There are plenty of guides out there on how to start a blog, but this one is different.
We are going to focus specifically on making money blogging. This is not just a hobby, and we certainly don’t have 3-5 years to spare writing about our passions before turning a profit.
But before we get into the step-by-step framework of starting a successful blog, we need to understand how others are making money blogging to determine what works best for you.
We are going to cover 7 viable ways to make money blogging, with tips on how to get started for each!
How to Make Money Blogging
Here are our top 7 ways to start making money blogging, ranked based on how easy they are to start as well as profitability:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Online Courses
- Books & Ebooks
- Speaking Engagements
- Selling Freelance Services
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting another person’s (or company’s) product and in turn, earning a commission for each sale as a result of your recommendation.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the market value of the affiliate marketing industry has surpassed $12 Billion in 2022.
We see it everywhere these days, from top-tier blogs and media companies to micro-influencers on Instagram & TikTok. These personalities are making a living on affiliate income, sponsored posts, their online store, and more!
The most successful of these influencers have a target audience built around a profitable niche and have refined their digital marketing skills to maximize their online income.
Those that have established their own successful blog understand that blogs now serve as intermediaries between consumers & large-scale companies trying to sell their products.
For example, type in anything on Google, such as ‘best kitchen gadgets.’
At the top of the search results, we see articles from websites such as TasteofHome.com, Eater.com & Delish.com, all of which are all extremely profitable blogs!
Notice that we don’t see any of the big kitchen companies. KitchenAid, Samsung, LG… nowhere to be found!
That’s because these companies would rather pay bloggers & influencers to become affiliates and sell their products for them through affiliate links and sponsored posts, which is one of the factors that makes the kitchen industry a profitable blog niche.
In fact, Truelist reports that over 80% of brands now have affiliate programs.
So when we come into the Delish.com article on best kitchen products, we see a long list of products complete with the option to buy.
That buy button then redirects the consumer over to KitchenAid’s website to make the purchase. The affiliate (in this case Delish.com) has a specific URL, referred to as their affiliate link, with a tracking code that tells KitchenAid where the sale came from so they can pay out the commission to Delish.
So for those of your that are ready to start earning affiliate commissions, make sure to check out our guide on How to Start A Blog to get set up the right way.
The first step is to secure web hosting for your blogging business through Bluehost for as low as $2.95/month using our link!
Most of the people making real money blogging are selling an online course.
People are always looking to improve their expertise or learn a new skill, and have shown they are willing to pay good money to do so.
Statista estimates the global E-Learning market to be over $250 Billion.
The higher the value of your skill, the more you can charge for your course. A marketplace like Udemy sells online courses as low as $5 while courses teaching people how to make more money typically sell much higher, around $1,000 or even $5,000 depending on the offering.
If you have a skillset of value and are thinking about monetizing it through an online course offering, I highly suggest Parker Walbeck’s Course Creator Pro.
Yes, he makes over $500,000 per month selling a course on how to sell a course…
I’ve gone through a several top top-tier online courses, but this one truly goes above and beyond. Parker and his team are incredibly in-depth as far as value they provide, which makes it an easy recommendation.
Now for beginner bloggers out there, we’re going to ask you to pump the brakes on this one, as selling ad space or banner ads on your blog can take away from the user experience.
But as your audience grows and you approach a million visits a year to your blog, Google AdSense revenue can really start to add up (pun not intended).
Normally, you make money by joining an ad network. Nearly anyone can join Google AdSense and add a couple of Google Ads, but again, we recommend you hold off at the onset of your new blog. until you are happy with the traffic you have established.
Once you’ve established an audience and consistent traffic, you can then leverage more selective ad networks like Mediavine and AdThrive.
Books & Ebooks
Many successful bloggers expand their offerings to include a Book or Ebook.
They do this with an established publisher, or take matters into their own hands and publish the book themselves, knowing that they already have an audience to sell to.
Tim Ferris is a great example of a Blogger turned New York Times Best Selling Author with his book The 4-Hour Workweek. An in fact, when you go to his blog at tim.blog you’ll find an option to download his Ebook, 17 Questions That Changed My Life.
Similar to offering an online course, some bloggers will provide their expertise in a one-on-one setting, whether in person or online.
This could be done by setting up consulting calls or workshops, or even offering general advice via email. Spend enough time on any successful blogger’s site and you’re likely to see an offer for consulting or coaching in some way, shape, or form.
Again, these services range in price from $100 per hour to $50,000 per day based on the value of the expertise.
