Before we start talking about how to make money from your blog, we want to set some record straight. Make money blogging isn’t what you thought it to be as it may have been portrayed on the internet.
Should you read a post that tells you can set up a blog in 20 minutes and make $100,000 after a month. It takes time and commitment. There will be times in which you are alone and no one is reading your blog post and you will be thinking: “Will this ever work?” but you have to keep trying and pushing hard.
You are going to have to keep working at it. You are going to have to write and re-write your blog content. Improve your articles, find out what works and what doesn’t work and you cannot be afraid to change things. You need to listen to people that know what they are doing better than you, but then it will be down to you and you alone to put in the hard work.
Set Up Your Blog to Make Money
The first thing we learned during our research is that you need to make sure people will come to your blog. In order to do monetize your blog, you need to need to make sure you are not using a free service. You may need to monetize your blog using advertising.
And here are the reasons:
- If you use a free service, you WILL NOT own your own blog or your website content
- You will have limited options to customize your design and you will have limited support
If you want to make money from your blog, your website will need to be self-hosted on a web server that completely allows you to customize your website.
WordPress.org is the most popular website platform in the world. It’s free and extremely flexible and it’s what I am using for CMSFolks. You can also give Joomla and Drupal a trial. But as a beginner, we prefer you go with WordPress, as it has all the support you need in the flick of a search on the search engine. Most blogging tutorials these days as at the time of this writing are centered around WordPress.
Reasons Why You Should Use InMotion
- You get a FREE domain name
- It’s one of the best affordable hostings for beginners if you are just starting out and you have limited resources to invest in your blog.
We’ve written a full-fledged article to help you with how to install WordPress on a live server. Or you can simply try to read our post on how to start a blog (a complete guide for beginners)
Can I start a blog for free and still make money?
The answer is yes. However, we would caution against it. The reason is, when you use a free service, you don’t have as much control over your blog—the free service does. This can be risky, especially if you will rely on your blog for income. A self-hosted WordPress blog is my recommendation and can be started very inexpensively.
Write Compelling Content That People Will Want to Read
A very important thing we learned is that you need to make sure people will come to your blog.
The more people you have coming to your blog, the more page view you get, this will lead to more money you earn from advertising networks like Adsense or Media.Net
The main reason why traffic will come to your blog is if you are solving a real problem that they have and they can get something in return for giving you their time. They need to read about how they can overcome their own problems.
You need to make sure you are not writing for yourself but you are writing to help your readers solve their problems.
But how do you do that?
You learn from what works on other blogs!
This is what you need to do (and how we do it):
- Put together a list of your favorite blogs (we love WPBeginner and ShoutMeLoud for example)
- Go to the website Buzzsumo.com
Buzzsumo gives you the ability to see what people are reading on other blogs, their most shared article gives you a hint on how to create a powerful content that will draw attention to social media. With this, you can craft your own content.
This main issue with Busssumo is that it is expensive for most beginner, but with the free plan, you can still get a decent insight. The free plan can fetch you up to 5 most popular/shared articles on a blog per queries/search. Another limitation is that you can only do 5 searches/Queries per day. This should be enough since you are just starting out.
How do you do this?
- Add the website you want to analyze in the search bar
- Check which posts have the most share (you can see if they have been shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc and how many times)
- Write a list of possible topics and blog post ideas that could work for your blog (keep them in a Google Doc)
- If people have shared that article thousands of times, they are likely to be interested in it! So, find a more personal twist on it and write something similar.
What are the ways bloggers make money?
Some bloggers use the expertise related to their blog topic and get paid when others hire them. Services can be offered locally or virtually. A typical example is us. We set up services to help our readers set up their blogs. See the sidebar picture for more info.
Offering a service is an excellent way to make money quickly because startup costs are low, little to no inventory is required and you get paid for a skill you already have. The downside is, it’s not scalable.
