How to Make Money Blogging

How to Make Money Blogging

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How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners

Whether you have a blog or you’re thinking about starting a blog, you’ll want to know…How can I Make Money Blogging.

You’re in the right place and I hope you’re sitting down because this article is JAM PACKED with information you probably won’t find anywhere else.

I know there are skeptics out there that ask, Can you really make money blogging? The answer is a resounding YES!

It took some time, but I have found the right formula to make money blogging and make it CONSISTENTLY without selling an ebook or course. Most people don’t have the patience to blog because it requires a lot of work and it can take a while before you make any money. 

I started my blog at the end of January 2018 with zero traffic and only made $5,000 the ENTIRE YEAR.

Fast forward to January 2019, I get well over 100,000 page views per month consistently and I earn over $5,000+ per month (Since April 2019).

screenshot of blog earnings

My goal by the end of this year is to be earning $10,000+ per month. I can’t believe I’m even saying that!!! $10,000 per MONTH!

And my goals for next year are even greater.  

There is a formula I’m following that came from my experience in learning what works and what doesn’t. This will help you avoid pitfalls and can save you time and money. That’s what I’m going to share with you today to help you get started.

I take blogging seriously. This is a business and it allows me to stay home with my kids and contribute to the family income.

Let’s get started by defining the different ways you can make money blogging and THEN we’ll get to the part that’s going to change the game for you.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Here’s How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners

1. Advertising

Many people monetize their websites through display ads, you’ll probably see them throughout this article.  When you are just starting out most people join the ad network Google Adsense because there are no traffic requirements.

There is no magic number of articles you’ll need to write to get accepted to Google Adsense but you do have to have enough quality content to make your site a valuable addition to the web before they will approve your site. Once you feel you have that, then you can apply.

Pro-tip: If you sign up for Google Adsense and you have a WordPress site you’ll want to download the insert header and footer plug-in to claim your website. It took me forever to learn this.

I will leave applying to Google Adsense up to you, I only made $147 for the 3 months I was with them. Technically I still have $41 in my account and unfortunately, it will stay there because in order to get paid out it has to be $100 or more.

I switched to another Ad network called Mediavine which pays 5-10X more than Google Adsense my 4th-month blogging! You’ll need a minimum of 25,000 sessions within the last 30 days to apply. Update: They recently changed their requirements to 50,000 sessions within the last 30 days before you can apply.

You can also choose to apply to Monumetric (another Ad network) which only requires you to have 10,000 sessions per month. You can see Monumetric’s full requirements here.

This will take some time to accomplish, that’s why I really like to push Affiliate Marketing because for many programs it doesn’t matter how much traffic you have to start earning and I earn WAYYY more through Affiliate Marketing than ads.

Ads also slow down your site and don’t provide the best user experience taking people away from your site if they click on one. I don’t have ads on all of my articles especially the ones with big affiliate opportunities.  I’m posting a video on how to best use affiliate marketing shortly on YouTube so make sure you subscribe so you’ll be notified. Click here to subscribe to my Youtube channel.

I had a great traffic day the other day (19.4K page views) and made $400 in just one day from ads. It was a nice way to end the month with almost $5,000 in JUST Ad sales. This was a great month but it doesn’t happen all the time, so make sure you really focus on affiliate marketing (I’m really trying to stress this because of the importance of it)

screenshot of blog earnings

I have only written 60 articles (I’ve been doing this for 15 months with two little ones so it’s hard to push out a lot of content) but that proves it’s not about quantity (how many articles you can push out) but the quality of articles you write.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing (my favorite) is when you refer someone to a product or service online using a unique link and if they make a purchase through your link, you earn a commission.

You know how you recommend different products or places to friends? Well, now you can get paid for it!

Here’s an example of how I use affiliate marketing. You know the pop-up that came across your screen (or it should have if you’re on your desktop) that said follow me on Pinterest?  It should have looked like this,
screenshot of pinterest Well, that pop-up is run by Milotree, and it has helped me gain over 6,000 Pinterest followers in a short amount of time.

I seriously can’t believe how fast my following has grown on Pinterest due to Milotree, so I signed up for their affiliate program, I was given a special referral link, and I wrote an article about quickly growing social media followers here.

