If you want to know how to make money blogging, you've come to the right place. I know it seems like a long shot, but it is 100 percent possible to make extra money with a blog.
Before you determine how to make money with a blog, you'll have to figure out how to get traffic to it. I'll explain exactly how you can work from home or from anywhere in the world with your blog by following certain strategies and tips.
In This Guide
How To Start A Blog And Make Money
Ultimately, you'll need to follow these general steps:
- Set up your blog.
- Write quality content to generate traffic.
- Build relationships and trust by engaging with readers, bloggers, and organizations via your blog, social media, and email.
- Sell or promote products/services your audience needs.
Does it sound scary? It's not! It just takes time, work, and strategy, which I will share with you throughout this article.
How To Get Traffic To Your Blog
Traffic is another word for who visits your site, when and why. It is one of the biggest components that will determine the success of your blog. First, you'll need the perfect niche/strategy to build your brand and begin driving traffic to your blog.
Set Your Blog Up For Success
If you want to monetize your blog, you should plan it out from the very beginning. Which niche or strategy will you use to sell the product(s) or service(s) of your choice? In other words, which type of blogs make the most money?
Types of Blogs
- How To blogs
- Review/Educational/Resource blogs
- Product/Business blogs
- News blogs
- Niche blogs to promote products and services: travel blogs, beauty/fashion blogs, food blogs, photography blogs, car blogs, minimalist blogs, etc.
Once you know which type of blog you want to use to make money, you can begin building your content and brand around it to drive traffic. Create a logo, think of your mission statement, and develop what you want your brand to embody. Make sure there's a believable purpose behind whatever it is you're doing, besides just making money for yourself.
Write Quality Content
Writing quality content is probably the most important step to generate traffic and eventually money with your blog. The only way to get readers to keep coming back is to make sure they like and trust you and your posts. There is no quick and easy way to create quality content; you just have to do it. Quality blog content should:
- reflect your blog's purpose and niche
- draw your reader in
- solve your reader's problem(s)
- be optimized for SEO with keywords throughout for higher Google rank
- be easy to read (with headers, bullets, numbering)
- contain quality images, videos, etc.
- link to your other posts and top-ranking external websites
- make sense and contain perfect grammar and spelling
If you can say each of your articles has each of these characteristics, your posts are ready for publication. You can even download the Yoast SEO Plugin or another plugin with WordPress to help you optimize SEO and ensure your content is easy to read.
Methods and Strategies to Generate More Traffic
Once you have at least 20 quality posts, it's time to begin building relationships for your brand. You'll want to get to know your readers and target audiences, get friendly with other bloggers and entrepreneurs in your niche and engage with successful organizations to emulate their strategies. You can also use social media marketing, email marketing, backlinks, outreach, and advertising to increase traffic once you've built your blog's foundation. Here's what to do.
Social Media Marketing to Drive Traffic
First, research and choose two or three social media sites to market your posts on and engage with readers and bloggers. You don't want to overwhelm yourself in the beginning. I would recommend choosing between Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
1. Create profiles, fan pages, etc. for your social sites.
- This is how you'll post your content and get your target audiences to notice you.
- Make sure your social profiles and pages look professional and reflect your brand.
2. Optimize your social sites and pages for your niche and purpose.
- Use keywords in your bio sections and all posts to target your audiences.
3. Post your content regularly, depending on the social site.
- You can do research on each social site to determine how often you should post your content. For example, you should post about 3 times a day on Twitter, 6-11 times per week on Facebook, once a day on Instagram, and 4-10 Pins per day on Pinterest, according to Adobe Spark.
- Try posting in series or themes each week to reach various target audiences.
- Include eye-catching headings, videos, and/or images in your posts.
- Analyze your blog traffic from social media referrals to determine the best times to post and to see who's viewing your content.
4. Engage and create relationships with your readers and fellow blogger/entrepreneurs.
- Follow and share posts from other websites and blogs in your niche.
- Follow and interact with your target audiences on your social sites by commenting, responding to comments, liking and sharing.
- Join and post in groups, boards, and communities within your niche and target audiences to reach specific interest groups.
Email Marketing to Drive Traffic
Generate traffic by turning social media followers into email subscribers. You can contact your readers directly to their inbox with an email marketing software once they become subscribers. This will help build your brand as well.
1. Create and post giveaways, quizzes, or contests to turn social media followers into email subscribers for more reliable traffic.
- For example, you can create a sweepstakes in which you give away a gift card to one follower who subscribes to your email before a certain date/time (chosen randomly).
- You can also create surveys to see what your customers are looking to read and buy.
