How To make money blogging in 2020: Ultimate beginner’s guide
How to make money blogging in 2020? With so many blogs online and what it seems like everything under the sun has already been talked about, is it still possible for beginners to make money blogging? You may be wondering.
I get you.
In this Ultimate Beginner’s guide, I will answer all of your questions on how to make money blogging in 2020.
Moreover, I will also give some essential tips for beginner bloggers, so you will be well on your way to fulfilling your blog purpose. Share your passion, make a difference AND earn the money you deserve from your blog.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission when you purchase through my links. This is how I’m able to keep most of my content free and support my social missions. Thank you for supporting my blog! Please read my disclosure for more info.
First, let me answer some commonly-asked questions.
(This article is extensive, so if you want jump over to a particular session, simply click the link in the summary below.)
HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING IN 2020
The Ultimate Beginners’ Guide for Purpose-Driven Bloggers
- Can I really make a living by blogging?
- How much money do bloggers make?
- Is it possible for new bloggers to make money blogging?
- How long does it take to make money blogging?
- Is it wrong to monetize my purpose-driven blog?
- How to setup a money-making blog correctly?
- How much does it cost to start a blog?
- So, how do I actually make money from blogging? Here are 7 ways.
- Essential tips for beginner bloggers
Can I Really Make a Living by Blogging?
Can you really make a living by blogging? The quick answer is Yes.
But as in any business or career, it does take hard work.
Making money blogging is not a new concept. Likely, you’ve already seen stories everywhere online.
- A lifestyle blogger who side-hustled her blog until it became her full-time income and allowed her to quit her corporate job.
- The stay-at-home mom who started a parenting blog while caring for her children and eventually enabled her husband to quit his job.
- A travel blogger who shares her travel adventures on her blog and funds her passion of traveling the World.
- The bloggers who landed books deals and speaking engagements around the World.
So, the answer is Yes.
You can make a living by blogging.
It does take hard work though (as in any business or career that worths pursuing), but I do believe the pros far outweigh the cons.
By setting up your blog correctly, having the right blog strategies in place and a great dose of work ethics, YOU TOO can make a living by blogging.
Now, the Million Dollar Question…
How Much Money Do Bloggers Make?
I thought you’d ask.
As in any business or career, the income varies widely.
There are bloggers who make no money at all. There are some who make a part-time income. Some make a full-time income. Plus, there are some who make more than US$100,000+/month and there are also a few who make millions per year.
Why do the incomes vary so much?
Well, the answer is that it takes time and effort to build a profitable blog.
And most bloggers quit way too soon.
As in learning anything new, at the beginning, likely everything will seem hard. It takes time to pick up new skills. But if you continue to learn and to push through, things eventually get easier and easier.
Ever tried learning to play the piano, tennis, golf or martial arts? Yup, it is always hard learning anything new at the beginning. Blogging is no different.
Start Before You’re Ready
So if you feel stuck or overwhelmed, just think about this…
Ever wonder what the world’s most successful bloggers looked like when they first started?
No one – and I mean no one – has it all figured out at the starting gate. Running the race is how you learn and grow.
And that’s why you must start before you’re ready.
Your goal is, as quickly as humanly possible, take actions and get started. As you execute, you will gain clarity and experience. Remember, you can’t build a successful, impactful and profitable blog just reading about it or completing worksheets. You have to get in the trenches and start executing.
Focus on progressions but not perfections. You will get more tractions with actions.
The longer you work on your blog diligently, the more likely your blog income will grow.
Is It Possible for New Bloggers To Make Money Blogging?
Some bloggers start to earn a few hundred dollars within the first 6 months. Some earn a part-time income (US$1,000-$3,000+) within the first 12 months.
However, I must say that blogging is NOT a get rich quick scheme. It does take time and hard work to build up to a full-time income.
As we have already established above, at the beginning things will be the hardest (like every new business). Likely, you won’t see any significant ROI in the first few months.
However, if you set up your blog correctly, spend time creating high-quality content consistently and applying some traffic strategies, your hard work will eventually reap rewards.
How Long Does It Take To Make Money Blogging?
Obviously the time frame and income depends on many factors: your level of commitment, how willing are you to learn and execute, and the quality of your work.
Some Common Statistics
But, in general, here are some common statistics:
- If you are a beginner, allow 3 – 6 months to make coffee money (a few dollars to a few hundred dollars per month).
- Allow 12 months to make a part-time income (US$1,000 – US$3,000+ per month).
- Allow 24 months to make a full-time income (US$3,000+ to US$8,000+ per month).
- It is possible to make US$20,000 to 50,000+ per month if you diligently work on your blog for 5+ years
- Some bloggers make US$50,000 to 100,000+ per month after 5-10 years
What If I Need Money Now?
