The most popular question experienced bloggers get from beginners is how to make money blogging and what are the most efficient strategies to start earning as soon as possible. Well, one thing I can tell you: if you asked yourself this question before starting your blog, you are on the right track! Why I’m so sure that you have to think through monetization at the earliest stages of blogging?
Because money will become the fuel that keeps you motivated and happy with what you are doing. Blogging is not like any regular job you were doing. It takes a lot of time and dedication before you understand how to make money blogging, but in many many cases, it doesn’t bring the immediate results and income in particular. So, if your traffic is still small, if you have something like 500 subscribers, is that the time to start monetizing your blog? Nope, you should have started earlier! Start thinking what and how you can earn from your blog from day one. When you see a little $100 payout from your first or second month blogging, does it motivate you? Hell, yeah! Much better than having an absolute zero of monetary reward for your enormous beginner efforts!
Now that we all agreed that making money blogging is a great motivator, let’s look at the ways you can earn a living from your blog.
This is part 2 of 4 of the Starting a Blog series.
1. How to Start a Blog in 10 Minutes
2. How to Choose a Domain Name
3. Checklist for Starting a Blog on WordPress (10 essential details most newbies forget!)
4. How to Make Money Blogging
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
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Advertising – the most basic way to make money blogging
For many beginners advertising (such as Google Adsense, for example) seems like the fast and easy solution. Just need to apply for the network, add ad spaces to the site and make money. Actually, it is in most cases as simple as, unfortunately, inefficient waste of space on your site.
The worst thing you can do to make the extra buck a day on ads, to fill your blog with ad blocks all over and lose the trust of your audience. Keep things balanced and respectful. Treat your readers as you’d like to be treated yourself. Don’t assume that your audience is idiots who don’t notice that your blog has 10 ad spaces per post. And don’t expect them to click on ads in your blog when they are already irritated enough to close the page and forget your blog forever.
Enough of moralizing, let’s move to the practical side of how to make money blogging with ads. Which are the ad networks you could use?
The lowest entry requirements for beginners are in Google Adsense and Media.net, so that’s what you could start with.
I have to be honest with you guys, Adsense can bring decent money to bloggers with high traffic volumes, of course, getting a lot of traffic is something tough for new blogs. To make it shorter, I wouldn’t rely on this type of advertising heavily.
When you blog starts generating at least 25000+ sessions per month, you might be very interested in joining MediaVine Publisher Network, because they help bloggers make much more money from each visitor than if you run Google ads on your own. They optimize your positions, run your ad server, and manage your advertiser relationships, and they require exclusivity.
If you reach 100k+ pageviews a month, you could apply to join Adthrive as they also help bloggers increase ad income from the same amount of ads served on their sites. They promise that on average sites earns 3x more per pageview with AdThrive. Well, get to 100k+ a month, and when you are there, let me know if it really works.
How to Make Money Blogging with Direct Ad Sales?
The ads sold directly look almost the same on your site as display ads served by Google or other networks. The only difference is that you sell the ad placements directly to advertisers, and so you define the prices.
Advertisers can be companies, small businesses or even your colleagues – solo entrepreneurs. They will contact you through your site contact form or via your site’s social media accounts. And by the time they reach you, a good idea would be to check what prices other bloggers in your niche offer. This information can usually be found in pages called Media Kit or Advertise.
You could wait for advertisers to contact you, but if you are confident in your sales pitch, check other bloggers who target similar audience and analyze their advertisers. Prepare a convincing presentation of your blog and audience, and make your offer.
For many newbie bloggers starting with selling their own products or services is too complicated. You have to first become an expert in some topic or master a skill you want to sell, and only then you can offer it to your audience. Selling affiliate products allows you to skip the step of creating your own ones and go directly to the money-making part. When I started this blog, affiliate marketing became the primary income source for me. I currently make most of my income from the iGain network, which works mostly with survey offers.
Another good thing about affiliate sales is that almost in every niche today you can find advertisers looking for affiliates. You can sell virtually every product available on Amazon and get a commission for it. Other popular affiliate networks that have thousands of advertisers are CJ, Shareasale.
Affiliate marketing is the preferred monetizing strategy for many bloggers, myself included (at least currently). Top bloggers mastering affiliate marketing make $100+K per month!
Sell your products
Your own products to sell can be either physical or digital. A blog is a great platform to sell products because your main selling pitch is already done and the relationship of trust with your audience is built by your content. You already own their attention. Now all you have to do – just offer your followers something relevant to their interests.
Various types of handmade products are usually sold on Etsy or Handmade Amazon. Meanwhile, your blog is a great platform for showing your products to people and demonstrate your skills.
