How to Make Money Blogging

There are plenty of good reasons to set up a blog, whether you want a way to express yourself or you just want to share your ideas with the world. Some people might even be trying to draw attention to an important topic and thereby make a difference in the world.

But you know what? Almost all of us will have some interest in earning from our blogs. After all, it never hurts to make a bit more cash and the idea of being able to make a living doing what we love is incredibly tempting. Imagine if you could pack in your day job today and then spend the rest of your life making a great income while writing about your favorite topics and answering emails.

Well, it certainly is possible and plenty of people have done it…

The only question is how those people have done it and what you can do to get there. How realistic is it that you will be able to give up your day job? And how precisely can you earn money from a blog when you’re not charging people to read it?

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This post is going to aim to answer all those questions and more so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into here and how you can start to generate a decent salary from your work…

Making Money From a Blog – A Timescale and What to Expect

Let’s start out by addressing just how likely you are to make money from a blog and what kind of lifestyle you should expect once you take the plunge. Furthermore, how long does it take exactly to become a rich blogger like one of the top people in your niche?

The short answer?

Don’t give up the day job!

It’s certainly possible to become rich from blogging and this is something that more and more people are doing today. But it’s also not easy and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight.

And actually, it’s setting out with the wrong attitude that causes too many people to give up before they have made it big. The problem is that they think they’re going to get rich overnight but this doesn’t happen and they end up getting disheartened instead – which eventually leads to them quitting.

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The fact of the matter is that making money from a blog is something that takes time and you need to put in a lot of effort up front with little reward if you’re eventually going to make it big at the other end.

This makes it absolutely essential that you be writing about a subject that you know and love, so that your passion will keep you writing even when the financial incentive is not there. It also makes it very important that you start out with realistic expectations.

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Don’t write in order to make your big break. Instead, create your blog and run it because you love doing it and because you wouldn’t mind making a little cash on the side. Expect to make maybe $10 in your first month. By the end of the year, this could realistically go up to $30 a month and with time it will start to grow exponentially. This might not sound like much but it essentially means you can eat out a few times without it hurting your income and it means that you can enjoy a slightly less stressful lifestyle as you use the money to pay back bills and just make life a bit easier.

It’s at this point that you (hopefully) have an important revelation: your ‘wealth’ is not tied to your salary. You don’t need to get a promotion to start earning more, because you can earn more from doing what you love!

Over the next few sections, we’re going to look at some of the different methods that a typical blog uses in order to earn money and this will help you better understand the upward trend that comes from earning from a blog…

PPC Advertising

One of the major ways you can earn money from a website is with PPC advertising and in fact this is the method that most new bloggers will start off with thanks to the low barriers of entry.

PPC essentially stands for ‘Pay Per Click’ and this means that the advertiser pays for clicks. Each time someone sees an advert and clicks on it, you get a small amount of money. This amount of money will depend on the popularity of the niche and on how much the advertiser chose to spend and can range from 0.1 cent all the way up to $2 or even $5. In most cases, it will tend to hover around 20 cents. You then simply place these adverts on your site, embedded within the content or in the sidebars and wait for the clicks to come in.

The most famous of these platforms is Adsense which is run by Google and which gives you a lot of controls for how you want to display your ads.

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This demonstrates nicely a) how a blog is able to make money and b) why it can take a while before you start profiting.
Essentially, you are making money this way using the same business model as the free magazines and newspapers that get handed out at the station. The magazine may be free but the advertisers are willing to pay because they get so many eyeballs on their adverts and marketing. This is the exact same, except that the user also needs to click the advert. This means that your ‘customer’ is not the visitor but rather the advertiser. The service you provide is exposure for those advertisers but you’ll be able to earn more if you also manage to gain the trust of that audience and also engagement to encourage more clicking.

But realistically, you can only expect to get around one click per 500 visitors, or slightly less if you’re very good. This means that you’re now only getting around 40 cents for 1,000 visitors and it will take around 2,500 hits before you get $1. That means you’re looking at 400,000 visitors before you’re really making a full-time salary (though the good news is that you still earn over the weekend!). It’s a great way to earn money but getting to those kinds of numbers is slow going at first!

