I hear the same statement from bloggers when they are unsuccessful with landing sponsorships or when their blog is not earning money with affiliates.
“I just don’t think my blog is ready to start making money yet.”
Ah, yes, it is easy to default back to the belief that you cannot make any money on your blog until you’ve been blogging for “this long,” have “this many” email subscribers, or have “this many” page views.
While these metrics do matter when it comes to some elements of blog income, they do not dictate when you can start making money with your blog. You can earn income in just a few months, even as a beginner with little traffic. You just have to make sure you are checking the right boxes.
This article will detail everything you need to have so that your blog is earning money each month. And once you have all of these things, your blog may start making money sooner than you can imagine.
Have a Great Foundation
So you are ready to start blogging, but before we can begin to talk about monetizing your blog, you need to have a basic foundation in place. So your first step to making money online with your blog will be to complete these fundamentals.
Have Google Analytics Installed
Google Analytics is the tracking platform that makes it possible to track traffic on your site. This is the first step for all bloggers. You will not grow what you cannot measure.
Traffic to your blog will be significant for monetization because brands will want to know how many people see your content. If you do not have Google Analytics installed, you should do that ASAP. Here is a video that shows you how to do it.
Have an Avatar
All successful bloggers have an avatar. And no, I am not talking about the blue characters from the film. An avatar is a persona you develop that embodies your target audience, so you know who you’re talking to in everything you create. You give this person a name, a personality, and even a face.
Once you clearly understand your avatar’s needs and challenges, you can create content that will help them. For example, if you know your avatar and your website stats, you have information to let brands know who your target audience is.
Have Pillar Content
Of course, you should have great content on specific topics. Sometimes referred to as pillar content, this is the content on your website that solves the biggest problems with the most detail.
To develop your pillar content, think about the top ten problems your avatar has. Then, think about how you can create content to solve those problems. All you have left to do after that is actually write it! Remember, your avatar is there to make content creation easy.
Make sure you optimize your search engine results by enriching your pillar content with the right keywords to get better SEO results. SEMRush is a great tool to help with this.
Set a Schedule
Now let’s take a minute to think about time management. As with any important thing you do, you have to stick to a schedule. Doing this makes it so that you have designated time to complete the essential tasks for your website. Here are the programs you need to create.
Dedicate Time For Your Blog
First things first, you need to set time aside for your blog. Dedicate a specific time every day or certain days of the week, depending on what works best for you. Whatever time you set aside for your blog, make sure it’s the same every week, allowing you to form a routine. This is especially important if you have other important obligations, such as kids or a full-time job.
Your blog time should be used for blog things only. You will be surprised how working at least one hour a day can positively affect your blog’s growth!
Have Regular Tasks For Your Blog Each Week
Now that you have set aside time for your blog, it’s time to figure out what needs to be done during that time. First, of course, everybody has essential tasks that must be completed, including publishing at least one post a week, sending a weekly newsletter, and sharing on social media.
This is what my block schedule looks like:
- Monday: Write a blog post
- Tuesday: Write a weekly newsletter
- Wednesday: Publish blog post and social media sharing
- Thursday: Publish newsletter and monetization activities
- Friday: Write a blog post
- Saturday: Catch up day if needed
- Sunday: Catch up day if needed
Everyone’s schedule will be a little different, depending on your site. That’s ok! Create an editorial calendar that works for you and stick to it.
Have a Blog Marketing Plan
It’s great to have excellent content and a schedule for your blog. But if no one sees your content, then what good is it? That is why it is vital to have a blog marketing plan.
Build a Daily Social Media Marketing Schedule
Social media is so important because it’s the primary vehicle for getting people to your site. With a daily social media marketing schedule, you will keep organized and see the most growth.
Things you need to figure out include:
- Using each social media channel, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest
- How often you want to post on each channel
- Utilizing a social media scheduler to post automatically
You cannot put it on autopilot, but it is essential to market your blog on Facebook groups. Especially those Facebook communities dedicated to blogging, such as Bloggers Supporting Bloggers. These groups are full of members who will share your content and links to drive traffic and comment to your blog. In exchange for providing this service, you will need to reciprocate by sharing the work of other group members.If you cannot commit to this daily, I recommend doing it at least a few times a week.