I used my affiliate link every time I mentioned Milotree in that article so it would track if the reader took my advice, clicked on the link and made a purchase.

From that post so far 44 people have purchased Milotree through my link and I’ve made $880.

screenshot of milotree earnings

That’s how Affiliate Marketing is supposed to work. Promoting a product or service that you’ve actually used or heard great things about and encourage others to try it as well.

Affiliate Marketing is great BUT don’t think you’ll get paid right away. For this particular program, I won’t get paid until two successful payments from the referral which is in two months.

I’m a part of many other affiliate programs, but this is just one I wanted to highlight. I go more in-depth about Affiliate Marketing here and I definitely want to mention my absolute favorite blogger’s course Affiliate Marketing for Beginners. I have learned so much from her and she is a big reason for my blogging success, DEFINITELY check it out if you really want to get into this and learn the ropes from her.  

3. Sponsorships

Once you start building an audience, companies will pay you to promote their brand or service. Sometimes they’ll reach out to you but you can also reach out to them with a proposal of exposure you can get them for a fee.

I had a company approach me to help promote their work from home opportunity. I checked it out and it was relevant to my audience so I accepted and charged a $250 one time fee. They accepted my price and I wrote the article in about 2 hours on my way home from a family vacation. I sent it for their approval and posted it. You can see that article on making money doing laundry from home here.

Other sponsorship opportunities could be an Instagram post depending on your following, Facebook post, tweet, or email blast. Wherever you have an engaged audience you can make money with sponsorships.

For any other sponsored posts I do I charge $1,000 because my value has increased because of the volume of traffic I get and engaged audience.

4. Services

I’ve had pretty good traffic to my blog in a short amount of time so I found a job on Upwork to help another blogger increase his traffic for $250 for a month. I should have charged WAYYY more BUT this was a great learning experience AND case study to show others how I helped this person grow traffic from nothing to XX, XXX monthly views.

You learn so much from starting a blog; you can become a Virtual Assistant to help other bloggers, Social Media Manager, Proofreader, Editor, or Freelance Writer. You need a platform to show your capabilities, and that’s how you can make money blogging from home through services. Your blog is a way to show the work you’ve done and can do.

If you want to start a blog, check out my step-by-step guide on blog starting here.

5. Digital Products

Many many bloggers make a lot of their money from digital products in the form of ebooks or courses. They use their blog as a platform to promote their products and do very well. It makes so much sense if you have a product to sell to have a blog support it.

Now that you have an understanding of how to monetize your blog, let’s talk about the next most important thing. How to get traffic to your website so you can make money BUT first you have to decide on something.

What’s Your Niche? Here are some of the Types of Blogs that Make Money

Scrivs from Obstacle says the 7 types of blogs that make the most money and gain the most traffic are:

  • How to Make Money
  • Personal Finance
  • Health and Fitness
  • Food
  • Beauty and Fashion
  • Lifestyle
  • Personal Development

You can certainly make money in other niches, but these are just the most popular. You want to get as specific as you can.

For example, the MAIN reason people will come to my site is to find work from home opportunities for moms. I, of course, write about other things, but that’s the main reason someone would come to my site. Think about the MAIN reason someone would come to your site.

You want to be the go-to resource. Have you ever heard the riches are in the niches? It’s soooo true.

Once you know what niche you’re in then comes the next step…

Create Useful Content

Now that you’ve picked your niche, you need to find out what to write about. Remember, this is a business if you want to make money blogging you need to be intentional about what you write.

Don’t think you know what people want to read, do your research so you’ll know.

No matter what niche you’re in, people have questions, and your job is to give the BEST possible answer to those questions. 

But how do you find out what questions or topics people are interested in?

Use your competition for a guide, everyone has competitors and you’ll need to know who they are. Jeff Bullus said it best, “Competitive analysis is perhaps the strongest indicator of what works. By observing what resonates with the audience of competing businesses, you can better predict what your audience will appreciate.”

Join their mailing lists, stay in the know of what they’re doing.

I’ve found my competitors by doing Google and Pinterest searches on articles I want to write about. I see what bloggers come up in the search results, I record their sites and study them. I use them as a guide for what articles I can write about and see what Affiliate Programs they use (You can see how they use affiliate programs to make money here).

