How To Make Money With A Blog For Beginners
If you thought all of the articles out there about how to make money online were scams, you’re wrong! You can ABSOLUTELY make money with a blog. I make a consistent income every month from blogging, all from the comfort of my home – on my own schedule and by my own terms. So the answer to can you really make money blogging? A definite yes!
I’m sure you may be wondering though exactly HOW you can make money blogging.
First let me say that setting up your blog correctly is CRITICAL if you want to build a profitable site – so make sure you check out my post on How To Start A Blog That Makes You Money to make sure that the foundations of your blog are laid correctly. That post will walk you through step by step everything you need to do to get your blog up and running from scratch. It really is important.
In this post I’m going to outline for you 3 core ways that you can make money blogging. There are many more ways, but if you’re just starting out these are all great places to start. 3 of the 4 are ways that I make 4-figures per month from my mom blog, Learning Momma.
(Just a note before we jump in – do not expect to immediately rake in a huge profit! Growing profit from a blog typically takes time, but there is no growth cap and maintaining it is not difficult once you get there. You CAN make money in the first month that you launch your blog, but more realistically it may take several months or more to start seeing some return – so be patient with yourself and your site! Keep working to create valuable content, to learn SEO, and to market your posts on social media and in time you may be surprised how much money you can make!)
Ok, so what are the 4 core ways to make money on your blog?
Note: This post contains affiliate links which means that if you purchase through one of my links I make a commission on your purchase – at no additional expense to you! Read my full disclosure here.
How To Make Money Blogging For Beginners
1. Use Affiliate Links
What Are Affiliate Links?
If you’re unfamiliar with what an affiliate link is, it is a link to a product or service that you place in the content of your blog post just like any other link. However, when a reader clicks on your link and purchases the product or service that you have linked to, a percentage of the amount that they spent on their purchase is given to you! It doesn’t cost the customer any additional money. For example, you can see my disclosure above that “this site contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase through one of my links I make a commission on your purchase – at no additional expense to you.” If you look below you will see several links that I’ve placed in this post. Many of them are affiliate links. When a reader clicks on any of them and purchases, I earn some money from their purchase!
Where Do I Get Affiliate Links?
You can get affiliate links from any company that has an affiliate program (including other bloggers who have affiliate programs for some of their own products). However, one of the best ways to get started using affiliate links as a beginner is by signing up with Amazon or with an affiliate network. These options give you a large variety of products to link to and are relatively easy to learn how to use.
The 3 primary affiliate programs that I recommend for beginner bloggers are:
Amazon’s program allows you to link to almost any product on the site AND you earn commission even when readers buy products other than the ones that you directly linked to – as long as they accessed that session on Amazon through the link on your site. It’s a great program to start with because it has so much product flexibility and consumer familiarity. However, be aware that with Amazon’s program you need to secure at least one sale every 3 months to remain in the program.
ShareASale and Awin are similar programs in that they are affiliate marketing “middle-men” that connect you as a publisher with many different companies for affiliate partnership. Basically, to use ShareASale or Awin you need to sign up with them as a publisher. Once you have signed up with them you can then search their databases of companies to work with and apply individually (through ShareASale or Awin) to each of those companies that you wish to be an affiliate for. You will then be able to access the links for those companies and track your clicks and earnings all through the ShareASale or Awin dashboards and reports. Your payment will also come from ShareASale or Awin. (Just a note that Awin does require a $5 sign-up fee that is then returned to you once you make $5 in commission through their site.)
How Do I Place Affiliate Links In My Content?
Placing affiliate links into your content is typically done through adding a custom HTML code or pasting an affiliate link in just like you would any other type of link. The format for how to add it into your post varies with the source of the link. To read step-by-step instructions for how to place links into your posts from ShareASale, Awin, or Amazon read my post on How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing For Beginners.
2. Place Ads On Your Site
How do ads make me money?
Making money from ads is pretty straightforward. You place them on your site and you get paid (typically) for the amount of time that they are viewed. Sometimes more payment is awarded for click-through rates and other metrics as well. However – basically – you place ads on your site, you work to get traffic to your site, and you will make money. It’s a pretty simple formula.
Ads are one of the most passive ways to generate income from your blog. All you need is traffic and you can make good money!
How do I get ads on my site?
