers or unique monthly visitors)
- Activate by Bloglovin
- One2One Network
To stand out on these websites, you should connect your social media accounts (the more followers and engagements, the better). On these websites, you should also write an enticing and engaging “about” section that shows companies what you and your website are all about! Show them why they should work with you.
5. Monetize your highest performing posts
You can also monetize your highest performing posts.
Start by reviewing your highest performing posts. Then, ask yourself: what is it about this post that keeps bringing in readers?
Based on that answer, figure out a way to implement affiliate marketing into the post. To do this without being salesy, add tons of value to your post and about the product you promote.
You need to show them all the benefits because they may not be aware of them!
You can do this by:
- Displaying screenshots that show what the website/service offers, or how to use it
- Photos of the product, or of you using the product
- Reviewing the product or website and outlining why it’s great!
Were you already promoting something? Without the potential to earn from it?
- See if the product is available on Amazon (and promote it via the Amazon Affiliate program)
- Google “______ affiliate program”
6. Make effective use of your sidebar
Most people know to use their sidebar as advertising space for CPA or CPC advertising like we talked about above.
But have you thought about using your sidebar to promote your best-performing posts?
Now that you monetized your highest performing posts, you can promote them via your sidebar! It will direct new traffic to your best performing posts, and increase both your page views and fans.
If you use WordPress, you can use the Wp Image Refresh plugin to display a different banner for your posts on your sidebar each time someone refreshes or visits a new page.
7. Connect your posts together
Connect your posts together by placing links to other posts in an article. This is a good habit to get into for newer and veteran bloggers alike.
If someone comes to your blog and loooves the article they read, make it effortless for them to find other similar, amazing content you wrote.
Your blog tells a story, and there are likely older posts your newer readers haven’t read. You can easily connect your posts together by linking to other posts each time you write a post.
And now that you monetized your highest performing posts, you can also think of creative ways to link to those posts in other articles. Since they are your highest performing, something about those posts obviously interest others.
Linking to your other posts in articles will decrease your bounce rate, increase your viewership, and make it easier to earn money from your blog.
8. Write a sensational post
One of the ways you can make money blogging this month will be writing and publishing a sensational post. Write a post people will want to click, read, and share.
This will increase your long-term viewership (especially if you promote on Pinterest) because a sensational article will regularly be shared, and thus increasing clicks to your website!
Does your audience primarily share something they connect with? Something that’s helpful? Someone’s success story? All of the above?Want to make money blogging? Pay attention to your audience & what they share. Click To Tweet
Think of a sensational, shareable topic you can write about. Brainstorm ways to monetize that post through affiliate marketing. Then, write a sensational post and implement affiliate marketing.
If you need a little guidance, read more about how to effortlessly captivate your readers and improve your writing.
9. Create a resources page
No matter what your niche is, you should have a resources page. If you’re writing about a specific topic, you must use specific tools or resources, right?
By creating a resources page, readers will see you as a leader and expert in your niche.
To create your resources page, you just need to ask yourself the right questions based on your niche.
- Fashion: where do you score your favorite clothes?
- DIY: what are your favorite crafts items or tools? where do you get them?
- Travel: how can your audience travel with the best deals on the market?
10. Promote your posts on social media
With all that being said, after you complete the steps above, you still need to promote your posts in order for people to see them. No matter how amazing your post is, traffic isn’t going to come naturally.
You can write the best and most interesting post of all time but you still need to promote the post in order for it to be seen.You can write the best post of all time but you still need to promote the post for it to be seen. Click To Tweet
The best way to promote your post is via social media.
- Use Boardbooster’s campaign scheduler to automate pinning your content to group boards. It starts at $5 per month, and it’s one of the best investments you’ll make on your blog.
- Try a social media scheduler like Hootsuite to schedule promoting your posts via Facebook and Twitter.
- Find and participate in niche-related Facebook groups. If they allow promotion, promote your post upon publication.
I notice that people still feel lost on certain social media platforms. I created a helpful (and pinnable!) social media infographic which summarizes the ways you can promote your blog on social media.
Don’t give up!
Blogging requires time, determination, consistency and hard work.
But it’s so worth it! Starting this blog has been so fulfilling to me. It’s an incredible feeling to spend time working on a post, publish it, and receive feedback from it! Whether that feedback comes in the form of blog comments, Facebook comments, private messages or even tweets.
And feedback isn’t the only part that’s fulfilling. Surprisingly enough, starting a blog requires more than just writing.
The skillset of a blogger is actually incredibly versatile. You are also:
- your very own social media manager
- the business manager for your blog
- a graphic designer (although I’m quite the amateur and rely on Canva and VSCO for all my graphics)
- the marketing and advertising campaign manager
- …this list goes on, and it’s freaking impressive!
Learning to fine-tune your blogging expertise, and all the roles that come with it can be very fulfilling in and of its own.
Liked this post? You’ll enjoy these other articles to boost your blog game:
- Build a Successful Blog on a Budget
- Affiliate Programs You Can Use to Monetize Your Blog
- 3 Ways to Boost Traffic with Pinterest
If you still have questions on ways to improve your blog, I can work with you to create actionable steps to improve your blogging game so your blog starts making you money. Use this contact form to get in touch with me so we can start talking about your blogging goals and how we can achieve them together.
Until then, let’s talk about you!
- How have you monetized your blog?
- What’s worked for you?
- Where are you struggling?
- What are you going to work on next?