There are a number of ways to get topic ideas from your competition but here are the 3 tools I use:

  • Ahrefs – I used the 7-Day trial for $7 to see what articles (keywords) my competitors wrote that were ranking well on Google based on search volume (I look for 5,000 monthly searches or more, you decide what works for you) and built a list of article ideas that lasted me for months! Note: I think Ahrefs realized most people were taking advantage of the 7-day trial so they extremely limited the information they offer at $7. To get the best bang for your buck you may want to consider their $99/mo. plan. You can cancel whenever you want but if I were you I’d get as much information as I can on my competitors in that one month and then cancel (You can also get with other bloggers and share in the cost, I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon but it’s a way to save money). I see many bloggers in FB groups doing this.
  • Pinterest – I check the repin rate of pins to see if a topic is highly shared. I discuss how to use Pinterest for business here.
  • Keyword Research – I could and really should write a whole article about this but due to my limited time, I’m going to jam it all in this article.

Visual learning is always better when it comes to learning how to do keyword research, so I did a video to show you step-by-step on how I find keywords here.

I go more in-depth in the video, but here is a snippet of how I do it.

This is a part of my formula for making money blogging. So pay close attention to these steps.

If you’re not using Google Chrome, please download it. Then once you have Google Chrome download Keywords Everywhere. (Starting Oct 2019 you’ll have to pay for this, only $10 but WELL worth it) Keyword Surfer is a great alternative if you don’t want to pay. I haven’t personally used it, but I’ve heard great things and it works similar to the Keywords Everywhere tool. 

Once you sign up they will send you an API key, copy and paste that code in the Keywords EveryWhere icon at the top right of your screen under Settings

screenshot of Keywords Everywhere interface

Once you do that then the magic happens. Now, go to Google Chrome and type in anything in the search bar, you will now see something like this,

screenshot of google search bar

I literally typed the word “anything” in lol and you can see that 135,000 people search for that word per month. I don’t pay attention to CPC or Competition, I only care about the monthly search volume of a keyword.

Isn’t this awesome? You can now see how often people search for different queries.

But I don’t care about the keyword “anything” because I can’t write about this. People go to Google because they have a problem and typically write questions in the search bar.

As content creators, our job is to solve those problems within our niche and give the BEST possible answer.

So when trying to find topic ideas I use 3 words or more. You won’t find many questions in two words or less. These are known as Long tail keywords and their more targeted keywords or queries.

Before we go any further let me explain something. The monthly search volume is only based on statistical data from searches in the past, it’s not totally accurate. I use this tool to just give me a sense of how often a long-tail keyword is searched for each month.

If I want to write about something and I find that no one searches for it, I probably won’t write about it unless I know it could do well on Pinterest or be helpful to my readers.

Pinterest is a whole other animal that I discuss in detail here.

Google’s job is to find users the best possible answer to their query, so I consider myself working for Google because I want my article to be the first article that shows up for the long-tail keyword I’m targeting.

Yes, there are other search engines out there, but I really care about the one that gets 1.17 BILLION daily users looking for answers to questions I’m hoping to solve in the Personal Finance niche.

I now have a number of articles ranking #1 on Google for my targeted long-tail keywords. This is how I consistently get traffic to my website because people are consistently using Google.

So when I’m out with my kids or doing whatever, people are continuously coming to my site, reading my articles and I’m making money from the ads on my articles and if anyone makes a purchase using one of my affiliate links. 

There’s nothing I enjoy more than doing the dishes or whatever and seeing an email pop-up that says “Congratulations you’ve made an affiliate sale.”

Right now I get 63,340 people per month coming to my website from Google (Organic Search).

Please note, I just learned how to do all of this keyword research and search engine optimization at the end of July 2018 and it takes time for articles to rank on Google once you do proper keyword research and get backlinks (I’ll talk about this shortly). I have a number of other articles creeping up to the first page of Google so my traffic from Google is increasing every day.

screenshot of keyword research

You’ll also see that I get 76,032 from Social which is really all from Pinterest and that’s good BUT it’s not always consistent.

