How to Make Money Blogging: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Monetizing a Blog and Becoming Your Own Boss

Learn how to make money blogging in 2020 and get access to helpful resources for new and advanced bloggers!

Start with The Basics


The number of websites existing online reached 1 billion a few years ago. Most experts stopped counting from then on.

A large percentage of these sites are blogs, and new ones are getting published every minute.

And yet, so many people are wondering how to make money blogging and aren’t sure where to begin.

There’s too much information on the topic of setting up your own blog and monetizing it, that most people are overwhelmed and just put off creating a site of their own for later.

But you don’t need to do this. Later might become never, and by not being a blogger you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities.

Making money blogging, gaining taffic and building an audience take time. But what matters is that you build a blog today and start learning the process step by step.

So many people have asked me things about starting a blog such as:

  • How do I start a blog?
  • What’s the best platform to use?
  • How do I choose hosting and make the site live?
  • How much does it cost to have my own website in just a few minutes?
  • Can anyone make money from their blog?
  • What does it take to become a full-time blogger?
  • Do I need any special knowing before setting it up?
  • What are the best ways to make money blogging?
  • What exactly is affiliate marketing?
  • How do I build traffic to make money blogging?
  • How do I make my blog look professional, like the ones I’m already following?
  • How can I earn passive income through my blog?

And more.

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself similar questions. Well, starting a blog is easy, what comes next though takes time and trial and error.

But you’ll never regret hitting publish, it just takes a bit of courage to do it.

That’s why I created this free guide on starting a blog for you.

It’s not only the knowledge you need to create your own blog and pick up a domain name for it, set up hosting and install WordPress in a few easy steps, begin using your dashboard and the help of some free tools and services, write and publish content the right way, set goals and build your personal brand around your website, have a newsletter that your readers can sign up for and start building your audience, promote your blog and also monetize your platform in different ways.

All that is necessary for you to starting a blog in 2020, and skipping one step will mean you’ll be left behind.

Once you go through this guide, you’ll have enough knowledge to be a real blogger and begin your quest to making money from this business venture and turn it into your full-time career after some time.

All that is possible with the fantastic platforms we have the chance to use these days.

If you haven’t built a blog yet, 2020 is the time for you to do it.


Latest Make Money Blogging Articles


How to Make Money Blogging

Here’s what you’ll learn in this guide on how to make money blogging (you can skip to any part you’d like):

We’ll now go through the 4 most popular ways to successfully monetize your blog, even if it’s new.


What is Affiliate Marketing and How to Get Started with It

If you’re just starting out with online business, or just looking to learn how to money blogging on the side, the one sure way to do it is through affiliate marketing.

By finding the right affiliate network for your niche (considering you’ve found out a good and profitable one, which you’ll enjoy creating content around and promoting products for), you can have a solid addition to your monthly income.

Let’s talk about the very basics of this type of marketing, together with the channel you should choose to become an affiliate for.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

There are many categories for making profit online. Based on what you’re ready to build yourself, though, these would be the following 2 digital opportunities:

  • creating your own product, promoting and selling it;
  • promoting other brands and people’s products and earning a commission when a purchase is made through your special affiliate link (or after a number of visitors’ clicks, in some cases).

There are many things you can be bad at in the online world. No money, no experience or connections is rarely a problem.

But sales and advertising is something you’ll probably be doing at any stage of your journey. Be it to promote yourself when finding clients to do freelance work for, promoting your own books on Amazon through social media, bringing traffic to your platforms, or tempting people with offers and making them click on links that bring them to a third-party platform you’re working with.

Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest types of advertising on the Internet, and something that is so profitable, but still undervalued.

It means promoting somebody else’s products or services, and getting rewarded when orders are made from people you brought.

It’s a sweet passive income stream to add to your online business earnings, or something to start with if you’re looking for fast money.

If you too want to start a blog to make money and want to monetize through affiliate marketing, check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. 

michelle course making sense of affiliate marketing

This is a step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course that shows you how to increase your affiliate income and make more money blogging. It’s also the first online course I ever purchased and totally worth the investment.

It’s by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents who built a 7-figure blog. She’s now earning $50K/month solely through affiliate marketing so she shows what she’s doing. And she has created a course about it sharing her best tips.


How to Make Money with Ads

Placing ads on your blog is the next way to earn passive income from your website.

There are a few ways you can do this.

  • Sign up with Google AdSense.
  • Contact brands and businesses and work without an ad network.
  • Sign up with a professional ad network.

That’s the option I went for, as you will see below.

Some notable ad networks for bloggers include:

My Experience with Ads

I stayed away from displaying ads on Let’s Reach Success for years. However, I believe we should all test different blog monetization methods in order to find what works best for our audience, skills, content, etc.

So I decided to sign up with Mediavine – a reputable publishing network that’s collaborating with some pretty big names in different industries.

In terms of traffic, other publishing networks usually require a website to hit 100,000 monthly views. With Mediavine, however, it could be 30,000, which means I could apply.

I did that and my application was approved. After which people from the company started reaching out with welcome emails and next steps.

This is a serious collaboration as it requires me to keep the ads for at least 3 months in order to test them and see the full potential of the site in terms of making revenue through ads.

They also have some detailed guides on what a blogger should do before the guys from Mediavine place ads on the new website.

That might mean removing some plugins, changing the settings of others, displaying your content in a way that’s easier for the reader and for ads to appear, etc.

They usually require sites to have a sidebar, but they made an exception as I still want the focus to be on the content of the page. That means the ads on Let’s Reach Success are in-content and show up after a certain number of paragraphs.

