Blogging for money was my ultimate dream. Imagine being able to spend your days creating content around a topic you love and then being paid for doing it?
I’m happy to say that it is still my ultimate dream and I am working hard on making it come true. Like most good things, it takes time and patience to start making money from a blog, but it is possible and it’s not particularly difficult to do.
If you want to know how to create a blog that you can make money from, stick around and I’ll share with you what I have learned so far. You can also download my free Ultimate Starter Kit here.
Note –This post includes adverts and affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through any of these links I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps me support the running of this website and continue to publish helpful content. I use whatever I promote for my own business, which is why I’m happily an affiliate! Thank you for your support!
That paragraph right there, the one right above where you’re reading now, the one in italics and a funny coloured font – yes that one. That is basically how you would know that I am blogging for money. I am telling you up front, in a full disclosure that I am using advertising and affiliate links on this post – and throughout this blog.
But what does that mean, and how does it help me with blogging for money?
Affiliate links have a unique URL. This URL is totally unique to me. No one else on the planet has the same URL as this and I use it to sell other people’s products and services on my blog.
Yes, that’s right, you don’t have to make anything of your own to sell, you can find plenty of things that other people have made and sell those instead, for a commission.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to start blogging for money. It simply involves you writing about a product or service that you have used and found valuable or worthwhile and then telling other people about it. I have written a whole post about it which you can read here.
You do this all the time right? You buy something new and try it out. It’s amazing. You tell your best friend and your sister and your Mom about it and then they rush out and buy it too. But did you get paid for that referral? No, probably not. But on your blog you can get paid for it because you just refer your friend, reader, customer to the product by way of your unique URL so that the seller knows it was you who introduced them.
The seller then rewards you by paying you for your referral and you make more money the more people you refer. Simple isn’t it?
Although the actual marketing itself is very straight forward, there is still a lot to learn if you want to do it properly and make lots of money from it.
To begin with, you need to know where to find things to sell on your blog. You can’t just sell anything because that wouldn’t work. It needs to be something that is related to your particular blog topic.
For example if you are a photograph blogger you could sell products related to photography such as cameras, lenses, tripods, light meters and anything else that you have tried and would recommend.
Notice that I have said that you will need to try it out first. How can you recommend something you haven’t tried yourself? Would you recommend a restaurant that you had never eaten in? Affiliate marketing works the same way.
I know it is tempting to say “well I’m being paid for it so I will recommend it”, but what if it turns out to be rubbish? How long do you think your blog will last when your readers can’t trust your recommendations? How much money do you think you will make in the long term?
You need to make sure that what you are recommending is good. You need to know the pros and cons so that you can tell others. You need to promote your affiliate products with integrity and not just promote any old rubbish just because you are going to make a few quid.
The best way to do it is by writing a blog post about it. This might be in the form of a review of the product or service or it could be a story about what it did to help you overcome a problem. You can see an example of this type of post here.
There are things you need to learn about keywords so that people who are looking for that particular product or service, or who are looking for related products and services can find your post.
You will also need to learn about Search Engine Optimisation and how Google ranks posts online so that yours stands a chance of being shown as a possible result when someone carries out a search. You can download a free guide on SEO here.
There are a lot of legal things that you need to be aware of when you sell online these days too. You have to include disclaimers and other legal pages on your blogs now or you could end up being sued. Blogging has, at last, been regulated. Gone are the days when you can do just whatever you want on your blog, and I for one think that this is a good thing.
Of course, if you don’t want to have to spend the next couple of years learning all this stuff you could get someone to help you. No not me! Someone who is making over $50,000 a month (YES A MONTH) from affiliate marketing. Wouldn’t you want to know what they were doing?
I sure did. I had made just about every rookie mistake there is and it took me 3 years to actually start making any decent money from my blog. I most definitely wanted to know what they were doing so that I could do it too.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is a finance blogger who spends her life travelling around the US with her husband and her dog in their UV. (Motorhome to us in the UK)
She started her blog a few years ago to help people become more savvy with money and make wiser choices and investments. But she found that by promoting money saving coupons and other related products and services she was able to make money, a lot of money, and now she is blogging for money just as much as she is blogging to help others with their financial choices.
Over the years she has developed, learned and tested many strategies and methods, all of which she shares with you in her course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
I did the whole course in just one week. Admittedly I did already know a lot of what she taught, but there was plenty in there that I didn’t know, or hadn’t considered.
She goes into great detail about how to monetise your blog, (without it looking spammy and salesy and nasty) and the different ways that you can advertise the content. I learned a lot in this module
She even gives you hints about how to create eye-catching images that are unique to you and free to do.
She also goes into detail about how to make your blog legal and how to add disclaimers and privacy policies to your blog (which are now required by pretty much every country), I picked up a few good tips here too.
Michelle also tells you how to stay on the good side of Google with your affiliate links, something I didn’t know and so won’t share here with you in respect to her. Totally glad I found out though, as I don’t want Google to black-list my site. eek.
As I said, I did the whole course in just one week. This was largely due to the fact that I had a week planned out in my diary to educate myself. I couldn’t have done it this quickly if I was working it around a full time job.
However, it is a short course and can be dipped in and out of. The modules are easy to follow and one builds on another so it’s easy to implement each of her action steps (and there are lots).
By the end of the week I didn’t recognise my blog. It was more professional, it had all the right legal things in all the right places. I had made sure to include the things that prevented Google getting vexed with me and I sharpened up my overall content.
This was all in excess of what I learned about affiliate marketing from Michelle which was plenty. I found new people to become an affiliate for, people who I was already recommending – for free. I made a sale from one of these the very next day.
How much do you think she charges for this amazing learning experience? Hundreds? Thousands?
Price: $197 (one-time) or 2 payments of $105/month. That’s pretty amazing isn’t it? I thought so, which is why I took the course in the first place. I needed something affordable to recommend to my clients who had just started their blogs – and I thought I might pick up a few tricks in the process – wow that was an understatement.
I couldn’t recommend something that cost thousands of dollars to my new bloggers as I knew they weren’t ready to pay this amount.
I wanted to find something that added value for them without breaking the bank. I wanted to promote something that I knew would help them to grow as quickly as possible. I wanted to promote something that was pitched at their level so that they could actually understand it and implement it into their blogs.
This course met all those objectives and many more too. I happily now recommend Michelles course to all my blogging clients as well as through my blog posts like this one.
If you would like to take the course and see where your blog can be in a month please just click this link.
That’s the big question isn’t it? Yes it’s hard work to get it going but once you have, the sky’s the limit with what you can earn.
If, after reading this post you have decided that you are going to stick with your hobby blog for now that’s absolutely fine and I admire your decision.
If, after reading this post you have decided to start blogging for money I can help you to get started. Download my FREE Ultimate Starter Kit for Brand New Bloggers which will walk you through how to get your blog set up correctly to start the affiliate marketing process.
Then take Michelle’s course Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing where she will teach you in no time at all to start making money from your blog.
I really hope that you have found this post useful and if so I would love it if you could share it with others so that they might find out about this great way of making money from blogging too. I have added some popular social share icons so please just click away.
I’ll be back in a few days with some other useful tidbit or tool (usually free) that I’ve come across on the internet so be sure to look out for me. To make sure you don’t miss it why not subscribe to my blog and I’ll drop you a quick email next time I publish something.
Psssst! I’ve just started a brand new community on Pinterest and I would love for you to come and join me. It’s called Blogging for Beginners. The community, as it grows, will give lots of hints, tips, ideas and strategies to help you to grow your blog faster – not just Pinterest stuff either, so come and have a look by clicking here.