How To Make Money Blogging: The Ultimate Guide

Would you like to earn some extra money by blogging? The potential profits from blogging can reach thousands of dollars per month, and it is a low-cost business idea. This guide shares 11 ways to make money with your blog, as well as the income streams used by professional bloggers.

How much money can bloggers make?

Despite the fact that many bloggers make different amounts, the answer to this question is somewhat problematic. There are people who make $0 per month, some who make $1,000, and some who make $100,000 per month. 

Blogging has virtually limitless potential. Bloggers with a well-established blog, such as Ryan Robinson, who writes about blogging, can make more than $30K per month. Two years after starting a blog about the business of blogging, Adam Enfroy generated $1.5 million from it.

Bloggers can cash in on more than just monthly income. A marketplace like Flippa lists blogs for sale, many of which have six-figure asking prices. Bloggers earn money when their creative projects are purchased.

I compiled the list of the 5 richest bloggers in 2022 as an inside look at the true income potential of blogging. 

1. Ariana Huffington

Right now, The Huffington Post is much more than just a blog, but it has become a go-to news source as well as one of the most popular websites in the world. As of 2018, the blog makes $2.3 million a month, almost three times what TechCrunch does. It was founded by Arianna Huffington back in 2005. Arianna Huffington is the world’s richest blogger today because of this.

2. Michael Arrington – Techcrunch

Technology news, startup company profiles, new gadgets and all the rest of the tech world are all covered by TechCrunch, which is strictly focused on tech. 

TechCrunch was created by Michael Arrington as a one-stop location for tech news. Arrington has even been called “the prophet of Silicon Valley” for his blog and his work in this field has made him the most influential person in the field. He earns about $800,000 per month from TechCrunch.

3. Pete Cashmore – Mashable

Mashable covers social media, business, technology, and entertainment, along with lifestyle and entertainment. Pete Cashmore began this unique blog when he was 19 years old in his bedroom in Scotland. Eventually it made him a millionaire. He is also the youngest millionaire solely based on blogging. Pete currently earns $600,000 a month from Mashable.

4. Mario Lavandeira – Perez Hilton

The blog of Mario Lavandeira or Perez Hilton, which he started in 2005, has become a powerhouse overnight. This isn’t your typical blog, revealing everything about celebrities’ private lives, no matter how private they are. Perez Hilton became extremely popular all over the world as a result of celebrity news, scandals, and other news. Many people want to find out what their favorite stars are up to. For example, Mario Lavandeira earns $450,000 a month from Perez Hilton.

5. Vitaly Friedman – Smashing Magazine

Featuring the newest, latest tips, high-quality tutorials, amazing guides, and resources that will turn you into a website designer pretty fast, SmashingMagazine is the world’s most popular blog for website designers and developers. Aside from the advertising banners, Vitaly Friedman earns around $190,000 per month from this incredibly useful site.

How long does it take to make money blogging?

Most bloggers start earning in a period of 6-12 months of when they start blogging. But that largely depends on the time and effort they put in, and how they monetize their blog.

It also depends on the niche, competition, and Google sandbox period. Google sandbox period is the time Google or any other search engine takes to index your website. 

If you’re working in a high-profit, low competition niche, then you can start earning your $500 in 6 months, but if you’re working in a very saturated niche, then it might take you more than a year.

The easiest and fastest way for beginner bloggers to start making money is with Google Adsense. Google Adsense lets you display Google Ads on your blog, and when a reader clicks on that ad, you get paid.

8 Best Ways To Make Money Blogging

Looking for a creative side hustle that will generate extra income? Whether you’re starting a new blog or growing an existing one, here are 8 ways to make money blogging.

1. Choose a profitable niche

You may find picking a niche and sticking with it tough to do. Fortunately, blogging gives you a lot of leeway in handling a subject, evolving your own style, and choosing what you blog about. The medium allows for a lot of experimentation, and your readers will likely welcome new approaches and ideas while you go.

