This post may contain affiliate links. I only suggest products I fully support.
ACHIEVING THE BIG DREAM of making a full time income from your blog!
You know people are doing it, but how? You may think it's all fancy courses and paid ads but what really has the money coming in is not depending on one income source at all. The real secret is:
Multiple Income Streams!
Don't put your eggs all in one basket, make sure you branch out into as many income streams as you can. Diversify. think about it. IF you have 10 streams of income then all you'd have to make is $100 a month per stream to bring in $1000. If you can make $100 a month I guarantee you, you can bring that up to $500. Start with the $100 goal and scale up!
TYPES OF INCOME STREAMS:
- Sponsored Post
Before you can do anything else the first step to making money blogging is you need to own your blog. I created this super easy, no stress guide for using Siteground to set-up your self-hosted WordPress site. You may be tempted to set up a free site, but DON'T! You'd be leaving money on the table since you can't monetize those sites.
I also suggest Squarespace if you are feeling particularly overwhelmed as I was when I first started blogging. I've since learned how easy it is to start a Wordpress site and I've created a section to help guide you through that process. If I were to do it all again, I would probably do it that way. Click Here to go to the New Blogger Section.
So Other People make money blogging, Can you?
YES!!!!! You can totally make money blogging, once you get your site setup and you understand the basics you will slowly build an income. the more time you invest into your site the quicker the process will be. In the beginning of blogging it's 60/40 learning to doing. I going to lay it out there, there is a shit load to learn and it is completely normal to feel super overwhelmed. My friend Nataly has a heartfelt post about blogger overwhelm that you should check out.
I do suggest purchasing courses once you get through my free content. The free stuff will get you started but you'll want to really know the ropes to get a leg up on all the other new bloggers out there. That is one of my biggest regrets, it took months for me to build a readership with my Home Design blog, I was relying on free content and truthfully it doesn't give you the full picture.
So now that we've established that you can totally do this and there really isn't anything in your way accept maybe yourself, I want to talk about the core principles of monetizing.
At its heart, all the principles revolve around TRUST.
If you suggest a bad product for the sake of making money on it, well then you are going to break your trust with your readers and they are going to be less likely to purchase from you in the future.
If you stick to your principles and only suggest products that have truly helped you and you really like, not only will other people be more likely to keep eating up your suggestions but you are also more likely to trust your suggestions in the future.
The other bonus is it's much easier to naturally write about a product you believe in, when you try to sell a product you know it's not great it will often come out as fake sounding and your readers can spot it a mile away.
Provide Helpful Content:
you want to add value to your reader with every post you make. No matter which Niche you choose, you want to make your blog as value filled as possible. That's what keeps people snooping about your site for hours.
this goes with what I said before, people do not like to be lied to, so make sure you are coming from an honest place, and your readers will learn to trust you. Speaking of which, trust is earned, so it may take a little while before you start to see revenue come in. Take a deep breath, this is totally normal.
Write About Things You Know:
This is a tricky one, I don't mean write about things you've gone to school for, or you have a huge amount of experience in. Write about things that you are passionate about and you could chat with a friend for hours about. I didn't start off blogging about blogging. I have another blog that I learned the hard way for months, which helped give me the insight to start this blog. Here's a test you can ask yourself. If we met up for coffee could you talk to me about your subject for hours? Would you go on and on? Would I be rapt listening wanting to take notes from everything I'm learning? If the answer is yes, then that's a fantastic subject and you should totally blog about it.
BREAKING DOWN MONETIZING YOUR SITE:
An affiliate link is when I post a link, and someone else clicks through and purchases the recommended product. Pretty simple concept. The purchaser gets charged the same no matter what and you make a kickback on the sale. I created a post listing top high paying affiliate links for bloggers.
I use 3 types of affiliate links:
I recommend courses that I've taken and loved. (Key only recommend products you genuinely love).
I recommend software/services that I use and have found helpful. (I use Sendowl, Siteground, Teachable)
I recommend products that I use. (home decor blog, I would use affiliate links for rugs, decor items, this blog I may suggest a specific laptop or microphone)
How to apply:
- Affiliate Marketing Programs: These are the easiest to start with you join a program and search through the list of merchants they work for. Then you apply individually to each of your preferred merchants. I'm personally a member of ShareaSale, Viglinks, CJ.com and Skimlinks. Check out my 9 High Paying Affiliate Network post.