2. Create and schedule email newsletters to be sent out automatically each day or a couple times a week to your subscribers.
- Include links to all of your social media profiles/pages as well as links to your other posts in your emails.
- You can even include affiliate links within your email to drive sales.
- Don't forget pictures or videos to keep your readers interested.
Backlinks and Outreach to Drive Traffic
Backlinks are just what they sound like. If you mention another blogger or website in your post and let them know, you can ask for a backlink. This way, you create new traffic for both your blog and the other person's blog or website. In relation, outreach is when you reach out to influencers in your niche to promote your website, products or services in exchange for goods or services.
- 1. Contact other bloggers/websites/organizations within your niche and tell them you are planning to link their site in your post. Ask if they'll link back to you for some mutual extra traffic.
- 2. Leave links to your site in comments on websites and blogs within your niche and target audiences. This way, people who are already engaging with content similar to yours may see your link(s) and click on it.
- 3. Reach out to influencers with thousands of followers on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram and ask if they will promote your brand, products, or services in exchange for free goods or services.
- 4. This may sound obvious, but you need to respond when people comment on your blog and social posts. If you don't respond, you won't seem real to your audience and they won't buy your selling or promoting.
Advertisements and Sponsored Posts to Drive Traffic
Advertisements are the original way to promote your blog. There are various different ways to go about it. You can purchase an original ad from a search engine like Google or pay for a spot on someone else's blog, website, magazine, etc. All is possible in the age of the Internet.
1. Many web hosting sites will give you a certain dollar amount of free advertising with search engines like Google or Bing when you sign up for their services. You can utilize search engine ads to try to gain traffic.
- Check your web host account to see if any freebies came with your plan. If not, you can create an account with Google Adwords or Bing to start running ads for your content.
- Make sure to research keywords and target audiences to optimize your ads. the best you can
2. You can also contact advertising blogs or other popular blogs/websites in your niche that sell advertising space on their site. What better way to grow your traffic than to get your site in front of people who already read similar content?
3. Traditional advertisements are ok, but social media is a lot easier and cheaper to use these days. In fact, 61 percent of people surveyed by the Social Media Examiner found sponsored social posts to be more effective.
- Sponsored posts are now available for almost every social network out there including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and more.
- Click boost, promote, or sponsor post. This should be an option as long as you have the business version of the social media profile.
- For example, on Facebook, you have to create a fan page for your business in order to boost posts. On Pinterest, you need to make sure you switch to a business profile before you can promote your posts.
- Promotion is different on every social media network. Make sure you know which audiences to target for each post and how to reach those target audiences specifically on each social site.
How To Monetize A Blog
So, how do you make money blogging once you have worked so hard to drive traffic and created a trusted following? There are actually more ways than you'd think.
Once your blog's traffic is up and you have a significant following, you can actually sell the space on the side, top, or bottom margins of your website to other bloggers or entrepreneurs trying to sell products, services, or promote their website.
Charge based on the traffic you get daily or on the number of referrals your clients receive from your site. If you don't want to create your own advertisements and sell space directly, there are other ways to do it.
How does Google Adsense work?
Google AdSense is a cost per click and impression site that allows you to apply for an account to place their advertisements on your site for cash. First, create an account and wait for approval. Then, choose the advertisement formats you like and place their codes on your website. Google chooses the ads for your site and you don't need to have high traffic to be approved.
Once you are approved, you can insert the advertisement codes right into your post, on a page, or in the margins on your site where you want people to see them. You can also use a plugin to insert the codes if you're having trouble.
How to Make Money with Google Adsense
You can make money with GoogleAds from impressions and clicks on advertisements. Get paid for impressions based on the number of page views you receive on each page or post you insert the advertisements into. Otherwise, you'll get paid for clicks whenever one of your visitors actually clicks on the advertisement.
The more people view and engage with your site, the more likely people are to click on the ads. This is why traffic and engagement are so important for monetization. Hint: try to place your ads on your blog in a way that doesn't look too spammy; people usually click away from sites with spammy advertisements.
How much does Google Adsense pay?
Keep in mind, you won't make much money per click or impression, especially just starting out. The amount you're paid changes depending on the traffic you get, the keywords searched, and the percentage of readers who clicked on an ad. You should expect to make anywhere from 0-25 cents or so per click or impression in the beginning.
2. Affiliate Marketing
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Become an affiliate by applying to promote products and services that other people are selling online. For example, you can promote 15 apps to make extra money and get paid whenever someone purchases an app.
Insert affiliate links into your posts when you talk about products you've researched, used or enjoyed. You can also post affiliate links on your social media pages/profiles and in newsletters to your subscribers to make money.
