How to Turn a Blog Into Extra Income

How to Turn a Blog Into an Extra Income

Blogging for money was an idea I heard about many years ago and I just didn’t think it was “for me.” Yet, at the same time I continued on feeling like writing was going to play a huge part in my life. To me this meant I probably was supposed to write a book. So, I tried writing books. I tried writing a lot of them and wound up deleting them all. Nothing ever felt right. Then somehow, BAM, I just knew I had to start a blog. After we downsized our house I gave up my photography business, Tom’s job got crazy inconsistent and I knew I had to make something work where I could still homeschool our kids while also making money and setting my own hours. That’s not asking too much, right? Now, after 10 months of seriously hard work, I finally figured out how to do it, I figured our how to turn a blog into an extra income. 

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures.

First of all, let me say, while I read a ton of blog posts on how to make money blogging, I made sure that the bloggers I was learning from where actually making money on their blog and not just making money by blogging about blogging with no experience to back it up.

Personally, I wanted to start blogging about blogging because I love it so much, I really wanted to share my strategies with those who needed more guidance. I held off. I told myself I would never blog about blogging until I was actually making consistent money from it; now I’m there. While I’m not making millions (not yet anyway haha) I am making more than I did with any part time job I had previously had. I’m doing what I love, still able to homeschool our kids and have a sense of independence. If you feel like blogging might be your calling, let me tell you just how to get started on monetizing and turn a blog into an extra income for you or your family.

Making money over night

Every blogger will be quick to tell you that if you’re serious about this, don’t expect to make money over night. Yet, I almost feel like I did. I started my blog 10 months ago, but  5 months ago I decided to totally change the direction of my blog and the way I had been doing things. After that my traffic shot up and I started making money almost instantly. So, while it took some time to work out the kinks, once I was on a roll, there was not stopping me!

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A quality host

There are a lot of free blogging platforms, and that’s a great start, but I knew I wanted the absolute best when I started mine. That’y why I got set up with BlueHost for my hosting site (see my full tutorial on how to get started) and also created a blog.

Not only have I been blogging for 10 months, I also completely rebranded my blog from Heart Soul and Whole Food to The Fun Sized Life. BlueHost and WordPress were extremely helpful when going through that major transition, even after I tried to destroy every possible thing I could! (Not on purpose of course.)

Set up Google Adsense

Getting Google Adsense allows a space to display Google ads and gives bloggers a percentage from using them on their site. Here is a great tutorial that will guide you through from start to finish. Another thing that was super important to me when using ads on my site was to avoid it looking spammy. Keeping my blog clean and fresh looking is super important to me which is why, even though it may have made me more money, I chose to limit the amount of ads on my page

Affilate Links

Affiliate links are another way to start bringing in income to your blog. What affiliate links basically are is recommending some of your favorite brands, products or courses to your readers and then making a percentage for recommending them. There are a number of ways to find affiliates. When you are first starting, I recommend trying out Share A Sale. They make it very easy to browse multiple different companies that have affiliate programs. Just be sure to go with programs that you know and have tried.

It’s also super important to limit the amount of affiliate links you start out with. Joining too many affiliate programs can make it hard to keep focus and direction when it comes to your posts.

When using affiliate links, it’s also very important to alway remember to disclose that information in your posts, emails or social media shares. You have to let people know that you are sharing affiliate links and that you may make a commission. Also to ensure them that you wouldn’t ever recommend anything you don’t believe in yourself.

Work with brands

Once you have established a solid blog, and a good following via blog or social media, you can start to look into working with brands. Depending on how large your following, you can start doing this early on. In fact working with brands can be a good way to help grow your following by doing a giveaway. Most bloggers choose to do their giveaways on Instagram in order to grow their Instagram following.

When it comes to working with brands you can reach out to them, they can reach out to you, or the easy route is to sign up with Influencing Companies like Acorn or Linqia.

These companies basically work as the middle man between you and brands. Brands reach out to them and then they reach out to you. Depending on the brand, this can wind up being a great income source. As you continue on and are comfortable working with brands you can start reaching out to them on your own and completely eliminate the middle man.

Invest in yourself

Like any business that hopes to succeed, there’s a little investing that must take place first. Investing in quality hosting is super important as well as making sure you know exactly what you’re doing! That might mean signing up for some high quality, reliable, courses.

