You’ve probably asked yourself the same question. Can I do it too?
When I started blogging, I never planned on making money with my blog (making money blogging is called monetizing). I had other ideas I wanted to pursue that would financially support my business:
• building online courses (haven’t had time to do this yet)
• advertising on my podcast (not pursuing this right now)
• public speaking (did that)
• building a membership site (undecided on this one because it’s a bit time consuming)
Then I started learning about affiliate marketing and how easy it was to monetize a blog. Eighteen months after starting my blog when I first focused on monetizing it, I made $11,400 in my first month.
I share that with you because there is plenty of opportunities for new bloggers to make money. The thing that gets me is if I had known then what I know now (and what I will share with you), I could have made money with my blog much sooner. Lesson learned!
Keep this in mind – I’m new to blogging too. While I’m not new to online business, I’ve never had a serious blog like I do now. And I’m just getting started. That’s proof new bloggers are still making money.
I’ve met bloggers at conferences that made $50,000 – $100,000 in their first year! It’s crazy, and it’s possible.
It doesn’t matter how crowded you think a particular topic is (there are thousands of personal finance bloggers like me) there is room for you to carve out a piece of the pie for yourself.
How can you make money blogging?
I’m going to walk you through each of these topics in the upcoming lessons. But let’s look at the many ways you can make money with:
• Affiliate marketing (which is free to do)
• Selling ebooks.
• Advertising on your blog.
• Freelancing and writing for other blogs and websites.
• Having sponsored posts on your blog.
What’s nice about some of these are they are passive income streams. Meaning your blog has the potential to make money 24 x 7.
• while you sleep
• while you’re on vacation
• while you are watching T.V.
How long does it take to make money blogging?
My first month of monetizing my blog I made several thousands of dollars. But that occurred after I had been blogging for months. But do the maths – I’m estimating my business will earn six-figures in ** the second year**. And I’ve never monetized a blog before!
Realistically, I could have made money much, much sooner, but I focused on other parts of my business.
Yes, you can make money blogging, but it isn’t a get-rich-quick business. It’s like building any business. It takes time, effort, and persistence. But the more you invest in yourself, the faster you’ll become successful.
I’ve read a story in Forbes magazine about a mother on welfare who built a 7-figure online business in a little over a year. There are some bloggers that earn six-figures after one year, and others that earn several thousand dollars on the side after a few months of blogging.
Anything is possible. If you’re a hard worker and a go getter, you can really shine.
Making Money Blogging With Affiliate Income
Let’s start making some passive income from your blog through affiliate income.
I love affiliate income. It’s simple – your blog acts as a salesperson selling products. But there is:
• no inventory
• no costs of any kind
• no shipping of products
• no investment
• no fees to sign up and get started
It sounds almost too good to be true – but it’s real and 100% legit.
Let me give you an example. Let’s start with the biggest affiliate program in the world – Amazon.
Here is a link to a cookbook on Amazon (go ahead and click it).
A new window will open up and take you right to Amazon where you can buy the book. If you bought that book, I would earn an affiliate commission from Amazon. Let’s call it $0.50.
If you’re over at Amazon, you might decide today is the day you’re going to spring for that new T.V. that costs $400. If you buy it, I get an affiliate commission on that too. We’ll call it $25 because I sent Amazon the referral.
All I had to do was put a link in my blog to the cookbook. That’s it. Someone visits your blog where you talk about the Joy of Cooking, and they click the link. The link takes them to Amazon. If they buy the Joy of Cooking (or anything else), you earn a commission.
It’s free to sign up and become an Amazon affiliate (it’s called the Amazon Associates affiliate program). You can earn up to 10% in commissions.
Affiliate income comes from links on your blog where you mention products you love. You might review a product or include a link as part of a personal story – I bought this awesome shirt on Amazon for my upcoming trip!
Here are some of the things on my blog I have Amazon affiliate links for:
• medical kits
• my favorite business books
• energy efficiency products for your home
• podcasting equipment
No matter what you blog about, there are going to be products for which you can have an affiliate link.
And the best part is the links on your blog may be around for years. You can end up earning money from an affiliate link for something you wrote about three years ago. That’s the great thing about passive income – it just keeps coming.
How to get started with Affiliate Income
Here are the step-by-step instructions to get started with affiliate income. Remember all of these programs are FREE to join.
1. Join affiliate programs
I mentioned Amazon in our example, but there are many other affiliate programs available.
• Amazon Affiliate Program
• Commission Junction
• Flex Offers
Some product websites have an affiliate program which may not be listed. If you have a product you love contact the company directly and see if they have an affiliate program.
You just have to click the link and go through the sign-up process. Amazon is the easiest and has been around the longest. You should at least sign up for Amazon to get started.
2. Promote the link on your blog
There are different ways to promote a product:
Consider doing a book review or writing an in-depth product review. In the first month of blogging, I did a few in-depth product reviews. These pages are some of the most highly visited on my website.
Comparing two different products side-by-side helps your readers weigh the pros and cons of each. By helping them make a decision, you help build a loyal fan base.
You can see an example of where I compared two budgeting software products here.
There are many photography bloggers that talk about camera equipment. Camera equipment can be very expensive, and the affiliate commissions can be much larger.
Many people will be interested in what tools and resources you use to do stuff.
It doesn’t have to be fancy – just a picture, product name, and a description. To go the extra mile include a brief summary of why you like the product.
Mentioning the product in what you write about.
This one is easy. If you are writing an article on baking a cake, for example, you can include a link to the cake pan you like to use in the recipe.
You help your readers by saving them time with step-by-step tutorials. You can document anything that involves assembly or a process.
You can even document something that already has documentation if you think you can do it better! Just think about YouTube videos you’ve watched on how to do or fix something because the manufacturer’s documentation doesn’t make sense. I look up tutorials all the time on how to use the features of software I own.
There are several step-by-step tutorials on website for using different personal finance products. If I like the product, I’ll include an affiliate link.
Tips for good product promotion
Be honest in your review. Giving a glowing review of a bad product just to try to earn affiliate income is a bad idea. When you are honest and help your blog readers, they will reward you with loyalty and become a life long fan. That’s worth much more because they will help share your blog to other people.
Promote the benefits
People buy things because it helps solve their problems or makes them feel better:
• Does it save them time? (This ceramic pan cleans up in a flash!)
• Does it save them money? (This book shows you how to save money on groceries)
• Will it help them make more money? (This course gives you a proven plan to getting your dream job)
• Will it help them relax? (This herbal tea will help you sleep better)
I promote Betterment as a fantastic way to get started investing because it’s easy and only takes ten minutes to start saving for an awesome retirement.
The better you become at sharing the benefits of a product, the more likely the person is to purchase the product.
Good product placement
The longer your blog post, the more you can talk about a product or service. But that doesn’t mean you should include a link in every paragraph.
If it’s a short article, 1–2 times may be enough.
For longer blog articles it’s OK to include a link at the beginning, middle, and at the very end.
1. Sign up for free to Amazon’s affiliate program.
2. Write a blog post about some product you like and include an affiliate link to it in your post.