In this guide, I will layout and expose how you can make money blogging. This guide will include references from a program that I use, Wealthy Affiliate. This program has both Free and paid versions. Which the free version is more of a trial version for you to see if you like the program and community.
There are some benefits of staying a free member if you can’t join the premium membership. My Wealthy Affiliate Review has all the details of both memberships.
I will also warn you that this guide will be over 6000 words and I do apologize for the crazy length. When I write my guides I try to be extremely thorough. I will be covering everything from creating your first blog to monetization.
To make money blogging there needs to be several things in place. The first step in this process is starting a blog.
Start a blog
When you want to make money blogging, you need a home base for your content and that is what your blog is. All things that you do online should point back to your blog. Then once traffic is flowing to your blog, it should fall into the funnel you create.
When you join Wealthy Affiliate’s training to be an affiliate. They have a funnel set up for you. You create the blog posts which creates the traffic. Wealthy Affiliate has the freebies that will attract people to the paid courses.
This is the most basic form of sales funnel that most online opportunities use. If you choose not to promote Wealthy Affiliate, then you will have to create the funnel yourself. You will create your own funnel when you want to promote other products or services. This guide will use the Wealthy Affiliate Bootcamp program for the funnel as an example.
The freebie, in this case, is two free websites with free hosting. The free websites are yours to keep and you never have to pay a dime for them. These sites are however in the WA domain. So your extension can’t be a .com. It will have an extension of .siterubix.com.
For the blogging platform, Wealthy Affiliate uses WordPress. This platform houses all your blog files, pictures, and videos. Building a WordPress website in Wealthy Affiliate is a sinch. The entire process will take a few minutes.
- Click the blue SiteRubix button and then Site Builder.
- Next, you will have three choices. On a free domain is the first option. These websites are completely 100% free but will have the extension .siterubix.com. On a domain that I own is the second option. This is for premium members only. It will lead you through the setup process for putting your site on a domain that you own. A popular place to buy a domain is a site like GoDaddy.com. The last option is for premium members as well. It is for purchasing a domain name through Wealthy Affiliate.
- Depending on what you choose for a domain. Free or not free they are quick forms to fill out from there and then you will pick your theme for the website. Free sites will only ask you to choose a domain name, a title for the site and then the theme.
On a domain that you bought you will first have to change your nameservers to point to Wealthy Affiliate. Use the link in the line above for more info. If you don’t have them pointed correctly you will see a screen like the one below. Telling you they are not set up.
The final option is to buy a domain through WA! Registering a new domain here is very simple. When you choose the third option on the list “register a domain”. You get to this screen.
Here you will think of your new website name and type it in the box to check for availability. The website will determine if the domain name is being used or not. If it’s not available it will show it to you in grey.
Then, give you options that are available that are close to what you typed in the search box. When you find the domain that is right for you then hit the “Add to Cart and My Cart” button.
Note: you may want to pick your niche before buying a domain name so that the domain will match your niche. For example, if you want to sell games on your site, you might want games.com as your domain name. Sure that’s taken but you get the idea.
Then you will go through a simple four-step checkout process. To set up the domain sale agreement.
Whether you are going to go for a free domain. Or looking to buy one, Wealthy Affiliate makes it very easy and simplistic to get started. In the next section, I will explain how to make money blogging with content.
Find Your Niche and Affiliate Program
To make money blogging you need to know what it is you are going to be writing about first. In the industry, we call this finding your niche. To do this get out a piece of paper or open a document writer.
Start writing down things you like or that you take pride in. Here’s my list for example:
- Making money for my family
- Playing the drums
- Being a pet owner
- Raising my children right
With this list, you are going to go through it and decide which one you think you are most passionate about. For me, it was making money for my family. That is what led me to the affiliate bootcamp at WA.
I took the first choice on the list and started writing reviews on online scams. And started showing people how to make money blogging the right way. If you choose not to promote Wealthy Affiliate. Then you will need to find affiliate offers to get accepted into. Don’t worry it’s not hard to get accepted to an affiliate program.
Say that your interest is in books and you want to get into selling a certain type of book online. You will most likely want to join the Amazon Associates affiliate network. There you will get paid to advertise books on Amazon.
