Earlier this month, Chronic Illness Bloggers launched a new Google web form where members can submit their blogging questions to be answered in a future post. (In case you missed the announcement, you can read all about it here.)
This week’s question is: How do you earn a bit of income via blogging?
Well, entire books have been written on that topic, but here is a simple truth:
A lot of bloggers make the mistake of putting the cart before the horse, especially when they are just starting. Yes, making money as a blogger is great, but you will never make a decent income from your blog unless you concentrate on two other critical things first: writing great content and building your traffic.
Here’s why: Ad networks pay based on traffic. Companies pay for sponsored posts and private advertising based on traffic. You have to have traffic in order to make money using affiliate programs. You have to have traffic in order for people to see your book, course, etc.
Do you see a trend? How much money you make from blogging is directly tied to how many people visit your site every day.
For tips on how to build your traffic, you might want to check out these posts:
Now that that’s out of the way, here are the most common sources of income for bloggers:
When I started my blog, one of the first things I did was set up Google Adsense. For the first six months, my husband would rib me pretty much every day by saying, “I made 43 cents today using Google Adsense.” Truth is, in the beginning, I was doing really well to earn 43 cents a day because I didn’t have much traffic. It took many months for me to finally reach Google Adsense’s payout threshold, but as I built my traffic, my earnings have continued to increase. I make several hundred dollars a month now through Google Adsense, and I’ve increased my earnings by adding a second ad network, Media.net (which is essentially Yahoo’s version of Google Adsense).
If you’ve got good traffic, using an ad network, like Adsense or Media.net (or hundreds of others), is by far the easiest way to monetize your blog. I set my ads and forget them, and they make money for me even while I’m sleeping or too sick to work.
Based on your traffic and blog niche, companies will pay you to place advertisements on your website – usually as a banner ad or sidebar ad. Check out this post from Entrepreneurs-Journey.com on how to set advertising rates for your blog.
Some companies will pay you to write a sponsored post on your blog about their products or services. You can read more about sponsored posts and how to set rates here.
Chronic Illness Bloggers network
If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re already a member of the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. CIB serves as a liaison between chronic illness bloggers and companies who want to target customers living with chronic illness. CIB offers paid sponsored posts and review opportunities. Rates are based – you guessed it – on your blog traffic.
Amazon.com is probably the easiest and most well-known affiliate program for bloggers. Whenever I’m writing about a product, I can usually find it on Amazon and include an affiliate link in the post. If someone clicks on that link, then I get a percentage of their purchase – regardless of whether they purchased the product I was promoting or something else entirely different. Amazon’s commissions are low, so don’t expect to get rich off of it, but it’s another passive stream of income that will grow over time if you cultivate it.
There are lots of other affiliate programs. Here’s a list of “10 Popular Affiliate Programs for Small and Medium-sized Blogs” from ProBlogger to get you started.
Selling your own products
Every full-time blogger that I know sells their own books, courses, coaching, etc. Check out “How to Create and Sell Products on Your Blog.” This is probably the end-goal that every blogger should be working towards, because it puts you fully in control of your income. Ideally, you want to find a way to package your information in as many ways possible (some may respond to a webinar while others prefer a book). But, that doesn’t mean you don’t still supplement your income using advertising and other methods we’ve already mentioned.
Well, that’s it for this week, folks. Send us some more questions so we can answer them! We’ve included an option to submit your question anonymously in case you’re shy!