Back then, I never thought about making money blogging. I don’t think I even looked into how to make money with a blog back then, as it was never my goal. I certainly never thought blogging would drastically change my future, but I’m so glad I gave it a shot.
Blogging has allowed my husband and I to leave our day jobs, travel full-time, see family and friends more, meet great people, and have one heck of a great life.
Because of the great experience I’ve had, I love helping others make money blogging as well.
I never thought it would be possible, but here I am. Plus, I know many, many other bloggers in all sorts of niches who are making a great living online.
While there is no 100% guarantee that you will be able to earn a full-time living by blogging, I know many bloggers who are and are very happy with it.
- How To Start a WordPress Blog on Bluehost – This article shows you how to create a blog. If you are interested in starting a blog, you MUST read this.
- My Monthly Online Income Reports – I show you exactly how I earn a living each month along with valuable tips to help you along the way.
- Why You Should Start a Blog – So Many Positives! – There are many benefits to starting your own blog. Check this out if you don’t believe me.
- 9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers – Here are my tips for after you start a blog.
Below is my ultimate guide on how to make money blogging. I have answered the most common questions that I am asked about making money blogging, and hopefully all of you can start a successful blog as well.
Should my blog be self-hosted?
If you want to make money blogging, the first thing you will need to do is make sure you have a self-hosted blog, such as through Bluehost.
I recommend you start on self-hosted WordPress (this tutorial will help you start your blog the correct way). I cannot say this enough, but I do not recommend Blogger or WordPress.com (you want the self-hosted version, which is WordPress.org – confusing, I know). Buying that $10 domain name from Blogger or GoDaddy does not mean you own it either.
Advertisers, companies, and readers will know you are still on Blogger or free WordPress, which can look unprofessional. Plus, your blog can be deleted at anytime and for no reason when on a free version, and it even happened to me. This can hurt your chances at earning your income online.
Seriously, just trust me. Go with self-hosted WordPress, and it will significantly increase your chances of monetizing your blog.
If you want further proof, take a look at my past income reports. You can tell that my income through blogging didn’t take off until just as I switched to WordPress. Right there is a lot of proof that being self-hosted on WordPress is the way to go!
So, to recap, the positives of being self-hosted on WordPress through Bluehost include:
- You have a more professional website meaning you may be able to make more money on self-hosted WordPress.
- The ability to have complete control over your blog.
- You own your blog, and it can’t be deleted for no reason.
If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $3.49 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free blog domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. FYI, you want to be self-hosted if you want to learn how to make money with a blog.
Do I need a lot of readers in order to make money blogging?
You do not need millions of pageviews per month to make money blogging, but it is something you will want to increase if you want to improve your income.
Every blog is different, but once you understand what your readers want, understand how to effectively reach out to companies for partnerships, and know how to charge the correct rate, you can make a good income online in many cases, regardless of the amount of pageviews you receive.
There are many different ways to increase the number of pageviews so you can make money blogging.
Here are my tips:
- Publish high-quality blog posts – Your blog posts should always be high-quality and helpful. This will lead to readers coming back for more and more. I always recommend that a blog post be at least 500 words, but more wouldn’t hurt either. The majority of my blog posts are around 1,500 to 3,000 words.
- Be active on Pinterest – Pinterest is one of my top traffic sources. I recommend creating great images, making sure the description and title of your images are catchy, pinning regularly, and only pinning long images. In case you are wondering, I use Picmonkey to edit all of my images and Tailwind to schedule them.
- Find other social media sites to be active on as well – Besides Pinterest, there are several other social networking sites you may want to check out. This includes Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and others.
- Post regularly – For most blogs, you should publish something at least once a week if you want to make money blogging. Going for weeks or months at a time without a blog post can lead to readers forgetting about you.
- Network with other bloggers – Too many bloggers see other bloggers as competition. However, you should see them as friends and colleagues. This means you may want to interact with them on social media, reach out to them via email, attend conferences, and more. Of course, be genuine with it all, and give more than you take.
