HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING in 2020




This post may contain affiliate links. I will get a commission if you use those links at no extra cost to you. 

If you want to start a money making blog, there is absolutely nothing stopping you.

You can do it even in 2020. You just need to learn the skill, to stay motivated and to believe in yourself.

It is not too late to start blogging, I started in December 2019. The important thing is that you start NOW!

It is early January and I have been able to get my blog traffic to 1000 page views and I am still growing very fast.

I have been able to make some money with my blog by selling freelance writing and Pinterest management services.


WHY MANY PEOPLE NEVER MAKE ANY MONEY BLOGGING:

I believe that a lot of people never make any money blogging because of the following mindsets:

1. Expecting quick results

The reason why a few people make millions blogging while many people abandon their projects having made nothing to very little is resilience or the lack thereof.

Only those who stick around long enough to see any results make the money. Everyone else quits and goes on looking for something else. 

You are not likely to make money overnight blogging because of the learning curve and because you need to gain people’s trust before they hand over their money to a stranger.

2. Expecting it to be easy

It is not. It will not only take you time, it will also take you a lot of effort especially at the beginning.

However, if you pay your dues, opportunities and indeed dollars, will come to you. Eventually you won’t have to put in as much effort, but for the first couple months, there is no other way.




Click here to read my articles on the 5 tools bloggers need to succeed  and here for other ways to make money online as a writer

3. It should not cost me anything

Blogging is like any other business. You have to spend at least some money before you get anything back.

Lucky for you, most of the time, the investment is very low and the returns are huge.

You may spend only $47 on hosting for an entire year and make $1,000 a month blogging.

Those who take free and cheap short cuts almost always end up getting absolutely nothing in return.

Look for innovative ways to cut costs, I know I do, but when you need to, make the investment.

Anyway, lets get down to the real reason you are here, MAKING MONEY.

In this article, I will begin by showing you how blogs make money and then show you how to reverse engineer that process for success.

You can expect to make a dollar or none your first month blogging but the second and third months is when the real magic really starts to happen.


Many successful bloggers make anywhere between $500 to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. Blogs make money in four major ways:

A. Ads.

I am sure you have seen internet ads before. Often the website owners are being paid for the ads being displayed on their website just like TV and radio ads.

Ads generate a lot of income for blogs with a lot of traffic. You really start making money with Ads when you qualify for high paying sites like Mediavine who typically only accept sites with more than 25,000 sessions almost 30,000 page views per month.

Do not worry, we will get to how to drive massive traffic to your blog.

As a small blog, like mine, affiliate marketing will be your best option.

B. Affiliate marketing

There are small blogs that make a lot of money from affiliate sales. You just have to build trust with your readers then promote valuable products well.

If you promote a product on your blog and somebody buys it, you get a commission. This is why Instagram models sell useless weight loss teas and detoxes.

If you are genuine and have products people need, you can make a decent amount affiliate marketing.

My target for January is to make $200 even though I am a total newbie blogger and as you will read from my Income Report in February, I am pretty optimistic.

C. Sponsored posts

When you have a significant number of engaged readers, brand will want to work with you.

When that time comes, you will be able to reach out to brands and make as much as $500 per promoted posts.

As a newbie, keep this in mind as you make content. Do not create offensive, adult or abusive content or even use other people’s content without permission.

Do not engage in anything controversial if you want to work with brands in the future.

D. Selling your products or services

I sell my services as a freelance writer using my blog as a portfolio.

Recently somebody reached out and paid me to make pins for them to post on Pinterest.

A blog is the best way to advertise yourself. It can act as a freelance portfolio.

It can give you some credibility in your industry and land you jobs for example if you are a photographer or wedding planner. It is called content marketing.

Many bloggers usually progress into selling e-books or online courses.

You can always start you blog with this in mind. If you want to sell a book about fishing, start a fishing blog.

A book about time management, start a productivity blog.

Other bloggers sell printables, journals, clothes, yoga mats, recipe books even hair. The list is endless.

