The internet has unlimited earning potential. The trick is to treat your website like it’s a business (and not a hobby). If you want to learn how to make money blogging but are unsure where to start, then I recommend printing out this article and applying these 11 proven tactics right now.
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How Much Money Can You Make from Blogging?
The short answer: it depends.
You can treat your blog as a side hustle that earns between $100-$1,000 a month, or you can treat it as a business to replace your day job.
We have customers that fall into both categories. Alternatively, you can treat it as a creative outlet strictly for fun.
Although, I’m willing to bet that’s not YOU because you’re reading this post about monetizing your blog.
Sidenote: Lasso co-founder, Andrew, wrote a blog post titled Learn How to Start a Blog That Earns Over $400K A Year based on his experience building Listen Money Matters.
If you’re curious whether blogging can turn into a full-time income, the answer is a resounding YES!
I have built two niche sites that have generated over $2.6M million in *just* affiliate revenue since Jan 2018.
That’s an avg of $51.4k/month for 4+ years. 🤯 I’m going to share what I’ve learned. My first thread 🧵👇 — Andrew Fiebert (@andyfieb) June 6, 2022
His post is a step-by-step guide covering everything he’s done to turn his blog into a multi-six-figure business.
He details everything from web hosting to choosing a domain name to the traffic you’ll need to be profitable in your niche.
As well as what you should expect when getting started and how to prepare for setbacks (you’ll have them).
So, yes, you can make a lot of money as a full-time blogger.
If you’re still not convinced, Google the phrase [blogger income reports] to find the most successful people in your niche. These are always revealing for an idea of how much you can make.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
There are several ways you can earn income from your blog. Let’s review some of the most common.
Many beginner bloggers make money advertising on their sites with display ads because it’s so easy.
Ad Networks display advertisements in various places on your website or blog tailored to your target audience. For example, they’ll appear in your site’s header, footer, or sidebar.
Affiliate marketing lets you earn income from recommending other people’s products and services.
For example, let’s say you run a personal finance blog and love the robo advisor, Betterment. You can sign up for Betterment’s affiliate program and earn a commission every time a person from your blog signs up with them to use their investment services.
Commission rates vary between brands and can run anywhere from 1% to 10% of the sale.
Of course, high-ticket affiliate programs also pay considerably more money. It depends on the business’s products and terms regarding your income potential.
Have you heard of Ramit Sethi?
He’s a multi-millionaire who started a personal finance blog out of his college dorm, now amassing an audience in the hundreds of thousands.
Over the last decade, he’s created several premium courses focused on entrepreneurship, personal finance, and self-improvement.
Here’s the kicker…
His online courses generate millions of dollars in passive income. If you possess topical knowledge that someone else is willing to pay top dollar for, you can create an online course and teach what you know.
You don’t have to be Ramit to do it, either. Plenty of online business owners sell courses on their blogs.
Tip: If you don’t like the idea of creating an online course, try eBooks. The cost is low, plus they make terrific lead magnets for getting people to opt-in to your email list.
Our software, Lasso, is an affiliate marketing plugin built by affiliate marketers for WordPress users.
It lets you create custom product displays and manage your links in a single dashboard. Here’s one of our displays 👇
We also have a blog. It’s a core educational component to show people how to succeed with our product.
If you have technical expertise, consider building software that compliments your website.
Co-founders Andrew and Matt built it out of necessity because they were unsatisfied with their available options.
Tip: Ask yourself if there’s a product gap in your niche that you could fill by building a tool that solves a problem.
Your options are unrestricted to plugins. As a result, you can build software that makes it easier for people to accomplish any task.
- LinkWhisperer (WP internal linking tool)
- QueryHunter.io (content audit WP plugin)
- Carbonate (premium WP theme built for speed created by Lasso co-founder Matt Giovanisci)
Sponsorships come in several forms. Two of the most common are sponsored blog posts and podcasts.
Sponsored posts are a great way to earn money from brands looking for more exposure. Typically, they’ll pay you to publish an article on your blog.
Sponsored podcasts make an excellent money-making opportunity also. You can charge higher rates based on your audience size and the exposure level you can offer advertisers.
Email is the BEST way to engage with your audience.
They’ve already given you permission to turn up in their inbox, which means they’re more likely to buy from you.
The easiest way to grow your email list is to have an opt-in on your home page and content pages (or wherever it makes sense on your site to include one).
Start building your list immediately. Put the pieces in place to have your website ready to collect addresses.
You can use your emails to drive traffic to specific landing pages on your website. For example, it could be a sales page for an online course, affiliate product, or service you’re promoting.
People will pay money to let you solve their problems.
