Hi friends & welcome back to the blog! Today I want to share with you 4 authentic, actionable ways to make money blogging!
**Update: Since originally publishing this post, I have added one KEY step to making money blogging: Client Work. Keep reading to see the update.**
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know that I am relatively new to blogging. I started this blog in October 2019. But two things you may not know (and honestly are probably more interested in) are as follows: I made my first profit in January of 2020, and my profits have grown exponentially since then.
In a sense, because of all of the literature I have read and research I have conducted, I’ve kind of “unlocked the door” on how to make money blogging – in a very short amount of time. But before I share with you how exactly to make money blogging, I want you to visit Leslie W. Business Babes, bookmark it, then follow this post step-by-step.
LWBB’s is a wealth of resources for you if you are a businesswoman in either the blogging business or social media business. There, you will find exactly how to set up your blog so that it makes you money, the reasons you must have an email list, and much more. Sign up below so that you are always up to date with blog posts, resources, and products from LWBB’s.
Also, before we get started, I want to tell you about my brand new book that just hit the stands on Amazon a few days ago. My book is called “Make That Money, Honey!” and is a book for bloggers who want to turn their blogging as a career into a sustainable profit and who want to become professionals in the industry (if you have found this post, you will love this book because it goes way further into detail on how to make money blogging).
My book goes through 19 chapters and includes “secret” information that most bloggers do not like to give out (I am simply different, I don’t mind sharing because I feel that my success should be shared with you to encourage your success!).
In the book, I go over SEO, Facebook Groups for business, affiliate marketing, ad placement, sponsorships, and so much more. It truly is the last book you’ll ever have to purchase in order to figure out how to get to the next level of blogging! You can purchase it by going here now!
Now…on to the good stuff. My 4 authentic strategies to making your blog profitable.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you).
4 Actionable, Authentic Ways to Make Money Blogging (with Step-by-Step Instructions!)
1. Create Your Own Timeless Digital Product
Why Timeless and Digital & What It Means
There is a reason I say timeless and digital. Let’s start with digital. Why do you want to create a digital product for your readers? Well, simply put, because it is easier to create and maintain.
What about timeless? What does that mean? Timeless means it is a product that you can put on the internet, and with the exception of a few maintenance pieces here and there, leave and let go & simply make money off of.
An Example of the Perfect Digital Product for Your Readers
Here’s an example, from my own business: Late last year, I wanted to figure out another way I could not only help my readers, but also make money blogging, so I began surveying my readers with a simple question: “what would help you most as a busy woman and/or mother“. From those surveys (not actual surveys, but a question within my email welcome series), I found out that my readers (within the women & mothers lifestyle niche) needed the most help when it came to organization of their lives.
So, I brainstormed ways I could help them with this, and because of my love for organization, planning, and graphic design, I created The Busy Woman’s Planner and launched it in March of 2020. It has had great success since then and continues to be the 3rd highest-performing profit source for my business (I’ll get to numbers 1 and 2 shortly).
How to Create a Money-Making Product for Your Readers
A lot of people ask me “how do I know what product to create” and I tell them, again, simply put, you have to ask your readers. Literally.
To create a money-making product for your readers:
- Once you have your email list set up, include a question for your readers within your welcome series email such as “what is the one thing that would help you more than anything else with (your niche).”
- Write all of their answers down. Keep a tally of the ones that come up the most.
- Brainstorm products you could easily make to solve this problem that your readers have.
- Once you have a good idea of a product you could make, invest the time and make something high-quality for them.
- Once your product is complete, research the market prices for similar products and determine how much you want to charge for your new product. (Do not undersell yourself here.)
- Let your readers know you have something “exciting in the works” and prepare them for “launch day” by sending enticing emails and updating your social media platforms regularly.
- Then, launch your product. Easy peasy!
Side Note: Before you launch your product, and after reading the above 7 steps, make sure you check out Victoria’s Post on How to Successfully Launch a Product. I wish I would’ve seen this before I launched my planner!
Make sure that once your product is launched and on the market, you do not forget about advertising it (if you want to actually make money blogging). From time to time, highlight a piece of it on your social media platforms, write a blog post about it, gift it to other bloggers to write or post about, etc. And for Pete’s sake, make sure you create a product that you actually use! You will want to show your readers you using your product regularly so they actually believe in it and buy it. Continuous marketing is an important part of the success of your product.
2. Become an Affiliate – But Think Outside the Box
Where to Find Affiliate Companies
Affiliate content is the 2nd highest-performing profit source for my business. This is one of the best ways to make money blogging! And…finding affiliate companies with which to work is easy. In fact, too easy. For starters, take the Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course now. Seriously. If you are a blogger, and want to be successful at it (i.e.: make money), take the course. Listed within the course are so many of places to go to for affiliate partnerships and sponsorships. So many.
