How to Make a Living Blogging: A Beginners Guide

This post may contain affiliate links.

You might have stumbled across articles about how bloggers make thousands of dollars a month, or you may have a friend who’s earning some extra cash through their blog. But how do bloggers make money, and how much time and effort does it take?

In most cases, there will be one person behind a blog. A lot of bloggers won’t have a team and they’ll work part-time on their blog, juggling it with another source of financial income. However, when you get it right, blogging can become a full-time job and one that’s far more lucrative than a standard career.

Intrigued? Good.

We’ll discuss just how bloggers can make money below, including some handy tips and tricks as to how you can get one set up for yourself.

How Much Money Can Bloggers Make?

Firstly, let’s talk about money. Because, after all, that’s going to be one of the largest pulls for most people who are setting up a blog. That is unless you just want an avenue to vent your daily frustrations. If this is the case, unless you can incorporate some humor into these ramblings (like Helen Walmsley – “The Invisible Woman”), it’s unlikely to become a big earner.

A lot of surveys vary when it comes to how much money bloggers make, with some suggesting it’s up to $24,000 a year and others claiming it’s as much as $150,000. How much your blog can make will depend on a number of factors, including how frequently you post, how engaging your content is, how competitive your targeted area is and how well you build up a following and generate traffic to your blog.

With that in mind, here’s how you can make sure your blog’s a successful one:

Step One – Creating a Blog

It goes without saying that the first step to becoming a successful blogger is to create your own blog. And if you don’t already have one, it’s easy to set one up. Ideally, you’ll use a platform to get it started, and you won’t plunge for a “free” option, as this may limit what control you have over your blog. Sites like Siteground or Godaddy offer great hosting plans, which can be started for as little as $4 a month.

Step Two – Writing Stellar Content

Next, you’ll need to create engaging content. To do this, you might want to draw on a particular passion you have – e.g. baking or fashion. Write a blog that captures YOUR target readers’ attention by answering a question, providing honest advice and being thoroughly entertaining.

If during this process, you find you’ve got a flair for writing, you may want to extend your prospects by freelancing for other sites. Platforms like blogging.com can provide you with a number of freelance opportunities that will enable you to broaden your portfolio, which will, over time, help with your blog’s success.

Step Three – Understanding Your Targeted Reader

In order to harness your targeted readers, you’ll need to make sure you understand them. Before you start networking, consider what your blog’s reader looks like. To help do this, you might find it beneficial to create an avatar of your desired reader, putting together a profile for them.

Once you’ve decided who you’d like to target, you’ll want to think about where this person might be gathering their information from currently. By doing this, you’ll be able to create a list of content that’s better than the information they’re reading at the moment.

Create a list of the top 3 blogs they might be reading, what forums they’re contributing to, what podcasts they’re listening to, what social networks they’re participating on and what accounts they’re following on these social channels.

Having all of this useful information at your fingertips will enable you to create engaging content that your followers want to read. This also means you’ll be able to put your content in front of your readers because you know all of the places they’re hanging out and engaging with currently.

This brings us nicely onto the next step.

Step Four – Networking and Building Relationships

Even if you produce show-stopping content, this won’t draw in any money unless you get it out there. That’s why, as you’re creating your content, you’ll need to start networking around the Web and on social media platforms. You might find it beneficial to join groups or forums, commenting on certain posts to draw attention to your blog. Equally, being active on Twitter will help build awareness of your new blog.

Once you notice that people are visiting your blog (congratulations!) you need to create a new focus on nurturing these relationships so you can build on this community.

When someone comments on your blog, respond, thanking each reader personally. Try to do anything and everything you can to make sure they’ll keep coming back for more, as this will help you establish a “sticky blog” full of loyal, dedicated readers.

By looking after these initial readers, you’ll find yourself enjoying one of the most valuable marketing techniques available – word of mouth. As these fans of your blogs write, tweet and recommend your blog to others, you’ll find engaged readers who are much easier to start generating an income from.

Step Five – Choosing an Income Method

Once your blog is established, there are a number of different ways you can start generating money from it. In most cases, the blog itself won’t generate the income, it’s the things you add to the blog that will.

Here are some ways you can generate income from your blog:

Advertising

Consider this to be almost like a newspaper or magazine selling advertising space, as this is essentially how it will work on your blog. With an increased amount of traffic to your site, you’ll find the call for advertising on your website grows stronger because different companies will want to make sure they’re in front of your targeted audience. (Make sure you have created a media kit for your blog to use when approaching potential advertisers.) However, to get started, you may want to try Google AdSense, which will provide adverts for you.

Affiliates

This involves promoting another company’s service or product on your blog or somewhere else on the Internet. Using your unique affiliate link, you’ll link to that service or product, taking a certain percentage of the sale if it’s successful. This money-making effort is how most bloggers earn an income, especially at the start. Simply choose products or brands that you want to be associated with, and watch as the dollars roll in.

Events

As a newer form of income, events are something many bloggers are starting to host. These range from small events where bloggers meet to discuss their ideas on how to make money, to much larger conferences that bring hundreds of bloggers together. You can make money through these events by finding sponsors and/or charging people to attend. You might also want to look into online events, too.

Products

If you’re devoting a lot of time to your blog and you’re building up a good base of readers, you may want to consider turning your ideas into products people can buy. For example, some bloggers create courses or eBooks that are available for people to purchase virtually. You might also want to look at creating software or reports, or something else that’s linked to your blog concept. Equally, if your business calls for it, you may be able to sell physical products, like t-shirts or mugs.  Need ideas?  Try one of these 51 product creation ideas for your blog!

