One of the top questions many new bloggers ask is “how do I make money with a new blog? Another one is “when should I start monetizing my blog?
And another one is “how can I grow blog traffic so I can sign up to Mediavine?”
Ahh… the elusive Mediavine ad program. It’s lucrative but harder to attain membership unless your blog is insanely popular.
They raised admission to a minimum of 50,000 sessions a month in 2020, making it even harder for bloggers to get into the program.
Recently in one of my Facebook groups, I found myself in a debate with other established bloggers about ads and how they can make bloggers money.
However, the question that started it all came from a new blogger. My advice was to focus on other things than ads for a number of reasons. The key ones are, that they aren’t making you money with a small blog. There are many more, but that’s a separate blog post altogether.
In this post, I’ll answer how do beginner blogs make money. I’ll share with you my recommendations and tips for how to make money with a new blog, that you may want to try out for yourself.
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.
How To Make Money With A New Blog
There are many ways you can make money with a new blog, but for the sake of getting you started with the best options, I’ve narrowed it down to three.
They are affiliate marketing, selling services, and creating and selling digital products.
When should you start monetizing your blog? As soon as you like! You can monetize your blog from day one, knowing that realistically you may not make money immediately.
If you’re planning on blogging as a hobby for a while, that’s okay. You can turn your hobby blog into an online business when you’re ready.
One thing to note – if you’ve got a lifestyle blog with several niche topics, you’re going to have a much harder time making money. It’s going to take more time to build up your site’s credibility, domain authority and traffic. It’s going to be more difficult to monetize successfully. Always niche down your blog when possible.
| RELATED: Why It’s Much More Difficult To Make Money With A Lifestyle Blog
| RELATED: Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Money And How To Fix It
Making Money Blogging By Investing In Your Blog
Before you even consider monetizing your blog, make sure you’re set up to do so! You’ll need to make some essential investments in your blog.
Here’s what you’ll need in place first:
- A self-hosted blog with WordPress (Start with quality, cost-effective NameHero), the most customizable platform for blogging. You will need to get your own domain as well.
- A theme that works with e-commerce (WooCommerce) and is designed so that you can transform it into a business easily (e.g. feminine business themes from Bluchic that use Elementor, making it super easy to create landing pages and sales pages). Check out my list of the best feminine WordPress themes for blogs and online businesses.
Make money blogging by investing wisely in the key tools. Once you get profitable, you will cover these initial start-up costs!
Now that you’re all set, let’s get started making money blogging!
| RELATED: How To Generate An Extra $100 A Month To Support Your Blog’s Key Investments
1. Make Money On Your Blog With Affiliate Links
One of the best ways to make money with a new blog is to start with affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing and why should you start implementing it in as many blog posts as possible?
To get the full scoop on affiliate marketing, read:
The Ultimate Guide To Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
Some brands offer great commissions – especially those in the blogging, home decor and fitness areas.
You can get affiliate links to MANY different types of brands and services, for almost every niche.
In many cases, you can sign up for affiliate marketing programs fairly quickly, even with a tiny, new blog.
This is why it’s a good way to make money with a new blog!
TIP: You can also make money with my affiliate program for my Confident Blogger Academy & Resource Collection. Sign up for free and earn 30% commission on each sale! Learn More
How To Add Affiliate Links To Your Posts
My key tip to new bloggers: when you start writing blog posts, look at ways to include affiliate links in a natural way.
For example, I use my NameHero link in any blog post where I reference starting a blog. It makes sense to do so as the person reading my post on starting a blog is most likely thinking of purchasing a web hosting service.
To provide more context as to WHY they should purchase, I briefly provide two to three reasons why I love using Bluehost.
This is the CREDIBILITY factor, that’s so important to improving conversion from just being a reader to a potential buyer. I’m indicating to the reader that it’s a good option for them. If they trust me and are enticed by what I’m sharing about it, they will click the link and delve further.
This is the secret to getting affiliate sales, even with a new blog!
Compelling, persuasive writing, with a genuine tone, is key to successful affiliate marketing activities for any blogger.
