Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.At no cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. I do not endorse any products that I would not personally buy myself.
Did you know that you could make money blogging? And I’m not talking about about a little side hustle. If done correctly, blogging can bring in good money. But how, right? That is what I wanted to know too.
I started blogging as a side hustle. It was supposed to bring in side money for my family. When I started it, I had no clue what I was doing or really how this thing was supposed to actually make me money. The post I read that made me jump in with both feet simply stated that you just had to start a blog and you would make money.
I am not going to be the person to tell you that you are going to get rich and quit your job off of your blog. I see people dragging people into blogging with the promise of making $1000 the first month and stuff like that. That could happen, but more than likely it will take you a minute to get to that point.
What I am going to tell you is this: If you show up daily, and work this blog like a business, the amount of money you can make blogging is endless.
I have used my blog to supplement income when I lost my job, renovate our home, build my homestead, AND pay off $15,000 worth of debt. And, you wanna know the kicker? That is with me not even putting 100% effort into this thing. I did all of that while raising two kids, working a full time job, running a farm and blogging only a few times a week.
Now lets get you started and see where this blogging journey takes you!
How Do People ACTUALLY make money blogging?
It isn’t just waking up one morning and starting a blog. Yes, do that first, take that plunge, but know that it takes more than that to make money.
There are many different aspects that build a blog that is going to make money. Sure, you can build a blog and make some posts, but you have to bring people to those posts. Then you have to find a way to get paid from them as well.
Don’t go about this alone, and don’t let any of this scare you. There are many different aspects to blogging for profit. I am going to list them all here and explain each one to you. There is not any particular order you need to do these things in, but these are detrimental.
Take each and every one of these into consideration when you start your blog and with every post you make and you will make money blogging.
Affiliate marketing is where different companies will give you a commission off of products you sell. Amazon is a big one, and one I use myself. Lets say I write a recipe post and mention my favorite cooking pan. I link to it on amazon’s website. Someone then clicks on that link and buys that product. I get a commission off of that sale.
There are many different companies that you can set up an affiliate agreement with, but before you start affiliate programs, make sure your blog is built and you have some posts on the topics that you wish to start advertising on. Most affiliate programs will check out your blog first, and then approve or deny you based on your traffic, your target audience, and your content.
Here are some affiliate companies for you to check out:
I suggest share a sale for beginners. There are tons of companies that work through them, and the programs are not hard to get in to.
Once your blog is up and running, check out some of your favorite sites and see if anywhere on their page it says anything about becoming and affiliate. Its pretty awesome being able to endorse products you love.
Note: When you are an affiliate of any company, you are going to want an affiliate disclaimer somewhere on each post stating that you are receiving commission on products. Which is why I use the advanced ads plugin to float mine at the top of every page.
Ads are something you are all familiar with. You cant look at anything without an add anymore. Why? Because people get paid for ad placements! Easy money. You sign up for a company, let them place ads on your blog and boom. Get paid without even really doing anything. People don’t even have to click on the adds, they just have to visit your site and see them while scrolling.
The company I use is google adsense. Its super easy to use. You just need to set up an account with them and link it to your blog. They have a setting where you can do “auto adds” this just lets them place adds on your blog for you. There are also other settings where you can create your add placement. You determine the size, and placement and use a code to put an add on your website. I actually use both. I let them place auto adds in certain spots on my blog and I also manually place them where i want them. This keeps it neat looking and doesn’t have adds popping up in your face constantly.
If suggest the Advanced Ads plugin for your blog. Its free, and lets you place adds and banners where you need to on your blog. I use it for my affiliate disclaimer as well.
Picking Your Niche
Your Niche is what your blog is about. It is the category that your blog is in. There are many types of Niches.
- Mommy Blog
- Home Improvement
- How To
Think about something you can write about every day. Pick something that you are passionate about, or that you are interested in learning about.
You don’t have to be a professional with years of experience to blog about something. In fact, my Niche is beginner homesteading. I am actually writing everything here as I learn it. I know a little bit about a lot. But I am no expert. My goal is to show people that I am real and I want them to learn along with me. I am not afraid of mistakes, as we can all learn from them.
Stick To Your Main Niche At first
Pick a Broad Niche, and then you can branch off under it. With every new topic, you need about 10 posts to drive traffic and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This also helps you link from one post to another which keeps people on your blog for longer periods of time (and hopefully they will click on a link while they are there)
This post, for example, is a branch off of my post “Side Hustles For Your Homestead”. Blogging is my main side hustle and I had a ton of people ask how to start a blog and make money from it. This post is one of my 10 posts about blogging. So now, not only am I getting the side hustle, and homesteading traffic, I am getting traffic for people wanting to learn how to start a blog.
