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Are you interested in starting a blog to make extra money?
Or maybe you’re a current blogger trying to figure out how to make money blogging? Blogging is one of my most fun and lucrative hobbies. It has so many perks:
- Connecting with an audience
- Building a network
- Making friends
- Great opportunities with cool companies
- Unlimited income potential
You get to share your expertise and life with the world and get paid to do so! This article is going to share all the ways you can make money blogging for beginners. Whether you are new to blogger or advanced, you’ll want to keep reading to learn all the income opportunities that you could be taking advantage of!
Getting Started Blogging
The first step in the process is to start your blog. This is super easy and can be setup start to finish in less than an hour. Here are the components involved:
- Blog name
- Domain name
Lets start at the top, shall we?
What’s in a blog name? Your blog name is critical. It’s what will identify you in the sea of the internet. There are many ways you can go with your name.
Picking the Right Blog Name
Here are some best practices to consider, when choosing your blog name:
- Make it memorable
- Make it keyword rich
- Make it short
- Make it match your domain
- No special characters
You want the name of your blog to be memorable and not too difficult to understand. It should have regular spelling, no slang or abbreviations. If possible, load it with keywords. This will help later on, when you start getting traffic to your website. This is not a must but it is helpful.
A short and sweet blog name is recommended. If it’s too long, you risk it being too hard for your readers to remember or spell. The name of your blog should match your domain.
For example, if your blog is Cooking Vegan, the domain name should be www(dot)cookingvegan(dot)com or very similar.
If the two don’t match it will be more difficult to create a cohesive brand for yourself.
Lastly, no special characters. Exclamation points, hashtags, etc. These are not meant for a blog name. Keep those out!
Have fun with this, be creative and don’t stress out about this part, it should be fun. Once you’ve settled on a blog name, next, you’ll get domain, hosting, and WordPress.
Getting Your Domain and Hosting
Domain and hosting can usually be purchased together. Hosts like this one include the domain name in your hosting purchase for free (along with other amazing perks)! You’ll need a small investment for this but don’t worry, it will not break the bank.
While blogging without paying for domain and hosting is possible, you’ll make more money and convey a more professional appearance if your have a self-hosted blog.
For example, the blog above, Cooking Vegan would look like this as a self-hosted website:
Whereas, if it’s not self-hosted (the free way that we do not recommend) would like similar to this:
You see the difference. Go self-hosted!
Once you pick your hosting plan, buy it and connect WordPress!
This is a breeze. If you go with hosting provider shared above, they have a 1-Click WordPress Install that takes two seconds to get put on your site.
Then, you will have access to your backend dashboard where you can:
- Apply a stunning blog theme
- Write blog posts
- Add pages
- Add plugins and other tools
- And more!
And that’s all there is to it, creating a blog. Need a more detailed walk through? Check out our free 7-step detailed guide to starting a blog.
Setting Up Your Blog for Success
Now you have a blog! To make the most money you’ll need traffic and traffic comes if you are set up for success.
- Winning blog posts
- Easy navigation
- Clear message
- Professional design
Creating Winning Blog Posts
Your blog posts are often your first point of contact with your reader. You want to clearly express your message, keep the reader on your site as long as possible and make them a returning visitor. You can accomplish that in your writing.
First, it’s all about long form posts. Long form posts are long blog posts. You’ll notice this post is over 3,300 words. This is a long form post. You should aim for at least 1,500 words but, the longer the better.
Having trouble writing long form content?
Look at your competitors.
What are the most successful bloggers in your niche writing about? How are their articles structured? How are they able to write such long posts? Study them, use your findings as inspiration to create longer articles.
Next, you want your articles to be informative and engaging. You don’t have to tell jokes here but, you want the reader to be engaged so they keep reading and move to other parts of your site. That’s how a returning reader starts to develop.
Write no-fluff articles and solve problems. Your website visitors landed on your blog to solve a pain point, whatever it may be, in your niche. Solve their problem and give them other problem-solving tips in the form of other posts on your blog.
Lastly, and this should really be first: write for SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization.
According to MOZ, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
It’s a purposeful way of writing in order to be found in the search engines, like Google.
So, when someone searches for vegan chocolate desserts, for example, your article from your vegan cooking blog shows up on the first page of the search results. SEO can take some practice but it’s super valuable. Learn more about it here.
Easy to Navigate Site
Your site should be easy to navigate. That means you should have a clearly understood navigation bar to take visitors to every part of the site they are searching for. That is all.
Your message should be clear and this is usually understood by the reader after landing on your home page, reading your About page, or looking at the content of your site: blog posts, categories, etc.
To get a firsthand look at how a reader sees your site, try a user test for free.
You get a short preview (5-10 minutes) of how a reader interprets your site. They will speak aloud while recording their screen, sharing their view, their understanding of the site, how hard or easy it is to navigate, and more. This is very eye opening. Try this out, for sure.