As in any business, it takes hard work to build and maintain a quality blog. And it is unrealistic to expect earning a full-time income within the first few months.
If you need money right away, building a blog is NOT your best option.
Instead, go look for a part-time job or pick up freelance work where you can earn money quicker.
Building a blog is a fantastic option for earning passive income over the long-term.
So if you want to eventually break free from your full-time job and own your time, then squeezing blogging into the cracks of life and doing it during your spare time will be well worth your effort in the long run.
Is It Wrong To MONETIZE MY Purpose-Driven Blog?
OK, before I get into the HOW of actually making money from your blog, let me address a common question from many big-hearted purposeful creatives: Is it wrong to monetize my purpose-driven blog?
IS IT WRONG TO MONETIZE MY BLOG?
Let’s face it. Growing a blog is hard. You have to be willing to do the work. And success (however you define it) doesn’t come overnight. It involves commitment, determination and months or even years of pouring your heart out in your blog.
Of course, whether you want to monetize it is completely up to you (because you are an adult). But, I will say this:
Monetizing your blog allows you to break free from your day job or other income-making commitments. So that you can do more of what you believe in. To be a catalyst of change, to share your passion with the World, and to be a channel of blessing to others.
After all, money is just an exchange of value. People only pays you if you can deliver something of value to them. The more people you can serve in this World, the more money you will make.
So, if the above resonates with you, I want you to repeat after me:
I will be unapologetic about making money from my blog.
Yes, you deserve earning the money!
So from this moment onwards, I give you permission:
Pour your heart out passionately, serve your people purposefully, and make soulful abundant money off your blog!
How To Setup a Money-Making Blog CoRRECTLY?
If you want to make money blogging, you have to invest in your blog and set it up the right way.
(In case you are wondering – Yes, there are several wrong ways to set up your blog. Those mistakes can cost you not only time and money, but loads of frustrations.)
Fortunately, the cost of setting up a money-making blog the right way is within reach of most new bloggers: Just US$65 for the first year (that’s US$5.50 per month). And it is easy to set up a money-making blog.
SETTING UP THE BLOG THE RIGHT WAY
Here’s the truth: Don’t expect your blog to earn you an income if you don’t invest in your platform to begin with.
Most advertising and affiliate networks (2 ways of making money from your blog) do not approve blogs on free-hosted sites like Blogspot, Tumblr, and WordPress.com. Therefore, you want to make sure that your blog is self-hosted.
A sidenote: If you are using a free-hosted sites, your visitors will see “yourbusiness.freewebsite.com”, instead of “www.yourbusiness.com” for self-hosted blog. Which honestly, gives an impression that your blog is not professional.
To start a self-hosted blog, first, invest in a reliable web host (I highly recommend SiteGround). A domain name is a MUST too if you want a money making blog (you can get a domain name from SiteGround too for easier integration). A beautiful looking premium WordPress theme is also a good initial investment.
I recommend you to follow my step-by-step tutorial here to get your blog started correctly.
How Much Does It Cost To Start a Blog?
If you follow my comprehensive step-by-step tutorial, your basic setup is around US$65.
Basic Setup: US$65+
Web hosting and domain via SiteGround (first year): US$65+
Wanting extra? Pro Setup: US$180+
Web hosting and domain via SiteGround (first year): US$65+
Premium WordPress theme (one-time investment): US$60+
Pre-made logo (one-time investment): US$15 – 30
Premium stock photos bundle: US$20 to $50
Email marketing software (monthly): US$20+
HOW TO ACTUALLY MAKE MONEY FROM BLOGGING?
Now, let’s talk about how to actually make money from blogging. I’m sure you’ve been waiting for this.
There are several income streams you can explore to monetize your blog. You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak.
Full-time bloggers increase their income by strategically applying several income streams as their traffic and content grow. There are many ways to make money blogging, but below are 7 key income streams.
(1) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to make money from a blog. And it is something that even a new blogger can do from day 1 and start earning.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is basically referring other people’s products and earning a commission through each sale. Bloggers simply link to the product using their unique affiliate links. When someone clicks through and makes a purchase, they earn a commission.
Many companies rely heavily on bloggers and content creators to spread the word on their products. So they are always looking for people with dedicated audiences who may need what they have to sell.
Examples of Affiliate Products
There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there, for all sorts of niches.
For my blog, I only handpick affiliate products that I personally use and I know are truly helpful for my readers.
- SiteGround: My ultimate favorite, not only they pay out their affiliate partners generously, but most importantly, SiteGround is the best and most reliable web hosting for bloggers.
- Creative Market: I love Creative Market! This is where I bought my beautiful theme for this blog. Creative Market is an amazing marketplace to shop for beautiful themes, photos, graphics and fonts. Sign up for their newsletter to receive 6 FREE goodies each week and a coupon for 10% off your purchase.
