One of the most popular questions I get asked by readers is how to have a profitable blog, and how I got to this point. Now, before I jump into how I make money blogging, I would like to clarify one thing: blogging is not a good way to make a ton of money – at least not for a while.
Don’t believe me? You can ask some of the best bloggers in the game. The reality is it can take quite some time before your blog can make you money. However, you can always use blogging as a fun way to make some extra cash on the side – even if you’re just starting out!
If you want to have a profitable blog, your main priority should always be creating a genuine connection with your audience. You need to provide value to your readers no matter what. Don’t get into blogging just to make a few extra bucks. Doing that will only lead to disappointment.
So if you’re into blogging for the long haul and truly want to make a difference to an audience, then I’d consider monetizing as an option to supplement your regular income. Then, as time goes on, you can become a full-time blogger.
Advertising and Sponsorship
My own blog is open to advertising. I’ve recently begun to experiment with Google AdSense again and I’ve even gone so far as to open the blog to advertising and sponsorship.
Display ads, like the ones you get with Google, doesn’t mean you will have a profitable blog very quickly. But once you get the momentum going with an audience you’ll soon start to see how the numbers add up. Seriously, you’d be surprised at how much you can make over time. I tend to like them because they display ads that your audience will find relevant based on searches and content.
Now, when it comes to private ads and sponsorships you have to be picky so you won’t lose credibility. I only agree to display an ad if my readers can get some sort of benefit from it. That being said if it’s about internet marketing, entrepreneurship, personal finance, education, fitness or personal development, then I’ll consider it.
Here’s a real life example of what I won’t consider: I once had advertisers reach out to me about running an ad about a service that would help people through the immigration process. Maybe they figured this was a good idea because I’m Latina – I don’t know – either way, I quickly turned it down. This blog has nothing to do with immigration. My readers aren’t interested so there would have been no point in running the ad to make some money. That’s how you sell out on your readers.
Some of you may notice an occasional post on this site that clearly states it was sponsored by a company (this is the law per FTC guidelines). It was a new experiment in which I would see how having sponsored posts would affect my readership while at the same time promoting products my readers may enjoy or find useful.
Believe it or not, this is a great way to have a profitable blog if – and only if – you can find products or services that are in line with your message. For instance, I often blog about entrepreneurship in the new economy. This led to a major sponsorship with Comcast Business in 2016.
There are plenty of online communities dedicated to helping anyone confused about sponsored post. I’m personally a fan of We All Grow Latina Network but I’m sure there are many others out there. Some bloggers receive the bulk of their blog income from sponsored posts, and that’s okay. Just make sure you aren’t being sleazy with your readers.
A Hire Me Page
This may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how many writers, designers, coaches, and consultants don’t have a Hire Me page on their blogs. How do you expect to have a profitable blog and sell your services if you don’t tell anyone about them?
Some of the best-paying clients come by having a Hire Me page on the blog. In fact, I’ve more clients with my Hire Me page than my portfolio because I focus more on creating great content for the blog. My portfolio, on the other hand, kind of just sits there.
You’re going to need some major commitment and patience on your part before you start seeing some dollar signs. Once you do see some money you can then use it to supplement your regular income. Maybe you’ll use it to help pay down your debt, save for a trip or an emergency fund. The possibilities are really endless!
Another way your blog can make you money is with affiliate sales. This is where you promote a product someone else created and if someone purchases from your site then you get a commission. For example, you can take a look at my Mint Manual Review, and I’ve also really enjoyed Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Both of these affiliate sales have made me hundreds a month in passive income.
Again, you must only promote products that are in line with your blog. In fact, with affiliate sales, you should only promote products you can actually use and can vouch for.
Can You Have A Profitable Blog Without Being Sleazy? Yes!
I use all of these methods for monetizing this blog. It’s why I was eventually able to quit and blog full time. While it took years of hard work, it was very well worth it. I’sellout, and I enjoy connecting with my readers. While I’m not in this just for the money, it has been great to be able to blog full time!
If you’re ready to get started, click here to find my free video tutorial on how to start a blog for $4.