See? Its never ending. Your options are endless!
Learn about Your Niche
Okay, so you have picked your niche. Before you dive in, find some other bloggers in your niche and follow them. Check out their blogs. See what kind of content they are putting out, what their blog looks like. Check out all of their social media accounts and look at the people following and commenting on their posts.
This is your future audience.
You want to be part of this Niche, so you will want to be similar to them, but offer something that they don’t. Build your social media accounts and start following people in your Niche (we will work more on this later because this is an important step)
Get active In Your Niche
Once your social media accounts are built, start following people in your niche. Search hash tags and key words. Make it a point to follow a few more people each day. Once you have a news or home feed, start liking and commenting on posts. This gets your name out there. Not to mention, seeing people active in your niche will help motivate and inspire you, trust me.
Find Your Target Audience
Finding your target audience is important to making money blogging. Your target audience is who you want to reach, the people you want to see your blog.
This goes back to your niche and the people already blogging in it.
What kind of posts are they posting? What are people commenting? Is it good, or bad? Are they wanting more?
Getting to know the people you are writing to will help you know how to write your posts, and what to write about next. You want to be able to give the people what they want.
With my niche, my target audience was easy to find, it was me. I WAS in the audience watching all of these homesteaders killin it at this blogging and homesteading thing. It burned my biscuits just watching. I wanted in. That is when I switched my blog over from a mommy blog (which was not doing so hot) to a homestead(ish) blog. Looking around, I didn’t see anyone like me. All of the homestead bloggers were raised into it, or grew up farming. No one was starting out from nothing. And the people in the comments were craving that. That is where my Ah-hah moment came from.
We have touched on this a bit already. You are going to have to be on multiple platforms with your blog. This is how you bring people in. They see your pictures on Instagram, video’s on Youtube, your pins on Pinterest and your memes on Facebook. You draw them in and get them to know you, so that when you have a new blog post that is up their alley, they click on it.
Social media accounts are free to build, and they bring in traffic to your blog. Make sure, when setting them up, that you sign up for the free business account. This unlocks features that you wouldn’t have with a regular account. Instagram and Pinterest have awesome business accounts.
Make sure that your social media accounts are named the same as your blog. This will make you easy to find. Once again, look at your favorite bloggers for examples of how your accounts should look.
It sounds like a lot of work, to keep up with these accounts, but once your accounts are created, you can automate your posts and schedule them out in advance.
Automating Your Posts
I use tailwind to automate most of my stuff. Tailwind lets you schedule your blog posts, Pinterest pins and Instagram and Facebook posts. You just set up a queue and let them go for weeks! Tailwind is based off of Pinterest pins though, which tells you how important Pinterest is to your blogs traffic ( I will get you guys a Pinterest crash course soon)
Tailwind lets you join tribes. These are groups for your niche! In those groups, you can add your own content and re-pin your tribe-mates pins. Sharing pins from others in your niche is super important, so having those groups with content that is similar to yours saves so much time. Tailwind is free for the first month, and if you use my referal link below, you can get a month for free as well!
Make posts that sell themselves
If you want to make money blogging, then you will need to make posts that you can easily plug links into. Of course, not every post has to do this, but your affiliate links are what get you paid.
So lets say you are making a recipe post. Think about what you are using to make that recipe that you can endorse. An instant pot? A cool gadget? It doesn’t have to be a whole post about a product. You can simply say “Here is a link to the BLANK that I use”.
Another way is to make posts that are all about the products. Like top ten lists or “the ultimate list of”. These posts are easy and quick to make. Watch out doing too many of them. If people see too many posts that are full of only links, they arent going to take you seriously. You are going to look spammy. A few every once and a while is fine, as long as they tie into your blog topic. If you are a gardener and have a “Top 10 tools for the garden” post, people who have been reading your content are going to want to know what you are using.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. What this means for you is, making your posts show up in search engines.
SEO comes into play with every single post. Basically, if you are writing a post about a specific topic, you want your blog to show up in search results on google when someone it searching for that topic. To do that, you need to follow some SEO guidelines. Now, I can’t tell you what all those are because i have always used a plugin to help me confirm that my posts are SEO friendly.
