When you’re reading about “How to make money blogging for beginners”, $100 dollars doesn’t sound like very much. I agree it isn’t very much. You’ve probably splashed out most of that already on your first year hosting costs.
But before you click away, just accept that everyone has to start somewhere. If you can make your first $100, you can make $1000. If you can make $1000 you can make $10,000.
Is it a lot harder to make $10,000 than your first $100? No way! Making your first $100 a month from blogging is the hardest part of your money making journey. You’re learning to crack the code…
Why I started Blogging
I started blogging back in the days of dial up. I had a tiny business up near the Scottish border and the only means of survival was finding customers on-line.
Blogging attracted visitors to my website and helped to build credibility in my little store. Instead of just another outdoor store, through blogging and regular newsletters I grew a customer list of 25,000 fans.
I can think of no better way of engaging with customers. You can post away on social media (and I recommend that you do) but your blog works to channel your traffic. It’s your platform for making money.
How To Make Money With A Blog (For Beginners)
First up you need a blog! Yes I know that sounds kind of obvious. After all this is a post about how to make money blogging for beginners!
Yet you’re never going to make any money unless you start something. There are a lot of people who I call “search addicts”. I live with one of them!
How many posts like this have you read? I bet it’s not the first one! You can research how to make money blogging as much as you like, but unless you actually start a blog, it’s not going to happen.
Ditch the search paralysis and start a blog now. You can sign up for my FREE 7-Day course or join 4000+ other readers and follow the steps in my post:
Why Should I Start A Blog?
When it comes to designing your lifestyle, blogging is hard to beat. Okay it does take some hard work replacing a 9-5 income and you’ll need to roll with the ups and downs as you learn your craft. But how many other ventures will give you complete freedom?
With blogging you really can work from anywhere and if you hate working Mondays – just take the day off. You need discipline to blog away regularly but the hours are down to you.
There’s no boss demanding 8 am breakfast meetings, no sitting in traffic or racing to meet children from school. Just you and a laptop working to your own schedule.
Just Blog Regularly And The Traffic Will Come
Is a myth and it’s never going to work for you. It’s a saying that’s tossed around by established bloggers who got lucky when blogging was in it’s infancy.
My Top Myths About Making Money From Blogging
- You can blog about any topic
- You can make money from any niche
- All you need to do is blog regularly
- You need a lot of traffic to be successful
- You can make money from a FREE blog
Myth #1. You can blog about any topic.
If you write about lots of unrelated topics, you’re confusing not just your readers but also Google. It won’t be clear what your blog is about. You’ll fail to build trust around a particular topic. Fail to build authority.
Writing about a tightly focused niche, not only sends clear signals to your readers that you’re an authority in this area, it will help you to be seen as an expert by Google. A site with a lower domain authority can outrank a higher domain authority, if it has high relevance in a particular niche.
It was only by narrowing the focus of my new Simply Hatch blog, that I started to see a big jump in my page ranking on Google
Myth #2. You can make money from any niche.
Not all blogging topics will make money. Your niche has to have a big enough audience. It has to be a niche where people will spend money and don’t expect to get everything for free.
The best way to find a niche is to look at other successful blogs and think about the things you spend money on. I spend money on yoga. I buy products, clothing and spend money on online courses. It’s a good niche for making money.
Other great niches are interior design, food, fashion, parenting, travel, health & fitness, beauty, relationships and finance. I’m sure I’ve missed a few but anything where you’re helping people improve themselves is usually a good choice.
(In case you’re wondering, blogging about blogging is one of the harder niches to crack because it’s so competitive – I just love a challenge).
Myth #3. All you need to do is blog regularly.
So many bloggers post regularly and don’t make any money. And the advice they get when it doesn’t work? Post more frequently.
You need to promote your posts. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to spend as much time on promotion as it is on writing posts. Getting hung up on how frequently you post is a mistake. There are extremely successful bloggers who only post once a month (they just make sure their post is worth reading).
When I switched to focusing on promotion as well as writing, my traffic started to grow.
Myth #4. You need a lot of traffic to be successful.
This just isn’t true. Okay traffic is obviously good and if you have a tonne of traffic you can make money from adverts. But adverts are definitely not the best way to make money from a blog. Why? Because everyone hates adverts on blogs!
(And you need a lot of traffic which is a tough call when you’re starting out).
Making money from affiliate marketing or your own digital products is way better, and needs far less traffic. With affiliate marketing you can start making money straightaway from Day 1. So many bloggers prioritise growing their traffic instead of building a blog focused on making money.