There are a ton of other places online to get paid to promote products. The easiest way to find them is to search in Google “your niche + affiliate program”. Here is an example of my niche “make money blogging + affiliate program”.
The first one on the list is a great article on affiliate programs. This is for people that want to make money blogging and is a great resource to find affiliate networks.
You can also do this with products like shoes for example. Let’s try “Adidas shoes + affiliate program”.
The first one is a prime example of how easy it is to find an affiliate program for almost anything. You will find that you will need to jump through hoops to get accepted into affiliate programs. You will get denied from time to time. That’s when you dust off and go look for something else.
Once you have your niche plan and affiliate program it is time to move on to writing your content.
Create useful content for the reader
Now that you know what you are going to make money blogging with. It’s time to start writing useful content for your readers.
What is that exactly? Useful content can come in many different forms.
- Product reviews – Detail the features of a product or service.
- Articles – General information about a topic in your niche.
- News – Updated information about the topic in your niche.
- Recipes – How to make food dishes.
- Guides – How to do a task in great detail.
- Videos – Make a video related to your niche.
- Podcasts – Start a podcast related to your niche.
Product reviews should be short and sweet. Think about when you read a good review online. You were able to get on the site and skim through it fast. And get the desired information fast to make a quick decision.
These reviews should be on average one thousand words. This doesn’t mean that every review has to be that length. It is a goal to shoot for some will be more and some less.
Articles are there to inform the reader of a specific topic in your niche. You want to keep these to the one thousand word count range as well.
News articles are about updated things going on in your niche. These articles should be short and in the five hundred word count range.
Guides are lengthy and full of every detail that you can imagine about how to do something. When I write my guides I shoot for five thousand words. This for two reasons, one is that when people look for guides they want every detail possible. Number two Google loves lengthy detailed articles. So this will help your search engine optimization.
Recipe articles are quick and to the point. Give the recipe information and your experience with making it. You will also want to give a list of ingredients.
Videos and Podcasts are great visual and audio aids to have on your site. The length and how search engines rank them is at the link above.
Most of the time on a blog you will focus on the top four types. Unless you are specializing in a food blog, vlog or podcasting. When writing or creating any kind of content for a blog you want to write it for your customers and not for you. You want to be passionate. And help the reader achieve their goal of finding out information. In a short amount of time.
One of the best ways to do this is to plan out your content ahead of time. You can do this is many ways with some tools.
- Mindmap – This is one my favorite blog planning tools. Start with your main idea and branch out to other ideas on paper or using online software.
- Pen and paper – Break out the notepad and jot down what you intend to write about.
- Standard outline – Like a mind map but a little more in depth. Outlines have most of the content you intend to write in the actual piece and that’s why I prefer to use the mind maps.
- Video or Audio recording – Some of us don’t have the time to write out all these details twice. So why not record yourself saying it.
- Quick heading method – We all get in a hurry and this is the quick heading method. Open the text editor and start writing in the headings of your article. Start with the introduction and think about what every paragraph will be about and give it a quick title. When you’re finished with all the headings you can start filling in all the paragraph text.
Some of these methods are stronger than others, yes, but all can be useful to the right person. The method you choose it is up to you. You should have some sort of method of gathering your ideas before you write out the article.
Now that you have your website, a niche, and a plan on how you will write the content. It’s time to get started writing the meat of your product.
I used the word product because that’s exactly what you are creating. Some people online make a living selling information. The only difference is that you will make money blogging by selling other people’s products. While they create PDF eBooks that get people hyped up. Enough to buy a document that may or may not change their life.
So here’s the part where I tell you that I can’t write the blog for you. If you want to hire me to write a blog post for you we can work out a deal. Nonetheless, there isn’t a break down that I can give you that will explain in detail how to write an article.
I can tell you that you need to write with heart and honesty. When I write, I give full disclosure of everything that I can think of so that it screams the truth.
Passion in your writing will stand out and people will be able to tell. In return, they will engage in what you have to say. A great way to do all this is to use your real life experiences within your writing. It will make you sound truthful and most importantly it puts the reader in your shoes.
The main idea at Wealthy Affiliate can be diagrammed in four simple steps.
- Choose an Interest that best suits your personality. You want to have a passion for your writing. Your personal experiences with the interest will help you sell the products. It will also seem less like a job and more like a fun hobby that you always want to build!
