14 Apr

How To Make Money Blogging – A Complete Guide

how to make money blogging

Many people dream of creating a successful blog and making millions of dollars from it. Many bloggers have been blogging for years, but still haven't figured out how to make money with a blog.

The truth is that it's not as simple as simply writing down any random thought you have and putting it on your blog for everyone to see. It can take a lot of effort to create a successful blog from scratch, gain new readers, and find a way how to make money from a blog.

While it's hard to create a productive and profitable blog, it isn't impossible. With a little bit of hard work, you may find your blog becoming the next big thing while giving you the perfect opportunity to quit your day job. There are many things you'll want to do to make a successful blog that readers will want to continue to come back to time and time again.

Fortunately, all this hard work can be well worth it in the end. So if you're in this for the long haul, keep reading below. This article will go over all of the important considerations for starting a blog, making it successful, and learning how to make money blogging.

Starting Your Blog

If you're completely new to blogging, it may be difficult to know how to start a blog and make money. You may want to start writing about anything that comes into your mind, but you should take a little time to determine what you should be basing your blog around.

Few bloggers become successful while writing about any random thought that comes to their minds. An excellent blog will have an undeniable focus that will be evident to any visitors to the site. To actually gain loyal, consistent readers you'll want to know who you are and what your blog stands for, and you'll need to let readers know what to expect from you when they visit your site.

So how do you choose a great focus for your blog? Well, there are a few things to think about that will help you narrow it down. Consider the following points before starting your blog, and you'll be sure to get started on the right foot.

What Sparks Your Interest?

The first thing to consider is an obvious one, but many people start their blog without keeping this in mind. You should ask yourself what you are personally interested in writing.

It can be tempting to follow the advice you hear about topics which have been successful for other bloggers and then picking a topic for your blog which you believe will bring you the most success. This tactic can be a huge mistake, however.

If you pick a topic that you think will bring you a lot of success, but you have no interest in, your writing will suffer. If you're writing about a topic for years to come, you shouldn't pick something that will become tedious to write after a month.

Write what you love, and you will have the longevity you need to create a successful blog. The truth is that successful blogs can be made about nearly any topic out there.

Why not pick something you actually enjoy writing about and focusing your blog on that?

What Do You Have to Offer?

Another way to narrow down the topic of your blog is to think about your unique skillset and experience. What life or career experience do you bring to the table that not everyone has?

You may have a previous career as an accountant, or you may have insider knowledge of the music industry. Whatever experiences or knowledge you have that others don't may give you an excellent idea of what to focus your blog on.

While you may not realize it, you probably are more experienced than others in something. It's up to you to determine what that is. Your insider knowledge on a subject may be what makes your blog take off. You're a unique individual in this world, so don't forget that!

Choosing Your Niche

Now that you've considered your interests and your experiences, you need to determine what your blog is going to be about.

Find where your interests, passions, and previous experiences cross paths and choose a niche that truly interests you and that you think you can provide value to readers on. Quite possibly, this will make for the perfect niche for your blog.

On the other hand, if you simply have an interest in a subject but don't believe that you don't have enough experience to write about it, don't disregard it just yet. Many bloggers find that a substantial interest was all that they needed to get started. Once you've written hundreds of blog posts on a subject, you may, in fact, become an expert on the subject after all.

When choosing a niche, it's important to go deep, but also keep it broad enough that you can continue to have ideas for topics for years to come. If you choose a topic that is too broad such as “Lifestyle,” you may need to consider niching down further.

Don't rush when picking a niche, but take your time to determine the right topic for you. Your niche can be an important part of creating a fruitful and long-lasting blog that gains and retains readers for years to come. If your goal is to blog for money and you're wondering how to blog for profit, picking a great niche is one of the most important steps for getting off on the right foot.

Steps To Creating A Profitable Blog

Alright, so now that you've decided on a great niche idea it's time to start creating your blog and adding content. While it may seem daunting to get your blog up and running, it is easier than you may think to get it started.

You don't need years of HTML experience a lot of technical know-how to start a great looking blog with an attractive design. Anybody can learn the steps to launch a blog with a little bit of basic knowledge, so don't be worried.

