I think the phrase “How To Make Money Blogging” is kind of vague and can mean so many things, so let me break it down for you real quick.
You can either have a business and use your blog to drive traffic and awareness to that business, OR your blog literally IS your business, and you make money directly from your blog.
Let’s talk about the ways you can make money directly from your blog:
- Sell affiliate products/services
- Create and sell products/services
- Write sponsored posts on your own blog + curate sponsored social media content
- Write sponsored posts on other people’s blogs
- Accept pre-written sponsored posts on your own blog
#1 Sell affiliate products/services
When you’re an affiliate for someone, you promote their product and get a commission if someone either signs up or purchases their product. It’s like a referral thank-you fee.
Now, you can promote products, but I prefer to promote services and courses.
Because with services there is the possibility to accrue ongoing commissions when people sign up for a monthly service versus buying a one-time product.
With high-paying courses/products/services you get a bigger cut, which makes your time more worth promoting it.
If you promote a shirt that costs $10 and they offer you 0.8% of the sale, think of how many shirts you’re going to need to sell via your affiliate link for you to even make a dollar!
I signed up to be an affiliate for my email marketing service provider, ConvertKit, which is a monthly subscription.
How amazing would it be to wake up to an email like this below?!
Remember, that’s $87 coming into your bank account MONTHLY.
And their email list will continue to grow, which means your cut will continue to grow – you get 30% commission with ConvertKit.
And as long as they stay with the same email provider, you’ve got a client for life.
This is how you make PASSIVE MONEY online.
Affiliate marketing is the secret that everyone is talking about… but few truly understand!
Here is the simple breakdown and it’s alarmingly simple.
You invest time writing posts that include your affiliate links, and ONLY promote products/services that have given you killer results.
If you do that, there is no way you won’t be raving about everything you talk about in your posts because you truly believe in it… because you’ve personally gotten results from it!
Do the hard work up front like taking a course to learn how to EFFECTIVELY earn money online through affiliate marketing, then slowly start earning that money back with your new acquired knowledge – slow and steady wins the race!
Affiliate marketing is how 6 figure blogger, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner earns her money and travels the world. Sign up for her course by clicking the image below!
Now for newbies like us who haven’t been blogging for six years and are just tapping into affiliate marketing, you’re not going to make 6 figures overnight, but just like Michelle, we must take the first step towards creating that kind of empire!
The first step you need to do is sign up for ShareASale.com which is a site that hosts affiliate marketers.
There are a ton of affiliate sites out there, but it’s best to focus on one first, master it, then branch out.
I tried signing up for a bunch all at once and got way overwhelmed! Don’t do that. lol.
So I focused on one, ShareASale, and took what I learned from Michelle’s Affiliate Course and made $61.13! Plus $87 from ConvertKit totaling $148.13 my first month wooohooo!!! 😍
Here is a look inside my ShareASale account.
Basically what I did was write two blog posts 10 days apart that included my Tailwind affiliate link (like I did in this sentence).
My first post was: How To Auto Post On Instagram And Find The Best Hashtags where I actually mentioned that I DON’T RECOMMEND Tailwind for Instagram, but I DO recommend it for Pinterest. I also showed people how to find the best hashtags using Tailwind which is super cool.
My second post was: How To Get 100 Pinterest Followers in 7 Days which was where the majority of the sign ups happened, because I was able to show people my real and tangible results I had gotten from Tailwind in growing my Pinterest followers, so people knew it was totally possible for them too, so they signed up!
You get $0.50 for every person who simply signs up (for free on their end), then if they purchase a yearly Tailwind subscription, you get $17.98 from that lead. You currently get 15% of every sale.
Tailwind is not only free, but you can also try it out for an unlimited amount of time – up until you hit 100 pins, however long that takes you!
Notice in the pic below that I only got 64 clicks, yet I was still able to generate money from it immediately. If I can do it, you can do it! 😘
You may also notice that I got two manual bonuses in the pic above: one for $5 from FreshBooks another for $25 from Tailwind.
The $5 from FreshBooks was simply for placing their banner on my sidebar within 5 days of signing up as an affiliate for them. They are always running fun promos you can join, their most current one is: FreshBooks: The Reshape The World Challenge.
