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When I first started my blog, I didn’t truly know that it could turn into a business and actually make money. Making the decision to start my hobby blog ended up changing my life!
I never thought possible that I could work full-time on my blog but in less than three years, I’ve been able to make in 5 months what I did the entire year at my last job. Ummm, what?!
In the last years, I’ve spent countless hours on research, taking courses, and soaking up every resource out there to help me create and monetize my blog.
Before you start on your journey to make money blogging, you will need to have a blog so let’s dive into exactly how you can build one first.
This is the first post in my Make Money Blogging Series:
- How To Make Money Blogging in 2020201 (this post!)
- Pinterest Marketing: How I Made Pinterest My Full-Time Job
Pick a niche
You need to pick a topic for a blog so you know what you’ll be writing about! When picking a niche, make sure it’s a topic you are knowledgeable about and love.
I love many things and when I first started off with my blog, I did not want to limit myself to what I could write, but then many months later I ended up rebranding to a more specific focus. It depends entirely on you and your interests.
- Related: How To Pick Your Perfect Blog Niche
I recommend coming up with something specific or if you like many topics, tie them all together with your target audience as a common thread. For example, a lifestyle blog for millennials.
The blog is about many different things but all aimed at millennials. Get the point?
You can also choose a broad topic and narrow it down in the future!
Pick domain name
Once you know what you’re going to write about on your blog, you need to come up with a name! I cannot stress this enough but choose wisely.
I definitely think I could’ve chosen a better name & perhaps will change it in the future. Some key things to remember when choosing a name is making sure it’s easy to remember, not hard to spell and not already taken or copyrighted.
And I *highly* recommend going with a .com. If you can’t get the .com you want, .co could be the next best thing. But don’t get creative with .net, .blog, etc. Most people assume your website is a .com and might have trouble remembering what your domain is.
My fav spot to look for domain names is Namecheap.
Choose website host
The very next step once you have your domain name, it’s time to pick a web host!
I use Siteground for my blog because I had heard so many great things about them. And after using them for the last several years, I can attest to that.
I use Siteground because they’re relatively inexpensive when you first sign up. They have a great starting deal of $3.95 per month that includes 24/7 support, email accounts, free site transfer, and more!
Other options are Blue Host, Host Gator, and Lyrical Host.
Start an email list
So now that we have the technical part of building your blog out of the way, what you need next is an email list.
This is something people usually start after they’ve already been blogging. I did the same and I’m here to tell you DON’T WAIT.
Start it as soon as you can. I wish I started my email list soon because it does take time to grow it.
I have a really great blog post on how to start your email list. You can get started for free with MailerLite.
Now go make one!! I’ll wait.
How To Make Money Blogging
Next, let’s talk about how you can actually make money blogging. This is called monetizing your blog and there are several ways to do this and I recommend picking more than one so that you can create a diverse income stream.
Let’s take a look at the strategies:
Monetizing with ads is something you can pretty much do from the getgo. You can add display advertisements to your pages and sidebar while you’re still a fairly new blogger.
I got accepted to Google Adsense with just a handful of blog posts on my website. I still use their ads on my website today!
While it’s pretty easy to get started with this method of advertising, don’t get your hopes up too much with it. It’s pretty much pennies until you can build up your traffic to be significant enough to move the needle.
But even though it was just pennies, I found seeing the pennies go up to be quite encouraging for me as a new blogger 🙂 Plus it’s completely passive so might as well start collecting the money over time instead of making $0.
Google Adsense pays out after you get to $100.
After you start gaining traffic, you can qualify for other display ad networks & start making more money.
#2 Sponsored posts
Another way to make money blogging is through sponsored posts. This is the method that really opened my eyes to the possibility of making real money online.
I started offering sponsored posts on my blog a few months after starting it (I used to be a beauty blogger!)
I found the opportunities through Social Native and Collective Bias Social Fabric. These posts are basically collaborating with brands to promote products & getting paid for it. It was awesome because I got to get paid for products I loved and used and share them with my readers.
Sponsored posts began making up a large part of my blog income in the beginning and I was so proud of myself for earning my first blogger paycheck! I was able to work with brands like Victoria’s Secret, AcneFree, Polaroid, Intel, and much more.