Another place you can go to find affiliate companies with which to work in order to make money blogging is my book, “Make That Money, Honey!” I list out over 30 places to go TODAY to find sponsorships and affiliate work.
Here’s another way to find affiliate companies with which to work: contact companies of products you use regularly. Have a favorite shampoo? Contact the company. Do you only use one brand of pens? Contact the company. Is there a blog you read daily? Contact the blogger. Contact these people/places and tell them how supportive you are of their company/business and ask them if there is an opportunity to promote their products for a commission.
I would estimate that around 1/2 of all my affiliate partnerships are from companies I reached out to on my own. People don’t typically think of this, but to me, it’s simple: promote the products and people and business you love the most! Easy peasy.
Before I move on – if you’re wondering what an email to a company (like the ones mentioned above) would actually look like, take the Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course. They walk you through drafting an email like this step-by-step and give you an actual example of various emails you may want to send for affiliates or sponsorships. Seriously. Take the course.
Another place you can go to get an actual template of an email to send to companies is my Media Kit Manifestation.
Finally, in the realm of finding companies with which to affiliate in order to make money blogging, think outside the box. I learned this later than I wish I had. You can affiliate with anyone or anything. For instance, the links I am providing for the Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course are affiliate links. I earn a percentage of the sales from this course – simply because I have taken the course in the past. (And might I add that affiliates like these are some of the best paying!) The email company I recommend in this blog? Affiliate link.
I have affiliate links and relationships with companies for books, blogs, business-related material, products for mom, you name it! Think outside the box. The companies you affiliate with are not all tangible-product-producing companies. Remember that.
How to Successfully Implement Affiliate Content
To me, successfully implementing affiliate content and make money blogging is one of the hardest parts about having affiliate content and making money off of it.
The best thing I can tell you here is: be genuine. Make sure that you do not ever promote a product, course, person, etc. that you do not fully believe in (and use). Your readers will be able to tell, trust me.
It takes time. You have to form a relationship with your readers first. Once you have done that, and they trust you, you can start slowly incorporating affiliate content in order to make money blogging. Slowly. Do not bombard your readers with affiliate links right and left when you are first starting. It will look “spammy” and not pretty. They will quickly exit your blog or email. But slowly build into recommending products that you actually use.
Write blog posts about the products you are affiliate with. Write an entire blog post about one product. Use this product regularly and show yourself using it on social media or your blog.
Building a relationship with your readers, slowly implementing affiliate content, and actually using the products you promote are sure-fire ways to get readers to click on your links and purchase the products so that you can make money blogging. There’s really not another way to do it (if you have found one, please let me know).
3. Sponsorships – Apply Every Single Day
Where to Find Sponsorships
Sponsorships are the highest-performing profit source for my business – you will find the highest payments in terms of jobs that help you make money blogging. And finding them is pretty easy. Really. You may not like it – but I am first going to refer to the Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course again – I know, I know. I’ve mentioned it a lot. But it works!
I attribute so much of my success with blogging to this course. I am so glad that I came across it when I first started blogging, rather than years later. It helped me forgo the years that it takes some bloggers to see a profit and actually make one within 3 months of starting. The course is gold. You can refer back to it over and over once you are done taking it (I still refer back to mine) and re-read pieces of it that you want further clarification on.
Anyway – the course has a list of websites and companies you can apply to for sponsored content. Check out that list and start applying to these sites right away.
Again, you can also find a list of places to go for sponsorships (and how to forge those relationships) in my book, “Make That Money, Honey!“.
You can also Google “companies for sponsorship of influencers” and start there. But again, I recommend taking the Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course to get a thorough idea of exactly where to go and who to contact to start applying for sponsorships.
How to Land Paid Sponsorships
This is much like anything else in life that is worth it – it takes time, patience, and practice. To land a paid sponsorship, you will first have to start with accepting deals where you blog about a product and get paid by receiving that product. No money involved. But, once you do these enough, you will have a very nice list of companies you have worked with to be able to show future companies for actual paid sponsorships.
My number one tip for landing paid sponsorships (to make money blogging): apply for sponsorships every single day. Every single day. For a long time, that was the first thing I did when I began working during the day: apply for a sponsorship. I knew that if I applied enough, surely, someone would accept me. And, they did! I started with a $25 paid sponsorship, then $50, then $300, etc.
When I say “apply” I mean just that. Once you find the companies you want to use to start with sponsorships, you will simply click on certain companies’ ads for sponsorship work and apply accordingly.
For instance, Glade may be rolling out a new candle in the Spring and want bloggers who focus on mom and women’s lifestyle to promote this new candle. They will post on the sponsorship website and you will click their post and then apply. To apply, you will typically answer some questions from the company, like Glade, and then explain why you would be best to promote this product. You then wait and see if Glade chooses you – if they do, you will be notified by your sponsorship website.