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing eCourse: If you want to master affiliate marketing, this course is by far the best investment you can make for your blog. You will learn all the ins-and-outs of affiliate marketing, how to set it up and earn your first check even if you are a new blogger. Highly recommended!
- Amazon: I am a self-proclaimed book worm and I love reading. And Amazon is my go-to place for all my physical and digital books.
How to Make Money from Affiliate Marketing
Create valuable, evergreen content that links to the affiliate programs you’re a part of. You don’t want to hard-sell. The key is to create high-quality content that answers questions, provides solutions, and inspires readers, dropping your affiliate links only when it makes sense.
If you started your blog with a clearly defined niche and blog topics, choosing affiliate programs and creating content around these programs will come naturally.
Again, I recommend only promoting products that you trust, you love and can truly help your readers.
To learn all there is to know about affiliate marketing and how to make money passively, I wholeheartedly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing eCourse by Michelle Schroeder. This is by far the best investment you can make for your blog. Michelle currently makes US$100,000+ per month from her blog, with US$50,000+ from affiliate marketing commissions.
Alongside the info packed course, there are remarkable bonuses such as access to her Facebook Master Mind Group, a Pinterest Traffic video course, and much more!
And yes, after you have taken this course and if you found it valuable, you can also sign up to become an affiliate to promote the course. Check it out here and learn more.
(2) Selling Your Own Digital Products
Selling digital products is great because they can be easily distributed without the hassles of an inventory, tangible storage spaces, or shipping.
With little to no overhead, your main investments in creating digital products are your knowledge and time. The best part? You only have to create them once (and maybe update them periodically) and keep reselling them as long as you want.
Selling digital products is a fast growing market with great demand. According to a research published by Oberlo in December 2019, there will be approximately 2.05 billion global digital buyers in Year 2020. So, this is one of the best ways for you to earn a passive income with your blog.
Some of the highest earning bloggers sell digital products based on the knowledge they’ve gained and the content they’ve built up through the years. But this doesn’t exempt beginner bloggers from selling digital products on their new blogs too.
Examples of Digital Products
Below are some common digital products bloggers sell:
- eBooks: I have bought many eBooks myself! Depending on your niche, eBooks can be educational resources, self-help books, DIY guides, travel guides, collections of stories, fiction, non-fiction, etc.
- Printables: Printables include worksheets, templates, planners, organizers, photos, organizers, artworks etc. You can see examples of Printables here.
- Apps: Mobile Apps are getting more and more popular these days. If you know how to create mobile apps, you can also promote them through your blog.
- Audio Programs: If you prefer to teach verbally, packaging your knowledge into audio programs is a great option. Many people like audio programs because they can be easily consumed during driving time, working out in the gym or while doing housework.
- Online Courses: Online education has become a million-dollar industry in itself. And it is one of the most profitable way for bloggers to teach what they love and earn a lucrative income. It takes a lot longer to create quality online courses though, so this works better for advanced bloggers who already have a decent amount of following.
Course by Number is the best resource I’ve come across for creating an online course from scratch. This course was created by Suzi Whitford. She has created and launched nine online courses over the past two years and made over US$300,000 in revenue. If anyone knows about successful courses and how to teach others how to create their own, it’s Suzi. Check out Course by Number HERE.
If you are not ready to create your own online course yet, making and selling eBooks would be a great option. It is much easier to create and can gain you valuable experience with product launch.
eBook by Number is another amazing course by Suzi Whitford where she teaches you how to create, design and launch an eBook and make consistent income. Suzi has made over US$33,000 in a year selling eBooks. Check out eBook by Number HERE.
(3) Selling Your Own Physical Products
Other than referring other people’s products (affiliate marketing) and selling your own digital products, you can also promote your own physical products on your blog.
These hold-it-in-your-hands tangible products can add an extra layer of personal touch and perceived value to your readers.
You can create a storefront on Etsy or Shopify and then promote your products right from your blog.
Examples of Physical Products
I have seen a number of bloggers create their own physical planners and notebooks that they promote on their own blogs. There are also many creative and lifestyle bloggers who create their own fashion lines, jewelry collections, yoga product lines etc.
This is a fantastic way to build an extra income stream especially if you are an artistic creative. Seriously, the opportunity is only limited by your own imagination.
(4) Promoting Your Own Services
If you have services that you provide, you can also market and sell them on your blog.
For example, it is common for coaches and consultants to market and sell their coaching packages, mastermind groups and consulting sessions on their blogs. Also, some writers, authors and speakers use their blogs to get speaking engagements etc.
If you are a web designer or photographer, your blog is also a great way to showcase your work and to attract new clients.
(5) Displaying Ads
Google Adsense, Ezoic and Mediavine are some of the most popular advertising networks among bloggers.
Bloggers can display ads on their blog posts and get paid when someone views or clicks through the ads.