Myth #5. You can make money from a FREE blog.
So many bloggers seem to think they can set up a free blog on WordPress.com or Blogger and make money. It will not work. You need credibility to be accepted on Affiliate Programmes and this won’t happen with a free blog. Free blogs are almost impossible to monetise. Just don’t go there.
For less than the cost of one or two cappuccinos in your favourite coffee house you can sign up with SiteGround and enjoy fast, reliable and secure hosting. Plus their support is superb. Free hosting will cost you a lot of money in the long run.
The Essentials To Make Money Blogging
So we’ve debunked a few myths but what do you actually need to start monetising your blog? A blog of course, but what else is essential?
What do you need to make money blogging?
#1. A professional looking blog
This doesn’t mean you need to splash out on an expensive theme or a custom design. But you do need to bench mark your site against competitors in your niche.
Not so much the star bloggers, those guys at the top of the money tree with their unlimited resources and custom builds. You need to compare yourself with the bloggers just a little bit ahead.
What are they doing? How do their sites look.
Make sure your blog is just as good. That bad design won’t make your readers click away. Here are some tips:
#2. Terrific content
This may seem obvious but if you want people to read your blog, you need to give them something worth reading. What’s in it for your reader?
One of the biggest rookie mistakes I see is the self-indulgent blog. Now it’s possible that a blog about fitness, for example, could reasonably chart progress towards your fitness goals.
But and it’s a big BUT. Only if it’s a way of showing the reader what they can achieve and inspiring them to produce the same results.
In the same way, assuming you’re not a celebrity, no-one’s going to care about your weekend in the Saint-Tropez. Unless of course you can tell them how to snag the same cut-price deal on a out-of-season luxury hotel room.
People want to be better at stuff, get better stuff and learn how to do better stuff. If you can help people on their way to achieving those aspirations, you’re on to a winner.
That’s what counts as terrific content.
#3. An email list
Your email list needs to be nurtured from Day 1. Forget any ideas you have that emailing is dead. It’s still the best way of creating avid followers.
Just about everyone has an email address, not everyone uses social media. Most people will check their email daily and it’s a very personal medium.
Sending a missive straight to a person’s inbox is the best way to convert a mildly interested follower into someone who really gets your advice. A future customer.
I use ConvertKit for my Simply Hatch mailing list. It’s a paid service but these guys really get bloggers. If you’re planning on growing big, ConvertKit’s automation’s, sequences and landing pages will help you get there.
Alternatively, out of the numerous email service providers, MailChimp is a good choice. It’s easy enough to use and free for your first 2000 subscribers.
#4. Blogging friends
To make a success of blogging, everyone needs to build connections. Starting out and earning your first $100, it will be enough to reach out to bloggers on a similar level.
Connecting through FaceBook groups, shared Pinterest boards and Reddit forums, blogging is a medium that works better together. Being shy or thinking you can do this on your own is not an option.
Ultimately you’ll be aiming for relationships with influencers. People who can sky-rocket your traffic simply by sharing a pin or tweeting about a latest post.
These people are reachable. Sometimes it’s just a case of requesting a comment on a topic you’re writing or letting an influencer know you’ve written a stellar post and referenced their blog.
#5. Being knowledgeable
You don’t need to be THE expert in your field but you do need to build some authority.
If you pick a topic you know nothing about it will show. It’s important to do your research and have something to offer.
Own your niche, read everything you can about it and keep up-to-date. You want to become THAT person. The one everyone turns to when they’re french polishing their cabinet or setting up a poodle parlour.
You get my drift… You won’t become the expert overnight but there’s no time like the present to start being knowledgeable.
How Do You Start A Profitable Blog?
Amazingly, there’s this idea you need to blog for 6 months to a year first before you even try to make money from your blog.
It’s rubbish, garbage, trash. Of course it’s self-fulfilling. If you don’t try to make money you never will!
You can start trying to make money from Day 1. It’s just that most new bloggers think the only way to make money is through adverts.
Income from ads is tiny when you have a new blog. The amount of money you make depends on your sector. Even if you have a highly targeted niche with a high click through rate, don’t expect to make $100/month unless you have at least 20,000 monthly page views.
That’s a lot of visitors for a brand new blog and most niches won’t make anything like this amount of money. Advertising big bucks are for established blogs with high levels of traffic.
Plus people hate ads. When you’re trying to get readers to stick around on your blog, why would you put adverts on your site? It’s just not worth it when the income is tiny.
Fortunately there are much better ways to earn money from your brand new beginner blog.