Starting a fantastic and profitable blog doesn't happen for most people overnight, but that's okay. If you're focused on long-term success, you can achieve it, but be sure to keep your expectations in check. It can take some time to have the blog of your dreams and to make a real profit, but it can be done.

If you're ready to get started learning how to make a blog, then get ready. Take another sip of coffee, settle in, and we'll go over all of the most important steps to getting that blog of yours up and running in no time.

Create Your Blog

To get started you'll need to decide where you want your site to be hosted and what platform to use for your blog.

The best choice for many bloggers is to use WordPress for your blog. Luckily, WordPress is incredibly easy to use and can help you get your blog going in minutes.

Keep in mind, WordPress.com and WordPress.org are a bit different. WordPress.com will give you a free site, but it will use their URL such as “myblog.wordpress.com.”

While you can get started using WordPress.com to get a free site, it won't allow you to monetize your site. You'll want to use WordPress.org to get a professional website with a unique domain name.

There are other blogging platforms that you can use as well, but WordPress is typically regarded as the most professional and the most flexible.

You'll also need to buy a domain name using a site such as Godaddy.com or Namecheap.com. Two very popular sites for WordPress hosting are Bluehost and Siteground.

Follow the instructions of your hosting service to get WordPress installed on the site. With usually just a few clicks, you'll then have WordPress installed on your domain. You'll then need to log into your WordPress site and simply start customizing it to your preference.

One more note. If you're serious about creating an excellent and profitable blog, you should look for a premium WordPress theme. A premium theme will cost you a bit more when starting your blog, but it can be well worth it.

Premium themes have a lot of advantages over free WordPress themes and can allow for more customization, flexibility, ease of use, and more customer support. There are some great free themes out there, however. But a premium theme can help things along with creating your blog.

Start Writing Engaging Content

Once you've gone through the process of setting up your site with WordPress, you'll want to start creating content. There's no point of having a site without content, so you'll want to start writing.

You should write the best articles that you can about your topic and start posting these regularly. While you should shoot for writing several articles every week, it is most important to be steady with your posting schedule. By posting the same time every week, readers will know when to expect new content, and this will help them continue to come back for more week after week.

Make sure your articles have proper grammar and provide value to readers. Be sure to use headlines and bullet point lists to break content down into readable chunks.

Add pictures and videos to your posts to engage readers. Shoot for longer posts over 1000 words, as these are often ranked best by Google and are more enjoyed by readers.

Social Networking

When creating your website, also be sure to grab any social media profiles and accounts that you will need.

While you don't need an account on every social media site, getting an account or page for your blog on some of the main sites can be great. Start with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or any other sites you like. It's a good idea to claim the names for these profiles at the very least.

Having these sites will also help Google to recognize your site and will provide credibility.

Keeping up with some of these websites will allow a way for readers to become even more engaged with your content and your blog. Do your best to update these sites regularly and be active on these platforms, and you'll likely see it help more traffic come to your blog.

Using plugins on WordPress, you can also set up your blog to update social media sites whenever you add a new post to your blog. Consider doing this to help streamline the process.

Be careful of spending too much time on social media, however, don't let updating these accounts get in the way of remembering to update your blog!

Select Your Income Stream(s)

So how do you make money blogging? Now that your site is set up, and you've started writing some content, it is an excellent time to start deciding how you plan to monetize your site. There are many ways to monetize your site, and this will partly depend on the topics of your blog and the way you've set up your design.

Some income streams will be easier to start, and some will be harder. There are a variety of ways to get started with this, but it will require you to learn a bit more about these various routes for getting more income.

How do bloggers make money, anyway? If you're new to blogging, you may think that the only way to monetize a blog is by using ads, but many other ways exist as well, many of which can be much more profitable. Some income streams will be more passive while some will require more activity, meaning you'll have to put in a bit more work to create something that will truly deliver the income you need.

The highest paid bloggers will use a variety of different income streams when making money from a blog. We'll go over these different types of revenue sources below, so read on to start finding out the best ways to monetize your blog.

