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4 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Hey friends! Since I’ve been talking a bit about the side hustle money I’m making doing this blogging thing (over $15k last year alone!) I thought I’d get more specific and share the details of what I’m doing and why I think it’s working. Making money by blogging isn’t always a fast process, but it can be. More than likely, though, you’ll need to be patient. But while you’re patiently growing your blog you can do the things that help to maximize monetization. Just follow these tips……

How to Make Money Blogging

First I’m going to list the different avenues for making money blogging , then I’ll share tips for maximizing that income. By the way, you can’t make money blogging if you don’t have a blog. Read my post on how to start a blog in 4 easy steps here. We like Bluehost for hosting because they have terrific service and super affordable prices.

1. Make Money Through Affiliate Marketing

One ways blogs make money is through affiliate marketing. Basically what this means is that when you advertise a product or service on your blog, and a reader purchases that product or service, you get a commission. On this site we advertise a lot of books because we’re firm believers in continuing education as a path to growing wealth. Every time a reader clicks on one of the book links we place in a post, and purchases that book, we get a small commission. The minimum commission for Amazon specifically is four percent, I believe, and goes up the more items you sell in a given month.

The other cool thing about affiliate links with Amazon is that they give you a commission even if the product that is purchased isn’t the one advertised. So, for instance, let’s say we place a link to The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, the book that revolutionized the way millions of people viewed the wealthy. Then you click on that link, read the description but decide not to buy the book.

However, as you’re reading the description you remember that you forgot to order your favorite hair conditioner. You go from my link to the Amazon search bar, find your conditioner and place and order. I get a commission on the conditioner purchase because you came to Amazon through my link originally.

Another type of affiliate link is one that advertises a service. For instance, let’s say that after reading this article you decide you want Β to start a blog. If you click on my Bluehost link, you can start a blog for under $50 a year (totally refundable if you decide blogging isn’t for you) and we get a commission because you purchased a service from Bluehost.

Affiliate links can come in many forms. They’re available for thousands of different items, services and products. If we promoted online money management sites for instance (we don’t – the prepper in us has an aversion to sharing financial info with outside sources. Call us paranoid if you’d like πŸ™‚ ) we’d get a commission from anyone who visited those sites and opened an account through those visited links.

How to Maximize Earnings Through Affiliate Links

Making money via affiliate links doesn’t work for everyone, but there are several ways to help increase income via affiliate links by avoiding some of the more common mistakes and doing these “right” things instead.

  • Link to what is valuable to your readers. We don’t put in affiliate links unless we think it will benefit our readers in some way.
  • Link only to products and services you believe in. Your readers need to know they can trust you.
  • Place your links seamlessly. In other words, make them appear in places they belong in your posts instead of just plopping them in and hoping you’ll get some action.

This is one way to make money blogging.

2. Make Money Through Advertising

Another popular way to make money blogging is to make it through advertising on your site. See the advertisement boxes on our right sidebar? If a reader clicks on those we get cash. Most advertising affiliates (we use Adsense) pay per click. You as the blogger get to pick the types of ads that you think will be most appealing to your readers – as well as denying the types of ads you’d rather not promote. There are other companies besides Adsense too that will pay you to let them advertise on your site.

How to Maximize Earnings Through Advertising

Again, there are things you can do to maximize the advertising income you make through blogging.

  • Put the ads in prominent places that your readers will see
  • Choose types of ads, services and products that you think will benefit your readers. It’s all about promoting things that will potentially benefit the readers
  • Don’t make the ads annoying. Pop up ads that appear in super prominent places or won’t go away annoy the crap out of me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. You want readers to see your ads but not be annoyed by them.

3. Make Money Through Sponsored Posts

Publishing sponsored posts is another way you can make money by blogging. A sponsored post is an article that promotes a particular business. This post on life insurance is one example of a sponsored post.

Google has rules regarding sponsored posts, so it’s important that you only allow sponsored posts on your site that fit in with Google guidelines, or it could affect Google rank of your blog posts.

How to Maximize Sponsored Post Opportunities

Again, there are ways to increase income from sponsored posts.

  • Only accept sponsored posts that fit in with your blog’s mission and will benefit readers
  • Network with those in the blogging business that have relationships with large businesses that use sponsored posts as a form of advertising
  • Grow your readership. The bigger your blog gets, the easier it will be for advertisers who use sponsored posts to find you. More on growing readership later.

4. Make Money by Writing for Other Blogs

The fourth way I make money blogging is by freelance writing for other blogs. If another blogger needs someone to write posts for them on a regular basis, they’ll pay to have it done. I’ve made thousands and thousands of dollars (at a high rate of pay, I might add) writing for other blogs. Here are some tips for getting writing gigs for other blogs.

  • Write well. People are paying attention even if you don’t think they are. I’ve gotten all of my freelance writing gigs without asking. Instead, they noticed my writing style and came to me.
  • Network. Visit other blogs. Comment on other blogs. Help other bloggers. Promote their stuff.
  • Set a high work ethic. If you do get a freelance blogging job, it’s important to work well. Meet or beat article deadlines, follow all of the bloggers guidelines for articles, answer comments in a timely manner and share the post via social media. Reputation is important in this business.

Keys to Growing Your Blog Readership

One of the keys to making money by blogging is to be continually working to grow your readership. Here are some tips for doing that.

  • Write well. Can’t emphasize this enough. Write your articles from the heart, and write on topics that will be helpful and relevant to your readers. Think outside the box and go deep into the psyche of the people who read your blog and try to determine what they are coming there to learn.
  • Make helping the goal. If you’re writing only to make money people will know it. Your goal in blogging should be to help people in whatever area you’re blogging about. Make helping the people your goal and the money will eventually follow.
  • Be active on social media. Be on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and all the others. If social media isn’t your gig, hire someone to help you with it.
  • Always be learning. There are lots of awesome people out there who help bloggers learn how to grow and promote their blog. One of my favorites is Darren from Problogger. He has an awesome site that shares all kinds of helpful tips on growing your blog and has an awesome book called ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income.

