When you’re thinking about starting a blog, you might feel as though you get a lot of conflicting advice. Half the time, you’ll hear that blogging is dead. The other half? They say you can get rich doing it. These mixed messages can derail even the most dedicated would-be blogger. Every time you lose motivation you’ll start questioning whether there’s any point to blogging these days anyway. So is blogging worth it?
Absolutely. If you’re looking to gain visibility online, become an authority, and make some serious cash, blogging can be a solid route. It’s not easy though.
While starting a blog is simple, it’s the perseverance and strategy that will get you results. Blogging is a long-term job if you want to make money from it so if you’re willing to put in the time, you can make it work.
Keep reading to find out how to make money from blogging so you can build a strategy that works.
1. Sell Products
Selling products is one of the best ways to make money from your blog. That’s because you’re in charge of what you sell and get to keep the profit.
You can sell almost anything through your blog, including:
- Physical products
- Digital downloads
- Consultation services
To sell products successfully through your blog, you’ll first need to generate an audience. This is really where the blogging itself comes in.
When you start your blog, it’s good to have an idea of what the product is that you eventually want to sell. This way, you can orientate your content to attract the audience who will buy your products when they come up for sale.
There’s no use blogging about gardening for a year only to decide you want to sell secondhand games consoles. Your gardening audience (probably) won’t be interested!
This is why it’s important to have a business plan for your blog to guide you and keep you on an efficient path.
Choose the products or types of products you want to sell and focus all of your blogging towards the same audience. Over time, you can build an enthusiastic following who’ll be ready to buy what you’re selling.
2. Get Writing Offers
Almost every blog out there relies heavily on text, even if it features plenty of video and imagery too. As building a dedicated audience takes time and a considerable amount of content, your blog writing skills will become honed, even if you’ve never written much before.
Bloggers don’t have to be the next Tolstoy. Instead, they need to talk to their audience in a relatable way so they can build a meaningful connection.
When you develop a skilled writing technique and become known in your niche, you can start seeking out writing opportunities and have them come to you as well.
Many businesses need content, from other blogs to major publications. If you develop a name for yourself, you could get paid writing opportunities elsewhere.
These could include:
- Writing articles on other blogs and websites
- Magazine commissions
- Freelance writing work
- Book deals
Of course, these things don’t just happen when you begin blogging. You’ll need to dedicate time and effort to writing engaging, shareable content in your own voice.
3. Get Speaking Gigs
Being a public speaker might terrify you or be something you’ve always wanted to do. Or both!
As a blogger, you’ll have a niche that you’ll work at becoming an expert in if you’re not already. The longer you blog for and the bigger an audience you generate, the more of an authority figure you’ll become.
If it exists, someone out there will need a speaker on it. If you’ve carved out an audience for yourself through your blog, you can bet some of those people would love to hear you speak on the subject.
Businesses often bring in speakers to motivate or educate their workforce. They might want a talk that appeals to their entire staff or just a select team.
In your realm of expertise, write a list of businesses that you could deliver speeches to. Which companies have employees that need your knowledge?
Corporate speaking gigs can pay a considerable amount of money and the more you do, the more you can typically charge.
Speaking to Students
Speaking in educational establishments doesn’t tend to pay as well as corporate gigs and sometimes it’s done for free. This could be a great way to get started in speaking off the back of your blog though.
You could offer to give talks to students if your niche is a career sector they might go into. By pitching talks with your blog to back up your authority, you can give your time to schools and colleges and get testimonials and film clips in return.
How to Get Started in Speaking
Your blog will be the home of your business, whether that business is selling products, affiliate marketing, or your expertise. That means you can use it to get speaking gigs too.
Build a “Speaking” page on your blog and write a short description of the kinds of talks you give and who you give them to. If you’ve already given talks, no matter how small, list them there under “Previous Talks”. All experience counts here.
You can write blog posts that mention your speaking and drive more traffic to your new speaking page. This will alert your audience that you’re also a speaker as well as an expert blogger.
If you haven’t done any talks yet, it’s time to pitch yourself.
The Toastmasters organization is a brilliant place to get started with public speaking, even if you feel pretty confident already. Becoming a skilled speaker rather than a mediocre one will pay you much more down the line.
You can volunteer to give a short talk at networking events nearby, pitch a talk to a local school or college, or even set up your own event.