Affiliate Marketing Within Your Content

One of the most profitable ways to make money with a blog is by using affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you will insert links into your content that lead your customers to make a purchase. When customers make a purchase after clicking on your link, you will get a commission on the sale.

Affiliate marketing will be best suited for blogs that are focused on specific products. If you’re reviewing a specific type of product or mentioning different products frequently, you can use these mentions in conjunction with affiliate links to create a good income for your blog.

The Amazon affiliate program is one of the most popular programs for people who are blogging for money, but many others exist and offer varying commissions for bloggers. You will need to apply for affiliate programs that are relevant to your blog's niche.

Once you are accepted to a program, you will be an affiliate and can start making money with this method.

While it is possible to mislead customers into making these purchases, and many are unaware that they have clicked on an affiliate link, it is best to be upfront about it when you are using an affiliate link and only recommend products that you fully believe in.

Advertising On Your Blog

In addition to affiliate marketing, there is of course ads as a monetization strategy. Various types of ads and programs exist for this approach. Ads can be a great way to capitalize on a site that has plenty of traffic and can be a great supplement to other strategies such as affiliate marketing.

Most advertising methods will be best suited for a blog that has a good amount of traffic has already spent time developing a steady, loyal readership.

You want to be careful not to overdo it with the ads, however, because too many can harm the functionality of your site and make loading times slower. Users are unlikely to remain on a site that is clunky and awkward to use for too long.

If you use ads, be sure to optimize your ad placement and quantity so that you won't harm your site and make it hard to use. Too many ads can be a real distraction to visitors and may stop them from wanting to return anytime soon.

If you want to advertise on your blog, you need to be sure to determine a good middle ground when it comes to advertising.

Sponsored Posts

One form of ads are sponsored posts. Sponsored posts are similar to normal blog posts, but they are paid for by a company or entity who wants to advertise to the users on your blog. These posts can be a lucrative way to make some money on your blog.

A sponsored post may be written by you or by the company who is paying you to post the content. A sponsored post is an excellent way to use the authority that you've built with your blog to tell readers about a new product or service while also having a company pay you.

It's of course ideal to only do sponsored posts on products that you believe in. While this can be an excellent way to make some money, if not done carefully it can negatively affect the trust that readers can have for your blog.

Use this advertising method wisely and be selective if your primary goal is to make a truly high quality blog and site.

Display Ads

You can also use standard display ads on your site. These are the banners or small popups you see on websites and are an excellent way to make a little bit of side cash.

The PPC (Pay Per Click) ads by Google Adsense are a very popular method for adding ads to a blog, but other PPC programs exist as well.

These programs will pay when an ad is clicked on, and will typically not be much, but only a few cents for each click. If you're getting a fair amount of traffic, however, these ad clicks can add up and be a great source of revenue for your blog.

It does take a pretty good amount of traffic to see any real money from this method though, so it is a good idea to use this advertising only in conjunction with other monetization methods. Don't rely on PPC ads alone to do the heavy lifting when trying to make your blog profitable.

Since it is a lower paying income method, display ads will be best for a blog that has already developed steady traffic. It’s best not to sink too much time into this kind of advertising at first since it won’t be extremely beneficial for newer low traffic blogs.

Giveaways & Reviews

Giveaways and reviews can also be a great form of advertising for your site. Readers love giveaways and can be happy to receive a product for free through your site. This can be a great form of income for a blog that has a loyal and trusting audience.

Companies and various ad programs can sometimes pay you for creating a giveaway for a product on your site or reviewing a certain product. This method can be a good way to get some revenue for your site and can vary in pay range.

Many successful and experienced bloggers utilize giveaways well in order to attract users to their site. This process is very similar to the sponsored posts method, so be sure to use these tactics wisely to achieve the best results for your site.

Private Ads

Once your website has a lot of traffic, you may also be able to find businesses and companies who would like to post an ad on your site directly. These direct ads and banners can be even more lucrative than the PPC programs you can join.

This revenue source makes for another great reason to choose a particular niche for your blog. A site that is incredibly focused will allow you more leverage when it comes to working with private companies for putting ads on your site. Individual advertisers will want to work with a blogger who has a very focused and specific readership, so keep this in mind when considering private ads for your site.

