*This post contains affiliate links. Your purchase through these links helps to support Medium Sized Family. All opinions are my own.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your earnings, to add another income stream, or just bring in a little more money, we’re going to continue to talk about ways to do that today.
Last week we talked about creating a blog. This week, let’s talk about how to use that blog to earn money. There are hundreds of combinations you can try, and I strongly suggest that you try several different methods. Don’t rely on just one way to earn money.
Aside from writing great content, another tough part of blogging is finding readers. It’s not usually something that happens over night. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Building blog traffic could be an entire post of its own. So I’m just going to quickly give you a couple of my best ideas.
To gain readers, always write the best content you can come up with. When you begin to do research about how to have a great blog, you’re going to learn that the phrase “Content is king” shows up over, and over, and over.
Learn what your readers want help with. Solve their problems whenever you can. You want your readers to come back for more, and to share with their friends. You need to have great articles to share with people before anyone will want to visit your blog.
Share, share, share
Once you have your blog set up, you’ll want to get active on social media. Set up new business accounts or pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and/or Instagram using your blog name. You want to get your information out to as many potential readers as possible. However, I suggest you really focus on only one or two platforms that you are already somewhat familiar with. (For me, that’s Facebook and Pinterest.)
Remember that the world is not going to flock to your door. There is a ton of information out there. You have to push through the noise. Your Mom and your best friend are going to like your stuff right away. Everyone else is going to require an introduction.
How do you introduce yourself? If you were at a party, you’d walk up to someone, give them your name, maybe start some small talk.
The social media version of introducing yourself is to follow or like the other person first.
On Twitter, for instance, find a big blogger or magazine that matches your niche. Click on their followers and begin to follow anyone that looks like the type of person that might like your information. Many times, those people will follow you back. If not, that’s ok, too.
My favorite resources for building social media are:
- Twitter for Beginners
- Strategies Worth Sharing: How I Grew My Facebook Page from 2,000 to 100,000 Likes in 5 Months* (This is a book that I bought myself with blog profits. Worth every penny to me, but you may want to make that money from your blog first.)
- How to Be a Pinterest Ninja
- Tailwind*. There is a free version that you’ll definitely want to try. Since beginning Tailwind, I’ve seen a giant increase in my hits from Pinterest. Once you’ve earned some money, you can upgrade from the free version to the paid version.
Those resources will get you off to a good start.
Once you begin to build up your traffic, there are tons of ways to start making money.
Many people think advertising is the way to make money blogging. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case. You can definitely sign up with sites like Google Adsense and Sovrn/Meridian. Once your site is accepted, you can put up a couple of ads. But don’t overwhelm your readers with ads or they might not want to come back.
This income is slow going, because the pay is low. You need many many eyes to see those ads to make money. You’ll need to make $100 before Google Adsense will send you a check, or $25 before Sovrn/Meridian cuts you a check.
Affiliates are different from ads. They are more targeted and specific, which is great for bloggers. That’s because you can choose an exact item to recommend to your readers.
You’ll want to choose stores and items that you yourself have used and enjoyed as much as possible. You want to be genuine with your readers, and they will catch on quickly if you are trying to sell them things that are not a good value.
Stores such as Amazon*, Target*, and Walmart have their own affiliate programs. I love these, because if I find an excellent product to tell my readers about, I can just find the link to that exact thing.
Another neat way to find affiliates is to sign up for commission companies. These companies have a giant collection of smaller companies and websites that are looking for publicity. I’ve learned about some really cool companies and products that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about, and then I can share that knowledge with my readers.
My favorite commission company is ShareASale*. Through ShareASale, I found Pear* which is a company that does fundraising for groups. It’s a great program (which you can read all about here). But the best part is that I can bring value to my readers and help them with a common problem. It won’t cost readers (or their friend and family) a dime, but it still earns my blog a commission.
Many companies recognize the value of the relationship a blogger has with his or her audience. They are willing to pay you to promote their companies to your readers.
I recently had my first campaign, and imagine my relief to find out that I would be working with Dollar General and Pull Ups! It was perfect, because I already shop at Dollar General weekly, and we always begin our potty training by buying Pull Ups. I could be genuine, while telling my readers about some free resources they could use for potty training.
There are great offers out there that are a natural benefit to your readers. So sign up, and make it a point to reject anything that won’t be a great match for your audience.
Once you have been blogging for a little while, you’ll begin to learn that some parts of it are more fun to you than others. You are probably great at certain aspects of blogging, but maybe not quite so great at other parts.
What is your area of strength? Do you enjoy writing? Or maybe you have a social media platform mastered. You might enjoy designing your blog or the technical sides of the website. Perhaps your forte is marketing.
Whatever it is that you do best, you can find a way to make money doing it. Many bloggers and entrepreneurs would love to have help in the area that you are best at.
You can go out there and look for people who are hiring help in your best area. Or you can put up an ad on your own blog that offers your services with an email address they can contact for your fees and more information.
If you sell a product for a company that is a natural fit for your blogging niche, you might be able to sell your products from your blog. For instance, many bloggers sell essential oils or cleaning products.
Your Own Products
Creating your own products to sell is one of the best ways to earn money from a blog. That’s because you aren’t playing by someone else’s rules. You don’t have to pay others to sell your product (unless you want to). And you have more control over bringing something to your audience that you know they will benefit from.
Some ideas for creating your own products include:
- membership sites
- and more
There are hundreds of combinations that you can try to earn money from your blog.
I suggest that you try several different methods. It’s always a great idea to diversify your income as much as possible. If one of your ways to earn money dries up, your other ways will become more valuable. And small trickles of income from many sources still adds up to some real money.
How do you use your blog to earn income?