These opportunities are very popular for certain niches. Sign up for the two I mentioned about (they’re free!) and browse through to see what opportunities you can find.
If you’re in a lifestyle, food, beauty or parenting niche, you’ll definitely find many options!
I was able to land collabs with very little traffic to my blog. Check out my earliest income reports here.
#3 Affiliate marketing
The next way to make money blogging is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you link to products or services on your blog and if someone clicks through your link to make a purchase, you earn a small commission from it.
It’s a very passive way to make money and it can be very profitable. I’m not a pro when it comes to affiliate marketing but I do make a decent amount from it! It’s always fun to get surprised and see the commissions your earn while you’re not working.
If there are services or products out there that you genuinely love and think your audience will benefit from it, definitely try your hand at affiliate marketing! I have an entire post that goes more in-depth about it which you can read below:
#4 Digital products
Digital products are also a great monetization strategy. Digital products could be anything from ebooks, printables, checklists, courses, videos, webinars, templates, etc. If it’s digital, you can package it up and sell it!
The best thing about digital products is that you only have to make the product once and then you can sell it over and over again on autopilot to your audience.
Think about whether or not you have knowledge about a topic your audience is interested in. For example, if you’re a photographer, you could create a Photography 101 course for aspiring photographers. Or if you’re a busy mom blogger, you could create simple printables to make the lives of other moms out there easier.
Then, you can list them for sale on your website and drive people towards your products!
Last but not least, my favorite way to make money blogging is through offering services.
I offer Pinterest Management Services! I am a Pinterest queen and I absolutely love the platform. I’m always looking to learn more about it and because of that, I decided to go into the business of Pinterest Management.
And boy, do I love it!
But I’m going to be straight with you here. I was making a couple of hundred dollars here and there through my other monetization strategies and I knew I wanted to scale my business quickly and go full-time.
Offering services made this happen for me. Not everyone is as lucky as those who share the tons of money they made their first month blogging! I spent my whole first month blogging basically figuring out my life so I sure as hell didn’t make a dime.
So increasing my blog income through the other methods was a slow process for me. Offering services and becoming a service-based business sped up the process for me. So I highly recommend thinking about offering services even if it’s just temporary!Here are 5 ways to make money blogging this year! Which is your fav? Click To Tweet
Which is the best way to make money blogging?
The best way to make money blogging, in my opinion, is by selling your own products and offering services.
These are the two main ways that I am able to make a full-time living from my blog.
Offering services does have its cons because you’re trading time for money. There are only so many clients you can take on and there are only so many hours in the day.
The good news is that you can just increase your prices as you learn more and refine your skills. You can also eventually hire a team or outsource in the future to help increase your monthly income.
With digital products, you can create the product one time and sell it over and over again as many times as you want.
The downfall with digital products is you need to build an audience that is willing to buy from you. Also, digital products are usually priced lower so you may need to sell a lot of copies of a $15 ebook in order to make a significant amount of money.
How much do bloggers make?
Everyone always wants to know this but this question is hard to answer because everyone is different.
The sky is the limit when it comes to making money from your blog.
Some people never make a dime and they quit after a week. Some people don’t even want to make any money and it’s strictly a hobby for them. And others make thousands upon thousands.
Here are some income reports from the last few years to take a look at to show you the wildly different amounts bloggers can make!
- Safayk – $19
- The Millennial Bull – $179
- Blogging Her Way – $745
- FinSavvyPanda – $5,532
- LoveFamilyHealth – $14,011
- Believe in a Budget – $41,502
- It’s A Lovely Life – $92,976
- Making Sense of Cents – $139,233
If you’re wanting to make money blogging, just know that you 100% can. It’s totally possible. But you need to keep working towards it every day.
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It does take time and there is a learning curve to all things blogging. Trust me, stick to it and you will eventually reap the rewards.
Don’t get discouraged by all those wild income reports (oddly enough, I find them to be inspiring LOL) out there and keep consuming all the resources out there that you can.
You’ll only get better and better at blogging and you’ll eventually find something that works for you.