Creating a personal blog is a great way to pursue a passion, and also make some money by doing it.
If there’s a particular topic that you’re very interested in, then you can turn that passion into a side-hustle by starting a personal blog.
If you want to get started in monetizing a personal blog of your own, here are five practical tips.
1. Choose a profitable niche
Before you go and start a blog, do some critical thinking about your niche.
Generic lifestyle blogs can do well, but it’s much harder to succeed and gain significant traffic with a generic lifestyle blog than it is with a highly specific niche blog.
If you carve out a niche for yourself, then it’s much easier to establish yourself as an expert, and build credibility in your field. This will naturally help you develop a following more quickly.
So think carefully about potential niches. What are you passionate about?
Do you enjoy fashion and making outfit recommendations? Is cooking your favorite pastime? Are you a big traveler who can benefit from sharing your experiences?
Try to be as specific as possible about what your specialty will be, and then you can build your branding, site name, topics and more from there.
2. Offer product reviews
Once you get your blog up and running, a great way to build awareness and start connecting with brands is by offering product reviews.
This can be a very lucrative business, but it will likely take some time for you to build up enough credibility and authority that brands will want to work with you.
So, start small. Reach out to brand that you admire and like (and are already using products from), and offer free reviews.
This will help you build up your portfolio of work that you can then show to future brands and get paid for.
For example, if you wear glasses, and purchased your glasses from a retailer like Firmoo.com, then reach out to the brand. Share your website credentials, and offer to write a review post. They may end up sharing your post, which will help increase the exposure and authority of your own site.
Then in the future, you can turn around and show this post as an example to other brands to give them an idea of how you can help drum up brand awareness for them.
Eventually, you will want to create a press kit that lists out your credentials, and your rates. This will make it easier when brands reach out to you in the future. You’ll already have a set list of your rates to present them (which will also make you look even more professional).
3. Set up affiliate links
Another great way to make income once you have your blog up and running is by setting up affiliate link programs.
Affiliate money is excellent because it’s passive. You set up links to other products and services, and if anyone purchases these products through your original link or referral source, then you make a portion of the money!
There are many existing programs that you can get started with for affiliate links, but probably the best one is Amazon’s Affiliate Program.
Amazon is the number one retailer in the world, which means there are near endless options for products that you can promote on your site.
You can get creative with how you include these links, from writing product roundup posts, to featuring a specific product, and more.
You may want to wait until you have a significant amount of traffic coming into your site.
Once you set up your profile, Amazon gives you 60 days to get two affiliate purchases. If you don’t get purchases within this window, then your account gets deactivated.
4. Offer link placements
Once you have a good amount of traffic to your site, you can also monetize your blog by offering link placements.
Over time as your site grows, and you accumulate more links, your blog will grow in authority, which will make it more desirable to guest posters. In fact, once you reach a certain threshold of authority, you will find your email inbox filled with inquiries of people who want to guest post or place links on your site.
This is an easy way to make money since the work required from you will be very minimal. Oftentimes you can get away with placing a link in an existing article, or you can work with your partner to have them write a post that fits your site’s tone and audience.
Make sure you facilitate inquiries by making your contact information very visible on your website. People will want to reach out to you, and you should make it as easy as possible.
5. Connect with sponsored post opportunities
Another opportunity for monetizing your blog is linking up with existing sponsored post organizations, such as Activate and Social Fabric.
These are companies that work directly with brands to help them ideate unique product or service promotion opportunities, and then build a network of bloggers who they then connect with to write these sponsored posts.
Payment for sponsored posts like these (if you are selected) can range from about $50, up to $300, so it can be a very lucrative opportunity if you have solid credentials to be selected for campaigns.
Starting a blog can be a great way to make money and fulfill your passions, but just keep in mind that it will take some time to get to a point where money is easy to make.
Keep your head down and write good content, and the opportunities will come!