This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure page.
*This post may contain affiliate links. For more details on affiliate links, check out my disclosure page.
In March of 2016 I started my very first blog. My partner and I had just relocated to a new city, and I was still trying to secure employment for myself. Being unemployed for a period of time, I found myself with a lot of free time! That is when I decided to start a blog. It was something that I had always wanted to do because I love writing, and I also love the design side of it. So, I took the plunge and decided to start one, mainly just as a hobby.
Blogging became something I absolutely LOVED. I became very passionate about it, and realized that I loved connecting with other bloggers and growing my own community of like-minded people.
Eventually, I realized I could turn something I love into something that also provides a little side income, and over the past 2 (ish) years I have created two profitable blogs. I am learning more and more every single day about how to increase that income by simply doing what I love.
My two blogs currently provide me with a nice little side income, but my ultimate goal is to turn my passion for blogging into a full-time business.
So, let’s talk about monetizing your blog!
There are so many misconceptions out there about what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to monetizing your blog. I want to clear some of those up today, and also talk about a method I use that you may not have heard of or tried with your own blog!
Alright, first, here are some misconceptions I want to clear up.
1 | You need to wait until you have x amount of traffic or x number of months to monetize your blog
FALSE! Well, sort of…
So, with this statement I think it just depends on the method of monetization you want to use.
There are definitely certain income streams you simply cannot have success with as a brand new blogger (in my opinion). For example, launching digital products or courses. The reason I believe you won’t be successful with those options in the very beginning, is because you really need that traffic & trusting community / email list to launch your course or product to (at least successfully).
Now, I am not saying it is impossible, but in most cases, you would want to build your traffic and email list first before tackling that specific form of income stream. BUT, with affiliate marketing, you can literally start incorporating it into your blog posts from day one. Then, as your blog grows, so does your blog income, because those links are already strategically placed throughout your blog.
2 | You should only focus on one type of income stream
FALSE! I actually recommend the opposite. I think it is important to focus on a variety of income streams. BUT you don’t want to try and do it all or all at one time.
Pick a few things that work best for you and your blog and create an action plan to implement those forms of income into your blog strategy.
3 | You need to create a high-priced course or product to make any money
Nope, wrong again! If you create a product or course that provides value + you nurture and grow the relationships with your audience and email list, you can make a ton of sales! So, even if your course or product is lower in price, you can still bring in a pretty good income.
For example, I have a $7 tripwire product that has brought in nearly $300 in blog income for me in the past two months. I talk more about that below.
Okay, now that we busted some myths, let’s talk about what methods you can use to monetize your blog!
6 TYPES OF INCOME STREAMS YOU CAN USE:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Create and Sell an E-Book
- Sponsored Posts
- Offer Services
- Sell Products and/or Courses
You can choose the income strategy that works best for your blog, but I do recommend using a mix of a few. With that being said though, don’t try and do it all at once, focus on one, master it, and then move on to the next income stream idea, etc.
If you are interesting in learning more about those 6 income stream options, I go into detail about each option in this post: 6 Awesome Ways to Make Money With Your Blog
Now, I want to talk about my own personal experience and what I have done so far to monetize my two blogs. I run this blog (kendrablogs.com) which is my second blog. I also run another blog that I started in 2016 (adjustingtoadulthood.com) which was started as a blog aimed at twenty-something’s and has since evolved into a more niche specific blog dedicated to personal growth and development in adulthood.
METHODS OF INCOME FOR MY BLOGS
Below are the various methods I use to monetize my blogs. These are the current income streams that work for me and my blogs. That doesn’t mean these exact methods will work for you. Every blog is different! The key is to figure out which methods will work best for your blogging niche, yourself, and your readers!
This is currently my most effective form of income for KendraBLOGS. I use affiliate links in almost all of my post (if they fit the content and are relevant and helpful for my readers). I have also promoted some affiliate links to my email list as well from time to time.
Some affiliate programs I have partnered with are:
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (an amazing course that has helped me tremendously with my own affiliate marketing strategy)
- Siteground (My Blog Hosting Platform)
- Convertkit (My email marketing platform)
- Pinteresting Strategies (an awesome and affordable ebook that helped me create an effective Pinterest Strategy).