- You will then build your website. Don’t lie or make false statements about things you are trying to sell. Be real with people and let them know how you feel about the product or service. At this point, we are trying to get folks to your site. We don’t want to sell them on anything but what they are reading.
- When you do get an audience then you can join the affiliate programs that will lead you to sales.
- Earn revenue and rinse and repeat your actions. This is a simple four-step plan and it does work.
Creating useful content for your readers. Enjoying yourself doing the work are the keys to success in affiliate marketing. If you don’t create useful content then it won’t turn into traffic for your site. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing then you will quit or get bored. Once you have some useful content it’s time to find your readers.
Locate your readers
Have you ever heard this before? If you want to make a million dollars, go find someone who is making a million dollars a year. And start hanging out with them. Talk to them and find out what they know. Read the same books as they do.
Over time you will turn into that person. You won’t change appearance but you will gain their mindset and similar goals.
This is the same idea for finding readers and gaining traffic. Yes, you can have that build it and they will come mentality if you want to. The reality is that you may get some traffic by doing this. But we’re looking to get a ton of traffic so the conversions go up.
What I’m getting at here is that you need to get out onto the net and make an appearance for your blog. I’m not talking about spam either. You want to be helpful and converse in areas where your FUTURE readers may be hanging out.
So here are some places that you may find them. Start by looking at your specific niche of course.
- Facebook groups are a great way start to locating readers for your website. You don’t want to pop in a link to your site and call it a day. Instead get in there and converse with people. When a question pops up that your site can help with then you can present a link to an article that may help the reader.
- Podcasts listeners are all over the internet for different topics. You can find listeners that want to chat about the podcasts on Facebook as well. There are tons of podcast Facebook groups with a broad range of topics. It may be a wise decision to find podcasts on your niche and get involved in discussions.
- Forums have unanswered questions all the time. Quite often you can find people who need help with something. This is a great way to provide an answer and strike up a conversation that can lead to a new reader on your site. Be sure that you have an account for all the different forums.
- Blog Commenting is another way to help you build an audience. First get the free installed on your browser. This toolbar will show you what websites have good domain authority. Sites with high domain authority are sites like Google and they are sites that you want to be linking to. Find blogs that are in your niche and start leaving good relevant comments. This will do two things, give your link profile a major boost. And get you involved more in your niche to find more readers.
- Social Media platforms are a great way to pull in some readers when it’s done right. I’ve already talked about Facebook. But there are more sites that can help strike up conversations to find readers. Pinterest is a great example to use for this because you can make a nice looking poster. And you as well as others can comment on it. This can fire up some conversation that could lead to a reader for your site.
Before you go out and look for these readers you should devise a plan on what you are looking for. Above is a nice list to get you started for sure but you need to ask yourself some questions first and make a list.
- Example – What blogs are your readers on?
- What forums are your readers using?
- Example – What podcasts are your readers listening to?
- What social networks are your readers on and who do they follow?
Get a list of three or four for each of these items and then engage in these places. Don’t spam links or be an annoyance. Be the opposite and get involved. You will see your readership grow. When you combine these strategies with your SEO efforts. You will see your blog’s traffic grow.
You may think well what is SEO? It stands for search engine optimization. It’s a set of tasks that you complete to ensure that search engines will like and rank your content. Using a keyword that you are trying to rank for.
These practices are well versed in Wealthy Affiliate if you want to take a peek at a free membership. For now, I want to take your focus to engaging with people who do make their way to your site.
Engagement and Building
When you are getting some traffic it is important that you try to keep the reader’s attention. There are many tactics and tools you can use to do this.
- Email Subscription opt-in sections are a good way to keep readers notified. Of new and exciting things going on with your content.
- Sumo is set of plugins that you can use on your site for free with minimal traffic. It has a lot of features that try to keep the reader’s attention and keep them reading.
- Bloglovin is an online community that you can connect your blog with an opt-in widget. Visitors can subscribe to see all your latest content on the Bloglovin website.
- Keep a Posting Schedule for your upcoming content. Your existing content will always be there to capture new readers. But if you want to keep readers returning to your site then you need a strict posting schedule.
- Responding to Comments shows that you care about all your readers. You should make an effort to get comments answered with haste.
