How to Make Money Blogging
Do you want to start making money with your blog, but aren’t sure how? You’re not alone. With blogging becoming a lucrative full-time job, 2019 is the year to launch your blogging career.
In this guide, we share all you need to know about how to make money blogging and show you how to get off to a successful start.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
Most bloggers start making money after they establish a following, invest in a domain name, and begin marketing themselves. Bloggers make money through a variety of channels including affiliate marketing, display ads, sponsored content, services and products.
Facts About Blogging
Before you jump into a blogging career, know the facts.
Most of what you may hear about blogging is true. Blogging offers some serious perks.
- You have a flexible schedule and set your own hours, which frees you from standard office times.
- You work from wherever you want — a local coffee shop, a co-working office space or your own home.
- You exercise unlimited creativity — create custom graphics and logos, write content you’re passionate about, design freebies and printables for your subscribers or publish online courses and videos.
- You make a real difference in other people’s lives by inspiring them and providing value through your content.
- You have no limit to the amount of money you make.
However, despite all the freedom, blogging also has some downsides.
- The amount of money you make each month changes and reflects how much work you put into your blog.
- You can burnout.
- Your taxes do not automatically deduct from your income, so when tax season comes around, you’ll have to save portions of your income to pay quarterly taxes.
- Your site requires constant updates.
- Technical issues can rise suddenly and you need to know how to fix them.
Top 5 Ways Bloggers Make Money
Most bloggers have multiple income streams with their blogs, and some turn more profit than others. Check out the top five ways bloggers make money:
The most common advertisements bloggers implement are display ads, which show up in sidebars headers and footers on their blog posts. Each time a visitor views or clicks on the ad, the blogger receives a commission.
But, unless you have hundreds and thousands of clicks and purchases, it’s tough to make money this way. Plus, display ads have other downsides:
- They diminish the user experience. Display ads break up text and distract readers as they scroll through your content.
- They send users away from your site. To receive commission, your users must click on the ad, which takes them away from your site to the advertiser’s.
2. Affiliate Marketing
With affiliate marketing, you promote someone else’s product or service to your readers.
When you mention the product in a post, you link to the product or service using a unique affiliate link. The goal is to influence readers to click on your link and purchase the product. Each time they make a purchase, you earn a portion of the profits.
However, much like display ads, affiliate links send users away from your blog and commissions depend on total purchase amount, which varies.
3. Digital Products
E-books, online courses, printables and services generate more profit than ads, but take time to plan and produce.
The average e-book sells for $10 dollars, while consulting and course prices vary depending on length and included services. For example, a single writing workshop may cost $60 for three hours.
4. Physical Products
Depending on your niche, some bloggers offer physical products for purchase.
For example, if you blog about beauty, you may develop your own makeup or skincare line. If you blog about food, you may publish a cookbook.
5. Sponsored Content
Arguably, the best and quickest way to make money and grow a larger following at the same time is through sponsored content. To produce sponsored content, bloggers partner with brands who pay them for creating content, which promotes a product or service.
Examples of sponsored content include:
- Giveaways — companies provide you with free merchandise to give away, usually through a contest.
- Reviews — brands send a variety of products and ask you to review them in exchange for payment.
- Posts — brands contract you to write blog posts mentioning them or specific products.
- Videos and Podcasts — companies offer to sponsor a particular video or podcast episode.
- Social Media Campaigns — brands sponsor Facebook or Instagram stories or a series of posts in which you feature them or a specific product.
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?
In 2019, the average income for bloggers is $30,000 and ranges from $20,000-$55,000. Based on their monthly impressions, some bloggers make $175-$5,000 per post. But, how much you earn depends on many factors, like blog niche, traffic, subscribers and sponsored content.
For example, a small but engaging blog can make around $5,000 a month, like Fitnancials, which earns $4,600 a month. A more popular and widely marketed blog can earn $50,000 a month or more, like Pinch of Yum, which brings in over $400,000 a year.
Once your blog establishes a committed following, it’s easier to make money and set a general rate. A great beginning rate for sponsored content is $250, which covers three hours of writing and two hours of designing, creating visuals, formatting and editing at $50 an hour.
