If this is not your first time to search for how to make money blogging, then am pretty sure you might have come across a lot of posts that only give you a list of the “ways” to make money blogging. This post is different.
I want to hold you by the hand and give you a practical and actionable step by step method to show you how to make money blogging. This guide will show you everything there is to know about making money blogging.
How do you make money blogging?
To make money blogging, you will build an audience first and monetize that audience using the right strategies.
What will you learn today?
- How to build an audience
- How to monetize your audience
Tighten your seat belt let’s make this an awesome journey. Want to turn your blog into a money making machine? I guess you do. Of course, we all do.
Blogging is the business of the 21st century. More than one million dollars every month (survival life and many other blogs) just by giving out free information to the world through a very simple platform sounds too good to be true.
Yeah, but that’s the reality. That’s the power of blogging. For less than $100, you can start your blog today.
Build An Audience First
Everything about making money online boils down to building a targeted and loyal audience and converting that audience into leads and sales.
If no one is reading your blog, there is no way you can earn anything from it. The most common mistake among newbies is that they ignore building an audience.
The blog itself is not the business. It just fuels the business. Here’s what I mean in a lay man’s lingo:
You start a blog about Gambling. Your ultimate goal is to reach as many people interested in gambling as possible. You build a solid relationship with them by providing them with valuable information whenever they need it. They become your friends and loyal readers.
Because of the trust already built between you and your audience, they will not hesitate to buy any product you recommend to them. This is how you make money blogging.
It seems too simple on the surface. Let’s now delve into the juicy details of building a loyal audience through your blog.
You can have the most valuable information in the world but if no one knows about it, then it is useless. That is why, in order to make money from your blog, you need traffic. People most find your blog and read what it has to offer.
How do you get traffic to your blog?
- Social media
- Q&A sites
The main way to get blog traffic is from Google and other search engines. This is called organic traffic. Google has set many rules to make sure that only those who provide valuable information will rank high.
In order for people to find see and read what you have to offer on your blog, your blog must rank well on the search engines. Before you make money from your blog, people must read it. For people to read it, it must appear in the search results.
That’s why I will first address ranking.
Ranking in Google isn’t rocket science. It only requires some few things to keep doing. Here’s how to rank on Google:
Choose easy to rank keywords
The easiest way to rank on Google is to target easy to rank keywords. These are called long tail keywords.
Let’s say you want to write an article on “how to start a blog”. You throw the keyword on KWFinder and a window like this pops up:
Wow! The difficulty score is too high (64/100). Meaning it will take you a long time and hard work to rank for that keyword. You don’t want to wait for decades, you want to rank first.
You now set the difficulty score to less than 30 and viola, low hanging fruits to harvest.
You have found a super nice keyword which targets the same audience and easier to rank. This is the power of KWFinder.
Here’s your sweet pie “high paying affiliate programs”
Now go ahead and write your article. It wouldn’t take long and you will start to rank for your keyword.
Incorporate LSI keywords
These are keywords that are closely related to your main keyword. To get a good list of LSI Keywords that are semantically related to your main keyword, you can use LSIGraph.
Grab them and put them where they fit and sound natural in your content. This helps Google understand what your content is about.
Boosts engagement on your content
Next thing you want to do is to add images, videos, infographics or any other form of media to your content. This boosts engagement and that in turn keeps your readers on your article. If your visitors are engaged with your content, Google will love you for that.
That being said, let’s move on.
Social media traffic
Once you have written an awesome blog post, don’t rely on Google alone to drive traffic to your article. Leverage the power of social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest to drive massive traffic to your blog. This will help you get a more loyal audience.
The bigger the audience, the fatter the cash.
(Stats of using Pinterest)
Another way to find your readers and bring them to your blog is through Question & Answer sites. One of the best being Quora.
The worst mistake is to rely only on Google to drive your audience to your blog. Your target audience is hanging everywhere. Go look for them and tell them:
Hey. That info you are looking for is right here on my blog.
All you have to do get traffic to your blog using Quora is to answer questions your target audience is asking on the platform.
After giving a comprehensive answer, include your link in the bottom and ask them to check your blog for a more detailed answer to their question.
Exclusive Bonus: Download The Blog Traffic Mastery guide here.
