PREVIEW: How can you monetize your blog from day one? Keep reading to discover how to start a blog and make money from it.
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For the majority of bloggers, monetization is something they hope for but rarely focus on at the beginning. That's because creating content can be anything but simple.
Starting a blog can seem daunting. You might feel intimidated by the thought of not having a huge network to promote your content or expertise on where to start, let alone how to monetize your blog. You're having to figure out how to get traffic and build an audience simultaneously.
It's important to know that getting traffic is actually quite difficult and time-consuming. You have to put in a lot of work in order to get your blog noticed by search engines and social media platforms. But learning how to start a blog is one of the smartest, most opportunistic things you can do right now. Not that you needed any more convincing as to why you should start a blog. Let's not waste any time. So, here are some ways you can easily monetize your blog from day one.
How can you make money at blogging?
You can start monetizing your blog sooner than you think.
In fact, learning how to monetize your blog from day one is possible.
If you're wondering when to monetize your blog — there's no time like the present.
The reality is, there are bloggers who have been at this blog monetization game for 7+ years and barely make enough money to get a latte (if that).
Learning how to monetize your blog is not rocket science. You just need some strategic monetization strategies, a basic understanding of web design principles, technical SEO knowledge, and high-quality keyword-rich content.
There really aren't any blogger monetization requirements, anyone can learn how to monetize a blog.
If you're skeptical and wondering can you really make money blogging? The answer is yes.
In fact, the top-earning bloggers are making more than $100K a month from their blogs, as outlined in blogger income reports.
In this post, you'll learn:
- How to start a blog
- How to monetize your blog.
- How much content do you need on your blog before you monetize it?
- A brief overview of Google Ads
How do you start a blog?
First, to learn how to start a blog you’ll need:
- A blog name, domain, and web hosting.
- Download a website theme.
- Then get started with SEO, Pinterest, and content.
Since purchasing your domain and hosting is so straightforward, we won’t spend too much time on it.
In short, you can’t have a blog without a domain and hosting.
To make the most money from your blog, you need to have a self-hosted website.
This means that your website doesn’t live on another platform like WordPress.org or Blogspot.
Typically, these domains include the domain.otherplatform.com.
Your web hosting only costs a few dollars a month and ensures that your website is entirely yours.
As your website traffic grows, good web hosting providers like Bluehost provide reliable services based on your web traffic.
How to monetize your blog
There are five main ways to make money blogging:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Digital Advertising
Monetize your blog with products.
Whether you think you can handle eCommerce or not — think again.
There are so many different ways to experiment with a product-based business.
From dropshipping to Amazon FBA and traditional eCommerce fulfillment and manufacturing.
Creating products is a fantastic income stream.
If the thought of physical products feels overwhelming, experiment with selling digital offers and info products.
You might be shocked at what you think up to sell.
Maybe you make incredible notepads, graphics for fun, styling videos, or Instagram filters.
What types of templates do you have that you could publish at mass with simply a digital download?
Monetize your blog selling services.
Offering services is a fantastic revenue stream that can lead to a thriving freelance business and expose you to agency work.
Keep in mind, servicing clients is an experience on its own.
While freelance work can be great. It’s super exciting to start new projects, work with different clients, and create incredible things that vary each day.
While it’s completely possible to have longstanding gigs — it’s all about relationships and networking.
If you’re getting started with freelance work, try out Fiverr. You can set up a gig and start selling your services to work with clients without a website or blog. You can also hire freelancers at shockingly affordable rates.
If you’re soliciting for freelance jobs, your website should be a digital portfolio displaying your best work or demonstrating your hireability. You’ll also want to make sure you download an invoice template to get paid by brands or clients.
Selling your services means that you get to set your hourly wage.
Based on varying skills and your specific knowledge bank, selling your services can be incredibly lucrative.
However, with services, it can be harder to measure what to charge based on your skillset.
With products, you get what’s advertised or pictured.
So you just want to make sure that whatever service you offer, it’s the best experience possible.
In the same way that you would want your website to perform to the best of its ability. You want your services to increase brand awareness, support word of mouth marketing, and lead to long-term retention.
Monetize your blog with affiliate marketing.
If you don't want to monetize your blog with products or services, affiliate marketing is the way.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to make money blogging.
You can also use affiliate links on social media, and grow your email list as a beginner with effective marketing newsletter strategies to monetize your audience in that way.
It’s easy to maximize your affiliate marketing earnings. Simply learn the basics of affiliate marketing to get ahead.
Monetize your blog with sponsored posts.
By working with affiliates, you’ll likely be approached to create sponsored content.
With that said, feel free to pitch brand partners that you’d like to work with yourself.
Tell them you’d like to write about their product or service in exchange for product or payment.
You can also leverage sponsored content for social media, videos, podcast episodes, and any other applicable medium.
Sponsored posts are great ways to add revenue to your blogging income streams.
Sponsored posts are still considered ads in that you would disclose to your audience you are being paid to mention the brand or product.
Ideally, the sponsored content would also have relevance to the audience in some way.
Building up relationships with your affiliate partners is a great way to establish high-paying sponsored posts as your traffic grows.
The bonus win-win for sponsored content with your affiliate partners is that it becomes evergreen content and includes your affiliate links. Providing you with recurring revenue on a regular basis.
Once the article is published, reach out to your affiliate partners and ask them to share the product-focused post to their socials and link back to your site.
