Blogging is one of those things we hear about as a side hustle or full-time income that seems too good to be true. So how do beginner bloggers make money?
Here’s how I do it:
Initially, most beginner bloggers make money by recommending Amazon products as an affiliate and getting paid a commission for sales. But once they are getting 10,000 visitors a month, showing ads typically becomes the most lucrative revenue source.
But most bloggers don’t begin making money until they have been blogging consistently for 8-10 months.
I started blogging in August of 2016.
I didn’t start making money though, until 2017. And all of 2017 combined, I only made $924. Luckily, that didn’t stay that way, and I now make mid-5-figures a month.
Now there are a lot of bloggers out there more successful than I am, but if you want to see a breakdown of my income and where it comes from, check out my income reports which I publish quarterly.
But in this article, I’ll help you steer clear of the pitfalls I fell into that held me back for a long time and prevented me from earning a lot more faster.
Let’s get into it.
— Brandon Gaille (@BrandonGaille) June 13, 2018
How do bloggers get paid?
Bloggers can get paid by displaying ads on their website, recommending products they get a commission on when purchased, or selling their own digital information product such as a course or e-book.
So how do you get ads?
Bloggers join an ad network to get content for advertisement on their sites. You can sign up for popular ad networks, including AdThrive, Ezoic, Adsense, or Mediavine.
BUT, you have to have people coming to your website in order to make money from ads. And with the exception of AdSense, you have to have a certain level of traffic to your website to even qualify for ads. And honestly, Adsense pays so little compared to the others, I wouldn’t even mess with it.
Specifically, Ezoic requires 10,000 monthly visits, Mediavine, 50,000, and AdThrive 100,000.
So initially, you will be far better off cranking out content and focusing on publishing consistently and quickly and building traffic to your site.
Don’t make making money your top focus initially.
Another way bloggers earn money is to get a commission for products sold via their website. This is called affiliate marketing.
However, as with ads, you have to have somebody coming to your website to make much. And while Amazon Associates is the most popular affiliate marketing platform, it also pays really low (3-4% in most cases).
So don’t make the mistake I made initially in recommending products like books that were about $10 bucks. 4% on $10 bucks is only 40 cents. You have to sell a lot of books to make any money that way.
The right resources are an essential part of blogging to earn money.
There are some resources every beginner blogger ought to have as they are essential for successful blogging. You can read a recent article on my website where I discuss the best resources beginner bloggers can take advantage of for their benefit.
Let’s dive into greater detail on monetization below.
Ad Network Income
For most people, ads make up the most significant percentage of bloggers’ total revenue.
There are several ad networks available for beginner bloggers to join. Therefore, it may be slightly tricky to know which ad network is best for you. Join me as we explore the best ad network for beginner bloggers.
Ezoic is an ad network that I consider the easiest for new bloggers to start with.
To start on Ezoic, you have to have about 10,000 pageviews every month. Therefore, if you fall short of this requirement, you may not be able to create an account with Ezoic. Another criterion is to present a track record of traffic to the site. In addition, your content must be original.
Furthermore, Ezoic is a Google Certified Publishing Partner.
Therefore, you must follow the Google Ad Policies. An exceptional feature of Ezoic is its dashboard, which is easy to understand and use.
In addition, beginners favor Ezoic because of the reliable online support. Ezoic speed accelerator improves the speed on your website. It offers a 30-day payment option, and you can withdraw as low as $20. Finally, you can receive payments via PayPal, check, or Payoneer.
Mediavine is a top ad network for bloggers. But it requires a minimum of 50,000 sessions per month. So it will most likely take you at least a year to reach that, and that’s IF you avoid a lot of the mistakes I made early on.
The revenue from Mediavine is more compared to other networks. A lot more than Adsense and can be a lot more than Ezoic. AdThrive tends to be the same or slightly higher.
Another essential feature of Mediavine is that the ads do not slow down a site. Well, at least not as much as the other ads networks.
After signing up, you will be contacted a few weeks later to let you know the status of your application. Your website has to be high quality to increase your chances of being accepted.
One of the keys to traffic is mastering SEO. But can you do that yourself? And is it free?
You can read a recent article where I go over all the tools I use for SEO, and yes, you can do it yourself, and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime!
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Mediavine is also a Google Certified Publishing Partner. New bloggers tend to shy away from Mediavine because they must meet the network’s 50,000 sessions per month mark. It is often difficult for new bloggers; hence, they look for other suitable options.
The third ad network on this list is AdThrive.
New bloggers who have an average of 100,000 page views monthly can benefit from AdThrive.