Your blog design should be clean, attractive and professional. There are a ton of free WordPress themes available in the Themes section of your WordPress dashboard that you can use on your blog. If you want to make your blog stand out, consider investing in a paid theme.
StudioPress offers WordPress blog themes with the coveted Genesis Framework included. Bloggers have been buzzing about Genesis for a long time because of it’s SEO-built in features and other traffic boosting features. The themes available come in a variety of styles and aesthetics. You’ll have no trouble finding a theme you’ll love.
Once you’ve addressed all these areas, setting up your blog for success, next, you will be monetizing your blog!
Monetizing Your Blog
This is where making money with your blog comes into play. There are several ways to make money blogging and we’ll talk about them here, down below.
Before we dive in, there are a couple things to consider:
- How will you be paid?
- Do you have PayPal?
- Do you have a business address?
- Do you have Terms of Service and Privacy Policies on your blog?
This is often skipped, which is funny because it’s so important. When you get paid there are several options available including direct deposit to your bank account, paper check mailed, transfer via PayPal and more. Think about what bank account you’ll be using for incoming payments.
Do you have a business bank account you will want to use or a personal bank account?
Will you want to create a separate bank account just for your blog?
Do you have PayPal?
PayPal is pretty important to getting paid blogging. It’s not a requirement with all blog payment methods but it’s used pretty widely and there will probably be one or more instances when you will absolutely need PayPal in order to get a payout for your blog.
If you don’t have it, consider getting it. It’s free!
Business Address or Personal Address
When you sign up to some of the money making programs we will describe below, setting up your profile will involve adding your address. Think about if you’ll use a business or personal address. Or, you might use a P.O. Box or virtual address?
Now, let’s dive into ACTUALLY how to earn with your blog.
There are 5 ways to make money blogging:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsorships or brand deals
Lets break this down.
Make Money Blogging with Ads
First, advertising income. Ads are on a lot of websites that you probably visit. They can appear in the form of popups, side banner, native in post, header or footer placements.
How Ads Work?
Once you sign up with an ad network, you get to place ads on your blog and earn every time a visitor clicks on an ad. This is one of the most passive forms of income because the user is not required to sign up or purchase, in order for you to make money. All they have to do is click the ad.
This is called PPC, or pay per click.
Read more about pay per click and how to make it pay off on your blog.
Starting off, most bloggers begin with Google Adsense. After applying to join, you’ll get a decision and once approved, you’ll have access to ad code that you can place on your website easily and start earning. Here are some places to put your ads:
- In your blog posts
- Side bar
- On pages
Once you achieve 25,000 monthly sessions, you can apply to the Mediavine ad network. Mediavine works with blogs to manage their entire ad network. When I transitioned from Google Adsense to Mediavine, I was promised a 200% rise in ad income and that promise delivered!
What’s great about Mediavine is that they manage all your ads. They will do your placement, pick the ads, do it all. All you do is sit back and get paid! Now that’s passive income!
So, this is the first income category, ads.
Next up, affiliate marketing income.
Make Money Blogging With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a lucrative income source that pairs well with blogging.
How it works
As an affiliate for a company, you will be referring products to your readers. If the referral results in a sale, you earn a commission.
For example, if you are an affiliate for a kitchen appliance company with 10% commission, and refer a stand mixer that results in a sale for $100, you will earn 10% or a $10 commission.
Blogger refer products throughout their blog and network including:
- Within blog posts
- On pages
- In emails to their subscribers
- On their social media platforms
Those referrals that result in sales earn commission for the blogger. Here are some bloggers that make money blogging with affiliate marketing:
- Ashli from The Million Dollar Mama makes up to $7K+ per month
- Kelan and Brittany from The Savvy Couple has made up to $25K per month
- Michelle from Making Sense of Cents has made over $100K per month
What Kinds of Affiliate Marketing Programs to Join
There are a big variety of affiliate programs available. The two main categories are network and private.
What are Affiliate Network Programs?
Network affiliate programs are a part of a network like Shareasale. The way Shareasale works is, they hold a huge marketplace of merchants (hundreds or thousands) that each have affiliate programs.
Bloggers and other influencers join Shareasale to find programs to promote as affiliate. So Shareasale acts like a middleman between brands and bloggers to help create an affiliate marketing relationships between the two.
Some other affiliate networks:
To join an affiliate network, you sign up and get approval. It’s free to join and once you are a member, you’ll have access to all the merchant’s affiliate programs. You can go through merchant’s to pick and choose which program you want to promote. Then, you’ll submit your request to the merchant and get a decision on approval from the individual merchant.
Affiliate networks are a great way to stay organized with your affiliate marketing efforts. Most networks have additional tools to help you including links and banners, CPC, reporting, and other statistics and analytics to help you.
Best Practices for Earning with Affiliate Marketing
The top tip here is to be consistent. For beginner bloggers affiliate marketing income may start slow but the more your blog grows and the more traffic received, with consistency, you can end up making a lucrative amount from affiliate marketing.
