Being in the middle of a global inflation crisis obviously sends most people, if not everyone, into an endeavor to increase their income. Since the break of the Covid19 pandemic, many things have moved online. It is now safe to say that most people are looking for ways in which they can make money online. While making money online takes various forms and shapes, learning how to make money blogging is one of the easiest ways to make money online.
I began writing in 2017. I was taking a bachelor’s degree at the University of Nairobi in my second year. When I began, I didn’t invest a lot of time researching how to make money blogging or anything like that. I remember I was doing a paid internship, and the money was somewhat enough for my student’s needs.
Blogging for me was an outlet mostly for my often-recurring heavy emotions and sometimes, as a way of inspiring people who were probably going through the same thing, mostly college students.
Fast forward to two years later, I graduated in the December of 2019 and didn’t get a job immediately. Barely two months after my graduation, the Covid19 pandemic hit, and we all got stuck in our houses. I knew that tough times lay ahead with no income and companies laying off the already employed people. My prospects of getting a job were slim.
Towards the end of July 2020, I buried myself in books, journals, and articles and read everything on how to make money blogging. I will say that it was a scary endeavor at first for two reasons;
- I did not know how long it would take me to start making money blogging.
- I had very little tech abilities, and being a complete newbie in the blogging (not writing) career didn’t make it easier.
Spoiler Alert on How to Make Money Blogging.
You probably feel the same way I felt less than two years ago; here is what I have learned on how to make money blogging.
- It is possible, but that does not mean that making money blogging is an easy way to make money. Like any other business, blogging requires effort, consistency, and determination. Unlike selling fruits in an open-air market, a blog may require some time to make you money. There is no set amount of time for a blog to start making money. However, factors such as your consistency in writing and how invested you are in your blogging business will determine how quickly you can start making money blogging.
- Whether you are a tech guru or a complete novice with all things technology and blogging for money, you can still make money blogging. Blogging, like other creative careers, gets better as you go. If you keep waiting to be perfect at it so that you can start, you will probably never start. My advice to you is to get started; it will get better on the way. Make learning your friend. There are numerous online resources that you can utilize to learn how to make money blogging, deal with burnouts, come up with blogging topics, and everything else you need to kickstart your blogging career. In summary, just START!
Having said that, let me take you through the practical steps on how to make money blogging.
Set Up a Self-Hosted site
When I began blogging in 2017, I had a free wordpress.com blog. If you want to make money blogging, wordpress.com is not the best avenue for that. Self-hosting a wordpress.org blog is the best way of making money blogging.
limitations of WordPress.com when it comes to making money blogging.
- With a wordpress.com blog, you cannot run ads by Google AdSense or other advertising programs.
Selling ads is one of how you can make money blogging, and if a site limits that, then it beats the purpose of blogging in the first place. However, WordPress.com is a great place to start if you are blogging as a hobby and do not intend to make money blogging. WordPress.com also does not allow you to write paid posts, review products, or sell links. WordPress.com has very strict terms and conditions that writers have to follow to the latter failure to which you can face a heavy penalty.
The only way you can make money blogging on a wordpress.com site is by applying to their wordAds advertising program. To qualify for WordAds, you need to be on the WordPress.com pro plan. Once you get approved for WordAds, your revenue by selling ads on your WordPress.com site will be split between you and wordpress.com.
- You do not own your blog on wordpress.com. Confusing right? When it comes to a wordpress.com site, they can suspend it at will if they suspect that you have violated any of their terms of service. Also, visitors can report your blog, thus leading to the suspension. If you are lucky, WordPress. Com will notify you to export your content, and if you are not, you will not get such notification, and you will lose all of your data. Can you imagine waking up one day and all that you have worked so hard to build so that you can make money blogging is gone? That would be devastating! Another reason why you should start on a self-hosted site.
- WordPress, over the years, has grown into this powerful and popular CMS, but unfortunately, as a WordPress.com user, you may not be able to leap all the benefits that come from WordPress. When you begin your blogging journey, you probably do not want a lot of “complications.” You are most likely looking for a blog and nothing else. However, along the way, you might want to expand your horizons and increase the amount of money you make blogging. This may happen in selling downloadable products and services or adding an ecommerce shop to your site. With WordPress.com, you cannot add all these things.