If you would have asked me four years ago, I’d have never thought that I could be making a solid income working part time from home. The cool thing about blogging is that you set your own hours and decide how much you want to put into it. Since raising and homeschooling my kids is my top priority, I spend my early morning hours blogging (you need to pick the time of day when you’re most on your game) and then put the job aside as I tend to the kids, homeschooling and the house.

It’s awesome to be able to bring income into our home without giving up my dream of being a stay-at-home mom. Blogging allows you to work when and how you want to because your blog is your own business. No one can tell you what to do or how to do it. You’re the boss!! Β Oh, and my hourly wage is MUCH higher than what I’d make at the local big box store or bank. Bonus. πŸ™‚

If you have any questions at all about blogging, please feel free to contact me. If you have a gift for writing and a love for helping others, you can make money blogging too!

Have you ever thought about starting a blog? If so, what’s stopping you?Β 

28 comments

  1. This is a great primer on monetizing a blog! I love blogging so much and I want to turn it into a full-time gig. You have to monetize your blog in some way if you want to make money off of it. I’ve had great success using Amazon Associates and Google Adsense. I’d love to get away from display ads (Adsense) and do more sponsored and affiliate posts. Display ads are easy money-makers but they do slow your site down and irritate readers.

    • Laurie says:

      Yeah, they can be irritating. We try and keeps ours off to the side so they’re not “required reading”. I wish you all the luck and you continue to grow your awesome blog!

  2. I am so thankful I started my blog. It’s a great way to connect with other like-minded, amazing people. And I can’t imagine life without it now. Though I’m still working on growing my income and my traffic, I’m starting to see results and I’m almost to my one year mark. I know so many people give up within a few months, but it really takes time and consistency.

  3. Thanks for the tips. Even though I’ve been blogging for awhile I still don’t know much about monetization. I’ve still learned a lot and connected with like-minded people, but would love it if I can grow the income. It would definitely help out since my wife and I have been discussing having her stay home with the kids.

    • Laurie says:

      Yay for staying home with the kids! I’d call it the best investment we’ve made to date. You should work on monetization, Andrew – you’ve got such a great foundation in place!

  4. Brian says:

    Great overview Laurie. There are a lot of great opportunities to make money with a blog or website. I think the thing to keep in mind is that it does take a lot of work to maintain an online presents. That should be considered in your overall schedule before taking the plunge.

  5. Mr. SSC says:

    I haven’t delved into monetization yet, and it’s been 2 years. WTH right? πŸ™‚ Mrs. SSC brought this up a month or so ago when I booked my hotel for FinCon. It went like this. Mrs. SSC: Um, this blog is getting expensive. I know we can afford it now, but at some point, it needs to at least cover its own costs…”

    So this is a ncie primer for how to do that. We have barely used Amazon affiliate links, even though there have been loads of posts where I think, yeah this would be worth sprinkling some of those links in, but then I don’t, lol. Something to dive into at some point anyway. Well, maybe wade into instead of diving. πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for the post Laurie, I think it is certainly applicable to my situation. I’m looking to make some side cash via my blog through Amazon links and ads. Currently, I’m growing my viewership, but in some time, I should be able to get some cash in the door!!

    Which avenue has been most profitable for you?

    • Laurie says:

      Hey, Erik! Glad you found it helpful. I would say probably my most profitable has been Amazon, although the others are all bringing in at least some income too. Keep at it, Erik. There’s no reason not to monetize a quality blog!

  7. Josh says:

    I’m still figuring out the passive side of blogging to get a consistent stream, but, my blog has opened up my freelance writing ability (active income). I’ll have been writing for others a year in June and it has been a great side income stream that I plan to scale for the next year!

  8. Thanks for the great advice Laurie, you’re an inspiration. I’d love to see my blog pick up a little income, my goal would be to have the income equal to a part of what value my time as. I don’t need the full value because I honestly enjoy writing, sharing my experiences, and creating a neat time capsule for my future kids. What was Dad thinking in 2017?

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, John! Always great to see a military guy on the site – thank you so much for your service! I love your goal of sharing experiences for your future children – they’ll thank you for that, John. Yes, it’s easier to make money blogging than one might think. I really haven’t put a ton of effort into it, and it’s paying off well so far. I’d say I put in about twenty hours a week. Go for that monetization and fulfill your FIRE dreams!

  9. Michael says:

    Great post, Laurie! Blogging on personal finance has helped me become so much more organized with regards to personal finance. I have learned so much just reading other PF blogs.

    The best part about blogging, I have met awesome folks like you, who are very helpful whenever I reach out with a question.

    Starting a blog is one of the best things I have done in life.

  10. “Always be learning” -> Key in not just blogging but success in most areas of life! #TRUTH

    Nice write-up on blogging. A side note though – it takes time. People who start should commit to it for a while and accept that it can take a LOT of time to start making reasonable money. It doesn’t always, but it *can*, so be prepared.

  11. katscratch says:

    I’m still in the early days of using my writing to hold myself accountable and didn’t expect anyone would even be reading yet πŸ˜‰ I have a lot to learn, even just on the writing side, so I love reading posts like this that will be a great resource in the future!

  12. I wish I had started blogging earlier as I love being connected to the PF community. Thanks for sharing the great tips. I am definitely working my way through all of them. I haven’t quite started making any significant revenue but I hope that changes in the future.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, Liz! I have to say I like the affiliate sales because I am sharing true knowledge and great products with others, and it’s more of a passive form of income.

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