How to Make Money Blogging Online
Have you ever wondered how bloggers make money?
Perhaps you’ve looked at brand ambassadors and influencers and wondered what makes them special compared to other people?
Maybe you want to emulate the lifestyle of a digital nomad, traveling the world while earning a passive income via your blog.
You may think that it is easy to make money via a blog. After all, you don’t need to have any specific qualifications. All you need is an idea, a laptop and a WiFi connection.
Surely, it’s as easy as that?
Well, not quite.
A search online will bring up hundreds of results promising to share the success story of how to earn money by writing blogs.
Some of those search results will provide you with some practical and helpful advice. But many others will be completely irrelevant and impart lousy advice, leaving you feeling disheartened and unmotivated.
If you want to make money from your blog (and it’s perfectly achievable these days), it’s essential to think of your blog as a business rather than a hobby.
Some bloggers take years to carve out their niche, while others know exactly what they need to do to create a loyal audience and monetize any web traffic.
When handled correctly, a blog could and should provide you with an additional income stream.
In some cases, it may give you a little extra spending money. In other cases, you may earn enough income to quit your day job and become a full-time blogger.
In our latest article, we delve into the world of blogging and explore how you can make money by blogging in 2022.
Whether you are looking to start a new blog or expand your existing blog, you need to be aware that bloggers aren’t generally paid to write their thoughts.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to generate a successful blog. It also takes an in-depth understanding of digital marketing to know how to maximize different income streams.
You can not put all of your efforts into one singular technique.
The bloggers who make the most amount of money are those who treat their blog like a business.
Here's what they do:
They research and understand what their audience want
They provide detailed and interesting enough content which simultaneously attracts new readers and retains existing readers
They know how to use digital marketing techniques to improve their blog
Here are a few of the various options that can help you make money by writing a blog:
The first step you should take to monetize your blog is to consider implementing advertising on your site.
We’ve all seen sites littered with adverts either directly within the content or along the sidebar or header of your design.
That is because the website owner has agreed to incorporate advertising as part of a revenue stream.
There are a few different ways to attract advertisers to your website or your blog.
If you are well known in your field and you’ve developed a niche area of expertise or you have a high traffic volume and rank highly in search engines you could create a media pack to send to prospective advertisers.
A media pack is a document that will outline who you are, what your blog is about and who your audience is.
If you are selling advertising space directly to advertisers, you can determine your rate and how long the advert remains online.
But if this sounds too complicated or you don’t have the time to devote to sourcing advertisers, why not register for tools such as Google Adsense or a specific WordPress advertising plugin?
These tools will allow you to add a small code to your website/blog, and relevant adverts will be automatically added to your website.
As the blog owner, you will make money through the number of people who click on those adverts via your website.
However, it should be noted that the revenue may be low with the growth of ad blockers.
However, Google Adsense will manage it on your behalf, allowing you to benefit from a passive income.
You could investigate how to incorporate affiliate marketing into your website.
This is where you include dedicated links to other companies/products on your site. Then, you are paid a referral fee every time a reader clicks on that link and makes a purchase.
This is a straightforward option. Big brands such as Amazon have affiliate programs, so if your website relies on an audience likely to purchase an item based on your recommendations, it could be a winner.
To get started, why not look at companies such as Awin.com to see if you can increase your affiliate marketing potential?
Some of the biggest and most popular websites on the internet rely on affiliate links as a revenue stream. For example, TechRadar regularly uses affiliate links for the products it reviews.
In addition, the Daily Mail incorporates fashion affiliate links in almost every post published within their so-called 'sidebar of shame'.
If you are making a media pack to target advertisers directly, why not include details of sponsored content opportunities?
This is where companies or brands can pay you directly to blog about their services and products. You will likely have seen this pop up on Instagram.
The hashtags #ad and #spon indicated that that company had paid those users to promote their products.
This is more likely to be helpful to those with high-traffic websites and blogs or those who have significant credibility in the areas you blog about.
As an income stream, it does take more work and effort than affiliate marketing or Google AdWords, but the revenue can be much higher as you can set your own rates.
