How to make money blogging [2020 UPDATE]
Making money blogging is definitely possible but it’s not a get-rich-quick-scheme.
There are bloggers that make as much as $100,000 per month and there are others that make as low as nothing.
What differentiates these different bloggers is their input into what they’re doing. Some see it as their major source of income, others see it as a side hustle.
Those that make the most of their blogs are those who usually see it as a major source of income, a business.
Hence, the journey of making $500 and above from your blog starts from how you see it.
I’ll be showing you everything you need to start your own blog, run it, monetize it and start making a decent income.
I have being there so I know exactly what I’m saying. 5 years in the game is no beans.
Examples of Top Earning Bloggers
I want to quickly open your eyes to some of the top earners in Nigeria and in the US.
The reason I made mention of the US it’s because everything blogging started there and as a result most of the top earners we look up to are there.
In Fact most of the top blog earners are becoming organisations worth millions of dollars.
Without much talk, let me introduce a few of them including Our Own Very People. Just 5 of them.
The Huffington Post
This blog is owned by Arriana Huffington. This is no longer just a blog by any measure. It’s now a multimillion organization making over $2,000,000 dollars per month.
Now, that’s a whopping sum of money from something that started as a blog with one person managing it at first.
This is another blogging cash cow. Owned by 20+ old young boy called Michael Arrington. This blog has grew to become a reference in its space.
It makes over $800,000 per month. Calculate that in naira, and you’ll be talking about millions of naira per month.
Read this: 30 Blogs that make a lot of money online
You probably must have heard about her. Her net worth is jaw-dropping.
She’s worth N2,000,300,000. Her blog was first hosted on free blogger platform.
Her story is an inspiration to many people. It’s estimated that her blog makes more that N37 million per month.
Jide Ogunsanya is the owner of this blog. The blogs net worth is $800,000
Owned by Noble Igwe, his blog is worth $4 million
If you observed carefully, you’ll see that I didn’t put much details about these bloggers. Well, I’m concerned about the number just to show you that these guys are doing things, you can too!
What they did to get where they’re now is what I will be showing you here. No theories!
The first mistake you can make is to think that these people treat their blogs as a side hustle and achieved such a result. They don’t!
The second mistake you can make is to think that you can achieve a similar result in less than a year or you can’t if given the right tools and some few years.
What Is Blogging?
Blogging is just a fancy way of calling it actually.
It’s all about writing your opinions or what you believe in regularly, activities, experiences and allow people to comment or not,
Well, that is what it used to be.
But now, it has grown beyond that. How?
Blogging is now strategic, income-generating, influence-making etc.
Instead of writing something that you don’t know if people will read (this is the frustration of many bloggers, nobody reads their blog) you become more strategic by doing keyword research.
Now that google is generating huge traffic for your content daily, you decide to monetize your content either by affiliate marketing, cpc marketing or by your own product and BOOM!
You’re making profit already. Invariably you become influential in your niche market. Both online and offline.
This is what blogging is now, it has grown to become a major source of income for so many all over the world most especially in the US and India.
We can achieve something similar here.
Well, it’s dependent on you.
It Begins With Picking A Profitable Niche
Starting a successful blog that generates the money and the influence begins with the right topic. This point is so crucial.
You probably already know that ideas rule the world. It's the same here.
The idea of what to write about is the first most important step in your blogging journey.
There are basically two schools of blogging; blogging for passion and blogging for business.
I think these terms are simple enough for you to easily understand them.
Blogging for passion simply talks about writing contents or articles on what you’ve a strong feelings about. e.g Domestic violence, child marriage or plumbing etc
Somewhere, somewhere in the inner chambers of your mind you know fully well that making money is not in the picture. You just want to make the world a better place.
Blogging for business simply talks about writing contents or articles for profit purpose. From the very start of the blog you already know that at some point, you must make the money. Some examples of money-making blogging topics include; How to lose weight, parenting, dancing, singing, How to be free from addiction etc.
You must also know that owning an ecommerce store falls under this category. All successful ecommerce all over the world has a blogging strategy. Amazon, Jumia, Alibaba etc.
Also, a local business (hotel, barbing saloon, eatery) that has a blogging strategy falls under blogging for business too.
If I’m reading your mind correctly you’ve chosen blogging for business! Hahahaha!
Note this; It’s very much possible to make money from passion.
Also, you must understand that everything is learnable hence, in blogging for business you can choose a topic that is very profitable, that you know nothing about, sit down to do your research and I promise you, you will become knowledgeable about it.
I have experienced it myself.
Select A Platform
The next thing to consider after choosing a very profitable topic is to choose a blogging platform.
The current best blogging platform today is Wordpress. Not the .com but the .org.
Other platforms like blogger.com, tumblr and medium are also available.
Majority of world’s website is self-hosted on Wordpress.org.
My professional advice to you is to start your blog on blogger.com to minimize expenses and to quickly understand how blogging works. The only cash here is that your blog design might not look too professional.
But for Wordpress .org having a sleek, responsive blog design is possible. It makes your website look professional and appealing.
But you must understand that domain names like activatewindowsss.wordpress.com, activatewindowsss.blogspot.com are not encouraged if you really want to make the most out of your blog.
Owning a custom domain name like activatewindowsss.com is the best way to go.