Get Organized With Pretty Links
Get the Pretty Links plugin (the free version is all you need) when you’re using affiliate links. With it, you can set up the links to look like they come from your domain.
It also makes it easier to make your link a “no follow” link which follows Google’s guidelines on affiliate links.
Have A Properly Written Disclaimer Page
ALWAYS make sure you have your legal pages in order, especially the DISCLAIMER page to properly disclose how you use affiliate links.
If you don’t have them, check out Amira A Self Guru’s Legal Bundle. It’s affordable and a must-do investment to blog legally.
Include A Disclosure Statement Before Your Affiliate Links
In each post where you are adding affiliate links, you MUST have a short disclosure statement.
It needs to appear before the first affiliate link – ideally close to it.
There’s a plugin that can do it for you, but why add another plugin to slow your site down?
I add mine manually (see above) as close as possible to where my affiliate links start.
You can easily have a standard one saved and ready to go in a “pattern block” if you’re using blocks in WordPress.
| READ MORE: Affiliate Programs For New Bloggers That Help You Make Money
| RELATED: Top Ways To Promote Your Affiliate Links For Maximum Success
2. Monetize Your Blog By Selling Your Services
One of the best ways to make money with a new blog is to sell services.
You’re probably thinking I’m a bit out there for saying this, but yes, even as a new blogger you can start selling your services.
Your list of clients may be small, but it’s still something that you’re actively doing. It will evolve over time.
I know this from personal experience.
As a blog coach, I’m selling my services and expertise to help others grow their blogs. It was a choice I made based on all of the knowledge and skills I’ve learned over the years. It made sense to monetize my blog by offering coaching sessions.
Imagine working from the comfort of your own home! I love it
Are you an expert in something for which you can offer your services?
For example, if you’re a fitness instructor, or have a knack for organization tips, perhaps it’s time to consider starting a mini-business with your blog!
After all, it’s sometimes good to start with baby steps. I did with my site (although I started with SuburbanTourist.ca first, and then moved it here to this site).
So how do you do this?
Align your blog with your services! You can begin making money with your blog with this approach.
The content that you share with your readers should provide them with some answers to their key problems. It should be thoughtful, well-written and researched.
For example, let’s say you’re a whiz at organization tips. You have a reader who can’t get their home in order, and they want your help.
By offering a virtual walkthrough service through Zoom, you can provide them with tips and insights on how they can declutter their home and get organized.
Your service is a virtual one that you can sell on your blog with a WooCommerce shop (free plugin). I have one for my services and digital products (which is our next topic).
A Few Considerations For a Service-Based Blog Business
Aside from the key online coaching tools and resources, you’ll need to get and set up to be productive and run things smoothly, there’s one legal issue to address.
Protect Yourself Legally
If you’re providing a coaching service, you MUST have a coaching agreement in place between yourself and your client. Read more about the ways you can protect yourself legally and financially with a coaching agreement.
Don’t Undersell Your Services
Do your research to see what competitors are doing and their hourly rates.
You don’t want to price yourself out of business, nor do you want to undersell yourself either.
Consider your skills, experience and your capabilities. What value is it to your customer? How expensive would it be for them to do it?
Focus On Building Your Email List
Start building your email list as soon as you start your blog by offering your readers valuable free printables, worksheets or other digital downloads that they will find useful.
Build a name for yourself for quality content (we’ll get to that in a second!).
Your email list will become a great source of business when you’re ready to include easy offers, sales and affiliate links.
| READ MORE: How To Build Your Email List With Valuable Freebie Offers
Personal Branding And Blog Branding Matter
Make sure you think of yourself and your business as a brand.
Who are you and how do you want people to perceive you?
It’s all in how you present yourself in your blog design, to the tone of voice. I like to think mine is professional but friendly and inviting.
Read up on personal branding for bloggers and solopreneurs and how it works to boost your business.
Pinterest Is A Blog Traffic Powerhouse
Aside from organic traffic from Google through good on-page SEO practices (which you should be doing no matter what), use Pinterest to promote your posts as much as possible.
Many of my blog coaching clients have found me through my Pinterest pins.
It’s amazing how people can find you through the content you produce.
