It’s no longer a secret that blogging can be a lucrative business. What was once seen as a hobby now most certainly has the potential to become a legitimate job.
A successful blogger can have a reliable income from their content creation. Learning the tips and tricks from how to do it successfully and make money is the key to your own success.
The joy of content publishing as a profession is that you can do what you love for a living. However if you aren’t passionate about what you’re posting, it’ll quickly become apparent in your content. Dull, lazy content churned out in the hopes of making money will never be the hallmark of a successful content site.
While we know making money is essential for the non-luxuries in life like paying bills and buying food, I would say it shouldn’t be your primary motivator when starting out.
The first few months of blogging will be tough, so those who are just in it for the cash will quickly be weeded out.
How To Get Started & Get Paid
In order to become a content publisher who makes money, you have to complete three key steps.
- The first is starting your site
- The second is growing your readership and audience
- The third is deciding on and implement your money making strategies.
Here’s what you need to know..
The Basics: Starting Your Site
It may sound obvious, but starting your content website is the only way to reach your goal of eventually getting paid for it. Here are the dos and don’ts.
Finding Your Niche
The most important aspect of starting is figuring out exactly what it’s going to be about. Do you want to run a site about travel for instance? Or perhaps you think finance blogging may be for you. Even if you don’t want to fit your content to any one category totally, you still want it to have a unifying feel.
This can be done with your writing voice, your point of view, and the general scope of your content. In order to make your content successful, you need to find its market niche and position it accordingly.
The Technical Aspects
Setting up a website can seem like a tricky prospect, but it can actually be done quite quickly and easily.
If you are happy to go with a free blogging option (and for beginners, this can be quite normal), you can simply create your blog through a site such as WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr.
If you want to host your site, so only your title appears in the URL (and you have more control), this can be a little more complicated but still manageable.
(Note: This is the option we recommend for bloggers looking to make money 🙂
There are a huge variety of web hosting providers to pick from. Choose where to purchase your domain name and begin with your chosen hosting account.
Invest In Your Content and Website
Don’t forget that in order to make money, you have to invest. While this isn’t strictly true in terms of blogging, it’s rare that you can grow your readership totally free of charge. There are services for which hiring a professional can end up paying for itself, for example in your website’s design.
If you want it to be your profession, your content and website simple must look professional.
Another type of investment you must make in your content is that of time. Starting and growing a website can be extremely time-consuming and difficult. The first couple of months will likely be fairly rough.
You’ll be working long hours for what will seem like little or no reward. Turning your blog into a business is not easy, and the vast majority of times the trajectory fails during these first few months, as people just give up.
If you’re serious about making money as a blogger, perseverance is essential.
Aside from having the bare bones of an idea for your content, and the technical means of getting your website live and online, there are extra things you can do to boost the potential success of your blog.
If your content is high quality and varied, then the next step you’ll need to consider is growing your audience and readership. The vast majority of blog income relies on a large and loyal readership.
Stage Two: Growth
After you have your site up and running, you need to grow a large audience in order to one day be able to generate income. Here are some of the best ways to efficiently boost your readership.
An Effective Posting Schedule
One thing which can really help grow your audience is maintaining a steady posting schedule. It doesn’t need to be every day (which can lead to lower quality content) but a couple of posts per week is recommended.
Putting in the time now is the key to making money blogging later. If your audience knows they can rely on frequent new posts, they’ll be much more likely to check back in the future.
Social Media Promotion
Growing your readership is everything in terms of getting paid. One of the most important ways to gain new readers and grow your following is through social media.
Your blog should have as wide a web presence as possible. Make social media accounts for your brand on as many platforms as possible.
You need to put in time promoting your brand and new content posts, in order to make them as easy for readers to find as possible.
Search Engine Optimization
Another way to draw readers to your website is by making it easy to find via search engines.
To do this, you need to find out what sort of topics people are searching for online, then tailor posts to cater to these search terms. You can find popular and trending topics using tools such as Google Analytics and BuzzSumo.
By including these search terms in your articles or posts (particularly titles and headings), you can make sure your content is favored by search engines. This means it will appear higher up on lists of search results, and thus people are more likely to click on it.