The AdThrive network offers various outlets for bloggers to make money. In addition, the network manages ad optimization, advertiser relationship, and other essential components of advertising.
Like all ad networks, bloggers can make even more money with the custom video player.
And like Mediavine as well, AdThrive primarily accepts bloggers with a high percentage of traffic originating from the US.
In addition, AdThrive is a Google Certified Publishing Partner, so you need to follow Google’s Ad Policies. If you are looking to submit an application to AdThrive, ensure your blog has quality and relevant content.
Affiliate income is earned by promoting the goods or services of another organization.
This is commonly called affiliate marketing, in which you receive money for a specific result. Usually, the blogger (affiliate partner) gets paid when a sale happens from someone clicking a link with their custom description. But some programs pay per click as opposed to pay per sale.
Affiliate income is the best way for new bloggers to earn money without requirements, as seen in “ad network income”. But more traffic is still better, as the more eyes on your articles, the greater the chance that someone will click your link.
But if you have a website in the right niche, where the audience is actively searching for things to purchase, you can still make money on a small amount of traffic.
For example, if your website is all about how to set up a great home stereo on a budget, and you have articles titled things like “Best tube amplifier under $500”, you know the people searching for that are looking to buy.
So all you have to do is put affiliate links in your article to those turntables, and if you do a good enough review of the products, a high percentage of people are apt to click your links.
According to Pat Flynn, in 2019, there are three types of affiliate marketers. They include unattached, related, and involved affiliate marketers.
Unattached affiliate marketing is focused on making sales to generate income.
The products you advertise may be unrelated to the content of your blog. Related affiliate marketing occurs when you promote products and services within your niche.
However, you do not use these products, which may destroy trust in your relationship with visitors if the products are not good. Lastly, involved affiliate marketing involves promoting goods or services you have tested to be good.
This form of marketing builds sustainable relationships that will last quite a while.
New bloggers can sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program, allowing them to advertise amazon products on their blogs. Signing up is free, and whenever a customer buys a product via the link on your site, bloggers earn referral fees.
The first step in participating in the Amazon Affiliate Program is for bloggers to create an Amazon Affiliate account.
Then amazon gives the blogger a unique identification. Bloggers can only begin to develop links when their application is approved. They can now place the links on their blogs. Therefore, when someone purchases through any of the links on the blog, the blogger earns some money.
Furthermore, it is crucial to read and understand the Amazon Affiliate program’s commission rate per product category.
This allows you to estimate the amount of commission you will receive safely.
Bloggers may receive only 3-4% commissions on each sale, depending on the product. Almost every product out there has an affiliate program. Therefore, you can search “product name + affiliate program” on Google to know the existing programs.
New bloggers looking to gain the trust of their audience should only promote things that they have used. This is a sure way of becoming a trusted source on products within the niche. Although it may take more time before you can start earning big, it promotes your credibility.
But before we start talking about making money from a blog, you actually need a website first.
If you don’t have one yet, check out a recent article where I shared tips on building a website. The simple guideline in the article holds enough information to equip you to build a website from scratch.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
So happy with my stats for my first month of blogging consistently! Being able to write what I love and have others enjoy it is my dream. I’m also one follower away from 100 if someone wants to get me there 😉 pic.twitter.com/a0jJQ3a3cX
— ChloeOIllustrates🍂🍁🍄 (@WriteBluesAway) January 31, 2019
Can you make money on your first month of blogging?
No. It usually takes 6-8 months before making anything. Unfortunately, new bloggers are often impatient about making money. Other times, they are going about blogging the wrong way. Therefore, it would seem as if they are not progressing.
But there are a few things you can do that could dramatically speed that up.
Various factors could affect how long it takes to earn quality money from blogging. However, do not get your hopes high for the first-month miracle.
The first month of blogging is when you actually understand how everything works for better results.
First, focus on a niche, do not try to be an “everything blogger.”
Identify your interest and make something out of it. Suppose you are a fashion lover. You can choose to focus on accessories like rings, powders, make-up, jewelry, and other fashion-related content.
Now I will say that while it’s best to write articles that are closely related when picking your URL and brand name, go a little broader. That way, you can expand if you later want to.
For example, while you might have a site where all the original articles are about jewelry, you might make the brand name/URL something like “Fashion Forward”. That way, if you ever wanted to go further into other areas of fashion, it would still make sense on the same website.
Next, you have to build traffic to your website.
Deliver quality articles helpful to visitors, and they will come back for more. In addition, you have to have a strong social media presence. This means that you have to be online on social media, posting interesting captions or images.
