Is it really possible to make money blogging?
I started my blog, Bark and Biscuits because I love to write and I admire the bond between humans and animals. I have a dachshund, Rocket who is doubtlessly my best friend.
At first, I was entirely naive to the fact that you could make money from blogging. About three months after starting my blog, I began reading other people's blogs and learned that they were earning an income from it. Many were not only making a full-time salary, but some were making six figures!
Right off the bat, this sounds like a dream and the perfect job. You get to write about your passion, work from home, be your boss and make good money, really good money. Can I get a “heck yeah”?
*This post may contain affiliate links
Before we go too crazy, let's talk about what it really takes to make this work. Keyword, WORK. It takes work and a lot of it. Ever since starting my blog, I have put in between 40 to sometimes 80 hours a week, all while working my night job and trying to balance home life.
Even with all the effort, I'm still not making a full-time income, yet. Blogging is not a get rich quick kind of job. It's a slow and sometimes painful process, but with passion, consistency and patience, you will find success.
Things to consider
TREAT IT LIKE A JOB.
If you want to make money from blogging, then you need to treat it like a job. Being your boss is harder than it seems and has its pros and cons. I think we know the advantages, but the disadvantages?
Here are few things you may not have thought about when working for yourself:
It is harder than it seems to stay on task and no one holds you accountable except yourself. You are the only person making sure to get stuff done. It can be far too easy to get distracted. Make sure you create deadlines and set goals for yourself to remain focused. Chris from Make Your Start has a great article about the surprising challenges of being your own boss.
QUALITY CONTENT BUILDS TRUST.
My most important tip is to focus on quality content and acquire your reader's trust. Don't make earning money your sole focus. Earning money is a result of producing quality content and gaining reader's confidence. If your readers don't value what you have to say, then they will never buy anything from you. You will lose their respect.
Now that you have the foundation, let's dig in.
Affiliate marketing is my favorite way to make money on my blog. In a nutshell, you promote other people’s products and earn a commission if someone ends up buying through your unique link. It's no cost for your readers and makes you money for your hard work. It's a great way to recommend great products!
Here's why it rocks:
You write a killer blog post. It's informative, thorough and provides the readers with value. Within that post are a few products that you love and recommend. That post keeps earning you money for months, sometimes years to come.
The way I learned how to use affiliate marketing on my blog is through another fellow blogger, Michelle at Making Sense of Cents. She has been one of my main inspirations for this blog. Michelle makes over $100,000 a month blogging. Yes, you read that correctly. She has been featured in Forbes Magazine as well as others. Did I mention she is only in her 20's?!
She created a brilliant course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. In this course, she teaches you everything you need to know to make thousands of dollars from affiliate marketing. She shares her techniques, strategies, and necessary tools to be successful. After taking her course, I earned over $100.00 in my first month of implementing her method. Additionally, everyone that enrolls in the class gets invited to Michelle's private Facebook group where dedicated bloggers offer a wealth of information. Michelle frequently mentors us and answers questions that we have. I can't tell you how helpful and amazing this group has been. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is phenomenal, and I can't say enough about it.
Click here to learn how to build a six-figure blog without millions of visitors or selling your soul.
There are many affiliate programs to choose from. One of the most popular is the Amazon Associates program. Amazon's program is excellent because they simply sell everything. There are also affiliate marketing networks where once accepted, you can choose from hundreds of programs that are a good fit for your blog.
Here are some affiliate networks you can join:
Many bloggers will put ads in the sidebar or within posts on their blog. The easiest way to start implementing ads is by going through an ad network such as Google AdSense. You customize where the ads appear, and choose which kind of ad fits best with your site. Ads are an easy way to make money because once you place them on your site, you can forget about them.
A sponsored post is when a company pays you to write a post and often review their product or service. I will do one sponsored post per month, at most. If you choose to do this, make sure that the company and their product aligns with your brand. It has to be something you genuinely believe in. If you don't, it's not worth the money. To comply with the FTC guidelines, you must disclose that you were paid to write the review. Therefore, your readers will know the post is sponsored. It better be a damn good product, and you better be 100% honest about your review.
Remember that whole trust thing I was talking about earlier? Your readers are more important than the money. Here is an example of a sponsored post I did for a company that makes Bluetooth enabled tags for dogs. It's a product that I use all the time on my pup and would recommend to my friends.
Don't be afraid to turn down opportunities. I receive multiple emails a week from companies, and the majority of them are not a good fit for me or my blog. Stand your ground.
If you want a go at sponsored posts, make sure you come across as professional as possible to potential companies. Create a ‘Work With Me' page on your blog. When you receive email opportunities, attach your media kit. A media kit is a document, usually a .pdf that contains information about your blog. Include your blog stats, demographics, brands you've worked with, accolades and a captivating blog description.
Create a product or service
A really exciting way to make money is by creating a product. You can write an ebook, e-course or design a physical product. If you specialize in a specific niche, you could offer a service like coaching. The possibilities are endless, and it's a gratifying experience.
There you have it! Are you feeling ready to start your own blog? There is no better time than now! You'll want to check out this post which takes you step by step to creating your dream blog.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch! xo