While you promote your blog posts on social media, it is just as essential to make sure you share your newsletter lead magnets. If you do not have a lead magnet for your newsletter, let me explain. It’s customary to give your viewer something for free in exchange for their email address to encourage people to sign up for your email list.
Your lead magnet can be a checklist, a PDF of one of your most popular blog posts, or even a free mini-course. Whatever you give to your audience to get their email addresses, it is essential to promote this freebie on your social media pages just as you would an article.
Have An Evergreen Promotional Plan
Lastly, you need to have an evergreen promotional plan. What this means is you take your most popular blog posts and schedule them to be shared automatically.
Show That You Are a Professional
Now it’s time to show your professional side. If you will work with brands and want them to take you seriously, you need to start by taking yourself and your business seriously. So here are a few things you need to do sooner rather than later.
Have A Work With Me Page
A Work With Me page lets brands know that you are willing to work with them and that you are worth working with.
Your Work With Me page should include information about you, your blog, any relevant stats, and a way to get a hold of you. A note here, it is better to include your email address on this page instead of a contact form.
If you must do a contact form, I highly recommend that you also include your email address. You do not want to deter companies from reaching out to you because they cannot find your email. So make it easy for them!
Build a Media Kit
Another thing you could add to your work with me page is your media kit. A Media kit is similar to your Work With Me page but typically has more details. For example, it has stats about your blog, details about you, previous sponsorships, and sometimes even the prices to work with you.
If you’re not sure where to begin on creating a media kit, I highly recommend you sign up for a free Canva account and use one of the hundreds of media kit templates they have available. You can access the templates here.
Create a Brand Kit
Speaking of Canva, you can also use it to create a brand kit. I love Canva because they give you a brand kit when they notice you use the same colors and fonts in your images. And as a professional blogger, you should have this consistency in your brand.
Make sure you stick to one to three fonts tops and have a color palette that you stick to as well. People should be able to recognize your brand even if they do not see your logo. You can create your own brand kit in Canva with a 30-day trial of their pro subscription.
Have a Monetization Strategy
Now that we have all the bases covered, it’s time to talk money. First, you have to have a monetization strategy for your blog. I’m a believer in having a plan to make money with your blog from day one. So let’s discuss all the ways you can.
Know The Variety of Ways To Make Money With Your Blog
There are several ways for your blog to be earning money. And the most successful bloggers are making money in multiple ways. These include:
Affiliate Marketing is when brands pay you a commission for selling their product by adding unique links to your site. Signing up for different affiliate programs is a great way to earn passive income.
The con of this is that there is potential for the company to get free advertising if you don’t make any money off it. The benefit is that when you include affiliate links on your site, you can continually get paid for the same piece of content without writing something new every month.
Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? Check out, The Quick-Start Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers by Tasha Agruso. In this course, she shows you how to start making affiliate income with your blog quickly! And the best part is that it’s free.
Sponsored posts are one of my favorite ways to make money with a blog. This is when you partner with a brand that pays you upfront to write an article about their product.
The pro of this is that the payment is typically much bigger than the commission you make through affiliates. The con is that it is not always a consistent source of income. Furthermore, you’re not paid passively for this; instead, you have to work for it.
One of the challenges of earning income with sponsorships is finding opportunities and applying for them. However, the solution for this problem can be found in your inbox. We send out 30-45 different sponsored post opportunities to our Blogging Money Update newsletter subscribers each week. Payouts from the opportunities range from $65 -$5,000. Check it out for yourself; learn more about it here.
Create a product or service
Once you understand your audience and what they need, you can graduate to making money through products. Save time and money by using inbound marking and internal links to promote and sell your product by updating your blog’s existing content. Use content that’s relevant to your product and is getting the most organic traffic.