To begin your blogging journey, however, you probably want to pick one broad theme and then explore within that theme. Do you like books? Why not blog about what you’re reading and make recommendations? You can then take a natural leap to movies based on books, and then authors…and onward from there. Starting with a simple idea can give you a lot of room to grow.

Some subject areas have worked as popular and successful blog topics already. You can join existing blogging communities and start a blog about

Your kids: Blogs are a great online tool that parents can use to document their parenting experience and their children’s growth. The parent blogging community is on the rise in a big way for both moms and dads. Talk about a topic that has an infinite variety of discussions, products, problems, and cute photos!

Your hobby or interest: Blogs are beautifully suited to help you make connections, so feel free to use yours to become part of a community of folks who share your passion for knitting, sport fishing, geocaching, carpentry, or whatever your interest is.

Technology: Many of the original bloggers chose technology as their focus — a great decision. People have a huge interest in technology and technology issues today. After all, everyone uses technology throughout her day, and everyone experiences problems doing so!

Politics: Because of its often polarizing and sometimes divisive nature, political commentary and criticism makes for great blog fodder. A number of popular political bloggers have even turned their online punditry into thriving careers in traditional media as commentators.

Specialized news: Offer a service for your busy readers by aggregating all the news on a particular topic, including quick tidbits and links to sources. You can create this kind of blog for both serious and comic topics — from cranial surgery techniques to coverage of the latest teen sensation.

A personal diary: If your life is full of crazy adventures, colorful figures, drama, passion, and ludicrous jokes, you can stick with the tried-and-true blog subject: You. With a unique voice and great writing, you can attract readers who can become friends.

Deals and coupons: One of the most active online communities consists of deal-seekers. If you love deal matching and coupon finding, this may be your perfect blog niche.

Do-It-Yourself and lifestyle: Do you look at trash and see treasure? Is organizing a hobby rather than a burden? The world of lifestyle, design, or DIY blogging may be a fit for you!

2. Build an email list

Email lists are another way to do that. Email lists are gold. You see, social media networks are always changing their algorithms. The people who like your page on Facebook might not actually see any of the content you post. 

It’s the same with all the other networks. You don’t own them, and you don’t have any say in changes that happen. What you do own, however, is your email list. It’s your direct line to your readers. And it’s extremely valuable. 

Don’t ever take your list for granted or use the email addresses you’ve been entrusted with for shady purposes. Before you can start collecting email addresses, there are a couple of things you’ll need: 

  1. An email service provider. 
  2. A form for your readers to use to enter their email addresses.

There are plenty of ESPs out there. Here are five of the most popular email service providers: 

  • MailChimp 
  • MailerLite
  • Mad Mimi
  • ConvertKit
  • AWeber 

Some email service providers are free up to a certain number of subscribers, and others start as a paid service. If you are bootstrapping your blog, select a free provider to start.

A freebie entices a reader to hand over their email address. It’s a small gift you give in exchange for their information. It can be an eBook or a short, free course. Think about what kind of freebie you want to offer. Spend some time brainstorming. Then, pick one and go with it.

You can include affiliate links in the emails you send your subscribers. Well, usually. There are exceptions. Including Amazon affiliate links in your email violates their terms of service. 

This includes sending out your blog post via RSS feed to your readers. If your readers can click on an affiliate link from your email and wind up on Amazon, you are in violation and risk losing your account. Other companies may have similar policies. 

The fine print is important. Ignorance is no excuse. Take time to learn how you can promote your links. As long as email marketing is permitted, you can include a properly disclosed link or two in your regularly scheduled newsletters. Just don’t let affiliate links take over your emails. 

No one wants to read that, and your unsubscribe rate will spike.

3. Write sponsored posts

As a blogger, you can partner with brands to create sponsored posts. These are blog posts a company pays you to write. Often your post will need to include a link to a specific product. Here are some important things to know about sponsored content.

