In my previous post, How To Have The Freedom To Work From Home And Make Money Online, I talked about eight different ways to make money- blogging being the first one.
I remember starting my blog and not having a clue as to how I was going to make money blogging. I knew what I wanted to write about, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to monetize my blog from the beginning.
I’d read so many posts that talked about waiting to monetize your blog until you got the hang of it, but why?
My intention for starting this blog was not to replace my income; I absolutely love writing and every time I sit down to write a post, it feels like my little escape from the world.
However, the more research I did, the more possible it seemed to make money blogging. Maybe I COULD find a way to be a stay at home mom and still contribute financially!
If you have not started a blog yet- Check out my post Why You NEED To Start A Blog Now If You Want To Live Your Dream Life!
So, I’m here to tell you- YES! You can make money blogging!
Although I am barely a few months in myself, I thought I would share what I have learned and hopefully, this helps you make more money!
If you’re considering monetizing your blog, don’t hesitate as I did! Start RIGHT NOW!
It’s very important to note- the only way you will be successful with monetizing your blog is by providing good content to your readers.
You can join 20 different affiliate programs, and create 10 different e-courses, but don’t expect to get any buyers if you’re not providing useful content!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a blog post and cringed at all of the misspelled words, or grammar that needed fixing.
Remind yourself- THIS IS YOUR BUSINESS! Treat it that way, and make your blog posts look professional.
I get it, we all make mistakes! I can read my blog posts three times, before publishing, and I can still find a grammatical error that needs to be fixed.
I’d like to add- ever since I signed up with Grammarly, I have noticed a dramatic decrease in the time I used to spend proofreading my posts!
I love how Grammarly suggests changes that need to be made while typing! This has been a huge game-changer for me!
With that being said, review your content before monetizing!
Now, let’s get started!
1. Affiliate Marketing
If you’ve done a little research, you’re probably aware that affiliate marketing is the most popular way to monetize your blog.
It sounds simple- join an affiliate program, copy an affiliate link to your blog post and earn money. Easy peasy, right?
Every blogger wishes it were that easy, but unfortunately, it takes work to make money blogging!
First, what does it take to be accepted to an Affiliate program?
1. The biggest tip I can give you would be to have a self-hosted blog with your own domain name. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t look professional when you have a URL that reads- www.yourblog.blogspot.com. You will be trusted by the program when you have ownership of your domain which would read- www.yourblog.com.
Check out Bluehost if you haven’t purchased your domain name.
2. Make sure you have an SSL certificate for your website! This is what protects your website from those sneaky hackers; you will notice a lock to the right side of your domain name. Affiliates will trust your website and you’ll have a greater chance at getting accepted to their program. Bluehost provides this certificate for free when you purchase their hosting services.
3. You NEED to disclose the fact that you’re adding affiliate links on EVERY blog post. You can decide how you word it, but make sure you include your disclosure page to this link.
Mine reads- This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience; if you click on ‘affiliate links,’ it will direct you to my disclosure page.
Unless you want to be served with a letter stating you’re being sued, DON’t skip this step! 🙂
4. Just because you apply to an affiliate program doesn’t necessarily mean you will be accepted. Unfortunately, there are quite a few programs that require a certain amount of monthly page views/followers.
Don’t get discouraged! There are plenty of other programs you will be accepted to. Although I mentioned it is possible to monetize your blog from the beginning, I do recommend you have a least 5 solid blog posts before applying. This will allow the reviewer to see you’re consistent and are providing valuable information to your readers.
5. You’ll want to provide a game plan in your application. There’s usually an option to include more information; let the reviewer know how you plan on promoting their product/service to increase your chance of getting accepted.
Now that you know what it takes to get accepted, let’s go over a few high-paying affiliates I’ve come across.
- Bluehost (all niches)
- Share A Sale (one of my favorite high-paying programs)
- Amazon (all niches)
- Teachable– (one of my FAVORITES- all niches)
- Shop Style Collective (beauty & fashion niches)
- Convertkit (email list builder)
- Swagbucks (money-saving niches)
- Ebates (money-saving niches)
- Flexoffers (one of the higher paying programs)
- Tailwind (all niches using Pinterest/IG)
How do you actually get the clicks and increase your chances of a sale?
Now that you’ve signed up for a few programs, and hopefully been accepting- how do you get those clicks?
**Make sure you’re always disclosing there are affiliate links in your posts! You really want to avoid any legal issues!
- One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give on this is- let it come naturally. I am not going to click on a link if it sounds really pushy like the person is just trying to make a sale. This means you’ll actually have to use the produce/service you’re promoting so you can give honest reviews.
- Not many people know that you can use Pinterest to promote your affiliate links. For my strategy on using Pinterest check out this course.
- Include affiliate links in your newsletter out to your e-mail list also including your disclosure.
- Use social media! There are plenty of ways to promote a product using your IG or FB! There are plenty of FB groups that allow you to promote. You’ll just need to review the group rules; some groups don’t allow promotions.
- Avoid banners as much as possible. I’ve tested out both banners and links to promote an affiliate; I have found that I got way more clicks/sales on a link. Banners tend to look more like ads, and a lot of readers aren’t fans of ads.
Blog posts you can write to incorporate affiliate links:
- Product reviews
- Monthly favorites
- Gift guides
- Favorite ____ items
Bottom line– find creative ways to promote your affiliates without coming off as spammy! Be natural, share your knowledge on a product/ service and put yourself in your readers’ shoes. What would make YOU want to click on that link?