- Start a Series of posts that link together to start an ongoing interest in your content.
Whatever the strategies are that you deploy on your blog. Always remember that the goal of your site is to create a community of readers. Share and link all the content for all your readers. Use the tools above to keep readers and get them back to your blog.
So now you have all the pieces of the puzzle put together so that you can make money blogging. There are still some trade secrets that you can learn by setting up a free account at Wealthy Affiliate. If you are a bit scared about checking the program out, don’t worry I was too!
I read into WA and looked for bad reviews for hours and days. Before I decided that I would even give them my email address. I wrote a Wealthy Affiliate review that might help you decide whether you want to check it out or not.
Monetizing my site has been so much easier with the lessons that I learned from this team. One of my many great friends at WA is Veronica and she has a great lesson on monetizing your website. In her tutorial, you can find six powerful ways in which you can make money blogging.
- Affiliate programs – This one I have been talking about all through this guide and I bet you are sick of hearing it by now 🙂
- Adsense ads and other advertising programs. – This one is where companies like Google pay you for traffic on your site. Links do have to get clicked with integrity for you to get paid.
- Building a list – This is one that I talked about in this guide. Programs like Aweber and MailChimp. Are good examples of email programs to help build your list.
- Amazon products – If you are from a different planet and don’t know what Amazon is. They have an affiliate program that a lot of people join and have great success.
- Relevant advertisers – This one is about finding relevant advertisers from your niche. And asking them to pay you for ad space on your site. You may want to have some decent traffic before trying this option.
- Create your own product – This should be on your goal list somewhere. Product development can lead to a big sum of money if enough people buy into what you a selling.
How you decide to monetize your blog is up to you. Wealthy Affiliate will teach you how to do it with affiliate marketing. There is also plenty of other ways to make money with a blog.
Other Ways to Make Money Blogging
If you want to make money blogging on a bigger level. Then you need to not have one source but many streams of income. Now, so you know this list isn’t a giant pile of things you need to do to be successful in blogging.
This list is more for the person that wants more streams of income and needs some options. You can add more of these at any given time. I want you to have a convenient list to refer to when you want to add more ways to make money blogging.
I will begin with affiliate marketing because it has been the most emphasized in this guide. Affiliate marketing, in a nutshell, is the process of selling goods or services. Usually owned by another party.
Affiliate network sites serve as a middleman between the affiliate marketer. And the owner of the product or service. These sites serve a good purpose for both parties. For the marketer, it is nice to only have one website to learn and work with.
Private Affiliate Programs
This is the opposite of affiliate networks. With private affiliate programs, there is no middleman. The company has the resources and the know how to run an affiliate program.
They do all the payments and training if it is necessary. In some cases, this can also be beneficial to both parties involved. The company enjoys that they don’t have to give money for services to an affiliate network. The marketer enjoys better payouts. And better benefits than someone in an affiliate network would.
One of the best ways to make money blogging is through advertising. Now that is a broad statement because there are lots of ways to make money with advertising.
This is most likely the best way for a new person to make money blogging. But the problem is companies only want to spend money on it if there is traffic. Once you get your traffic going this something you need to consider. I’ll go through each kind with some examples.
These networks operate in a similar fashion to affiliate networks. The ad network plays the middleman for the publisher and the creator. In some cases like the Google Adsense program, the company has its own ad network. So it’s almost as if there could be a new type called private ad networks.
Ambassador Brand Programs
These programs are a little harder to get involved in because they are likely to be jobs. If you have a passion for any brand you can be an unpaid ambassador. But shouldn’t you get paid to show your love?
So what do these folks do is share a brand that they love or have a passion for it in many ways. You might say that I am a blog brand ambassador for Wealthy Affiliate. They only pay me on a commission base though so I don’t collect an employee paycheck.
If you think you have what it takes to be a brand ambassador. And want some details on how to become one you should check out this resource.
Sponsored Blog Posts
These blog posts are like any other posts with the exception that you are getting paid to write them by a company. They will usually have a contextual link of some sort that points to the product page or the company.
So how do you start making money with sponsored posts, I bet you are wondering. Well, I am only beginning with venturing into sponsored blog posts myself. But I have found that Meraki Lane has an excellent walk-through to get you up and running.