Underwritten Posts or Series

An underwritten post or series is similar to sponsored posts, but they do differ a bit. The difference is that an underwritten post can be about any topic that you want rather than specifically about the company or product.

These posts will only include a line in the post that includes a shoutout to the company or sponsor that says something along the lines of “Brought to you by…” or something similar telling readers about the company.

These can be much more subtle than a sponsored post and will allow you to be more flexible with the content that appears on your site.

Like with sponsored posts, you should be careful about overusing these advertising methods as these tactics can turn off a reader if used too much.

Digital Marketing

There are various other types of monetization strategies as well besides just advertising and affiliate marketing. These strategies will be great for bloggers that have built up expertise and have built a strong community around their topic or topics.

Top bloggers will use some of these strategies to start making money blogging, and the richest bloggers choose to take matters even more into their hands instead of relying on a good advertising or affiliate program. The potential for some of these common digital marketing strategies can run an incredible range of income possibilities.

Some of these are a bit more advanced and will require an intense amount of thought and follow-through, but can be great ways to make income if you do it right. These involve making digital products that readers will find useful and then monetizing these things by providing an immense value to customers. Blogs that make money will utilize many of these types of income.

Apps, Plugins or Themes

If you're on the tech-savvy side and are gifted with exceptional skills for developing some great apps, plugins, or themes, you can sell these for a profit. When creating these things you may choose an app or plugin that relates to your site in some way.

If you have a unique custom theme that you have made for your WordPress site, why not allow other bloggers to purchase this theme from you?

Once you have some experience blogging and optimizing your website, you may be able to provide some services and products to others and distil what you have learned.

Ebooks

If you're a great writer rather than a tech-savvy blogger, you may want to go the route of releasing some valuable ebooks that customers can enjoy. Write a great ebook that goes more in-depth into some topics that you've covered on your blog and offer this to customers through your site.

You may also decide to release the ebook on Amazon as well, as this can be an excellent way to get readers to discover your book.

You may even consider compiling some of the best posts from your blog and making it into a focused and easy to digest ebook, making it an easy way to start getting some extra income.

Online Workshops, Ecourses, and Webinars

Another great way to develop new income sources for your money blog is by offering paid online seminars, e-courses, and webinars for readers. Offer exclusive content in these forms to your audience and provide value by teaching them new things.

Many successful and experienced bloggers use this kind of content to provide extra value to their loyal audience and teach them new things.

This type of digital content can take some time and effort to make shine, but the benefit is that it can also be pretty simple since there is no physical product you need to have done. These products can be an excellent way to extend past the content on your blog and offer new value to readers who want more.

Membership Communities

You may also choose to form a community centered around your blog, allowing different readers to connect with each other and help each other out. By offering private forums and a platform for users to connect with one another, you will be providing value while also continuing to strengthen your brand.

A great thing about this is that a community such as this will also require less input from you at times, as readers will help each other out and answer questions for one another.

You should plan on being communicative with members, though. Make sure to offer them a feeling of being a part of something bigger than themselves, and they will be more than satisfied.

Audio, Video, and Photos

You should consider offering premium content to users such as audio, video, and photos that are exclusive.

Audio could include recorded podcasts or interviews on various topics. Videos could include instructional how-to content, exclusive interviews, or special insight on a subject.

Start brainstorming and you can likely come up with some great ideas for valuable content that your readers will love to purchase from you.

Domains

You may also choose to sell domains to users. You can purchase domains and then sell them for more than you bought them for to readers, making a little bit of profit in the meantime.

You may consider selling domains that relate to your topic or that your audience may find useful.

Selling Other Blogs & Websites

Once you get great at developing your blog, you may also choose to start new blogs and websites and sell them for a price. Some users may want to start a blog, but don't want to lay down the foundation.

If you are particularly good at building blogs or websites you can make a site and sell it on a site such as Flippa.

You may also put a page on your site that says you are available for website design projects. Users may be looking for someone just like you to help them get started with a new project.

