There are a lot of you who are curious about how to start earning money with a blog. While you can definitely earn money, you're usually not going to be able to make your blog profitable overnight.
But, don't let that fact stop you from even getting started!
Blogging is a fun way to earn while having your own online space to share useful information and even rant about things if you need to. Earning money with your blog shouldn't be your only goal — you should also enjoy what you write about. Otherwise, you'll get burned out and quit before you even get going.
Step #1 – Create Useful Content
First and foremost, you need to create content that others would be interested in reading. You can't earn money with a blog if you don't have at least some traffic, and it's going to be hard to get much of that if there isn't something there to attract others.
I also cannot stress enough the importance of being consistent with your writing. Don't write one post and then abandon your blog for a month or two before coming back. Commit to writing at least one post per week.
When you do that, Google will begin to crawl your site regularly if it sees you are posting regularly. Then, Google will index your pages, and you might start turning up in search for certain keywords without even trying.
No idea what to write about? Here are some tips for coming up with blog post ideas.
Step #2 – Share Your Content
It can take a while for Google to start sending you regular traffic, so you can speed the process up on your own by getting the word out yourself. Create a Facebook page for your site and ask people you know to “like” your page and also to share it with their Facebook friends.
Be active on your Facebook page and let the people who “like” you know when you've created a post. Share the post, and if you're lucky, it will show up in their news feeds and they might click through to your blog.
In addition, don't just share your own content, share the content of others as well! Doing so can increase your overall engagement on Facebook, which means more people will see your stuff when share it.
Step #3 – Place Ads On Your Blog
This is one way you actually make money with your blog. A good option for blog ads is Media.net (powered by Yahoo! and Bing), or you could use a company like Infolinks that will provide hover ads within your text. You can set it up so that the ads are at the top of your posts, at the bottom of your posts, in your sidebar, or even inside your content.
If your visitors become interested in the ads shown, they might click over to them, and you'll get paid a small amount for the clicks. Please keep in mind that you cannot ask people to click your ads and you definitely cannot click them yourself! This is a good way to get banned from the ad programs you are participating in.
This post has more detail on ad networks for bloggers and how to get started using them.
Step #4 – Become an Affiliate
Another way to begin earning money with a blog is by signing up as an affiliate for different products and services. I currently earn thousands of dollars a month from various affiliates, and it's one of my hands-down favorite ways to make money blogging since it's non invasive.
All affiliate programs work differently. Some will pay you for leads (usually $1 to $2 if a person simply signs up by submitting and confirming their email address) and some will pay you for each sale (a certain amount of commission based on how much money was spent).
You can sign up with a company like Share a Sale to see if there are any affiliate programs there for different companies you're familiar with that would fit well on your site. If your application for different programs are approved, you'll be provided with coding to display ads, banners, or URLs for text links. These will pay if someone follows them and signs up or purchases what you're recommending.
Another great affiliate program I recommend is Ultimate Bundles. These things practically sell themselves. They have bundles that are seasonal on all sorts of different topics.
You can also seek out affiliate programs on your own by simply visiting your favorite websites or online stores and checking to see if they have affiliate programs. I would additionally recommend creating an account with Viglink. It's free, and if they're an affiliate for a certain company, you will be too if you have installed their code on your site and have links out to various places. This will help to ensure that you're not missing out on any affiliate opportunities.
Step #6 – Sell Advertising Space
You might be able to start earning money with a blog by selling advertising space directly on your site. The more traffic you are getting, the more attractive that space may appear to potential buyers. The beauty of this is that you can set it up however you want. Feel free to charge whatever you think your space is worth. You are in control!
I believe most people charge by the month, but you could offer weekly rates, yearly rates, or even daily rates. You can also charge different amounts depending on the size of the banner/button that people want to use.
If you're unsure as to how much you should charge, do some investigating on blogs that are similar to your own to see what they are charging. This could give you an idea of what the going rate is.
I recommend setting up a dedicated advertising page somewhere on your blog that you can direct potential advertisers to so they can see your rates all in one spot. As an example, this is what my advertising page looks like. I made it by creating a page (not a post) within WordPress. Make sure your email address is visible on your advertising page so you don't miss out on any opportunities.
Step #7 – Be Patient
As I stated at the beginning of this post, earning money with a blog will not happen overnight. It takes time to build up a following and get regular readers. That's why it's best if you choose to blog about something that's near and dear to your heart. You will get frustrated and quit blogging very quickly if you're not writing about something you actually enjoy writing about.
And even after you are earning money with a blog, it could take a while to justify quitting your day job. But you'll get there if you try. I did it in 3 years, but many people reach this goal within a year or two after starting.
Want More Blogging Tips?
I have a post on starting your own blog here with some detailed information on getting set up. And if you've already got a blog and are looking to earn more money from it, I highly recommend this mini e-book (free) that provides some tips for boosting your blog's income overnight.