This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
Until the beginning of this year, I didn’t even know it was possible to make money with your blog unless you were a huge blogger with hundreds of thousands, or millions of page views and known all over the world. But once I started digging in and doing some research, I realized that there was potential to start a money making blog without having a massive audience.
If you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you’ve been thinking of trying to make some money with your blog. Whether you want to use your blog as a side hustle and earn some extra cash, or eventually make your blog into your fulltime online empire, I can tell you this it is possible, if you’re willing to put in the work!
How do I know? Because in August I made my first pay cheque from blogging. It wasn’t huge, but it was something and it made me believe that this whole blogging for income thing is really possible! This month so far I’ve made more than I made in August, much more! It’s not enough to live on, but it’s an extra source of income that keeps growing. Who knows where I will be six months from now!
Making money blogging isn’t luck and it won’t happen over night. There are a number of strategies that will help you make money with your blog, but you also have to have a strong foundation set up. In this post I’m going to give you all my best tips for starting a money making blog and how you can set yourself up for success from the very start!
1. BUY YOUR DOMAIN AND GO SELF-HOSTED
If you want to monetize your blog, you’re going to need your own domain and go the self-hosted route. This means using WordPress.org instead of WordPress.com or Blogger.com.
There is a fee to go self-hosted, but it’s worth it for a more professional blog. When you’re self-hosted, you own your content and have full control of your site. You ride on your own server, which means your URL will be www.layeredindulgence.com rather than www.layeredindulgence.wordpress.com (much more profesh!). You can also easily monetize by using your own ads, and you are able to use plugins and custom themes.
I suggest Siteground for hosting! They have excellent customer service and their packages start at $3.95 per month! You can also buy your own domain through them as well.
Another hosting option is BlueHost and you get a free domain with sign up!
I like to give you options so you can choose which one is best for you!
2. CHOOSE A PROFESSIONAL BLOG DESIGN
If you want people to take your blog seriously, you need a professional blog design. If you have the money to invest in a blog designer, awesome! If not, I strongly suggest purchasing a custom theme. This way you can use your brand colors, insert your logo and tagline, choose your blog layout, change the fonts, and so on.
There are beautiful and affordable options available! Take a look at some of my favourites below:
Or, if you’re interested in investing in a professional, customized web design, check my new media company out!
3. FIND YOUR FOCUS
A blog with a focus is going to be more successful with monetizing than a blog with no focus. Many people have trouble finding their focus because they are trying to write for everyone. I used to do this too. I used to think that if I wrote for everyone that more people would be able to relate to my blog.
But guess what, you actually don’t want everyone to be able to relate to, or want to read your blog. It’s important to figure out your target reader, and write for them. This is your focus. You can still write about a number of different things, but you need a focus.
Check out my post on How to Start a Lifestyle Blog to read more about finding your focus!
4. START AN EMAIL LIST ASAP
If you want to start making money with your blog, an email list will be key to your success. When you have an email list, you’re able to pop into your subscribers’ inbox weekly. The people on your list will get to know you, they’ll start to trust you, and then guess what, they’ll be more likely to buy from you when you offer a product/service/affiliate link, etc.
Think about it this way. Who would you be more inclined to buy something from? A blogger you randomly stumble upon on Pinterest, or a blogger who you’ve been receiving friendly, informative emails from for the past few months? Second one? Me too!
Want to start an email list now? Check out my post on How to Grow Your Email List to 100 Subscribers in 30 Days.
5. SIGN UP FOR AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
When promoted properly, affiliate programs can be a great way to make money from your blog. Affiliate marketing is when you link to someone else’s product or service and they give you a certain percentage if someone clicks through your link and purchases the item.
The percentage will be different with each affiliate, depending on the owner of the product. Whenever you sign up for a resource (whether it’s your blog host, email service provider, an online course, etc.) check if there is an affiliate program. If there is, sometimes you have to apply, but most of the time you can sign up right away to become an affiliate!
You can also become an affiliate for online stores, like Amazon and Etsy!
Once you’re an affiliate you can start promoting the products/services you love on your blog! You can promote them in blog posts, in your side bar, on your resources page, in your email newsletters, on your social media accounts, etc.
Just remember, if you promote affiliates, you always have to let your readers know. You may notice how I write this at the top of some of my posts (including this one): This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own! It’s just a short disclaimer to let my readers know that I’m using affiliate links in this post.
6. INVEST IN YOURSELF
When I started to buckle down and get serious about blogging, I knew it was time to invest in myself. Along with going self-hosted, buying my own domain, and buying a professional looking theme, I also invested in some online courses to help me grow my blog.
I would strongly suggest investing in blogging books and courses if you want to monetize your blog. You have to spend money to make money and I’m a big believer in continuous learning. But I will also tell you that there is a lot of BS out there when it comes to courses. Make sure the courses you choose have great testimonials and are really actionable, rather than just filled with fluff and tips that beat around the bush.
How do you know if a course will be worth it? Other than testimonials and hearing from other who have taken the course, check out the course creator’s other products. Do their free products offer lots of solid information? Do their blog posts contain tips that are actionable and crazy helpful? If their free content is amazing, their paid content will likely be even better!
PS. Want to take your blog to the next level? I now offer blog consultations, where I’ll work with you one on one to audit, grow, and monetize your blog! Click here for more info!
7. TREAT YOUR BLOG LIKE A BUSINESS
Here’s the thing. If you want to start making money from your blog, it means you want it to be your business (whether it’s a side business or your full time gig). If you want your blog to be your biz, you need to start treating it like one.
Write up a business plan, set income goals, invest in resources, do your research, focus on branding, know your ideal reader/customer! These things are so important if you want to start a money making blog!
8. OFFER PRODUCTS/SERVICES
Offering your own products and/or services is one of the best ways to monetize your blog. Affiliate marketing is great, but you’re still leading your readers to someone else’s product. Imagine you could make 100% of the earnings instead of just a cut!
You can offer ebooks, online courses, workshops, consultations, social media management, freelance services, etc. The world is your oyster! If you have a skill you’d like to share and make profit from, offer if on your blog!
NEW ON THE BLOG: Check out my NEW Services Page HERE and see how I can help you grow your blog!!! Think Pinterest packages, writing services, blog consultations, and more!
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