Read more on WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org, which is a better blogging platform?
Choose a Niche for Your Blog.
Knowing what you want to write about at first can be daunting. When I started blogging, I jumped from topic to topic because I was so into self-help content. I did that for a long time before settling on what I wanted to write about. If you scroll down to this site, you will probably see a few unassociated posts like recipes, random thoughts, etc.
While it is not completely impossible to make money blogging while writing on different random topics, there are some benefits to picking something you are good at and sticking to it.
When you are a beginner blogger, you probably do not have a lot of followers or an email list full of signups. Therefore, you might be depending on free traffic from search engines. Though it might take some time for the search engine to notice you, this will ultimately happen. However, you have to optimize your blog and blog posts for search engines.
While it is possible to optimize posts from random subjects, sticking to one or two disciplines that you write well about makes it easy for you to optimize your blog and helps you become an authority in your niche. For example, when I wanted to learn all things SEO, Neil Patel was recommended by almost everyone on the internet. He is an authority in that niche, and that didn’t come from nowhere; it came from him sticking to all things SEO, Digital marketing, and topics around that.
Selecting a niche also helps your brand and creates a community around your brand. For example, I like to read about money and relationships. Whenever I read an interesting topic on that subject, I usually sign up for their blogs or subscribe to their YouTube channel. I have specific people that I follow on Instagram, for example, and it is all because they post something that I want to learn about.
Start Writing Great Content
As I mentioned earlier, the only way to start making money blogging is to start. Do not wait to be perfect or to get expensive Equipements; just start. In my opinion, blogging is a cheap venture to start because all you require is a site, a computer, stable internet, and an insatiable desire to make money blogging.
However, that does not permit you to be reckless; you need to add value. With millions and millions of blogs on the internet, there has to be something amazing about you and your work to earn you some loyalty from your intended reader.
Do you have a brand that you like using? In my case, for instance, I love Cantu hair products. They are not the cheapest in the market, but still, I am always willing to pay that extra dollar to get Cantu shampoo or Cantu hair treatment. My loyalty grew from the quality of these products and what they make my hair feel like. Before, I was using other brands, and my hair was thinning and falling. One day, I met with my friend, and she recommended those products, and I haven’t turned back since.
Two things to notice here: if you offer quality, your customers will offer free word-of-mouth recommendations for your product, which is a very powerful form of advertising. Also, You have to offer some value for people to choose to be loyal to you. As a beginner blogger, you need to let the quality of your work speak for you. I do not mean perfect; I mean valuable.
Think of it this way; a young girl has two men asking her on a date. Both men work in the same office with the lady. Same job position, same salary and benefits, and somewhat similar living conditions. One guy is always neat and well kept; he is a gentleman and knows what to say when. The second guy has a don’t care attitude; he doesn’t pay much attention to his grooming and can be rude sometimes. You probably do not need rocket science to know which guy will win the girl over.
The internet is a level playing field for everyone that wants to learn how to make money blogging. Whether you have been writing for ten years and you are now looking to monetize your skill, or you just started. Though the one that just started might need some more time to research and may at first have a problem with delivering a well-created write-up, quality is a fruit of effort as opposed to experience.
Some of the ways a beginner blogger can ensure that they write good content are by;
- Carrying out intensive research on the topic they want to write about.
- Plan on the way they want to present their writing. For example, coming up with a catchy title, dividing your work into subtopics, and ensuring you have some whitespace in your writing.
- Using Grammarly to check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
- Writing constantly, as the old adage goes, practice makes perfect, and the only way you can get yourself to write well is by writing constantly.
Writing great content is also essential for your search engine ranking since the amount of time users spend on your website usually affects your search engine ranking. Writing good blog content also makes your readers trust you, and they are more likely to heed your call of action, whether it is signing up for your email list or purchasing something from your website. As a blogger, never compromise quality for quantity.
Start Selling Ads
Selling ads on your blog is one of how you can make money blogging. Google AdSense is easy and fast to set up for a complete beginner. You probably had seen advertisements on people’s blogs when you googled something, and better still, you probably clicked on that advertisement. Every time a user visits a website and clicks on an advertisement, the owner gets a percentage of the ad cost.