Install a plugin that walks you through SEO
Yost SEO is completely free. Download the plugin for your blog and activate it. There will be a new area at the bottom of every post to rate your SEO. This plugin tells you everything that you need to change. It kind of infuriated me when I first started using it, but it works! You just have to do what it says. It literally walks you through everything your post needs.
The very first thing you need to do is think of a key word or phrase. For instance, for this post, my keyphrase is make money blogging. I have this phrase a few times throughout my post, along with other key words that work with that phrase. For help with keywords and phrases, just google “Free SEO keyword tool”. This is where you can find key words within key words to plug into your post, without repeating yourself.
Set up a Pineterst business account. It is free, and it how you are going to get most of your traffic. Why spend money on marketing when you can use a free platform to make money blogging? Name your account after your blog name and make sure you plug key words into your about section.
After your profile is set up, start crating boards in categories that you are going to be writing about. For mine, that was homesteading, gardening, country clothing, etc. Within each board, there is an area to write a desrciption, FILL THIS OUT! Plug in key words there. For my gardening board I put things like: Composting, green house, etc.
Now, start searching for pins on topics you are going to be blogging about and add them to your boards. If you find users that are pinning things that you like, follow them.
This is how you build a good Pinterest account and start getting followers. Your Pinterest account will be ready to add your own pins to when you create them and you will have the right audience to view them.
Here is what my business profile looks like
Make Good, Pin-able Images
Every post should have images, even if they are just for the purpose of an easy pineterest Pin.
To make most of mine I use stock photos, or photos taken of land, crops, things. Images with people in them don’t seem to get the clicks that things like this do. If I post images that I dont want floating around on pinterest, I use WP Tasty to block it from being pinned. Why? Because I only want high quality pins linked to my blog. When someone pins something off of my site I want it to be using only the image I want as a pin.
For good quality images, just google search “Free stock photos”. There are tons of sites that let you use stock images for free. Using them from anywhere else (other than your own pictures) is stealing, and you want to be real careful, as your blog is your business and you do not want to get sued.
I use Canva (its free) to make my pinterest images.
They literally have a pinterest template that sets your size and layout up like a pin. Then all you have to do is add your images and text.
Remember, when saving your images and pins down, rename them with your keywords in them. Once they are uploaded to your blog, also set up your “ALT” text. When you are making a blog post in wordpress, it will be in your options on the right when you click on your image. This makes your image searchable and ties it right into your key words.
When making your Pinterest pin, make sure your words are readable, easy to look at and stands out. Something you would want to click on.
Here is an example of one of mine:
Simple and easy to read. Also, if you hover over the image, you see the “Pin it” button. This allows you to pin my blog link directly to your pinterest. There are many ways to set up, your pinterest pins, I suggest at least 3 different pin images per blog post. Make sure you don’t post them all at the same time though, pinterest can flag your account for spamming.
Make Sure Your Blog Is Fully Set Up
This is kind of a biggie. If you hurry and make and promote posts before your blog is fully set up, then you are liable to loose repeat customers. You want your blog to look professional. Make sure all of your links work, no errors. Make sure your social media accounts are set up and ready so people can find you easily. And I know I have said this before, but you want to have about 10 posts per category. That way if someone sees one post and they like it, you can lead them to another similar post.
Monitor your blog and social media accounts for messages and comments. This is a great way to get to know your viewers. Respond to every single one. Show them that you are a real person and that you there to help.
Run Your Blog like a business
If you want to see results make sure you put in the effort.
Make a schedule and stick to it! I would try to get about 2-3 blog posts a week. I have went longer between posting, but if you want the results, consistency is key. People need to know when to expect new stuff from you.
I get it, maybe you work a full time job, you have kids. Life is busy. But, I work a full time job, have a side gig, have a farm, kids, a husband AND run this blog! It can be done and I promise you it is worth it. I bought myself a day planner. I know that there are certain days and certian times that I have other tings to do. But I still plan out time every day to at least check my blog stats, and comments. Tuesdays, THursdays and Sundays are our quieter days. Those are the days I post.
Also remember that when you start a business, you have to spend a little bit of money to make money. While a lot of what I have given you is free, you will have to pay for a few things. Good thing is, Its a business. Get a business tax ID (they are free) and start saving receipts for every penny you put into your blog. Those are tax write offs! Have to pay to get your taxes done? Another tax write off.
Take this thing seriously. Put the work and time into it and it will pay off. I promise you! I can’t wait to see you all on the blogging front!
Are You Ready To Start Making Money Blogging?
Take everything that I have given you and get started now! What do you have to loose?