How Do Blogs Make Money?
If you read many blogs, you’re probably so used to affiliate disclaimers that you breeze right by them without a second thought.
I know. I used to do it too. But if you think about it, these disclaimers all over the internet send an important signal that shouldn’t be ignored, especially if you like the idea of making money online => THERE IS A LOT OF MONEY TO BE MADE IN BLOGGING!
I created this page to share with you exactly how blogs, in general, make money, how this blog specifically makes money, and how YOU can make money blogging too!
If you want the full legal disclosure for this site, you can view that here.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Why I Started Blogging
After coming to the conclusion that I needed to quit drinking after over 17 years of struggle, I knew I had to make sweeping changes to make sobriety stick.
One thing about giving up alcohol – especially if you drank a metric ton before – is that it frees up a ton of time!
No longer thinking about drinking, purchasing alcohol, spending time drinking, recovering from hangovers and repairing the social, financial and physical damage done in a drunken stupor means several clear-headed, wakeful, potentially productive hours added to your days, weeks and months.
The problem? If you don’t have something to fill up all that time you’ll get really bored, and likely relapse.
To remedy this, I decided to finally bite the bullet and try something I’d always been curious about – blogging for profit!
How I Started Blogging For Profit
Knowing that I wanted to earn money blogging online, I treated it like a new business from day one.
Any brick-and-mortar business would have overhead costs, a learning curve, the need to establish it as a legal entity and more. So why would I treat this any different?
I allocated myself some funds specifically to finance any and everything I could possibly require to get started on the right foot — $5,000.
I told myself once my seed money ran out that would be it.
As I write this, I still have well over half that money left and I don’t believe I’ll need to make any further startup purchases.
Not having to worry about money has been breezy, I’ll admit.
I’ve been able to take it easy, avoid stressing over making the money back, have loads of fun with it, learn and implement new strategies, join elite blogger groups straight out the gate, and more…
Though I’ve spent about $2,500 getting started blogging, the fact that I’ve jumped in so deep so quickly and bought SO MANY BLOGGER COURSES AND UTILITIES means I can tell you – from experience – how to get started blogging for money, successfully, for the least investment possible.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog?
When I tell you how LITTLE you need to start a blog, you won’t believe me.
Starting a blog literally costs just $4 a month at the core. The rest you could technically do for free using Google and YouTube.
BUT if you have even a little extra cash to buy at least a couple resources you can certainly get off the ground much, much faster and with a lot less head (and heart) ache.
Start A Blog For Less Than $50
Jennifer has done such a thorough job explaining in clear, concise language how you can get your blog up and running in this post.
She has done way better than I ever could, and I fully vouch for her incredible tutorial.
Start A Blog For Less Than $200
After going through SO MANY COURSES and purchasing SO MANY PRODUCTS, I am excited to share this great news!
You can absolutely get your blog set up plus learn the most important strategies to get you to your first $500-$1,000 per month in under 6 months for a grand total of $161!
Yes! An investment of less than $200 can earn you $500 to $1000 per month (or more) in less than 6 months..
Can you believe that?
I think it’s amazing because so many people just want to earn enough money to quit their day jobs. Not everybody wants or needs to build an online empire.
Making such a small investment in blogging education for such a great return is so appealing, right?
So, How Do Blogs Make Money?
Okay, here’s where it gets good!
I know it seems pretty abstract and doesn’t really make sense until you dig in. But there are four ways most blogs earn money. Ads, affiliates, sponsored posts and products/services. I’ll explain each one in detail below:
Making Money With Ads
One of the easiest (and most obvious) ways blogs make money is by placing ads on the blog.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Google Adsense? It’s the most popular ad network by far.
The way it works is based on the content of your site, relevant advertisers “bid” on positioning and frequency of display.
When visitors to your site view or click on the ads, you earn a small income.
The Upside Of Making Money With Ads
The upside is that it’s totally passive! Once you’ve posted your outstanding content you don’t need to do anything else. You can literally wake up the next morning with more money than you went to sleep with — with no additional effort on your part!
The Downside Of Making Money With Ads
The downside is that there’s a fine line between placing enough ads to earn a decent income and placing too many ads that discourage readers from visiting your site.
Another downside is that ad revenue is heavily dependent on traffic (page views). It can take tens of thousands of page views to earn anything worth talking about.
There are ways to remedy this, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.
If you’re interested in learning about different ways to earn money blogging through ads, join my newsletter. I’ll spill ALL the tea!