  • Don’t promote junk. Your readers deserve better. 
  • Honesty is important. Share your honest opinion, not an over-the-top gushy review. 
  • You need to disclose the sponsorship, so readers understand the relationship. 
  • Pick products that align with your blog’s niche. 
  • Offer your readers value even with a sponsored post. Provide a detailed review, compare and contrast products, use a specific ingredient in a simple to prepare recipe. Pick an angle that your readers will find useful. 
  • Make sure you have a nice mix of sponsored and regular blog posts. You don’t want to bombard your readers with sponsored content after sponsored content.

You can find sponsored post opportunities through influencer media networks, by reaching out to brands directly, or through advertising and having brands find you. Some media networks that work with bloggers are:

  • Tapinfluence
  • Izea
  • She Speaks
  • Mom It Forward

You may need to meet certain traffic and social media stats before you qualify to join these networks. The more engaged your audience is, the more value you offer the brand. If you are interested in doing sponsored posts, make sure you have a media kit with information about your demographics, blog stats, and social media following

This gives brands the information they need to decide whether to work with you. Your fee per post will play a large part in the amount you can earn. You are bringing value to the brand, so make sure you agree to a fair rate. 

Think about how much work the sponsored content will take. Will you need to buy any new photography props or ingredients to create a recipe? 

These all add to your expenses for the content. Some bloggers start at $50 for a post, others start at $300. There’s no right or wrong answer, just make sure you pick a rate you are comfortable with.

4. Sell advertising placements

You can earn money by allowing advertisements on your blog. Bloggers have several advertising options open to them. The first is Pay Per Click (PPC). For PPC ads, you earn a small amount each time a reader clicks on the ad. You partner with an ad network and give them space on your site. 

Be sure to check with the companies you work with to see how much control you have over the ad content. With some companies, you can select specific industries and have any ads that don’t resonate with your audience removed.

Some popular PPC companies are:

  • Media.net
  • Google AdSense
  • Clickbooth
  • BlogAds
  • Infolinks

If you have decent traffic, you can work directly with companies to sell advertising space. Before approaching a company, you want to have a media kit to share. This includes specific information about your traffic and the demographics of your readers. 

Each company has their own set of metrics they’re looking for. Often, these include at least 20,000 page views per month. By comparing your numbers to their metrics, companies can decide if they’d be a good fit for your blog. 

Once they decide to advertise, you’d put their ad on your site for the agreed upon amount of time. Another option are Amazon native shopping ads. These allow you to refer shoppers to Amazon. If they make a purchase, you receive a small commission. 

These are sort of a hybrid between affiliate marketing and ads. As a beginning blogger, you won’t earn a ton of money from ads. There is a definite correlation between traffic and income. In fact, you may not be eligible to join any advertising networks until you’ve significantly grown your traffic. 

Always read the requirements before you apply and make sure you have enough traffic. If you have enough followers, advertisements can help you earn consistent income from your blog. 

Mindy, from ThisFairyTaleLife.com, earns money each month from advertising. In her January 2018 monthly income report, she broke down details. She earned $1,876.55 from her blog. Of that, $881.7 was from ad networks. The vast majority of that came from Mediavine.

5. Join an affiliate marketing program

Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service belonging to someone else. When a visitor clicks through your link and makes a purchase, you receive a commission. When you sign up as an affiliate for a company or brand, you receive an affiliate link. 

This link has unique identifying characters in it. It’s different than all the other affiliate links out there. Once you have your link, you promote the product. Make sure you use your affiliate link each time to get credit for any sales.

No matter where you post your affiliate link, you must tell your readers that you will benefit from their purchase. In addition to having a full disclosure page on your blog, you need to include a disclosure on every single post that contains an affiliate link. 

And this disclosure can’t be at the bottom of the post. Before seeing an affiliate link to click on, your readers need to know what it is.

Join an affiliate marketing network like ShareASale, AWIN, or ClickBank if you want to make money blogging with this method. You can search for affiliate programs in your industry, join them, build custom links, and track affiliate revenue in the dashboard. 

