How to Make Money Blogging
Would I be able to do that?
This is one question new bloggers often ask. You are probably also thinking whether you will be able to monetize your blog with so my experienced bloggers already on the scene.
There are so many bloggers out there, and yet new bloggers are coming in consistently every month.
Do you know what this means?
This means that people are still making money blogging. As the blogging industry has evolved, it has become a very viable way to earn you money. Blog experts are even making $10,000 per month through their blogs. Let’s look at how they make money blogging:
This post contains affiliate links. These are products or services that I have personally used and recommend. If you choose to make a purchase using one of my links, this will not cost you any more but I may receive a small commission, which helps towards my kid’s love for baking biscuits! (and my love for eating them!!)
7 Ways You Can Make Money Blogging
Making money from your blog requires time and patience. You wouldn’t be able to do it in a day. Some bloggers have been able to monetize their websites within 4 months, others take 2 years. The key here is to be consistent with your blogging efforts. Give it your time and these methods will help you to monetise your blog:
You probably have already heard of affiliate marketing and how some bloggers are making $2k every month through affiliates. Affiliate marketing is basically selling a product or service for a company. This company gives you a commission for making the sale. Think of yourself as a remote salesperson.
Affiliates are a great way to earn a passive income source. Once you put the links on your blog post, you pretty much leave it to trickle money into your account.
Amazon Affiliate Program
There are a lot of affiliate programs you can sign up for. The most popular is obviously Amazon. I think every blogger wanting to make money blogging signs up for Amazon affiliates because it’s easy to sign up with and they offer 1000s of products for bloggers to promote.
The thing with Amazon is that they have strict rules regarding their Affiliate program. Firstly, you have to make 3 sales within the first 90 days, otherwise, your account closes and you have to reapply for the program. Plus, their commission is on the lower side. The highest they offer is a 10% commission on luxury items.
If you are choosing Amazon as your affiliate, don’t forget to add their disclaimer on your blog. That’s another one of Amazon’s rules. Also, you can’t take pictures from their website. Any photo you use must be your own or their affiliate images.
Then there are affiliate networks such as ShareaSale. I’ve been using ShareaSale because they have 100s of affiliate programs you can choose from. It’s also easier to use since all links are accessible in one place. You simply use their search engine to look up affiliates via their category e.g. toys, baby products or individual companies. All payments for each affiliate program you apply to through ShareaSale are paid out through this one platform. It makes life so much easier when tracking your income for tax purposes and which affiliate programs are working for you and your blog.
I would recommend signing up to 5-6 affiliate programs. Bloggers who are earning a full-time income through affiliates, don’t just depend on one affiliate program. They have multiple channels of affiliate income. All these are related to their niche and have products and services they love. But which affiliates should you sign up with?
How to Choose Your Affiliate Program for Your Blog
If you plan to make money blogging through affiliate programs, then my advice to you is:
Choose a Program you have used already
Don’t go promoting a company you haven’t tried. That’s unethical and you will come across as fake. Your readers won’t trust you which means they won’t purchase products/services through your link. Hence, you won’t make money blogging. So, choose a program you have used and are satisfied with. If you like an affiliate program but haven’t tried it, then try it out first. Become a customer first.
Finding your Affiliate Program
As a blogger, you should make a practice of finding out whether your favourite brands have any affiliate programs. Whenever you love a new product or service, check out their website. Look for an affiliate program. It’s usually in the footer section.
I also suggest doing a Google search to research affiliate programs in your niche. For instance, if you are in the pet niche, search for a particular pet company you love plus affiliate program e.g. Barkbox + affiliate program.
Remember how I talked about finding your niche before you start blogging. Well, here is one place niche blogging comes to use. It helps you narrow down the myriad affiliate programs on the internet. Choose one that is relevant to your niche because it’s something your target market will buy. For instance, if you blog about writing your first novel, it would make sense if you promote Grammarly’s affiliate program, instead of Tailwind and Convertkit (which are awesome but then your target audience isn’t interested in them).
Some affiliate networks have a vast database of affiliate programs.. When you sign up with them, you get access to 100s of programs in one place. Sign up to those also. In these, you will always find brands that go well with your niche. I’ve been a part of some of these:
Not all affiliates are created equal. Some of them, usually new companies, offer a higher commission. For instance, if you sign up with Convert Kit, their commission is as high as 30%! This means if 10 people sign up to their basic plan of $29/mo using your link, you make $87. For their $79/mo, you earn $237 when 10 people sign up through you. With ConvertKit, their commissions are rolling each month as well. So you wouldn’t just be making a one-off income of $87 or $237, but this amount every and each month (based on the above examples). Remember, there is no limit to how much you can make or how many people can use your link. Whereas for comparison, the highest commission Amazon offers is 10% and those only for its fashion items, otherwise it’s usually less than 5%.
