By: Rita Cunha | December 7, 2020

Blogging can be very lucrative and it gets more popular by the day. Wouldn’t it be great to work from home writing about things you’re interested in and making a full-time income? With enough time and effort, you could make a lot of money monetizing your blog. Today, we’re going over the basics of how to make money blogging. We will walk you through how bloggers make most of their income and how you (yes, you blogging for the first time!) can also pick up this side hustle.

How Do Bloggers Make Money? Top 5 Ways

Unless you’re already a blogger, you may not know how to make money blogging. After all, aren’t blogs accessible for free? Although this side hustle can seem mysterious at first, it actually works in a very simple way.

1. Ad Revenue

For starters, you can make money by having ads displayed on your blog. This is the simplest monetization tactic. Ads will show up to readers anywhere on the page (between posts, on the sidebar, and so on). The more page views your blog gets, the more money you will get. The pay per click payout will depend on many things. Google Adsense is one of the most popular ad networks, but it’s not the only one. 

2. Sponsored Posts

Bloggers also do sponsored posts once they’re more established. Typically, either they contact a brand they want to work with about a partnership, or they receive collaboration requests directly from brands. The key to getting sponsored posts is having great engagement rates from their subscribers (or readers). That’s even more important than page views.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative aspects of blogging. A blogger will link to a product on their page and, if someone buys it after clicking on that link, they will get some money in commission. It’s technically a form of passive income because you can collect your commission over long periods of time. The pay per click payout depends on a lot of factors.

There are dozens of affiliate programs and affiliate products out there. Amazon Associates is the Amazon affiliate program and one of the most used online. Swagbucks also has a good affiliate program where you can earn money by recommending the money-making and money-saving app to your readers.

4. Selling Their Own Products

You will find that bloggers make good money selling their own products. For example, they can sell physical products such as self-published books or artwork. They can also opt to sell digital products, for instance, webinars, a podcast, tutorial guides, an online course, ebooks, and even access to a membership site! If affiliate marketing isn’t your thing but you still want (relatively) passive income, this could be something to look into.

5. Selling a Service

Alternatively, bloggers will do freelancing to have extra income streams. Think of a blog as a portfolio for an online business, if you will, where a photographer or content marketing specialist can advertise their work.

How Much Money Can a Blogger Make?

With all these ways to make money online, how much can new bloggers expect to make in the future? This is one of the most popular FAQs, but the answer isn’t all that obvious.

Average Blog Income

In all seriousness, it’s hard to know how much bloggers make on average without knowing each blogger’s income reports from last year.

On one hand, most blogs will make less than $1,500 per year, but that’s including “hobby blogs” not necessarily geared towards bringing in lots of money. On the other, you could expect to make upwards of $200,000 annually if you do Amazon affiliate marketing and have other passive income strategies, as well as selling your own physical and digital products.

Most Profitable Niches

These niches typically make bloggers a lot of money:

  1. Money, personal finance, and insurance
  2. Fashion and beauty
  3. Travel and related lifestyle topics

Least Profitable Niches

The monetization for these niches isn’t high, but you can still make a profit if you put a lot of time into your blog.

  1. Music
  2. Politics and general news
  3. DIY and home improvement

7 Things Successful Bloggers Have in Common

Successful bloggers have put in the hard work to turn their pet projects into money-making websites. New bloggers have a lot to learn from them!

  1. They know their niches and target audiences well. No one writes confidently for a wide audience without knowing exactly what angle to go with.
  2. They offer high-quality content to readersGreat content gets shared around and brings in more readers (thus, more money).
  3. Great bloggers answer pain points. Because there are millions of blogs out there, those who want to succeed must stand out. They do this by creating great content that fills a gap in the market.
  4. They’re not afraid to invest in their small business. Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money, and this side hustle is no different. Paid advertisement, for example, can be the key to success.
  5. They post frequently and consistently. This will make readers come back often.
  6. Top bloggers don’t lose track of blogging stats. Knowing how many page views and your audience retention rate is key. This way, you can tailor your content to be even more effective and lucrative.
  7. They have an effective mailing list strategy. It’s no secret that having an email list with your subscribers will keep them coming back to your blog for more content. It creates a loyal fan base.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Start Making Money Blogging

By now you can tell what some characteristics of a successful blog are. If you’re a newbie with a new blog wanting to create content for the first time, here are seven steps that will put you on a path to prosperity.

Step 1: Choose Your Blogging Platform

The first step is choosing a blogging platform to host your content. WordPress, Wix, Blogger, and Square Space are just some of your blogging options. Look into features and pricing to decide which one is right for you. And sites like Medium are hybrid platforms that cater to both bloggers and journalists.

Step 2: Pick a Domain

Then, you’ll need a domain. There are dozens of web hosting platforms to try out and they can offer plans at a low startup cost if you’re on a budget. Bluehost, for example, works with WordPress to help you create the best domain name for your blog.

Step 3: Choose Your Niche Wisely

This is probably the most crucial step. You have to pick a niche—in other words, decide what topics you will write about. As we’ve seen, not all niches are incredibly profitable, so you’ll have to think long and hard about this. Ideally, you want to strike a balance between a niche you’re passionate about and one that will make you money.

Step 4: Establish Your Branding

Once you have a niche and a domain name, it’s time to create your persona. How will you present your content to readers? With what tone will you write? What pain points will you be answering?

Step 5: Design Your Blog Page

An important factor in branding is your blog aesthetics. A visually pleasing website will keep readers on your page for longer. You don’t have to be a web designer to have a beautiful page. Your blogging platform likely has a template you can customize to your liking. WordPress is one of the easiest to work with in this aspect. You can even follow a tutorial guide on website customization!

Step 6: Start Writing High-Quality Valuable Content

Now, it’s time to start cranking content for your own blog. Keep in mind that high-quality content that answers pain points is key. Do your research and put your writing skills to the test, even if you’re a newbie blogger. Having killer content from the start is a recipe for success.

Step 7: Work on Promoting Your Blog

When that is all done, get the word out there! You want to attract readers, right?

Organic Social Media Outreach

If you’re just starting, use social media to promote your own blog. You don’t need a digital marketing degree or any money to do this. Share your posts on Pinterest, Facebook Groups, relevant forums, and so on. Remember to allow readers to share your blog content too. You would be surprised at how far a great article can go.

Consider Paid Social Media Advertising

Do you want to up your game? Then consider advertising on social media. This won’t work for every type of blog, so make sure to do your research.

Invest in Effective Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is key for promoting your blog. It’s how readers will find your posts after typing a question or query onto Google. You could hire a marketer if you’re unsure of how to do SEO yourself, or you could use one of the many WordPress plugins that make the whole task easier.

Create a Mailing List for Your Readers

Don’t forget to create an email list so your subscribers can receive updates on your blog. This is how you will keep the crowds coming. Fortunately, you will find hundreds of email marketing resources to help you set up a winning email list strategy.

Final Words: Can You Make a Living as a Blogger?

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can most certainly make blogging your career! Why not? Nothing is stopping you. Start small but aim big, and keep doing research and learning more tactics as you go along.

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