To put ads on your site most bloggers work with an ad network. The ad network coordinates with individual companies so all you have to do is be approved by the ad network to have ads from all kinds of different companies running on your site. The ad network then pays you based on the views that your ads receive. Many beginner bloggers choose to run Google Adsense on their site since they do not require any minimum pageviews per month to work with them. If you’re super eager to jump into running ads on your site then Google Adsense is an option. However, the pay is very minimal with them. I recommend waiting until you can build your site traffic a little bit higher and applying to a larger ad network.
I recommend working with:
MediaVine requires a minimum of 25,000 Google Analytics sessions per month to work with them and AdThrive requires a minimum of 100,000 Google Analytics pageviews per month to work with them, so they are most likely not in range for a beginner blogger. However, concentrate on building traffic to your site and you can get there!
(If you aren’t using Pinterest to get pageviews make sure you check out my post on how to drive traffic to your blog with Pinterest! Pinterest is a great platform for generating blog traffic if you know how to approach it.)
3. Sell A Product Or Offer A Service
If this income option immediately scares you away, don’t stop reading! Selling a product doesn’t have to mean that you have a house full of inventory that you have to package up and ship out to customers. For bloggers very often selling a product means selling a DIGITAL product. It’s a whole different ball game. (That said, if you have physical products to sell you can definitely still make money doing that through your blog!)
If you have a professional service to offer, that is also a great way to make money through your blog! Just be sure to price accordingly since offering a professional service takes significantly more time to deliver on than a digital product does.
What services or digital products can I sell?
Many bloggers sell the below digital products with great success on their sites. The sky is the limit, but these are some easy starting products (and you probably know if you have a service to offer based on an evaluation of your skill set(s) and/or background).
- Online Courses
- Printable Designs
- Business Coaching
- Computer/Tech Services
- Virtual Assistant Services
How do I sell a digital product on my blog?
There are several ways that you can manage offering digital products for purchase on your blog. If you are just starting your blog and offering a digital product like printable designs, I recommend starting an Etsy store and linking from your blog to your Etsy store. This is a great way to get a feel for whether it’s worth it for you to move your product store to a different platform. At a later date it may make sense for you to migrate your Etsy store to a Shopify store to work directly with your blog. If you are just starting with online courses, Teachable is a platform that many bloggers use. For Ebooks, many bloggers use SendOwl.
If you are offering a professional service through your blog, just be sure that you’ve outlined the exact types of service (and/or packages of them) that you are offering with your contact info in a place on your blog that is EASY TO FIND. If readers can’t figure out how to get in touch with you, they’re not going to!
4. Publish Sponsored Posts
What are sponsored posts?
Sponsored posts are essentially just blog posts you publish that you are paid for by a third party to promote their product or service. Typically, a sponsored post agreement gives you a one-time payday to write and publish a piece of content according to an agreement that you make with the company that is sponsoring it. Many companies have actual portions of their budget allocated to this type of marketing, so if it’s your cup of tea you can make some good money this way!
How do I get started writing sponsored posts?
To get started with sponsored posts, you first need to think of companies/products that fit with your site and that you can whole-heatedly endorse! The last thing you want is to be promoting a product that you can’t enthusiastically recommend or you won’t be able to be authentic with your readers. Second, you need to find the contact information for a marketing contact within the company you want to work with and send them a pitch email describing your audience and the type of promotion that you can offer them. You will probably also want to create a media kit since many brands will ask for it to better understand your site and stats. Once a company responds to you with interest you will need to agree on a price for the sponsored content with them and then write and publish the post!
Sponsored posts can seem like an overwhelming thing to dive into as a beginner blogger, but there are some great resources out there to help. This post by Tracie Forbes is an EXCELLENT resource. She guides you through each step of getting started with sponsored posts including where to find brands to work with, exactly how to phrase your pitch emails, how to create a media kit, and how to calculate a fair price to propose for the collaboration. If you want to get started with sponsored content I highly recommend checking out her resources.
These 4 ways to make money blogging are core things to start with as a beginner. I make over 4 figures per month blogging by partnering with a good ad network, selling printable designs, and using affiliate links in my posts. You absolutely CAN make money blogging. If you’ve been overwhelmed with where to start, begin with one of these options – and remember, be patient! It often takes time to start seeing profit build as a new blogger.