Monetize your blog with digital advertising.
Digital advertising networks display ads on your site and in return, you earn a commission from clicks, impressions, or sales.
With that said, monetizing your blog with digital ads is a process and can take time.
Remember, there are two types of bloggers or online influencers out there:
Those that think once they reach a certain amount of pageviews, then they’ll think about affiliate marketing and launching a product, and those that do before they have the traffic.
See, the problem with digital ads is that your revenue will fluctuate based on traffic.
One Google or Pinterest algorithm update and you’re looking at astronomical traffic drops.
Worse — if you're barely ranking on search engines then digital ads won't work for you.
Your digital ad revenue is heavily dependent on website traffic.
That’s why the most important thing with starting a profitable blog relies on strategies to drive traffic.
In short, digital ads don't bring any benefit unless your site is getting a healthy amount of web traffic.
To apply for premium ad networks (which typically pay more), you need a certain amount of pageviews to be approved.
This is a challenge if you’re only learning how to start a blog.
It can take time to build up website traffic.
In short, it’s dangerous thinking to rely on ad money as your main source of blog income. You want many streams of income.
FYI, you can apply for Google AdSense with only about 5-7 blog posts and minimal web traffic to monetize your blog right away.
How much content do you need on your blog before you monetize it?
There are bloggers making more than $10K/mo with only 30-40 blog posts published.
You might be thinking to double-down on this strategy and post 3x as much on your blog, but keep reading.
According to the research, once you’ve developed about 24-51 posts, your blog traffic can grow by up to 30%. (Source: Traffic Generation Cafe)
So, before you start thinking you need to push out content 3x a day like a media empire, take a breather.
Try focusing on quality over quantity.
Updating old content is one of the biggest traffic generators for super successful bloggers.
In fact, every compounding blog post drives as much traffic as 6 regular or “decaying” blog posts. (Source: 2016, Hubspot)
PSA once again: you can make money from your blog from day one — without joining a premium ad network and with minimal content!
How to get started with Google AdSense.
You should have a decent amount of authoritative, credible content on your website before the AdSense program will approve your site.
At a minimum, aim to apply to Google AdSense once you have at least 5-7 blog posts on your website.
You may need to ask your web developer or use a header/footer plugin to insert the Google AdSense code between your <head> tags on your site.
By your fourth month of blogging, you should be getting enough pageviews to apply for larger ad networks like Mediavine.
On more premium ad networks like Mediavine and AdThrive, you can earn 5-10x more. Typically, larger ad networks pay more compared to Google AdSense alone.
Keep in mind, anytime you're allowing ads on your website, it's impacting user-experience (UX).
You don't want your website to come across as spammy with a bunch of blinking buttons, pop-ups, or ads that make it difficult to close and exit out of.
With blogging, your audience and their UX should be your top priority.
Ultimately, without an audience, you won't have a successful blog or get any web traffic.
How can you make money blogging without ads?
Now, let’s consider a world without ads. This is really important to remember.
Remember, advertisers can drop you at any second, for any reason.
Further, your website traffic will dictate your advertising success. So you never want to rely on ad money alone.
Ad money is supplementary passive income.
Said another way, ads should be your pocket money, not your bread and butter.
Back in the day, the blogging formula went like this:
- Write content.
- Get traffic.
- Monetize your blog with ads.
The thing is, you can’t control traffic.
Writing SEO keyword-rich content is one piece of the puzzle, yes.
Except spending all your time creating highly valuable content for your audience, posting it to socials, and praying to the search engine gods that they will find it and send all the traffic your way is a hopeless cause.
The problem with digital ads to monetize your blog.
Traffic from search engines takes time.
You don’t want to find yourself on month 9 of learning how to start a blog and still only getting 100 pageviews a month.
Moreover, after you do start making money from digital advertising you realize a few things.
- The demand for more traffic will never end.
- You’re bringing in a lot of traffic and could be making more money per site visitor.
On average, most bloggers make about $10-20 RPM (RPM is revenue per 1,000 impressions). This means that for every 1,000 pageviews, you’re making about $1000 - $2000, approximately.
For 100,000 people and you’re only making about $0.01 - $0.02 per person.
If you want to go from making $1,000 - $10,000 you would need 10x the amount of people!
That’s why you should try to make a sale for every site visitor you get.
It makes it incredibly hard to scale your blog with ad revenue alone.
Is blogging profitable in 2021?
To monetize your blog you need to create more than one revenue stream.
Having affiliate partnerships, digital ads, plus products, and services you can sell (either digital or manufactured through a supplier) are all revenue streams to make money blogging in 2021.
Remember, when you have more than one income stream, you aren’t relying on one source to pay your bills.
If anything goes south, you have a backup income source.
Like any market, the online space can be… volatile, unexpected, and ever-evolving.
If you don’t want to get involved with products or services yet, understandable.
Product development takes time and working with clients to provide services is another time-consuming chapter. Make this decision based on where you’re at in the journey of monetizing your blog.
With that said, if you want to start earning money fast then double-down on affiliate marketing.
Promoting other people's products is an awesome way to monetize your blog with minimal effort or liability.
Plus, you can earn way more through affiliate marketing compared to digital advertising. Learn the basics of affiliate marketing to find out how.
Remember, it's best to create a combination of revenue streams.
Monetize your blog with products, services, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and digital ads for optimal success.
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