Selling Your Own Physical Products

In additions to the many digital goods and services you can sell using your successful blog, you may also choose to go the more traditional route and sell physical products to readers. This is a great method to use if your blog is already getting a lot of traffic, but you would like to figure out how to make more money with your blog.

This course may require a bit more startup cost and a bit more effort to ship your products to users. Nevertheless, it can end up being more than worth is if you have a great product or service to offer people.

If you've picked an excellent blog name, and over time have created a great brand with your blog, selling physical products is where you may be able to shine and make more income.

The stronger your brand is, the more value you provide, and the more traffic you have, the easier it will be to sell your products.

Books

One of the more common choices for a physical product is to sell physical books. We've already learned that e-books can be quite lucrative, but a physical book can be an excellent choice as a product to sell as well.

You may choose to have your book self-published and sell it to customers through your site, and this can bring in a significant additional income. If you have something to say and have a quality product, releasing a book can be an excellent idea.

While you can do well with selling the book directly from your site, you may consider pushing your book to other avenues as well. You can consider selling your physical book on Amazon. You can also attempt to find a publisher for a book instead.

By releasing your book on other platforms besides your website, this can be an excellent way to get more interest in your blog.

Conferences, Classes or Courses

While e-courses and online workshops are a possibility for your site, you may also choose to offer classes in the real world as well. If you have a high readership, you may want to set up a conference or offer classes to readers.

If you have some wonderful blogging and business skills, you may choose to reach out to members and businesses in your local community and offer to teach a class.

The possibilities are endless, but getting out into the real world with your skills can be a great way to connect locally while also letting more people know about your blog at the same time.

Handmade Products

If you run a crafting or DIY blog, you may want to start selling some handmade items from your site. You may also choose to sell on ETSY, but selling directly from your blog can be great as well, as long as you have something great to offer.

You may choose to provide handmade arts and crafts to your readers. Handmade sweaters, art pieces, or any unique product can be great to offer your readers.

Even if you run a different kind of blog, there still may be some great handmade items you can offer. Think about what fits in with your niche and what your readers would want to buy, and then start selling.

Manufactured Products

If you're not an incredibly crafty type, you may choose to sell some quality manufactured goods instead. Sites such as CafePress will help you to create branded products for your site and allow you to sell them to readers.

These products can become a significant additional revenue stream if you have something to offer customers. Think about what they would want and get started. Do they want a coffee mug? A pen? A t-shirt?

There are tons of products that you can get made for your blog, so browse around and see what you can discover. Offering a manufactured product may be perfect for your blog and readers.

Memberships

You can also choose to offer memberships for your blog. A membership can be  great for a blog that has a specific niche that users can rally around.

Providing groups for your site and your blog's community can be an excellent way to connect with readers and provide value. You may choose to offer members certain perks that regular readers don't get, whether that be in person or online.

Creating a membership community can be an excellent way to get some more interest in your brand and offer an extra bit of engagement to individuals who are interested in what you have to offer.

Selling Your Services

Our final way of how to make money blogging is also one of the best. You could consider selling services through your blog.

If you're a great writer, you may choose to offer freelance writing services to your readers. You may also have great photography or video skills. Maybe you're a genius at web design or coding.

Whatever it may be, it can be a great decision to offer your services to your visitors. Make a page that gives the rundown on your services. Make sure that this page can be easily seen and accessed.

Offering services can be one of the fastest ways to start making money on your site. It may not be as passive as other methods and will require dealing with clients, but it can also be well worth it.

So now you should know all of the main steps to start a blog, get it setup, and how to earn money with a blog.

But can you make money blogging? Anybody can learn how to make money by blogging, but creating a successful blog can take a lot of effort and time. It will take some patience to make it work for you, but it is possible. Be easy on yourself, start slow, and keep a positive attitude.

If all of this seems difficult for you, remember you don't have to do everything at once. You can start your blog and slowly experiment with different monetization methods.

Not all types of income will be right for every kind of blog or website, so keep that in mind when you're trying to determine how to make money blogging.

It may take a lot of experimentation to discover what your readers want and what will have the best return on your investment, but keep trying, and you're bound to find out what works for you and how best to make your blog bring in the income that you need.