How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners
There are lots of guides about how to make money blogging, but here’s what makes this one different:
I’ve taken three different blogs to over $1 million per year. In fact, the blog you’re reading right now has made a total of $6.7 million.
And in this post, I’m going to give you a step-by-step case study showing you exactly how I did it, starting from nothing, along with my step-by-step guide for beginners trying to get started.
How much money can you make from blogging?
Just like any profession (Doctor, Lawyer, financial advising), there are different levels of bloggers who are earning anywhere from $1000-$2 million a year. I make close to a million dollars a year with the help of blogging.
There are various other factors like consistency, your network, personal motivation, and goals that also contribute a lot.
However, niche and your digital marketing skills alone can help you move really fast in the field of blogging.
You can browse other articles on ShoutMeLoud to learn more about mindset and motivation, but in this guide, we will purely focus on making money from the blog.
How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners
Before you start making money, you’ll need to start a blog and grow your audience. Think of it this way: More traffic to your blog can equal more money.
For that reason, earning money begins with choosing a strategic blogging niche and spreading the word about your blog. Here’s how to do it:
1. Choose the Right Blogging Niche
Let’s start with a little brutal truth, shall we?
- Passion does not equal profit.
- Neither does expertise.
- Hard work doesn’t guarantee anything either.
You can be the world’s foremost expert on square-shaped tomatoes, wake up every morning with a burning passion to educate the public on their vast superiority to normal-shaped tomatoes, and work until your fingers bleed and your eyes fall out of your head, following all the right tactics for turning your new blog into a popular one, and…
You’ll never have a chance in hell at making any amount of money. In other words, you need a large audience who buys things. Without that, nothing else matters. It’s a prerequisite for everything else.
2. Scale your blog content
Now that you’ve selected your blog niche, it’s time to start creating content. As you begin, keep in mind that the research and planning behind your articles can influence your blog’s financial success just as much as the writing itself.
On top of that, you’ll want to upload new content consistently and frequently without compromising on quality. Here’s what you should know as you start creating and scaling your content:
Choose the right blog topics
Just as you selected a strategic blog niche, you’ll also want to choose strategic topics to write about. The best topics must accomplish two things:
They target keywords with high search volumes—a number that indicates how many people look up a given word or topic during a selected time frame (typically one month). The higher the keyword volume, the more historic interest in that topic. When your articles provide a thorough answer to people’s search queries, the more likely it will organically rank on search engines—which, in turn, will bring people to your site.
- They address the needs of your target audience and offer them thoughtful, actionable solutions.
Post blog content consistently
To get more site visitors, you’ll need to post fresh content frequently. Based on the size and needs of your blog, the frequency of posting may vary. HubSpot recommends one to four posts per week, but some larger companies may post an article daily, or in some cases multiple times a day.
3. Start publishing great content
So, you have a website up and running, that’s great!
Now it’s time to get to one of the most difficult and challenging tasks of blogging, which is no other than creating the actual content for your blog.
Having said that, it is important to understand from the beginning the importance of content for your blog’s success.
Great content has the following characteristics:
- It’s unique for your website
- It’s free of spelling and grammar mistakes
- It’s meaningful
- It’s insightful
- It’s unbiased
- It’s something that helps people do/understand/learn something
- It’s easy to read
Don’t worry if the above list doesn’t make a lot of sense for now, as you become more experienced, you will understand it better.
4. Build organic traffic to your blog
Let’s recap the process so far.
Your first step is to register your own domain and set up your blog.
Your second step is to decide the topics to cover in your blog and master the keyword research process.
The next step is to start building organic traffic to your blog, and this is what I will discuss in this section.
5. Choose a Traffic Source
When you’re a newbie, getting traffic is confusing.
Should you focus on optimizing your keywords? Growing your Facebook page? Leaving comments on blogs? Answering questions on Quora? Being active in Facebook groups? Creating videos for your YouTube channel? Starting a popular podcast?
There are a gazillion traffic tactics out there. Everybody says theirs is the best.
There’s an arena where all the bloggers in your space go to compete for traffic. The number of other challengers you defeat determines the amount of traffic you receive.
In other words, getting traffic is a sport.
- There are winners, and there are losers
- To be good, you have to train
- You need to study your opponents
There are actually two sports, and I’d bet you’ve heard of both of them: search engine optimization (SEO) and going viral on Facebook. Both take years (yes, I said years) of study to master, but you can start getting pretty decent traffic after just a few months of study and practice.
6. Promote and grow
The more people read your blog, the more easily you can earn an income from it. For that reason, growing your website traffic is an important stepping stone to making money from your blog.
Before we dive into how to promote your blog, keep in mind that you must continually market your work. You should promote your site alongside all other steps, from the very moment you publish your blog. Even as your readership grows, marketing your site will be just as crucial to its success as the blogging process itself.
Spread the word and build your popularity with the following tactics:
Optimize for SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for your website’s visibility on search engines like Google. If you want people to find your blog, create content that ranks on the first page of organic search results for relevant queries. For example, if you’re creating a baking blog, you’ll want to appear in the top results for queries such as “birthday cake recipes” and “carrot cake recipes.”
Create a blog newsletter
Another way to drive traffic to your blog—and make money as a result—is by making an email newsletter to promote your content. This will ensure that people who find your blog will come back to read future posts.
Build a social media strategy
Not promoting your blog articles on social media can be a major blogging mistake. Social media marketing, like SEO, is a great free way to gain exposure.
Not only should you share a link to your blog on your personal channels, but you should also consider creating separate dedicated social media accounts for your blog. Try creating a Facebook business page so that you can promote your blog on Facebook, as well as dedicated business accounts on Instagram and YouTube.
7. Build a community around your brand
Once you have a blog with great content and the traffic starts to flow in, your next step is to build a community around your brand.
Before making any sales (conversions), you first need to gain the user’s trust and this is achieved through community building.
Notice that I used the term ‘brand’ and not just blog and this is done on purpose.
At this stage, you need to stop thinking about your blog as a hobby but you need to change your mindset and approach it like you would approach a ‘real’ business.
We all know that branding is a very important aspect of the success of any business and your blog is not an exception to this rule.
8. Start making money by selling ads
Did you notice how many things you need to do to get to the money-making part?
Although this blog post is about making money from your blog, almost ¾ of the content is related to activities that come before that and this is how blogging for money works in real life.
As a reminder, it is necessary to understand that you will not make money from your blog if:
- You don’t have enough organic traffic
- You don’t have a decent email list
- You don’t have a community of loyal followers.
- You don’t have content that converts
Blogging for money is not a theoretical concept. Thousands of bloggers are making money through their blogs either by selling ad space, their own products/services, or through affiliate marketing.
All these successful bloggers have some things in common:
- They are having blogs with great content.
- They have managed to build communities around their blogs.
- They use more than one way to make money. They have their own products but they also make money from affiliate marketing and selling ad space.
- They have been blogging for years and it took them a number of years to get to the point of making a living from their blogs.