I have been blogging for over a year and have been getting tons of questions from people aspiring to make money blogging. People tell me their plans and I don’t know how to nicely let them know that they should tweak their plan if they want to be successful. Honestly, I thought I would rock at blogging because I’ve always been pretty good at writing, I have a graphic design degree, and was a professional photographer. I was wrong. This blogging thing took more figuring out than I originally imagined; even when I was sure I had it all figured out. It hasn’t been easy but I have loved every single second of it. Blogging has provided the freedom I always dreamed of. Those of you with those same dreams, I want to answer for you the 7 most asked questions about how to make money blogging.
*This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission on anything I recommend, but all opinions are my own.
I had a friend ask me this, “I think you make money from ads, but I don’t see any ads on your site.”
At the time I was working with a different ad company than I am now and I worked hard to keep my ads at a minimum so her comment thrilled me. That was my goal. Keep the site clean and easy to read above all else.
But yes, I was (and still am) making money from ads.
Making money from ads has been one of the easiest ways to bring in an income from the blog, but it has been the least exciting! I’m the kind of girl who prefers a much more hands-on approach. That’s why I want to talk about all the other ways to make money with your blog.
Different ways to make money with blogging
There are multiple different ways to make a passive income which is why so many people are drawn to it.
What is passive income? Passive income is when you do the work once and keep getting paid over and over for it.
This concept is very intriguing, but definitely takes some time and effort to figure out.
To get the full scoop on all things blogging check out my 5 free lectures, in my Fun Sized Blogging Basics course.
Many companies are now starting up an affiliate marketing program. This is a great way for them to help spread the word about their brand, product, services or whatever else they have to offer and they don’t have to lift a finger.
By joining an affiliate marketing program, you will get a special code to share with your readers when promoting a specific company. Whenever someone clicks on that code and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission.
It’s just like those shopping apps you might be using. “Get $5 when you share this with a friend!” You get your special code, share it on your social media or in an e-mail and if a friend does sign up, you get your $5.
Personally, I love affiliate marketing because I am a natural chatter-box. It comes natural for me to recommend products or services that I believe in. I have done it my whole life and never made a cent. If I only would have known sooner.
Affiliate marketing is very simple once you get the hang of it and can actually end up creating a very lucrative income. Your commissions, of course, will vary depending on the brands you promote and the type of blog you have.
Starting up with affiliate marketing can be overwhelming, but it really doesn’t have to be.
I first got started with Amazon Associates and personally wouldn’t recommend it to other bloggers starting out. Instead try out a platform like ShareASale. They have a database that is easy to search through and simple to use.
You can browse the different categories and immediately get access to all the different brands with affiliate programs. For example, if you searched: Fitness, you might get linked to different weight loss companies, protein shakes or workout equipment places.
Here is an example of an affiliate program in my niche: finances.
This is for Brightpeak Financial. You can take a peek at their sales page, some of their keywords and how much you’ll get paid “per lead.” Per lead means you don’t necessarily need to make a sale to earn $5.
What is a lead? A lead often means having someone entering their name and information in order to get themselves something for free. In this case it is a Brightpeak financial email course. When someone does I would earn a $5 commission for recommending them.
You can also see here that for Brightpeak Financial, I have a “Pending Approval” which means I have applied to be a part of this affiliate and they are currently reviewing my application.
Once an affiliate has accepted my application, I will be given a special code that I can use to put into my posts and share with my readers.
Working with brands can be overwhelming at first. When you are just getting started blogging, you should put your focus other places before working with brands.
The best way to get your blog out there is by signing up for companies that do the work for you.
Influencer companies to start with:
When you sign up for any of these types of sites, they immediately keep track of your blog and social media traffic for you.
You are also able to create a profile that describes your blog and the types of brands you are willing to work with.
From there, influencer companies will match you up with brands that might be a good fit for your blog.
Whenever I feel like I would be able to contribute to that particular company with a sponsored post, I apply.
Just because you apply does not mean you will get the post. It just means you are able to submit an application and if they chose to work with you, you will hear back.
As hard as it has been at times, I have not applied to certain sponsored post offers because I couldn’t honestly see myself promoting that particular brand. I want to be authentic for each brand and for my readers.
Some examples of sponsored posts:
Depending on your blogging niche, there will be a variety of products that you can create.
Personally, since starting my blog, I have taken advantage of many other blogger’s products and courses in order to help me improve when it comes to being a successful blogger.
The first product I decided to create for myself was my Fun Sized Budget Bundle.
Feel free to click on it and take a peek. It’s a very simple course that’s available for only $12. The price has varied since I originally started it, but I have already made over $1,000 through this course alone.
Even better is my Fun Sized Blogging Basics course that is jam packed with information you need to help your blog become success!
How to sell your own product
Just like my Fun Sized Blogging Basics course, I’m going to be flat out honest with you when I say that learning all of this information, figuring out how all of it works won’t matter at all if you don’t stick to the following:
There are a ton of free blogging options available when you are first starting out and I know they can be tempting. I’m here to tell you not to even bother.
These free hosting options are great if you plan to have your blog as a hobby. If you are hoping to make money from this someday, jump in with all the faith you can muster and get a self-hosted site immediately. Here’s a step by step guide.
Once your domain is all set up, the next step is to get started with an e-mail list. Doing this right away was something I heard from almost every experienced blogger right off the bat. You know why they suggest it? Because they didn’t do it!
Having an e-mail list gives you a direct link to a group of people who you know want to get updates from you! That is a powerful tool to have and one you definitely don’t want to put on the back burner! You can read a little about my personal e-mail host and how they helped me grow my list to over 7,000 now!
Quality everything should be a top priority…especially images!
When you are using images in your post, you can either take your own, or use stock photos. The site I use most frequently for my in-post photos is Pixabay. All of their images are totally free and really great quality.
Another type of image to make sure you are doing your absolute best with is Pinterest. People browsing Pinterest will get their very first impression of you based off the images you create.
If you were starting any other business or any other profession, chances are you would get some experience or hands-on training before jumping into work. You do this so that you can be your absolute best in the job you are in. The same goes for running a blog.
Investing in training is investing in yourself and your success.
For bloggers just getting started I recommend starting with my Fun Sized Blogging Basics. This course has all of this information and more. Plus it is one of the most affordable blogging courses out there. If you are hoping to stick to a smaller budget to start out you can still get all the basic information in my blogging course.
If you are hoping to get started with a food blog, another course I recommend is Food Blogger Pro. created by the husband and wife team behind the blog, Pinch of Yum.
Don’t worry, there isn’t as much start up cost to blogging as you might think.
Total: $148 – $198
There are a few other features that you will want to consider adding right away or investing in when you have more money set aside:
I can’t answer that, but don’t count on it being right away.
I didn’t make anything until after 9 months (besides a few pennies here and there.)
You just have to keep at it, keep improving and doing your best to promote yourself and your blog. That’s the only way this will work. If you don’t promote yourself and don’t put in the work, it will show through on the blog. Consequently, you won’t get any traffic.