There are two ways of driving traffic to your blog (well, at least for free). The first is just using good SEO tactics to bring Google organic traffic, and the 2nd is by using social channels like YouTube and/or Pinterest.
I would not waste time on Instagram, Tik-Tok, Facebook, or Twitter.
While people do get fans/views from at least some of those channels, it’s much harder to translate that into income.
Google organic traffic is what I mostly use (with a little Pinterest on one of my sites and a little YouTube on 2 of my sites). And it’s worth pointing out that YouTube can be lucrative all on its own.
But for Google organic traffic, it just comes down to doing 2 things correctly:
- Figuring out topics that people are actually searching for on Google
- Questions work best as it’s clearer what their intent is
- Searching those things to see which websites currently rank for those topics
- Search in an incognito window as otherwise, Google will skew the results
- If the search results are from top-name websites you recognize, steer clear of writing it. Forum results at the top are usually a good sign.
Blogging is hard bcz of the grind required to stay interesting & relevant.#blogger #bloggers #blogging #b2bmarketing #b2bsales #Content #ContentCreator #contentmarketing #marketingtips #MarketingDigital #marketingstrategy #leads #Enterpreneur #business #WritingCommunity #writers pic.twitter.com/63JTpyifsV
— Papyras.com (@PapyrasCom) May 2, 2020
Is blogging difficult?
No, but it is crucial to pick the right topics to write about.
In addition, it helps if you can analyze the competition for those topics before deciding how to write the post.
This allows you to determine the right keywords that will increase your blog ranking. However, initially, it is also crucial to publish 2-3 times per week consistently. The core of blogging is never quitting. Here are things that prospective bloggers should know before venturing into it.
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
New bloggers often hear about people quitting their jobs, making millions, and living a comfortable life because of blogging.
They get excited about the result and forget there is a process involved. The truth is that all of these accomplishments were not automatic. It takes some time before you can generate income from a blog. Therefore, prior to starting your blog, have an alternative source of income to avoid frustration. As a new blogger, you need to study the audience to generate creative content that can generate traffic.
Blogging requires commitment and hard work.
New bloggers often fail to realize that blogging requires a ton of hard work. Although you should have fun in whatever you are doing, you need to be committed to the task at hand. Until new bloggers realize the secret to successful blogging is hard work and commitment, they may end up grumbling, underachieved, and bitter. You need to research the style, tone, and layout of the content you are uploading.
Authentic and relevant content.
New bloggers also need to understand that creativity is essential for successful blogging.
You may need to create many blog posts, illustrations, or exciting videos. Therefore, blogging requires a lot of brainwork.
Suppose you do not like writing. You may give out topics to expert writers you find on Upwork (what I do these days for the majority of my posts). However, generating the idea of the content has to be your job. From your research, you will find suitable topics, format, tone, and style of writing that will captivate your audience.
In addition, stick to originality in creating whatever articles for your blog. There is a possibility of being sued if you plagiarize another person’s work.
Blogging requires connecting with people and building relationships.
Many new bloggers are often scared to meet other bloggers for a couple of reasons. However, if you genuinely want to be successful, you need to connect to people who are doing well as bloggers.
There may come a time you need someone to talk to or show the ropes. This will be challenging if you do not make the necessary connections.
In addition, it is essential that you connect with your audience.
Encourage them to leave a comment and make your email available in case they have questions, to which you should reply promptly. This helps you build and maintain good business relationships.
For the past couple of months it’s been my personal goal to get to 50,000 blog views by late August, which will mark a year of Dressing Dykes. But I reached it today!
Very happy, and very proud of what I’ve achieved so far in creating a platform for lesbian fashion history. 💜 pic.twitter.com/v7tygN7dbx
— Eleanor Medhurst (@EleanorMedhurst) July 16, 2021
What type of blogging makes the most money?
Making money from blogging involves posting content that provides solutions for problems people are searching for. BUT, some problems naturally lend themselves to being more lucrative for the blogger than others.
Here are the types of blogs that make the most money:
Personal Finance Blog: finance is an essential aspect of everyone’s life. Creating a blog that deals with finances are captivating because people always want to know how to grow wealth, manage their finances, and make plans for their money
Food Blog: many people love food. A food blog may include posting recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition, it could be videos on how to make certain dishes. Food blog makes lots of money because people are always interested.
Fashion Blog: People, especially the young ones, want to stay in tune with the latest fashion trends. A fashion blog will cover fashion shows that happen throughout the year. It also includes models who wear them and how they rose to glory. In addition, it can be clothing hacks for everyday wear, something that keeps people hooked!