How Long Does It Take to Make Money Blogging?
Blogging success doesn’t happen overnight and it takes many hours of hard work to get results.
Popular blogger Natalie Bacon, from NatalieBacon.com, blogged for three years before she saw her hard work pay off. Now, she makes over $30,000. And, financial blog Breaking The One Percent made $0.29 in their first 18 months before their site began bringing in over $25,000 per month.
Focus on your content before you jump into monetizing. Brands and followers appreciate quality content and want proof you can create consistent content before they buy into anything.
We recommend you allow of dedicated, hard work to make a decent part-time income and 1-2 years to make a consistent full-time income.
Why Brands Pay Bloggers
Influencer marketing is the fastest growing and most effective marketing channel for brands and businesses.
Research shows sponsored content also boosts a brand’s credibility by 33 percent and improves the user experience when content is accurate, trustworthy and relevant. Users want honest opinions and stories of businesses and brands, which bloggers provide.
Where to Start
Take the leap and follow the five steps below to get started:
1. Choose a Niche
Successful influencers operate in one area they love and become experts.
Before selecting a niche, ask yourself:
- What am I passionate about?
- What am I an expert in?
- What can I write about consistently?
- Is there an audience for it?
2. Set Up Your Site
Setting up a website requires four steps:
1. Choose Your Blog Host
There are many blog hosts and platforms to choose from. Examples include WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr.
2. Decide between purchased and free hosting
Although you won’t have to pay anything for starting up on a free platform, free hosting has limitations.
- You don’t have access to as many themes or features.
- You can’t run advertisements.
- You have limits with adding links, images and videos within your posts.
Purchasing hosting and a domain name is relatively cheap and is well worth the benefits in the end. Purchasing hosting and a domain name allows you to own your blog. It lets you design your blog the way you want – there is no limit to how you can design and incorporate elements like links, images, video and ads.
3. Purchase Your Domain Name
After you decide to purchase your site, you purchase a domain name. To purchase a domain name, follow two steps:
- Choose a Domain Registrar
A domain registrar is a webhosting company who agrees to designate and trademark a domain name under your ownership.
- Choose a Domain Name
Since your domain name is your calling-card for the internet, you want it to stand out.
- Make it unique. Choose creative renditions of words or utilize domain name generators.
- Keep it short. Most popular websites have about six-character domains on average, with no more than 17.
- Make it easy to type. Don’t add special characters or a complex series of letters and numbers, which make it easier for users to misspell your name.
- Love it. Save yourself the trouble of changing your domain later when you choose one you like the first time.
3. Post Consistently
When you regularly distribute quality content, your audience has something to look forward to and your content quickly becomes a part of their lives.
Most influencers post daily to social media networks like Instagram and Twitter. Others publish long-form content at least once a week. Many successful blogs publish around 16 times a month. Once you reach 50-100 blog posts, traffic increases. So the more you post, the more traffic you will see.
4. Promote Your Content
Post your content across social media and make your accounts public to reach a wider, more diverse audience.
To promote your content across social media:
- Always include images. Posts with images perform 94 percent better than those without them.
- Know which times work best for posting to each network.
- Use the same content multiple times with different descriptions and visuals for each time you recirculate it.
- Create unique posts for each platform.
- Use specific hashtags to display your content on hashtag pages.
- Encourage your following to share your content by asking them.
5. Build a Subscriber List
Around 61 percent of people enjoy receiving content through weekly promotional emails and 38 percent would like to see even more.
When you send emails to subscribers, keep them personal. Addressing your subscribers by name influences positive responses and loyal readership through demonstrating you value them and know who they are.
Steps to Take to Make Money with Your Blog
When making money with your blog, multiple avenues exist. But no matter which direction you head in, you can start making money faster with these four steps:
Step 1: Focus on Content
Content is everything, so the best way to help yourself make money is focus on producing quality content. To help, we have five tips for you:
1. Reduce Long Paragraphs
Looking at one long paragraph of text makes the reader work to find information. Instead of sifting through your sentences they leave the post. Keep text within two to five lines before breaking it up with white space. Each break between paragraphs allows the reader to digest information and prepare for more.