Selling a Product

There is a method that is a little easier for making money from a website and that will start letting you earn much earlier on. That method is to sell some kind of product, which can be digital or physical in nature.

If you’re selling a digital product, then this will mean something like an ebook, an online course or even a series of videos. Digital products like these have a lot of advantages because they cost nothing to produce, meaning that you make 100% profit on each sale. There are also no overheads associated with storage or delivery and you can create them relatively easily as long as you know how to write.

The other benefit of selling any kind of product is that you’re now at the top of the chain instead of the bottom. When you get paid for clicks, you are being paid by advertisers for your traffic. That means that they must have a way of earning more money than they’re paying from those visitors, otherwise it wouldn’t be an investment for them. Thus, you are essentially ‘giving away’ some of your profit and making less than your advertisers.

Conversely, when you sell a digital product, you are making the most money possible from them because they’re buying directly from you. This often means as much as $30 per sale, so if you can convince a good proportion of people to buy from you (your conversion rate) then you can rack up a better profit from fewer visitors.

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Selling your digital product will normally mean creating a ‘sales page’ where you will promote the benefits of your ebook and how it can improve people’s lives. You can then link this to a PayPal button and set this up to auto-email customers. You can also use tools like OptimizePress to very easily build sites specifically designed for selling these kinds of products.

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You might also create a mailing list to promote to, or you might sell through another distribution platform such as the Kindle store, or Google Play Books.

There are limitations to digital products too though. One of the big limitations is that not everyone is interested in digital products. Try and sell an ebook to your Grandma and you’ll quickly realize that this is something that’s mainly aimed at the tech savvy, youthful marketing type.

So what can you do instead? Simple: sell a physical product!

When you sell a physical product, that means selling things like toys, gadgets, clothes or even whole new inventions. You can do this using a number of tools that make it very easy to create basic products, or you can do it by getting ambitious and actually trying to create your own physical product from scratch – using 3D printing, prototyping and CAD software. If you have a 3D printer (or use a website like www.shapeways.com) then you can always try turning a 3D file into something basic like a phone case or a stand! Another ‘easy’ option is to make something yourself, assuming you have some kind of marketable craft skills.

Once you come up with a whole lot of products you can sell, you can then try creating your own ecommerce store, which will provide a gateway where visitors can order your products online. Sites like Shopify and Magento make this relatively simple – especially if you already have a WordPress site set up.

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Oh and if you’re really lucky, you may be able to find a dropshipping deal. This essentially means that you’re going to be selling products created by another manufacturer and they’ll handle the fulfilment, manufacturing and storage. The best bit? They’re white label – meaning that your customers believe that you are the one handling everything. They can even put your logo on the products! Check out www.alibaba.com to start finding dropshipping deals.

Affiliate Marketing

Another one of the ‘big’ ways to make money from a website is through what’s known as affiliate marketing. In many ways, this is similar to dropshipping except that you aren’t claiming that the product is your own. Essentially, you are working like a salesman for commission; you recommend products and then use a special link. When someone buys the product, you then get to keep a certain percentage.

Some of the best affiliate marketing opportunities are for digital products and you can find this at sites like JVZoo and Clickbank.

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These will let you browse through hundreds of products made by other marketers and you can then sell them for anything up to 70% of the asking price. Creators are often willing to offer a lot of money because they hope to make more money back by attracting a legion of marketers and bloggers to help them shift thousands more copies.

Finally, you can also find great a great affiliate marketing program through Amazon. While the commission is considerably less (closer to 4-6% in many cases), the fact that you can sell thousands of products that people are already familiar with is a massive bonus. What’s more, you’ll be able to use a payment system that they’re familiar with and the trusted ‘Amazon’ brand name when they checkout.

There are many other ways to make money from a website or blog too of course. You could sell/promote a service, you could charge a subscription fee for your best content or you could even set up your exit strategy early on and plan to sell the website once it has a big enough following. You’ll find more information on how to monetize a blog on this site… so stay tuned!