Some years ago blogging was either just a fulfilling hobby or something to do on the side in addition to a full-time job.
A lot has changed since then. Now, blogging has become a full-time career that pays in thousands of dollars.
As a result of this in 2021, the United States is projected to have about 31.7 million bloggers according to statistics.
If you started a blog because you heard it’s an easy way to make some extra money or have an old hobby blog you want to start making money from, your blog can also be one of the successful blogs that earn over $100,000 monthly like Alex and Lauren’s CreateAndGo.co and Michelle’s MakingSenseOfCents.com.
Let me warn you though, blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme but an avenue for generating passive income, that however, still requires some hard work and patience.
If you haven’t gotten your blog off the ground yet, this guide offers some tips on how to build a money-making blog. If you’ve already built your blog and are looking to take it to the next level, this article offers you 7 ways to help monetize your blog.
How to build a money-making blog
Before you can learn to monetize your blog, you first have to make sure it has the potential to make money. Build a great blog, get traffic and then you can turn your blog traffic into money.
Here are a few tips to get started.
1). Find a Niche
Find a particular topic, interest, or subject matter, and let all your articles be focused on that subject. Join a community related to the subject and build your readership. Know your audience and always create content based on their interests.
2). Be consistent
To build and keep your blog audience, you need to pay attention to the frequency of your articles. Plan a schedule that works for you and your readers- daily, bi-weekly, etc- and consistently deliver quality articles at that time.
3. Follow an outline.
Following an outline for your blog keeps you from writing aimlessly. An example of aimless writing is writing about dogs in a fish blog. If you don’t have an outline for your blog yet, you can begin by converting questions into ideas for blog posts. Answering questions to immediate existing problems can help build some following for your blog.
4. Write valuable content
Publish great content that adds value to your audience. That way you can keep them interested and always coming back. Use good click-worthy headlines with emotional wordings that incite curiosity and introduce a topic that will improve your reader’s life.
Examples of headlines that will likely increase your clickthrough rate include “The best way to...”, “The easiest way to...“, etc. Tools like kickass headline generators can also help you write engaging titles if you feel overwhelmed. Visit top blogs in your industry and take note of their top-performing headlines to help you craft yours.
Keep your writing simple to keep readers interested. Eliminate fluff, jargon, and don’t state the obvious. Quote experts in that niche community as this shows knowledge of the industry. For example, a new blog about upskilling as an entrepreneur can include quotes from Pat Flynn’s, Smartpassiveincome.com as that is his niche.
Improve your blog’s search ranking by using Search Engine Optimization. Use On-page SEO to optimize your blog using keywords and technical SEO to improve the back-end structure of your blog. WordPress, for example, has plugin tools to help with optimization such as Yoast SEO.
5. Network with readers
Connect with your readers to spread your ideas regardless of the type of blog you have. Some ways to network with your readers include replying to comments, having an email list or newsletter, joining forums on Reddit, groups on Facebook, etc. This is how you share information (such as when there’s a new post) with your target audience.
Having a community of engaged readers is the most important part of blogging as they are the ones who’ll resonate with your content and help with free promotion as well.
How to Monetize your blog
If you’ve already built a blog, and also have a following, and are looking to take it to the next level, these are some methods that you can use to monetize your blog. Depending on the kind of blog you’ve got.
One way to make money from your blog is by including affiliate links in your blog. The link can be added to the main content on a blog post or as a banner on your blog. Companies or advertisers running affiliate programs pay you in exchange for you referring customers to them.
The advertiser gives you a unique affiliate link to put on your site, tracks when purchases are made using that link, readers that, and pays you a commission (percentage of what was purchased). To generate sizable income from affiliate links, make sure your blog has a lot of traffic.
Apart from partnering with private businesses you can use affiliate links through ad networks such as Amazon Associates. Another great thing about Affiliate marketing is, You can use this technique on any blogging platform such as Wix, Squarespace, or Medium
Monetize your blog by introducing adverts. Ads show automatically based on the context of your article and also adapt to the user's interest. New blogs use ads as a source of recurring income since the ads shown don’t affect user experience.
Once you get approval for these networks, you’re on your way to earning recurring income with them. The two types of ads are CPC and CPM ads and one of the most popular ad networks is Google Adsense
CPC stands for “cost per click” and is also called PPC which stands for “Pay per click” The advertiser sets the cost per click and every time a user clicks on the ad, you get paid.
