I remember when I first got into blogging I came across Pat Flynn's famous income reports.
When I saw how much money he was making, I was completely blown away. He was making over $100,000/month!
I knew it was possible to make money blogging but I never imagined it was possible to make that much.
Needless to say, those income reports got me really motivated to learn how to monetize my own blog, and now I want to help you do the same.
Table of Contents:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Steps to Take Before You Can Start Making Money
- Ways to Make Money Blogging
Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question that's not here? Ask me in the comments!
Can you really make money blogging?
Yes. Blogging is one of the best ways to make money online.
But, if we're talking about whether or not YOU yourself can make money blogging, I'd say it depends on how hard you're willing to work for it.
Just as there are tons of bloggers who make money, there are also tons of bloggers who make nothing. The latter is usually bloggers who worked at it for a bit and then gave up because they didn't see any results.
If you're willing to work hard and not give up, you can make money blogging.
How much money can you make blogging?
The amount of money you can make with your blog is quite limitless since you're not trading your time for money.
For example, let's say you run a fitness blog and you spend 3-months writing a kick-ass eBook on how to lose weight. You put that eBook up on your blog and sell it for $19. That eBook can now sell over and over again bringing in passive income for as long as you promote it (assuming you're writing valuable posts that are bringing traffic to your blog).
Like I mentioned above, Pat Flynn makes over a million dollars a year blogging and there are countless other blogs that make even more.
Don't believe me? Check out these top 10 highest paid bloggers.
How fast can you make money blogging?
This one will vary. I've seen bloggers make money 3-months after starting their blogs, and I've seen bloggers make nothing years after starting their blogs.
There are a couple of different things that will influence how long it takes for your blog to start making money:
- What niche you're in – Some niches are easier to monetize. For example, a “how to make money” blog will be easier to monetize than a recipe blog. Why? Because people coming to a recipe blog just want recipes, they don't usually want to buy anything. This doesn't mean that some niches can't make money, it just means it may take longer to make money depending on the niche you're in.
- How much time you have to work on your blog – This one's pretty obvious, the more time you have to work on your blog the faster it will grow.
If you've chosen a popular niche and you work on your blog regularly, it will probably take at least 3-6 months for you to earn your first blog dollar.
How do bloggers make money from blogging?
The great thing about blogs is that there are so many different ways to make money with them.
Here are the 5 main ways bloggers make money blogging:
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital products
- Physical products
Steps to Take Before You Can Start Making Money
Before you can start making money blogging, there are some steps you'll want to take first:
Step 1. Start a Blog
Of course, you already know you need to start a blog before you can make money blogging, that's obvious. However, this is a big first step.
If you know you want to start a blog but you're putting it off for whatever reason, you're not alone. Lot's of people hesitate to start their blogs (myself included).
I got stuck in “analysis paralysis” and it took me months to finally start my blog because I was a bit nervous, I didn't know what to write about, and I felt unprepared. If I could go back in time I'd tell my past-self these two words:
You're going to feel unprepared and scared no matter how long you wait. You'll never feel ready, you just have to decide that you are ready.
Step 2. Write Helpful Content
After you start your blog, it's time to start writing helpful content.
You've probably heard this a million times but I'm going to say it anyway because it's the truth:
Content is king.
If you don't provide value in your posts, no one is going to want to read them. Even if you manage to get people to your site, they won't stay long if your content sucks. They also won't trust your recommendations, and they definitely won't want to buy your products.
The best way to provide value to your readers is to write content that solves a problem. For example, if you run a fitness blog you could write a post on how to burn belly fat. Belly fat is the problem and your post is the solution.
Can't come up with content ideas for your blog? Here's a tip:
Find other blogs in your niche, then put their URL into BuzzSumo and you'll be able to see all their most shared content. You can then write your own better version of that content and you won't have to worry about wasting time because that content has already been proven to be popular.
Here are some more resources to help you write better blog posts:
Step 3. Get Traffic
Getting readers to your blog is important, but it's not about the quantity of traffic you receive, it's about the quality (unless you're monetizing with ads – we'll get into that later).
There are two different types of traffic: Free traffic and paid traffic. We're going to focus on free traffic because we're trying to make money here not spend it.
The first free traffic source most people think of is Google. If you can get your site ranked for a certain keyword it can bring in tons of free, targeted traffic to your blog. However, getting ranked for highly searched keywords in Google can take a long time.
If your site is brand new you're going to want to look into other traffic sources while your site builds its reputation with Google.
One of the best free traffic sources for a wide range of niches is Pinterest.
You may think Pinterest is just a social media platform, but it's actually a search engine just like Google. It's just a visual search engine. It's great for beginner bloggers because it's pretty easy to bring in traffic once you know what you're doing.
Don't believe in the power of Pinterest? Read these Pinterest statistics.
Want to start marketing your blog on Pinterest? Take this free 5-day Pinterest boot camp to get started.
Ways to Make Money Blogging
Now that you've got great content and you're actively marketing that content to get traffic to your blog, you're ready to monetize.
Here are the 5 ways to make money blogging:
One of the easiest and most common ways to make money blogging is through advertising. However, advertising also has its downsides:
- You need a lot of traffic to make good money with ads
- Ads can negatively affect user experience
If you are planning to display ads on your blog, one of the easiest ways to do so is through an ad network. An ad network connects you (the publisher) with people who want to advertise on your blog.
The most well-known ad network is Google Adsense, but there are definitely some great alternatives, such as:
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is my (and a lot of other bloggers) favorite way to make money blogging.
Because it's so simple! Here's how affiliate marketing works:
You help sell someone else's product and get a share of the profits.
Awesome right? That means you skip all the work of creating a product and get straight to marketing it.
Check out this affiliate marketing guide by Niel Patel to learn more:
3. Digital Products
Selling digital products through your blog is a great way to generate passive income because they can be sold over and over again once they're created. Here are some different types of digital products you could create:
- Online courses
- Membership sites
The downside of digital products is that they can take a long time to make.
Because of this, you want to make sure your audience will want to buy your product once it's finished. That means you'll want to validate your idea before you start creating it. Pat Flynn has a great post on how to validate a product idea.
If you're having a hard time thinking of an idea for your product, here are some tips:
- Research your competitors – Hopefully you've already created a list of other blogs in your niche. If you haven't, get that started now. Then, go down the list and check out what types of products other people in your niche are selling. They've done the research already so you don't have to.
- Ask your audience – Once again, your audience knows best. Pay attention to what problems your audience faces and come up with solutions.
4. Physical Products
You don't have to only stick to selling digital products on your blog, you can sell physical products as well. This may prove to be a bit more difficult than selling a digital product, so be warned.
Some types of physical products you could sell:
- Merchandise (shirts, hats, etc.)
If you're a freelancer, your blog can be the perfect place to showcase your skills and sell your services.
For example, if you're a freelance writer you could show off your writing skills on your blog. This is more than what most freelancers do so it will help you stand out, look professional, and show your expertise to potential clients.
Making money blogging isn't rocket science, seriously.
Go look at all the big blogs out there that are making hundreds of thousands of dollar per year and you'll see that when you break it down, they're all using the same methods of monetization.
The bottom line:
- Write high quality, helpful content
- Monetize that content
- Find people who are interested in your content (don't rely on Google to bring you traffic when you're just starting out).
If you do those three things while working on ways to monetize your blog, you will have no problem making money with your blog.
One last tip:
After you master one monetization technique, move onto another one. The more streams of income you have, the better.