How would you like to have a blog that earns over $100K per year? It's possible, but not easy.
If you want to learn how to make money blogging, then this is the guide for you.
It doesn't matter if you're a stay-at-home mom or a marketing professional looking for another way to make money; blogging is a great option. With today's tools, anyone can create their own blog with ease – no design skills required!
The trick is to do it right. Contrary to what you've been led to believe, blogging requires strategy, patience, and relentless execution, for it to work.
Creating a Blog That Makes Money
So how do you create a blog that actually makes money? The simplest answer is that don't go all in blindly. Do the homework first.
Today I'm going to show you some of the ‘proven' steps to making money blogging.
But first, here are some of the questions that ‘we the people' of the online world (you included) have been asking for ages:
- How long does it really take to make money blogging?
- How much traffic do you need to start making money blogging?
- Do people make as much as they claim to?
- Why am I not making a fraction of what other bloggers claim to make?
- How do bloggers make money?
Well, if you think about it, these questions shouldn't even be asked in the first place.
Why? Since there never can be a direct response, except for the last one (ways)
But yes, it's possible, and there are several ways you can do that.
How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners
Here are the steps to take to make at least $1000 every month with your blog:
Step 1: Choose a profitable blogging niche
To start a blog that makes money, you've got to ensure that the foundation is solid. To do that, you need to go super-niche specific. This ensures that you can, in turn, market to a target audience that is easier to understand and thus serve.
While there are obvious niches like fashion or home décor, for example- these niches have been saturated with blogs already, so finding success within them will be difficult. Instead of going into a crowded space where there will be others with a budget ten times yours, it's best to search for a less competitive niche.
To find a profitable niche, try answering the following questions:
- What do you like to write about?
- What are your interests?
- What do you know how to do well?
- What topics interest you the most?
- What do you want to learn more about?
From all these, you should have a rough idea of the niche you want to serve. Now validate these niches to see if they are profitable. To do that, here are questions you need to ask:
- What are the trending topics in my niche?
- Who are the influential bloggers in this space? How much money do they make blogging?
- How many people subscribe to those blogs, and what is their engagement rate with these influencers' content (comments, shares)?
- Who are the experts in this field, and what questions can they answer for me?
- Are there products or services that people need, but no one is providing them for free online in this space…?
- Are there books, online courses and other digital products in this space?
- Is there a need for more information on this topic, or is it over-saturated with content already?
- Is there something you would do differently to set you apart and move you up the authoritative ladder?
To answer some of the questions above, explore listicles such as best fashion bloggers, find courses on Udemy, search books on Amazon Kindle, search influencers on Instagram as well, as study the first page results for the popular topics in the niche you've selected to see if you can spot a content positioning opportunity for you.
This will tell you if there's a market for your niche. Once you have confirmed that this is the niche with a sizable audience and easy to monetize, go ahead and think about the monetization model even before you start building the blog.
Step 2: Decide on the Main Monetization Model for Your Blog
Many beginners tend to leave this till the last minute when it should actually be the next step after choosing a niche. To build a great blog that's worth your time, you'll need to know the direction that you're plotting. Knowing how you intend to monetize your niche will not only save you time but also allow you to build a more focused blog.
Some of the best monetization models include:
- Affiliate Marketing: This is where you promote products or services from other companies. You get paid a percentage of the money made by your referral without any upfront cost to you at all.
- Info products: These are digital products that you can offer on your blog. They can include eBooks, video courses and other products with information-based content.
- Membership sites: This is where you charge a monthly fee for exclusive access to premium content that isn't available elsewhere. To run a successful membership program, you need to provide solutions that address particular real pain points of your audience. Your membership content can include eBooks, workbooks, courses, templates, stock photos, live webinars, reports, software, and other valuable digital content.
- Freelance Services: This is where you offer your expertise to other people, typically in the form of short-term projects or single jobs. It's a great way to turn just one task into an income stream! Services that you can offer could include virtual assistance, website management, website development, content development, search optimization etc.
- Sponsored posts: This is where you recommend a product or service for payment. You would typically only do this if the company in question were relevant to your target audience and if you were confident in the quality of their service.
- Display Ads: Display ads are usually the easiest way to advertise on a blog that is already generating targeted traffic. To make good money with display ads, you need to have a lot of traffic. Thus, this model is great for niches that attract lots of traction, such as home decor, parenting, lifestyle, food and recipes, DIYs, beauty, and fashion. You'll need to get into premium ad networks such as AdThrive and MediaVine to make real money.
There's no one way to figuring out what monetization model will work best for your blog – not only because every niche has its own unique marketplaces but also because there are so many different types of blogs.
The key is to find a way of making money blogging that's sustainable, in line with your blog's objectives and values, and best aligned with the type of content you're publishing – whether it be affiliate marketing or digital products like eBooks, webinars and courses.
