When I started blogging in 2008, there really wasn’t a way to make money blogging. We didn’t know the value of good photography and stellar content. I think most of us were really just journaling and hobby blogging. Fast forward a bunch of years and now look at the landscape of blogging!! There are so many different money-making opportunities and creative ways to make money blogging. This post is dedicated to teaching you how to make money blogging. If you haven’t yet stumbled on my podcast, Boss Girl Creative, I also encourage you to pop over and start binge listening! Every week, I’ve got a brand new episode that teaches you the nitty gritty of blogging!! If you haven’t started a blog yet and want to know exactly what you need to do to actually start, read my How to Start a Blog post!
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
Setting yourself up for success from the very beginning is going to help you get a jumpstart on making money blogging. On to the tips!!
ONE. SET SMART GOALS
If your true intention is to actually make money blogging, you have to get into the right frame of mind in order to do just that. So your first step: to set SMART goals for yourself. Remember learning about SMART goals? (S=Specific, M=Measurable, A=Achievable, R=Realistic, T=Time-bound) Starting any business means you need a plan and blogging is no different. Set SMART goals for yourself. If you have been blogging for awhile and want to turn your ship around and really make money, this is where you need to start. If you are brand new at blogging, this is also where you start.
Let’s dive deeper into setting some goals:
Create a 1-month goal for yourself. What do you want to accomplish in the next 30 days? Let me give you some questions to answer and maybe one (or all) will be the beginning of your 30 day goal.
How much do you want to earn?
How many followers do you want to gain on ____ platform?
How many emails do you want to send to your email list?
How many blog posts will you write?
How much time will you spend on ____ platform every day/every week?
WANT A FREE GOAL PLANNING WORKSHEET?? SNAG IT HERE OR CLICK THE IMAGE OF THE GOAL PLANNER >> PRINTABLE GOAL PLANNING WORKSHEET
TWO. CHOOSING AN AD NETWORK
There are several ad networks available to bloggers. Some are free and some have requirements that you must meet before you can join their program. Most bloggers start out with Google Adsense and then migrate to a different platform. I’ve personally used Monumetric for several years, but I’ve heard rave reviews about MediaVine. Here’s the lineup of some ad network options:
Google Adsense (great for new bloggers // easy to join // payout threshold of $100)
Monumetric (4 program levels based on your monthly pageviews // can join with a minimum of 10k pageviews/month // pays via direct deposit)
MediaVine (minimum of 25k sessions over last 30 days to enroll…this is sessions & not pageviews!)
Media.net (easy to join // payout threshold of $100)
SIDE NOTE: It’s important to note that I do not recommend you put ads all over your website/blog. Too many makes the user experience extremely poor. My blog only has ads running on the blog portion of my website (not on the home page of the desktop version) and in the sidebar, where the sidebar can be seen. I do not allow in-video ads or over-image-ads. I find them annoying and even though they pay better, I’m not sacrificing user experience to make a few more dollars. It’s okay to have ads, just be wise on how you implement them!!
THREE. FOCUS ON GROWING 1-2 SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.
You will always hear me say to be “present” on all of the platforms but focus your efforts and become a rockstar at 1-2 of them. You want to party where your readers are partying OR you want to direct your readers where you are partying. If Instagram and Pinterest are going to be your jam, then tell your readers on Twitter & Facebook (in your profile/bio sections or in updates on those platforms) where you are hanging out. Long gone are the days of going viral. It’s more important to get into the mindset of discoverability…your yellow page listing, if you will. So make sure people KNOW how to follow you and where you are actually hanging out!
Instagram + Pinterest are my 2 favorite platforms. I use Tailwind to help me grow my Pinterest account and it’s an excellent tool for doing so. Sign up for your free Tailwind trial and give it a test run!! Tailwind has helped me keep the forward momentum going for my Pinterest account. I encourage you to frequently pin “live” but when you can’t pin live, Tailwind will keep your account “pinning”. And the analytics that Tailwind provides is hands-down amazing.