How To Make Money Blogging For Beginners
These are all the different ways you can make money blogging (only some of them are suitable for beginners):
- Affiliate marketing
- eBooks & Workbooks
- Online Courses
- Coaching or Services
- Product Reviews and Giveaways
- Sponsored Posts
- Membership Sites
We’ve already ruled out advertising for beginners. I guess you could still think of it as a long-term game plan. Blog away for at least a year or two, heavily promote your blog on social media and you could end up making some reasonable money.
It’s just you’d make so much more money from other methods.
Ads sound like the easy option so I understand why they’re attractive to beginners. All you have to think about is writing posts which can be a good thing when you’re learning how to blog.
But blogging isn’t just about writing. You have to think about writing for your audience even if your model is based on ads. If you can’t reach an audience you won’t get any traffic.
To get the sort of traffic you need to make advertising work you need to be terrific at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and a Pro at promoting on social media.
Still think advertising is an easy option?
This is my favourite way of making money for a beginner blog. When you’re looking to make your first $100 from blogging this is your fastest option.
I remember getting so excited when I first realised how affiliate marketing works.
You mean I can just earn commission selling products on my website? I don’t have to store them in a warehouse, pick and pack them or deal with customers.
It was such a revelation.
I spent years physically selling products through my eCommerce outdoor clothing store. We had some good times but picking and packing goods in the lead up to Christmas was hard work. Plus we had the risk every year that if the goods didn’t sell January was going to be bleak.
Imagine if all those goods had been sold on a commission basis and we never even set eyes on the stock.
There is a site here in the UK called Menswear Style. It looks like any other young men’s eCommerce fashion store. Except it isn’t. You can even speak via live chat to a personnel shopper.
Menswear style is a very clever blog making money from affiliate marketing. Look closely at the products and they all link to other physical eCommerce stores.
I estimate they make between 5 and 10% commission per sale – no risk, just profit.
What is affiliate marketing?
When shops evolved into online mega-stores, they lost the personnel touch. Humans are social animals and people like to buy from people. We started turning to friends and social media for recommendations. And to bloggers.
Brands finally caught onto this. Originally they thought it was just famous people who had influence and concentrated on giving away freebies to the stars.
Fast forward to today and brands are reaching out to all influencers and yes that includes you – writing your first post on your beginner blog.
How does affiliate marketing work?
Affiliate marketing works by adding a unique link from your site to the product you’re promoting. If a visitor to your site clicks on the link ad buys the product within set time frame, you earn a commission on the sale.
The amount of commission can vary widely and really depends on the type of product being sold. I’ve seen commissions ranging from 1-2% to 50%. The time frame also varies; the standard Amazon cookie lasts just 24 hours.
How do you start affiliate marketing?
When you’re a beginner blogger writing your first few posts, Amazon Associates is the best programme to sign up to.
As long as you have a blog you should be eligible. Amazon will only check your suitability once you’ve made your first three sales.
The best thing about Amazon is the huge range of products. There’s something to promote for every niche. The downside of Amazon are the low commissions and 24 hour cookie.
Promoting Amazon products is a good way to get started and make your first $100. Once you’ve got your first 10 posts up and your site’s starting to look professional, move on to a better deal.
Promote products you genuinely believe in.
When you’re recommending products your reputation is on the line as a blogger. Get this wrong by recommending products you’ve never actually used and you’ll run into trouble.
The best way to find products to promote is by searching on google. Search for the product you believe in by name and add the word affiliate. This usually works and you can ask to join the programme.
Often brands use affiliate marketing networks. A number of my products are with ShareASale. This network has a vast range of products in several different categories. You need to join the network to search for brands.
Ebooks and Workbooks
Selling digital products is a great way to make money from blogging. Why? Because it’s something you’ve created. You own it and you get to control it.
With affiliate products, links might change, competition might increase and prices go up or down. Your income can change overnight and you have no control over it.
With digital products, you get to make the decisions. You can tweak prices, marketing, positioning – it’s all down to you.
Ebooks and workbooks are some of the easiest digital products you can create as a blogger. They don’t have to be particularly long – you can think of them as an extra long blog post and you already have the tools to hand for production. (Microsoft Word, Google Docs… any software that will allow you to export your document as a PDF. I used PowerPoint for my image-rich Hatch A Blog ebook).
How To Write An Ebook
Come Up With A Content Idea
Brainstorm a topic that will resonate with your readers. Better still send an email to your list asking them what they need help with.
Write Your Ebook
Don’t get too carried away producing your ebook. Keep things simple. As long as you’re providing useful information, you don’t need to worry too much about graphics and fancy software for your first ebook.