Be sure that you don’t jump into this too early. Because there’s a lot more time and effort to product creation than the other two strategies, I mentioned above.
This gets to the con of creating a product: not all of them are successful. Many of them fail, which means this can be a risky way to make an income. But when your products succeed, you profit the total sales amount instead of just a percent.
Display ads on your website is another way to make money on your blog. Most new buyers start with Google AdSense since they do not have strict criteria for letting people in. However, once you reach higher pageview numbers, you can apply to more prominent advertising companies, like Media Vine or Add Thrive, which typically pay more than Google AdSense.
While this monetization method is very passive (you add a code to your site and forget about it), this is not how bloggers get rich. Advertising is not as great for bringing in income if you are not getting lots of traffic. These numbers will, of course, grow as your blog traffic does, but if you are getting massive amounts of traffic to your blog, there are so many ways like the ones above to make more money than you would with advertising.
Determine Which Method Gives You The Best ROI
Now that you know all the ways your blog can be earning money, you have to determine which of these methods gives you the best Return on Investment (ROI). And you wanna make sure that the time you dedicate to your blog is making you the most money. The way to figure out your ROI is by using the equation below.
Net Profit / Total Investment * 100 = ROI
Calculate your total investment by adding time and money spent. For a time, figure out how much you make hourly at your current job and use that figure. Then, multiply how much time is spent on a specific task and add in any cost.
Make sure you measure every activity on your blog to determine which has the best ROI.
Here is an example:
Sally makes $35/hour at her day job. In addition, she spends 1 hour a month on Advertising, 7 hours a month on sponsored posts, and 10 hours a month on affiliate marketing.
Here is how much she made with her blog last month:
Sponsored Posts: $600
Now let’s do the math!
Advertising: 5/35*100 = 14.2% ROI
Affiliates: 200/350*100 = 57% ROI
Sponsored Posts: 600/245*100 = 244% ROI
In this case, Sally gets the best ROI when working on sponsored posts, so it makes sense for her to dedicate more time to that task. It is essential to do this equation once a month to ensure you focus on the proper monetization strategies every month.
Work on Your Best Monetization Strategy Each Week
Now that you know your best way to make money, it is time to put the pedal to the metal. Spend time at least once a week developing it. For a long time, for me, that was a sponsored post. So I spent time every day looking for and applying for sponsor post opportunities.
I spent a great deal of time researching influencer networks to join, so my blog earned money. If you want to get my list, I have 126 networks on it. You can get it by clicking the button below!
Invest In Great Training
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your blog is earning money is learning how to grow your blog. I’ve always found that investing in excellent training is one of the best things you can spend your money on to benefit your business.
I have taken many of the best blogging courses available. Because of my continued education, I’ve honed in on the skills needed to develop my blog and made a lot of money along the way.
I created an in-depth program to show bloggers how to start generating significant income through their blogs. It’s called Blogging Money Formula!
Blogging Money Formula is an online course that shows motivated bloggers how to go from making a few (or no) dollars to making consistent money with their blogs every single month. In addition, I show you how to set up the foundation you need to make REAL income with your blog to make a difference for you and your family in the long run.
Through our program, I will teach you how to:
Establish yourself as a professional blogger: I’ll show you everything your blog needs to be recognized as a professional blogger.
Properly apply for sponsored posts so you get selected for more opportunities: I will show you step by step how to apply so that brands choose you more often!
Get brands to reach out to you: I’ll show you what you need to set up on your blog so that brands reach out to you, as well as where to go to put yourself on their radar.
Build long-term relationships with brands: This way, you can get recurring business with brands instead of having to pitch new ones all the time.
Write content that appeals to your audience and the brand: Because great content does not need to be either-or!
Drive traffic to your blog posts: Great results produce repeat customers, and I will show you how to make that happen.
There you have it; now you know the basics of earning money with your blog. Blogging can be a lot of work, but it can pay off big time if you do it right.
Do you have more questions on how to do this? Leave your questions in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to get some answers for you.
Don’t forget to check out the Blogging Money Formula for further in-depth training on making money blogging.