Commission also varies from product to product. A high-end product would give you a higher commission as compared to a $1 product. But that doesn’t mean you should only focus on high earning products.
Include a mix of both. But I wouldn’t write an entire blog post on ESL puppets just for affiliate link that would probably earn me less than 5% in commissions, as an example. It’s obviously wiser to dedicate time promoting Convertkit which offers a higher, recurring commission.
Here’s where affiliate marketing gets a little interesting. Companies keep track of how long potential customers take to buy the product after visiting your blog. Different affiliate programs have different cookie lengths. For most, usually, it’s 30 days long. Some programs, like Moms Make Cents affiliate program, has a cookie length of 365 days (plus her courses are FAB!). This is excellent because it increases your chances of earning your commission.
If you are starting out on your blogging journey and looking to make money from your blog, I highly recommend McKenzie’s Mom Blogging Mentor course from Moms Make Cents. I have personally taken this course myself and have found it jam-packed full of tips and resources helping me to grow my blog. McKenzie pretty much holds your hand, taking you through how to start your blog step by step and offers generous information such as a list of over 500 Pinterest groups to join, Blogging groups on Facebook, planner and bonus stock photos!
So, for instance, someone clicks on the air fryer you recommend, they probably won’t buy it on that same day. Shareasale gives them 30 days to make the purchase, for you to get your commission. Review the cookie length of the affiliate program you sign up for. Also, go through their rules and regulations. Make sure you are following all the rules.
Top Tips for Choosing Affiliate Programs:
- Join 5-6 affiliate networks and programs
- Look for programs that connect with your audience and those you personally love and use.
- Search whether your favourite brands have an affiliate program
- Check all details of the program: cookie length, commission amount, disclaimers etc.
- Promote affiliates through your blog posts, social media and Pinterest.
Sponsored Posts for Your Blog
Have you seen your favourite blogger rave about a new hotspot, even offering you a discount code?
There’s a good chance it’s a sponsored post. Many brands hire influencers to create awareness regarding their brands and products. These could be in the form of product reviews, sale announcements, roundups or just a mention on social media.
Many brands even offer to pay back with free services and products. You could get yourself a complimentary stay at your favourite hotel, in exchange for a sponsored post.
With a sponsored post, you aren’t waiting for the customer to buy your product to earn a commission. Think of sponsored posts as an opportunity for a company to reach a larger audience through your blog or social media platforms. As the companies are using you to reach your followers, you can charge the company for this privilege.
Brands are willing to pay for sponsored posts because it makes them more approachable. When your favourite influencer talks about a new product, it becomes more real. It gets down from that high shelf and is now more accessible.
So, how do you get brands to pay you to write for them?
The first thing you should do is create your media kit.
What’s a media kit?
A media kit is a visual one-page document giving your potential clients a little insight into you and your blog. If you want to make money blogging, you should always have a media kit.
Some things you should be adding in your media kit are:
- About Me
- A Picture of you
- Number of Subscribers
- Your Blog’s Social Media Channels
- Pinterest Reach
- What you offer
- Previous Collaborations
Add your media kit in your About Me section. Check Canva for some amazing templates.
Once you have your media kit, it’s time to approach companies. If yours is a newish blog, I recommend going for smaller, and local brands. For instance, the spa you frequent or your kid’s art club.
You could also get in touch with your local PR agency to help you connect with brands that are looking for influencers. And then there are websites like Tomoson, Cooperatize, and PayPerPost. These will also connect you with brands looking for sponsored content.
Sell Products or Services Within Your Blog
You could also make money blogging by selling products or services on your website. Think of products or services that would benefit your target audience. Solve a problem for them.
Do you do DIY crafts on your blog? How about selling a DIY craft book or maybe subscription boxes on your website?
Some examples of products you can sell online are:
After Etsy, the demand for handmade, bespoke products has increased. Many customers look for individually crafted products, and so the market booms.
If you plan on selling actual products, you will need to install the WooCommerce plugin. This basically creates a virtual store on your website.
You can upload pictures and descriptions of each product. Use the right keywords to improve visibility. Also, in your blog posts, add links of your products to direct your blog readers towards the store.
Can’t think of a product? How about a service? If you write fashion reviews on your website, why not offer to become a personal shopper or a makeover session.
With services, you don’t even need to install and learn WooCommerce. Just add an appointment form on your website and use your blogs, email and social media to direct your viewers to your services. Some services you could be offering are VA, Business Coach, App developer etc.
Amazon and the digital world has made it so much easier for writers. Anyone can write a book. If you think you have it in you to write a book, go ahead and write one. With Ebooks, you don’t have to worry about packing, shipping, postage etc.
Your Ebook doesn’t have to a 100 page long. Again, niche down. Think of what your target audience wants to know and create an Ebook around that. For instance, you could write a Keto Recipe book or crafts for kids.
