turn your blog into a money-making business in 8 simple steps
Make money blogging details the eight main avenues of blog monetization so you can make blogging a full-time career no matter your numbers.
The first year you feed your blog.
The second year your blog feeds itself.
The third year your blog feeds you.
Starting a blog is starting a business. Like all businesses there is the investment phase. It takes some capital, and it takes some time. You have to build it and invest in it like any other start up. How much it costs and how long it takes until you see profits varies tremendously and really depends on how hard you are willing (or able) to work. Once you have enough traffic you can start to make money blogging. You can focus on one or two of the following income avenues. However, most agree that the best way to ensure monetary success is to diversify and pursue as many as possible.
How to Make Money Blogging
1. Make Money Blogging with Display Ads
- These are the billboards of the internet
- You are paid by page views and number of impressions (by the 1000)
- Based on your site’s Google Analytics
- In-screen Ads (sits at bottom of your site)
- In Image Ads (come up in photos)
- Content Ads (pay higher because they fall in the flow of content)
- Video Ads (pay even higher)
There are definitely debates about display ads. They can be annoying and drive followers away. But they are like any form of advertising, a necessary evil. No one wants to watch tv ads, but we all realize that television comes with a cost. Everything must be paid for somehow. Bloggers can only survive so long without drawing an income from what is often a full-time job. By the time a blog has enough traffic to even qualify for display ads, you have likely built a loyal fan-base that will stay for the awesome content and “deal” with the ads.
Blogs should not have to apologize for making money.
Also, for most display ad companies you will be required to have a consistent track record of a minimum number of page views per month. This minimum varies from company to company.
Here are a few examples:
Mediavine (who we use) requires a minimum of 25,000 sessions, which equates to approximately 30,000 page views. You need to have a track record over a certain amount of time with this being your minimum. There are other requirements, and the process can 3-6 months to complete.
Google Adsense is another option. Your blog needs to be at least six months old and have all original quality content.
2. Sponsored Post
- Writing for brands that fit your niche and your authentic voice
- These can be product reviews
- or Product placement woven into your personal stories
- Often you receive a one-time fee
- Some are paid based on traffic (number of clicks)
3. Brand Ambassador
- Do not wait for brands to come to you. You can pitch your ideas to them.
- Research your dream brands and pitch them
- Choose brands that match your niche
- It should feel natural
- On-going contract, usually 3-12 months long
- These are a fantastic way for your blog to make money earning a steady income.
- Not always just based on numbers. Brands are looking for:
- Fabulous Photography, that they can repurpose
- Authentic voice, engagement with their ideal customer
- Numbers (3rd place priority)
4. Make Money Blogging with Affiliate Links
- There are some you can start using the day you publish your blog, so this is your first opportunity to make money blogging.
- Amazon is great. You can add a link for a product you recommend right inside your post. What is great is anything your reader buys after clicking through you get commission on, not just the item you linked.
- Target is another affiliate program that is easy to apply to and easy to begin using right away.
- Rewardstyle links many brands under one system. It monetizes Instagram and the blog, and allows you to create “shop the post” scrolling bars inside posts, on the blog, and a separate shop. You have to qualify. This is mainly what Jodie and I use to monetize our blog currently.
- Sharasale is another company that represents many smaller companies and allows you to create affiliate links with their retailers.
5. Become a Voice of Authority
Your blog is your platform, it’s a starting place. From here you can write, showcase, teach, and publish. You can do this in simple blog post formats of course. But you can take this further and make money blogging by monetizing your knowledge and expertise. Here are some examples:
- Create E-books or E-courses, give them for free, or partly for free and then charge to upgrade or to receive the full/continued lessons
- Become an author and publish a printed book.
- Become a consultant or service provider, on-line or in person.
- Provide coaching services, on-line or in person.
- Speak at conferences or other live events.
6. E-Store or E-Commerce
- Make money blogging by selling products you make.
- Curate a collection of products to sell.
- Sell products via a network like RewardStyle through links and/or a shop on the blog.
7. Make Money Blogging with Video Ads
- Video ads are the wave of the future.
- They are higher paying than still ads.
- In-content video ads are the highest paying.
- Side bar video ads are a less obtrusive, lower paying way to make money blogging.
8. Social Media Posts
As you grow your blog you will also be growing your other social media channels (hopefully). One feeds the other. As you grow your other channels you can earn money creating and featuring sponsored posts.
Just when Jodie and were feeling completely overwhelmed we met an amazing, knowledgeable, generous woman named Monica, who offered to “hold our hands.” She invited us to join her class, “How to Rock Sponsored Posts,” and it literally changed our blogging world! It covers a HUGE wealth of information, not just what the title says. And it can be helpful for seasoned bloggers and newbie bloggers alike.
Jodie and I were earning next to nothing (all free product), certainly not earning enough to cover our blogging expenses. We needed to learn how to make money blogging. By the end of the two-month course we were making over $3000/month. We cannot recommend Monica enough. Don’t waste another day just hoping for success. Take action.
Make Money Blogging
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to make money blogging. That’s the good news. The challenging part is you can see that blogging is not a narrow field. It turns out to be a lot more work and a lot more complex than just publishing a post or two a week.
It’s okay. Take a deep breath.
If you’re still trying to decide if blogging is right for you read our post about the pros and cons of blogging. This post talks about what to know before beginning and will help you decide when and if to begin a blog.
The great news is you can take it one step at a time, one post at a time. You can take on new projects when you are ready. No boss is going to say you must do this today. Another bit of good news is there are many, many resources available on-line to help you discover what to do and how to make money blogging.
Are you excited? It may just be the greatest challenge you never knew you wanted like it is for us!
Wishing you great success and JOY along the way.