To get started as a beginner, you have to sign up for the AdSense partnership program, paste a code on your blog, and submit your site for review. Once approved, AdSense will start showing relevant ads to your blog visitors. Since Google AdSense is a contextual advertising network, you do not have to worry about your readers seeing irrelevant ads; therefore, their user experience will not be tampered with. Also, with Google AdSense being one of the largest ad networks on the web, you can be sure there is something for everyone.
If you decide to sell ads on your blog at the beginning of your blogging journey, here are a few tips to get ahead in your earnings:
- Create quality content; at this point, you are probably thinking that I am exaggerating the need for high-quality content as a blogger, but all I can say is that there is no shortcut. You have to create high-quality content even if your primary goal is to make money blogging. If your blog has helpful, high-quality content, you will grow your following, and as a result, the ads space in your blogs will become more desired by advertisers, and it is a no-brainer that you will make more money this way blogging.
- Choose both the size and the style of your ads strategically. Make sure that your readers can see your ads by placing them on spots that they cannot easily ignore, and also, make sure that they do not tamper with your users’ experience. Also, check to ensure that the colors of the advertisement contrast with the theme color for your blog; this way, it will be easier for your readers to see them, and that way, it will generate more clicks.
- Experiment with your ad placing. Usually, conducting A/B testing on your ad space will help you determine which space creates more clicks and ultimately make you more revenue. Ads can be placed at the top of your post, bottom, or side. Carrying out a test will help you make an informed decision in the future as to what ad space to utilize.
According to Investopedia, Affiliate marketing is “an advertising model in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services. The third-party publishers are affiliates, and the commission fee incentivizes them to find ways to promote the company.”
Many companies allow you to participate in their affiliate program, but Amazon affiliate is by far my favorite option for a beginner to start making money blogging. The application process is straightforward as long as you have an Amazon account.
Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world today, meaning that by working for them as an affiliate, you are presented with a range of products to work with and promote. The program provides you with a unique tracking link that links to the products available on Amazon. Besides the link, you can also get banners or widgets to display on your website.
Another benefit of the amazon affiliate program is you get a commission for every item someone bought when they clicked your affiliate link, not just the item you promoted. For example, you wrote a blog about what you need to start a YouTube channel and linked your favorite tripod on the list. A reader then read your blog and clicked the link but bought a camera, the tripod, microphones, and some beauty products that you didn’t mention in your blog. Amazon will credit your account with the commission for all the purchases. If that customer still comes back within 15 days of the first link click and makes additional purchases, you also get a commission for that.
As a beginner blogger, there are numerous ways to make money blogging and promoting amazon’s products. For example, you can include a product catalog on your blog, link to products you recommend, write blog posts reviewing different products sold on Amazon, etc.
Other companies that accept beginners to apply for affiliate programs regardless of the amount of traffic their blogs receive include Webhosting companies such as Bluehost and Dreamhost.
If you choose to take the affiliate marketing path, you must be authentic. Remember, this is a matter of your online brand and trust. Do not recommend something to your readers unless you know for sure that it will serve their needs. The only way to tell is by selling a brand that you use and love, or alternatively, carry out intensive research online on a brand before recommending it to your readers.
Selling Both Physical and Digital Products.
Selling products on your blog is also another profitable way of making money blogging. Again, a self-hosted site will be very handy if you intend to make money blogging because wordpress.com does not allow you to start a store.
With this option on a self-hosted website, you can sell products that relate to your blog niche or something else from your brand. Getting people to buy something from your blog will require a certain amount of trust. That is why I highly recommend writing great content that adds value to your readers and selling only products that you trust so that you can earn the trust of your readership.
Some of the products that you might think of selling on your blog may include:
T-shirts, clothes, or whatever merchandise you like.
Virtual events and webinars, etc.
Writing Sponsored Posts
Companies collaborate with bloggers to write about them. The company benefits from the publicity, and the blogger can make money blogging about products that they like and benefit from. As a beginner blogger, it is hard to get companies to approach you; you need to build authority in your area of expertise for businesses to want to approach you.
However, that does not mean that you have no hope of getting sponsorship; you can approach a company whose brand you use and let them know what value you are bringing to the table. You can make a pitch about why working with them will benefit them and their brand.