Or, perhaps they want:
- to learn something new
That’s where you can offer services as a freelancer, coach, or consultant.
This business model is typically one-on-one, so it won’t scale the same as selling an online course because your time is linked to your service.
But you can charge a premium price if you’re providing high-quality expertise.
How Long Does It Take to Make Money Blogging?
That depends on your business model and how hard you work.
I’ve seen people earn as little as $50 and as much as $1,000+ from blogging within six months. For example, my site generated ~$50 in affiliate commissions before crossing month seven with only 15 posts.
If you’re selling your own products, quickly getting traffic, and monetizing your email list, you can make even more money faster.
Building an engaged audience takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight. And creating a full-time income stream that lets you walk away from your 9 to 5 can take years.
How to Make Money Blogging In 11 Steps
if you’ve read this far, here’s where we give you a blueprint to follow that will yield you profits over the long term.
1. Choose A Profitable Niche
You should brainstorm different niche ideas and develop a list of a few possibilities at this stage.
Again, starting with your hobbies or interests and your existing skills and experience is a good idea. When choosing a niche, there’s some debate over whether you should “follow your passion” or choose one based on income potential.
Ideally, the right niche will include a mix of both.
While it’s not 100% necessary that you’re passionate about the topic, it makes creating content TONS easier, and running it is more enjoyable when you have at least some interest in it.
We have customers in oddly specific niches earning $500k per year. Deep ocean. RVing. Plant care. What’s the common theme?
They’re willing to give more than anyone else to their topic.
Which Topic Works Best for Blogging?
Here’s a formula for picking the right website to start. Once you have a few ideas, go through each one and ask yourself:
- Are people searching for it?
- Can I write 50 detailed articles on this topic?
- Are there products I could recommend or build that cost over $100?
2. Scale Your Blog Content
Content creation is one of the most time-consuming aspects of building a profitable blog. As a result, this will be one of the first things you’ll want to outsource and scale.
Starting from scratch involves lots of heavy lifting by you.
Chances are you’re not earning income from your blog — yet, which means you’re doing everything yourself. This is a good thing because it allows you to learn how to craft SEO-optimized articles that make money.
If you’re a beginner and try outsourcing too soon, you miss out on truly understanding how to write winning content that ranks.
What matters is posting consistently and writing blog posts that help your audience solve a problem.
The more content you produce, the more you’ll start to spot frameworks you can use in your articles that you can replicate.
For example, identifying the structure for how to write a top-ranking product review or how-to guide.
Once you understand the key components, you can teach them to the writers you hire to help scale content.
This will help you produce more articles faster and increase your site’s organic traffic.
Remember, you’re building a business and can’t be in the trenches forever. Eventually, you’ll want to remove yourself from the daily operations.
Another way to scale is by letting people guest post on your blog, which starts happening the more you build your reputation…
…which brings us to the third step.
3. Build Trust and Authority
Said another way, build yourself a reputation as somebody who shows up consistently and helps their audience.
The flip side to accepting guest posts is posting on other people’s sites in relevant niches. You want to be seen where your audience hangs out so you can build credibility, expertise, and, most importantly, trust with your readers.
Sidenote: The blogger with a strategic online presence is the person who wins more visitors and grows their audience.
Create more chances to be seen by finding the top blogs in your niche or top influencers on social media and building relationships.
Don’t stop with guest blogging; connect with people on whatever platform your niche hangs out in. Make friends. The name of the game is people helping people.
4. Grow Your Audience and Promote Your Content
Building a reputation is a byproduct of networking, promoting, and hustling for distribution.
You’ll want to get people coming to your blog, so if you’re going to do it, use the platforms that’ll help you get noticed by industry peers.
For example, pick a popular social media channel where your audience lives, and show up there consistently helping people solve problems.
Get good at SEO because it’s the best way to get sustainable long-term traffic that grows year after year.
Build an email list and promote your content to it. You can collect email addresses by creating lead magnets and offering them free (in exchange for their email).
Email marketing has an insane ROI, so the sooner you start building your list, the better.
Here’s an example formula you can try for redistributing your content across channels.
- Start with a long-form blog post.
- Write a shorter, condensed version and share it with your email list
- Take multiple small excerpts from it and turn those into social media posts
- Create an outline of your blog article and turn it into a podcast episode
- Create a video and post it to YouTube or TikTok
Tip: Start small. Don’t try to post and repurpose content everywhere. Get good at SEO, build an email list, and repurpose to one social media channel in the beginning. Then slowly expand across platforms where it makes sense.
It’s like the brilliant content marketer Ross Simmonds said, “Create once. Distribute forever.”
5. Advertise On Your Blog
Ad Networks display ads in various places on your website or blog tailored to your target audience.
