If you want to learn how to make money with a blog, then you’ve come to the right place!
I started my blog in August of 2011, and it’s something that has completely changed my life.
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.
Related articles on how to make money with a blog:
- 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.
- The Ultimate Guide On How To Start a Blog – Here, you can find ALL of my blogging-related and how to make money with a blog articles in one organized place.
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.
Here is how to make money with a blog:
What is a blog?
A blog is a website.
Google’s definition of a blog is, “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”
A blog is content that is written on a website. It usually consists of articles, like the one you are reading right now.
What is a blog used for? Blogs can vary from person to person.
You may create a blog to journal, to teach on a topic, to sell something, to tell a story, and so on. There’s no exact rules about what your blog has to be used for.
You can learn more at: What is a blog?
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.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Bluehost, and will receive a commission if you sign up through my referral link. This is at no additional cost to you, and you will get great pricing and a free domain name for the first year through my link.
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 $2.95 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. If you want to learn how to make money with a blog, then this is an important step!
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 when it comes to how to make money with a blog. 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.
Can new bloggers make money blogging?
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!
I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you NEED this course.
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 Awin, Max Bounty, OfferJuice, 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.
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.
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.
If you want to learn how to increase your advertising income, I recommend taking my Making Sense of Sponsored Posts course. Learn how I made my first blogging income, and how I’m now making $10,000-$20,000 a month with sponsored partnerships!
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 Media.net (this is a very popular one) Adsense, BlogHer, AdThrive, 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 if you want to learn how to make money with a blog, 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 $2.95 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.
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Matt Beatty says
I am thinking about starting a blog for younger military members who might be lost with their personal finances, as that’s how I was about 10 years ago. Is there a way to target those people you are trying to reach or is social media and word of mouth the way to go? I really enjoy reading your posts, and I enjoy the fact you weren’t out to make a fortune but to help people, as I am trying to do since I love my “day job”
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
The ways you mention are great, also, you can create ads that specifically target those people.
Matt Beatty says
Thanks for your reply, Michelle.
Sarah Dugo says
Thanks so much for this start! I will be launching my blog to help others this month.Do you need to form an LLC to collect affiliate marketing money? I have been asked for the EIN by several affiliates.
Good question – I’ve been wondering the same thing. Would love to hear Michelle’s thoughts.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
You don’t need an LLC but you may want to think about eventually starting one (legally, I cannot give legal advice).
This is so helpful, thank you! It has inspired me to get my butt into gear and to really work on my blog and on networking with others. I hope that I can one day become successful too! It’s nice to know that there is still a place for new bloggers.
Sharie Heading Deal says
I think out of all the things I have read on here..and don’t get me wrong they are all awesome! But the biggest thing I keep looking for is something you have not covered, which I think should be huge is “What to blog about?” How does one choose what to Blog about? If you dont know that then you cant go forward. How do you decide what will be a profitable subject to blog about and how does that tie in to affiliate marketing links? I would think that would be a major topic and I don’t see that anywhere here?
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
I cover what to blog about in the featured question here – https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2016/01/how-i-made-300000-in-2015.html
Ethelyn Schaeffer says
Is your money made from mainly affiliates or from selling your own?
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
You can see exactly where my income comes from each month in my income reports 🙂 https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/category/business-income
Hi there,from a branding perspective, commenting is worth it. I’ve had two people mention to me that they have seen my name pop up more often on industry-related blogs. And also will your comments will help you generate traffic, brand your business ? I would like to say thank you, for your informative blog.
So how many minimum words should an article have? 1000 2000 3000? On an average how much should it be?
kirianne @ work it women says
I love following you and your blog journey. These are some great tips and I have to say that starting a blog about a year ago (with one of your recommendations!) was one of the best things that I have ever done. To make it successful, you have to have the mindset that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Good things take time and you are proof that it will come if we just keep working at it.
Rashmi Daryani says
Thanks for this great article. It helped me to gain lots of knowledge related to blogging. When do you know its time to put ads on your blog or use affiliate links?
I blogged way way back around 2006 and started earning by then. $10/link ad on my website. I wonder why I even stopped. Focused on other things aside from blogging.
Everyone blundered in affiliate marketing and blogging, including me. It’s a slow learning experience, but if you hang in there and keep going, eventually you’ll get it and adapt to content marketing consistency.
I currently run an urban lifestyle blog that gives reviews on products, restaurants and discusses daily living.
I’ve earned a tiny bit from Adsense but not much. Many professional writers say that all my posts are written very well but I’m wondering if they are truly helping others.
I have started following your tips. Hope for the best for my blog. I am beauty and lifestyle blogger from India.
I would never want to work in Politics and in Washington because those people don’t make no serious $ gUaP $. They go to college and get all those degrees to retire and only get less than $100k annually in pension money. I love the internet because you don’t need to go to a job interview, no references, no education credentials, and you can start your online career @ any age.
Paul Uduk says
I heard about you and your blog at Quora and decided to check out. I must say I’m not disappointed. This blog posts, including this one, for instance, are written in very simple language that anybody can understand. Above all, they are devoid of endless self-promotion. Just to let you know that have a big fan in me.
I see you like traveling. I like to travel too. So far I’ve traveled to about 35 countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Austria, Italy, and Spain to mention a few. About two years ago I wrote an article on EzineArticles extolling Nigeria’s tourism potential. If it’s ok, I can forward you the link. Best.
Maxim Dsouza says
I have begun my journey in the blogging world 3 months back. At times I feel I am joining the bandwagon too late. On the other hand, I also believe the current best suits blogging due to the need for detailed content which adds value. I will keep going at it. Thanks for the article.
Great article michelle. Im about 5months in to my blogging journey and ive made a couple of dollars. Im looking forward to starting your affiliate marketing course as soon as i can and trying to increase my blogging knowlege every day.
Your guide and strategy about make money with your blog is perfect and easy to understand. Great work!
Ramona @ The All Finance says
Excellent ideas as always. I have seen your blog grow in the past years and I am impressed with your exceptional progress. Keep up the great work 🙂
Great tips! I agree, there’s always room for my bloggers!
Hey, I know about all the COPPA stuff but
Is it okay to talk about coping with High functioning Autism, A TBI ( basically a head injury that I may never heal from) situational depression getting very bad epilepsy at the age of 12, and not to pity the disabled. It reminds them of the fact that under law they must be labeled disabled to get benefits to help them. How I’m living my life or at least trying to. I don’t have a webpage yet. I’m 18.
Thanks for such informative content Michelle.. totally agree with the idea of making money online and start your own business from home is the best way among all other traditional ways .. I started my journey with my website a few months ago .. therefore the idea of blogging and website reviews and making money from them not so familiar here yet .. but I hope I can make it a great and unique website soon.
Wow…that is a very thorough explanation of the benefits and advice for new bloggers.
Vincent Nyagaka says
Thanks for such informative content, Michelle… I totally agree with the idea of making money online by owning a blog. I started a news blog 5 years ago before I shifted to finance. I pay all my bills from my blogs and even save. I would encourage others to take Michelle’s course and learn how to start blogging.
Michelle this blog post is super detailed- I think this is a whole guide, thank you so much for sharing. I started my blog 2 years ago but still haven’t made any money with it. I am really working hard on it so 2022 I can make even 10k a month from it. Currently I’m doing freelancing while running my blog so this is giving me income while I build my blog business.