Learn how to monetize a blog in this easy step-by-step guide that will break down making money with a blog in today’s saturated blog market.
A good majority of bloggers get into this field with a view to eventually make some money on their blogs. Is this you too? Perhaps you’ve always had a blog and are just now deciding to make money blogging or perhaps you’ve not yet started your blog but you’re researching options for making money online.
Whatever the case, this post will show you how to monetize a blog using the quickest way that’s worked for me over different niches. I currently run three blogs, this one, a health and wellness blog and a general lifestyle blog focused more on beauty, fashion and Jamaica, where I’m from.
Each one is monetized differently and earns a different level of income. Today I’ll take you through what I believe is the quickest path to earning income from a blog.
Start a Self-Hosted Blog
First things first, you’ll want to ensure your blog is not on a free platform like wordpress.com. WordPress and other free options will greatly limit your monetization options. You also don’t own your content when you’re on a free platform and you definitely want ownership over your hard work. So before you begin to monetise your blog, be sure to follow this WordPress self-hosting tutorial to start a blog or set yours up properly to make money online.
There are lots of other reasons why you would want to make sure your blog is self-hosted, here are a few. Take ownership of your content and control over your income by going self-hosted immediately before you think about monetization, especially if you want to place ads or work with brands. Siteground is the host I use for all of my blogs because they are reliable and their customer service is quick and efficient.
Blogging is STILL one of the best ways to make a fulltime income online. Take my free course How to Start a Profitable Blog today to learn how to create a blog that makes money from the start.
The Main Ways Bloggers Make Money
There are 4 main ways bloggers make money and I wrote about them extensively so I’ll just briefly list them below:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Working with brands (sponsored posts)
- Your own products and services
I’ve listed them above in the order that I believe is the quickest way to begin making money as a blogger. Immediately after creating a blog and writing some great posts on it, I always add Adsense ads on my blogs. This way, as I begin to build my community, traffic and readership, readers become accustomed to seeing ads on my blog. I won’t suddenly shock them with an influx of ads once the traffic grows beyond Adsense and I’m ready to move on to a better ad network.
But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Let’s follow the path to blog monetization.
How to Monetize a Blog
- Set-up a blog
- Write killer content that is optimized both for search engines and for Pinterest
- Set-up email capture and welcome series
- Market your blog posts to get more traffic
- Add ads to your blog
- Include affiliate links in your blog post
- Join brand networks and begin pitching brands with your media kit
- Create your own product or offer services
The above is a blueprint you can follow to begin making money on your blog from day one. This is the method I use whenever I set up a new blog and they usually go on to make at least $100 in the first month.
Let’s talk about these steps in more detail.
Content Creation for Quick Blog Traffic
I spoke about step 1 already in the bit about going self-hosted so let’s jump into step 2. When I start a new blog, I voraciously pump out content for that blog that I know will do well and attract crazy Pinterest traffic.
This means I am using the Skyscraper Technique outlined here to find content that’s already doing well in my niche.
I am known to create at least 50 posts within the first 30 days of a brand new blog. All 50 posts are on topics I know will do well on Pinterest, because Pinterest is going to be my first focus to bring traffic to the blog.
Pinterest loves content creators and
If you can add one new pin to Pinterest every single day within the first 30 days of your blog, your traffic will steadily increase to the level you need it to be to get into a good ad network.
Get my Pinterest overview here and for more detail of my Pinterest money-making strategy, you’ll want to grab my Pinterest eBook.
Email List-Building for Blogs
Before I actually start marketing my posts, I want to make sure I have an opt-in on my blog, ready to capture the emails of the traffic I’m expecting.
Big money is in your email list when you figure out how to communicate with your email subscribers so I don’t want to leave this out when I’m setting up a blog. My last blog grew to over 400 subscribers in the first 15 days because a pin went viral right out the gate and brought in an avalanche of traffic.
Take my free 5day list-building course if you’re not sure about email marketing yet. Start with Mailerlite as your email service provider (ESP) as they are free up to your first 1000 subscribers and the most affordable ESP on the market after that. They have all the tools and features you need to capture emails and send automated newsletters to your subscribers.
I use Mailerlite for new blogs until they start making money then I switch them over to Convertkit because they have more robust features and make my life just a little bit easier when it comes to email marketing for bloggers.[mailerlite_form form_id=14]
Need more traffic to your blog? Are you using Pinterest to get massive traffic for FREE from the platform? Learn how to use Pinterest the right way in my Pinterest for Blog Traffic course! This course is only $49 and will become your best tool to increase your blog traffic quickly!
Set-Up Ads When the Traffic Starts Rolling In
I rely on Pinterest and Facebook Groups for bloggers to bring in my first visitors. Once I begin to have some hits on my blog, I immediately set up Adsense to monetize some of that blog traffic and as said above, to familiarise visitors with the look of ads on my blog.
Google Adsense is an ad network owned by Google that doesn’t have a threshold for minimum visits on your blog before they approve you. They do want to see that you’re serious about blogging though so they won’t approve you when you’re brand new. This is why it’s best to wait until you have some posts up on your blog and some traffic coming in first.
Once you hit 25,000 visits on your blog within a 30 day period, you can apply for Mediavine. This is another ad network however they have that minimum threshold and their RPMs are much higher than Google’s. RPM means revenue per thousand impressions, which is the price ad networks pay you each time their ads are seen 1000 times. For Google, this tends to stay quite low.