THE FOUR STEPS TO BLOGGING SUCCESS

If you want to be successful blogging, you need to remember this four steps: Set Up - Content - Traffic/Promotion - Monetization.

There is a lot of things you can get caught up doing that will make you 0 dollars blogging. So always remember:

1. Set up

2. Content

3. Traffic/promotion

4. Monetization




1. SET-UP

The set up is dived into two: choosing a topic/niche/user your blog will be based on and creating a website.

A. Niche vs Avatar (choosing what to blog about)

A lot of people will advise you to pick a specific niche.

The three most profitable niches are health, wealth and relationships. Pets, food,hobbies, parenting, travel, DIYs and parenting come a close second.

There are literally a million other possibilities but you should make sure your niche has a good amount of people interested in it to bring in the page views.

A second way, which is what I and other lifestyle bloggers use is to pick an avatar instead of a niche and cater to that avatar. 

An avatar is your ideal reader.

Just Outta College, this blog, is not based on a niche, it is based on an avatar: a young woman who has just finished college.

I write on topics that affect her primarily in the health, wealth and relationship categories.

Choosing an avatar is perfect for Pinterest traffic which is the primary way I drive traffic to my blog but not so much for Google SEO which is basically means appearing on the first pages of Google for a search query.

B. Creating a user friendly website.

The next aspect is the technical part of choosing hosting, domain and theme.

The most important thing is that you create a beautiful website that loads quickly.

Do not fall into the time suck of picking out just the perfect name for your blog or just the perfect hosting service or the perfect blog theme.

When it comes to blog name, go simple (it is not very important. Most bloggers just use their name these days). For blog hosting, always go with Bluehost.

For blog theme, choose something minimal, simple with a lot of white. You do not want a complicated, colored, cluttered theme that hurts to look at.

This part should not take you more than one hour. A lot of failed bloggers spent all their energy in this step and never got to the real work of blogging, creating and promoting valuable content.

Step one -> Pick a name for your website and go over to GoDaddy to check if it is available. Do not buy it yet. 

Step two - > Set up your blog hosting. 

Hosting is like buying a house for your blog and the domain name is like your physical address.

Get yourself decent hosting. 51% of the internet is hosted by Bluehost because they are the best.

I know from experience that you cannot succeed in blogging with a domain that looks like www.justouttacollege.blogspot.com or www.justouttacollege.wixsite.com or www.justouttacollege.wordpress.com which is what you will get with a free hosting service.

You are not going to be the exception so if are serious about blogging, just make the investment.

I opened a blog on blogger, bought a $0.99 domain from GoDaddy and connected them myself by following tutorials on YouTube.

That is how I ended using blogger and having www.justouttacollege.com

Savvy, I know, but I regret it every single day. I have started the process of migrating my blog.



By the way, there is no way of migrating from blogger to bluehost directly. I have had to hire someone to to do it for me.

Everything that is supposed to make you money blogging has been designed for WordPress.

I have to keep learning complex code to input everything I need to succeed like share buttons and downloadables and even a contact me page.

Worst of all, I have been rejected from affiliate programs and Ad networks because of using free hosting. Monetization is the real challenge of having a blogger blog.

If you have $47.5/year you need for your first year, head over to Bluehost and make the investment. 

But if you do not have it, you can still go the blogger plus domain name route.

Just be willing to work much harder and eventually pay someone to migrate you content to Bluehost. It is hard, I wouldn't recommend it but it is doable. 

Step Three - > Install wordpress

From your Bluehost account, install WordPress. It's pretty straightforward once you've purchased hosting. 

When you get to your WordPress Account, pick a simple theme preferably one with a lot of white space and minimal design.

Once again, do not waste time trying to make your site just perfect. Keep it moving.



Step Four - > Create a simple and beautiful logo on canva 

Use this link to get a free 30 days trial of canva pro. Take advantage of this to get access to stunning logo templates that you won't be able to access on the free version.

Do not waste time on your logo either. Pick a simple, stylish template and customize it. Do not obsess over little details or you will never start your blog. 


Step Five - > Set up just one or two social media accounts.