As you develop your reputation, you will start to note that other media outlets may request comments from you about your chosen area of expertise.
Some bloggers work hard to expand their reach far beyond the limitations of their own blog, website or social media.
They want to share their insights with other publications, and some bloggers (particularly those with a journalistic background) may start to pitch written articles/thought leadership pieces to newspapers in exchange for a commissioning fee.
If your blog is based on your knowledge of a specific area, is there a way to monetize your expertise?
For example, can you write a self-published e-book (perhaps you could sell it via Amazon) or create an online course or video-on-demand content that people could pay to access?
Similarly, if you are in the business sphere, why not make some webinars or downloadable templates that people can use to upskill themselves?
We’ve already spoken about how you can sell physical items through your blog using referral links and affiliate marketing.
But if you are selling your own range of products through your site you need to be confident that your sales funnel is working as effectively as possible.
This means that from the moment your customer logs on, they know precisely what steps to take to choose an item and make their way through the checkout process.
Knowledge of digital marketing and learning how to make the most of SEO and CRO techniques can be crucial if you want to scale up your business to increase your physical sales.
Finally, if you want to upscale your blog from a hobby or minor income stream into an active business, you may want to consider looking for any subscription opportunities.
By putting content behind a paywall, not only do you get that person’s contact details when they sign up (therefore increasing chances for additional sales), but you are likely to win repeat business.
However, there’s a delicate balance between charging for all content and providing enough free information to increase your reputation and generate new traffic.
It goes without saying that to be a successful blogger, you need to have exceptional writing skills.
In addition, you need to mix up your writing style.
Sometimes, you may be writing long opinion pieces; other times, you may want to write short, concise updates.
The more you write, the more you begin to develop your style and tone of voice.
Great bloggers are those who have something to say. They start conversations (rather than repeat what is already said) and aren’t afraid to have an opinion.
They instinctively know what their audience wants to read and can tailor their content to provide as much unique information as possible.
They use their research skills to discover what their competitors are saying and carve out their place in the market.
Beyond writing skills, to start up a successful blog you need to be equipped with many technical skills.
First, how proficient are your IT capabilities?
Can you set yourself up with a domain and build a decent website using a template?
Can you use any graphic design or photography skills to create your own brand?
Can you use digital marketing techniques such as SEO or UX design to create a compelling website?
Can you use PR and other publicity measures (like social media) to increase awareness and your profile?
Along with the technical skills, you also need to be organized and ready to commit to your blog. We’ve mentioned that you need to treat it like a business to make money from your blog.
This means you need to put in the hours required. Therefore, you may want to look at your organizational skills to see how you can maximize your time.
For example, can you use a work plan to decide how to expand your blog and stick to your deadlines?
If you are new to the world of blogging, then you need to be aware that not every blog makes money. Only a small percentage of blogs will provide you with a decent income.
Therefore, you should not quit your day job until you start making a good and consistent revenue stream.
When you are ready to become a full-time professional blogger, you need to be aware that you may only have a limited time for success.
Blogging is a cut-throat industry, and newcomers will always be there competing for your audience.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you begin a blog and make money online:
The most successful bloggers are those with a niche topic interest.
Popular blog subjects may include cooking, fashion, interior design, etc.
It would help if you found an area that meets your interests and knowledge but hasn’t been saturated by other bloggers.
If you want to stick with a popular area, can you segment a particular niche to help stand out from the crowd?
For example, you could choose 'vintage fashion' or 'how to upscale and repurpose old garments' rather than fashion as an overarching subject.
By refining your topic area, you will develop a greater reputation for being the expert on that subject.
You need to use your research skills to help identify the best possible blog topic.
For example, is it an emerging area of interest, or is it something that may be a little dated?
How often are people searching for that blog topic?
It would help if you also considered looking at your potential competitors.
What do you like about their blogs? What could you improve on? What is their tone of voice, and how much engagement do they have with their readers?
When setting up your blog or your website, you need to choose what platform you want to use.
