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Having made one ourselves, we thought we’d share some of the secrets behind successful blogs.
We know that learning new things can be overwhelming, so we made this guide as detailed as possible. After creating your blog - choosing a name and niche you need to customize and publish it.
However, those are not the steps of blog creation we are interested in today.
What we will be covering today is all the ways you can make your blog into a money making machine.
Table of Contents
How to Make Money Blogging 2021 Guide 🇬🇧
In order to make money blogging you don't necessarily need to write blog posts constantly
Passive income is income that is generated by recurring customer sales for a completed product. Sales operations are all automated by a third-party or some other system. The below examples, therefore, are perfect for people who want to put in a good amount of effort up front, in order to do minimal for continued returns at the backend.
Before we get started, make sure you check out some of the other posts in our Blog Success Series:
Make money with a blog by selling an informational product. If you can manage to get readers to visit and enjoy your blog content, they’ll eventually view you as an expert.
The key is to be hyper useful, breaking down solutions to audience problems in simple yet useful ways. An example of this are the many blogs that have popped up around the crypto-currency space:
‘Crypto Casey’ is a female technologist who helps beginners. Her YT videos divert lots of traffic to her newsletter. Your blog can do the same as hers, basically just capturing those who make the jump to it 👇.
A segment of your audience will happily buy a course that you’ve made—we have done this ourselves with a free marketing course that eventually builds to a paid course.
There are countless different topics containing successful written and video blogs. Ramit Sethi notably hit over $10 million in annual revenue with his range of premium courses. In fact, countless numbers of blogs make over $1 million per year—and this number is exponential for those in the six figures.
Just make sure you’re hosted on the best blogging platform—page speeds are a major factor to success.
How to Start
There are multiple things you should know before starting. By having core understanding of blogging, everything will be easier in the future.
#1 Choose Your Topic 📘
Once again, have a look at this detailed blogging guide; it takes the guessing out of things. Before actually creating any content, you have hard data backing up your decision to write on the topic. Things look out for our loss of search page traffic, low to moderate difficulty scores, and having an interest/know-how on the subject.
At the very least, you should be confident that you can bang out lots of useful content around it.
#2 Create a Core Structure, With Exercises 🏃
The outlining phase. If you weren’t aware, I’m a web developer by trade. Sometimes I get involved in doing presentations. From experience, I understand that having exercises helps your students retain the course’s information better and gives it a better structure.
Outline the most important areas to be covered, you also help your students immensely by thinking of ways to test their understanding.
#3 Set Yourself up and Promote Your Course 🪧
Thinkific comes highly regarded as an e-learning platform. There, you’ll be able to upload videos, exercises, and other practice materials. Next, is to promote it (this is the hardest part).
Doesn’t really matter where your audience is; you simply need to reach them. As with the Crypto Casey example, this could be via YT. You could also do the typical content creation on your blog and use incentives for the reader to join your email list, such as giveaways. ConvertKit is our personal favourite for doing email marketing.
Other pathways to sell an info product:
Create an ebook, e.g. ‘100 ways to do email marketing.’ use Amazon KDP to post and manage book sales. Amazon gets a small commission for each copy of the book sold, but they have a massive marketplace so it’s worth considering.
The downside to this is that there is a lot of saturation, so competition is very high.
Lots of affiliate products are hosted here. Upload your product on ClickBank’s marketplace and their pool of affiliate marketers will sell it for you.
This greatly streamlines the most difficult part of the sales process—marketing and promotion.
Sell Directly From Your Website
Michael Scott-Earle is a very successful self-publisher who made the transition from Amazon to selling directly from his website.
Bookfunnel is pretty useful for authors selling directly.
But for all other types of digital products, Gumroad may be best for selling from your website.
You can choose your product price and then restricts visitors to paying only via credit card and checking out the download your infoproduct. Gumroad is extremely fast and automated, mitigating friction in the sales process. There’s also a ‘pay-what-you-want’ option, for new or hard-won customers.
PRO TIP: Consider using a mixture of the above methods. For instance, if promotions is your biggest weak-point, due to not having a pre-existing customer base, then ClickBanks may be your best starting place.