Many bloggers create and sell their own digital products. Digital products are great because they don’t require inventory and can be distributed to quickly and easily. There’s no overhead and low risk. Examples of digital products bloggers create: Ecourses, Online classes or workshops, Ebooks, Premium Content, Membership sites, Apps, plugins or themes etc
Some bloggers sell physical products. Some examples: Books, Manufactured Products, Handmade Products etc
This can be profitable though, but the downside with manufacturing is the keeping of inventory, shipping, returns, etc.
As an affiliate marketer, you promote someone else’s product or service to your readers. You link to that product or service using your unique affiliate link. When someone clicks through that link and makes a purchase (or completes a desired action set by the company), you earn a commission. There are thousands of affiliate programs to join.
This is where many bloggers start. In many ways, this model of making money from blogs is not dissimilar to how a magazine or newspaper sells ads. As your traffic and brand grow you’ll find advertisers will be willing to pay to get exposure to your audience.
While you need decent traffic to do a direct deal with an advertiser there are ad networks (like Google AdSense) that act as a middleman and enable smaller publishers to run ads on their blogs. This is where many bloggers start.
How do most people including you find a new blog’s posts and articles on the web?
Via Google search!
But getting your website ranking in Google takes a good few months and who has a good few months to hang around before seeing people coming to your website?
Remember, “No traffic =No Money”
After some research, we take a look at how to get traffic without investment, and we realized most bloggers are driving traffic FOR FREE to their website using Pinterest.
The great thing is that “normal” people don’t look at Pinterest images as ads, they look at them as images that will help them to solve a problem.
But now, the question is “How Do You Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog?”
The very first step is to Set up a great Pinterest profile and convert it into a Business Account
Make sure you have an image in your profile. People mostly advice having your personal picture, and we can see the appeal of that, as you can relate more with a person than a brand, but some always want to keep their privacy so they decided to use their logo.
Just use what works for You!
Make sure you have at least 10-20 boards that are relevant to your audience
You need to set up at least one board for your blog posts (or more than one if relevant). This board will contain all the pins that are linked to your blog posts on your website.
You then need to create another 10-20 boards of topics related to your blog that will interest your potential audience.
Create great “click-worthy” Pinterest images that lead to your blog posts
We can’t stress how important this is. If people won’t click on your pins, all your effort of writing great content will be worthless as no one will ever read it.
- Make sure you use readable fonts
- Use call to action on the pin and intriguing words that people have to click. For example “How to make $5000/month blogging from home” works a lot better than just writing “How To Make Money From Home”.
- Test several pins: I normally create 2/3 pins for each post and then create a new pin every week for a few weeks to see what works best.
- Once you find something that works, keep doing it! But don’t be afraid to change and experiment with new pin design.
Find group boards and apply to as many of them as possible
What are group boards? Group boards are boards owned by other people. They can invite you to “pin” into their board, and once you are in, your pins will get in front of their audience. This is a great way to get pins in front of more people if you have a small number of followers.
To find group boards:
- Look for group boards in other people’s Pinterest accounts
- Join the Facebook group Pinterest Group Boards: they have some great group boards opening on there every week. Just keep checking it!
Make sure you spy on other people’s profile. It’s good for one reason. If you look for small bloggers like you, and they got accepted to a board, you are likely to get accepted to it too.
How long does it take to make money blogging?
It takes a lot of hours per week to build and maintain a quality blog. It also takes many months of blogging before you will see income from it. We tell new bloggers to allow 4-6 months to make a decent part-time income and 1-2 years to make a consistent full-time income. There are always exceptions of course.
The idea that you can start a blog today and make a full-time income within a few months is, for most, not realistic. There is simply too much too learn and too much to build (your site, your content library, your social media presence, your trustworthiness, relationships with readers, etc.). If you need money right away, building a blog may not be your best option.
But don’t be discouraged! Many successful bloggers squeezed blogging into the cracks of life for a few years and it now brings in a steady income. If you have some time, it is well worth the effort.