Blogging is a great way to earn money by doing something you enjoy. You get to work from home, in your own time. And you’re not limited to how much money you can make.
And this is great – but you may be wondering – how do you actually make money blogging?
If you’ve just started a blog (or want to start a blog) and want to find out how to make money online with it, or perhaps you’ve had a blog for a while and are ready to monetize it, then this is the post for you.
If you don’t yet have a blog, I recommend you check out my guide on how to start a blog.
How I Make Money With Blogging
This is actually my second blog… not my first!
With this blog specifically, my goal is to make money through products, affiliates, and maybe ads.
I haven’t completely decided yet.
But, with my FIRST blog, Balance + Lift, I focused a lot on generating as much traffic as I could so that I was possibly able to get so that I could sign on with a reputable ad company.
At first, I was with Mediavine, and then about a year after I crossed the 100,000 pageview threshold with my blog I swapped to another company, but have since swapped back to Mediavine.
I love how Mediavine treats its content creators (as a blogger that’s you). They’re super nice, genuine, and really want to help.
But there are many ways you can make money from blogging – I’ll discuss the main ways you can use your blog to earn money from home, below.
But Isn’t Blogging About Sharing Your Passion?
You can certainly blog about your passion. But if your goal is to make money with your blog, then it is better to focus on niches that actually have a chance of growing an audience. And specifically of growing an audience that wants to spend money.
Ways To Make Money Blogging
There are so many ways to make money through blogging if I discussed them all this post would take forever to read!
In this post, I am going to cover the most popular ways that bloggers make money through their blogs – and how you can your blog to the point of making you money.
Many bloggers earn their first dollars with either ad revenue or affiliate income.
You can either place ads directly on your site or use an ad management company like Mediavine or AdThrive.
This second method of earning money from your blog using ads does require quite a lot of pageviews. For example, Mediavine requires 25k page views in a 30 day window before you can apply to have their ads on your site and AdThrive requires 100,000 pageviews.
One of the easiest ways to start earning money through blogging is affiliate income.
You can include affiliate links in your first couple posts when you start your blog, and if someone buys through one of those links – you’ve started earning.
This is a common way for bloggers to make money – by offering their services to their readers.
Ideas include coaching, content writing, design services, and social media management.
Products can be both virtual or physical.
Virtual products can include information products such as ebooks and courses, but can also include software and reports.
Physical products can include merchandise (like t-shirts and mugs), or products that form the main part of the business (for example, essential oils, where the aim of blogging is to sell the products).
Memberships / Recurring Income
A membership site is where you get a group of people paying you on a regular basis (every month or annually, for example), for access to a community area, premium content, courses, coaching, products, or some combination of these.
Examples of memberships include Netflix (premium content), Dollar Shave Club (product), and Elite Blog Academy aka EBA (courses and community).
How To Make Money From Blogging
Ok, so now you have a good idea of different ways you can earn an income from your blog.
But how do you actually get to this point of being able to make money from blogging?
The short answer is:
- Create value
- Create a connection
Now, of course, there is more to it than that. But those two points should always be front and center of your mind, as you work to start and grow your blog.
Are you surprised that “Get a huge amount of traffic” isn’t listed?
Except for ad revenue, other sources of income from your blog aren’t dependent on large traffic volumes. They are dependant on the right kind of traffic.
It doesn’t help to have thousands of visitors to your blog with a ‘How To Lose 30lbs In 6 Days And Still Eat Chocolate’ blog post, if you’re trying to earn money with your graphic design services, or meditation course.
Set Up Your Blog To Be Ready To Earn
If you are brand new to blogging and don’t yet have a blog, I recommend heading over to my in-depth post “How to Start a Blog”.
I will take you through all the steps you need, from the right platform (WordPress) and hosting (I use and recommend Siteground ), to choosing your niche, and how to write content that people want to read.
(If you do have a blog and are wondering if you’re on the right track, I recommend having a look, too!)
Once you’re sure you are set up properly, you can move on to the next steps.
Create Useful Content
Remember my first step above on how to actually make money from blogging?
You do this by creating useful content that people actually want to read, and that helps them in some way.
Unless you’re a site like Buzzfeed or BoredPanda that just puts out entertainment pieces en masse, this means creating valuable content that helps your reader with something.
This could be a healthy 30-minute dinner recipe, or how to create a spring-themed Bullet Journal layout, or the right way to fold a fitted sheet (is there really an actual right way?).
The point is, it has to create value for people to want to read it.
You may want to talk about the time your cat caught a mouse and brought it to you in the early hours of Sunday morning. But do other people want to read about that?
Now I’m not saying that you can’t weave in personal stories into your blog posts. In fact – I encourage it, as it helps develop that connection with your readers.
But – if you want to use your blog to make money, focus on creating value first.
Grow Your Traffic With Pinterest
There are three main ways of getting traffic to your blog that doesn’t require paying for ads:
- Guest blogging
SEO is a long-haul game. When you’re writing your content, you should do so with SEO in mind, but don’t start your blog thinking that SEO is going to be the main driver of traffic from the beginning.
My favorite person to learn SEO from is Mike Pearson with Stupid Simple SEO. Hands down the best course.
That will come later.
Guest blogging is very time-intensive, and the return can be quite slow, and not always worth it.
To kickstart your traffic – you need Pinterest.
I have a detailed guide on how to drive traffic to your blog using Pinterest (even if it’s new) over here.
But to summarise the most important steps:
- You should create (or convert) a Business Account
- Then, create 15-20 boards that are relevant to your audience and your niche
- And, create attractive Pin graphics that will encourage people to click
- Use Tailwind to schedule out your pins
Start (And Grow) Your Email List
This relates to my second main step to making money with your blog – create a connection.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “The money is in the list”?
It is referring to your email list.
If you are getting visitors to your site, but not providing a way to get them on your list, then it is basically a wasted visit.
They have gone through the effort of clicking over to your site and reading your post. If you want to communicate with them again, you have to convince them to visit your site again with another post.
Instead, if you get them to sign up to your email list, you can communicate with your readers regularly, and develop a connection with them.
This will make it more likely that they will buy from you (or through your affiliate links, if that is how you are making money).
According to CampaignMonitor, email marketing has a 4400% ROI – that means for every $1 spent on email marketing, marketers are getting $44 back!
You can spend your time growing your traffic, and a Google update hits you hard. Or you could focus on growing your Facebook page or your Instagram followers, and suddenly Facebook changes the game (promoted posts, anyone?).
You don’t have any control over any of these sites. But you do have control over your email list.
Start building your list as soon as possible.
But then don’t let it just sit there.
Send out newsletters regularly (this can be weekly, biweekly, monthly – whatever works for you). Consistency is key here. Get your audience used to hearing from you.
But make sure to provide value every time. You want your audience to look forward to your emails, to want to open them as soon as they arrive.
This is how you turn readers into fans, that will buy from you.
Are you ready to make money from blogging?
If you’re ready to get started then I would suggest either heading over to How to Start a Blog or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “The Blog Starter” and I’ll explain how you can have me set your blog up for FREE after you get hosting.