If you would’ve told me five years ago that I would be repaying my student loans with money I made from blogging, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.
And here I am doing it. I work full time and make over $3k per month blogging. It’s amazing.
If you are interested in learning how to make money blogging, the first thing you need to know is that there are three phases to blogging: 1) launching your blog, 2) growing your blog, and 3) monetizing your blog. Each step below corresponds with one of the phases and will help you set up a successful blog that makes money.
1. Start a Blog
First, you need to start a blog. This is the launch phase. But it’s not just that you need to “start a blog,” you need to start a blog with the end in mind — that you want to start a business.
I have a couple of things to help you do that.
I have an easy step-by-step guide that walks you through how to start a blog.
2. Get Your Mindset Right
You need to mentally prepare for succeeding with your blog. This means preparing for the ups and downs that are guaranteed to happen.
You’re going to have so many obstacles with your blog that every blogger has.
The more you’re willing to fail in the beginning, the more likely you are to succeed.
Blogging ain’t easy. And it takes commitment, grit, determination, resilience and major focus to succeed with your blog.
If you have this mindset, you can accomplish anything.
3. Get Traffic To Your Blog
After you have your blog up, you need to get traffic to it. This is part of the growth phase. After all, if no one visits your blog, you can’t turn it into a business.
This is done by 1) search engine optimization (aka SEO), 2) social media, and 3) guest posting.
For social media, you need to grow your platforms as big as possible so that people know you, like you, and trust you.
Somewhere in the middle of social media and Google SEO is YouTube and Pinterest. These are arguably both search engines and social media. For that reason, they are gold. If you can grow your platforms there, you should. They bring you the most traffic. I would take Pinterest Traffic Avalanche if I were you because then you can learn how to implement a strategy for Pinterest and grow your platform to make money blogging.
Guest posting means that you write a post for another person’s blog.
The reason this is important is because you will make friends with other bloggers in your niche and you get exposure to their audience.
The more social media platforms you can excel at, the better. You never know when one social media platform will change its algorithm, making your following difficult to reach. The more platforms you’re on, the more diverse your traffic and audience will be.
4. Start Freelance Writing & Doing VA Work
In the beginning, it’s hard to make money right away blogging. This is where you can start to do things on the side for extra money to help fund your blog expenses. This is only a step you need to take if you can’t afford to pay for blogging expenses. If you have the money, you can skip it. But you cannot skip paying for blog expenses if you want to make money blogging.
I used to freelance write and babysit to get my blog up and running. It worked really well.
I suggest: 1) freelance writing and 2) virtual assistant work.
Here are my best resources for freelance writing and VA work:
- How to Make Money as a Virtual Assistant – a course to learn how to become a Virtual assistant.
- How We Make Thousands Every Month Freelance Writing – a blog post about how three freelancers are crushing it.
- How To Become A Freelance Writer And Make Money Doing It – a blog post about how to become a freelance writer.
- How To Make Money As A Virtual Assistant – a blog post about how to make money as a VA.
- Earn More Writing – a course that teaches you how to make money freelance writing.
- Your Way To VA – a course that teaches you exactly how to become a VA.
5. Connect With Bloggers in Your Niche
As you blog, guest post, freelance write, and grow your social media platforms, you need to connect with other bloggers in your niche. This is part of the growth phase. People need to know who you are. This is done by commenting on their posts, sending them emails, and attending conferences.
The more people who know you in your niche, the better. Community is huge for blogging success. Don’t ignore this step.
6. Build Your Email List
As soon as you have a blog up, you need to start collecting emails. Your email list is the most important part of the growth phase.
It’s well known in the blogging industry that “the money is in the list.” Your email list may be your most valuable asset and is going to be a direct indicator of how much money you can make.
I grew my email list over 10k in under a year. Mostly, this is from ConvertKit. ConvertKit is pricey, but I don’t know of a cheaper alternative. My suggestion: make money freelance writing so you can afford to pay for ConvertKit.
Whatever you do (whether it’s through another email provider altogether), make sure you collect email addresses. You’ll thank me later!
Here are my best resources for growing your email list:
- ConvertKit vs Mailchimp vs Aweber vs Drip – Email Marketing For Bloggers – a blog post comparing all four of these services.
- The Most Important Blog Metric To Make Money Blogging – a blog post about all things email marketing that you reallllly need to know.
- How I Grew My Email List to 10,000 Subscribers in 7 Months – a blog post about building your list from the ground up.
- ConvertKit – the email platform I use and highly recommend.
7. Make Money
After you’ve launched your blog, and focused on growing your blog, you are ready to monetize your blog.
You can make money blogging in so many different ways that sometimes it’s overwhelming to know where to start.
Unless you have some crazy skill or are already huge on social media (like almost famous), I do not suggest trying to monetize as an influencer. Everyone wants to be an influencer, so it’s realllly hard to do. Instead, monetize through affiliate marketing and creating and selling digital products. This is my strategy.
To get started with this, you’ll need to learn how to do it. I know it’s not easy, and I know the best ways to get started require you to actually spend money. So, if you can’t swing it yet, stick with getting paid to write and other monetization methods so that when you have some money, you can come back to this and buy the appropriate courses to get started.
Here are my best resources for monetizing your blog:
- Blog With A Full Time Job – my blogging course where I show you exactly what steps to use to create a profitable business
- How To Make Money Blogging – a blog post about how to make money blogging.
- How to Make Money Blogging With Affiliate Marketing – a blogging course specifically about affiliate marketing (for beginner and intermediate bloggers).
- Six Figure Blogger – a blogging course for learning how to increase your blog income up to six figures with advanced strategies (for intermediate bloggers).
- Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing – a blogging course for learning the basics of affiliate marketing.
A Final Note!
If you are specifically interested in starting a money making blog, download this freebie that walks you through a step by step checklist for launching a money making blog.
For all of my blogging posts, visit my Online Business Page.
P.s. Here are my favorite free blogging resources you can grab:
- Online Business Free Course – this is my 5 day blogging course
- How I Made $45K Blogging In 1 Year While Working Full Time eBook – this is a look into how I made $45k blogging in 1 year while working full time
- 7 Surefire Ways To Boost Your Blog Income Overnight – this download has really applicable tips for taking your blog income up a notch asap
- 120 Awesome Blog Post Ideas – this gives you soooo many blog post ideas
- The New Blogger’s Guide To Guest Posting – this is a download that shows you how to get started guest posting on other blogs
- Blog Structure Blueprint – this is a template that gives you a visual for how to organize your blog (I used this when I started)
- 10 Steps To Take When A Post Goes Viral – this is a download that gives you specific tips for what to do when a blog post goes viral