That’s the ultimate question isn’t it? How can I make money blogging? Maybe it’s not the main reason that you started blogging (or maybe it is, which is fine too), but it’s a very nice perk to blogging and it is very doable. Initially I started blogging as an experiment to see if I could make money because at the time I owned a business and was burned out and wanted to move on. The answer was yes, I could make money, and within a year I was making enough to sell the business and blog for profit. Yes, money can be made blogging. It will take time and work and persistence, but it is very possible to make a very good income blogging.
How to Make Money Blogging:
Let’s just start out by saying, that when you start a blog you are going to need to be patient and willing to invest some money in order to see a return come in and to start making money.
I started blogging in March 2012. I saw my first paycheck in August of that year and it was for maybe $200, maybe less. But within about a year I believe was making about $1,000 a month. And it’s grown since then. The end of the year 2014 I had made a solid full time income and 2015 proved even better. But you need to know that it took work and a lot of passion to get there.
There are a number of ways to make money blogging. Let’s break them down.
By far my number one source of income is ad revenue. This is not true of all bloggers-there is a lot of variation in how bloggers make their income, but for me, this is the biggie.
What is ad revenue and how do you get it?
You see those little ads hanging out on my side bar over there? —–>
(Or here’s a peek at them on my main blog). See it there on the right side?
That’s an ad. You know that. I have quite a few of them on my blog. Six or seven usually between my sidebar, banner ads, footers and ads after posts.
These ads pay me money. Now, each ad does not pay a lot-maybe even only a few cents each, but the cumulation of lots of ads and lots of page loads can add up to a lot of money. The amount that you make per 1,000 page views is called your CPM. Typically my CPM will range from about $4-$10 throughout the course of the year (with it being much higher in quarter 4 than quarter 1.)
I don’t select the ads that run on my site. I don’t do anything to place each individual ad on my site.
I work with various ad networks and simply install a bit of code on my site and then the ads load automatically each time my page loads. Simple enough right?
To start running ads on your site, you will want to sign up with some ad networks. If you are just starting out, I recommend getting set up with Google Ad Sense right away. You can have ads on your blog in minutes. They aren’t the best paying ads, but they are a place to start. (Just a note-google ads pay per click instead of page view, meaning that you make money each time someone clicks an ad, not just each time a page loads.)
As you get bigger you can begin to apply for more ad networks. I work with a company called AdThrive who not only runs their ads on my site, but they maintain all of my other networks and all of my ads. You need to have at least 100,000 page views a month in order to work with AdThrive, but if you are there I highly recommend applying to work with them. (If you’re not there, I highly recommend doing what you can to increase your page views.)
A few other ad networks that you can try if you are looking for some: Federated Media, PulsePoint, Sovrn, Rivit, The Blogger Network, or just run a google search for ad networks. There are plenty. You will need to apply and be accepted and then they will send you code to put on your site.
Another big way to make money, and one that is the biggest source of income for many bloggers, is sponsored content. Simply put this means that a company hires you to create content that features their product and you post it. This might mean a blog post, it might mean a post on social media. Typically it will involve guidelines from the company about what they are looking for and then you create the content and post it. And get paid. Simple enough right?
Here’s a sample of a sponsored post on my blog:
I was working with Nestle on this project. They asked that I take a certain product and create a stocking stuffer with it.
There is a lot of money to be made this way, though it’s important to be careful that you aren’t overdoing it on sponsored posts and making your whole blog seems like an advertisement. This can ultimately drive your readership down which could hinder your income rather than growing it.
As you grow you may find that companies come to you to ask you to work with them. Before then it can help to sign up with an agency to help you get sponsored content opportunities. Just like ad networks, there are tons of these can you can apply to work with, but here are a few to help you get started: IZEA, Linqia, PopSugar, TapInfluence, Social Fabric.
Depending on the type of blog you have this can be a HUGE source of income. If you’re good at it it can probably be a HUGE source of income no matter what type of blog you have.
Affiliate marketing is a system where you use a link to refer your readers to a specific product that you are recommending and if they buy the product, you make a portion of the money.
So for example, if I told you that I love this book that you can get on Amazon (and I really do by the way-one of my favorites!) and you head to Amazon and buy it with that affiliate link that I just posted, I make a portion of the money. This can really start to add up if you are referring a lot of people and especially at Christmas season.
When you sign up to be an affiliate with different companies, they give you unique links that track your sales so that they can pay you. For me this is just a small portion of my income-I could certainly work harder to grow this, but it’s very passive income for me. I have some links in some of my posts and they make me money now without me having to do anything.
Some big affiliates that you can sign up for are Amazon, Shareasale and Commission Junction. When you sign up with Shareasale or CJ, you can then sign up for lots of store’s programs under them including places like Target and Joann’s. One thing to note about affiliate sales is that you are required to disclose that you are using an affiliate link. My link to Shareasale in this paragraph is an affiliate link as is the Amazon one above.
Those are probably the top three ways the bloggers make money, although there are certainly plenty more.
You can also has your own shop and sell things whether digital or tangible, you can do consulting, write books, really whatever strikes your fancy.
This post was just a general overview of how to make money when you are getting started. In future posts I will break it down more and get into the nitty gritty of how to increase your income. Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe! (Top right corner of the blog.)
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