Their rates for this current promotion are;
- $10 for sharing the challenge on two social media sites
- $25 for writing a blog post about the challenge
- $50 for sending the challenge to your newsletter subscribers
(So in essence you are being sponsored by the company to produce certain content, if you wanted to accept the additional bonuses, and you’re already pre-qualified because you’re their affiliate!)
The $25 from Tailwind was for my “How To Get 100 Pinterest Followers in 7 Days” post that I submitted to them asking if they would share it. Not only did they share it, they also PAID ME FOR WRITING IT!
I had no idea they paid for posts like that, but I’m glad I sent it to them!
I will be talking about more sites that pay you to write for them on point #4 AND how much they are willing to pay!
#2 Create and sell products/services
A great platform to create digital products is on Teachable.
All the best courses I have taken online have been through Teachable. It’s so simple to use.
Plus unlike other platforms out there, THEY LET YOU KEEP YOUR EMAILS so you’re building your email list at the same time – which is your biggest asset in business because that is how you’re going to market your course.
Here are some courses I recommend that I’ve taken on Teachable that have transformed my business.
- ON MAKING PASSIVE INCOME: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – helps you navigate (no matter what niche you’re in) the world of affiliate marketing, how it works, what rules and regulations you must follow in order to run a legitimate affiliate business according to FTC laws and more. If you want to do it, do it right.
- ON GAINING MASSIVE TRAFFIC: Pinterest Traffic Avalanche – I have always easily understood Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all the other social media platforms. Pinterest, however, stumped me for the longest time. After I took this course, I implemented their strategies and wrote a very comprehensive post on How I Got 100 Pinterest Followers In 7 Days, because I literally couldn’t believe the amount of followers I was getting after having a stagnant account for a year. I also need to give credit to Tailwind (a Pinterest scheduling tool), as 50% of my success on Pinterest has been because of them.
I took a screen shot from my Tailwind account below to show you how my follower count rose dramatically after I invested in Tailwind.
Click on the pic to get your own Tailwind account for FREE you also get 100 FREE pins if you click the image below!!!
In order to sell your digital products, you’re going to need an email marketing provider.
I recommend ConvertKit. 😚
You can’t sell products or send affiliate links through free email marketing services such as MailChimp, because it’s prohibited, but you can through ConvertKit.
- ConvertKit is the number one email-list builder for bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs.
- It’s very visual and easy to understand.
- Another reason I like it is because it has all the functions I needed before I even knew I needed them!
If you don’t have any subscribers yet or want to grow your list – read my post on HOW TO TURN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS INTO SUBSCRIBERS where I also talk about the best practices to creating successful email marketing campaigns.
You can also pin the image below to read it later.
If you want to sell physical products, I recommend Shopify.
If you want to sell your services, you’re going to need a calendar like Calendly.
This way you can block off the dates and times you are available so they can schedule a time to talk to you whenever.
A good place to put your Calendly link is in your email signature and on your website.
Calendly is a huge time saver and especially handy if you don’t want to spend time going back and forth and exchange 20 emails before you find the best time to talk.
Moreover, if the other person lives in a different part of the states or part of the world, you don’t have to figure out their time zone (and then get it wrong and miss the appointment, like I have done a billion times before using Calendly).
#3 Write sponsored posts for companies
There are tons of companies that connect bloggers to brands.
You can reach out directly to companies and pitch them, but sites like diamondlinks.net have already made those connections for you, so all you have to do is apply for each campaign in which you are interested.
They have all sorts of campaign niches. The ones in the picture below include finance, fashion, business, law, digital marketing, education, entrepreneurship, customer service, and much more!
Let’s look inside one of these emails. 👇
All you need to do is click on “Read full details here.”
It will take you to a questionnaire that outlines the campaign details, requirements, and how much money you’ll make.
And that’s it!
I’ve compiled a little list of other companies you can sign up for, but the majority of them don’t email you their opportunities like diamondlinks.net does, so I’m not as active on them. You have to go on their platform every day to seek out new opportunities.
Some platforms actually don’t even require that you have a blog, but it doubles the likelihood of you being accepted in a campaign if you have one, because a blog is more than double the value of a social media post.
This is my personal favorite platform below. They are so easy to work with and always pay on time. You can cash out on the first of the month once you reach $50 on free accounts (which is like one or two posts so its easy to reach). They also have an affiliate program.
Here are more platforms that pair bloggers with brands that you can choose from.