Another good place to find your target audience is YouTube. For every article that you write, create a video on the same topic and upload it to YouTube. Put your link to your article about that topic so that your viewers will get easy access to read your more detailed article.
The video shown above has generated 374000 views within one year. If he used just a simple call to action for people to visit his blog for the text version of his video, he would have a huge number of visitors to his blog.
Once you applied these traffic generation methods, you will begin to see a steady flow of traffic to your blog. More visitors means a bigger audience. People will start to discover your blog. Once you build your empire, no one can stop you from making money from your blog.
For a more detailed tutorial on how to massively increase your blog traffic, check this article.
Build Your List
We are all familiar with the internet marketing adage “that money is in the list”.
In fact, For every $1 you spend on emails marketing, you can expect an average return of $32 (DMA, 2018). Email has the highest return on investment than any other marketing channel.
Imagine if you can build a list of 10000 subscribers for free (from your blog), you are already making a ton of money from your blog.
You see the power of building an audience for free. While many businesses are paying up to $5 to get a single subscriber, you are getting them for free. That’s the sweet side of blogging.
Also, think of your blog as a restaurant. Many customers will eat and leave forever. Only a few of your visitors will turn to regular visitors.
If you have these never returning visitors on your list, you will be able to engage with them through email and turn them into returning readers and buyers.
Let’s say for example you wrote an article about SEO. In a month you have 3000 visitors to that article and you were able to convert 10% into email subscribers.
That’s 300 people in you your list. They are all interested in SEO so you can send them short emails to check your other articles about SEO on your blog. To further crush it, you can send them an actionable guide on how you have used a particular tool or service to get something. Since they are interested in SEO, you can also send them products related to SEO and how these products can help them get what they want.
Something like this:
How I Used SEMrush To Get 30 Backlinks In 7 Days
Here is where you make real money.
So your email list will help you:
- Build rapport with your readers
- Turn many readers into returning readers
- Get traffic to your other articles
- Make money from your list
How do you build a list from your blog?
Your list is so important that you might sue me for not showing you how to easily and quickly turn 10% to 30% of your readers into active subscribers.
Many bloggers are still using the 13th-century method of turning their blog visitors into subscribers. Throwing a simple sign up form at the footer and asking readers to sign up to receive weekly newsletters does not work anymore.
Here’s how to build your list the new school way:
- Content upgrades
- Hello bar
- Your homepage
- Exit intent pop up
For a detailed article on how to turn your blog visitors into subscribes read this:
Email list building: Top 12 tips
Now that you have an idea about building an audience, let’s now dive into turning your audience into a cash machine. You will love this part of the post. I know.
Monetize Your Audience
Now that you know how to get your target audience to your blog and how to turn them into active subscribers, I will now show you how to monetize your audience.
Basically, there are five main ways to turn your blog into an ATM machine.
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling your own products
- Providing services
One of the easiest ways to make money from your blog is by putting ads on it – specifically Google AdSense that will pay out every time they get clicked.
Once you get AdSense approval, all you need to do is to create your campaigns, paste the adverts you create onto your site to embed them in your content and then ensure that lots of people are going to your site.
The problem here is, you’re only going to earn a few cents per click from those ads. You can’t make a lot of money with AdSense unless you have a huge amount of daily visitors or you write content around high CPC keywords. This way, AdSense can be a good way to earn a fair amount of passive income from your blog because you can make money blogging at any level.
There are many Google AdSense alternatives that you can use to monetize your blog. These ad networks provide a different form of ads that can be used to monetize your blog.
The downside here is, ads can seriously hurt user experience which is a ranking factor. Never put a lot of ads on your blog.
If you want to increase your AdSense earnings by 250% or more, you can use Ezoic. It is a tool that automatically optimizes your ads to increase your earnings.
While placing ads on your blog can be a good source of passive income, it is not the smartest way to make money blogging. There are smarter and more effective ways to make money from your blog.
That takes us here:
Affiliate marketing requires you to promote another person’s (or company) products and get a cut of the money as commission.
As an affiliate marketer, you sell products for a commission. This gives you a much wider selection of already highly successful products to sell.
Let’s say you blog about weight loss. You can have a wide range of weight loss products that you can sell by sharing your affiliate links in your blog posts.