How To Sell your Ebook
You can sell your ebook on your own blog or self publish and sell on Amazon. Promote it everywhere. to your email list, on social media and put banners in your sidebar.
Creating an online course is the next logical step after you’ve written and promoted your first ebook. It can often make sense to expand your ebook topic into an online course. (My Hatch A Blog course builds on my ebook with step-by-step video instructions to set up your blog).
You do need a bit more know-how and equipment but it is possible to produce an online course on a budget.
You don’t need an expensive camera. I use the Logitech, C920 HD Pro Webcam for filming my videos and it’s perfectly adequate. (If you’re interested you can read more about my equipment in my resources section).
Probably the hardest part about creating your first online course is getting comfortable in front of a camera. Practice certainly makes this easier.
A online course may not be your first means of making $100 but it should be on your radar. Once you’ve gone through the leaning process it’s a terrific way to make an online income.
The idea that you can make money selling printables just blows me away. Create an inspirational text graphic on Canva and sell it directly from your blog.
The opportunities with printables are only limited by your imagination. Workbooks, planners, how to guides, recipes, digital images. These items can be so quick to produce.
How to sell printables on your blog.
First, work out what will appeal to your readers . Don’t sweat this too much. Printables are quick to make and you can find your best sellers by trial and error.
Secondly, add a store to your blog using the FREE WooCommerce plugin. Many themes come complete with a WooCommerce store and it’s an easy plugin to add.
Thirdly, signup for business accounts with Stripe and Paypal, load your products and start selling. Don’t forget to promote your printables on your blog and social media.
Coaching or Services
If you have the skills, a blog is an excellent way to attract clients for coaching or services. The growth of the internet and the blogging community has added to the opportunities.
These are just some of the possibilities:
- Virtual office manager
- Freelance Writing
- Coach or Mentor
- Bookkeeping or Accountancy
- Legal advice
- Graphic Design
- Social Media Manager
It’s quite possible that some of the skills you acquire along your blogging journey will lead to service opportunities. For example, if you can grow your own Pinterest account successfully, you can do the same for other people.
One growing area at present is group coaching – instead of coaching one-to-one, mentors are coaching small groups at a time. It’s a way of increasing revenue and lowering costs for participants.
Product Reviews And Giveaways.
As your blog grows you may be approached by companies asking you to write product reviews. These companies will offer money and may let you keep the product.
Sounds terrific doesn’t it?
There is a catch. It’s unlikely that companies will pay you for a bad review so the issue here is your integrity.
I suggest you make it clear that your review will be your honest opinion and you stick to reviewing products you truly believe in. It’s a similar situation to affiliate marketing.
Just remember your reputation is important.
These are a variation of the same idea except here the company will collaborate with you to write the post.
It’s basically an advert and it’s very important to label the sponsored post clearly.
If you do accept sponsored posts I suggest you’re selective about which products you accept and keep these posts to a minimum.
This can be a very successful way of making money. Charge a modest monthly fee for access to useful material and a support community.
Membership sites can work for a wide variety of niches from help starting a business to diet and exercise.
Think of it as a form of group coaching.
Most people promoting webinars are providing them for free but there’s no reason these couldn’t be used as a means of making money.
It can be a variation on group coaching, another way of engaging and tutoring a larger audience.
Which Is The Best Way To Make Money Blogging For Beginners?
It depends. Yeah I know that’s not what you want to hear.
Apart from the obvious methods you can avoid such as advertising – a route that just won’t work until you have tonnes of traffic – it really does depend on so many factors.
What works for one person or one niche might not work for another.
It’s important to figure out your blogging strengths… are you creative, do you want to provide a service, how important is it that you’re not tied to office hours. There are so many different factors that will impact on how you make money.
Check Out The Competition
Note I didn’t say copy. Taking a look at how other people make money blogging in your niche will give you ideas.
If a money making method works for them, it will probably work for you too. There’s no need to be a trail blazer. Following a well trodden path to make money blogging is perfectly fine.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, sign up for my FREE 7-day course. It’s even a good course to take if you’ve got a blog and it’s going nowhere fast.
So many people sign up for hosting and start randomly writing posts with no sense of how they’re going to make money. If this sounds like you my Hatch A Blog ebook is ideal.
It could help you sort out where you’re going wrong and help you focus on the important stuff – making money from your blog.
Because that’s what it’s all about. Maybe you enjoy blogging just for fun but I suspect that if you made money from the process it would be even better.
Choosing to make money from blogging…