This is how the “application” process works. Again – to find the sponsorship websites, take the Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course or purchase my book.
It is a slow process. You have to show companies that you are of value, that you produce quality work, and that you know how to have a trustworthy, professional relationship. (And again, the only way to do this is to start with the product-paid sponsorships, like I mentioned earlier.) Once your sponsorship opportunities start coming, they won’t stop – if you’re doing it right (see above). Eventually, you will get to the point where you have to start turning down offers because you simply do not have the time.
Do This with Sponsorships
A few additional things I recommend when it comes to sponsorships:
- Make a media kit and keep it updated and ready to send to anyone who asks.
- Keep a list and notes of every single sponsorship you have, paid or unpaid. Trust me on this one. Include the company’s name, the date you began working with them, the agent you spoke with, the requirements, the product, the payment amount, etc. Keep it all.
- Do pro bono work from time to time. There are so many amazing organizations out there (like Feed the Children, for example) that are always looking for bloggers or social media influencers to write or post about their organization. Do it. Not everything you write or post should be money-driven – remember that.
4. Ads – Google First, then Mediavine
Ads are the 4th highest-performing profit source for my business. Although it is only 4th highest, ads are a way I make money blogging. If that tells you anything, it should tell you to not place too much importance on ads – at least in the beginning.
Ads are easy. Sign up first with Google Ads, and make sure you watch a YouTube video or read a blog about how to place them so that they are aesthetically-pleasing to your audience yet profitable for you. This is important.
Once you figure out how and where to place them, Google Ads will do the rest. You won’t make a whole lot of money off of ads at first (because your traffic isn’t very high when you first begin, typically) but you can overtime.
Once you have reached a place in your blogging business where you are receiving 25,000 sessions per month (around 30,000 page views), you can apply for Mediavine, which is like Google Ads but much better (the ads are better looking and make you more money).
**Update: 2 other places I recommend, alongside Mediavine, are Monumetric and SHE Media. I just started with SHE Media and LOVE them! The ads are so appropriate for my niche and I have made more money with them than I ever did with Google Adsense.**
In the meantime, don’t sweat the ads. They should not be your primary source of profit – at least in the beginning (some famous bloggers who make seven figures a year say they are still not their primary source of profit).
5. Client Work – **Update**
Since writing this post, I have found yet another sure-fire way to make money blogging: client work.
What I mean by client work is work that you are doing on your own as a graphic designer, writer, virtual assistant, Pinterest manager, etc.
I have quite a bit of experience with writing as well as with graphic design, and have recently begun to take on clients to make logos and banners for, as well as clients to write blog posts for.
To make logos, I simply pop in to various Facebook Groups from time to time and find “Collab” threads and list my services there using my “mini” media kit (found here). For writing, I work on Fiverr to be hired for writing blog posts and articles.
This has really been a fantastic way for me to make extra money while I am still not a full-time blogger. I know so many other bloggers, such as Ell Duclos, who have begun their blogging career this way and have worked like this until they began making a full-time profit from the previous 4 strategies. Highly recommend this as a way to make money blogging!
Also, I should say, if you are in need of a new logo for your site, or a banner (or maybe even some blog posts), please contact me! I’d be glad to help!
I really hope today’s blog post helped you out a lot. These are four tips I wish I would’ve known from the beginning – instead, I had to figure them out by investing hours upon hours of reading through literature and research – so I’m giving it to you the easy way (you can thank me later, ha).
Remember: your key sources of profit will be digital products you produce and sell, affiliates, sponsorships, and ads. With the guide I have provided you (including signing up to take the BBO 2.0 Course, and reading this blog about your email list), you should be making a profit in not time. Really.
Thanks so much for joining me today, and for reading. Come back again soon! Take care, friends!
Resources to Start and/or Maintain Your Blogging & Social Media Business:
- This Blog Post (the blog post you should read before starting your blog)
- WordPress (where I design and post my blog – aka my website site)
- Start a Blogging Business 5-Day Crash Course (course I took prior to the BBO course to launch my blog)
- Blogging Blastoff 2.0 (THE BEST course you can take prior to or right after launching your blog)
- SiteGround (my self-host platform)
- ShareASale (a great affiliate marketplace in which to get started)
- MailerLite (my email service)
- Canva (the graphic design site I use)
- Adobe (another graphic design program I use)
- Yoast (the SEO service I use)
- Ell’s Pinterest Course (must-do course for driving blog traffic through Pinterest – the number one way to drive blog traffic)
- Tailwind (how I automate my Pinterest pins)
- Tube Buddy (SEO for YouTube)
- Tailwind Tribes (I pay extra to be able to pin more)
- USM Premium (the best Social Media Plugin for your blog)