Starting a blog for profit is totally and 100% exciting. You create an opportunity to get in touch with your inner creative, connect with your audience, and make a little bit of money on the side. Yes – did you know that you can make money blogging?
I made my first $1,000 profit in blogging in five months. By the sixth month, I made $2,274 blogging – as in, yes, I either had that money paid to me via Paypal/direct deposit, or I received referral credits to companies I actually use.
And you can do it, too. This guide will walk you through ten steps you need to take to make money blogging in the next 30 days.
But before we get started, remember one thing: blogging takes work.
Even if you do automate your tasks, you still need to create and promote your content, build your community, and put in the work to improve your blog. You’re not going to achieve success overnight, but you can certainly take one (or two) steps each day to work your way towards it.
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1. Build a beautiful blog.
First and foremost, strive to build a beautiful blog. Strive to make a good first impression with your readers. When you have a beautifully-designed website, your visitors will be more inclined to read your article, more inclined to browse your content, and more inclined to return.
First of all, what platform are you using? Investing in your own self-hosted WordPress blog has so many benefits, including having a fully customizable website.
Related Reading: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
It’s so much harder to monetize a blog in the long run if you’re on a “free host” like WordPress.com or Blogger. You have to adhere to their rules about monetizing. It’s better to make the investment now to fully reap the benefits of your hard work. If you’re ready to take your blog seriously, we recommend either of two options:
- Get started with Siteground web hosting at only $3.95/mo.
- Or, get started with Bluehost web hosting at a special $2.95/mo. plan – and your very own free domain!
Once you get set up with web hosting, install WordPress and choose a blog design that creates a good user experience.
- Cityhousedesign: simple & feminine WordPress themes
- Divi theme by Elegant Themes: responsive & customizable WordPress theme framework. Although a little pricier, it’s totally customizable and easier to build the website you imagine (we use the Divi framework on Reroute Lifestyle).
2. Partner with the right affiliate programs for your blog.
One of the easiest ways to make money blogging is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you partner with companies to promote their product. You’re given a special link, and if someone makes a purchase through that link, you receive a commission.
It’s a simple way to make money blogging because you don’t have to create your own product and market it. You just have to work on the marketing for that post!
Related Reading: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
But something you need to do is partner with the right affiliate programs for your blog. To do this:
- Think about your audience & their demographic,
- Think about your blog’s mission,
- Choose affiliate programs that align with your mission, and also target your audience demographic.
Taking the time to choose the right affiliate programs will lead to your success in the long run.
3. Add advertisements to your blog.
Another way to start making money blogging is simply by adding advertisements to your blog. This is a personal choice – some people refuse to add advertisements to their blogs, which is totally respectable.
As your traffic grows, however, you could be “giving up” income from your blog. As a novice blogger with growing traffic, you could try a couple different ad networks:
Or, instead of using ad networks, you could sell advertising spots to other companies. This requires a little more time, but would also result in a higher revenue stream to your blog.
4. Join websites that connect you with sponsors.
You could also join websites that connect you with sponsors! If you have a growing social media following, it’s easier to get collaborations. But some websites definitely give the opportunity for you to make money even with a small following.
- Linqia: Connect your social media accounts and Google Analytics to get started with Linqia. Then, brands will reach out to you to collaborate on a sponsored post.
- Activate by Bloglovin: Once you get your profile set up with Bloglovin, you see a queue of campaigns. You can read through the campaigns and apply/pitch to the company to collaborate on a blog post or social media posts.
- Izea: Connect with advertisers to promote their articles, products, etc. on social media (Twitter/Facebook).
- Maven: Add your blog to your profile, and as sponsorships come up, receive emails for potential brand collaborations.
Related Reading: The Influential Blogger’s Guide to Using Maven to Make Money Online
5. Monetize your highest performing posts.
So, if you’re a blogger who still hasn’t monetized, take time to look at your analytics. Analyze which posts are your most popular.
Are they monetized?
You can either link to a relevant affiliate (for example, you’re talking about travel accommodations and mention Airbnb) or add advertisements to that specific post.
If those posts are generating traffic, there is something about them that interests others.
Related Reading: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
6. Make effective use of your sidebar.
Another way to increase your income is by making effective use of your sidebar. It’s essentially free real estate on your blog. Rather than letting your sidebar pointlessly take up space, take time to make sure every part of your sidebar works for you.