Many bloggers choose to use a template via WordPress.
These are excellent websites, with plenty of functions available to scale up or down with demand. WordPress websites are also effective with search engine functionality.
Other options include sites such as Wix or Squarespace, or you could choose micro-blogging sites such as Tumblr and Medium.
Once you know how you plan to write your blog, you need to secure a domain. This is the URL of your chosen blog.
From here, you may also need to consider setting up a dedicated email address and an excellent hosting company.
This hosting company will be the place where your blog is stored. If you plan to have a lot of imagery, you will need a hosting platform with large amounts of storage.
When everything is in place, you can finalize your branding, set up your social media channels, and start to manage the design and development of your final blog or website.
Do not forget to attach the Google Analytics code into your website to track where readers are coming from and what they are doing while on your site.
If you’re not sure how to interpret Google Analytics, you should upskill yourself with the free Google Academy.
What sets a great blog apart from a mediocre blog?
First, it’s the level and quality of content that is published.
Second, great blogs think carefully about their content strategies.
Third, they use their data (thanks to Google Analytics and keyword search tools like SEMrush) to develop a content strategy that matches what audiences are interested in.
Also, plan to publish content reguarly and make sure you stay up to date with your content publishing schedule.
Be realistic about what you can achieve. Try to publish at least two to four new articles per month.
Remember that your content needs to be original – if you are taking inspiration from other sites, make sure you credit them accordingly.
Use free online tools to check for plagiarism and ensure that any content is well written with no typos or grammatical errors. Tools like Grammarly can be helpful.
To liven up your content, why not include graphics or imagery?
If you get to a point where you believe that your blog is transitioning from hobby to business, then it’s time to get serious.
Don’t be afraid to outsource to experts. You cannot be expected to manage an entire business alone.
Whether you need to use external web developers or graphic designers, or even social media teams to push your profile, sometimes you need to spend money to make money.
You may even need to hire a dedicated SEO specialist to help you to improve your Google rankings.
As you increase in popularity, you may need to add new content more regularly.
You may wish to outsource some copywriting and bloggers to digital nomads or freelancers.
They can help you to improve your written output without working too hard. They can also offer fresh ideas and inspiration to help you scale up your content.
You can even use the freelance community to expand your profile, perhaps by asking them to write guest posts for other sites (helping you generate backlinks) or hire a freelancer to source some advertising revenue for your blog.
For example, you could ask a freelancer to focus heavily on writing relevant product reviews for you, making the most of affiliate relationships to drive revenue.
Where possible, you should make the most of other people’s skills because the more money you start to earn from your blog, the less you will need to work.
The best tip for improving your blog is to look back and learn from your mistakes and successes.
Pay close attention to your data analytics and your SEO rankings to identify what is working well and where you can make improvements.
No website will ever be perfect. Even the biggest brands in the world will continually evaluate themselves to see how they can get better.
Try to use SEO audits to see which pages are ranking effectively and which areas need improvements.
Tools such as Google Search Console can help you identify what people are searching for and where you rank according to those keywords.
Use this information to guide you and continually strategize for how you can enhance your blog and make more money.
It would help if you also thought about how you plan to generate traffic and how people will find out about you.
Make the most of social media – where possible, cross-post everything you publish on your social media channels and make everything as shareable as possible.
You may wish to invest in a dedicated email mailing list so that you can alert your audience when new posts are published.
Making a living from blogging is incredibly difficult. Only a tiny percentage will become professional bloggers.
Many will lose their passion and motivation and stop blogging altogether – the internet is littered with discarded blogs.
But if you strategize how you plan to run your blog like a business, you stand a good chance of making a high income from your blog.
You need to be aware of your digital marketing skills and ensure that your blog works to your strengths and interests and puts your audience front and center.
Hopefully, this article will give you some detailed insight into the hard work and dedication required to make money from a blog.
It’s not a quick money-spinner, and there are no shortcuts to making your millions.
Over time and with enough energy and passion, however, you can monetize your blog so that it delivers a continual passive income stream for you.