Step 3: Intentionally Build Your Blog to Make Money
It's a mistake to think that the design of your blog, its content, and your monetization model are separate from one another. They aren't. They are all part of a Venn diagram, where each is meeting the other halfway.
Your blog's design should be an intentional part of the strategy that will make you money in the long run – not something you simply do to please yourself or others on a whim.
As a new blogger, you are competing with hundreds (if not thousands) of other blogs for attention online. Your blog design, ease of use and creativity could be the one thing that sets you apart from the competition and appeals to your prospects.
A simple design can do if your main monetization model is Display Ads or Affiliate Marketing, but if you are hoping to sell $497 courses or offer a $5000 monthly consultation program, then you really have to take your time or resources to design a Bespoke website.
- Have a plan for your blog's design – how it will look, what you'll feature on the home page, and so forth.
- Use images to attract attention and tell stories that draw people in. Make sure those images are optimized for search engines too! To do that, reduce sizes so that they load faster, and include Alt text as this helps search engines understand what your image is about.
- Be creative with colors, fonts, and other design aspects to help visitors become more engaged and convert.
- Make it easy for readers to find just the posts they need with a good navigation system that is intuitive but not in their way.
- Consider your blog's branding, so everything you do reflects who you are as an expert and what service or products you offer.
- Lastly, think about how visitors decide to subscribe and make it easy for them by offering sign-up forms in different locations on the blog – like at the end of posts and on an About page so that they’ll feel more comfortable signing up.
Step 4: Design Single Post Templates That Help You Build Content Faster
Designing a template for any type of blog is key when building consistent content quickly because it saves time on formatting things properly like common features, Calls to Actions, and other blog post elements.
Depending on your needs and how your content is set up, you may need templates for:
- Specific categories
- your money making categories
- Popular posts
- Affiliate posts
- Product reviews
- How-to Guides
- List posts
- Case studies
- Custom post types etc.
To do this, you need a page builder like Elementor Pro that allows you to create templates that you can apply to your posts
Step 5: Develop a Content Strategy Designed to Make You Money
To make money blogging, you need a solid strategy. This way, you are not throwing content on the wall, hoping that some will stick. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but once you have your strategy in place, you will see increased traffic and ultimately make more money.
Developing a content strategy is nothing but answering critical questions below:
- Who are you targeting? Profile your audience
- What is your competition doing?
- What are you blogging about?
- How often should you blog?
- How long should these posts be?
- What is the tone of your blog?
- What content types will you be publishing, and why?
- What are the topics you will cover in each post?
- What is the main blog post goal?
- Will you be including any tutorials or how-to posts?
- What is the best brand voice and tone to adopt?
Once you have formulated the right answers to the questions above, set out to create a content strategy to help your blog grow. Use keyword tools such as Keywords Everywhere, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs or Semrush to identify profitable topics and keywords to target.
When you are done, your content strategy should consist of topical pillars, topics, and keywords. Keywords make up topics, and topics make up the content pillars. We call these topical clusters.
Step 6: Map out Your Audience Strategy
Your content strategy will help you figure out what content you should be creating, but you do need a way to build your own audience (your tribe.) Your best approach here will be largely determined by your monetization model.
Owned Media Audience Strategy
Owned media is content that you own the rights to, like your blog and email list. Unlike social media accounts that can be deleted, it is a permanent asset.
An owned media audience strategy will help you leverage your own content to build up an engaged following of people who want more and are willing to buy from you in return.
The best monetization strategy for the owned audiences is Digital products and affiliate marketing. Therefore, you need to build up a following for a while before launching any products so that you can target them more effectively. This audience first-product-later approach is effective since it ensures that your messaging will be right, and the products will have a demand waiting.
Sustainable Audience Channels
Some of the channels you need to use here are:
Intentional Blogging: Needless to say, your blog is your owned media, but for it to be effective, you need awesome content that people will be coming back to explore.
Start your own Facebook group: Facebook is an excellent platform for building your own community around a niche. The idea is to build up engagement in the group so that it becomes valuable enough that others would love to join or even recommend others to it. You can use Facebook groups as a lead generation tool too. When someone joins the group, ask them if they are interested in getting updates from you on related topics (eBooks, webinars) or when new blog posts go live?
Building an email list: While this is a must-have strategy for every blogger, it's more of a priority for you if your main model is affiliate marketing or your own info products. Your email list is your most valuable asset. It provides the opportunity for you to develop a more personal relationship with readers, earn their trust and even give them a reason to care.
Guest Posts: When starting, you can use guest-posting to grow your list while earning valuable backlinks at the same time. Facebook groups: These are also suitable channels for building a more engaged audience who will be more likely to buy into your own products or recommendations.
