Most of us start blogging because we love to write, have a passion, and want to share it with the world. At the end of the day, however, we all need to eat. Blogging, along with the associated networking, SEO optimization, and social media marketing, requires huge amounts of time. It's difficult to work a full-time job, be a parent or caregiver, or juggle all of your freelance work while also growing a successful blog.
I'm here to tell you that you CAN earn an income from blogging. There are so many brilliant, creative bloggers out there making it work, both as full-time gigs and as very lucrative side-hustles. And you can be one of them.
Will the path to monetization be easy? No way. Fortunately, many other bloggers have walked this road before you, and the internet is filled with resources. I've collected a few of the ways I found financial success when I first started out with blogging. I think these strategies, including ad and affiliate programs, will help you, too.
Advowire connects bloggers and influencers with companies who want to sell products. Do you have a large following on your social networks? Advowire is a great option for you. Creating an account is easy, and once you link your social media profiles, you're visible to hundreds of companies looking to pay money for promotion of their products.
Another wonderful perk to Advowire is its affiliate program. As soon as you join (which is free), you are eligible for an affiliate link. Share it with your network and earn money just for getting other bloggers and influencers to sign up. It really is that easy. Advowire will pay you $5 for each person who signs up using your affiliate link and completes their profile. When I first started out, I assumed this wouldn't result in much income, but I was wrong.
If you'd like to join my tribe on Advowire, click here. I'll earn $5, and then you can start sharing your link and earning $5 for each of your referrals, too.
2) Amazon Associates.
If you have a blog, you should consider Amazon Associates. This program allows you to earn up to 10% on each purchase made at Amazon.com via your website or blog.
Working with Amazon Associates is pretty straightforward. When you're writing a post, you use the program to create ads for products sold on Amazon. Insert those ads into your posts. When readers click on your ads and then make purchases on Amazon, you earn a commission! The best part is that your readers don't have to purchase the item you advertised. If they got to Amazon.com via your ad, you will earn commission on whatever they purchase (within a certain time frame, and there are of course always exceptions). Still, this program can be a really great source of passive income. Click here for details.
3) Google AdSense.
Google AdSense is an advertising program through Google that requires site approval. You can determine ad placement on your site, but you don't have specific control over which products are advertised like you do with Amazon Associates. Nevertheless, Google AdSense is widely considered one of the top advertising programs out there for bloggers. Apply here.
4) Target Affiliates.
Target is one of the largest retailers in the country, and their affiliate program is a great one for bloggers who are new to the world of monetization. Target provides very clear commission schedules and offers commissions of up to 8% with a seven-day cookie for sales. You do have to apply, but you should receive a response from Target within a reasonable amount of time. Click here to apply.
5) Your own products.
What's the best way to make money and control your own destiny? Sell your own products. Courses, e-books, social media lists, planning guides, or even crafts can all be lucrative if done right. If it relates to your niche and you have an audience, you can sell it. Use social media and your subscriber list to your advantage.
Also, never underestimate the power of opt-ins and upselling. If you can win your readers over with a free week-long email course, you can convert some into paying customers for your longer course. Giving away free items can help convert readers into customers. The key is making them see the VALUE in what you have to give. Once they're hooked on what you have to offer, offer them more. Then cash in.
If you already have a blog, you probably know a thing or to about your niche. You can turn that knowledge into money, both directly through your blog and indirectly as a freelancer. Accept guest posting opportunities whenever possible to help get your name and social links out there. That will drive traffic to your site, which in turn will make you money, provided you have ads, affiliates, opt-ins, and products set up. Accept paying gigs as well; those provide side income but also help to further your personal brand. Even with something like a blog, branding is key. So freelance and guest post and pitch yourself and your work as much as possible. It will pay off. If you're looking for paid gigs, sites like ProBlogger are good jumping-off points. Keep a list of freelance gigs; they'll pile up fast, and you don't want to miss any deadlines.
And there you have it! These 6 steps to monetizing your blog are basic, but they are all things you can definitely achieve without spending any money. That's part of what makes them so great for bloggers who are just starting out. I challenge you all to try at least one of these today. Try to get all 6 started by the end of the week. You CAN do it. When you earn your first dollar from blogging, all the hustle will start to feel worthwhile, I promise.