If your audience isn’t on Pinterest focus on the platforms they use!
| RELATED: How To Get Started On Pinterest: A Guide For Beginners
3. Create And Sell Digital Products On Your Blog
Perhaps you don’t have the time to provide services. That’s fine!
Another fantastic way to make money with a new blog is to offer digital products for purchase. It’s a passive way to make money, without too much ongoing effort.
Many who offer services also offer digital products. They take their expertise and create downloadable products for sale.
Some just offer digital products. It’s up to you what you want to do… you’re the boss, after all!
For example, I’ve created two sets of Pinterest pin templates for Canva that help you speed up your pin development. I’m selling them in my shop.
Some of the things you can sell:
- video clips
- audio clips
- digital art
You can also sell digital products such as access to a video series or create an online course.
There are many platforms you can try out for courses including Podia (using it and loving it!), Teachable and others.
Read my full guide to creating and selling digital products on your blog.
Need more inspiration?
I’ve got you covered with over 100+ digital product ideas:
PRO TIP #1: Promote your digital products and courses in a number of ways: within your blog posts, through your email newsletters, on your social media channels, and on Pinterest. The possibilities are endless. Even your email signature can have a link to a digital product!
Be Successful Working From Bed!
Promotion Is The Key To Success For Blog Monetization
So you’ve decided to use any of the recommended approaches: affiliate links, selling your services and/or selling digital products. Now what? The other key way to make money with a new blog is to:
Tap into the power of:
- Social media: your Facebook and Instagram accounts
- Ads – Facebook ads and Pinterest ads
- Twitter (to some extent, if your audience is always on there)
- LinkedIn, if your business is business-to-business (B2B)
- Your email newsletter (the most important thing you need to focus on and grow)
Although you may not have a huge audience at first, if you’re focusing on promotion diligently, over time you’ll see results.
You don’t have to have a HUGE audience to get sales. All you need is those few customers that really want what you’re offering.
In addition to this, focus on your personal branding. People love to follow other people with great ideas and solutions. Success comes when you’ve got a strong personal brand and people start to recognize you as an expert in your field!
Set realistic expectations for yourself. Do the work. The results will come!
| RELATED: The Top Facebook Groups To Join If You’re A Blogger
Track What’s Working And What’s Not… And Fix It
Not all monetization strategies will work for you from the start. The key is to not give up! You’re just starting out, so give yourself some time to figure out the kinks.
For example, you may find that people aren’t interested in your coaching services.
The problem may lie in your sales page, or your blog itself.
If what people are reading isn’t generating interest and trust in working with you, they will move on.
So you will need to address these issues to overcome this challenge.
For digital products, create a sales tracker to see which ones are working.
Once again, check your sales pages, product descriptions and perhaps our sales funnels. Sometimes a small tweak is all that’s required to start seeing ongoing sales.
Remember also to leverage key sales periods to offer your readers a chance for a great deal.
| RELATED: Can You Still Make Money Blogging? The Real Truth
Grow Your Blog To Pitch Brand Collaborations
One final way you can start monetizing your blog is to begin pitching brands and PR reps for product samples and brand collaborations.
I haven’t made this a main way to monetize with a new blog because you do need to establish it first.
Traffic, content and engagement are important indicators to a brand that you are drawing in an audience.
However, you can still create a media kit for your new blog, as well as craft a rate card to go along with it.
Make Money With A New Blog From Day One
If you’re just starting your blog, start planning ahead and look for ways you can begin monetizing it as soon as possible.
If you’re just catching on after a while of blogging, it’s still OK.
I started monetizing my Suburban Tourist blog a few years into blogging. I had to change my mindset as to what blogging could be (i.e. a business).
Of these ways to make money with a new blog, the easiest to implement immediately is affiliate marketing.
Offering services and creating and selling digital products may take a little bit of time to develop and begin promoting.
There are customers out there who want what you can offer and sell. So don’t hesitate! Think it through and do it.
| Read More: 10 Legitimate Ways To Make More Money With Work From Home Jobs
QUESTION: What are the ways to make money with a new blog that you think are the best? Are there any other ways you’re monetizing your blog?
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