They’ll appear in your site’s header, footer, or sidebar. The below example is a banner ad across the site’s footer.
One of the better-known ones is Google Adsense.
If you sign up for a program like Google Adsense, you can get an estimate of your annual revenue based on three metrics:
- Niche category
- Your country/region
- Monthly page views
For example, if you had a food and drink blog based in North America with 50,000 monthly page views, your estimate might look like this:
Google stresses these are only estimates, but it’s a good starting point.
Takeaway: $8,598 is annual revenue with 50,000 monthly page views. So, you’d need a generous amount of traffic to earn a decent living (considerably more than 50K monthly page views).
Adsense optimizes its ads to fit desktop or mobile, which increases your odds someone will see it and click. Two models you might see are CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions).
The amount of money you earn with CPC ads depends on how many times a user clicks on your ad.
CPM ads pay you based on the number of times people see your ad – not how many times it’s clicked. CPM only works if your website gets monthly visitors in the hundreds of thousands.
Some ad networks require a minimum of monthly visitors.
For example, AdThrive requires a 100,000 minimum monthly page view count and takes a 25% cut of your profits.
So be sure to investigate and know the platform you’re applying to before signing up.
6. Offer Paid Memberships
Paid memberships can give you access to a specialized community, VIP treatment, or unique one-on-one consults unavailable to the rest of your readers.
If your material is mind-blowingly good, you can get away with charging a premium price for access to its material.
For example, Pat Flynn’s SPI Pro private community carries an annual membership cost of $999.
These only work if your stuff is world-class. If you’re starting as a new blogger, a paid membership site probably won’t work in the beginning because you’re still an unknown.
But it pays off in spades if it makes sense for your website visitors.
Some people like paying for the exclusivity that comes with a paid membership. People want to feel special. If you know your audience, chances are you’ll know if a paid membership would be worth it.
7. Sell Merchandise
You don’t have to run an ecommerce business a la Shopify to sell your own products on your blog.
Websites like Thomas Frank’s CollegeInfoGeek (see below) sell merch. His blog focuses on productivity and helps people become better students.
You can always sell physical products on your blog as one income stream.
If you decide you want to sell merchandise but don’t want to hold any inventory, try dropshipping.
Whenever you sell something using the dropshipping model, the consumer buys it from a third party sent directly to them.
Dropshipping removes the hassles associated with running a shipping warehouse.
8. Become An Affiliate
Affiliate marketing lets you earn money whenever you send merchants leads or sales.
You’re the middle man connecting buyers to sellers. The reason it’s an attractive option for bloggers is that you’re the product promoter – not its creator. That means no:
- Shipping and Receiving
- Customer service call center
You only need to promote relevant products and services that help your audience ethically. Then, you earn a commission when someone clicks your affiliate link and performs an action (e.g., signing up for a trial or buying).
Perhaps the most significant affiliate program to join with the lowest entry barrier is Amazon Associates (i.e., becoming an Amazon affiliate).
But Amazon isn’t the only brand you can partner with.
You can easily find affiliate programs in your niche with a simple Google search by name or industry. For example:
- keyword + affiliate programs (e.g., pet affiliate programs)
- company + affiliate programs (e.g., chewy affiliate program)
Sidenote: You can check our database, which has thousands of affiliate programs categorized by niche.
9. Create Sponsored Content
You can monetize your website by writing sponsored product reviews or in-depth tutorials from brands your readers use (or should use).
Businesses want to raise brand awareness, and one way to do it is by getting bloggers (like you) to write posts about their products and services.
If your site’s relatively new, you’ll probably be the one reaching out to these companies because you’re unknown. But as your blog grows, companies start approaching you.
Bloggers with a substantial audience can command rates exceeding $2,500 for a single post.
Sidenote: If you have a podcast attached to your blog, as we had with Listen Money Matters, you can get sponsorships or run ads on it. Ours generated up to $150,000 annually from podcast sponsorships and ads.
Build long-term partnerships with brands in your niche that’ll let you write multiple posts spanning your blog’s lifetime (i.e., this brings in recurring revenue for your blog).
Building relationships strengthens your bond with brands that genuinely help your readers. You can reach out to companies and offer to write reviews or tutorials about using their products.
Then, leverage your monthly pageviews, the number of email subscribers, or social media following to tip the scale in your favor.
Even sharing metrics like click-through or conversion rates with brands work well. For example, your blog may not have a massive traffic volume, but if you have a loyal and engaged audience with a high conversion rate, the brand stands to make more money.
10. Provide Services as a Freelancer or Consultant
If you have expertise in a specific skill set, you can market it on your blog. For example, are you good at search engine optimization (SEO), coding, or copywriting?