What are Private Affiliate Marketing Programs?
Private affiliate marketing programs are handled directly with the merchant. Instead of going to an affiliate network, the middleman, to find merchants to promote, you will go to the merchant direct.
This means you’ll visit the merchant’s website, find their affiliate program and join.
The difference between affiliate networks and private programs. With an affiliate network, you will work with network, with little to no interaction with the merchant. With a private affiliate program, there is no middleman, so you will work one-on-on with the merchant.
Which is better: network or private?
This is a matter of personal opinion. Many argue that private programs pay better, since they don’t have to pay merchant fees that many networks have however, there are perks to network affiliate programs including having access to a lot of programs, the analytical tools, organization, etc.
If you’re curious, why not try both out?
Make Money Blogging with Sponsorships
The next blogging income source is sponsorships and brand deals. Sponsorships and brand deals are the same thing. You will partner up with a company as a brand ambassador for the short term or long term, representing the company on your blog.
There are different kinds of partnerships, like:
- Sponsored giveaways
- Video demonstrations
- Sponsored email blast
- Sponsored blog post or feature
- Sponsored social media blast
You and the brand will come together to collaborate in a paid deal. Beginning bloggers usually book short term deals, for one collaboration. More experienced bloggers may be able to book longer term campaigns for 6 months or longer.
How to Get Sponsored
You can book a sponsored gig by having the brand contact you, by you contacting the brand, or through a sponsored network.
When the brand reached out to you, it’s usually in the form of an email. They will express their desire to work together, possibly sharing some ideas for brand sponsorship. Then, both will collaborate and form a partnership outlining things like:
- Type of deal: video, giveaway, feature, etc.
- Run date: when the collaboration will run
- Compensation: how and when you will be compensated
- Miscellaneous details: preapproving content before publishing, extras, etc.
This is very straightforward and may or may not accompany a contract.
You Contact Brand
This is exactly identical to the first scenario where a brand contacts you. Here’s an example of a pitch you might send a brand:
“Hello PR Person for Brand,
My name is Jenn Leach and I blog over at This is My Blog. I’ve been a fan of your brand for this long. I really love your mission of helping give back to the homeless by donating a portion of your proceeds to this fund. I’d love to feature you on my blog.
My audience is comprised of [insert audience demographics] which I think would align with your customer base well. My readers are crazy about…[insert key features of brand]
Would you be interested in partnering in a paid collaboration? I have some ideas I’d love to share with you.
Please contact me back at [insert phone number]. I’d love to hear back either way.
Thanks for your consideration.
All the best,
Then, wait to hear back from the brand and hash out all the details, as shared above, like timeline, compensation, etc.
With a sponsored network, the network will act as a middleman between you, the blogger and the brand. They will help coordinate all the details of the campaign and will usually be a paid a cut of the campaign, in exchange for their work.
Sponsored networks have access to brands that may be hard to contact as a blogger, like big national and international chains, big name brand companies, etc. You can apply for multiple opportunities and top bloggers like Coming Up Roses, earn upwards of $10K+ per month, thanks to sponsorships, partly from networks, likely.
There is money to be had with sponsorships and it’s a fun way to connect with a brand, practice your negotiation skills, and share your favorite brands you love with your audience.
Make Money Blogging with Products and Services
Arguably the most lucrative way to make money blogging is with products and services.
Let me explain. These are your own products and services. They can be digital or physical goods. Here are some examples:
- SEO services
- Social media management
- Merchandise like apparel and footwear
- Coffee mugs
- Crafted goods
- Computer repair
- Accounting and bookkeeping
Digital Products and Services Selling
To delve into the digital realm of products and services, it’s quite easy for anybody to get started. All you need is an idea and a way to execute.
For example, for your vegan cooking blog, you could create an E-Cookbook and sell to your audience. You could price the cookbook at $20 and sell 100 copies, making $2,000!
To execute, here are some tools and resources you might need:
- Word processing software
- Graphic design tool, like Canva
- Delivery system to send products, bill customers and collect payment like Teachable, Sendowl, or Gumroad.
Digital goods are a great way of earning passive income. Create your product once and enjoy continuous sales in the future.
Physical Products and Services Selling
There is a huge market for physical goods and services too, and marketplaces to accommodate:
Selling your products and services to your audience can make you a full-time living, through your blog.
When it’s time to launch your product or service, albeit physical or digital, you want to come out with a bang so your product launch is important. Take a look at this product launch playbook showing 25 tips and strategies for a flawless launch.
There definitely is money to be had blogging. Earning with ads, affiliate marketing, sponsors, your own products and services can help you make money blogging part-time or full-time. It’s a lot easier than you might think and it can be totally beginner friendly.
Now, onto you! Did we miss anything? Are you a blogger making money blogging? Share your thoughts down below about how you make money or what you think about blogging for money. We would love to hear from you!