They say that it takes an average of 6 months before you earn any money from your blog. I was fortunate to make $100 blogging in my first month blogging. As a complete newbie at this, I’m sharing exactly how I did it so you can learn how to make money with a blog for beginners.
Just to be clear, I’m not sharing this information because I made some money and all of sudden I think that I have authority on this topic. Far from it. And honestly, there’s something to learn for any blogger, beginner or seasoned. My purpose for writing this post is to show you that it is possible to make money early (which is nice motivation because it can be discouraging to work hard at it and get nothing for a long while), but also to show the long-term strategy I have in mind for growing and sustaining this stream of income.
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This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This blog is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. For more information, see my disclaimer here.
Blogging is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme
I don’t care how many times you’ve already heard that. I will say it again because marketing tactics make it seem like you can slap up a blog and somehow the money will come rolling in. In fact, it’s one of my pet peeves to see posts that say it only takes 15 minutes to start a blog because, sure, you can put up a blog in 15 minutes, but to start making consistent money from it goes way beyond that. Phrases like that are so misleading because there is a TON OF STUFF going on behind the scenes if you do want to turn your blog into a business.
If you want to make a consistent income from blogging, know that it very well is possible; just expect that it will take a lot of time and dedication. Successful businesses are not built in one day, and this is the same with blogging.
Hard work isn’t going to cut it either
You can put in blood, sweat, and tears into this thing for months or years on end and still not make any money. Why? Because you need to have a strategy for what you are doing.
If you want to turn your blog into an income-generating business, you’ll need a foundation, motivation and consistency, and a plan. This investment was instrumental in turning my frustrations into results, and now I have a $2000+ monthly income to show for it.
It’s okay to think about the money from the very beginning
Just because I say that blogging isn’t a ticket to overnight success doesn’t mean that I didn’t think of a plan to monetize this from the very start. Of course, the main purpose of the blog is to provide value to readers, but I can do that while earning money from it. Just make sure the things you are trying to sell to the reader genuinely benefit them.
I compared different monetization options:
- Ads – You need traffic to make money from this. I did focus on building traffic, but I also wanted another reliable income stream in the meantime.
- Create a digital product – Not yet. Too new at this whole blogging thing.
- Offer a service – I can barely fit in time to shower as a full-time working mom to a baby so definitely don’t have the resources to invest in offering a service.
- Affiliate marketing – Promote products that other people have already made. Not reliant on traffic. (Hey, that was me, bing bing bing!)
Invest in your strategy
Serious about making affiliate marketing as a part of my long-term monetization strategy, I took a course to learn from someone who knows it best, like someone who earns $100,000 A MONTH from her blog, of which 50,000+ of it comes from affiliate marketing. And in my research of other bloggers who have taken her course, I knew it was legit.
After enrolling, I went through the course and started incorporating some of the strategies right away. I wasn’t expecting anything from it yet since I was still early in my blogging career and didn’t have many pageviews (like less than 10 visitors a day at that time).
But to my pleasant surprise, I was able to reap from it by earning my first $100 within a few weeks of implementing these strategies. Oh, and it wasn’t for any products related to how to make money blogging. In fact, it is for something that would be applicable in multiple niches. Even if you feel it doesn’t fit your blog, you can still earn money from it without promoting it on your blog.
I earned my first $100 blogging from a referral link for this product.
This is a screenshot of my earnings:
As you can see, I was rewarded with $100 from a Refer-a-Friend Offer, which I linked up to on my blog.
Before I took this highly regarded course, I had two references to my affiliate link.
1) On my Resources page:
"Chase Freedom Unlimited for cash back in select categories. Get $150 when you spend $500 in your first three months with this link."
2) Part of a blog post round-up of financial tips:
"If you’re starting off or want a credit card that is offering a nice introductory bonus, I recommend this no-annual fee and rewards Chase credit card that will reward you with $150 when you spend at least $500 in the first three months."
I know, not exactly convincing.
After I took the course, I wrote this blog post that went into detail of the product, sort of like a how-to guide. If you read the post, you'll have a better understanding of the rest of what I'm going to cover.
Now I can’t say for certain that it was this post that converted, but it makes sense with the timing considering I had incorporated elements I learned from the course to win over the reader. And I also made another affiliate sale within the following two weeks after that, so I truly believe that course offered me the information that helped me convert and make the sale.
In case you are wondering how I'm faring since then, my affiliate income is a few hundred dollars a month for products not in the blogging niche, just because I tweaked content on my blog posts (aka pretty passive income). Along with the $2000+ I make in ad revenue a month thanks to this blogging community, I make a comfortable $2500+ a month. On top of a regular full-time job. And taking care of a toddler. And still having a (small) social life.
How YOU can earn money from this product
Here are some ways you can fit it into your niche:
- Personal finance: this one is obvious
- Lifestyle: Show how you use your credit card responsibly, used it to buy you needed/wanted for a long time
- Mommy: It is a way to show your kids how you are good with money while also giving you some money back so you can afford something needed for the family
- Travel: This can be an alternative to a travel rewards credit card for a quick weekend getaway
Get creative to see if you can make it work for your audience. But if you really can’t, don’t force it. Remember to ALWAYS keep your readers' best interests in mind. Your integrity is of utmost importance if you want to win over your audience. There are still ways to earn money from it without blogging about it:
- When you sign up for the card and meet the requirements for the bonus (spend $500 within 3 months of opening the credit card), you’ll get $150.
- Use your referral link to share with family and friends, and for each successful sign-up, get $100 (up to 5 per calendar year).
In my family, for example, my husband got one, referred his mother, and then referred his father so that was $150 + $100 + $100 just for him. This doesn’t count the $150 for his mother and $150 for his father.
Just remember with any credit card, this would only make sense for you to do if you are able to pay the full balance each month by the due date. If not, then focus on paying off whatever credit card debt you have first.
If you do choose to promote this product, make sure you also pass this message along about financial responsibility (it is not only the right thing to do, but also helps your credibility).
Making YOUR First $100 Blogging
Here is a recap of the main points you should be getting out of this post:
- Don’t expect to be rolling in the dough from the start with blogging
- You also don’t need to wait a long time to start making money from it either
- If you are committed to your blog, invest in a reputable resource that will help you achieve your goals
- More importantly, invest the time to implement it; you don’t have to wait until later when you’re more established
- When you promote a product, make sure you keep your audience's best interests in mind OVER the potential income you can make
By following these general principles, you will get yourself on the path to make $100 blogging, even as early as your first month.