Sponsored Social Content
This is a two-part section as you can do one or the other or both. The first one is traditional. This is where you are going to get onto a social media site like Facebook or Twitter. You are then going to create a sponsored post using one of their many tools.
This option is going to put the post into the feeds of people past your friend’s list or followers. So that you can reach many new people with a potential interest in checking out your blog.
The second option is where the company pays you for your social media content efforts. There is a nice platform that you can use online for this option called IZEA.
This platform is a meeting place for advertisers and business owners. To meet and agree to the terms of the social content and how much you get paid.
This may take a bit of work but when you want to make money blogging this should be a goal to work towards. A site sponsorship is a little different than affiliate marketing.
A sponsorship for a site is where a brand or company pays you for articles written about the brand. It could also be a little bit of ad space somewhere on your blog. You may also find opportunities with social media posts as well.
These sponsorships may be a little difficult to get. Because companies that want to pay for these sponsorships want results. Thus, the requirements are a lot more stern than an affiliate program.
This should not discourage you from trying yet. The worst that could happen is they tell you no or you don’t hear anything back from the company.
Blog meets brand is a good option to get your name out there to try and snag one of these sponsorships. This is a completely free option for bloggers as the brands pay for access to the bloggers.
Job boards are also a good way to make money blogging in two different ways. The first one is to actually create a job board on your site. Where you can charge employers a fee for listing jobs related to the target niche.
The other way is to actually look through job board listings for freelance work. This can be for several areas of blogging. Some ideas for job listings to look for would include. Content development, image development or editing.
Directories are a great way to make money blogging. In this case, it is less of a blog and more like a list of links. Which people can use to get things done like find a local doctor or grab a burrito.
The reason is that these big names don’t have every listing on the net. So there is lots of room for you to make a name for yourself. The biggest thing you need to concern yourself with when considering a site like this is generating enough traffic so you can have paid listings from businesses.
So here it is again the tired old saying that the money is in the list. Yes, email marketing still works! The reason it works is that you can build your targeted audience from scratch.
Use a free platform to start like MailChimp. They provide a great way to get your feet wet in the newsletter marketing field. Once you have this free tool up and running you can then start building a list with a sidebar widget on your blog.
When organic traffic comes to your site you can encourage them with a freebie of some sort. Now, with an exchange for their email address, you are on your way to building your list.
You will want to keep your newsletter going at least once a week. So that you are gaining trust in your subscribers who will become customers.
Really Simple Syndication is yet another way to make money blogging. RSS has been around for some time and while some may think that it is a dead stick you may want to give this a try on your site.
Search engines love new, relevant content. If you have changing ads on your site that relate to your content. Then you can see yourself start to rank well in the SERPs. Now there are several sites and platforms in which you can install this on your site. But Google’s Feedburner is most likely your best bet.
Text link networks can be another option for you to venture into on your path to make money blogging. The idea here is that a network buys ad space on your site.
In most cases, you will take only 50% of the ad revenue. But if you want to make money blogging, you will need to create several streams of income. Infolinks is one of the top players in the text link business, but Shoutmeloud.com has a nice list of their top five.
There’s no doubt that videos make a strong impact on advertising. If you are starting with video ads you may want to hit YouTube first and then work your way over to the Facebook market.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t do both at the same time. But if you are building a following start with YouTube to gain subscribers. If your budget allows it you can run Youtube video ads. I see several YouTubers that also post their videos on Facebook as well to gain likes and follows.
When you have built a subscriber base. And are running successful ads on YouTube and have a decent following on FaceBook. Then start creating Facebook video ads to optimize profits from your campaigns.
If you are a podcaster then this is straightforward. Plan wherein the podcast you want to talk about the product or service you are selling.
Let’s say though you don’t have a podcast or an interest in starting one. You are wanting to make money blogging and want to place an ad in a podcast. Well, there are services for that need.
Midroll is one of the top competitors. With connecting the advertiser with the podcaster.
Online Competitions and Giveaways
The last way to make money blogging in the advertising category. Is to start a competition or giveaway on your blog. This can be products related to the topic of your blog or even a simple checklist that you have written up.
The idea is to attract people to your site and then get them to sign up for your newsletter. Gain their attention, then build trust over time and sell them a product or service.