A second way you can make money blogging is by publishing sponsored posts. If you’re not familiar with sponsored posts, this is where you write a blog post for a brand; you will either get paid to write the post or receive a free product to review on your post.
How do I get started with sponsors?
- You can either pitch to them directly
- Join influencer marketing platforms
If you’re new to the blogging community, you may not receive any requests from sponsors until you’ve established a larger audience.
However, you can definitely reach out to a brand you’re passionate about and pitch to them directly.
If you’re anything like me, cold emails are hard to do! I get it! But, you’ll have to do this if you want the opportunity to get sponsors.
How can you get in contact with a brand?
You’ll need to search for that brand by doing a Google search and looking for their PR e-mail address. If you notice that the website does not include a PR email, reach out to the general contact and request for them to get you in contact with someone in PR.
Please keep in mind that you will most likely be sending a ton of emails and not many responses. This is totally normal! If you’re familiar with Pinterest, this is similar to requesting an invite to a group board!
You can also reach out to brands by tagging them on your social media posts so they can see first hand how much you love their product.
Can a brand reach out to you directly?
Absolutely! If your blog is growing and a brand finds your blog with content similar to their product/ service, they will reach out to you directly. If you’re unsure of what to charge, do a little research on what is being charged to sponsors on your niche.
Is there a possibility of getting scammed?
YES! Like anything, you’ll want to be on the lookout for something that doesn’t seem right! Here are a few indicators that a brand may be a scammer:
- You’re asked to pay for shipping
- You’re asked to pay a portion of their product and still write a post for them about their product
- You’re asked to purchase the product, promote AND provide a discount code to your readers
- You’re asked to pay for ANYTHING
Bottom line- it’s YOUR decision whether you’d like to receive a free product to review or charge for your blog post to promote their product/service. Just make sure it’s something you truly love and not something you’re writing about just for the money. Trust me, your readers will know.
I’m all about being honest on my blog, so I feel the need to mention that I am not a fan of ads, but it’s another way to make money blogging; I want to make sure it’s included in this list for you!
Before I continue, I want to tell you why I have decided to not run ads on my website. It wouldn’t be fair to just say ‘I don’t like them!’
I think back to every single time I’ve downloaded an app, only to spend half the time I’m on the app closing out ads that continue to pop up. Not only is it annoying having to close them out, but it is also extremely distracting!
The last thing I want to do is distract my readers from reading my content!
With that being said, I’d still like to include the top three ad programs that seem to be very popular in the ad world.
- Media.net (for newer blogs that don’t have much traffic)
- Google Adsense (for newer blogs, but it’s common not to get approved right away)
- Mediavine (for more established blogs that have 25k+ monthly page views)
Bottom line-You decide if ads will work for your website! 🙂 A lot of new bloggers choose to start off with ads once they decide to monetize their blog.
4. Create A Product To Sell
Ever heard of passive income? If you’ve been blogging for a while, I’m sure you are very aware of what this means, but if not- I’ll tell you!
Passive income is money that is coming in while you sleep! Creating a product to sell is by far my most favorite way to make money blogging!
The most common misconception is that you need to create courses about blogging; this is FAR from the truth!
I recently attended a live web seminar, hosted on Teachable’s website, which included over 25 speakers from across the world who make passive income!
Each speaker shared their own experience with creating a successful course; the majority of them were not even teaching about blogging!
Your options are limitless! Seriously, there are courses on how to deal with goat calcium deficiency! 🙂
Why did I decide to create this course?
I found a way to get 3,000 page views to my blog during my first month blogging, and I HAD to share my strategies with others! Click HERE if you’d like to look into my course.
Have something you’re good at? Create a course and get paid to teach others!
Are there any other products I can sell besides courses?
Depending on your niche, you can get very creative with a product you decide to create. Here are a few ideas:
- Presets (good for photography niches)
- eBooks (great for all niches!)
- Recipe books (create with Canva or Amazon kindle)
- Graphics (logos for web design)
- Printables (this can make you some good passive income!)
- Spreadsheets templates (check out this post on a free spreadsheet I created to budget and get out of debt.)
There are so many more options for products to sell, but I wanted to give you a few examples to start off with! 🙂
5. Offering Services
Lastly, offering services is the fifth way to make money blogging. This is for someone that is really good at something that can be done online.
Here are a few examples of what I mean:
- Coaching (life coach, health coach, etc.)
- Social Media Management (Pinterest VA, FB VA, etc.)
- Graphic Design
- Web development
If you’re interested in this option, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting to know your audience. Having an e-mail ist will allow you to reach out and ask what they’re needing help with.
From there, you can focus on creating something that will benefit them.
You can also use your social media to connect with others and ask the same question; I have found Facebook communities are great for this!
If you’re not already aware, having a money-making blog does not exempt you from paying taxes. I’m by no means a professional and I would prefer that you speak to a tax professional regarding taxes that need to get paid. but I can give you a few tips:
- Save 25% of your annual salary even if you end up having money left over
- Save all of your receipts of purchases made for your business
- Save emailed receipts in a separate folder
These are just a few things I’ve done to help me prepare for filing my taxes.
REMINDER: Make sure you’re adding your disclosures every time you include an affiliate link.
Whether you’re new to blogging or you just needed a reminder on how to make money blogging, I hope you found this article to be very helpful.
If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments! At the end of the day, we’re all here to help each other become successful!
If you have found what works for you and you’d like to share, please comment, as well! 🙂
Until next time, My Friends!