Offline training, conferences, seminars could also be included in the category of products. They are also close to services though. Your personal blog is the best way to present yourself as an expert and thus promote such products.
I know bloggers who started writing about their hobbies, such as healthy lifestyle and found amazing ways to monetize their blog selling on it real products related to diets and fitness, which they produce locally and sell online with delivery to any part of the world.
Digital products changed the way many of us would answer the question how to make money blogging. About 5-10 years ago bloggers were relying mainly on ads in terms of blog monetization. Today we see that many professionals from various fields start their blogs as a way to present and advertise their products, such as:
– themes, plugins;
– graphic design elements;
– ebooks/webinars/online courses.
Sell your Services
Bloggers have a great opportunity to establish themselves as experts in a certain field. This is an indirect way to advertise their services. The types of services that can be offered online nowadays are almost infinite. So, how to make money blogging about your services? And in which niches you can sell the best?
You can be an online English teacher, a coach, a web developer or a graphic designer. A virtual assistant, a video editor, a digital marketer, project manager, transcriptionist, voiceovers creator, translator, writer, etc. Basically, every job that is offered on freelance sites can better be sold on your blog. On your territory, it is you who defines the prices and makes the rules! You also avoid the commissions which freelance platforms apply to your earnings.
Basically, every job that is offered on freelance sites can better be sold on your blog. On your territory, it is you who defines the prices and makes the rules! You also avoid the commissions which freelance platforms apply to your earnings.
Paid Subscription/ Membership models
In some niches, for example, in coaching, in money-making, professional topics, bloggers can earn very well by offering paid VIP access to information or to individual communication/consultations with the blog owner.
As the Internet becomes more and more flooded with free content, the quality of it, unfortunately, goes down, and a lot of people now value their time the most. They don’t want to spend it for learning and reading some useless free info products. These users are willing to pay extra to get access to a better filtered and high-quality information source.
How to make money with a blog consistently
1. Keep monetization in your mind working on every post
Some bloggers in their effort to keep updating the blog daily completely miss their monetization objectives. They start posting just for the fact of posting. If you are seriously thinking about how to make money blogging, look at every post as an opportunity to make extra cash. Even if your new post is totally outside of the selling scope, you can still use it to give links to some of your products. You can also mention your older posts, in which you had affiliate links or other selling opportunities.
It’s better to post 1-max 3 posts per week and make comprehensive and capable of attracting significant traffic. Better have 10 posts drawing tons of traffic than 100 posts which don’t make any difference in your pageview numbers.
2. Don’t ignore the power of Emails
Your email subscribers are your best audience – they are the most loyal to you, they trust you, they are the best prepared to spend money on anything that you offer. Every subscriber is a treasure because he or she already clicked on your call to action and filled the forms. They are the people who return to your blog many times and increase page views. Attract more subscribers by offering useful freebies, giveaways, valuable info available only to subscribers.
Use Mailchimp or ConvertKit for automated email campaigns. Make follow-ups to your users to keep your relationship with the readers longer and offer them more of your paid options. I know that many bloggers are thinking how to make money blogging and still make this mistake of neglecting email campaigns. And I don’t want you to be amongst them! When you run a new blog, the main focus goes to content creation. Spending time on email campaigns seems such a waste of time when you have a small audience. This is wrong! I recommend you to invest time and learn about email marking tools. Make some opt-in forms on your site, and do so as soon as possible for a new blogger.
3. Don’t rely only on ads
When your site is relatively young and doesn’t have enough page views to make a lot of ad dollars, you shouldn’t be focused on advertising. Especially on display ads from networks like Google Adsense. You will just earn too little and annoy your audience with too many ad blocks. Instead, try to monetize your audience in the highest-paid ways, such as selling your products/services or using affiliate marketing.
How do bloggers make money?
There is no single right answer to this question because every successful blogger has his own recipe to make money blogging. What I know for sure that certain monetization strategies just can’t work together efficiently, and so bloggers need to create content according to the chosen monetization strategy. For example, I wouldn’t recommend you to keep many advertising blocks on your site if you are trying to sell your own products/services because you are driving people away from your products to advertiser’s sites. And usually, you can make much more from your own products than from an average ad click.
Most of us feel extremely unconfident about the technical part of blogging. I know that a lot of people have so much to say to the world, but they just don’t know how to create a blog! Before you start thinking about how to make money blogging, the whole thing of maintaining a site, hosting, posting content looks sooo complicated. And it drives you away from the dream of making money blogging. This is why I created a step by step guide for beginners. You can start your blog virtually in 10-20 min following easy steps. Imagine, in so little time you can have your blog live, and everyone can see your progress and read your new posts! I find it very challenging and motivating at the same time. My best inspiration!
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