Social media is another place where failed bloggers waste their time. Social media has proven itself to be a poor source of traffic but an incredible way to engage with your audience.

The only social media platform that converts traffic is Pinterest. 

So set up your Pinterest business account and just one another social media account where majority of your potential audience hang outs.

That will be your engagement platform.

For my first month blogging, I have only focused on Pinterest and it has delivered to drive traffic to my account.

Read Create and Go’s article on how to use pinterest as a beginner to grow your blog traffic.

Then in my second month, I joined facebook groups for Pinterest and for bloggers to help grow my blog engagement. They have delivered as well.



2. CONTENT

Nothing matters more in blogging more than the content. You are a blogger, so blog.

Create valuable content! 

Content that performs the best for bloggers is long articles between 800 to 1200 words.

Long informational articles like this article that is about 2,700 words also perform exceptionally well especially for affiliate marketing.

I got this advise from Income School, a website teaching bloggers how to start successful niche sites to rank on Google SEO.

According to them, to make a site really successful, you need at least 30 blog posts.

A lot of their advice does not apply to me because Pinterest and not Google SEO is my main source of traffic but it still came in handy.

I have about 10 short articles with around 1000 words, 10 long articles of about 2,000 words and 10 pillar posts that are about 3,000 words long.

Most of my traffic is for the shorter articles yet most of my affiliate sales are from the long 3,000 word articles.

The 2,000 word articles however get more engagement and I will use them in the future to grow my mailing list.

The rule of thumb for content is add value. Teach, entertain or better yet do both.

The internet is already crowded with poorly written, poorly thought out content.

Make great content and you will stand out. Also, be genuine.

One thing I wish I did from the onset is to have a monetization plan for most of my articles instead of just writing.

Now that I already have 30 articles on my blog, I just started thinking of this.

Every article I write moving forward is either for building trust and collecting email addresses, for affiliate sales, or it has the potential to go viral and bring in those ad dollars.

Always remember, offer value in every single blog post. You do not have to apply gimmicks to stand out, you just have to offer valuable information.

3. TRAFFIC/PROMOTION

The money in blogging is in the traffic. There are many ways to get traffic to your blog but here are some rules you will do well to remember:

1. Pick one and stick to it.

A blog that is optimized for everything is optimized for nothing. You will grow significantly slower if you are doing Pinterest, Google SEO and Guest blogging all the same time to try and grow your site.

2. Pinterest

If you want to grow quickly, get on Pinterest. Pinterest brought my site to 100 page views per day within two weeks of opening my Pinterest account. However, Pinterest is hard. It is fast, it is simple but not easy.

3. Paid traffic. Stear clear for now.

Stick to organic traffic and do not venture into paid traffic as a beginner. Paid traffic performs better for established bloggers who have the budget to test and fail until something sticks. Also paid traffic is worth very little when it comes to ads.



4. MONETIZATION

I already touched on this in the opening of this section.

Bloggers make money by ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and selling their own services and products.

You can always come up with a fifth method.

If you focus on traffic, the Ads money will come. Most bloggers, including me, have Mediavine as our target.

Once you get to 25,000 sessions that is around 30,000 page views a month, you can apply and start earning. Bloggers earn $500 and even $2000 with Mediavine per month.

However, in the meanwhile, just like getting traffic, focus on one thing at a time.

Right now I am focused on learning the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and implementing it on my blog.

Then I will start on writing an e-book to sell. I have already self published before and I loved the process.

Also you can always have a service page on your blog to advertise your own services like freelance writing, photography, accounting or coaching to bring in the money as well.

If you do it right, blogging will establish you as an expert (even though you may not feel like it) in the field you write about and give you job opportunities there.

START TODAY!!

My number one blogging regret is that I did not start sooner 

The most important thing to remember about blogging is that it takes time but it pays really well.

I enjoy writing, creating and engaging with my reader and that makes blogging the best job I have ever had. 

You have what it takes. Just start today. Comment down below if you are ready to begin and have any more questions. All the best my friends.


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