I started blogging back in 2009 when I was about to finish grad school and was in desperate need of a hobby. I’d had a couple of casual blogs here and there. One weekend, it occurred to me that maybe I should start a blog about my love of bargain shopping where I could share some of my favorite deals and coupons. So excited was I about this new endeavor that I didn’t sleep that weekend and I went from concept to launch within two days. (Clearly I didn’t have kids yet!) I mean, my blog wasn’t pretty (it had clipart pigs on it, for crying out loud), but it was there.
I fully launched the blog thinking it would be nothing more than a hobby but after about two weeks I started wondering about how to make money blogging. Should I go after sponsors? Should I sell ad space? I researched a bunch of different options before stumbling upon affiliate marketing.
When I was first starting my blog, I had a full-time job and I was still in school so the amount of time I had to commit to things like finding sponsors was extremely limited. For this reason, affiliate marketing really appealed to me. When done properly, affiliate marketing can lead to passive income, also known as income you don’t have to work too hard to receive. I’m guessing this is something almost all of us could use, right? Since my money tree was slow in arriving (and still isn’t here), the idea of passive income seemed like a great opportunity.
The way affiliate marketing works is that you place links on your blog and then advertisers pay you a commission when your readers click those links and make purchases. Those links may yield you (passive) income for years, depending on what you write. Years after you write a post someone might find it, click a link, make a purchase and put money in your pocket.
Cha-ching! It doesn’t get much better than that!
Affiliate marketing is hard to explain to those who aren’t doing it. Believe me. Every single one of my family members have asked me to explain it at least 20 times each over the years. I’ve found that the best way to explain it is to say that affiliate marketing is like being a salesperson who works on commission except that it happens online, and leave it at that. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me how much inventory I keep at home and how I know what people are going to want to buy.
Even if you’re not fully sure what affiliate marketing is yet, here’s what I can tell you:
If you want a way to monetize your blog in a way that gives you 100 percent control over what you publish, affiliate marketing is for you.
Affiliate marketing is also for you if you want to write about the brands and products of your choosing and don’t yet have the readership or clout to approach the brand directly about a partnership. And, it’s for you if you do have the numbers to reach out to them!
It is also for you if, as I said above, you have an interest in passive income. Since I stand by my statement that all of us have an interest in passive income, affiliate marketing is ideal for anyone with a blog.
Assuming, then, that you’re here because you’re a blogger, these are the six main themes we are going to return to constantly on this site that all go together to help you work toward whatever your blogging goals may be but are especially designed to help you make money blogging:
- How to Start a Successful Blog
- How to Craft & Optimize Quality Blog Posts
- How to Become an Affiliate Marketer
- Additional Ways to Make Money Blogging
- Using Social Media to Grow Your Network & Promote Your Posts
1. How to Start a Successful Blog
Though it’s not going to be a huge focal point for this blog, the first step to making money from your blog is to actually start a blog. It’s so easy to start a blog these days and we’re going to share a few tips here and there to help get you up and running.
Posts to check out:
- Blogger vs. WordPress.org: Which is Better for a New Blogger?
- How to Create a Successful Blog Strategy
- Privacy & Disclosure Policies: Everything You Need to Know
- 7 Tips for Choosing a Perfect Blog Name
- What to Do Before You Write Your First Blog Post
2. How to Craft & Optimize Quality Blog Posts
In order to start making money from your blog and become a professional blogger you must craft quality blog posts. Quality might vary from niche to niche (for instance, what’s considered “quality” for a coupon blog is probably vastly different from a quality travel blog), but with every post you need to strive to be the best in your niche that you can be. You need to be an authority and let your knowledge of your blogging topic shine through in your posts.
Posts to Check Out:
- How to Write a Successful About Page
- 23 Sites Where You Can Get Free Stock Images for Your Blog
- How to Optimize Your Blog Images for Search Engines
3. How to Become an Affiliate Marketer
There are lots of ways that bloggers can make money. Yes, you can wait for sponsors to find you one day, or you can start using affiliate links on your blog today! Truly – There are a few affiliate marketing networks that you can register for today and begin placing links on your site immediately! I love affiliate marketing because it truly allows you to be your own boss and the amount that you make can be a direct correlation to how much time you invest in your blog.
And, once you get the hang of it, making money via affiliate marketing can be exhilarating! Even more exhilarating? Realizing that you could possibly make money on that one post for years to come! Passive income like this isn’t an option in any of the other options for making money from a blog, which is the number one reason I am such a huge advocate of affiliate marketing.
You know what they say:
Affiliate marketing embodies this mantra in its entirety.
Posts to Check Out:
- What Is Affiliate Marketing?
- The Major Affiliate Networks You Need to Know
- What’s the Difference Between RewardStyle & ShopStyle
4. Additional Ways to Make Money Blogging
While affiliate marketing is my preferred way of making money on my blogs and is something I highly recommend ALL bloggers should consider, there are tons of other ways to make money from your blog and social media outlets. We will discuss things like building relationships with traditional advertisers, sponsored posts, which social media sites are best for monetizing and more.
Posts to Check Out:
5. Using Social Media to Grow Your Network & Promote Your Posts
It doesn’t matter how great your posts are if you don’t have anyone to read them. Sure, you can optimize your posts for SEO, but you can also work to grow a network of dedicated readers through the various social media outlets. We will be sharing tips, tricks, and best practices for all of the sites that will help you grow your network AND promote your blog posts.
Posts to Check Out:
- Social Media Sites All Bloggers Should Be Using
- Pinfinite Growth Review: AKA How to be a Pinterest Superstar
- Everything You Need to Know to Get More Instagram Followers
- Curious About the Instagram Follow/Unfollow Method? Check Out InstaRevealed
I’ve been blogging for a long time and one of the things that has always confounded me is why so many bloggers are unwilling to share their secrets to success. I don’t consider any bloggers to be competitors and here’s why: There’s room for all of us to be successful!
I very much want you to be successful and will do what I can to make that happen. I’ve been where you likely are now. I like to try everything when it comes to blogging and I can’t read enough. I want to be successful and I want you to be successful. I want all of us to be living our dreams.
Posts to Check Out:
- Recommended Blogging Tools
- CoSchedule is the Best Editorial Calendar for Bloggers
- There’s No Such Thing As Overnight Success
Ultimately, my goal with this site is to show you how to make money blogging and to ensure that you are successful in all six of these areas. Only when all of these areas come together will you truly be on the path to not only making money from your blog but also, if you wish, becoming a professional blogger.