From its humble beginnings with LiveJournal in the 90’s, blogging has grown to be a hugely profitable industry. It has become a platform for people to make real money.The problem is, too many people don’t know how to make money blogging and quit before they can even get started.
The hot topic right now with blogging income is passive income. This is where you earn money with limited ongoing effort. And yes, it is great, but even the big guys will tell you how you need to start generating revenue before you can even really begin looking at those passive income sources.
To earn passive income, you will need an audience, and to do this, you’ll need to build your traffic both organically, through things like SEO and social media, as well as paid traffic sources, like Facebook ads. Ultimately, this traffic is what will lead to affiliate income and an audience to buy your courses – and those two things are where the real money is.
Making Money with Display Ads
Non-bloggers think this is where bloggers are making money, and it’s the same with Youtubers, but in reality, ads are not a quick income source.
Putting ads on your site might make you some money eventually, but it’s going to be slow going and takes a lot more traffic than you think to make more than negligible amounts.
The other thing about putting ads on your blog is despite earning you a little money, they can hurt the reader experience. Simply put, readers don’t like lots of ads… I mean, do you?
We’re not saying you should overlook display ads entirely because they can mitigate some of your costs, but again, they’re just not big earners – at least not until you have huge amounts of traffic..
But ultimately, the answer is yes, ads can earn you money. But if your plan for making your first $1,000 is ads, then you’ll be missing out on several other more lucrative and faster options, which we’re going to dig into now.
Offering Freelance Services
Freelancing is honestly going to be the fastest way to make your first bit of revenue.
Options include offering services like running Facebook ads for local businesses, doing SEO audits, working as a virtual assistant, freelance writing (we’ll talk more about this in a second), etc.
Most new bloggers want to get straight to passive income, but it’s not likely when you first start out. Before you can get to the lucrative passive income phase, you need to start making money to invest back into your blog, and freelancing is one way to get there.
Both Mike and I did freelance work to get our online businesses off the ground. Mike’s helped fitness bloggers build their online businesses and offers freelance marketing work, while I have freelanced as a writer, SEO coach, and running Facebook ads for businesses.
If it weren’t for the freelance revenue, there would have been nothing to support other businesses, which is where we are really making money
You don’t have to freelance forever, but it can help you earn good money until your blog is producing a good income. When your blog starts making serious gains, you can start to pull back on the freelance work.
Plus, freelancing gives you a chance to build and grow those blogging skills, which will only lead to your own site growing faster.
Want to make an extra $1,000 per month? Check out the #1 freelancing side hustle we recommend for bloggers here.
The heart and soul of your blog is written content. Freelance writers are one of the first hires that bloggers make when they start to outsource. This means there are a ton of sites looking or writers.
And as a new blogger, you’ll be desirable because you’ll know the business while still being affordable.
To get started, look around at those bigger blogs who are putting out more than 3-5 posts per week, chances are they’re hiring someone for at least some of the writing work. You can start at around $100 per article and work up from there, but seriously, never go under $50. Undercutting others working in this field will damage your reputation, and more importantly, you need to value your time and skill going in.
With any type of freelance work, your price is a signal for the value of your work. Don’t devalue yourself.
Not only does freelance writing help you make money, it will help you hone your craft, sharpen your skills, and ultimately become a better writer.
Depending on who you’re writing for, you may get to see the inner workings of someone else’s blog or business. This is the approach we’re taking– parting the curtains to show what happens behind the scenes. Because everyone on our team is valuable, we want all of them to know as much as possible about what we’re doing, and this holistic approach is paying off for us.
No matter what type of blog or business you’re writing for, take what you acquire in each of those jobs and invest into your own blog.
Related: How to Start Blogging for Beginners
Adding Sponsored Posts
If you’re ready for sponsored posts, then you’ve probably already figured out how to make more money blogging. You may be interested to learn how I started making money with sponsored posts.
The first $300 Millennial Money Man made came from a sponsored post about a widget a company wanted to put on the site. They actually wanted to do it for free, but I threw out a number that also included a sponsored post, and the deal was my first real blogging revenue source.
You won’t be seeing many sponsored posts on M$M anymore, but they can be serious revenue streams once you grow your audience. We’ve seen companies pay out $1,000-$8,000 for a sponsored post, and start-ups seem to be the loosest with their money.
To start adding sponsored posts to your blog, you will need regular traffic or a community so you’ve got an audience to drop the ad in front of.
We’ve got a few episodes of our podcast to help you grow and connect with your community:
And to increase your blog traffic with Facebook Ads, please check out our course Facebook Ads For Bloggers. Facebook is 100% our favorite traffic source.
You probably know the types of companies are already suited to your niche, but you can also take a look at what types of sponsored posts other bloggers in your market are running.
The only caveat with ads is they need to be a good fit for your audience. If it’s not a good fit, don’t put it on your website.
Check out this video: Blogging For BEGINNERS: Make Money Blogging In Year ONE By Avoiding These Mistakes
Offer Coaching Services
This one comes with a major disclaimer: you better freaking know what you’re doing if you’re trying to sell your skills to someone as a coach. We’ve seen too many people, even really successful ones, who fall for some scumbag who took like one webinar and decided to become a “coach.”
But, if you do have a marketable skill or asset, then you can use it to make money. Mike’s a good example of this as he merged his knowledge of marketing and fitness coaching into a skill set he taught others in the fitness industry. It began as free help and advice for friends, but soon those were rolled into referrals and paid work.
Coaching is hands-on and can be time consuming, but it can pay well if you actually know what you’re talking about. You can definitely consider this a freelance gig, and like we said before, freelancing is probably the best way to get started with earning money from a blog.
Just be careful with this. Know what you’re talking about and be honest with your abilities– your business and brand depend on it.
Learn How to Make Money Blogging with Affiliate Income
Affiliate income doesn’t really start earning you money until you’re up at around 20,000-50,000 pageviews per month. But once you get there, you will need to educate yourself about affiliate marketing. To stay on top of your game, it wouldn’t hurt to look into now.
We highly, highly recommend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. Michelle teaches you exactly how she grew her blog, Making Sense of Cents, from $0 to $50,000 a month in affiliate marketing, and this course is now the industry standard in affiliate marketing education.
Like we said in the beginning, too many bloggers quit early on because they don’t know where to start making money. Now we’ve laid out how to make money blogging, get out there and go hard with it.
Want to go even more in depth on how to make money blogging? Make sure you check out episode 29 of our podcast for more discussion on the topic.
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