- Contact the Brands directly. You can often google a brands name and add the word AFFILIATE after and their own brand program will pop up. These tend to be harder to get into but have better commission rates on sales.
- MY FAVORITE!! Be an affiliate for a course, if you really liked a course you've recently taken. Contact the creator and see if they have an affiliate program. I love Sendowl for that service, makes it super duper easy.
You can either make a post raving about the product or simply create a pin and and the affiliate link as the URL.
LEARN FROM THE MASTER:
There is no blogger more respected in the blogosphere for Affiliate Marketing than Michelle of Making Sense of Affiliates. I recommend her course so often I've lost count. It will take you from being clueless about affiliate marketing to making money in weeks.
- Learn how Michelle went from $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month.
- The step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course that shows you how to increase your affiliate income and make more money blogging.
- She shows you how to build a six figure blog without millions of visitors or selling your soul.
Something Michelle says that I absolutely love is:
"If you're not earning money through affiliate marketing, then you are leaving money on the table"
Big scary sponsored post. First off, you don't need hundreds of thousands of pageviews to get a sponsor. I started asking after I reached 10k monthly pageviews but I've heard of success stories around the 5k monthly pageview mark. Check out this amazing e-book from Shannon Acheson, Bloggers & Brands. Such a great deal! I was super stressed about the entire concept but Shannon laid it all out in a way that made it much easier.
So, how do you get started:
- Talk with other bloggers, and find out what contacts they've worked with. Always nice to know who is already working with bloggers.
- Join Influencer agencies that can match you up with Brands: Activate By Bloglovin‘, Linqia & BlogHer
Sponsored post are definitely niche dependent but something every blogger should look into. I've also heard of bloggers getting sponsored with as little as 5000 pageviews, YOU CAN DO IT!
The recent rule for pricing I've heard tossed around is $10 for every 1000 page views or 1000 followers on social media. But that number varies depending how well the product works with your blog and how engaged your readers are.
If you've joined an affiliate network like (ShareASale), you can grab ads directly from their site. Simply copy the code.
Google Adsense is a super popular one but it really doesn't pay much unless you are in the 100k range. Even then you aren't going to make a whole lot.
Once your views start going up I suggest programs such as MediaVine. last I heard they were accepting blogs with higher than 30k monthly page views. They pay better than Google Adsense.
Important Note: Do not be tempted to fill you site with ads. Your readers are certainly going to find that spammy and not come back. You will have to work at finding a tasteful balance.
You may be thinking, well I don't have anything to teach. I highly doubt that. Whether it's how to setup an awesome spreadsheet, to how to decorate your shelves all an e-book has to do is meet a need. Spend some time looking at what your readers are searching for. Create the content around that.
My e-book is currently FREE! I will be adding it to my course soon so make sure you snatch it up!
If you have a unique perspective about something and know you can teach others, courses are a great way to go. I was super scared when I first created my course. I wanted everyone to love it and I was terrified it would flop. Good news, people loved it and it's a great for of passive income. My course The Traffic Formula is Evergreen, meaning that it's always posted and you can join at any time. I don't advertise it a lot, it's more of a background revenue. I created the course to help others, and if you are thinking about creating a course and you aren't sure. Think about what your reason is, if you are coming from a good and honest place, I say do it! OH! make sure you tell me about it in the comments!
Tech: I use Teachable and Sendowl to help create and distribute my E-books / Courses.
Interior designer providing E-designs, Calligrapher selling graphics, Photographer selling Stockphotos. These are all forms of Services or products. Digital products are the easiest way to deliver but sites like:
Have all made it much easier to get your products out there. This is a huge revenue earner for many bloggers. They create graphics or provide a service online. If this is something you are interested in definitely check out Gemma's course Launch Your Shop. She teaches you all the ins and outs of selling products without having to do it all by hand. Great course!
IT WILL QUICKLY ADD UP!
With all of these different options, you can see how having multiple income streams can quickly add up. If you offer a few services and speak openly about products you love using. People are likely to scoop them up.
Everyone on the internet is looking for real people to tell them what has really helped them. Be that person :)
What is your favorite way to monetize? Is there anything you'd like me to go more into depth on? Let me know in the comments!