2. Edit for Passive Voice
Passive voice constructions like is Be-verbs add unnecessary words to your sentences and implement confusing sentence structures.
Write active sentences with a clear subject performing the action. For example, change “I was working” to “I worked”.
3. Provide a Structure
Use headings and subheadings with bulleted lists for easy organization and navigation. Only 15.9 percent of visitors read your content in full, while 35.2 percent skim, looking for key points. Consider using lists beneath sections and headings to break up chunks of content.
Structuring your post in a certain style, like the inverted pyramid, also helps your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings from incorporating relevant keywords in the introduction and blog description. Include keywords in your first paragraph and headings to reinforce the sense a reader found what they searched for.
4. Incorporate Content Variety
Include articles with a variety of formats — listicles, narratives, research-based articles and round-ups — and links. Blogs with embedded media and multiple links receive more views and indexed pages. Links provide additional SEO value and encourage readership trust, too.
5. Optimize Content for Web and Mobile
A slow site and cumbersome mobile translation diminishes traffic and the user experience. For the best site performance and post results:
- Reformat posts for better readability with headings and subheadings
- Fix broken links
- Create a few Pinterest and social media-friendly images for you and your followers to share
- Keep your design minimal
Step 2: Grow your Audience
Keeping the audience in mind when you create content establishes a credible and connective brand. Before you go to post content, ask yourself these questions:
- Who am I trying to reach?
- What does my audience want to know?
- What does my audience want to see?
- What will my audience gain from my content?
Step 3: Network
Engage with a brand on social media to get their attention.
- Tag a brand you want to work with so it shows up in their mentions.
- Comment on brand images to show your interest and loyalty.
- Share a brand’s content to your audience to attract their attention.
Partner up with other influencers on collaborations or guest posts to grow each other’s exposure and following as well.
Step 4: Pair with Brands by Joining an Influencer Network
An influencer network is where brands and influencers come together to find each other and create successful collaborations. When you join an influencer network, like the Rainmaker Collective, influencer marketing becomes less stressful because everything you need to know is in one place.
Common Questions People Have About Blogging for Income
Can I Start a Blog for Free and Still Make Money Off It?
Yes but not much. Free blogs limit your ability to run ads and embed videos, links, and images — which are essential when working with brands and creating a variety of sponsored content.
How Much Money Do You Have to Invest in Your Blog?
Assuming you have a working computer or laptop, starting a blog is relatively inexpensive.
The hosting services provided by domain registrars and webhosts can cost you $2-20 a month. The average cost of a new domain name is $10-15, depending on which registrar you select. For special themes and site design, expect to pay $30-60, along with the cost for social media business services, which range from $10-30 a month.
With the basics above, expect to spend around $120 right away.
How Much Time Do You Have to Invest in Blogging?
While you can put a dollar amount to how much money it takes to start a blog, you can’t put a definite number on the hours of time you have to invest.
The average blog post requires 3 hours and 15 minutes to write and you need multiple posts to get your blog off the ground. This doesn’t count the time you spend promoting your content, designing your site, establishing your brand and reaching out for sponsorships.
Blogging requires posting frequently and engaging with your audience. It takes constant effort, but pays off.
Tips to You From Our Expert Influencers
Finally, we have some tips from our influencers to inspire and help you on your journey.
- Just start and get your work out there.
- Blog about something you’re obsessed with.
- Use whatever tools you have now, but invest in yourself and your equipment when you can.
- Always listen to your audience. Use their insights to shape your content and success.
- Be yourself and have fun.
Join Our Influencer Network
Take the stress out of finding sponsored opportunities and brand partnerships when you join an influencer network like the Rainmaker Collective.
When you sign up and become a Rainmaker, we match you with brands who share your vision. After you accept your mission, we plan and schedule your project so you focus on creating inspiring content for your audience.
After you complete your mission, we analyze the success of your post and get you the pay you deserve for your hard work.
Join today and watch sponsored opportunities and followers rain in.