Services

Proven that you’re a skilled writer or you’re a top-notch marketer? Then why not sell your services to other companies who are looking to make a break in the online world? Using your blog as an online profile, you can promote your skills to other businesses, offering freelance services such as designing, training or writing to other organizations.

Membership and Continuity Programs:

If you can, you might want to look at creating a recurring income stream through something like a membership program. Even though you won’t want to do this at the start (it may put some new readers off) you could think about doing this once your blog’s established. It involves charging readers for certain things, whether it’s exclusive content, a community area or a monthly newsletter, or perhaps even a number of things that only “VIPs” of your blogs can enjoy.

Promoting Other Businesses:

Some bloggers make an indirect income by promoting bricks-and-mortar companies. They do this by promoting the organization to increase the traffic to their business website while also growing the brand name in the process.

The Art of Using Different Income Streams

In most cases, bloggers will be using a number of different income streams to generate revenue for their blog. By diversifying how you’re making it money, it will speed up how quickly you start generating revenue while also making sure you’re not relying on one source of income. For example, if you were completely reliant on one advertiser and they went under, your blog is losing its income source overnight, and this will be hard to build up again.

Choosing Between Direct and Indirect Sources of Income

Income streams come in two forms – direct and indirect. This means some bloggers will make money “directly” through their blog, while others will be earning it “indirectly” – making money because of their blog.

Direct income is when you make money through sources like the Amazon affiliates program or AdSense. At first, these sources of income can be quite steady, but, as your traffic starts to grow, this too will grow, and will give you the chance to experiment with various other direct sources of income – e.g. selling advertising space.

Indirect income is something you’ll probably only tap into once your blog becomes more established, as you’ll be relying on this to generate interest for your “indirect” income sources. For example, as your readership grows, you might be able to start selling your services as a consultant or speaker, because people are looking to you as an expert in your chosen niche. Later on, you may even be able to publish a book! All of these things haven’t been generated by the blog, but have been generated because of your blog.

The most successful bloggers will often combine both of these sources of income, but some may turn to indirect income once they’ve established a name for themselves.

Conclusion

Creating a blog that generates money need not be difficult, you just need some time and focus to start putting it together. If you’re not sure what your blog should be about, do some research into different industries, establishing where the niches are and what potential ideas could work. Having this information to hand will enable you to tap into an area that’s crying out for an expert.

Once you’ve found your niche, you can start to create engaging content that people want to read. Then, as your readership grows, you’ll start to create more options for yourself, looking at the different income streams that are available to you.

Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be writing an article on how you’re making a six-figure salary from a blog you started in your bedroom one night!

How have you, or how do you plan to make money with your blog?

Please share in the comments below!

Looking for small blog tips on how to make an income blogging? Here are several ways to make money blogging - even if you have just a small blog! It really IS possible to make a living blogging - click to find out how!
Looking for small blog tips on how to make an income blogging? Here are several ways to make money blogging - even if you have just a small blog! It really IS possible to make a living blogging - click to find out how!
Looking for small blog tips on how to make an income blogging? Here are several ways to make money blogging - even if you have just a small blog! It really IS possible to make a living blogging - click to find out how!
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22 thoughts on “How to Make a Living Blogging: A Beginners Guide”

  1. Great blog post on generating income. Personally which are your favorite affiliate programs ad companies or services you promote. My favorite is Amazon associates, I use flex offer banner ads on services I haven’t really figured this one out yet.

    • Brittany, great question! I would check out the cj.com affiliate network – and also shareasale.com. There are a lot of great programs through those sites. Otherwise, I would recommend going to sites and products that you know and use – and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to see if they have an affiliate or referral program. You can also reach out to the site to see if they have an affiliate program. Another great product to recommend as an affiliate is through the ultimate-bundles.com!

  2. I started my blogging career by making blogging as a side income, but eventually the income from bloggging is bigger than I imagined. Your writing is very inspiring to me.

    Thank you

  3. I currently make money, not a lot though, via affiliate marketing and my own product. The T-shirt idea is very fresh I must say and I’ll look into it some more, even as my blog grows.

    • Glad it was helpful, Sheeroh – thanks so much for commenting and I’d love to see your t-shirts when you get them designed!

  4. Starting a blog requires a lot of dedication and work, at least in the first months. But you gotta have a plan and see yourself making a living from blogging, to actually make it happen. Be a doer! – my jam!

  5. My best source of generating income from my blog is AdSense and affiliate marketing. I also usually getting direct advertisements and sponsored posting. The points mentioned in this post are highly effective way to monetize your blog and make money from it. Thanks for this great Post 🙂

  6. WOW, I must say that this is really very inspiring blog for me. The points you have mention here are really very important and by following these points one can start making money. I like that you share large number of different ways and we can select any one of them according to our interest.
    Thanks for sharing this amazing blog with us.

  7. Great post and it is one of the hottest topic over the internet and it is everyone’s dream to be a successful from a small blog. All the points in your post are too good and you have covered the different source of income in more appropriate way and it is equally important in today’s blogging world.

  8. Hey Tanya,
    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  9. I love sponsored posts as that is where I earn most of my money with my blog. The running joke in my Blogging Workshops is: I teach you how to “earn” money using your blog, as the only place to “make” money is at the Franklin Mint. I usually get a lot of laughs with that one.

  10. Thanks for the awesome tips! I started a blog recently to both make money and to cater to readers. I’m currently trying to build a following, so the tips you offer directed towards small blogs are especially helpful. If you have time, you should come check out livelovewoof.com!

  11. I started my blogs for affiliate products 3 months ago. Your guidance is useful for me. I see there are a lot of jobs to work and earn money online from my blog

  12. Thank you for explaining the difference between the income streams, and also for confirming what I was already experiencing… that I really need to establish some traffic and a mailing list before I will really get any traction with affiliates.

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