They aren’t pushy, are customized well and are from trusted partners. I saw them myself, and as someone who’s always had a minimalist-looking blog, I liked how they look. 

My results for the first 3 months look like this:

I chose Mediavine for many reasons and am happy with the results. It was just an experiment for me but I’m definitely staying with them. The very first reason is that they are one of the best ad networks and allow bloggers with 30K views per month, like me. Also, some other big names in the blogging world that I’ve been following for some time are partnering with them. So I decided to give it a shot and see if it’s possible to increase ad revenue with them. The people working there are helpful and truly invested in finding out the potential of my blog to make passive income through ads. They also easily added a pop-up to my site that asks people if they accept cookies, which makes me GDPR-compliant. The RPR - page revenue per thousand impressions - is fantastic as compared to other networks. Here are my very first earnings with Mediavine:

As you can see, earning from ads on your site is a pretty good solution for anyone who wants to know how to make money blogging.

I recently started making $1,000/month with Mediavine and you can too. I share more about what it takes in this article.


Earning from Sponsored Posts on Your Blog

A sponsored post is any piece of content you publish on behalf of someone who paid for it. You could write it yourself, or get it done by the client’s team. Whatever the case, it’s all about the link(s) in it.

Check out these articles to get started with sponsored blog posts:

How to Land Your First Sponsored Post

  • Join Blogger Networks to Make Money Blogging

There are many sites that offer paid opportunities for bloggers. Once you check if you meet the requirements, create a profile and add your blog and some information about it (categories, stats, social media channels), you can browse campaigns or get notified by email if a brand wants to work with you.

Most importantly, you put your blog in front of companies that want to work with micro-influencers like you and you never know where you next sponsored post opportunity can come from.

Some blogger networks connecting publishers and advertisers include:

ValuedVoice

BlogHer

SeedingUp

Blog Dash

IZEA

Massive Sway

Global Influence Network

Aspire IQ

  • Add a Page for Sponsors on Your Blog

Another thing you can do if you want to get started with sponsored posts is to put up a page for advertisers stating you’re welcoming such offers.

Last but not least, which requires a lot of research and thought, you can carefully create a profile of the ideal sponsors and think where you can find them.

If you’re in the travel niche and have built an audience of people visiting South East Asia, for instance, that’s what type of companies you should find and reach out to.

Even if they haven’t thought of it, they might gladly pay for a post where you mention their services and thus refer more people to their business.

You never know where such opportunities can come from.

  • Make Your Blog Look Professional.

Keep growing your site and making it more professional and optimized, and eventually, you might be making a living with sponsored posts.

If you’re still guessing how to make money blogging, make sure you have the following elements in place before contacting brands:

  • a good WordPress theme with clean code that makes your site load fast (I use this one on Let’s Reach Success)
  • a reliable web host (I recommend WPX Hosting – the fastest WordPress host)
  • making the platform mobile-friendly (use the free plugin WPtouch)
  • using quality images (find royalty-free ones on sites like Pexels and Pixabay)
  • writing great content
  • having a beautiful homepage
  • sharing your story on your About page
  • and publishing the other important pages such as Contact, Terms of Service, Disclaimer, and Privacy Policy.

I am consistently earning around $2,000-$3,000 per month from sponsored blog posts (as you can see from my annual income report). That’s my main income stream although I’m also earning from ads, affiliate marketing, and selling my products.

There’s so much more to say about how to get sponsored posts for your blog as it’s an industry not many bloggers out there discuss openly.

If you’re eager to take your blog to the next level and see its earning potential, then you should learn all you can about making money blogging. I have a course that covers everything I did in the past 5 years to turn my blog into a 5-figure business. It’s called Financial Freedom Through Blogging.

Financial Freedom Through Blogging course

You’ll learn: 

  • what sponsored posts are exactly and how they work
  • how I began making money with sponsorships
  • how much you should charge
  • what it takes to earn this way with a small blog
  • how to create a winning media kit and a page for advertisers that sell
  • strategic ways to find and pitch brands
  • more blogger networks that will pay you for sponsored content once you join
  • and actions to take to charge more for sponsored blog posts.

And all this is just a few sections out of 1 module in the whole course (hint: there are 8 huge modules teaching you anything you need to know about starting, growing and monetizing a blog the right way).

Get more information about Financial Freedom Through Blogging here.


Monetize Your Blog by Selling Products

Why invest the time to create your own product and sell it? Here are a few reasons:

  • You have full control over it.
  • It’s passive income – you build it now and make money for years to come.
  • It improves your reputation in the blogging world (not everyone has their own products).
  • It’s something you can refer to from any piece of content you create.

For most blogs, the 2 best things seem to be an eBook and an online course.

Especially with courses, there’s a lot of potential to make money as other people are eager to learn how to do what you’re about to teach them. And a great way to promote your course is Pinterest.

If you’re looking for a course on how to make 6 figures with digital products on your blog, I recommend Six-Figure Blogger by Alex and Lauren from Create and Go who earn over $100K/month.

Six-Figure Blogger create and go courses

Thanks to their advice in this detailed course, I finally took email marketing seriously, switched to ConvertKit, grew my email list, and began forming relationships with my audience and selling my products through automated email series.

That was something I’ve been avoiding for years, but no blogging business can grow without email marketing and selling digital products like courses and eBooks.

So, that was the 4th best blog monetization method. A combination of all 4 is ideal, of course, but that takes time and trial and error.

If you’re curious what niches are most profitable, check out 6 Types of Blogs That Make The Most Money on The Internet.

Also, take a look at the infographic below for the ways in which bloggers monetize in different niches:

Hope you enjoyed this guide on how to make money blogging!

Lidiya K