- Use your sidebar to link to your most popular monetized posts
- Advertise your services using a banner on your sidebar
- Or, add banners/advertisements on your sidebar
You might notice we choose not to have sidebars on every page. Ultimately the choice of whether or not you want to add sidebars to your blog is 100% up to you!
7. Interlink your posts with each other.
Are you interlinking your posts together?
A simple way to increase revenue from your blog is by interlinking relevant posts with each other. If you interlink posts in a way that encourages others to click to other articles on your blog, this does a number of things:
- Increases ad revenue
- And, increases the likelihood of affiliate sales
If someone visits your blog and loooves the article they read, make it effortless for them to find other similar, amazing content you wrote.
Your blog tells a story, and there are likely older posts your newer readers haven’t read. You can easily connect your posts together by linking to other posts each time you write a post.
And now that you monetized your highest performing posts, you can also think of creative ways to link to those posts in other articles. Since they are your highest performing, something about those posts obviously interest others.
Linking to your other posts in articles will decrease your bounce rate, increase your viewership, and make it easier to earn money from your blog.
8. Write a sensational, shareable post.
One of the ways you can make money blogging this month would be to write a sensational post your readers will want to click, read and share.
There are a few ways to get your posts more clicks and more shares:
- Do your research on what topics in your niche people are interested in, and create content based on that.
- Write captivating headlines that make people curious or create urgency.
- Deliver (or even better, overdeliver) with the content you write in the post.
- Share others’ content and they may be inclined to share yours in return.
There is no gateway recipe to going viral, but if you do your research on what people like to read, create content jam-packed with information, and write headlines that make people want to click, your posts are more likely to be seen and even more likely to be shared.
9. Create a resources page.
Another way to make passive income is by creating a resources page for your blog. A resources page is a collection of products and services you use! You can do this for any niche.
- Writing about self-care? Create a list of self-care books, self-care planners, or items you use for your own self-care.
- Managing a travel blog? List the website you use to book flights and hotels, the apps you use to travel, and your fave travel essentials.
- If you write for fitness fanatics, you can list any of your favorite at-home fitness DVDs, your favorite at-home equipment, or of course the athletic clothes you use and love.
Resources pages are useful for your readers because they get access to the products you use and they see on their social media feeds. And they’re useful for you because if someone gets inspired by something you list, you can make money from it!
10. Create a product to sell to your audience.
Alternatively, you can work towards creating products to sell to your audience. This can take more time depending on the type of product you create.
- If you’re an organization guru, you can sell your own spreadsheets/planning printables to your audience.
- Maybe you’re a seasoned traveler who can sell in-depth travel guides (with “secret locations”) to your audience.
- Alternatively, you can write about your experience and expertise in an ebook or ecourse.
- Or, if you’ve worked in a specific career field for a long period of time, you can write educating others about your career choice and any advice you have.
Remember to tailor the products you create to your audience. Even though Mike and I have worked in hospitality, it would be random if we tried selling hospitality products to our audience of people who want to make money online. So think about your audience, their problems, and their needs as you create a product for them.
Not sure what to create? Ask for feedback and find ways to ask your audience where they struggle most.
I did this when I wrote my ebook Career in the Making. While I wrote this book, I constantly asked my readers what they wanted to know and where they struggled most. Their answers ultimately helped me create content for the book – because I wanted to directly answer their questions about growing blog traffic and making money blogging.
Bonus: Remember to share your content on social media.
With all that being said, after you complete the steps above, you still need to promote your posts in order for people to see them. No matter how amazing your post is, traffic isn’t going to come naturally.
You can write the best and most interesting post of all time but you still need to promote the post in order for it to be seen.You can write the best post of all time but you still need to promote the post for it to be seen. Click To Tweet
Don’t give up!
Blogging requires time, determination, consistency and hard work.
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But it’s so worth it! Starting this blog has been so fulfilling to me. It’s an incredible feeling to spend time working on a post, publish it, and receive feedback from it! Whether that feedback comes in the form of blog comments, Facebook comments, private messages or even tweets.
And feedback isn’t the only part that’s fulfilling. Surprisingly enough, starting a blog requires more than just writing.
The skillset of a blogger is actually incredibly versatile. You are also:
- your very own social media manager
- the business manager for your blog
- a graphic designer
- the marketing and advertising campaign manager
- …this list goes on, and it’s freaking impressive!
Learning to fine-tune your blogging expertise, and all the roles that come with it can be very fulfilling in and of its own.
Our favorite part of the discussion happens in the comments!
How have you monetized your blog? What’s worked for you, and where do you struggle?