Beauty Blog: staying beautiful and young is a trend that will never pass. People will definitely love it if you have ideas on beauty hacks, makeup tricks, and secrets to more youthful skin.
Health and Fitness Blog: staying fit is the dream of several individuals. Yet, very few can live out this dream without going under the knife (surgery). Therefore, if you share reliable workout plans and tips to stay fit, you are sure to get the attention of lots of people.
Celebrity Gossip Blog: keeping numerous fans updated on the recent events in their beloved (or otherwise) celebrity life is one way to hit the bag. It would cover juicy information about celebrities that would keep fans coming back for more.
Pet Blogs: starting a pet blog is another way to cash out big. It may involve recordings of cute moments of your pet and other animals. This will make people swoon and come back for more!
Baby Blogs: a popular type of blog is a baby blog. There is something satisfying about watching babies as they grow, their facial expression, their first words, and other things. It keeps people hooked to your site.
Business websites play a major role in attracting new customers, which is why you can’t ignore the user experience (UX) on your website. Learn ways to ensure your site is creating the best experience for visitors in 2022 at https://t.co/bmpBIeVhVY
— WordPress.com (@wordpressdotcom) January 20, 2022
What is the cheapest way to start a blog?
Suppose you start a blog, but you don’t want to break your account. This part of the article will cover the cheapest way to start a blog and make money from it.
The first thing to do is select a niche and choose a blogging platform. I would recommend using WordPress.org, which is the best blogging platform.
You will have to pay for hosting, but going with someone like Namecheap can get you decent hosting for just a couple bucks a month.
The next thing new bloggers should consider is selecting a good domain name.
It is crucial to keep the domain name simple, short, and brandable. And even if the URL you want is available, it’s still worth doing a trademark search just to make sure the name isn’t already trademarked by someone who isn’t using it but does own it.
This article on someone else’s site is great for explaining how to do a trademark search (quickly and free) – https://www.bpmlegal.com/content/howtotmsrch
Also, avoid any URL with a dash in it, numbers, or ones with words that have more than 1 spelling (like their/there/they’re), and personally, I only use ones that end in ‘.com’.
At this junction, you can download WordPress and begin to design your website. You can read a recent article on my website to get more details on what it takes to start a blog.
— Ezoic ⚡️ (@ezoic) November 17, 2016
How much do bloggers make per 1000 views?
RPM, sometimes called EPMD, is the number of dollars per thousand page views on a website.
The average is about $20, but for niches where the audience is older with more disposable income, it could be as much as $50. On average, for ads alone, my sites get about $35 per 1,000 page views.
But if you think about the goal being 1,000 views per blog post per month, you can begin to see that you need a lot of blog posts to make any real money.
Therefore we want to talk about how many blog posts it would take to generate $100/month, $500/month, $1,000/month/$5,000/month. The table below shows an average of what bloggers can earn within a month.
However, it varies depending on niche and ad network.
|3000||$30 – $750|
|4000||$40- $ 1000|
How many times a month should you post a blog?
There is no universal number for the ideal times to post on a blog. But if you want to succeed, I’d say post a minimum of 2 articles a week until your website has at least 50 articles on it.
Any less than that, and you risk it taking too long as Google rewards momentum and tends to not place a lot of value on websites it sees as dead (and cranking out a post or 2 a month is pretty dead).
However, it depends on the niche, revenue strategy, and audience. It is better to post as much content as possible, given that they are high quality.
Suppose each article gets between 500-1000 views a month, and it takes (on average) 8 months for that to happen, and every 1000 views get us $20-$40. We obviously need a lot of posts to make a living. So generally, at least two articles a week would be the bare minimum.
Some people have argued that they get more money and views with more content.
Others, like Brian Dead, insist that fewer articles that are really long and in-depth are better. But I don’t think that works when you’re first starting out.
So, as a new blogger, you need to carefully plan the frequency of posts.
This is to avoid sacrificing quality for quantity. But the ideal is a good balance of quantity and quality. And unless you think you will be slow cranking them out, just publish them the moment you’re done.
If you do anticipate it taking a while, then schedule them out after you’ve written 5 or 10 so that the publishing seems consistent. Google is much more apt to take you seriously if it sees a consistent flow of content.
Blogging is a fun and exciting endeavor.
In addition, it is a way to make cool cash. An important thing to remember is that blogging is not an avenue for quick cash. It requires patience, diligence, and hard work.
Picking the right niche and topics that will interest you and keeping the audience captive is another sensitive aspect to consider.
Do not give up, keep putting in the hard work, and your dream of blogging will soon become as real as it gets.