I’ve managed to get up to maybe $8 per 1000 views when my visitors are in the one thousand per day range, however, if you’re able to maintain a traffic threshold over 1000 visitors per day, then that’s enough to get into Mediavine. Their RPM is usually over $10 and get’s quite higher depending on your niche. Therefore, the aim is to get your traffic to 1000 daily hits within a 30 day period as quickly as possible. Pinterest usually does this for me.
For some simple math, if you’re getting 25,000 visitors every 30 days to your blog and your RPM is $10, then you stand to make $250 each month from the ad network. Popular niches can command a much higher RPM.
Read next: How to Monetize a Lifestyle Blog
Adding in Affiliate Links to Your Blog Posts
When your traffic begins to roll in, now is the time to start adding affiliate links to your blog posts. Companies also like to see some traffic on your blog and a healthy amount of blog posts before they accept you as an affiliate, hence the wait.
I generally begin with the Amazon affiliate network and also some partners in the Shareasale affiliate network. These two are the easiest networks to begin with when you’re new.
Check out this post on affiliate marketing for more details on how to be successful with this blog monetization method.
Brand Networks and Your Own Products
At this point, you can add another layer of monetization to your blog. Some may choose to work with brands to produce sponsored content. If this is for you, you’ll want to Google some networks that accept bloggers for this purpose and begin working on your media kit. Two search terms that will show you networks to join are “brand networks for bloggers” and “sponsored posts networks”.
A media kit is simply a PDF document that outlines your blog, what you write about, your monthly stats, your followers and past work you’ve done before. You can use Canva to create this. If you’ve never worked with a brand, outline what type of sponsored work you’re looking for and what you can offer to a brand.
You can also choose to create your own product. This can be in the form of something as simple as a printable, some stock photography or a design that others can use on their own blogs. You can also create a course on a platform like Thinkific. They handle hosting your course whether video or text or a mixture of both and also handle payments and affiliates for you all for an affordable cost.
Related: 10 Ways to Make Money with Thinkific
Another option is to create an ebook and sell it using a platform like Sendowl. They host your book and handle sales and affiliates for you as well.
Creating your own product or offering a service, like I do with blog coaching, is a great way to make more money from your blog once you’ve built your traffic and community up to a relatively larger level and you’re wanting to keep more of the profits in-house than affiliate marketing offers.
This is usually the path I take to monetise my blogs and it works for me every time. I hope you picked up a tip or two to implement on your own blog and if you’re a brand new blogger, I wish you much success with this method as it does for me.
I’d love it if you shared this post with your audience! Let’s chat, leave a comment below with any questions or reach out to me in my Help a Blogger Out Facebook Group. If traffic is an issue for you, be sure to join my free blog traffic challenge here.
This is such great information for new bloggers. You’ve made it much easier to understand.
This was very helpful as I am in the infancy stage of my blog and have no idea how to create traffic or even grow a small online presence. Some of the info was still way over my head 🙂 but I’ll get there soon. This was very informative! 🙂
Happy it helped a little Angel. Would love to know which parts were confusing so i can help explain better. You can also join my FB group too, I do frequent trainings in the group that would be helpful to you
Wauw this was so useful! I’m definitely going to use google Adsense in the future!
Happy to help Annaleid
Great information! I feel like I finally have a clear direction to take with my blog. Thanks so much!
This is so great to hear Kristi
Thanks for the Mediavine shoutout in a great informational post!
I’m Jenny, Mediavine’s Marketing Associate, and our mission is creating sustainable businesses for content creators.
We like to say that ads are just the beginning. Once your application is approved and we’re done implementing and configuring your ads (which we handle for you, with a single piece of code added to the header of your site), we’re really just getting started.
Mediavine’s publisher support team is available around the clock to troubleshoot any issues you might encounter with ads, as well as proactively help get the most out of your blog.
Through site speed optimizations, our dashboard, help articles, health checks, custom videos, influencer marketing, and countless other initiatives, we never stop working for you.
If anyone has questions, we’re available 7 days a week at email@example.com
Thanks for all the great additional info on what Mediavine offers Jenny! I’m working hard to get my lifestyle blogs in your network
Thanks so much for sharing such helpful & informative information. As a new blogger, I feel like I finally found a great post that I can follow.
This is a brilliant post for new bloggers, sometimes it is hard for people to work out the basics of monetising their blog and then give up too quickly.
You have great stats for a new website and now you have showed other bloggers how.
Thanks for the article. It has some great tips!!
Thanks for all the tips!! Great advice for novice bloggers 🙂
This is super informational. I saved this and will be referencing it to monetize my blog. Thanks!
This has answered all the questions i have in mind about monetizing the blog. Thanks you for explainig it in laymans terms. Cheers!
Wow, this is such a fantastic and in-depth post! Thank you so much for taking the time to put it together and go into this amount of detail for the rest of us. It’s very helpful!
Thanks for the tips! I’m really trying to work on my Pinterest and organic traffic. Sometimes it can be a bit discouraging but I’m going to keep trying!
Thanks for the solid information Mo. This is everything a newbie and novice blogger needs to really get a true understanding of monetization in detail. Thanks again!
Thank you very much for all of your suggestions! You’ve given great advice and in-depth post for new bloggers to read, a very beneficial guide.