HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING

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how to make money blogging

A brief story of how i started

In 2014 (November), my friend shared with me a link that could help me solve a website design problem i was encountering since i was still a beginner trying to learn a little bit of HTML in collage. In our chat he said to me, “check out that blog post…” Since i knew nothing about blogging at that time, i quickly rushed to our best friend (Google) to ask for a simple silly answer so that i can not embarrass myself by asking what a “blog” was.

This was the response i got:

what is a blog
what is a blog

Since that day i started seeing ads and suggested posts popping up on all the pages that i visited including my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest profiles which i came to know that it was due to the big data technology! Anyway, that is how i gained my interest into blogging by reading blogs and success stories from other bloggers like Neil Pate, Darren Rowse & Yaro Starak. Few weeks later we partnered up with the friend (Felix Kiptor) and started my first blog Sophlix.com without having a clue of how to run a blog. But due to my interest in learning new things everyday and putting every bit of it to work, here we are Three years later and we are still fired up to doing even more.

NB: By-the-way, i started making money way after running my blog for almost a year (which was sooner than many bloggers). I can say what made me start making money so quick was my aggressiveness into the online space. I never followed all the rules in the “Step-By-Step Guides” and also learning from the best (Already proven strategies)

Enough of me now, let’s jump to what brought you here:

How to start making money blogging
How to start making money blogging

How to make money Blogging?

I’m often asked how to make money blogging especially because i come from Kenya since anything with a “Make money online” title is seen as a scam or a Ponzi scheme so, in this article i am going to lay out some basic steps that I and many other bloggers who make a living from blogging go through.

Here is how to make money from a blog:

  1. Set up your blog (Check Out My Step-by-step guide Here)
  2. Start creating useful content
  3. Get off your blog and start finding readers
  4. Build engagement with the readers that come
  5. Start making money from the readership you have through one or more of a variety of income streams

Sounds easy doesn’t it! On some levels the process is simple – but you need to know in advance that there’s a lot to each step and below I’m going to give you some pointers on each including some further reading.

Here’s how to make money from a blog.

1. Start a Blog

In order to make money blogging you’re going to need to have a blog. While this is pretty obvious it is also a stumbling block for many who come to the idea of blogging with little or no technical background.

If that’s you – don’t worry! It was my story too and most bloggers start out feeling a little overwhelmed by the process of starting their blog.

I have created a detailed step-by-step guide here to help you in the whole process of creating your money making blog.

How To Start A Blog [Step-by-step Guide]

2. Start Creating Useful Content

A blog is not a blog without content so once you have set your blog up you need to focus your attention upon creating useful content. What you choose to create will depend a little on the topic that you choose to write about (on that note, most successful bloggers have some focus to their blogging whether that be a niche or a demographic that they write for).

The key with creating content is to make it as useful as possible. Focus upon creating content that changes people’s lives in some way will be the type of content that people will value the most and it will help people to feel like they know, like and trust you – which is really important if you later want to make money from your blog.

Further Reading on creating content:

How Long Should Your Blog Articles Be?

How to Write a Blockbuster Blog Post in 45 Minutes

3. Get off your blog and start finding readers

As you create the most useful content that you possibly can it is easy to get very narrow-minded with your focus and spend most of your time looking at building your blog.

If you want to make money from your blog you need to not only focus upon building a great blog but it is also necessary to get off your blog and to start promoting it.

Start by thinking carefully about the type of reader you’d like to have read your blog. You might like to create an avatar of that reader (sometimes called a reader persona or profile) to help you work out who you’re trying to attract.

Once you know who you’re hoping to have read your blog ask yourself where that type of person might already be gathering online. Begin to list where they might be gathering:

  • Are they reading certain blogs? List the top 3
  • Are they participating in certain forums? List the top 3
  • Are they listening to podcasts? List the top 3
  • Are they engaging on certain social networks? List the top 3
  • Which accounts are they following on each of these social networks? List the top 3

Each of these places that you reader might already be gathering has opportunities to develop a presence whether that be by leaving good comments, offering to create guest posts or simply by being helpful and answering questions.

With this list of blogs, focus, podcasts, social media accounts in hand you will have some good spots to begin to hang out and create value.

The key is to build a presence, to add value, to foster relationships – not to engage in spammy practices.

7 Steps: How to Promote Your Blog On Social Media in 2017

4. Build engagement with the readers that come

With sustained focus upon creating great content and finding readers for your blog you’ll begin to notice people visiting your blog and engaging with your content.

At this point you need to switch your focus to engaging with those readers and building community.

Respond to comments, reach out to those readers personally and do everything that you can to keep them coming back again and again by building a ‘sticky blog’.

Look after the readers you already have well and you’ll find they spread the word of your blog for you and help make your blog even more widely read.

Having an engaged reader is also much easier to make money from.

5. Start making money from the readership you have through one or more of a variety of income streams

OK – the first four steps of starting a blog, creating content, finding readers and building engagement with those readers are important foundations that you really do need to get in place before you’ll be able to build long term income for your blog.

There’s no avoiding that what we’ve covered is a lot of work but if you do it well you’ll be setting yourself up well and giving yourself every chance of being able to make money from your blog.

With these foundations in place you’re now ready to start attempting to make money from your blog but you do need to be aware that just because you have set up your blog, have content and have engaged readers that the money won’t just automatically flow.

It takes continued work and experimentation to make money from your blog.

There are Many Ways to Make Money Blogging

One of the biggest misconceptions that bloggers have about monetizing their blogs is that they have to do it in one of a handful of ways. The reality is that there are many ways to make money from blogs.