The first course I knew I wanted to try was by wildly successful blogger, Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog. Her course, Building a Framework taught me everything I needed to know about building a thriving, successful blog. Without that course, it would have taken me much longer to get where I’m at today. I know that for a fact!

There is another program done by the couple behind Pinch of Yum called Food Blogger Pro. This is especially designed and laid out for food blogger’s success. To go along with this, they also have a great set of plugins especially built for food bloggers, WP Tasty.


There are also plenty of courses online that you can take for free! Like my FREE 5 Day Blogging Blooper course where I walk you through everything I did wrong when starting my blog, in hopes that you don’t make the same mistakes!

Other things worth investing in:

Site safety

  • Protecting your blog from spam and making sure all of your content stays saved is crucial so you don’t ever lose all of your hard work. I do this through JetPack

The perfect theme

  • MyThemeShop has a huge variety of WordPress themes so you can choose exactly what theme fits the style you are wanting to create for your blog. They are even currently running a sale. $19 for any theme!
  • Another great site for WordPress themes is ThemeIsle.

E-mail opt ins

  • Having people sign up for your e-mails is crucial when beginning your blog. OptinMonster has plans starting for as little as $9 a year.
  • MailMunch is one I personally use to help me create pretty opt in forms (like the one you’ll see when you click on my Blogging Bloopers Course link.)

Photos and Graphics

  • One of the most popular photo editors and graphic creators is PicMonkey. With them you can easily use collages, touched up images, and other design tools to create quality photos and graphics for your blog.
  • Canva is the program I usually turn to when it comes to creating my Pinterest images and promotional posters.

Just get started

The absolute first thing to do when creating a blog is to just get started. You will learn lessons and make mistakes along the way. All you can do is grow from them like I did! Click here to get my free 5 day Blogging Bloopers course.

All my blogging recommendations

Blue Host – Blue Host is my personal hosting site that I have used since the beginning of my blog. Check out my easy step by step guide to get yourself all set up: How to Start a Blog. The best part is, you can get started for as little as $3.95 a month!

Building a Framework – Building a Framework is the best course for getting a new blog up and running. I purchased Building a Framework early on in my blogging career and it completely changed the way I blogged. Abby teaches everything from how to start to how to start making a profit.

Food Blogger Pro – Food Blogger Pro is a terrific online course you can take that was created by the creators of Pinch of Yum. They have seen tremendous growth from their food blog and share all their knowledge with you to help you succeed as well.

JetPack – Jetpack offers so many features to keep your site safe and secure. With backups, site monitoring and spam protection.

Linqia – Linqia is a great way to start working with brands. You fill out your profile and the brands come to you!

MailMunch – MailMunch helps you to create visually appealing e-mail opt in forms to help get people signed up for your e-mail list!

Optin Monster – Optin Monster is the perfect way to help get subscribers to your e-mail list. You can easily creat friendly pop ins that encourage readers to sign up for more!

Pitch Perfect Live – Pitch Perfect is a course I took hosted by successful blogger, Jenny Melrose. She will walk you step by step through how to pitch to brands and what to do once you’ve got them.

Share a Sale– Share a Sale is a great place to find a ton of affiliate programs that fit your niche.

Tailwind – Tailwind is a great scheduling tool to help with your Pinterest posting and Instagram sharing. It takes a lot of time and guesswork out of building your social media so you can spend your time doing other things.

WooComerce – The best way to sell your products for an online shopping experience!

WordPress – I have used WordPress from the second I created my blog and have not been let down once. They have a huge variety of themes that are easy to use so that you can be unique without being over-the-top!

Don’t Forget to PIN This!

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  1. Jen | 18th Jan 18

    This post is so very helpful! Can’t wait to CT and check out all your recommendations!

    • | 18th Jan 18

      Thanks so much Jen! Its tough to share enough without writing a novel!

  2. Paxton K | 18th Jan 18

    Great post! I just started blogging and this page is super helpful. I saved this post so I can look back on it :).

    • | 18th Jan 18

      Great!! I’ll have to keep an eye out for all your stuff!

  3. Laura @ The Mindful Mom Blographer | 18th Jan 18

    Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom! I especially liked the part on working with brands. That is definitely one area of blogging that intimidates me!

    • | 18th Jan 18

      Take the passive route! haha It’s all pretty nerve wracking until you get into it. At least for me!