These are all in-demand skills you can charge a premium for if you’re good at them. You can create content to drive traffic to your website’s services page.
Tip: Many freelancers will include a ‘work with me’ page on their blog.
The best way to showcase your fantastic hireability is by showing how your services solve a problem. An easy way to do it on your blog is to document everything you do.
You can transform every problem you’ve helped a client solve into a blog post addressing that specific pain point.
Chances are if one person had it – and you solved it for them – others have it too.
Showing how you did it boosts your credibility when others see the results you got for your client.
For example, Laura Belgray’s site, Talking Shrimp, highlights her services as an email copywriter on her blog by including a “Work with Me” section on her homepage.
And she helps other writers solve their biggest pain points. Here are some of her headline examples from content on her blog to attract both students and clients:
- “What If My Life Is Boring?” – How to Find Great Stories For All Your Content, Even If Your Life Is Dull AF
- Every Kind of Writing I’ve Ever Been Paid For (and two kinds that paid $zero)
- I’m a Born Procrastinator Who Hates Homework – Here’s How I designed a “no homework career”
11. Host Webinars
I paid money to view a live webinar of acclaimed author and marketer Donald Miller. He sat in front of the camera, shared his expertise with me, and I learned.
Webinars are great monetization opportunities. Think of every class you’ve ever paid money to attend. Now turn that into a paid, online event.
If you have a product you want to promote, online events are great because:
- You can get to know your audience better
- It gives you a chance to explain your offering in more detail
- You’ll get ideas for future content to create from your readers
You can choose between various formats, including interactive experiences, solo talks to larger crowds, and interview style.
You can try options like Google+ Hangout, Skype, and Zoom. Consider your needs, the number of participants, and the ability to change speakers.
Webinars require planning but are a low-risk way to connect with your audience, build trust, and generate revenue.
Sidenote: If you prefer to be in front of a crowd, offer to speak at events. You can charge a premium for appearing on stage and sharing your expertise with a live audience.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Make Money Blogging
Still have questions? Here are the most common we see from people who want to earn a living online from their blogs.
How do bloggers get paid?
Bloggers get paid via direct deposit, PayPal, or check.
Of course, there are other ways, such as using payment processing services like Stripe or the PayPal alternatives Payoneer or Venmo, so it’ll depend on what’s available.
Other factors to consider are:
- The convenience of using the platform
- How quickly you’ll receive your money
For example, direct deposit and PayPal offer secure and speedy payment options, which explains their popularity.
How do beginner bloggers make money?
Most beginner bloggers I’ve spoken to make money with either affiliate marketing or display ads.
Affiliate marketing lets you earn money from recommending other companies products or services, so there’s no need to hold inventory or field customer service requests — the brand handles all of that.
Display ads are another popular option because all you need to do is choose an ad format and add a piece of code to your site (without needing advanced technical skills).
Ads will display to your website visitors, and you’ll earn a percentage of income based on impressions or clicks.
Is blogging a good way to make money?
Yes, blogging is an excellent way to make money.
We walked away from our day jobs because of blogging. What’s important to remember is it takes time to grow an audience, so consistency is critical.
But, eventually, your persistence pays off as every piece of content you create results in compound growth over time (much like investing).
Lasso co-founder Matt Giovanisci likens content creation to buying stock in your own company, which carries a substantial ROI over the years (his businesses earn him $1M annually).
What kind of blog can make money?
Most blogs can make money. Sometimes it depends on the niche, but more importantly, it depends on how much you care about the topic.
A few niches that have proven to be profitable over the years fall into one of three categories:
These niches are evergreen because people will always search for how to improve in these areas.
That’s why blogs about dating advice and the keto diet are so popular. However, how well you help solve problems for your niche audience matters most (and will determine your success).
How do I start a blog with no money?
You can start a blog for under $5 by following these steps:
- Choose your niche and who you’d like to help
- Create a free website with WordPress
- Sign up for hosting
- Conduct keyword research
- Create high-quality content consistently
The only cost you’ll incur is from hosting. But you can get a shared plan for less than five dollars a month. That’s a quick explanation of how you can start your blog without breaking the bank!
How Will You Make Money Blogging?
There are numerous ways to make money online, and learning how to make money blogging is an excellent approach with a low entry barrier and startup costs.
Even better, there’s no approval process to build a blog (so you can quickly start monetizing yours). It’s hard work, and you’ll have to hustle.
The trick is consistently creating high-quality content that helps your readers solve problems.
Would you like to learn more about how Lasso can help you build a successful blogging business? Then, join our newsletter, The Monday Marketer.
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