You can get custom domain names from godaddy (very cheap), domainking, namecheap and self-hosting from siteground or A2hosting.
Note: Self hosting platforms usually charge less in your first year with them. Blogs hosted by our local hosting companies usually don’t do well. But their domain names are good.
This another very vital step for blog owners.
Writing content for a blog is not the same with writing content for a book, facebook posts, whatsapp statuses or twitter.
Writing content for your blog so you can drive-in target customers or traffic is highly dependent on keyword research and SEO.
In the world of blogging Content Is King.
Knowing how to really make money blogging is extremely tied to your ability to produce content that your customer wants to read and are craving to read. You have to be the best in your space.
Becoming a good content writer strictly involves learning how to write and consistently writing. You have to practice the art of writing on your blog and other writing opportunities you see. e.g other blogs.
The three levels of content creation is;
1 Write on popular topics in your niche (the topic you chose to write about).
2 Develop and populate your content style by having a blueprint of them
3 Deliver value for every of your content. Let there be something worth learning, no blabbing.
The purpose of writing superb content is to get traffic.
The whole purpose of doing Search Engine Optimization, Site structure, Link Building is to get this same traffic.
Guess what? The best source of traffic your website/blog can ever have is traffic from Google.
Google the world’s No.1 search engine and as a result lots of people uses it daily for to search for almost anything you can think of. I bet you must have done a google search today.
The other traffic source to consider is facebook. This is because facebook is the world’s No.1 social media with over 1 billion users and counting.
This means it holds traffic potential as much as Google Search Engine but with a major difference.
What’s the difference?
Google Search Engine is a website that shows people results base on their needs, problems etc while facebook is just another website for connecting people.
Hence, the traffic that comes from Google Search is highly more profitable than those that come from facebook, whatsapp, instagram, twitter, linkedIn, pinterest. Name it.
Google Search traffic is highly targeted hence you see companies spending thousands and even millions of dollars on ads to promote their business with Google Ads.
You don’t need SEO to get social media traffic. All you need is to write good content that speaks for itself which then will go viral when people see that it can actually solve their problem and others.
NOTE: The amount of money you will make from your website is highly dependent on how much traffic you have. Therefore, you must do everything you know how-to to get the traffic.
All thriving businesses must have a customer base.
Pepsi, Coca cola, Dangote cement, continue to thrive because they all have loyal customers.
If any of these brands decides to bring a new product into the market today, they will sell.
Because they’ve loyal customers. This is same for you and your blog or ecommerce store.
It is important that you have a set of loyal readers who are on the standby to always read any new article you post on your blog.
It is this same set of loyal readers that will purchase any of the product you develop in the later life of your blog.
I can hear you say “how do I build an audience?”
Well, it’s simple.
Email marketing is the concept, membership and recently Push notifications.
Several research has shown email marketing to be one of the best ways to build an audience but also say that email marketing is dying seeing that the average human recieves more 20 email messages daily that they’ve choosed not to read.
This is true. I for one recieve tons of emails daily from several website/blog owners that I don’t read. I believe you might say same for yourself if you’re really active online.
But email marketing still stands. How does it work?
Someone visits your website, you give them a free ebook to download or some other incentive, you ask for their working email address so you can send the ebook to them. Yes, it’s that simple!
Now that you have their email address, it means you have them as your audience already.
Anytime you publish a new article on your website, you will send the link of the article to your email list.
It will interest you to know that there are some blogger with more than 1 million email subscribers. What these bloggers have effectively done is that they now have their own custom traffic.
Whether google or facebook decides not to send them traffic anymore, they don’t bother that much because they’ve succeeded to build a huge customer base.
It will also interest you to know that everything about email marketing can be automated. Meaning all you have to do is to set it up for the first time and your email marketing tools will automatic do the rest whether you are online or offline.
Some of the tools for email marketing are mailchimp, getresponse, aweber etc.
Monetize Your Content
This is the bone of the matter.
This is what you are probably more interested in.
There are mainly three ways to make money from a blog.
1 Affiliate marketing
2 Google Adsense
3 Sell your own product
Beginner bloggers are always adviced to start monetizing their blog by affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is basically selling someone else’s product that is proven to solve people’s problems and get a commission/cut from the every sale you make.
Here’s how it works;
So, your blog is talking about how to be free from cigeratte addiction, you look for another experienced blogger or company who has developed a product to help people quit smoking or written a book that contain strategies to help quit smoking.
You approach them, sign up to their affiliate network.
If the book or product is sold for $50, they might decide to give you a cut of 20% for every sale you make. That means for one sale you’ll get $10 as your commission.
Sell that book to 100 people in a month and you’d have made $1000.
That’s equivalent of N360,000.
For a student, that’s a huge some.
NOTE: Blogging is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. It takes hardwork, determination, persistence to pull through. Mostly for first timers.
But I can promise you this. If you can achieve your first breakthrough, you can continue to breakthrough.
Getting your first breakthrough is always the challenge. This is same for any other business.
Google Adsense on the other hand needs traffic only for it to start paying off.
But to make a decent income, your blog must be driving huge traffic in tens of thousands or millions just like LindaIkeji’s blog.
Selling Your Own Product
The experience you’d gain from selling other people’s product is what you’d use in developing your own product.
Truth be told, some of the people who make the most from their blog usually sell their own product.