2. Affiliate Blogging
For those who aren’t familiar, if you look up a product that you like, you can link to it in your blog, and when visitors click and purchase something from your link, then you get a commission for the referral.
Affiliate blogging/marketing is another automated (passive/semi-passive) way to make money early on, because you don’t need lots of traffic flowing into your site.
Speaking of 6-figure blogs, many of these get 80% of the revenue from affiliate marketing. As long as you have enjoyable material, it can take only 50 visitors, for one to click and buy a product recommended by you so that you make a money commission.
Where to Find a Great Affiliate Program
Finding a great affiliate program is an important part of your affiliate website. Even with low traffic, you can earn a lot of money if the commissions from your affiliate programs are good.
Though not many people know, by registering for the program and adding links in your blog, you can get up to $150 CPA (cost per acquisition) for every first-time hire, up to $1K per sale.
If you’re wondering why to recommend Fiverr to readers, they’re a giant marketplace for digital freelance services—so there’s an enormous range of work sold by professionals. (Chances are, there are producers in your ‘content arena.’)
Those killer services are what you’re recommending. Some segment of your readership will be working on projects related to your field and will be on the lookout for quality hires.
Wise used to be called Transferwise, we were with them before they started to gain a big name.
The company helps people to receive and send money both locally and internationally—they’re great for converting currencies and holding multiples in a single account. They’ve crept up in popularity over the years, with 8 million customers at current.
Saving users over a billion dollars each year, they’re going to be a bastion of the future for travellers, expats, and other business working relationships. So this is a great affiliate program to join in investing for the years to come.
As for commissions, these are calculated based on performance, there’s always a chance to earn greater dividends for bringing in more customers. As they use a cookie period limit, you still earn money no matter how long it takes for a reader to convert to Wise.
#3 Do Your Research!
We’ve listed some of the most high-performing niches, but the top-ranked affiliate program may vary depending on your specific sector, if you want something tailored it’s worth doing a quick check. As a very nonexhaustive shortlist, here are a few examples:
Best Website Builder Affiliate Programs:
- Wix - Our #1 best builder $100 per sale; 90-day
- Shopify - 200%. 30-days
- Weebly - 30% recurring comm rate. 30 days
Best VPN Affiliate Programs:
- NordVPN - O #1 best VPN)
- ExpressVPN - Single $13 for 1-month signup, $36 for 12
- IPVarnish - V good shares: 100% for month 1
- Surfshark - Enormous 40% revenue share
Best Twitch & Gaming Affiliates:
- Astro Gaming - 5%. 180 days
- G2Deal - 10-20% for software, 3% other items
- Fanatical - 5%. 90 days
- Gamefly - $15 signups. 5-20% games. 30 days
- And of course, Twitch - 50% subscriptions, 5% sales
Best Banking and Credit Card Affiliates:
- Bank affiliate.com
- Freshbooks - $5 per lead, $55 per customer. 120 day
- Bank rate credit cards
- Equifax - $10-40. 30 days.
- Commission soup
Best Travel Affiliate:
- TripAdvisor - 50% commission rate. 14 day
- Expedia - 26%, 7 days
- Travelpayouts - goes up to 80%. 30 days
- Marriott - 3-6%. 7 days
Best Affiliate Networks:
- CJ by Conversant - Biggest brands including Buzzfeed
- Impact - 1000s of top brands such as Airbnb, Uber...
- Shareasale - Over a million affiliates
3. Google Adsense
Google AdSense display ads comes third.
We’ve hesitated on this one as it’s not ideal for beginners, because as you won’t have much or any traffic when you first begin your blog and to really have good success with AdSense display ads, you need to have a steady stream of visitors.
We’ve seen AdSense show good results when their blog has lots of traffic coming in—so this step is for those ready at that stage, even though a ton of online blogs make their bread-and-butter from affiliate marketing, many make the majority of their income via AdSense.
#1 Get Registered ✍️
#2 Launch Ads on Your Website 💈
After getting approved, the next step is to put some ads upon your website. This isn’t difficult/time-consuming, and there are plenty of guides.
All you need to do is to copy a piece of code that your chosen platform will give you, paste it on your website and it will automatically begin to show your blog for you. (Place the code in your blog header.) That’s what’s so attractive, it’s a pretty smooth process.