FOUR. CHOOSING THE AFFILIATE NETWORK/PROGRAM THAT MAKES SENSE
There are many affiliate networks and programs available for bloggers. It’s just a matter of figuring out which program/network is/are going to be the best fit for your niche. I’ve had a lot of luck with Amazon Associates but their cookies only last 24 hours (meaning you’ll make money on purchases for 24 hours from the moment someone clicks on your link and actually spends money…if they happen to click someone else’s link within that 24 hours, it will negate your affiliate link). I encourage you to really think about what affiliates you are going to market on your blog. If you shop on Etsy all of the time and talk about Etsy on your blog (or want to talk about them), it’s probably smart to become an affiliate with Etsy (which can be done through AWIN).
If you are a home renovations blogger, it would make sense to partner with your favorite home improvement store.
Here’s the lineup of notable Affiliate Networks:
Amazon Associates (notes: make sure you are in a state that allows you to be an associate; make sure you read the rules…Amazon has a lot of DON’Ts!!)
AWIN (notable brands: Etsy)
CJ affiliate…use Referral code 4330813 (notable brands: Home Depot, American Eagle, Bed Bath & Beyond, World Market, Stitch Fix, Pier 1)
ShareASale (notable brands: Cricut, Wayfair, Gymboree, Sally Beauty, Easy Canvas Prints, Minted, Creative Live, Erin Condren)
ShopStyle Collective…this would be considered a SubAffiliate Network and it’s mainly used by Fashion/Style bloggers, but there are many brands connected into this platform.
FIVE. SELL A PRODUCT OR A SERVICE
I’ve never attempted to sell a product through this particular blog, but I do sell both products and services through Boss Girl Creative, which is my podcast website. Through BGC, I offer one-on-one coaching services (I help you learn how to grow your online empire!), courses and other services related to growing your blog. I also sell Boss Girl Creative merchandise through Etsy.
If you are blogging, chances are you have something you can sell. Are you a gardening blogger? How about writing an ebook to sell that teaches what to grow in a certain area of the U.S. in a particular month? Or create some fun gardening quotes/graphics and have them printed on demand through services such as Printful. You can connect Printful to an etsy shop and sell your products through etsy (or your website)!
Here are some additional ideas just off the top of my head:
1. an ebook that teaches what fashion staples need to be in your closet for a particular season
2. a cookbook
3. one-on-one home design services
4. live video cooking lessons
5. wine-pairing e-course
There are so many different opportunities for you to make money blogging – and selling a product or a service is a very lucrative way to make money!
SIX. GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST
To be effective at selling, whether it’s your latest blog post, a service you offer or a product you’ve created, you NEED to have an email list. Growing your email list is vital to making money as a blogger. Without people to sell to, it will be a struggle to make money. AND it’s the only thing (minus your actual website) that you will always have full control over. The algorithm to your list will never change. This is super important!!
Read up on how to grow your email list. Dedicate time each week (or at least monthly) to working on growing this list.
Take a listen to these Boss Girl Creative Podcast episodes that are dedicated to growing your email list:
EPISODE 19 – SEO, BUILDING COMMUNITY & GROWING EMAIL LISTS
EPISODE 20 – OPT-INS & EMAIL LISTS
EPISODE 37 – DO’S & DON’TS OF EMAIL LISTS
EPISODE 134 – EMAIL MARKETING TIPS
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MAKING MONEY BLOGGING
Ultimately, it’s going to be up to you on how hard you work at blogging. But I can tell you, that you can absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, make money blogging. Stay up to date with all things related to blogging (stay educated!!). You can do that by subscribing to my podcast, Boss Girl Creative. Don’t post just to post. Content is KING in the blogging world, but that also means you need to put a lot of thought into the content you are creating. You do not have to post every single day or every single week. Choose a routine/schedule that works for you and stick to it. And lastly, but certainly not least, stay true to yourself. Keep your blinders on and just figure out you and work on doing “you” amazingly well. Things that work for me, may not work for you and vice-versa. I’ve been blogging since 2008. A lot of things have changed since I first started blogging (I mean Pinterest didn’t even exist!!). I’ve reinvented my blog several times as I’ve grown into blogging and who I am as a blogger. You will find that you will do that too.
It is completely okay to have a blog transformation. It’s completely okay to rebrand your blog if that crossroad comes your way. At the end of the day, your blog is your piece of the internet and you can create and publish anything you want. I hope this post has been helpful for you in thinking about ways you can make money blogging. Get to hustlin’!
(Where I Party)