Let's face it: few of us can afford to blog strictly for fun or simply as a hobby anymore. Most of us are looking to turn our side-hustle into a profitable small business, but we don't know quite where to start. It doesn't help that the online world has become oversaturated with content creators constantly hocking their Profitable Blogging Courses at us through every social media platform. (And how is it these content creators made their money? By selling us their "how to make money online" course, of course.)
Raise your hand if you've ever shelled out major money for one of these courses only to become quickly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content. 🙋♀️ I'm certainly guilty of this!
You know you'll never get through all the videos, complete all the steps, all the worksheets, all the brain dumping and content mapping and strategizing and social media posting and analytics tracking and so on and so forth.
That's why I'm here to help you demystify blogging for money- I'll tell you everything you need to know, no strings attached! But be warned - knowledge alone isn't going to make you rich. It's creating a plan, being consistent, and implementing these money-making opportunities into your strategy along the way.
You won't make money blogging unless you have these 3 things first:
A self-hosted website where you can host your content. If you need help setting one up, check out this article.
An audience who regularly reads, views, or interacts with your content.
Analytics - you need to KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. How many people are coming to your blog each month, viewing your content per day, etc?
An email list. Ok, this one isn't technically required, but it's highly recommended.
If you have a self-hosted website, an audience, and analytics, you're off to a great start! You're doing even better if you've started building an email list. Now you're ready to start implementing some money-making strategies. Here's how:
1. Embrace the Power of Google Ads:
This is the lowest barrier to entry when it comes to making money online. Displaying advertising on your website, through platforms like Google AdSense, offers a straightforward monetization method. Advertisers pay to display their ads on your blog, generating revenue based on impressions (views) or clicks. To maximize revenue, ensure your blog attracts a consistent stream of relevant traffic and aligns your ad placement with your content.
You'll have to create a Google AdSense account first
If you're too liberal with the ads, users may become overwhelmed and not spend as much time on your site
You may not make much money with this option!
2. Explore the World of Affiliate Marketing:
Affiliate marketing involves promoting third-party products or services through unique affiliate links. When a reader purchases through your link, you earn a commission. Partner with brands that complement your niche and resonate with your audience. Carefully integrate affiliate links into your content, ensuring they add value and enhance the reading experience.
Popular affiliate marketing partners are:
Most partners require some level of approval and some have strict guidelines about required follower counts and page views in order to be approved. Others (like Amazon) simply require you to meet a minimum number of clicks per month to stay eligible.
The best part of affiliate marketing is you can make money while you sleep! It's definitely worth checking out these programs and more as affiliate marketing can be a huge source of income!
3. Create and Sell Digital Products:
It's worth mentioning that most bloggers aren't making their money from a single source of revenue. Rather, the most successful bloggers are leveraging multiple streams of income, and one extra way to do this is by selling digital products!
Leverage your expertise to create and sell digital products such as:
Printables (make them in Canva!)
Digital patterns for sewing, knitting, or crochet
Offer valuable content that solves problems or addresses the needs of your audience. Promote your digital products through blog posts, social media, and...
...email marketing campaigns.
That's right. Remember that email list that I mentioned above that wasn't strictly a requirement? This is where it comes in handy. Imagine if you lost your thriving Instagram account, your Google Adsense, and your Affiliate partners all in one day (hey, it's actually happened to people!). Well, if you're relying strictly on those resources to earn your income, you're in trouble. But if you have an email list, you OWN those email subscribers, and no one can take them away from you. You can still market your products or services to them! Plus, you'll be able to give them a heads up about where you've gone or where they can find you now.
4. Offer Premium Content Subscriptions:
Provide exclusive content or services through paid subscriptions. This model offers a steady stream of income and fosters a loyal community of engaged readers. You can get fancy with it, too. Consider offering tiered subscription plans with varying levels of access and benefits.
Some examples of content subscriptions include:
Weekly meal plans: subscribers get a full menu & corresponding shopping list each week.
Digital pattern: subscribers get your latest pattern release each month.
Templates: subscribers get a new batch of customizable social media templates each month
👉 Tip: Take a few minutes to brainstorm subscription ideas that fit with your niche or area of expertise!
5. Explore Sponsored Content and Brand Partnerships:
Finally, the way to make larger chunks of money at one time is through sponsored content and brand partnerships. If you have a large enough following, brands may reach out to you, but more often you'll need to pitch your brand to them. This will require you to have a media kit ready to go. This kit highlights what you do and who your audience is, plus your metrics: monthly traffic, number of page views, and other important analytics that prove you are a good fit for that brand.
👉 What is a media kit? Click here to learn more and download my free template.
With sponsored content you'll be collaborating with brands to create sponsored content that aligns with your brand's values and audience interests. Sponsored posts, product reviews, or social media campaigns can generate significant revenue while maintaining your blog's authenticity. Depending on the contract, the brand may have to approve your ad before you post, or they may require you to follow a certain script.
Monetization is a journey, not a race.
Remember, monetization is not a race to the finish line; it's a journey of continuous refinement and adaptation. Experiment with different monetization strategies, analyze your results, and tailor your approach to maximize your blog's earning potential. As your blog grows, so do the opportunities to transform your passion into a profitable venture.