Happy Thursday, everyone! We’re almost through the week! Today I wanted to talk to y’all about a hot topic in the blog world: how to make money blogging. Before I get into sharing how you can monetize, there seem to be two very different misconceptions regarding monetizing a blog floating around the blogosphere that I’d like to dispell:
- Only huge bloggers getting hundreds of thousands of pageviews are ever going to make money blogging. If you haven’t been blogging for forever you don’t have a chance.
- Once you start a blog and publish a few posts the money will start rolling in!
Neither are true, I promise you that. Any blogger can make money if they are willing to put in the work and the time. It’s not easy, but it’s nowhere near impossible, either. It took me five months to monetize my first blog, but if I were to do it over again with monetizing as my goal I could do it in a few weeks (and you can, too!)
Before I start talking about how you can monetize, I want to be real with you. I get so many emails from bloggers who have only published 3 times in the past month wondering why they are rolling in the big bucks and I am always puzzled by that. You cannot expect to be making a lot of money if you are not willing to put in a lot of work.
I have a few suggestions I’d like you to consider before you start your monetization journey:
- Have an active blog. If you’ve been live for three weeks and have as many posts, no one is going to pay you. But if in those 3 weeks you’ve put out a ton of amazing, impactful content you’ve got a shot.
- Be ridiculously helpful. Another thing I see with a lot of bloggers who want to monetize is that they aren’t helping anyone. Now that’s not to say you have to run a blog like this one, but make sure every post has a purpose. You can help your readers by teaching them something, making them reconsider an idea, or inspiring them. Before you publish ask yourself if your readers will be better for reading your post.
- Make sure your site has a nice aesthetic. Really for this one all you need is some semblance of branding and easy navigation and you’re set!
The above tips are just a good starting point before you start trying to make money blogging, if you keep bringing people back to your nicely designed blog through the awesome content that you’re posting at least once a week you should be golden!
Make Money Blogging
This is where the magic happens: there are a million different ways that you can monetize your blog (some better than others!) and I want to walk you through a few of the ones that I think are the best and that I’ve had the most success with.
Sponsored posts are the bread and butter for most bloggers making a mid-sized income. I know that at this time they are for me! To put it simply, sponsored posts are blog posts you write that mention a brand that is paying you. Here is an example of a sponsored post that I did on Mostly Morgan.
And sponsored posts are great so long as you are authentic and only working with brands that you genuinely like, and that fit your brand. I see so many bloggers straying off brand because it’s hard to say no. Trust me, I’ve been there. When a popular beer company offered me $700 for a sponsored post about tailgating in college I almost felt pain when I told them no. First of all, I’m under the legal drinking age, and second of all I’ve never had a beer in my life. Sure it’s something my college aged audience could appreciate, but it wasn’t something that aligned with me.
Sponsored posts vary greatly in how much you can make. I charged $40 for my first sponsored post (only because I had no clue I could even get paid to write much less how much I should charge. Now I say that you shouldn’t charge any less that $100 no matter your size, and I tend to charge around $400, though that varies depending on assignment.
Affiliate marketing is my favorite way to make money as a blogger. It is pretty passive (one post can bring in money for years) and it is really easy to do if you’re a blogger.
I don’t add affiliate links to all of my posts, or even half of them, but if I do a round up like I did here, that’s when I will break out the Amazon Affiliate links.
I also used an affiliate link in this post, and I consistently make a couple hundred dollars each month from it. Affiliate links are great because so long as the post you write is evergreen, you will continue to make money from them without added work.
There are a lot of different opportunities to become an affiliate, there are the popular options like Amazon Affiliates or Reward Style, but you can also become an affiliate for bloggers who are selling books or courses.
Selling a Product
When you look to the bloggers who have ‘made it’ as a full time blogger bringing in more than a full time income, more often than not they are making a good chunk of their money selling something. Bloggers like Melyssa and Mariah sell amazing courses for bloggers looking to up their game, and other bloggers will sell e-books or physical product to make their income.
Monetizing a blog this way is great because you are in control. No matter how affiliate laws change or your traffic fluctuates you will always be in charge here and that is reassuring.
I’ve mentioned before that I will be launching my first course this quarter, if you want to be alerted to when sales go up, you can sign up for my mailing list here!
Ok, I saved this for last because it is my least favorite way to make money blogging. Most blogs have ads (including my lifestyle blog!) but the more I think about them, the more they bother me. I hate not being in control of what is showing up on my site, and I hate that their whole purpose is to take readers away from my site.
With that said, you can make good money from them. I will probably quit running them when my contract is up early next fall, but in the mean time I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying that extra couple hundred of dollars each month.
If you want to run ads, I recommend being conservative about them. I think we’ve all been on sites where a video ad starts playing at full blast, or you accidentally click on the background that just so happens to be an ad and you get taken to another site entirely. That is madness.
Instead, I recommend an ad in the sidebar, maybe one in the header or footer, too. Anything that pops up or autoplays will frustrate your audience so proceed with caution there. There are a lot of quick fixes to make money blogging, but you always need to consider your audience!
Alright y’all good luck in your journey to make money blogging!
Those are the most common ways that bloggers make money (and the ones that I’m most comfortable talking about given my experiences) but I do want to mention that the possibilities are endless. Once you grow you can be paid to cover events, take over an Instagram account, or even travel!
If you are looking for specific advice on growing your blog and monetizing, feel free to check out the income report I just published on Mostly Morgan and enter to win one of two consultations where we can talk about growing your traffic and figuring out how you can make money blogging!