You’d be surprised to know that the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey was initially released as an ebook. It has gone on to become a bestseller with over 125 million copies sold.
Offer a Membership Site On Your Blog
A membership site is a private section in your blog or website where only a select number of people can access exclusive content.
You can create a membership portal on your website or create your private group over on Facebook.
An example of a good membership site is by Lady Boss, Kaelin. Kaelin has a weight loss program where members can access workout videos, meal plans, daily live coaching, challenges, unlock free gifts and a private accountability group.
Why is Kaelin’s plan so successful? Niche blogging.
Create and Sell Your Own Course
Have something to teach? Why not create a course out of it. You might have heard of Udemy. Udemy has become the leading online learning platform, offering lessons on all kinds of skills from business development to personal development.
Course creation might be a little challenging for new bloggers, but with platforms like Teachable, it’s pretty straightforward. You can easily install a professional-looking course and start earning from that.
A few tips to help you create a selling course:
- Research your target market. Who are you selling your course to? Do a little digging into your audience.
- Create and launch your course using Teachable
- Design a landing page for the course on your blog.
- Release a beta version of the course on a lower price point. In the end, ask your students for feedback to tweak the course.
- Create an email sequence and blogs to promote the course. You might want to offer a free trial to gather testimonials. Include those in your landing page.
- Promote the course on all your social media platforms.
Display Ads On Your Blog
Display ads, also known as pay per click ads, won’t likely win you big money. That might have happened a decade earlier, but now pretty much all of us ignore those banner advertisements on the website. We have developed what some call banner blindness. We are consciously or unconsciously put a mute on the banner noise.
But they are a source of passive income. I feel there’s no harm adding a banner to your website. Just don’t overdo it. You can easily add the banner code and forget about it. After a few months, check your earnings. You could earn enough to keep your blog up and running with these ads.
Personally, I don’t like to use display ads on my blog. Honestly, they cramp the style of my blog. Not pretty. There’s also a chance they might put off your customers off your website. However, I do know bloggers who are making as much as $1000 per month with ads.
How do you earn from banner ads?
You need to sign up to a pay-per-click platform.
When you sign up with these, they give you a code to add to your website. You can add the code as a widget on your blog’s right side or you can also add them inside your posts. That’s it.
Now whenever someone clicks on one of those ads, the company pays you.
Google Adsense is where most bloggers start because it’s easier to get accepted there. But their pay per click rate is low when compared to other platforms. So, you won’t be making much with Google.
As viewers to your site increase, you can try signing up to platforms like Monumetric. These have a higher pay per click rate, but then you will need a good amount of daily visitors on your blog.
Become a Paid Speaker
There are lots of events happening around my city all the time. And you know what they are looking for? Speakers.
Here’s how you can become a paid speaker:
Find your niche
To become a speaker, you must be an expert at something. Hence, niche blogging. Find your niche if you haven’t done it already.
Becoming a paid speaker will require some networking. LinkedIn is a good starting point. But what will really get you noticed is your actual presence. Attend networking events that relate to your niche. If you are a business coach, you should be there when there is a small business fair in your area or a business networking meeting.
Offer to Speak for free
Whenever I offer free services, I make it a point to offer it to the right people. I’d never offer to speak for free on my grandma’s ladies club meetup. Sorry, grandma.
Offer for free if you feel that it will expose you to your target market. Remember, speaking for free doesn’t mean you should do a lousy job. In fact, do the opposite. Do a wow-some job so that the next time they call you to speak, you can ask to be paid.
Do an awesome job
Becoming a speaker might initially seem scary at first, but believe me, it’s in fact quite thrilling. When you are asked to become a speaker for a local event, keep these tips in mind:
- Go prepared. Even if you are an expert, you still need to arrange your thoughts and words. When you have a plan, your speech has a direction. Write down pointers to take with you on the say. Create flashcards. And don’t forget to time your speech. Leave a few minutes for a Q&A session.
- Bring visual cues. If you keep talking throughout the speech, there’s a chance someone is dozing in the back rows. Engage your viewers by bringing along visual cues. When I say visual cues, I don’t mean bullet points or charts. I mean pictures, videos, and the likes.
- Tell a story. A story will stay with your audience. Stories are personal and we love stories, don’t we?
- Sprinkle in some humour. Entertain your audience with a few one-liners or amusing stories. Humour gets your audience to like you. It improves our reception to the message in the speech.
- Have a clear ending. Your audience should know when you have stopped talking. Summarize your speech. Offer them take away point and an action plan. End with a big thank you so that your audience knows when to clap.
If you need help in starting a blog, you might want to read my complete guide on starting a blog.
Seasoned bloggers are earning more than 2k every month by using one or more of these methods. My advice is to explore only one of these first; the one that makes the most sense for your blog. Once you get the hang of one, go ahead and try a few others. But before you create your action plan to make money blogging, choose and work on your niche.