#3 Bring More Eyeballs on Your Content 👀
Google AdSense works peripherally to your main blog content. The reader initially selects your website in order to browse or view a particular page. AdSense display ads pop up on the borders of the main screen area, with a segment of your traffic clicking on ads.
You need to therefore increase the stream and again by using content marketing, such as social media or with the aid of SEO tools.
#4 Continue to Churn Out Content ⚙️
Assuming that you don’t already have a selection of high hitters in the search engines, you will need to continue to create new content in order to gain more domain authority. Once again, scroll up to the beginning of this guide where we linked to part 1 and 2 of our 'Blog Success' series.
In that guide, you will get lots of unmissable tips about manipulating keywords and exploiting gaps in the market. Our golden rule of thumb is to never create content without having sure data backed insight that there is an exploitable share of attention in that space.
Finding a gap is not by chance (or rarely is), so to not waste tons of money and energy on new articles or infoproducts, you’ll need to go through those guides. Those who take the due diligence can steadily grow their blog and revenue stream.
4. Membership Communities
You can also make a membership community.
Here’s how it works, for instance, you have a little blog and a few hundred weekly visitors. You give these readers access to a community.
You might allow professionals to sell their own services. Or open up more interactions between different members over a discord server, but with a Patreon gateway for example.
You set a price per month, whatever you decide is reasonable. This revenue stream may be small at first, but over time if you have 30, 40, 50 people in a community or paying a monthly fee, it can all add up pretty fast.
#1 Choose the Incentives 📊
For instance, if you’re a content creator, you could have installments that are only available in the membership area. As an example of this check out TrueCrimeObsessed (which at the time of this article was the largest most popular Patreon page on the planet).
Special content and perks are only accessible by being a member on the Patreon page.
A similar mechanism can be used for Discord chat communities, where you do not need to be present to keep up conversations (or only infrequently so), and the main draw is just in members forging a community together of their own accord.
You create courses or info products especially for the community. Whatever you do, you need to offer some sort of special value, creating another head of time that you can keep subscribers entertained for months on end after they join.
This may be more of a semi-passive approach to generating money from your blog, because some upkeep is necessary to retain subscribers.
On the other hand, you can turn it fully passive by setting your account to a minimum one-month membership for all subscribers, then using the gate as a way to access the material on a one-off basis. Every now and again, a new user will become a member in order to access your content, even if your retention levels are poor.
#2 Select a Platform 💻
The best platform, we think these three are really worthwhile:
Patreon & Locals
As mentioned earlier, Patreon is a premier spot for content creators to form private membership groups.
There actually are few others, like Locals.com. In each case, the platform is ready-made for handling membership requests and credit cards, including crypto currency. Once they have access, automatically approved upon payment, any continued drink you make pops up on their private feed according to their membership level.
This means you can simply mention your Locals/Patreon page on your blog, drawing a segment of your traffic across to that page. Setting up the membership area can take as little as an hour, although you may need to wait for a day or more for your page to be approved and be online.
These two are the best free options because they are automated.
You need to have Facebook to use Facebook groups. Set one up, then it’s up to you to manage making sure that members are keeping up-to-date with their monthly/yearly payments.
These are commonly used with mastermind groups where a large annual fee secures membership for the whole year. On a month-to-month basis, it can be too bureaucratic, as you will need to manage all of this manually.
Facebook may also decide to start charging Facebook groups in the future.
Another platform you choose is called LearnDash. They're tailored to info products and courses. As a learning management platform, it will let you create communities centered around this kind of content, and will manage payments and cancellations/refunds automatically.
This is especially useful for WordPress websites, so for course makers with a WP blog this is a preferred choice, but you will need to have a competitive info product to market.
No, just kidding. I think that’s enough.
In this guide, we easily could have placed Membership Communities as the best option for monetizing your blog. Another way of looking at it is as a bridge between free content and higher-level aspects (e.g Online Courses/workshops), so that you could put a paid gate between your workshop and blog visitors.
Whereas Affiliate Blogging and Google AdSense represent the more staple passive/semi-passive content marketing approaches, with tools like ClickBanks allowing you even to outsource the marketing and promotional side of things.