There is one statement I hear so much from bloggers when they are not successful 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, or have this many email subscribers or have this many pageviews.
While these metrics do matter when it comes to some elements of blog income, they do not mean you can’t start making money with your blog with little traffic as a beginner. You could make money in just a few months if you are doing the right things.
In this article, I am going to detail all the things you need to have so that your blog is earning money for you each month. And if you have all of these things, your blog may start earning money sooner rather than later.
Have a Great Foundation
Before we can even begin to talk about monetizing your blog, we need to first discuss having the basic foundations down. Before you start making money online with your blog, you need to have these fundamental things completed first.
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 cannot grow what you cannot measure
Traffic to your site is going to be very important when it comes to 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 have a clear understanding of your avatar’s needs and challenges, you can create content that will help them. If you understand your avatar, as well as 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. This is also referred to as pillar content–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!
When I first started blogging, I repeatedly heard the term “SEO” in any discussion regarding blog traffic. I later learned that SEO stood for Search Engine Optimization. And it is a way to get free traffic to your website from Google.
At the same time, I also heard that Google is so overly saturated with websites that it has become almost impossible to rank on the first page of Google. Because of this, I will admit that I did not really try to rank on the first page of Google and continued to write content for my blog.
Eventually, I did get some traffic from SEO without really trying. Actually, 30% of my website traffic was organic from Google. But I still wanted to get more. So I set out to drive more traffic to my blog using the SEMRush platform.
SEMRush offers way more than just a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) platform. It also offers an incomparable amount of SEO tools that help you develop your blog traffic with organic search, paid, and even social media.
SEMRush is way more than just a Search Engine Optimization platform. It has an incomparable amount of tools that help you develop your blog traffic with organic, paid, and even social media.
After using SEMRush for one year I boosted my organic traffic on my website by 101%. If you want more organic traffic to your blog, SEMRush is the best way to do it.
Sign up for the 14-day free trial below.
BONUS: If you love SEMRush and decide to continue after your 14-day trial, email me a copy of your receipt to [email protected] and I will give you FREE access to my Social Media Traffic Blast course (value $139) where I detail out the EXACT strategy I follow for keyword research before I write an article AND how I promote my article on social media after it’s been published.
I had heard great things about this tool in the past. But when I used the free version of it, I was so overwhelmed by it all. I later looked at who was recommending this tool, and they were all professional affiliate marketers, not really any bloggers.
Because of this, I wasn’t sure if it could help me grow my blog traffic.
Fast forward one year for me using the SEMRush tool, and I boosted my organic traffic on my website by over 100%.
I know for a fact that the SEMRush platform is an incredible resource for bloggers, and the monthly price for the platform is minuscule compared to how much money you could earn from boosting your organic traffic from Google. Sign up here!
Not sold on SEMRush yet? Read my full review—SEMRush Review: Is It Worth It For Bloggers?—to get all your questions answered.
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 schedules you need to create.
Dedicate Time For Your Blog
First things first, you need to set time aside for your blog. He can 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 one hour a day can affect the growth of your blog!
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. Everybody has important 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! Find a plan 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
One thing you cannot put on autopilot but is very important is marketing are Facebook groups. There are multiple blogging Facebook groups in which you can share your content to drive traffic, comments, and likes. In exchange, you do the same for other bloggers. If you cannot commit to this daily, I recommend doing it at least a few times a week.
Market Your Blog Posts and Lead Magnets
While you are promoting your blog posts on social media, it is just as important to make sure you are sharing your newsletter lead magnets. If you do not have a lead magnet for your newsletter, let me explain. It’s customary to give viewers 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 are giving 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 are going to work with brands and want them to take you seriously, you need to start by taking yourself and your business seriously. Here are a few things you need to do sooner rather than later.
Have A Work With Me Page
A Work With Me page not only lets brands know that you are willing to work with them, but also that you are worth working with.
Your Work With Mee 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 as opposed to 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. 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. It has stats about your blog, details about you, information about previous sponsorships, and sometimes even the prices to work with you.
If you’re not sure what to even begin on creating a media kit, 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.
Canva: When was the last time you got new business cards? How about new cover images for your Facebook and Twitter profiles? If the answer is too long ago, then it's time to revamp it a bit! Get a free Canva account and use their templates to get these things created for yourself ASAP.
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 are using 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. You have to have a monetization strategy for your blog. I’m a big fan of making sure you have a plan to make money from day one.
Even if you do not make money with your blog right away, you should at least have a plan in place. 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. They include:
Affiliate marketing is when brands pay you a commission for selling their product by adding unique links on your site. This is a great way to make 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 when you include affiliate links on your site, you can continually get paid for the same content without having to write new content every month.
Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? This course, The Quick-Start Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers, is by Tasha Agruso. She shows you how to start making affiliate income with your blog quickly! And the best part is that it is free. Sign up for it today.
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 an active source of income. You’re not paid passively for this; rather, you have to work for it.
One of the challenges of earning income with sponsorships is finding and applying for them in the first place. However, you can have 30-45 sponsored post opportunities emailed to you each week with my newsletter, Blogging Money Update. You can 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. You do not want to jump into this too early, though, because there’s a lot more time and effort that goes into product creation than the other two strategies I mentioned above.
Which gets to the con of creating a product: not all of them are successful. Many of them fail, which means this can a risky way to make an income. But if it is successful, instead of only getting paid a percentage of the sale like you would with an affiliate, your blog is earning all the money from the sale.
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. Once you reach higher pageview numbers, you can apply to bigger 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 that your blog can be earning money, you have to determine which of these methods give you the best Return on Investment (ROI). And you wanna make sure that the time that 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 time, figure out how much you make hourly at your current job and use that figure. Multiply that times how much time is spent on a certain task and add in any cost.
Make sure you measure every activity that you do on your blog to determine which has the best ROI.
Here is an example:
Sally makes $35/hour at her day job. 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 important to do this equation once a month to make sure you are focusing on the right 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 was earning 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
Probably one of the most important things you can do to ensure your blog is earning money is continuing to learn 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 courses from other bloggers. And because of this, I’ve not only gained a lot of skills to develop my blog, but I’ve also made a lot of money along the way.
I am currently working on a program to teach many of the things that I’ve learned about getting your blog to start earning money. 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. I show you how to set up the foundation you need to be able to make REAL income with your blog that will make a difference for you and your family in the long run.
The program 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 are ready to get your blog to start earning money! Blogging can be a lot of work, but if you do it right, it can pay off big time.
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.