I am so excited to share this post with you guys! When I found out that I could make money doing something that I absolutely loved–writing a blog–it changed the way I looked at myself.
Suddenly I saw myself as an entrepreneur. I was a business owner. A writer.
My hobby could actually help our family financially. And that’s pretty amazing.
Last week I shared How to Start a Blog Right Now in 6 Easy Steps. If you missed that post, please go back and read it. You’ll learn how to get your blog’s name, hosting, theme, and more. Once you have these basics covered, then you can move on to today’s challenge of earning money from your blog.
1. Content Matters
If you don’t have good content, no one will read your blog. It’s as simple as that. You need to write interesting posts that meet a real need of your audience. Perhaps you challenge them to see an issue differently. Maybe you teach them how to decorate their home. You could share ideas for educating children. Or you could write book reviews. The possibilities are endless!
2. Write Your Posts
Write several posts before you actually launch the blog. If you only have one post for people to look at, they may not stick around for long or come back. Based on the Money Saving Mom’s recommendation, I had 15 posts already written before I launched The Orthodox Mama. It was hard work, but I avoided looking like a brand new blog and had many readers stick around and check out multiple posts.
3. Gain Followers
You may have the prettiest blog in the world with excellent content. But, if no one ever reads it, you will never make a dime. Build relationships with your readers. Ask questions, respond to comments. Post regularly so that readers know they can depend upon you to write something new each week. I write five posts a week. Yes, it is a LOT of work, but I am able to provide my readers with ideas and information regularly.
Here are a few more ideas for building traffic:
- Comment on other blogs. This helps you build relationships with other bloggers, and it also gets your name out there. The readers from that blog may see your name and link and decide to click over to your blog.
- Join a Facebook group for bloggers and share content and ideas.
- Join a Facebook group in your niche
- Guest post on other blogs (I have written two guest posts on Money Saving Mom that helped bring many readers to The Orthodox Mama.)
- Join Link Up parties (places where you link one of your recent posts). I link up to 5-6 link parties per week and see new readers each time.
- Start a Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter account for your blog and post your articles.
4. Monetize Your Blog through Ads
Once you have a steady stream of people visiting your blog, you can begin to make money off of it. You have probably noticed that most blogs have several ads on them. That is because that ad company pays them per person who sees the ad and per person who clicks on the ad. The more traffic you have, the more that you can make from ads.
The gold standard for advertising companies is Google AdSense. If you have a Google account (like for Gmail) and a blog, you are almost guaranteed to qualify for their ad program. At first you will be earning pennies a day, but as your traffic increases so will your earnings. AdSense has a $100 minimum payout, meaning that you need to earn $100 before they will send you a check. This may take MONTHS to do when you have limited traffic. Therefore, writing quality content that keeps your readers coming back for more will increase your overall readership and your ad revenue.
5. Affiliate Sales
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when you get paid to promote a product. For example, let’s say that you talk about a certain book that you read and enjoyed in a post on your blog. If you are an Amazon affiliate, you can include a link to that book in the post. If a person clicks on the link and makes any purchase on Amazon, you will earn money. Since I write a lot of book reviews, I always include links to Amazon. When a reader clicks through, I’ll earn a small commission, but it will not cost them anything extra. They will receive an excellent product, and I will receive payment. Win-win!
Another great program is Share a Sale It is very easy to get accepted into their program, and their website is incredibly simple to understand and use. Share a Sale helps you meet up with and become an affiliate for a variety of companies–while having only one account and receiving one monthly payment. For example, Shutterfly is one of the companies that you could work for. If you write a post about making Christmas cards using Shutterfly, include your affiliate link. If someone clicks on the link and creates an account, you will receive a payment. Simple and effective.
I am also an affiliate for some books and programs that I have used and really believe in. For example, I absolutely loved Crystal Paine, of Money Making Mom, and her video course Make Over Your Mornings. I took the course myself, and it changed the way I view my mornings. Now, as an affiliate, if anyone clicks through my link and purchases the course, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to my reader.
One quick note about affiliate marketing: Be a blogger with integrity. Only promote products that you yourself have used and can fully endorse. If all of your posts begin to look like sales pitches, your audience will likely dwindle until it disappears.
6. Create Your Own Products
This final method has proved hugely successful for many bloggers. It takes you beyond promoting someone else’s product to creating your own. These products could include: e-books, physical books, online courses, private consultations, products from an Etsy store, and more.
I am currently working on an e-book that I will make available to my readers and on Amazon. I’m really excited about it (and quite a bit scared!). Writing a book is a TON of work, but it is something I have dreamed about since I was 7. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Did you notice how much there was to do before you started making money off of your blog? No one ever said that blogging was easy! At the end of the day, if you start a blog purely to make money, you will most likely not blog for very long.
However, if you love to write, want to connect with an audience, and have a passion about your topic–then blogging may be right for you. I know that it is for me!
If you want to learn more about monetizing your blog check out these great books:
How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
What other tips do you have for making money on your blog?
(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)