A pro tip for a sponsored post is looking for brands you have used and trust and looking for a brand that you can write a series of posts for. Some companies might actually give you free products together with the agreed pay-per-post you make.
Offering Consulting Services
If you are a curious blogger, you will always learn something daily. By the time you are on this job for, let’s say, two to three months, you will have learned so much, and don’t cheap out on your expertise. From experience, it is daunting at first, but you need to look at blogging as a career like anything else. You can make money off of your expertise.
Your blog is your online portfolio. It can showcase all your skills from blog writing, copywriting, email marketing, and SEO knowledge, you name it. Having a professional blog will speak for you, and it will be easier for you to promote yourself as a consultant and as a coach.
You can become a consultant for either individuals or companies. The good thing about blogging is that it allows you to dig deep and research in a bid to become an authority in your niche and allows you to learn a lot about digital marketing. So, at the end of the day, you can offer consulting services for a finance company if you own a finance blog or for digital marketing.
The easiest way to start is by approaching individuals and giving them special offers on your expertise, then branch out to businesses, online webinars and virtual events, public speaking, etc. The more you advertise yourself and offer value to the market, the more the word will spread, and eventually, people will be willing to pay a little bit more for your services.
Advantages of Blogging
Making money blogging is one of how you can make money online, and though it is not an easy way to make money as we have already seen, you will require some amount of effort; here are a few advantages of blogging as a career.
- Making money blogging allows you to follow your passion.
You can follow your passion and make money blogging about what you love. As a millennial, I have heard so many stories of people who did a whole four-year course in college that they do not necessarily like. Worse still, I know people who have very unfulfilling jobs, whether in terms of the returns that they get or their overall experience in the company.
Why are people still stuck in jobs that they do not like? The answer is simple; they have to pay their bills. Making money blogging allows you to earn more than you use on your bills while writing about things you love. Whether you are passionate about beauty or travel, fashion or politics, you can make money blogging about that and get a daily spark while working at a job you love.
- Making money Blogging is for everyone.
Other forms of making money online may require a certain type of personality to succeed. For example, if you want to start a YouTube channel and earn money that way, being an entertainer will go a long way or even having the guts to stand in front of a camera.
On the other side, Blogging just requires the ability to research and write. It has little to do with personality as long as you offer value to your readership. You can be an anonymous writer or choose to show your picture. Whatever suits your personality, you can still make money blogging.
- Blogging makes you your own boss.
The best part about blogging for money is that you are your own boss. You get to promote and reward yourself and decide when to work and what to work on.
I don’t know whether you have been a part of office politics, but if we are being honest, sometimes the people who get promoted are not always the hardest working employees. Sometimes rewards go to people who can seamlessly play very well in work politics.
With working on your blog, though, you are sure that you will leap some benefits off of that hard work if you work hard enough. The harder you work and the more you are consistent with your posting, the more money you can make blogging.
- Making money blogging allows you to work remotely.
Thanks to covid19, some traditional jobs are now done remotely. However, some companies still require employees to show up in the office daily or other once in a while for their hybrid working culture. Learning how to make money blogging allows you to do your job wherever you are. You can be on vacation and still set time to work as long as you have your computer and stable internet connection.
You also get to determine when you take breaks and how long you want to take them. This flexibility is really helpful, especially if you are looking for a job that will give you a healthy work-life balance. It is easier to raise a family and meet up with friends and relatives while blogging as a career.
- Low capital needs
Blogging to make money does not require you a lot of starting capital. All you need is a little money to host your website, a computer, and stable internet, and you are ready to get started. Of course, as time goes by, you will have minor expenses here and there, but then, your blog will be making enough money to foot those expenses and make a decent margin.
- Google is here to stay.
According to earthweb.com an average of 8.5 billion searches are done every day using Google, and an average person makes 3-4 google searches daily. The number of internet users is increasing daily, and people will always search for something. Therefore, contributing to something on the internet by blogging is a sure long-term way to make money online.
Making a full-time income blogging is possible in 2022; you only need to find your niche and get going. Do not panic about being perfect; no one is, and you will learn more about blogging on the job. I hope this brings you even the littlest motivati9on to get started.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, ask me anything concerning how to make money blogging, and I will be more than happy to help.