Check out this make money blogging series to put together your strategy for making money in less than a year
I waited for more than a year to start my blogs. I knew I wanted to own my own web properties, the make money on my own assets and not have to constantly find freelancing clients or work for someone else.
But blogs just don’t make much money, not at first anyway.
I had researched blogging and blogging income to know the sad truth about running your own website. Most bloggers quit within six months and only about one-in-five make a living doing it.
I was making good money freelancing, earning $50 an hour writing and had plenty of clients…why complicate my life with a blog?
But there was one voice calling out to me and I think you’ve heard it too.
It’s that voice that’s saying, until you become an owner, you will always be dependent on someone else for your financial life. You can never truly be financially independent until you own the assets that make money!
For most people, owning investments in stocks is enough. That share ownership of companies helps them grow their nest egg and they can look forward to retirement in 20 or 30 years.
But that wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t want to wait to be happy in 30 years or to have to wait for my financial independence. I wanted to control my own financial destiny and I wanted to start NOW!
So I jumped in and created two blogs. Then I started three more…then I bought another site.
I was working harder than I ever did for a 9-to-5 employer but I was in control and for the first time in my life, I really enjoyed what I was doing. Beyond this amazing feeling of satisfaction, the money started coming in faster and faster.
I got serious about making money blogging after about four months building the first two sites. By six months after starting, I was making almost $900 a month blogging. By the time a year rolled by, I was hitting $2,000 a month consistently.
I just had my best month yet, earning just under $4,000 on the blogs and this machine is just getting started.
Am I some kind of blogging superstar or am I even one of the standouts in blogging? Hell No! I am the poster-child for average, the proof that you can be mediocre and still make big money blogging.
But I treated my blogs as a business, putting in the time to learn how to make them profitable. It’s one of the biggest factors in my success and what I hope you will get out of the make money blogging series here on My Work from Home Money.
- Treat your blog like a business. Learn the different ways to make money and how to put them all together in a plan.
- Learn how to get Google love by using SEO. I shared my strategic SEO process in a book and how I’ve doubled blog traffic in a year.
- Understand how long it takes to make money blogging and stick with it!
That last point is probably the most important of all. There are a lot of tricks that will put you ahead of the pack but there is no secret to blogging. You just have to stick with it and know that the money will come.
I'm sharing this chapter from Make Money Blogging: 9 Proven Methods to Make Money Online, the step-by-step process I used to make more than 85% of bloggers in less than two years. I detail all nine strategies I've used to make money blogging from the easy ways to start making money immediately to the methods that make thousands a month.
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I’ve seen a lot of bloggers come and go, just in the two years since starting my own sites. It’s why I wanted to start this Work from Home blog and help others bloggers be successful.
How Many Blogging Income Streams do You Need?
Will you need every method to make money blogging? Will you even want to try every method?
I know bloggers that make six-figure incomes on just one or two methods. I’ve tried each but make most of my money from six of the methods. While you certainly don’t need to try all nine or have to build your blogging income from more than a few, there is a very important reason why you’ll want to make money on several of the methods.
What happens when you rely on just one income source and that source goes away?
I know bloggers that relied almost exclusively on traffic from Pinterest to sell their printables. When Pinteret changed their algorithm, the bloggers’ traffic plummeted and so did their income.
Other bloggers rely on Google traffic to drive people to their affiliate posts. What happens when your website gets hit with a Google penalty and your search traffic evaporates? It happens to a lot of bloggers.
That’s why you want to build your blogging income on at least three or four income sources. Try out as many on the list as possible and see which work best for your blog.
That trial-and-error is important because different blogs make money from different sources. Across my six blogs, I’ve got one that has made huge money on self-publishing and as a referral to freelancing work. Another blog frustrated me for the longest time until I started selling printables.
Find what works for you, what you enjoy most and what makes the most money on your blog.
Unless you’ve got a lot of experience in your blog topic, you probably won’t be able to jump in to launching high-value courses and events immediately. That’s why I ordered the make money blogging series starting with the easiest, fastest ways to make money and finishing with the more complicated strategies.
One Year into the Make Money Blogging Series
I’ve shared my six-month blogging cheat sheet to make money, a month-by-month plan on building your blog traffic. It’s easy and costs next to nothing to launch a blog but the amount of time you can spend will depend on other obligations.
The great thing about blogging is that you can work on it in your spare time until it grows large enough to pay the bills. It will take longer to really build your blog on five hours a week but I’ve seen it done and you can still be making thousands a month within a few years.
Check out this post if you still need to start a blog, including how to set it up and how to get ideas. Don’t worry about making money immediately. Give yourself three months to get comfortable writing, sharing on social media and just growing your blog.
After a few months, start putting together your plan for making money. I’ll walk through a few ideas here but feel free to try any of the blogging income methods to see which work best for you. Your experience and goals for your blog are going to be the most important factors in what you do to make money.