Massive Traffic Audience Strategy
There isn't really a quick way to get tons of traffic, but some channels and strategies work really well for certain niches. These are suitable if you are in a niche that attracts lots of interest and is thus great for the Display ads model. Some of the strategies to use here include:
Pinterest Marketing: Pinterest is a great way to drive tons of traffic to your blog. This is best, especially if you are in the DIY, Food, or Fashion niches. To succeed with Pinterest marketing, you need to create awesome listicles and how-to guides on your blog and then craft eye-catching pins to share on Pinterest. You will also need to learn Pinterest SEO in order to create discoverable boards and Pin descriptions.
Social Media Marketing: You can also use social media platforms like Facebook pages and TikTok to grow your followers, though that may not be sustainable in the long term. However, if you have a way to create viral posts like Buzzfeed, then you can crank up a huge following and even better engagement.
Paid Audience Strategy
I do not recommend spending money to launch your new blog, but if you are promoting your own products, then it may make sense. Just ensure that your goal is to generate leads or sales and not just click through to your blog posts. So, you can run a paid campaign to drive traffic to your squeeze page for people to download a free resource, and then they are added to a sales funnel to promote your book, course or other digital products.
Some channels you can use here include:
Facebook Ads: This strategy can be used if you have a fairly large budget, but leads are still pretty decent. The key with these types of ads includes targeting the right audience and using appropriate images or videos that makes someone feel something (e.g., curiosity). Also, experiment with different content types to see how well they perform.
Google AdWords: Google ads work well because they're built into what people already use, such as email accounts and search engines. You want something that will get noticed in these places where we spend most of our time online – so think about how it would grab someone's attention there too!
Step 7: Build a Vibrant Community
The easiest way to make money blogging is to build a vibrant community. It's not about making people buy your products and services; it is about building relationships with the audience so that they want to share their opinions on your blog posts with you.
Where you build your community can be influenced by a variety of factors, but I recommend starting a Facebook group as they tend to grow faster, and people are more engaged there.
As your group grows, you will find it easier to make money with your digital products or affiliate marketing since people there trust you and your recommendations.
Step 8: Create and Publish Mind-blowing Content
Awesome content is the best way to position yourself and to keep your readers even when you are totally new in the blogging sphere. You want people to notice you, stick around and even reference your work. No one wants to reference shoddy articles. Thus, before launching your blog, you need to spend time creating some mind-blowing guides around your topical pillars.
Since you have your content strategy in place, this is the time to start implementing them, cluster to cluster. Don't worry about touching all the bases today; instead, pick your priority topic from your content plan and cover the main blog post topics, making sure that you are telling a story through sequences.
For instance, if your blog is about SEO, you can pick content pillars, e.g., Keywords and start covering topics such as: what is keyword research, how to do keyword research for beginners, best keyword research tools, the importance of keyword research etc. In this case, your main article will be the ultimate guide to keyword research for beginners, and the rest will be cluster topics pointing to the pillar article.
If you have a budget, you can hire a few freelancers to help you with developing content for your cluster topics. Once you have sufficiently covered a topic, you can introduce the next vertical. For the case above, we can go to SEO, or Link Building etc.
These content should also have clear CTAs, such as getting people to your email list by subscribing to your newsletter, downloading an eBook or accessing a free email course.
Step 9: Monetize Your Blog
This is the moment when you actually get to monetize your blog using your preferred models, the monetization models upon which your blog has been built around ever since.
Affiliate marketing: Find the best and high-paying affiliate programs and affiliate networks to join. The products that you need to recommend should be highly relevant to your audience, and shouldn't be out of their reach, budget-wise. The best way to start promoting these products is by adding them to your resource pages and writing product reviews, listicles, and how-to guides with the aim of ranking them on Google.
Display Ads: You can either use standard Google AdSense ads or try out other ad management networks like Mediavine or Adthrive that optimize your ads so that you can earn more.
Ad Spaces: Selling ad space on your blog to other companies will generate income which goes towards the costs of running and maintaining your website. The ads should be relevant to the audience; otherwise, they will be useless for both parties.
Sponsored Posts: As your blog grows and you start amassing a large following, brands will want to collaborate with you to create blog posts that, in a way, tend to promote their products. The amount you charge for this will depend on the size of your audience and the niche you are in.
Create Your Own products: You have a few options here, from info products such as eBooks, workbooks and online courses to tools and templates that you can sell on your blog using the audience channels that you built in the previous steps.
You have the ability to make money blogging. And with this blog post, you now know how! It’s time for you to start making some real cash from your passion and knowledge-based content. The 9 steps we covered will get you on the path to success so that you can achieve financial freedom in a relatively short period of time by monetizing your online assets like never before. Did any of these 9 steps resonate with you? If so, leave us a comment below and let us know which step was most helpful for getting started as an entrepreneur blogger?