Have you ever wondered how to get paid for blogging? It can be a great way to bring in some extra income. And yes, even us “regular people” can do it! Here are a few things you can do to earn money through your blog.
If you’re looking for ways to 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.
How Do You Start A Blog to Make Money?
That answer is a little long, so check out this post for detailed instructions on getting your own blog started.
Do Bloggers Make Money?
The short answer is yes. Yes they do.
The long answer is that this greatly depends on how much time and energy you are willing to put into your blog. Blogging is never a get rich quick scheme. Do a quick search of blog income reports to see how much some bloggers make…but remember that most of these people spend many hours on their blog to earn this kind of money.
If you’re willing to put in some hard work, you can make money, too.
This hottest topic in blogging is how to find more traffic. Finding readers can be hard! There are millions of blogs out there, so how can you convince internet users to visit your site?
It’s not something that happens over night. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve been blogging for two and a half years, and you can see how gradually my traffic has grown:
All the ups and downs of traffic can feel like a roller coaster ride. Watching your numbers is not for the weak of heart!
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. As everyone says, “Content is king.” (If you do any reading at all about blogging, you’ll see that phrase everywhere.)
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.
Although you want to set up all of those pages (before someone else takes them), that doesn’t mean you should make yourself crazy trying to keep up with everything.
To start with, focus on only one or two platforms that you are already 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.
Don’t overdo this, though. If the number of people you follow is much higher than people who follow you, people will think you are a spammer. No one wants that.
I tried learning all of this stuff for free, but I found that it took a lot of time. Plus it was confusing. Everyone seems to contradict one another.
My aha moment came when I realized that, just as my Hubby takes classes to improve his job performance, I needed to invest in some bloggy education. Some of the courses I took paid off more than others. So I’ll only share the ones that gave me a great return on my investment.
The absolute best money I’ve ever spent specifically on social media was an ebook called Pinteresting Strategies. I wish I had read this one much sooner! This book has boosted my traffic a ton. It’s also far more affordable than many of the other resources out there.
I also joined a fantastic mastermind style group of bloggers who are super successful. What better way to learn than from the people who are already doing well? It’s called Bloggers Tell All, and joining this group launched my blog to the next level of earning. This group always knows the latest and best blogging tips.
(For example, within two months of joining this group I was earning 26 times more than what I’d paid for that one month of instruction and motivation! Look for investments that will give you a big return on investment or ROI.)
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SEO stands for search engine optimization. You want Google to be your BFF. How do you get people to notice your blog when they turn to Google for answers?
I did two things that took my SEO game up a notch.
The first one is easy-ish if you have a good host. Switch your blog from http:// to https:// . This tells Google that your site is secure, and that makes them love you more.
(Siteground did all the legwork on this for me. They always accept my chat requests, even though I probably bother them way too much!)
Once you begin to build up your traffic, there are tons of ways to start making money.
How Do You Make Money Blogging Online?
Many people think advertising is the way to make money blogging. You really can make good money from ads, but not before you build up a strong audience.
You’ll need to make $100 before Google Adsense will send you a check, or $25 before Sovrn/Meridian cuts you a check.
Once you build up a strong audience (currently 25,000 sessions per month) you can apply for Mediavine. This company is amazing to work with!
Affiliates are different from ads. Money from ads is basically, your reader sees the ad, you get paid. Affiliates require a click and sometimes a purchase.
To be successful with affiliates, you’ll want to choose stores and items that you yourself have used and enjoyed whenever possible. Be genuine with your readers! 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.
Some affiliate marketing networks I enjoy using include:
- Awin – This one is a favorite of mine, but you should know that they require a $5 payment to join. You’ll get it back when you make a sale.
- CJ Affiliates
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 or products to your readers.
Imagine my relief when my first campaign was working with Dollar General and Pull Ups! It was perfect, because I already shop at Dollar General weekly, and we were just starting to potty train our youngest son anyway. 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.
I made most of my money in the first couple of years of blogging by freelance writing for other blogs.
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
- physical products
- and more
How Much Can You Make As A Blogger?
A quick search of Google or Pinterest will show you that there are many bloggers out there (people you’ve probably never heard of before) making an easy 6 figures each year from their blog.
One thing about blog income reports that can be discouraging is seeing how many people make their money from blogging about blogging. It makes you wonder if they’ve ever made money from blogging on other topics.
In the interest of honesty, I do have a post that teaches you how to set up your own blog (after all, my job is to help people save and make money, and I want to share how I’m making money myself!). But I have made just a little money from affiliate links in my first couple of years of blogging.
Most of my income has been in the form of freelance writing, ads, and sponsored posts. None of these dollars came as a result of me blogging about blogging. It can be done! (But no, I’m not in that 6 figure club yet.) 😉
The truth about how to get paid for blogging is that you can mix and match a combination of ideas that fits your talents the best.
Remember, sometimes you’ll have to invest a little back into your blog to make it grow. If you can hang in for the highs and lows, you can begin earning decent money from your blog in one to three years.
How do you use your blog to earn income?