Here is a “Money Map” that Darren Rowse created that is derived from how most bloggers are making money from their blogs.

How to Make Money Blogging

Note: this money map was updated in September 2016.

As you’ll see there are quite a few options that bloggers have to derive income from their blogs.

Don’t worry though – while this map is quite overwhelming at a first glance there are a few main ‘clusters’ of income streams that you might want to focus upon rather than all the specific ones.

1. Advertising Income

This is where many bloggers start. In many ways this model of making money from blogs is not dissimilar to how a magazine or newspaper sells ads. As your traffic and brand grows you’ll find advertisers will be willing to pay to get exposure to your audience.

While you need decent traffic to do a direct deal with an advertisers there are ad networks (like Google AdSense, Revenue Hits, Media.Net) that act as a middleman and enable smaller publishers to run ads on their blogs. This is where many bloggers start (I did too).

2. Affiliate Income

A recent survey by ProBlogger found that affiliate promotions was the most common type of income that many bloggers prefer and actually make a decent income from.

To put it most simply – affiliate income is when you link to a product that is for sale on another site (Affiliate Network/Program) and if someone follows your link and ends up buying that product you earn a commission on that sale.

There’s more to it than that but this is another great place to start with monetizing your blog as an affiliate programs are easy to sign up for and if you have an engaged audience you will find they follow the recommendations that you make on products.

Further reading on affiliate income:

3. Events

While not something most bloggers do I have noticed an increase in the number of bloggers making money by running events.

These range from big conferences and events like ProBlogger Conference which hosts hundreds of bloggers every year right down to smaller meet-ups for a blogger’s readers where money is made either through charging readers to attend or by finding a sponsor for the event.

Alternatively online events or summits are getting more popular.

4. Recurring Income

Another growing category of income that I’m seeing more and more bloggers are experimenting is recurring income streams (sometimes called continuity programs or membership programs).

This is where readers pay a regular recurring amount (usually on a monthly or annual basis) for access to either premium content, a community area, some kind of service, tools, coaching (or some combination of these things).

They are better know as membership sites, or normal blogs but have a members only area.

6. Promoting a Business

Many brick and mortar businesses indirectly make money from their blogs by using their blogs to grow their profile and direct readers to their business.

7. Services

A common way that many bloggers make money is through offering services to their readers. These might be anything from coaching and consulting, to writing or copywriting, to design (like how i started creating blogs/websites for clients), training or other freelance services.

8. Products

Products can of course take many forms and income virtual information products like eBooks or courses but also other virtual products like software, reports etc.

The other type of product some bloggers sell is physical products. This is most common when the blogger has a business but sometimes bloggers also create merchandise (T-shirts etc) or other physical products to sell.

9. Sponsored posts

Writing a sponsored post means you work with a company and write a post about their product or service. Be upfront and disclose your relationship to your readers.

Keep sponsored posts to a minimum so you don’t turn off readers. If you read blogs, you’ve probably seen sponsored posts. They can be spotted by the disclosure stating something like, “This post was sponsored by [company] but all opinions are mine.”

Other Income Streams

There are of course other forms of income that bloggers experiment with. Some include asking for donations, syndicating content to other sites and lastly selling their blogs.

Multiple Income Streams

Most full time bloggers make money more than one way and end up with multiple income streams.

Diversifying your income in this way not only is smart and helps you spread the risk from having all your eggs in one basket but it also speeds up the journey to going full time.

I learned this lesson the hard way after having most of my income coming from one source in the early days but after a bit of a bad experience began to diversify my income streams.

Direct or Indirect Income?

One last little distinction in terms of income streams…. Some bloggers make money directly ‘from’ their blog while others make money indirectly ‘because’ of their blog.

Direct Income – when I started making money from my blogs it was through ‘direct’ income streams. I put Google AdSense ads on my blog and promoted some products on Amazon & ClickBank as an affiliate and the more readers I had the more income began to trickle in. In time as my traffic grew this income grew and I was also able to experiment with other direct forms of income such as selling advertising directly to advertisers.

Indirect Income – Like for Darren, later on in his blogging journey opportunity came for ‘indirect’ income streams. As his blogs and profile grew as a result of his blogging he was able to sell his services as a speaker and consultant and was offered the opportunity to author a book with the publisher Wiley. Later he was able to start an event for bloggers which also made him money. None of this income came directly from the blog – but rather it came ‘because’ of my blog.

While the way that I make money blogging is a combination of direct and indirect income many bloggers focus upon one or the other.

How Much Money Can You Actually Make?

When asked this question, affiliate marketing expert Alan Roy Hocking gave this great answer on his website:

“The answer to the question; “How much can I earn affiliate marketing” is that there really is no limit to the amount of money you can earn.

In the last ten years more people have become millionaires through affiliate marketing than in any other industry and every day ordinary people just like you and me are learning how to tap into this incredible unlimited income source.

How hard you are willing to work and the niche you choose will determine how quickly you’ll succeed and how much you will earn but remember this…..

One day, it could be you.”

In other words, your income potential depends on you. That is great if you’re motivated and self disciplined and want to learn new things. If you’re not, well, your income will reflect that.

I recommend searching for some additional resources on affiliate marketing.

And one last thing to keep in mind…

Remember: you must have a website to succeed at affiliate marketing!

If you don’t have a website set up yet, I can help you with that right now.

Conclusion on How To Make Money From Your Blog

I hope that this article has helped you on your journey to make money from a blog.

I’m constantly publishing new tutorials on this topic of how to start a blog and monetizing blogs so please subscribe to our newsletter for all our latest information (it’s completely free).

Also, feel free to add what you’ve noticed that i have not included in the comments section below.

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