CPM means “cost per thousand impressions,” (M is 1000 in roman numerals) CPM Ads: CPM Ads Pay a fixed amount based on how many people view the ad on your site. Google Adsense is a good way to start.
Google Adsense is a popular way to make money from your blog. With this program, you do not need to be in direct contact with advertisers. All you need to do is sign up, add a script from Google to your website, and start displaying ads.
With AdSense, you don’t have total control over the ads showing on your blog so you can try other industry-related ad platforms such as Carbon Ads, Taboola, BlogAds, and Media.net.
Offering Freelance services
As a blogger, you sell your expertise digitally with your blog and use it to get clients. Offering freelance services can be draining and time-consuming but it is a profitable avenue for money-making even without many readers on your blog. Freelancing doesn’t necessarily require any upfront investment of time or money.
You are more likely to get offers to write freelance if you have grown your blog to a respectable level that shows attractive content and engaged readers. As a freelance writer or blogger, you can help grow brands, startups, and other blogs but apart from writing, some other services you can offer include:
You can consult with marketing teams at established companies and teach them how to create profitable content like yours.
You can be hired to rewrite the content of the website or suggest changes that will better attract customers.
You can coach less successful writers and bloggers who want to achieve the same results you have
Writing paid reviews
You can also monetize your blog by writing paid reviews on your site. How does it work? You try out products in your niche that your audience would be interested in (sometimes for free) and then get paid to write a review for them
While you can approach companies on your own about doing paid reviews for them, some websites can help to connect you with businesses that may be interested. One example of such a website is PayPerPost.
Another way to make money from your blog is to offer paid membership to an exclusive part of it.
Before offering paid membership, it is important to make sure that you are offering something with more value than a free post so your visitors will consider it worth the price.
Membership sites can take a lot of your time as you constantly have to create premium content for paying customers. It is however very lucrative because it creates recurring revenue in subscriptions. Examples of instances where paid membership would work include
Create restricted members-only content
If you have built your site with value-adding posts and have a strongly engaged readership, sometimes your loyal readers/fans may be willing to pay extra for more of your work. Create a paid members-only area for them and share more in-depth blog content.
Create a private forum
Another way to sell membership on your blog is to create private forums that users must pay to get access to. Forums are a great way for your readers to communicate one on one with you and also for members of your community to interact. The downside to this is that moderating a forum can be a lot of work
Selling digital products on your blog such as an ebook can also help you generate passive income. If you haven’t written any books but you have been blogging for a while, have an in-depth knowledge of your niche and a great audience there are options for you. You can also collect some of your old blog posts and turn them into chapters of an ebook.
An example of a blogger who successfully did this is Mark Manson. Mark Manson first published a post called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck in 2015. After the post got millions of readers, he got a book deal with Harper Collins, published the book, and went on to sell over 3,000,000 copies in the US alone
Ebooks are a good choice for digital products since they are relatively simple to write and produce. You write your book, design a cover with tools like Canva then convert it to pdf. With blogs on sites such as WordPress, you can integrate an eCommerce plugin and start selling your digital products.
Sell online courses
Another way to monetize your blog is by selling an online course. If you have expertise in your niche or any skill you can teach others you can create a course for it. You create the text or video lessons for your course then add any supporting material that you want to include such as slides, checklists, templates, etc.
You can charge a premium for your expertise then decide whether or not you want to offer personal support for the course. Be sure to include overhead blogging costs when pricing your digital product. Don't forget to price your course according to your level of expertise.
Examples of platforms you can use for your courses are New Kajabi and Teachable. WordPress blogs can use a learning management system (LMS) plugin such as LearnDash.
Selling physical products
Just as you can monetize your blog by selling digital products, you can also make money off your blog by selling physical products. You can integrate a shopping area to your blog and sell personal products or other companies can pay you to sell their products.
Products related to your niche are advised. For example, a food blog can sell utensils. If you want to sell products on your blog but don’t want to deal with shipping, having an inventory, or managing one then you can choose to be a drop-shipper.
Dropshipping is a business model where you run an online store without handling any inventory yourself. When you make a sale on your blog, your supplier (likely a warehouse) packs and ships the product directly to the customer. It is a great way to sell products with very little risk.
Making money is hard. However, with a process and hard work, you’ll break through just doing what you love doing.
If you are looking to start a different side hustle, you should see this article on side hustles you can start today.