If you find an affiliate product through an affiliate network, you’ll be given an affiliate link to promote and every time someone clicks on that link and buys the product, you’ll be credited for that sale.
For digital products, your commissions can go up to 75%.
A great strategy then is to include product reviews as blog posts. People who read reviews are usually deeper in the conversion funnel.
You can also have a list of ‘Resources’ or ‘Tools I Use’ page on the footer of your blog for your readers. If you are already a successful blogger, your readers will always want to use the same tools you have used that took your blog to that level.
In order to boost your affiliate earnings, you should provide valuable information to your readers as a way of building trust. Once you established yourself as an authority in your niche, people will be more likely to buy pieces of stuff you recommend.
Another way to make more money from affiliate links on your blog is to select high paying affiliate offers. Digital products pay well because there is no cost for shipping or inventory.
Some of the best affiliate networks to find products to promote are:
- Commission Junction
It is the easiest and the hands-down best way to make money from your blog. Your audience might be interested in a vast type of products. You can always find products to promote in almost any niche.
How to Find Affiliate Partners
One of the best places you can find affiliate products to promote is affiliate networks Affiliate networks ensure you get paid correctly and on time. They serve as the middleman between you the blogger and the product vendors. Here are good affiliate networks you can start with:
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliates
- eBay Partner Network
You can also find good products to promote with in-house affiliate programs. Al you have to do is a simple Google search like this:
- Email marketing + affiliate programs
- Dog food + affiliate programs
- Weight loss + affiliate programs
To find products to promote to your audience, you can visit Offervault or Odigger and type in your niche. A vast variety of products will show up with their prices, commission rates and the affiliate networks where you can register to promote them.
Let’s assume that you are blogging on the Acne remedy niche and you want to find products to promote to your audience. Just type acne remedy in the search bar inside Offervault as shown below:
How to promote affiliate products on your blog
There are many ways you can promote affiliate offers on your blog. Some of these include:
- Embedding your links in your text content
- Using banners on the sidebar widget of your blog
- Putting your links in your email campaigns
- Putting your links in your free PDF reports
Placing your affiliate links in your content is what you will be doing more often. You may want to put your affiliate links in your articles, email campaigns and free PDF reports that you give to your readers.
Do not place too many links in your content. That’s very bad for user experience. Your primary focus is to help your readers. Also, make sure you click ‘Open in a new tab’ so that your readers will not have to leave your site when they click your links.
You can put banners on the sidebar widget of your blog. Many products will give you banners to put on your blog.
Since you will have so many links in your blog, using a plugin like Thirsty Affiliates will help you stay organized with your affiliate links. You will know which links are getting the highest clicks and other useful metrics that can help you scale up.
Creating and Selling Your Own Products
The very best way to make money from a blog is to sell an informational product to your audience. This can be an e-book, a book, a digital course or something similar.
Digital products are highly profitable because once you create them, they will have zero overheads for you and no delivery costs.
What makes this strategy effective is that you have already demonstrated value and built trust in your product through your content marketing very effectively.
Throw in some adverts for your product and some promotion within the body of your content and you can make a lot of money this way.
The internet is full of scattered information. So people like it when all the needed information about a specific topic is condensed in a single platform and logically organized for easy comprehension.
For instance, our Five Figure Blogging course takes you by the hand and show you all the exact proven strategies you need to take your blog to five or more figures per month.
Note that if you aren’t confident enough or don’t have the time to write an entire e-book, you can always outsource the process using our Writing Services.
What makes selling your own products work pretty well?
First off, to make sure that this strategy works, you need to build your list by offering your readers free downloadable incentives in exchange for their email addresses.
Once you get their email addresses into your list, you have opened a new marketing channel that you can use to reach your target prospects through email follow-ups.
Another way to easily sell your products to your readers is by installing a tracking pixel on your blog. Once a visitors lands on your blog, the pixel fires and they will be part of your custom audience. This way, you can follow them with relevant ads about your product.
Retargeting ads to your custom audience are extremely cheap and effective because this audience has already interacted with you through your content and are most likely to be interested in your offer. This way, you spend less on ads thus boosting your earnings.
One advantage that bloggers have over other online marketers is that they already have a highly targeted audience – their readers.