Alongside social media and search engine optimization, another way to grow your audience is by connecting with the blogging community.
Whether you choose to write about beauty, travel, books or any other specialized topic, there will be a community centered around your topic subset.
Reach out to other bloggers at a similar level to you, and consider collaborating with them. This will help you grow and will bring fresh ideas to your audience.
Stage Three: Starting To Monetize
After your site is up and running with a growing and engaged audience, this is the time you can start to consider monetization.
Making money through a website is never as simple as one paycheck – bloggers can earn their money from a variety of sources. Taking advantage of as many income streams as possible tends to be the best way to turn content publishing into a viable income, so diversify as much as possible.
Here are some of the most lucrative methods..
Advertising is usually the first step bloggers take to generate an income from their site – although “advertising” encapsulates many different money-making options. One easy way to begin generating (a usually quite small amount of) money is by selling ad space on your website. Then, depending on how many clicks you get, you can earn small ad revenue. Advertising networks such as Google Adsense are a great way for beginners to start generating income.
One of the best ways for smaller publishers to start making money is through affiliate marketing. One simple way to start implementing affiliate marketing is through using links.
You can make your links affiliated to you, and if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase, then you can earn a small commission. It’s a very small amount of money, but over time it can add up to make a more significant source of income.
If you gain a loyal readership, you could consider making a subscription service for those who wish to access more (and more exclusive) content from you. You can create an email mailing list and charge readers a small fee to subscribe. Through this subscription list, you can promise your fans extra content per month.
Donation programs online have become very popular lately. Patreon is one of at the forefront. These are ways to ask your audience to help you out in your journey to blogging success, and often deliver fairly good results. You can offer special incentives to encourage readers to donate, such as a free gift or bonus post.
Brand Deals & Sponsorships
As your audience grows, so does your ability to act as an influencer, and brands will take notice of this. Sometimes PR for brands will reach out to successful websites directly to work on specific paid posts or campaigns. But you can also reach out to specific brands you think may work well with your content (and therefore your own brand). Brands love influencers at the moment, and by finding a good fit for you, you open your website up to tons of paid opportunities.
However, it’s important never to give the impression of selling out and accepting any paid offer available to you. Make sure you retain your integrity and avoid the impression of money-grabbing. This can end up costing you in terms of your readership – which you must remember is the reason you’re getting these money-making opportunities!
Contests or Giveaways
Another way to make money through branded content is by creating contests and giveaways in association with a sponsoring brand. This is a great way to work advertising into your blog, as it’s less likely to annoy an audience if they have an opportunity to win free stuff. Again, though, make sure it makes sense within the context of your content.
If you really enjoy the writing side of content publishing, you could consider monetizing that particular skill. There are many ways to find freelance blogging jobs online, and people will pay for high-quality writing on a range of topics. Job boards such as Indeed are a great way to start searching out these writing gigs, which can end up generating a fairly decent income.
Another means of making money through your website is by selling services. This can be done through online courses, events, consulting, and workshops. You could even consider putting together and hosting a larger event with tickets.
For bigger bloggers, selling merchandise can be a particularly lucrative means of income. It can be something as generic as a t-shirt, or something more closely connected to your personal niche. Selling physical products comes with a whole new range of skills you’ll need to learn, but can certainly be worth it is the market is there.
Use Your Content as a Springboard
If your site is closely focused on a certain industry, you can use the clout and following you gain through it as a way to launch a small business. For example, if you run a successful fashion website, you can use it as a means of starting your own label down the line. Building a blog is almost synonymous with building a brand, and the most successful content sites turn into business empires.
Even if you’re doing everything right in terms of monetization, there’s no substitute for creating high-quality content. Think of good posts and articles as the skeleton of your content business. Without the content, there’s nothing for the monetization to hang on to. In case you need help with content creation, check out our guide on how to start a personal website.
Put your content first and money-making opportunities second in order to keep your blog viable, and to remain true to yourself.
Money-making should grow organically out of a blog on a topic you would write about for free anyway. There’s no quick-fix to a successful content site, and there’s no substitute for genuine passion. Read more on how to grow your blog step-by-step and create a strategy.
What do you think of our guide? Do you have any top tips for earning cash as a content publisher? Let us know in the comments below!