I’ll create another example right in this blog post. This is an expertise giveaway. For anyone who creates a premium account with Wealthy Affiliate. Using any of the links on my Wealthy Affiliate Review page and joins my newsletter. I will personally help you build your business. You can still use the full trial period at WA to see if this is for you or not and still take advantage of this mentorship.
I won’t build it for you. But I will guide you, give you solid input on your articles. I will trade guest posts with you, I will be an extra supportive tool at your disposal.
Mention this article inside Wealthy Affiliate and I will keep my word.
Also, when you join my newsletter. You are going to receive my daily blogger’s 10 step checklist that is compatible with any niche WA member or not.
Online or Offline Events
Events can vary by name and purpose but share one of two goals. The spoken events or gatherings will usually have a presell or a post sell purpose.
Common events online are:
Common events offline:
- Live events
- Meetings or conferences
Again whatever the reason whether it’s your business or someone else’s business. These events are usually all before a sale or after a sale of a product or service.
If you are looking to grow your blog or business to the next level. Then hosting a live event could be a great way to make money blogging. Webinarjam is a great service to explore if you are wanting to get your information out.
Growing in popularity is the creation of private communities. And charging a monthly fee for access to it. It seems to be more on the educational side of the internet. When consumers want to learn about a particular subject.
Premium content can be where you give the readers some free education. And have premium content that the customer must pay for that extra knowledge.
This can also be in the form of software too. The developer creates two forms of the product, a free and paid version. Often times the premium version comes with a monthly fee.
Coaching or Mentoring
If you find yourself with a ton of great knowledge, why not charge a monthly fee for user’s to learn what you know? There are plenty of people out there that will pay for a bit of knowledge.
A good example of all the above is Wealthy Affiliate. They are somewhat of a private community of bloggers. There is a free and a premium side to the content in which you can access. There is also a ton of mentoring and coaching going on.
The best part is that if you want to promote WA. You can earn recurring commissions from sales on memberships. For a single premium membership, you earn $23.50 every month. This adds up very fast if you can sell the memberships.
A fantastic way to make money blogging is selling virtual products. Because there’s nothing to manufacture. You create the product or sell someone else’s product via affiliate marketing. There’s no need for a physical building or warehouse. All you do is sell like crazy if the product is marketable.
Some common virtual products include:
There is always the other side of things too with products that are physical. If you are aiming to create your own product then there is a mountain of things to overcome to get the ball rolling.
Providing an online service is yet another great way to make money blogging. There is a vast array of services that you can specialize in. Here is a general list of the different things online for services you can perform or sell.
- Affiliate Marketing for Services eg. Domain names and Hosting
If you are looking to get started with providing an online service. You may want to give the service a try on Fiverr to test the waters out.
Promote Offline Business
This may sound a little strange at first but not all businesses have a website or want one. Some offline businesses only like to have directories online. Sites like Yelp or Angie’s list help to promote their offline business.
Another example of promoting offline business is writing blog articles about the business. Then affiliate market-related products to the business.
Other Ways to Make Money Blogging
There are so many ways to make money blogging that it is difficult to name them all. The following list is the oddballs that don’t fit the rest of the categories but still deserve a mention in this post.
- Selling Blogs
- Sell Content
- Selling Apps
- Sell Domain Names
As you can see there is an ocean of opportunity out there when it comes to make money blogging. You shouldn’t have your mind set on one of these by itself.
Nor should you try them all at one time. Instead, you should work on one income stream, get it established. And when the income is flowing add more streams of income.
There is a vast amount of information in this guide and I’m glad you stuck it out to the end. My goal was to create the most thorough resource you can find to teach people how to make money blogging.
If you are thinking about starting your first blog. Then use this guide as a roadmap for success and don’t forget to share the knowledge. Please keep in mind that this is a mere outline of affiliate marketing and how to make money blogging.
It would be best for you to try out a mentorship or training program. Something like Wealthy Affiliate. So that you can get the most out of affiliate marketing and adding online income streams.
If you are not sure about Wealthy Affiliate and what it is all about, check out my full review. Check other reviews as well you will see that this training program is top notch and the best money can buy.
Please leave a comment below. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get access to my daily blogger’s checklist!