How to create, promote and sell your own courses
To create, promote and sell your courses to your readers, you will follow these five simple steps:
Step 1: Come up with a profitable topic idea for your course
The first step here is to try to come up with a profitable topic idea and create your course on that idea.
The easiest way to come up with a profitable topic is to ask yourself what are your reads problems. These problems are what usually bring them to your blog.
For example, these are the problems that my readers have:
- They want to start a blog but don’t know how
- They want to make money from their blogs but they cannot
- They don’t have enough traffic to their blogs
- Their articles are not ranking on google
- They cannot write SEO optimized articles
Once you know the problems bordering your audience, you can go ahead and create a course that will help them solve their problems.
One of the easiest ways to know their problems is to survey them.
Ask them questions like “what’s your biggest challenge with [the topic idea that you’ve brainstormed]” and “what would solve this problem allows you to achieve.
In our Five Blogging Course, we have included more other questions to ask and a framework for how many people to survey in order to come up with a profitable course topic.
Step 2: Plan your course content
The internet is already full of information. There is almost nothing you can teach which has not already been taught. People buy your course not for the information but for a successful outcome.
That is, they want to take your course to achieve their goals.
What is the main end result your readers will achieve after taking your course?
This will help you create an outline for your course by breaking the end result down into the various steps that need to be taken to achieve it.
Let’s take “make money blogging” as a good example.
Question: What is the end result my students will achieve after taking my course?
Answer: They will start making money from their blogs.
Question: What are the steps that will help them achieve this goal?
Answer: In order to make money from their blogs…
- They need high-quality traffic to their blogs
- Their articles must rank well in the SERPs
- They should know how to do affiliate marketing
- They must know how to create and sell their own courses
And the list goes on…
Now you will have to go ahead and build one module for each big step. You create a course in any format you find comfortable with. The main formats are video, text, and audio. Video if the best especially if you need to provide actionable guides in your courses.
Selling Ad Spots
Selling ad spots on your blog is the easiest way to start making money from your blog. This monetization strategy involves placing ads on your blog to earn from advertisers.
This strategy is more effective if your blog is on a focus and defined niche with a lot of traffic.
You have a blog about SEO that gets a lot of daily visitors. SEO companies will always want to place their ads on your blog for a fee. My SEO and Email marketing category does very well here.
To easily and effectively sell ads on your blog, you need a special plugin to help you. Of the many plugins available, I personally recommend Ads Pro plugin.
This Premium WordPress Ad Plugin helps you manage, sell and display your advertising space. This awesome tool supports templates and grid system to show really matched and user-friendly ads on your site.
Offering Paid Services
Take our Services Page as a good example. We provide our readers with services they are most likely interested in. Depending on your niche, you can always provide services to your audience for a reasonable fee.
To do this, you need to ask yourself which problems are your readers most likely to face and how can you help them with your services.
If you blog about Facebook ads, your audience will most likely to be interested in your setting up, monitoring and optimizing their Facebook campaigns. This way, you get paid and they also have a winning campaign. So it’s a win-win situation.
Sometimes you can offer free services where you get paid by recommending certain services that they need to buy to access your free service.
Our free Blog Setup Service. To access this service, you need to buy web hosting from our hosting partners through our links. We get compensated by the hosting company, not you. So at no extra cost to you, you are enjoying a free service paid by another company on your behalf. Hosting is a must for starting a blog. So this is a very powerful strategy.
Another good example is our Five Figure Blogging course. To buy this course, you have to pay $197. But you can access it for free if you buy hosting through our link and email us your receipt.
It’s a win for all. You get high quality hosting that will save you the time and hustle later, we get paid by the hosting company.
Not all companies agree with you selling their services through incentives. So always ask their affiliate staff for permission. In most cases, you will be allowed especially if your strategy brings them a lot of customers.
So depending on your niche, you can always follow the same strategy. It has worked pretty well for me and for many other bloggers alike.
Wrapping It Up
It was a long tutorial so far. I have done my utmost best to provide you with strategies that you can use to start making money from your blog as soon as right now.
The problem with many is that they never take action. You can read all the articles in the world, but if you fail to take action, you will never make transactions. Bogging for profit does not require a degree in Quantum physics. People are making a living from their blog. You too can!
It’s over to you now.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to make money blogging. Please feel free to leave me a comment below the article!
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