One of the most common questions (ok, THE most common question) I get from new bloggers is how to make money blogging. Here’s what you NEED to know…
How to Make Money Blogging (6 Key Steps You Can’t Skip!)
The second most common question: how many page views do I need before I can start making money?
Page views do matter. But here’s the thing, you’ve got to lay the ground work for success to even get the page views in the first place.
I broke down some of it live in my blogger’s Facebook group today, and it inspired me to delve a little deeper in a blog post. There’s no one “right” answer for every blogger, but there are a few important things that you’ve absolutely GOT to do if you want to monetize your blog.
(post contains affiliate links to help you get started; disclosure policy available here)
Lay a strong foundation for your blog and you’ll be ready to build a business that could change your life!
1. Make sure you are allowed to monetize
If you’re still on a free hosting platform, then it’s time to make the switch to self-hosting! Many free blog services have restrictions on monetization, so if you’re serious about blogging as a business, you’ll need to purchase monthly hosting and your own domain name. (Plus it looks more professional to readers and businesses).
I didn’t know the difference and I created my blog on WordPress.com and I ended up having to move everything over to a self-hosted site just a few months later. Switching from free to self-hosted requires some decent web knowledge or paying someone to do it for you to avoid site outages or losing any of your hard work.
I started with BlueHost hosting because they offer the best value for the money (and as a beginning blogger you want to keep your expenses as LOW as possible!) They also offer 24/7 support, which was a lifesaver for me on a few occasions.
If you sign up through my link you’ll get exclusive pricing for Soccer Mom Blog fans as low as $2.95 a month PLUS a free domain name! ($15 value)
Bluehost also has reasonable upgrade options for an easy transition when your traffic increases. Check out this post about why I chose Bluehost hosting and 4 web hosting myths debunked.
2. Invest in your blog
One of the amazing things about blogging is that it doesn’t require a huge up-front monetary investment to get started. (Hosting was pretty much my only expense for the first few months!) However, you must invest your time.
You might see posts online claiming how easy it is to “make a full-time income by blogging part time.” Don’t be fooled! If you want your blog to bring in money like a business, you’ve got to treat it as such.
Like any other business, don’t expect an immediate return on your investment. That takes time too! You’ve got to build your library of content, build your skills, build your readership…build, build, build. Stick with it, learn, and grow and one day your investment will pay off.
3. Be an active blogger
You don’t have to post every single day (that’s hard to do as a one-person operation!) However, you need to be posting consistently.
When readers, brands, and PR reps look at your site, they notice if your content is stale. Imagine going to a recipe website in July looking for summer grilling ideas, only to see that the front page is full of Easter treats! You’d wonder if the website had been abandoned.
There’s no “perfect” schedule that works for every blogger. You might be able to crank out three stellar posts every week, or you may dedicate yourself to one a week. Set a schedule that you can stick with — the most important thing is to keep creating content regularly.
4. Share on social every day
The four main social media networks a blogger should maintain a presence on are Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Just like your website, these social media profiles need daily attention too.
Brands often connect with bloggers through social media, so if your accounts aren’t active, they might think you’re not blogging anymore and move on.
Also, your social media following will only grow if you’re consistently sharing great content. This means sharing other people’s content too! Generally, you want to share at least 75% from other sources besides your own blog. (The exception being Instagram, where the photos you post should be your own).
Not sure what to share? Look at some of your favorite bloggers and what they’re sharing. What things do people engage with? What are readers liking, commenting on, and sharing? This might give you ideas of what to curate.
TIP: If you’re unsure of the proper way to share other blogger’s content, check out this post about blogging etiquette.
5. Make it easy for people to contact you
You’d never believe how many websites I visit where I can’t find a blogger’s contact information at first glance. And if I can’t find it, neither can brands or PR reps.
This should be the easiest thing to locate on your site! A link that says CONTACT ME should be clearly visible in your main navigation menu.
Once people click through to your contact/about page, your email address should be front and center. Bold it. Make it impossible to miss.
I don’t recommend contact forms because they feel impersonal — I always wonder if my message will be seen! Directing people to your email address makes it simple, no plugin or additional step required.
6. Build a network
Blogging is often a solo business, but it’s so much easier (and more fun!) when you’re not going it alone. A “tribe” of like-minded souls is an invaluable resource!
I love my blogging buddies because we:
- Brainstorm ideas
- Engage with and/or share each other’s content
- Motivate each other when the going gets tough
- Cheer each other’s successes
Not sure where to find other bloggers? Facebook is full of blogging groups, both local and world-wide, in all difference niches! All it takes is a simple search to find them.
More Blogging Resources
If you’re doing all of the things above, then you’re ready to start making money blogging. CLICK HERE to learn the first ways I built an online income and you can too (even as a beginner!)