- Guest post – Guest posting can lead to new readers checking out your blog and subscribing to it. This can be a great way to reach a new audience.
- Make sure it’s easy to share your content – I love sharing posts on social media, however it gets frustrating when some blogs make it more difficult than it needs to be. You should always make sure it’s easy for readers to share your content. This may mean making your social media icons easy to find, having all of the info input that is needed for sharing (title, link, and your username), and so on. Also, you should make sure that when someone clicks on one of your sharing icons the title isn’t in CAPS (I’ve seen this too many times). No one wants to share a blog post when it sounds like you’re screaming at them.
- Create catchy headlines – The title of your post is a major factor influencing whether readers click over or not.
- Learn SEO – SEO (search engine optimization) is not something I could teach in such a small section of post. I recommend doing your research and learning more about what it is and how it can help you.
- Make it easy for readers to browse – If you want more pageviews, you should make it as easy as possible for readers to read other blog posts of yours. You will want to make it easy for readers to find your blog homepage, categories, tags, search bar, and so on. Also, I recommend including links in every single one of your blog posts, so readers can easily find related topics.
Where does blog income come from?
This is a question I have received many times lately. Many of you are interested in blogging, but you are not sure where the income actually comes from.
You receive blogging income from whoever is paying you.
- If it is affiliate marketing you are providing, then you get paid through the company whenever someone buys or signs up for something through your link.
- If someone is paying you to place an advertisement on your website, then you get paid by them.
- If you have display ads on your website such as with Google Adsense, then you get paid from Google or one of the many other thousands of companies.
There are many companies and blogging networks out there who are looking to pay for things on blogs!
You usually get paid either through PayPal or by receiving a check in the mail.
There is plenty of room for new bloggers to make money.
I’ve had many tell me that they started a blog because of my income reports and that they are able to make money blogging (awesome, right?!), this is proof that new bloggers are still making money. I also personally know bloggers who started a year or two after I did, yet they are making double, triple, or even 10 times the amount I am earning.
The world is a huge place, and the online world is just going to keep growing. Every blogger earns a living online in a slightly different way, and everyone has a different message/story. Plus, there are TONS of different ways to make money through a blog, and I expect this to keep growing.
Due to the reasons above, I believe there will always be room for more bloggers.
How long does it take to start making money blogging?
There is no one answer to this question.
As you can tell from my past income reports, I started earning a few hundred dollars a month from my blog less than one year after I started. After just two years of blogging, I was earning several thousands of dollars from blogging, which was all on the side of my day job.
I know some who started making thousands of dollars a month after just a few months of blogging. There are bloggers out there who began a year or two after me and are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. There are also other bloggers who aren’t making any money.
As you can see, blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. However, if you are serious about it, you never know what it may turn into.
It all depends on you, the effort you put into it, whether you have the time to learn how to monetize your blog, and more.
What ways can a person start making money blogging?
There are several ways to make money blogging. These include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Blog sponsorships
- Display advertising
- Staff Writing
I have further discussed the different ways below.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate income is my most favorite way of earning a living online. Just a year ago, I was barely earning anything from affiliate income, but now I’m earning around $50,000 a month from it!
Affiliate income is when you place an affiliate link in a blog post and try to earn money from people buying the product through your link. This can be a good way to make money because if there is a product out there that you love, all you have to do is review the product and hopefully others will be interested in buying it as well.
Affiliate income is great because you can create a post, review, etc., and that post may earn you money years down the line with minimal work needed to maintain the article. It can be somewhat passive, which is what I love about it.
I believe it’s best to recommend products you believe in. A lot of my affiliate income is from my How To Start a Blog post, because I include everything a person needs to know about blogging in that tutorial.