  4. Erin Haugerud | 18th Jan 18

    GReat advice!!! I’ll be reading again and taking notes!

    • | 18th Jan 18

      So glad to hear it! I take all my notes with pink pen! haha

  5. Rebecca | 18th Jan 18

    Wow! This is a great article with so much information to start a blog! I’m going to take notes and apply to what I’m doing. Thanks!

    • | 18th Jan 18

      So glad you enjoyed it Rebecca!

  6. Sigoni | 19th Jan 18

    Thank you so much for all of your advice and you’re blogging resources! They are very helpful. I just started blogging and I can’t wait to start working with brands! And I’ve heard a lot about tailwind but I haven’t felt the urge to commit yet. Maybe soon!

    • | 19th Jan 18

      Sigoni they have a free trial! So you don’t have to commit. You can just test it out first!

  7. Misty | 19th Jan 18

    There are so many helpful tips and resources here for any level of blogger. There are few here I am going to be trying for my own blog.

    • | 19th Jan 18

      Misty! I’m so glad it hear that. This was a tough post for me to write because I wanted to share enough without making people read too much!

  8. Laura | The Yellow Birdhouse | 19th Jan 18

    I’ve been trying for a while to turn my blog into extra income. I feel like I’m on my way now, but it definitely did NOT happen overnight. It has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. 🙂

    • | 19th Jan 18

      I hear ya!

  9. Yvette | 19th Jan 18

    this is one of the best articles of this genre that I’ve read I hope to monetize this year and am just looking into courses on how to do that. I like the idea of brand ambassadorship so that what I think I am going to focus on.

    • | 19th Jan 18

      Thanks so much Yvette! I definitely recommend Acorn and Linqia They are a great place to start! I wish I had signed up sooner!

  10. Rebecca | 19th Jan 18

    This is a great beginning “How to” on where to get started. With great tips to set up on the right foot. Nice article. Well done!

  11. Heather | 19th Jan 18

    Thanks for these tips! I’ve been growing my blog for almost a year and finally seeing some growth and traffic. I’m going to look into some of these programs.

  12. Joyce Odette | 19th Jan 18

    This is a great informational post! I’ll admit, I’m guilty of not investing enough in my family lifestyle blog but since it’s what gets the most traffic I knew I needed to step it up this year. It’s my new goal, these resources will be perfect when I’m ready to monetize it. Have adsense on there, but I want more passive income streams. Thanks for the insights 🙂

    • | 19th Jan 18

      So glad you liked it Joyce. I too have had to make those changes. My recipes and food posts just don’t get much traffic even though I love me some food and food pix! It took up a lot of my time that just wasn’t worth it.

  13. Ginger | 19th Jan 18

    Ok, I am so happy I clicked on this blog! I am using the building a framework book too and have found it SO helpful! I’ve just started my blog and have hit a snafu-google ad sense still has not approved me! (Super worried about this) BUT it’s very reassuring to hear from someone who has taken a similar path as me and is doing good! Congrats on your success and lots of good luck to you!

    • | 19th Jan 18

      Oh Ginger. Let me tell you…I got rejected from Amazon. Could not get Adsense to work. Thought I’ve lost all my work. Re-done my posts um like 8,000 times…this is NOT an easy gig by any means but it is totally worth it! I am so glad you got Building a Framework. Abby does such a great job of leaving no detail out! She’s such a life saver.

  14. Heather | 20th Jan 18

    I love all of your tips for turning a blog into some extra money. I have been blogging for one year and have started to grow my income with my blog.

    • | 20th Jan 18

      That’s so exciting! It sure is a lot of work, but so worth it!

  15. Nicole | 20th Jan 18

    Thank you for your awesome tips on how to turn a blog into extra income! I started my blog last year and it’s grown so much since I started implementing most of the tips in this article.

    • | 20th Jan 18

      So glad to hear! I have seen such huge improvement. It’s amazing what can happen when you finally make everything click!

  16. Sigoni | 21st Jan 18

    Wow you really jammed a lot of amazing content in this post! I just signed up for Ackrn because I had never heard of them before. Thank you so much for these tips! I also think I need to create better pop ups for my email list!

    • | 21st Jan 18

      So glad you liked it! Acorn has been a great company so far. As far as e-mail lists, it took me a while to find what worked but just make sure to get one started ASAP!

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