Seen a successful blogger lately on a TEDx stage or delivering a keynote at a conference? Chances are they’re getting paid to do it.
Many bloggers have parlayed their success into an in-demand speaking career. Just like with consulting and coaching, this could be done in person or online, but the goal is the same – offer value to your audience and the money will come.
Selling Freelance Services
Finally, freelance services can be a great way to squeeze some additional income out of your blog. Let’s say you’re an architect creating content around architecture, and as people find inspiration and ideas from your content, they ask you for your services on their home renovation.
Or, let’s say you’re a content writer on Fiverr.com and want to promote your service through your blog. People that like your writing style and have already sampled your work would be more than happy to hire you.
So as we head deeper into the 2020s, there are endless opportunities for bloggers to make money. These are just a few of the more popular methods, but remember, you have to start somewhere.
The best advice we can give any aspiring Blogger is to just START 🚀
You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t as you go, and there will always be new ways to make money from your content and your audience!
So with that said, let’s get into how to start a Money Making Blog!
Make Money Blogging (How To Get Started For Beginners)
Now that we understand the various methods of blog monetization, let’s go through the steps to get started so you can start to make money from your blog in just a few months!
Step 1: Host Your Blog
Step #1 is to actually set up your blog, which means you will need a web hosting account to host your content. You can get started with as little as $2.95 by using Bluehost, which includes your free domain name and web hosting for your site.
So if you’re ready to get started, here are the exact steps to getting set up:
- Go to Bluehost.com (<- this link gets you a discount) and click Host Your Site.
- Choose the Choice Plus Plan.
- Enter the domain name you want to use (i.e. pursuitofpassiveincome.com).
- Input your account information.
- Choose an account plan based on how long you want to pay. (Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans, so no risk!)
- Uncheck the Package Extras (you don’t need them.)
- Complete your purchase, choose your password and log in to your Bluehost account.
- Answer the onboarding questions or skip them, but choose “blog” when prompted.
- Click “skip” when it comes to choosing your theme. (We’ll get that sorted out later.)
- From the Bluehost dashboard, click the WordPress button on the top right and you’ll be taken to WordPress.
Well done! You now have a self-hosted WordPress blog! 🚀
As far as choosing your domain name, here are a couple of tips:
- Choose a .com domain name if possible.
- Make it short, easy to spell, and pronounce.
- Your domain name should be reflective of what your blog is about so that people can easily find it when they’re searching for topics related to your niche.
- It should be optimized for search engines.
For example, if you want to start a blog about budgeting, you could use a domain name like “BudgetingForBeginners.com” or “LiveOnABudget.com.”
This brings us to Step #2.
Step 2: Choose A Niche For Your Blog
Next, we need to select a topic to create content around. Again, there needs to be a market surrounding the topic of choice as well as products (physical or digital) for us to promote to our future audience.
There are a couple things to consider here:
- What is the market size?
- Do the consumers in the niche have money to spend?
- Are there products that are selling right now in this niche?
- Can I offer a unique perspective or value proposition for these products?
Next, consider your professional leverage and how it sets you apart from anyone trying to enter your market.
Are you a former architect starting a blog about design and household gadgets? What about a veterinarian that wants to create content about training and caring for dogs?
While not necessary, it certainly helps to have a leg up on the competition when entering a niche. If it’s profitable, you can bet there will be plenty of competition.
Step 3: Design Your Website With Divi
Now that you’ve chosen your niche and domain name, it’s time to install WordPress and choose a theme. We recommend using WordPress because it’s the most popular blogging platform (used by 30% of all websites!) and it’s free to use.
Not only is it one of the most economical options for building your blog, it also offers the most features and is very nimble as far as customization, which will pay dividends down the road.
From your WordPress dashboard, you will be able to customize and improve your new blog using a large collection of WordPress plugins to help with things like search engine optimization and site speed.
Bluehost makes it easy to install WordPress with its one-click Install.
So when you log in to WordPress, click “Start Building” and choose “Business” for the type of blog you want to create.
Then, enter your “Site Title” and “Site Description.”
Once you have WordPress set up, play around with the dashboard and familiarize yourself with the platform.
Are you ready to start your blog? Get started for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan) with the link below:
Choose Your Theme
Next, it’s time to choose your WordPress theme! A theme is basically the design and layout of your new blog.
There are free WordPress themes and paid themes, but we recommend using a paid theme because they come with more features and customization options.
Trust us, you will save countless hours and numerous headaches by investing in a popular paid theme like Divi by Elegant Themes.