There are many different affiliate programs out there to check out. These include Avant Link, Shareasale, Flex Offers, Commission Junction, Amazon’s Affiliate Program, and so on. If you enjoy a product, there is probably some sort of affiliate out there for it.
I am working on an ebook/course that will help bloggers and online personalities increase their affiliate income, but below are some of my tips for increasing your affiliate income:
- Use the Pretty Link plugin. I use this for all of my affiliate links. It makes them look cleaner when it looks like “makingsenseofcents.com/bluehost” instead of the long links that affiliate programs usually provide.
- Provide real reviews. You should always be honest with your reviews. If there is something you don’t like about a product either don’t review the product at all or mention the negatives in your review.
- Ask for raises. If you are doing well with a particular affiliate program, ask for a raise. The worst thing that can happen is that your affiliate manager says no. The best is that they say yes!
- Form a good relationship with your affiliate manager. Your affiliate manager can supply your readers with valuable coupons, affiliate raises, and more.
- Publish tutorials. Readers want to know how they can use a product. Showing them how to use it and how it can benefit them can be very helpful.
- Have a recommendations page. I always like checking out recommendation pages on blogs. It can be a great way to list valuable products and services that readers may need or want. Here’s mine as an example.
- Don’t go overboard. There is no need to include an affiliate link 1,000 times in a blog post. Include them at the beginning, middle, and the end, and readers will notice it.
EDIT May 5, 2016: You can sign up for the waitlist for my affiliate income strategy online course here. I will be sharing tips on how I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing. By signing up for the waitlist, you will have access to it as soon as possible!
Can blogs get sponsored?
Paid blog posts and advertisements are when you place an advertisement on your blog in exchange for money.
This might be in the form of a sponsored review, a guest blog post, a sidebar link, an advertisement within a newsletter, and so on. There are many different forms of paid advertisements on websites.
You can either reach out to advertisers yourself, sign up for advertising networks (some include Izea, Find Your Influence, or companies/advertisers may find you. There are many, many companies out there who are looking to advertise on blogs, so it is usually relatively easy to find blog sponsorships once you have a website.
What is display advertising?
Display advertising is when you place an advertisement on your blog in the sidebar, below a blog post, below your header image, or in some other location on your blog. Then, for every so many views that advertisement sees, you will earn a certain amount of money.
It’s an easy way to make money blogging as all you have to do is insert the code provided to you. In general, the more page views you receive, the higher your income from ad networks will be.
You can receive display advertisements for your blog from companies such as Adsense, BlogHer, AdThrive, Media.net, and many others.
What is Adsense exactly? Adsense is what many bloggers use, as it’s very easy and you can input Adsense advertisements on your blog starting from the very beginning. AdSense is an advertising network within Google that allows website owners to place advertisements on their websites. These ads are picked out by Google, and you just place the size and type of ad widget you want on your website. You are then paid per-click and per-impression.
Is making money from an ebook realistic?
I haven’t written an ebook yet, but I am hoping to finish my first one before summer of 2016.
If you are an expert in an area or have something to share that you know others will read, then an ebook may be something you are interested in writing.
There are quite a few people making thousands and tens of thousands of dollars each month from writing an ebook.
Can a blogger make money writing for others?
Lastly, your blog can also be used as a platform for other projects, such as for staff writing on other blogs.
If you want to staff write for others, I highly recommend having a website of some sort so others can find your work and hire you. It’s much more difficult to get your name out there without your own website.
Staff writers usually start out between $15 to $25 per article, and as you gain more experience, you can usually command higher prices.
I know some writers who are making thousands of dollars a month from writing for others, and it all started because of their blog. In fact, I recently secured a staff writing gig for $1,500 per article, which equates to around $2.50 per word. I never would have received this offer if it wasn’t for my blog.
Are you interested in making money blogging? What other questions do you have for me on how to make money with a blog?
If you are interested in learning how to make money with a blog, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, at only $3.49 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free blog domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. FYI, you want to be self-hosted if you want to start making money blogging.