One day Pinterest had a glitch and marked thousands of legitimate accounts as spam (including mine) and that’s when I knew it was time to diversify my traffic and look for something that was more consistent. My account was disabled for what seemed to be the longest day in the world.

I’ll probably always use Pinterest because I get traffic to my articles pretty fast and it actually helps me rank on Google faster. I definitely recommend using both platforms to get traffic to your website. 

If you take a look back at the chart above you’ll also notice the time users spent reading my articles on Social are drastically different than when they find me on Google (Organic).

It’s because people were actively looking for my articles on Google using keywords to find them, meaning they were more interested in what I had to say rather someone clicking on my article by chance on Pinterest.

Google is more targeted traffic which is better for conversions. I even make more in my ad revenue because users spend more time on my articles from Google.

Update: Just a few short months after I wrote this article my Organic (Google) traffic superseded my Social (Pinterest) traffic. Here’s a screenshot of my visitors from the last 30 days.

screenshot of blog visits

I FINALLY figured out how to rank on the first page of Google AND in the number 1 spot all because of a coaching session I took with Debbie Gardner.

I met Debbie Gardner in a Facebook group who changed the game for me in a 2 hour SEO coaching session in July 2018. It was the best $75 I ever spent. She gets over 500,000 monthly users visiting her website from Google, so she knows what she’s doing. She no longer does the coaching sessions, but she wrote two ebooks with everything she taught me.

If you really want to get your articles seen on Google check out her two ebooks, Easy On-Page SEO (for beginners) $47, and Easy Backlinks for SEO $67. You need both. I even bought them after my coaching session. She is seriously undercharging for these books and it has changed the game for me. You get $20 off if you purchase the SEO book bundle here.

Let me show you a little exercise I go through when I’m writing an article. I’ve learned a lot of this from Debbie, but I won’t give all her tips away.  

We’ll use this article for example…

When I first wanted to write this article I wanted it to be about how to get traffic to your website. I searched for that question (long-tail keywords) in Google, and the Keywords Everywhere tool told me only 1,900 people search for this question per month (estimated).

screenshot of google search bar

I was hoping more people searched for that question so I kept searching for different questions that had a higher search volume. After playing around I landed on this one,

screenshot of google search bar

I much rather spend my time writing an epic article on How to Make Money Blogging with a chance of 27,100 people reading it per month than 1,900.

So I changed my focus on this article, even though I’m still talking about how to get traffic to your website right now. I’m very intentional about what I write.

With two kids and only mornings and nap time to write, I have to focus on what will get me the best bang for my buck.

I took a look at the top 10 articles that are ranking for this long-tail keyword on Google, and I’ve got some big competition.

I use KWfinder to find out how competitive a keyword is (I LOVE this tool, try out the 10-day free trial for KWfinder),

screenshot of KWfinder

You see the Long-tail keywords “how to make money blogging” in orange at 38? Well, that means that the competition for this long-tail keyword is kind of hard, meaning it will be tough to rank on the first page of Google. It’s 38 out of 100, 1 is easy 100 is hard.

The first page of Google is the only place you want to be for your targeted keyword and in the first or second position. I mean, who really goes to the second page of Google and most people don’t go past the first two articles that show up.

I love KWfinder because it gives me ideas for other articles to write that are easier to rank for like, “How to make money with a blog for beginners.” Moz is also a good tool I use to see how competitive a keyword is. 

I know the keyword “How to Make Money Blogging” will be difficult BUT since I know what I’m doing, I already talk about blogging on my blog (relevant niche) and I’m providing A LOT of value to my reader, Google will probably rank this in due time. Especially if I can get some bloggers/website owners to link this article to one of their articles.

You see, bloggers like to recommend good content to their readers. So when you write, try and make it the most comprehensive and helpful article that exists on the internet for that topic and bloggers may naturally link to your article to help their readers.

Feel free to include this article on your site if you find it helpful  :-).

Please note, I normally go after long-tail keywords with high search volume and low keyword difficulty because it’s easier to rank for a fairly new blog like mine.

Ok, so now that I have chosen the Long-tail keyword “How to Make Money Blogging” I’m going to start writing my article (this article). Darren from Problogger wrote an excellent article on his Step-by-Step Process on How to Write a Blog Post. I really think you should read this.