Each affiliate program runs a little differently. Some offer a flat fee per sale. Others offer a percentage. You can even find programs that pay you monthly for as long as the customer you referred continues to be a paying client. 

Make sure you learn the specifics for each program you are with. This way there are no surprises. When you first start, you may not get many sales. You may have months where you don’t earn any money from your affiliate links. But don’t give up. There really is no limit on the amount of money you can earn through affiliate marketing. Caroline Vencil from CarolineVencil.com regularly shares monthly income reports on her blog. 

Affiliate marketing is her top source of income. I love how she breaks down this information so readers can see which companies she earns money from. In October of 2017, Caroline earned $12,007 from her blog. Of that, $7,368 came from affiliate marketing. 

She broke down all the numbers for you to see here. Now, you can’t just throw a couple of affiliate links online and expect to bring in four figures. 

It’s taken Caroline years to build her blog and her following. Her readers trust her and know they can count on her to deliver quality information. She doesn’t take advantage of them by linking to subpar products.

Learn more about how to make money on affiliate marketing.

6. Offer services

By creating a “Hire Me” page on your website, you have a home base for offering a service. Providing a service is a fast way to monetize your blog even if you have a small following. Here are ten services you could offer:

  • Freelance writing
  • Virtual assistant work
  • Graphic design
  • Coaching
  • Photography/stock photos
  • Web design
  • Proofreading/editing
  • Social media management
  • Bookkeeping
  • Blog management

Think about what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. What services are people willing to pay for? Then, add a Hire Me page to your website. Your income from services depends on how much you work, and how much you charge. 

Most of my income comes from freelance writing and virtual assistant services. I currently average $2,300 a month working on a part-time basis. Other bloggers earn much more! Miranda Nahmias from MirandaNahmias.com offers a couple of different services on her blog. 

She offers coaching, done-for-you social media packages, and digital marketing services for clients. Her January 2018 income report shows that she earned $16,765.05. Of that, $15,900 was from services. You can read all the details of her income and expenses in her report here.

7. Sell digital products

Is there a product you can make that would meet the needs of your readers? If so, consider creating it. When you create your own product, you can sell it for an income. 

And since you don’t have to continue remaking the product each time you sell it, it’s a more passive form of income. Here are five common products bloggers create:

  • Ebooks
  • Downloadable products (workbooks, bookmarks, a PDF game, customizable labels, etc.)
  • Courses
  • A video series
  • An audio-based training series

Each time you sell a product, you receive income. The more products you sell, the more you earn. And by selling multiple products, you diversify your income. Suzi Whitford from StartaMomBlog.com shares her income reports with her readers. In September of 2017, she earned $24,754. Her courses and ebooks accounted for a large chunk. Once again, it takes time and consistency for bloggers to earn this kind of money. 

The first monthly income report Suzi ever published (for June of 2016) was for $1,007. Of that, almost $900 was from one of her products. Back then, she had fewer products available and a much smaller audience. 

8. Hosting Events

The last monetization option is hosting events. Events range from an hour-long webinars to multi-day online summits. In-person conferences, meetups, and workshops are other possibilities. No matter what kind of event you decide to host, make sure you plan it. 

Don’t try to throw something together at the last minute and hope it works. Test your tech. Make sure everything is operational. And have a tech backup plan, because if something can go wrong, it will. 

Write out an agenda. Draft talking points to remind yourself what you should be discussing. If you involve other people in your event, work closely with them. Put expectations and timelines in writing. Keep everyone in the loop so there are no surprises. 

Communicate with your audience as well. Know your pricing structure and put it in writing. The scope, speakers, and attendance of your event each affect your earning potential. A small one-day meetup with your readers won’t bring in as much income as a multi-day virtual summit with influencers in your niche. 

There is a ton of potential to earn. Nick Unsworth discusses his experience creating a six-figure virtual summit on the Life on Fire podcast.

How To Set Up Your Blog?