These ads are contextual, meaning, they are generated through keywords and certain triggers. For example, a travel blog post with keywords related to, say, “traveling Asia” will display ads that are related to “traveling Asia”, and so on.
While advertising is a great passive income stream for bloggers, it relies heavily on the number of visitors coming to your blog. So unless you have a decent number of visitors to your blog (like 25,000 sessions per month), your income generated from displaying ads will be limited.
A word of caution about Ads
Have you been to websites that have a lot of ads flowing around and flashing at you? I certainly have.
Having too many ads on your blog can adversely affect your readers’ experience. Plus, your blog will look very cluttering (yikes!). I know I have certainly clicked out of blogs that have too many flashing ads.
Remember, your readers come to your site to learn certain information – not to look at your ads. So, as much as you want to monetize your blog, do your readers a favor by only placing ads sparingly.
Also, you’ve worked so hard to build up your blog with amazing value-adding content. Why would you want to send people away to other sites? The moment people click on your ads, they leave and go to another website.
How To Make Money With Displayed Ads
Having said that, if you are being mindful, displaying ads can be a great way to earn passive income from your blog.
If you want to monetize your blog with displaying ads, here’s what you need to do:
- Setup your blog the right way: Follow my step-by-step tutorial here to get your blog setup the right away.
- Create value-adding content: Nothing beats creating contents that your readers love to keep coming back to!
- Install Google Analytic: This plugin tracks the number of visitors to your blog (statistics include sessions and pageviews).
- Learn SEO and traffic strategies: Start with learning some basic SEO (search engine optimization) and Pinterest strategies to gradually increase your pageviews.
- Apply for Mediavine or other advertising networks: Many bloggers have found great success with Mediavine, a popular advertising network for bloggers once they hit 25,000 sessions per month.
Once you get approved by the advertising network, follow the instructions and activate the ads on your blog and you will see your income comes in each month.
(6) Sponsored posts
Next, let us talk about sponsored posts.
Sponsored posts are when you write sponsored reviews and guest blog posts on your blog, or sponsored articles in your email newsletter for an income.
Of course, I recommend you only write sponsored posts for brands and products that you trust, you love and work well for your readers.
Brands like partnering with bloggers to create sponsored posts for them for two reasons: Exposure (short-term), and SEO (long-term). Blog reviews are great for online reputation and search visibility. When bloggers create content that promotes a brand or product, it doesn’t only increase the brand’s mileage, it likely links back to the brand’s landing page or website too—which is great for search engine visibility.
How To Get Sponsored Post Opportunities
You can reach out to brands or advertising networks (such as Izea, Find Your Influence) directly for sponsored posts opportunities. Or when your blog has more audience, brands and advertisers may reach out to you directly.
How Much Can You Earn From Sponsored Posts
Typically, the more visitors you have and the more targeted your niche is, the more you can charge for your sponsored posts. Some bloggers recommend to never charge less than US$250 per sponsored post.
However, the average sponsored post rakes in between US$500 and US$2,000. Once you have a pretty hefty readership, you can commission more than $5,000 per post.
(7) Selling Your Network Marketing Products
Similar to affiliate marketing, if there are network marketing products that you trust, you love and serve your readers well, you can also promote and sell them on your blog.
There are many wonderful network marketing companies around the World. And I have seen bloggers successfully build a network marketing business AND a blogging business using their blogs.
Just like affiliate marketing, promoting and selling network marketing products is an viable option as you do not need to create your own products. Typically, the network marketing companies will take care of the customer service and logistics of the products.
Essential Tips for Beginner Bloggers
There’s a lot more to blogging, but below are a few tips for new bloggers to get you started:
- Don’t quit your job yet: As we have established above, it takes time to build up your blog to earn a part-time or full-time income. So unless you have a substantial amount of money saved up (at least 12 months, preferably 18 months or more), don’t rush into quitting your job just yet.
- Content is king: Nothing beats amazing content that your readers love keep coming back to! Focus on creating useful content for your readers, especially if you are just starting out.
- Blog consistently: Search engines want to see blogs that are serious in producing solid content consistently over time. So instead of blogging once in a while, blogging on a regular schedule would help your blog to rank higher on search engines. In return, this can bring you more organic visitors. Pick a publishing frequency that works for you. For most bloggers, once a week work well. But if you are in a more competitive niche and you want to build up your blog faster, consider blogging a few times a week. The key is to publish consistently.
- Just get started! You can’t build a purposeful and profitable blog just reading about it or completing worksheets. You don’t have to be great to start, but you need to start to become great. Running the race is how you learn and grow. Start today.
I hope you have enjoyed this How To Make Money Blogging In 2020: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide.
Now it’s your turn. What’re your biggest takeaways? Have you started your blog yet? What streams of income do you plan to establish? Please comment below! I read all my comments and will get back to you.
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