Always have somebody film your talks in high quality and try to get as many testimonials as possible. You can add video clips and testimonials to your blog and impress people looking for speakers in your niche.
4. Monetize Your Blog
Many bloggers build a blog and begin monetizing it straight away. While this can work, often it comes across as a little aggressive. The best way to monetize a blog is to become an expert on your subject and give content generously to readers first.
That doesn’t mean you should forget about monetizing your blog in the beginning though. The first step of monetizing your blog is one of the most important.
Having an email subscription sign-up feature is one of the first things you should implement when you build your blog. While you might not collect too many emails at first, you never know who’ll want to stay updated with your content.
People subscribe to your blog when you’re writing about something they value. They might not want to check back every day for a new blog post, so they subscribe to guarantee they receive the latest posts when you hit publish.
When you create your email subscription form, always make sure you outline that you’ll be sending great newsletters to them.
With an email list, you have an audience who’ve already told you they want to hear more from you. Do you see how valuable that can be?
When you begin monetizing your blog, selling products or doing speaking gigs, you can let your audience know right in their inbox.
When you’ve grown your audience, you can begin monetizing your blog in earnest. By consistently putting out great, high-value content, your audience will trust you.
If you’re a beginner in this, I have a great affiliate marketing post just for you. Affiliate marketing allows you to refer your audience to somebody else’s products. When they make a sale from your referral, you get a small commission.
Many bloggers make their income exclusively from affiliate marketing which is great if they’ve built a genuine, useful blog that helps people. It’s not so great when someone builds a blog purely for this purpose as the reader will know that it’s not genuine.
The key to being successful in affiliate marketing is this:
Always recommend products and services you believe in.
When you follow this rule, your audience will continue to trust what you say and recommend because you’re being honest with them. Done right, affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your blog.
From Google Ads to private ads, this is another solid way to monetize your blog. It has a similar story to affiliate marketing because you always want to put your reader first.
If you flood your blog with ads, your audience will run for the hills. Instead, try to use ads that are specifically relevant to your niche.
As your blog grows, companies will begin to approach you for advertising space. This means you can charge more for relevant companies to advertise on your blog as you have a mutual audience.
While getting to this level takes time, it’s worth in the long run. When you keep the trust of your audience, you’ll earn far more money from your blog.
Yup, you read that right. You can make money from blogging through donations. Some blogs run entirely off donations and their authors make a lot of money. Of course, it’s not as simple as having a “donate now” button.
To make money from donations, you need to be offering your audience something they value enough to want to donate.
A great example of offering value is by creating a newsletter that people love.
When you’re creating blog content, you’ll be drawing in a larger and larger audience who come to enjoy your posts. You’ll be giving away all this information for free. While blog posts are free to access, by creating a high-value newsletter, you can show your audience that you go a step further.
A great example of newsletters that tend to draw in donations is those that curate information. Some bloggers create weekly jobs newsletter, where they send out a list of all the amazing jobs in their niche.
Bloggers might scour LinkedIn, Twitter, and other tough-to-search places to find these jobs. As this takes time, the audience receiving the newsletter know that the information they’re getting is valuable.
Providing valuable information each week in a newsletter is a great way to show how much you can offer your audience. When you ask for donations, it might surprise you at how many people appreciate your effort and donate.
Asking for regular donations each week, even just $1 a week, can soon bring in significant amounts of money.
Using a crowdfunding donation site like Patreon allows you to offer different benefits depending on the level of donation you receive from each person. You can create private YouTube videos just for those who donate or offer a fifteen-minute consultation a month.
Donations can be a brilliant way to keep your blog free for those who can’t afford to pay but still make money from those who can.
Is Blogging Worth It? Always!
If you’ve been reading about starting a blog, it’s understandable to ask is blogging worth it? Sure, there’s a lot of competition, but there is in every industry on the planet.
There are a variety of ways to make money blogging and when you use your blog as your base online, you can see how versatile it is. Become an authority and get speaking gigs, receive article commissions, and sell your own products.
The best way to make money from blogging is to consistently publish great content and build a loyal audience. If you do that, money-making opportunities will keep arising.
Always aim to keep your audience’s trust and only publish content that you honestly believe in. High-quality blogging is far from dead.
If you want to make money online, check out my free marketing guides. By learning as much as possible at the beginning, you can implement a blogging strategy that pays off.