We started Pursuit of Passive Income with a free theme and spent countless hours working to perfect the design to make our site visually appealing to our readers. Once we had something that was serviceable, we realized the theme didn’t have certain capabilities and customization options we needed to grow our brand.
Ultimately we decided to cut our losses and completely start over from scratch with Divi, which in the end turned out to be a great decision as we still use the Divi Theme today!
Please please do not make the same mistake we did!
This link offers a 20% discount on the Divi Theme for those of you that are ready to get started today!
Once you purchase your theme you will need to install it in WordPress, which is much easier than it may seem.
From your WordPress dashboard, select “Appearance” on the sidebar menu and click “Themes”.
Next, click “Upload Theme” at the top of the page and upload the zip file that you will have downloaded from Elegant Themes.
And there you have it, you’re ready to start creating a beautiful design for your new blog!
Step 4: Create Great Content For Your Blog
Now that you have the appropriate infrastructure and a nice design for your site, it’s time to create blog content for your audience with your first blog post.
We recommend having 5-10 blog articles published at the launch of your blog. These should be packed with value and information, but do not need to be terribly long and time consuming to create.
Do some simple keyword research, select your blog topics, write the post, and try to ensure it is optimized for the search engines so it appears in a Google search.
Depending on how you plan to make money from your blog, you will want to focus your content around your main income driver.
For instance, if you plan to make most of your income from affiliate marketing, at least 70% of your content should be list posts, such as The 7 Best Gaming Chairs Right Now, and the other 30% should be informational content.
On the other hand, if your goal is to sell an online course, you’ll want to provide more informational content with calls to action to sign up for your mailing list, check out your webinar, etc.
Information content includes guides and other how-to posts that allow your readers to learn more about a certain skill or process, just like this post you’re reading!
So again, get those first 5-10 posts up quickly and update them as your audience continues to grow. Remember, while your blog is static in nature it is never a bad idea to refresh your old content as you continue to add new articles and resources to your offerings!
Step 5: Promote Your Blog
Finally, it’s time to start acquiring readers and promote your blog!
There are many ways to get more eyes on your content, but let’s consider the most effective ways to generate consistent readership, which is a key to long term success.
Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and now TikTok are excellent places to share your blog content and connect with potential readers.
There are a number of ways to use social media effectively for promoting your blog, but one of the most important is to be consistent. Post regularly, interact with other users, and create valuable content that will interest your target audience.
Guest posts will produce some of the best ROI for your blog when done at scale. Being featured on other top blogs will generate a consistent stream of new readers and help your domain authority, ultimately increasing your ranking on Google search.
The outreach at the onset will be somewhat tedious, but a consistent focus on writing more guest posts is a major factor for making money online with your blog. Contact other successful bloggers in your niche and offer to write guest posts for their blog, and build as many relationships as you can in the process!
Once you have a few guest blog posts under your belt, the outreach and content creation becomes easier as you go along, creating a snowball effect of growth and profit for your blog!
Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own.
These links are considered to be the currency of the internet.
This is important because it not only helps with referral traffic, but it also increases your domain authority, which in turn will help with search engine optimization.
There are a number of ways to get links to your site, but one of the most effective is to create linkworthy content. This could be in the form of an informative blog post, an insightful video, or even a helpful tool or resource.
Then, reach out to other bloggers and website owners in your niche and let them know about your content. Most of the time, they will be happy to link to it if they believe the content is likely to be consumed by their audience.
Summary: Make Money Blogging
I’m hopeful that a takeaway from this article is that starting a blog is fairly easy!
We were able to set up Pursuit of Passive Income in about a week while working on it in our spare time. That includes the Home & About pages as well as our first 5 posts to fill out our site.
From there, we recommend putting systems in place for generating additional content, while you focus on promoting your new blog!
So to recap, the 5 steps to starting a profitable blog are:
- Set Up Your Blog
- Choose Your Blog’s Niche
- Install WordPress & Choose A Theme
- Create Great Content For Your Blog
- Promote Your Blog
The best advice we can give any aspiring blogger is to START!
If you’ve made it to this point of the article, you’re likely ahead of the pack as you’ve committed yourself to learning how to start your own blog.
So again, while starting can be daunting it is the only available option to you! Take action and learn as you go!
We wish you nothing but success and are here to help in any way that we can.
For you action takers out there that are ready to start your journey towards becoming a successful blogger, Get Started with Bluehost for $2.95/month when you use this link!