If you also have a strong social media following, you can work on social media sponsored posts as well.
I wrote a specific post on monetizing your social media, which you can read here: How To Become An Instagram Influencer.
Or pin the pic below to remember to read it later.
But I’m going to briefly touch on how to do it below since it’s such a cool topic to explore in regards to monetization.
#3.5 Create sponsored social media content
Here is a pitch that I accepted from socialnative.com below.
They asked me to name my price, at the time I had about 8,000 twitter followers so I figured I would charge roughly $0.01 per follower.
So I asked for $100, got the gig AND the incredible opportunity to work with giant brand INTEL! All I had to do was post one picture and write one caption! It took me 30 mins.
Another great platform is intellifluence.com, however I have yet to get a paid gig from them – but I have gotten loads of freebies! Currently working with @lalashoesboutique on a fashion post for their shoes! 😍
NOTE: You’re not going to get every single campaign you apply for, so you need to keep on applying!
One thing I was surprised about was how few campaigns each platform actually had.
For some reason I thought they would have opportunities flowing out the window, but some actually just have a few things you can apply for, which change periodically.
So you must be very proactive in finding opportunities on your own as well.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to brands to work with them directly.
Granted, they may not answer you, but if they do you’re guaranteed to make more money working directly with them versus through these websites that act as “middle men” and take a cut of the profit from you because they connected you.
#4 Write sponsored posts on other people’s blogs
Yes, people will pay you to write for them!
Make sure anything you submit to them is of the highest quality.
They receive a ton of pitches, so you want to make sure yours stands out!
If they don’t accept it for whatever reason, don’t worry; your hard work didn’t go to waste—you can either post it on to your own blog or pitch it to someone else.
Here are some sites that will pay you to write for them.
- Cosmopolitan pays $100 for articles about your college experience.
- Essig Magazine pays $100 for articles about hard personal experiences such as divorce, suicide, eating disorder, depression, infidelity, and so on.
- Eureka Street pays $200 for short fiction articles.
- Guideposts pays $250 for Christian faith-based articles.
- Narratively pays $200-$300 for all sorts of stories.
- International Wine Accessories pays $50 and up for articles about wine.
- Parent.co pays $50-$300 about parenting and family issues.
- Stork Guide pays $50 for articles about pregnancy and the parenting of newborns and toddlers.
- The Anxiety Foundation pays $50 for mental health articles.
- BookBrowse pays $50 for book reviews.
- The Establishment pays $125-$500 for multimedia articles.
- Knitty pays $150-$200 for articles about knitting and knitting patterns.
- Listverse pays $100 for long lists on various topics.
- Upworthy pays $150-$200 for original stories that support their mission of creating a better world.
- B. Michelle Pippin pays $50-$150 for business-related articles.
- Doctor of Credit pays $50 for personal finance articles.
- FreelanceMom pays $75-$100 for articles that offer practical and actionable advice/tips.
- IncomeDiary pays up to $200 for worthy articles of the highest standard.
- Penny Hoarder pays $50 for articles on unique ideas for earning or saving money.
- RankPay pays $50 for articles about SEO, content marketing, and social media.
- Work Online pays $50 per post.
- SlickWP pays $100 for posts about WordPress and the Genesis Theme framework.
- WPHub pays $100-$200 for posts about anything WordPress-related.
- Freedom with Writing pays $30-$100 for list articles and $30-$150 for how-to articles and other content.
- FreshBooks pays $200 a post about business accounting and taxes.
If you want to make money blogging, you’re going to need to keep track of everything.
Trust me, as a freelancer and entrepreneur you either have to be extremely organized or sign up for software to organize everything for you.
Learn more about FreshBooks and how this tool can help you keep track of everything from accounting, to taxes, to receipts, and mileage for your business.
Click the image below and try it free for 30 days and never lost another receipt again!
#5 Accept sponsored posts on your own blog
I actually created a guest post section on my blog because so many companies were asking to post sponsored posts on my site.
I don’t have time to write the posts myself so companies prepare the copy for me so all I need to do is edit it to my style and liking.
- The first company that reached out to me was FatJoe.co. They are based in the UK and actually pay in Great Britain Pounds which can be easily converted to dollars in PayPal.
- Another one I work with is MediaBuzzer.net, which is also UK-based, but they pay in dollars.
