When I asked on my Facebook page recently what your burning questions are about making money blogging, this one was common.
First things first. Make sure you are creating really amazing content on a regular basis and taking steps to increase your traffic. In order to make any money, you have to visitors and you have to have something worthwhile to visit.
Here are some more ideas if you're just starting out.
An easy way to start is to put Google AdSense on your site. AdSense is relatively easy to get into (make sure you have really great content) and is easy to set up and maintain. Explore here for the basics.
Private ads (sponsors)
You might also approach small companies and ask them if they would like to advertise on your site. The key here is to be proactive. Don't just throw up an advertising page and expect advertisers to come calling. Go to them.
Not sure how to do that? Find other blogs like yours that are your size or slightly larger. See who is advertising on their site. Contact those companies and ask if they'd like to advertise on your site too. Create a pitch and make it a win-win. (Here are my thoughts about pitches. I wrote it as though you were being contacted by a company but the ideas apply here too.)
"But what do I charge?"
Either figure out what other blogs your size in your niche are charging (some say right on their advertising page or in their media kit), or start with a monthly rate like $1 per 1000 monthly pageviews. For example, if your site gets 10,000 pageviews a month, charge $10 a month for an above-the-fold ad on your site. Consider giving a discount when you're just starting out.
Another option is affiliate marketing. Basically, this means you promote products and if someone clicks through your unique link to that product and makes a purchase, you get a small percentage of the sale. This is a great way to start making money, especially if you are already writing about products you use and like. Read my post, Affiliate Marketing Explained, for more.
Create a product
I highly recommend you start thinking about creating your own product right off the bat. It's one thing I wish I had done sooner because there seems to be more profit potential (and control) in your own products.
An ebook is an easy place to begin. Here's how I wrote mine.
But ebooks are by no means the only products you can create. Digital products (ebooks, printables, etc.) are handy because they are cheap to make and easy to distribute, but you certainly aren't limited to them. Watch what kinds of products others are creating that you could make too. Start working on your own.
You might not launch it for a while, but if you carve out a small amount of time to work on it each day, it'll be ready to go once you have a good handle on things.
Offer a service
If you've got a skill others would find helpful, offer to help. You might even consider helping someone for free the first time around. Do an outstanding job and they just might spread the word about you. I'm going to plug The Bootstrap VA once again because, well, it's just very helpful.
The bottom line
The first thing to remember is that most bloggers don't make all their income directly from their blog, nor do they make their income from only one source. Instead, they use their blog as a way to gain exposure, build trust, be helpful and then they use it as a springboard to find other ways to generate income.
Be willing to start small, work hard and be memorable.
I know the whole "making money blogging" thing seems confusing at first, but it's really just creating more and more small streams of income that together, hopefully become a river.
Diversify. Experiment. Be observant. Be creative. Take initiative.
Read all my posts about Making Money.
Other posts in this series
- Q&A: How Do I Get Started Making Money as a New Blogger?
- Q&A: How Do I Network Effectively to Help Gain Name Awareness and Visitors?
- Q&A: Can You Really Make Money with Google AdSense?