3rd and 4th Month of Blogging
Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising is the simplest and fastest income source to set up and is first on most blogger’s list. You can generally make around $0.01 per page view so it’s not going to be much but will give you that first confirmation that you can make money blogging.
After a few months of blogging, you’ll start to see your blog do better in a few niche topics. These may be more specific than what you had planned on writing about but for some reason, Google has seen your blog as an authority in the topics.
If you enjoy writing about these topics, writing frequently about them will really drive your traffic and open up the potential for more income from affiliate advertising. This is called a ‘content strategy’ and is a great way of molding your blog around a specific theme.
It’s here that you want to open an account on CJ Affiliate and a few other affiliate networks. Look for affiliates within the specific topics you write about and apply for their programs. Once approved, you will be able to go back through old blog posts and update by mentioning an affiliate product.
You will also want to start scheduling an affiliate review or two every month. This is where a lot of your affiliate income will come from because these focused posts are easier to rank on Google and you’ll get more targeted traffic.
I doubled my income the first month I added affiliates to the blogs and was making over $1,000 a month within four months. It can be a huge source of income and mean the difference between keeping up with your blog or letting it fall behind in disappointment.
5th and 6th Month of Blogging
It takes time to develop your writing style and learn how to write well. Your writing will improve fast and by the fifth or sixth month, you can start thinking about self-publishing and making money off books.
This means doing some strategic planning to make the process easier. We detailed everything in our self-publishing post but here’s the outline.
- What topics are most popular on the blog? What is something your readers need to know how to do?
- Search Amazon for books on the topic and click through to the table of contents. This will give you ideas for what to write about and the outline for your book. What are other books covering and what could you add that nobody is talking about?
- Put together a list of 15 to 20 chapter ideas and then narrow it down to 10 to 15 critical to understanding the topic.
- Schedule to write at least one chapter each week or two and post on the blog. This will fill your blogging schedule and get you set to publish your book in five or six months.
- Take a few weeks to combine all the chapters, revise and edit before asking a few people to help with editing.
The process also works with printables though these will take less time since they are smaller. You may even want to turn your chapter ideas into printables for sale if they can solve a problem by themselves.
You will be able to publish your book in digital and print format at once. Consider also recording it for an audiobook and uploading to Audible. An average of $200 per month per book is very doable and you can launch a couple of books a year.
10th through 12th Month of Blogging
By the time you approach your one-year blogging anniversary, you should be seeing steady traffic from Google and other sources. With steady traffic and growing social media communities for the blog, you can start reaching out to companies for sponsored posts.
Resist the urge to accept low-ball offers of $25 and $50 for sponsored posts. Those are just spam emails and not worth diluting your blog with a bunch of sponsored articles. Even at this early-stage, you should be able to get $100 for a post from serious sponsors.
Focus on building out these four or five income sources over your first year of blogging and you can easily be making a thousand or more each month. It may not seem like much considering all the work that goes into setting up and running a blog for the first year but you’ve laid the groundwork for more money from here.
If you already have years of experience in the topic, you might try developing some courses or consulting within this first year but most new bloggers aren’t there yet with their experience. You’ll learn a lot about the topic, researching and reading to write each blog post, so you’ll be more than ready to launch these higher-value products as you work through your second year of blogging.
Six-Figure Blogging Income and Beyond
Once you start developing the higher-value products like courses and membership sites, you can drop other income streams. I’ve almost completely dropped PPC advertising from my sites and instead use the ad boxes to sell my own ebooks and affiliates.
Again, don’t feel compelled to try any income source if it doesn’t feel right. The cost of workshops and seminars compared to giving an online course means most bloggers keep their products digital. Live events might work if you are planning to travel anyway and can be a good way to pay to see the nation.
You wouldn’t expect to double your monthly income each year at a traditional job but it’s possible in blogging. I’ve grown my blogging income by four-times over the last year and have products coming out that could double it again over the next year.
I personally know more than a dozen bloggers that make over $100,000 a year and quite a few others that I suspect make much more. That’s not even considering the fact that any one of these bloggers could get over $1 million if they decided to sell their blog.
Do you need to make $100,000+ on your blog? Do you want to make that much?
Six-figure blogging isn’t just a dream but a goal easily achievable with some of the high-value products like courses and coaching. Spend a few years growing your blog and you’ll have people emailing you asking to teach them. You won’t have to spend thousands advertising your course because you’ll be able to recruit just through blog traffic.
The great thing about blogging is that you are in control. If you get to a point where you blog is making more than enough each month to cover your income and you want to relax…then relax! Do enough work to keep traffic steady and enjoy life.
I’m planning one more post in our make money blogging series, an introduction to the series and a study on how much you can make blogging. Don’t wait though, get started on your blog today! Building a profitable blog doesn’t happen overnight so the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll start collecting those monthly checks.