- Amazon Affiliates
- ShareASale (An free affiliate network that you can sign up for and get access to a ton of different affiliate programs – a great place to start as a beginner)
I launched KendraBLOGS at the end of March and have earned $530 in affiliate marketing to date. You can read more about how I accomplished that + how you can get started with affiliate marketing in this post: Affiliate Marketing: How to Start Making Money With Affiliate Links
I will also be launching my first digital download on KendraBLOGS
- I have also created a Blog Planner that will be launching in the next week or so. I will be providing a super exclusive sale price to my email subscribers! So, if you aren’t part of my email list yet, sign up now to grab that sale price when the time comes! (it’ll be less than $10!!!)
In the future I will be providing paid courses as well but I do not currently have any launched just yet!
So, with this blog I do not have a ton of affiliate links or a real affiliate marketing strategy. I do use Amazon affiliates and that’s really the main one. I don’t make a ton through affiliate links with Adjusting to Adulthood, but I plan on focusing more on that income stream moving forward.
Digital Downloads and Products
While I don’t make much from affiliate marketing through my A2A blog, my big money maker is digital downloads. To date, I made $2131.93 from digital downloads.
But, that total is from July 2016 until today (July 2018). I didn’t truly focus or create a strategy for monetizing my blog until this year, and have brought in approx. $1102 in 2018 from that blog alone. That is Literally over half my blog income from adjustingtoadulthood.com that has come in over the past 6 months! I made more in 6 months than I had in 1.5 years before that.
So what did I do differently?
I started to be more strategic.
A great example is the fact that I created a trip-wire. It is only a $7 digital download but it has made me almost $300 since launching it in May, and currently converts at about 46% which is amazing!
You see, I had created a free e-course as an opt-in for my email list and it was doing really really well. If your interested, the e-course is called “See Ya Later Self Doubt”, and it all about letting go of fear of failure, and gaining more self-confidence! I had a ton of people signing up for the e-course, and I knew I could use it to my advantage somehow, but I just didn’t know how!
That was when I came across a blog post all about using a tripwire.
So, what is a tripwire exactly??
Basically, a tripwire is an extremely discounted offer that is given after someone opts-in for one of your freebies. You simply set it up so that when a reader opts-in to a freebie, they are redirected to the sales page of your trip wire. The offer is usually a one-time-offer that can only be accessed through being redirected to that page or is a time sensitive offer that is only available for a very limited time (think like 10 – 30 minutes)
If you want to learn more about what a tripwire is and why it is so effective I created a whole post about it! Check it out here: How to Create a Tripwire Product + the Reason Why You Should
The other thing I started to do was focus on my email list and building a community of amazing people! When I started to focus on building that relationship with my readers, and really focusing on finding my ideal audience, I started to draw in the right people. The people who were interested in what I had to offer, and who I could truly help with my content and my products.
I switched from Mailchimp to Convertkit, and I never looked back. Convertkit had so much more to offer as far as building my email list. I could easily set up automation’s and sequences, and truly get the most from my email marketing strategy.
I highly recommend investing in an email list. Every blogger and online business should be utilizing an email list and embracing everything it has to offer. My email list has not only increased my blog income, it has provided me with an amazing community of people.
Interested in getting started with email marketing and building an email list? Check out these resources:
So, there you have it, that is how I turned my hobby blog into a side hustle. As you can see, I utilize various income streams to bring in a blog income. I believe it ultimately depends on your niche and blog topic to figure out what income methods will work best for you.
I liked to tackle one method at a time, fully focus on that income stream until I had all systems in place, and then move forward with the next, then the next, etc.
So, if you are ready to start a money making blog, I would absolutely love to help you!
I have various free resources you can check out:
You can also gain access to my free resources library! You will get exclusive access to blogging checklists, workbooks, and more! The Freebie library is only available to kendraBLOGS subscribers, but you can simply subscribe below and have the password emailed directly to you for instant access.
Still have questions? You can reach out to me personally by commenting below or sending me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I love hearing from my readers, and helping in any way I can!
Blogging has been one of the best things I have incorporated into my life. If you believe you have a skill or set of knowledge that you can share and help others learn as well, blogging may be a great platform to do that! Plus, making a nice little side income doesn’t hurt either, am I right??