How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
It is easier to make money using affiliate marketing than pay per click ads. You can choose affiliate programs based on your niche and which products you know you can promote. The more relevant, the better.
Think about e-courses, books, electronics, online services, provider companies and more. If you have a company in mind and aren't sure if they have an affiliate program, shoot them an email and ask. Then, promote those products and services to your readers to help solve their problems. You'll make a certain percentage of commission every time someone makes a purchase after clicking on the link.
How much does Affiliate Marketing Pay?
It's hard to say exactly how much you can make with affiliate marketing because the sky is the limit. What you make will depend mainly on how much the product costs and what you've agreed upon for a commission percentage. It will also depend on how fluidly you can insert affiliate links into your posts, how much of an audience you have, and whether or not they trust you. If you have a big audience you are confident you can convert to buyers, you can make big money.
How does Amazon Affiliates work?
The Amazon Affiliates program is one of the best out there. First, you'll have to apply to the program and get approved. Similar to Google Adsense, you don't need much traffic for approval. Then, search for Amazon products that relate to your niche that you want to write about on your site.
You can add links or regular advertisements for any product on Amazon to your posts, pages, social media, and newsletters. Convince readers to buy your promoted products in order to make money. You can also make money when someone clicks on your link and buys something else, as long as they came from your site.
How to Make Money With Amazon Affiliates
Amazon pays using a performance fee structure or a fixed advertising fee structure, depending on the product. With a fixed rate, the products will have a set percentage you receive per sale each time, no matter what. The performance structure pays you a percentage based on the number of items you sold that month. This means the percentage of commission for each sale goes up as you sell more products.
How Much Does Amazon Affiliates Pay?
Amazon Affiliates rates range usually range from 4-8 percent depending on the product and how many you sell each month. For example, if you sell five products at that cost $100.00 each, you can make 4-8 percent of $500. 6 percent of $500 is $25. If you are promoting a lot of different products at once and marketing well, you should be able to make a decent income with Amazon Affiliates.
3. Digital/physical products
You can also make money selling digital and physical products online. If you're good at what you do, it can certainly be a lucrative option. For example, you can sell your photographs online for money. You can also sell paintings, refurbished furniture, jewelry and other crafts.
If you're an expert in a specific field, there is probably a service you can provide and promote on your blog to make money. For example, writers often promote their freelance proofreading or writing online while also giving vital advice to their readers. Simultaneously, they can become affiliates to promote e-courses and other tools for freelance writing to make even more money.
5. Premium Content
Premium Content is just a fancy phrase for content you need a subscription to access. Some examples of premium content include news/magazine content, webinars, e-books, online workout classes, journal articles, and more. Basically, premium content should consist of information or tools your readers cannot get elsewhere without a subscription. If you have premium content to offer, you can make money selling it on your blog.
Things You Should Know About Making Money Blogging
1. Don't overlook quality content. Quality content is a key to converting readers into buyers. If your content is all over the place with various grammar and spelling mistakes, it's not going to make a good impression. If necessary, you may need to hire an editor or proofreader to read over your work. Then, study each quality content characteristic above to ensure your writing is optimized to make you money and help your customers.
2. Social Media Marketing is VITAL. More than $9.4 billion was spent on social media marketing in the U.S. during 2015, according to Statista. Social media is vital, to say the least. Not only can you promote your content freely with engagement, you can now sponsor your posts to reach audiences you've never reached before. If you're not utilizing your social media profiles correctly, you're seriously missing out.
3. You can use more than one method to make money blogging. If you're wondering, hey, can't I put a bunch of these methods to use and see which one makes me the most money? You're right, sort of. Just make sure you're not overwhelming your readers with too many advertisements and you should be ok. Like I said earlier, if your readers don't believe you're actually there to help them, they'll be less likely to click on or buy your products.
4. You won't make money overnight. Making money blogging will not be easy. In fact, you may have to put in more work than you think to complete the steps above and eventually become successful. If you're willing to put in work from the beginning, you'll have a better chance of success in the end. Just know it may take a while to get there.
5. Don't give up. Even if you complete all of the steps above, you may find you're not reaching success as quickly as you desire. Don't give up. Know that it takes a while of repeating the same process to get results. Make sure to analyze what works and what doesn't so you can learn from your mistakes.
How To Make Money Blogging Recap
Ultimately, there is a lot of money to be made blogging. There are blogs making $100,000 a month right now and blogs making $1.00 a month. You can make it to the top if you put your best effort forward from the beginning and follow the necessary steps to succeed.
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