Ddon’t worry, starting a blog doesn’t cost a fortune. I’m going to show you exactly how to set up your blog for less than $100. Technically, you can start a blog without spending any money. Sites like Blogger and WordPress.com make it possible. 

But if you plan to build an income-generating blog, don’t start there. You see, on those free sites, you don’t own your blog. It’s like renting a house instead of buying it.

Owning your own blog and domain sets you up as a pro. It shows that you believe in yourself enough to invest in you. And if you don’t believe in you, why should anyone else? 

The exact amount of money you need to start a blog depends on your goals. I recommend starting small, spending the least amount possible at first. Then, as you begin making money, reinvest your profits back into your blog. 

Once you find your niche and audience, you can ramp things up. Invest in professional design, technical support, and marketing help. In this chapter, I show you how to start a blog for less than $100. Here are the steps to create your blog:

  1. Buy a domain. This is your blog’s address. For example: mynewblog.com.
  2. Buy hosting. This is where the files related to your blog are stored.
  3. Select a content management system. I recommend WordPress.
  4. Select a free or paid theme. This determines your blog’s look and style.
  5. Install plugins and widgets to customize your blog.
  6. Create blog content in the form of website pages and posts.

Learn more about how to start a WordPress blog.

How To Write A Great Blog Post?

If you’ve never written a blog post before, it’s important to spend a few minutes becoming familiar with this form of writing. When I started blogging, my writing experience was all academic. Academic writing calls for three to five sentences in each paragraph. 

Long sentences are encouraged, especially if they use lots of academic vocabulary. Writing without personality is just fine. I was used to writing this way, and my early blog posts would have earned an A in an English class. 

The problem? Blog posts aren’t supposed to follow an academic mold. They have their own format.

Here are six key features of great blog posts. They:

  1. Are easy to scan and read quickly.
  2. Have images.
  3. Have a clear purpose.
  4. Use a conversational tone.
  5. Have short paragraphs.
  6. Provide helpful links.

If you aren’t used to writing for the web, these will help you. Let’s look at each feature in more detail.

1. Scannable

Online readers don’t have a great attention span. Instead of reading your post word for word, almost all your readers will scan it first. If you catch their attention and they like what they see, they might go back and read it. Because of this, you need to make sure your post is easily scannable. Your goal is to get rid of long blocks of text. You can do this with:

  • Bullet points
  • Numbered lists
  • Subheadings

Break up the text and make it easy for readers to tell what your post is about.

2. Images

Put high-quality images in your blog posts. Images break up your text and make the content more shareable.

3. Clear Purpose

Why are you writing a blog post? Before you put any words on paper, you need to have a clear purpose. Start by knowing what your readers will get out of your post. Then do the actual writing. This will help you stay on topic.

4.  Conversational Tone

Your readers want to hear your voice—not a professor’s voice, or a robot’s. You should write a blog post like you’re sitting down with a friend talking over a cup of cocoa. I must admit, this is the part of writing blog posts I struggle with the most. I spent so much time writing without my voice that it took me a while to find it. 

One strategy that helped me was to read each post aloud. This shows me whether it sounds like something I’d actually say. If it doesn’t, I know I still have some polishing to do. You can also think of a person you know who fits your ideal reader persona. What would you write to this specific person?

5. Short Paragraphs

In school, you may have been taught to use three to five sentences in every single paragraph. But to keep your post flowing and scannable, your paragraphs need to be shorter. How short? Sometimes a single sentence will do. 

Other times you need more. And you might even use more than five sentences in a paragraph, especially if your sentences are short. Like this one. It really depends on what you write about and how well the ideas flow together. If you think it’s time for a break, end your paragraph.

6. Helpful Links

Providing links in your posts helps your reader to learn more about the topic. In a single blog post, you may link to:

  • Other blog posts on your site
  • Blog posts on different websites
  • Resources (such as books, tools, etc.)