Making Money As An Affiliate
The second way to make money as a blogger is by affiliate marketing. That’s why you see all those “this post contains affiliate links” disclaimers everywhere that we talked about earlier.
To put it simply, it goes like this:
- Somebody creates an amazing product and they want to sell it
- You really like this product and can’t wait to tell everybody how awesome it is
- To share how great it is, you talk about it (and link to it) on your blog to make it easy for your readers to find
- When they purchase the product through your link, you get a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to the purchaser
Why Affiliate Marketing Is A Win-Win-Win Situation
A) The creator of the product gets more sales
B) your reader gets an amazing item that they would never have known about if it wasn’t for you
C) you get paid for sharing your knowledge!
What’s not to love about that?
The Downside Of Affiliate Marketing
But not so fast – there are downsides to affiliate marketing too.
First, it takes a bit of skill and there’s quite a learning curve to make it work.
Second, many affiliate programs have requirements so you’re not necessarily able to join the best ones right away.
Third, some products you really love may not even have affiliate programs.
Finally, depending on the affiliate program you join, you might be earning pennies and will struggle to make a decent income.
The Amazon Associates program, for example, is THE most popular affiliate program for bloggers. And with good reason. Literally, everyone buys from Amazon!
But the commission is notoriously and painfully small. You need LOTS of eyes on your posts and MANY sales to earn with Amazon. So it’s easy, but not… but it IS… but it’s not. (Much like everything else blogging, ha!)
Making Money With Sponsored Posts
A third way bloggers make money is by working with brands and writing sponsored posts.
If you have a large enough readership and following on social media, brands will pay you to work with them! Sounds pretty cool, huh?
I’m going to be honest – I don’t know terribly much about this as I’ve yet to try it myself. But I do know a few bloggers who make a killing working with big name brands.
An example is if you have a food blog, big-name companies may pay you hundreds to thousands of dollars to use their products in your recipes, take pictures or record videos cooking with their products, and write blog posts about them or promote on social media.
This could be on a one-off basis, or you could even have contracts for X amount of posts per month with the company.
Can you think of any brands you dream of working with one day?
Blogging could make that happen!
Making Money With Your Own Products & Services
Finally, perhaps the pinnacle of blogging for profit is making money with your own products and services.
The “big girls” of blogging as I call them (there are guys too, but I just love the girls) make twenty, fifty and even over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS PER MONTH blogging, and that’s largely by creating and selling their own products and services.
These girls are regular people – just like you and me – who started blogging with a dream.
They hustled their way to the top of their game and are winning.
But you don’t have to sell blogging advice to make money blogging.
The key is to take your time blogging for a while, learn your niche and your audience inside and out, and then create a high-quality product that is in-demand.
So There You Have It
Four ways to make money from home just by sharing your thoughts on the internet.
Isn’t the internet the best thing ever?
How THIS Blog Makes Money
Now that you have an idea of how blogs make money as a whole, I’ll talk about how MY blog makes money.
Right now I’m doing a mix of ad placement and affiliate marketing.
I’m still in the very early stages of my blogging journey. Still learning the ropes and focusing on growth.
I’ve had an explosive experience with growing my page views pretty quickly. I fully attribute this to following some of the “big girls” strategies from their products I recommend to you. And am continuing to push that as my main focus for now.
6 months in, I’m earning around $600 per month with ads and affiliates, with a projection for rapid growth. It’s an exciting time!
I do expect it to take some time to see huge income from blogging. Maybe another 6 months or so. But I want to be fully transparent with my process.
I think $500 to $1,000 within 6 months or so is totally reasonable if you have the right tools and leadership from the get-go.
How YOUR Blog Can Make Money
Now I think you know all the basics you need to know about blogging.
You know how blogs, in general, make money. You know where I’m coming from and that making money blogging is REAL and it’s POSSIBLE.
So how can you start a blog? How can YOU make money blogging?
Then, Here Are My Official Recommendations
Pot Pie Girl’s How To Start A Blog 101 Tutorial (FREE)
Blog By Number by Suzi Whitford
If you never, ever buy another blogging product, ever, you NEED this one.
Blog By Number is Suzi Whitford of Start A Mom Blog‘s flagship course. It gets high ratings, and it rings bells throughout the blogging community.
This video course teaches you everything you need to know about getting your blog set up, getting a FREE theme and beautiful design, how to drive traffic to your site, how to start earning money with affiliate links and much, much more.
All the nuts and bolts of blogging for beginners is laid out in this one course.
But, once you get your blog set up and learn the basics of promotion, driving traffic and affiliate marketing, you’ll need to take it up a notch.
Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog With Pinterest
While Blog By Number will teach you everything you need to know to get started blogging, if you want to roll with the big dogs, you’ll have to go deeper.
Keeping it simple, Pinterest is the best social media platform for bloggers to grow their traffic quickly.
The way it works is first you’ll write an awesome blog post about how to make money blogging, for example.
Then you’ll create an amazing graphic that promises the reader they’ll learn how blogs make money, and how THEY can make money blogging too! Like this one:
(Click To Save This To Pinterest While You’re Here)!
You’ll upload the image to Pinterest with a relevant title and description.
A regular Pinterest user who is curious how blogs make money will type “how to make money blogging” into the search bar.
Your delicious graphic will show up, she’ll click it, and get directed to your site!
Boom. Free traffic.
If it sounds good, that’s because it is!
So Why Do I Need A Pinterest Course?
Pinterest is great, but it’s not immediately obvious how to best set up your account for success.
Plus, Pinterest is always in a state of flux. What worked 2 years ago definitely does not work today.
Sure, you could figure it out yourself for free. Many people do and may have good results. But if you have just a little money to invest, you can bypass all that headache and just learn from the best.
Why reinvent the wheel when you can just follow what has already been proven to work?
My Pinterest Course Recommendations
Once your blog is set up with Blog By Number and you understand the basics of how to design pins and run your Pinterest account, there are two Pinterest products that I stand by.
Each has a different unique strategy that I’ve personally found insanely valuable.
I attribute my ability to grow my audience to 50,000 monthly page views within 6 months 100% to the strategies laid out in these two extremely affordable products.
The Best Pinterest Courses On The Market
1. Pinteresting Strategies by Carly @ MommyOnPurpose
This woman is magic. I love everything she says and will buy any product she puts out. (I have and she’s yet to let me down).
Carly studied Pinterest hardcore and analyzes everything from top to bottom, inside and out. I can’t sing high enough praises of her and her work.
Her writing style is really straight to the point, no fluff, and she is easy to understand and follow.
At the time I’m writing this, Pinteresting Strategies is $47.
THAT IS A STEAL.
If you follow the steps and really wrap your mind around the concepts Carly lays out, you WILL grow your blog traffic and begin earning money from your blog, quickly.
2. The Pinterest Launch Plan by Jennifer @ JenniferMaker.com
Jennifer is another prominent blogger who I highly respect.
After having so much success with Pinterest, Jennifer wondered if she could replicate her results using a brand new blog with a fresh Pinterest account. So she ran the experiment without sharing her new website or Pinterest account, applied her strategies, and saw explosive growth.
She quickly compiled the results and her exact step-by-step strategies into an e-book and video course, and the Pinterest Launch Plan was born!
I grabbed my copy the second it became available, devoured it in a couple days, and my results were nothing short of amazing.
Within one month my Pinterest followers went from less than 200 to over 1,000, and my reach (# of eyes on my pins) went from less than 100,000 to over 1 million per month.
As I write this I’m 3 months out from using this course and I now have 2,000 Pinterest followers and 1.5 million monthly viewers. That is bananas.
This growth in Pinterest visibility and thus, visits to my site is directly responsible for my current level of success.
I Got Into MediaVine In Less Than 6 Months
Because of this, I qualified for a major ad network (MediaVine) that has much higher payout rates than the pennies you get with other networks.
The thing is, you need at least 25,000 sessions (which comes out to 32,000 or so page views) per month to even be considered.
Without The Pinterest Launch Plan, it would have taken me far longer to qualify. I simply would not have had the fast success I enjoy now.
The Pinterest Launch Plan, at only $27, is again a complete steal! This $27 investment is earning me several times more than I paid for it, and we’re talking a period of several weeks, not months or years.
The thing is — if you follow the steps point by point you’ll win. But you’ll also actually learn WHY we do things the way we do, and something “clicks”.
Once I finished the Pinterest Launch Plan I felt like I “got” Pinterest.
Though Pinterest is undergoing changes (and always will be), nothing scares me because I understand the WHY, not just the how.
That alone is worth ten times the $27 I paid for it.
You Can Make Money Blogging!
So, there you have it! You know how blogs make money, how this blog makes money, and how YOU can make money blogging for as little as $4 per month.
While blogging isn’t easy, and it does take time and effort to succeed, if you have a story to tell and/or a genuine desire to help people, it might be a really fun option for you to make money online!
And who knows? The sky is the limit with blogging.
You never know who you might meet or where you’ll wind up.
Blogging is a total trip at times. But in my opinion, it’s a journey worth taking.