After that, I use the techniques from Debbie’s On page SEO book to make sure my article is written in a way that Google will pick it up using my targeted keywords.

And keep this Free 38-Item checklist on hand for when you write your articles to make sure you didn’t miss any steps.

Once I’m done with that, I have my mom review my articles. I love my mom, I’m really not a great writer so she always does a read over and makes edits to make me look good. If you can, it’s always good to have a second pair of eyes read your article before publishing.

I also use Grammarly to check for grammar mistakes, even though they are wrong sometimes.

Once the article is published, I make pins to promote on Pinterest and send to my email list. I work on getting backlinks using the techniques Debbie taught me and I move on to write another article. Rinse and repeat.

I recently did a video showing EXACTLY how I was able to get this other article I wrote to rank #1 on Google. So I highly recommend checking it out if you want to know how I write my articles to rank on Google.

I’m just starting to use YouTube so if you learned ANYTHING please at least like, comment, and subscribe to my channel as a way to say thanks 🙂 because I know this information is going to help you build a successful website.

It’s really important for new bloggers to know that there are more factors to ranking on Google than just writing great optimized articles such as;

  • Domain longevity – Google needs to be able to trust your website before they start ranking your articles and just like any other relationship, trust takes time.
  • Backlinks – Here’s how Moz explains it, In essence, backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth surfacing on a search engine results page. So, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position or search visibility.

This is the beauty of Debbie’s ebook on getting backlinks because you don’t have to reach out to bloggers to link to your article. It’s brilliant.

I’m also in many Facebook groups where bloggers reach out to other bloggers to contribute to their articles, I jump at the chance to do this if they are in my niche so I can get a backlink. Debbie talks about those groups in her backlink book as well.

Guest posting to get backlinks is now frowned upon in Google’s eyes, so don’t waste your time doing any of those if the only goal was to get a backlink.

  • Domain Authority – Each site has a domain authority ranked from 1-100, this goes along with the trust factor and backlinks. As more time goes on and the more backlinks you receive from higher Domain Authority websites your Domain Authority will increase. You can download the Moz toolbar to see your Domain Authority and check others as well. An example of a website with a high domain authority would be Forbes
  • Mobile-friendly pages – Your site MUST be mobile-friendly, and that’s all I have to say to that.

Do you see how much is involved? Do you see why most people don’t succeed? It’s a heck of a lot of work, but it’s OH so worth it.

So, are you ready? Do you have what it takes to make money blogging? Please know that there are sooooo many bloggers that do not use this route to make money and you don’t have to either. This is just what I do and I think it’s a great way to make a passive income.

If you haven’t started a blog, check out my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog and see how I only paid $84 for my theme and host.

It’s important to write your articles for Google now, so as time goes on and you gain more traction and Domain Authority your articles will start to rank.

This is my Formula:

  • Find high volume Long-tail keywords within my niche
  • Write in a way that Google will pick up my articles using keywords aka on-page SEO
  • Work to get Backlinks 
  • Find ways to monetize my articles with affiliate links
  • Promote on Pinterest to get them to rank on Google faster

You don’t have to do like I do searching for high volume long-tail keywords, the more articles you write following the steps above will start to accumulate and get you a nice consistent flow of traffic each month.

Final Tips

I’ve been asked by many people to start a YouTube channel to help them along the way with their blog and I finally did it! Make sure you subscribe here to my Youtube channel and hit the bell for notifications so you’ll get alerted whenever I release a new video.

I’m all about helping people. I don’t have a course or ebook to sell. I’m just trying to help out because there is enough room for all of us.

I recommend joining the Facebook Groups Blogging Like We Mean it and BTOP Ultimate Blogging Group.

The guys over at BTOP just made $190,000 in one MONTH! They use a very similar approach as I do, but they just removed all their ads from their articles and only make money from affiliate sales.

They made $0 the first 18 months of blogging, and now they are making more money in a month than most people make in 2 years. That’s why it’s so important not to give up. The Facebook Group is a great supportive blogging group, and these guys are so helpful for FREE!

If you liked this content be sure to subscribe to our mailing list as we love to talk about different ways to make legitimate money from home, save and invest.

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Published at Mon, 21 Sep 2020 09:00:45 +0000