There are loads of other ones, but the top two pay the best and have the most consistent flow of articles they deliver to your email address!
You can choose to accept or reject articles based on their content.
If you want to check out the content they send you, run it through CopyScape.com to check if the content is original.
I only accept original articles, so I like to make sure of this before I post it.
Regardless, I normally change or restructure about half the text before I post it anyways.
I signed up to receive emails for posts about business, entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and social media, but sometimes they will send me something I may potentially say yes to outside of my normal categories.
They usually ask you to post within 48 hours, but sometimes require 24 hours for the article to go live.
They provide images with their posts, but I personally like to use my own instead of the ones they provide to stay on brand.
Then all you need to do is send the published link back proving that you posted it, and you get paid.
Reach out to them to see if your site qualifies.
My site has a good DA score (Domain Authority) which is probably why they reached out.
Your score is based on your content as well as how long you’ve been active.
LadyBossBlogger.com has only been up for a little over a year and half, so it will continue maturing in time, but for now 33 is not too shabby. Entrepreneur.com is 70/100 so I’m not terribly far off, right? I like to look at the world through rose colored lenses. 😍
Find out your DA score (aka your website authority) here: www.seoreviewtools.com/website-authority-checker.
Domain Authority measures the predictive ranking strength of your domain; Page Authority measures the strength of individual pages, which is what you see below. My score: 44.
Finally, in order to make money blogging, you must understand the 5 Touch Rule, The Buyer Cycle, and The Best Distribution Channels.
The 5 Touch Rule
Before people decide to book your services, buy your products, or decide to work with you in general, they’re going to do some online research, and it will take more than one try to win them over.
Studies have shown that most prospective customers need to be “touched” at least 5 times before they respond to a sales request, meaning five points of contact from your brand.
- They research how to solve a problem they have and find your blog
- They research another problem and find your blog again
- They start following you on social media
- They like your posts and continue reading your blog
- They subscribe to your list and start receiving your emails
If you’ve derived value from this post so far, please subscribe to get more free resources from me! 😍
Weekly Entrepreneur Resources
To help guide you in the right direction.
Know The Buying Cycle
Before anyone decides to buy from you, they go through a series of steps:
- Information search
- What types of products are out there
- What products/services help solve their problem
- Vendor search
- Compare products/services
- Look up reviews
- Purchase decision
- Compare pricing, value, etc
- Buy a product/service
Create Quality Content
Because information search is #1, you MUST create lots of content so that the people you want to serve can find you.
Your content shouldn’t just be on your own blog, reach out and collaborate with other bloggers and tap into their audience. This helps your SEO tremendously.
- If you’d like to guest post on your expertise on LadyBossBlogger and reach 100K ladies, click here.
Additionally, if you offer some kind of product or service, people want to see reviews and testimonials proving that you were able to deliver results and keep clients happy.
Make sure to prioritize obtaining AMAZING 5-STAR REVIEWS – this will help you out a lot!
The more articles potential prospects find about you and your business, the more credible you are.
- Click here to sign up to get interviewed on LadyBossBlogger and join 100K+ other lady bosses.
People search online to find information, if they find you, they can reach out, but they have to be able to find you first!
If Content Is King, Distribution Is Queen 👸🏻
You can have amazing content, but if it isn’t seen, you might as well not have wasted your time creating it.
So make sure you’re spending just as much time promoting your content as you are creating it!
How do you promote it?
I’m embarrassed to say that it took me a year and a half to recognize the power of Pinterest.
Don’t bother posting your stuff on Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram.
It’s good to do those in addition to Pinterest, but none of those platforms even come close to what Pinterest can do for your traffic and the visibility of your blog.
Take a look inside my Tailwind account below.
127 new followers in 7 days… BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY 1,164 REPINS!!!
Repins = MASSIVE Traffic!!! 😁
Repins = people like what they see and what they read! 😁
The end goal with producing content for your blog is monetizing it, but there is so much to do in the middle to get to that point.
Be patient with yourself, it takes time to stimulate interest in your brand’s products or services.
Focus on earning your readers trust, generating brand awareness, and you’ll make money, I promise.
If you have any questions about Making Money Blogging, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would be glad to answer any questions you may have!
If you loved this post, please share and PIN the pic below!
<3 Elaine Rau
*Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
Weekly Entrepreneur Resources
To help guide you in the right direction.