Interlinking (including a link to more of your content) promotes your content and builds a strong site. It keeps your readers on your website for longer and increases the likelihood that they sign up for your email list. If you link to another website, be sure it’s one you trust. 

You don’t want to send your readers to an unreliable site, or worse, one full of spam. When you link, use anchor text. Instead of having a link visible, such as sallyannmiller.com, you will provide the link within a word or phrase, like this: Check out Sally’s website for more information on making money from home. 

You can add links in Word, Google Docs, or the WordPress editor. Simply highlight the word(s) you want to use. Then, click either the link button (the icon looks like two links of a chain), or insert hyperlink. You will see a space to add the web address. 

Make sure you type it correctly and include the whole thing. To avoid mistakes, open the page you want to link to and then copy the URL from the address line in your Internet browser.

How To Find Time To Blog

Finding time to get it all done is a challenge, especially if you’re a busy mom. And if you’re going to create a successful, money-making blog, you must add time to blog into your day. It will take time to find a routine that works for you. It’s worth the effort, because you will be working from home doing something you love. As your blog grows, you will build a steady income from your home, with your kids by your side.

Here’s an overview of the five strategies you can use daily to find time for blogging.

1. Minimize Your Decisions

Your brain can only handle so much before it gets overloaded. If you’re constantly stopping to make small decisions, you won’t be as productive. To help keep your brain from experiencing decision fatigue, make as many decisions beforehand as you can. 

2. Cut Task From Your Plate

It’s time for a hard truth. You can’t do it all. At least, you can’t do it all perfectly. If your schedule is already full, making time to blog means you need to cut something out. Or you need to decide to lower your expectations for some of your tasks. 

Proactively making these decisions now will save you from feeling like you’re a failure or simply feeling overwhelmed. You aren’t dropping tasks, you are purposefully deciding to remove them. It’s a slight difference, but a powerful one. Look for tasks you can cut completely or change to take less time. 

You might watch less TV, drop the weekly story-time outing, or buy bread instead of making it. Think about everything on your plate and pick your priorities. Review your schedule a couple of times a year. Life constantly changes. Make sure your priorities are still a match for your current season.

3. Use Small Bits of Time

There are many blogging tasks you can do in five minutes. Here are ten: 

  1. Schedule some social media posts. 
  2. Leave a comment on some blog posts in your niche. 
  3. Brainstorm headline ideas. 
  4. Find a creative commons photo to use in your next Pin. 
  5. Create a new cover image for your blog post with a template. 
  6. Test some headlines in the Headline Analyzer. 
  7. Brainstorm a freebie you could make. 
  8. Start outlining a post. 
  9. Think through the topic you’re writing about and jot down any ideas you have. 
  10. Check your comments: deal with any spam and respond to real ones. 

Create a list of small tasks. When you have five or ten minutes, you won’t have to waste any time trying to decide what to do. 

These small chunks of time add up. If you can find six five-minute periods throughout the day, you just dedicated thirty minutes to your blog. That’s 2.5 hours after five days.

4. Prioritize Each Day

At the start of each day, make time to look at what you need to do for your blog. Then, prioritize your list. Decide what to focus on first. This stops you from getting sidetracked by tasks that aren’t as important. You only have so much time to work on your blog. 

You need to focus on tasks that attract income and build an audience. If a daily prioritizing session doesn’t fit your schedule, try doing it weekly. Is there time you can spend each Sunday going over the upcoming week and prioritizing everything you want to get done? It doesn’t matter what your prioritizing time looks like. 

All that matters is that you look at everything on your plate and decide where to dedicate your attention and energy. Consistent baby steps pay off. Make it a point to work on your blog each day and do something to manage your monetization plan.

Final Words

Now that you understand what it takes to build a money-making blog, it’s time to build yours. Whether you want to earn a full-time income from home, or bring in a little side-money each month, blogging can help. You can earn money from blogging, even as a busy stay-at-home mom.

Don’t stop with that first post. Keep writing. Keep marketing. Keep monetizing. Find what works for you, and keep doing it.

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