Blogging is a great way for many people to make money, and a large majority of the Internet is made up of such money-making blogs. If you want to make money blogging, you’re in luck! It’s not as easy as you may think, and it does take some time and dedication. It can be a great way to make extra income, or with dedication can bring in a full-time income. Whatever the reason, take a look at how to do it and be successful at it.
Realistically if you want to make a full-time income you need 5+ income streams and it is never too soon to get started! Don’t fall for the “but I’m too small to make money from my blog” thing. I made $10 thousand dollars from my blog in my first year with only two income streams and less than 10 thousand pageviews a month. Believe you have something unique to offer and set your intentions and goals from the start.
How I Did It
When I first started blogging, I started because I was bored and thought I could make a little pocket change. I didn’t start it with the intention of making blogging into a career, I already had a career in information technology. Nonetheless, I found I enjoyed blogging more than I thought I would.
I found a facebook group of other Canadian bloggers, and quickly made lasting friends who helped guide me in the beginning. I invested in a professional looking design and moved over to a self-hosted website within a few months of starting.
In the beginning I was working on mostly review type posts and during that time giveaways were my main traffic source. It wasn’t long before I got my first paid post and while it didn’t pay a whole lot, it came with the realisation that I could be doing more and better.
I had an aha-ha moment about 2 years in that made me realise that while I was receiving a lot of great stuff to check out, and making a small amount of money, I just wasn’t into it. My traffic wasn’t growing and my blog felt stagnant and boring and not in the least bit unique. So I changed it.
A fresh blog re-design breathed new life into my blog. I drastically cut down on reviews, and increased the amount of content that people actually wanted to read from recipes to parenting & money saving tips. Content I actually enjoyed writing and felt proud to share. I fell in love with writing all over again.
As my pageviews increased by leaps and bounds, the amount I could demand for sponsored posts increased as did my advertising income. By offering less branded content I was able to get more when I did choose to work on a campaign.
During that transitional stage I actually ended up getting laid off from my full-time job, while I was coincidentally also 13 weeks pregnant with my 2nd daughter. I used this life altering and pretty scary moment as a jumping off point and a sign to really take blogging seriously and work hard to replace my lost income with income from my blog.
I was able to take my “mommy blog” and turn it into a career – where I am now exceeding the income I made as a Network Engineer and in less time than it took me to get that honours diploma. No Joke.
Now I can’t promise that you will be able to achieve the same results but with these tips and a whole lot of plain old hard work, you too should be able to take your blog and turn it into a high-income career! This is true whether you are an American blogger or a Canadian blogger!
Not many get rich from blogging, and it certainly is not a get rich quick scheme. Once you decide to make money from blogging, you need to set real expectations. Do you want to make $4000 a week, or are you fine with just $100 a week? Remember, the more money you want, the more you have to work for it.
A blog with a professional appearance is more likely to make money than once hosted on blogger – a free blogging site provider. Blogger comes with many downsides but the one you should be most concerned with is the fact that you don’t really own or control your own site.
I would suggest that a self-hosted wordpress blog is the best route for a blog you intend to earn income from. You control it, you can install plugins, themes etc… I suggest starting with bluehost as they are inexpensive, reliable and provide easy WordPress setup.
Get to work on building an e-mail subscription list by including a sign up box somewhere on your site. Some bloggers opt to use pop-ups, a subscription box in their sidebar etc.. Find what works for you and your audience.
Create Content that Stands Apart
Create great content to grow your audience, establish your voice and build trust with your readership. If you post nothing but advertorials, reviews and sponsored content your blog will look like a giant billboard. Not a good look and not a good way to build a lasting brand for yourself. Be choosy about who you work with and who you advertise to your readers and set your rates high enough that you are getting paid fairly while still providing tons of value. Don’t be afraid to raise your rates as your readership grows. You are providing something advertisers want – an audience!
It’s not enough to write massive amounts of content either. You need to write well. You really do.
Another thing I cannot stress enough is to use great photos. Whether it is a recipe post or a review. You need to have beautiful photos. I take pictures that bring readers to my posts and I am not a photographer. If you want to take your photography to the next level I highly suggest grabbing a copy of the Pinch of Yum – Tasty Food Photography eBook – it helped me learn how to take great pictures of food, but the techniques and skills are applicable to all different types of photos.
The Secret Sauce
There is one item I really want you to take away from this post and feel like you got gold.
Trust me you will not get far without this tip.
What you need to know is that to be successful you need to network with other bloggers. Just like any other industry it is all about who you know, what they can do for you and what you, in turn, can do for them. Don’t look at other bloggers at competitors, instead create a tight-knit group of like-minded, business oriented bloggers and work together like a team.
Bounce ideas off one another, share leads, link to one another within blog posts and celebrate successes together.
Build a team!
I simply would not be where I am today without my team.
Income Sources for Bloggers
You can get blogging income from a variety of places. Here are the most popular.
You don’t need to choose just one option. We actually use a mix of some of these to make the most of our ad space. Just do not over0-do it or people will get frustrated with the ads and you could potentially lose out on traffic.
AdSense: they show image and text based ads on your page, and you make money when people click on them.
Private Ads: Sell ad space on your bog or in your newsletter! Really, it is that easy. This will vary from month to month and does require you to work with advertisers.
Ad-Networks: Ad networks act as a middle man between advertisers and publishers and negotiate partnership details between the two. They take a cut of the profit but this is still very beneficial as they can often create more lucrative deals than selling private ads not to mention consistency. I use SheBlogs as my primary Canadian ad network and I’m currently using Gourmet Ads to monetize my American pageviews.
Other Forms of Advertising
Affiliate Programs: advertise for programs or products similar to your blog content, then have people mention you referred them. The affiliate program pays you per referral.
Amazon Associates: work with Amazon (advertising, linking to the site, etc) to make money. People follow the links from your site, and you make money through Amazon. This does take some time, because your posts need to make sense, the links to products need to be relevant to the post, and you do have to research the products on Amazon.
Sponsored Posts: If you are comfortable writing adverts on your blog for brands this can be quite lucrative. If you opt to offer sponsored posts you will want to make sure it fits your voice and your blog.
Marketing Firms with Blogger Programs: They will often offer paid reviews or sponsored content to bloggers. Mom Central, Massive Sway, Blog Her etc.. are all examples.
Your Own Products
E-Books: Write an E-book on a subject related to your blog. You can then use your blog to get people interested, as well as to promote your book for free.
Continuity Programs: This one is pretty new for most bloggers. This is a program where you charge a small membership fee for subscribers, but you provide them a service or your expertise in an area.
Other Income: Small advertising programs, speaking fees (if you get big enough in blogging), and teaching classes about your blogging topic (or on how to make money blogging).
What is your highest source of income on your blog?