Are you ready to make money with a blog? Every time I talk to an online marketer, the biggest regret they have is not starting a blog or not starting a blog sooner. It becomes your home-base where your audience, your JV partners, your brands and your list can easily find you.
What is working now? Let's break through any insecurities and any feelings of overwhelm. I have narrowed it down to the top “six” ways to monetize your blog if you're just starting out.
I'm going to add new ones to this list for 2021, and I'll explain in a bit why.
- Coaching & Consulting
- Guest Posts
- Article Backlinks
- Sponsored Posts
- Sponsored Articles
How to Make Money Blogging with Affiliate Marketing
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is selling other company's products and services and getting paid a referral commission. Affiliate Marketers join affiliate programs and find reputable products to promote and then recommend and share those products with their community.
I first fell in love with affiliate marketing in 2004 when I made my first affiliate commission with a simple 2-step system that I just made up. since it was eight years before Lead Pages and ten years before Clickfunnels.
Back then, I placed tiny magazine ads and sent visitors to a capture page & then, setup my emails to recommend everything within that topic. Those emails would auto-drip everyday for 90 days. It was messy.
It worked because I would find a problem that needed solving like upset stomachs and early onset balding and then crafted blog posts, blog ads, pinterest ads, blog training and blog reviews on products and techniques that worked. This process still works today.
The process for making money with your blog is finding a problem and creating a system to build an audience and send them to the solutions. That system can be a simple YouTube/TikTok Channel -> affiliate link -> Solution.
Second, I recommend promoting products within your niche that you already know and trust. Watch out for the “promote BECAUSE it pays a commission” VERSUS “promote BECAUSE you love the product” trap. If you promote a product because it pays a commission, then you WILL lose trust with your audience.
Blogging in the 2020's is about cultivating a community and building a community based on the values and principles
Quick Shortcut to How Affiliate Marketing Works
- When you join a brand's affiliate program, you are known as an affiliate. You will be given a unique to you affiliate URL to use to promote the brand's products or services.
- You include that link in your blog training, your blog reviews and content (and even in your email marketing) and create a call to action to direct people to the solution via your affiliate link.
- When potential buyers click through your affiliate link, an affiliate cookie is placed on their computer that automatically tells the brand YOU get credit for the future sale.
- When that buyer completes a purchase, the brand's affiliate software automatically tracks and records the affiliate commission.
- That affiliate commission shows up in your affiliate dashboard & is paid out according to the brand's terms.
- You as the affiliate can request to be paid by check, direct deposit or Paypal. I prefer the ACH auto-deposits and set it at the minimum payout level.
Quick Shortcut to Finding Google Affiliate Products
If you're just starting out with zero products and zero idea of what products to promote, then go to Google.com and type in:
“affiliate program” + (any topic within your niche)
If your blogging about dogs, then you would type in: “affiliate programs” + dog food and that will list the top three affiliate programs that pay you a commission.
Then, run it through a simple will it fly list.
- Does it offer a money back guarantee?
- Do they provide good customer support?
- Will your readers like THIS product?
- Is there any controversy related to THIS product that will get you “cancelled”? Yes, cancelled culture is a real-thing to worry about in the 2020's.
And then, the FTC requires that you disclose that you're getting a benefit of any kind. Click here for how to add affiliate disclosures to your blog.
How to Make Money with Your Own Course
As a former sixth grade Science teacher, I always had in the back of my head that I should bring my curriculum online and start charging people who want to learn about what I know.
And then, I thought – are people really paying to learn about the Scientific Method on a 6th grade level? Or when I created my first blog in 2004, do people want to know how to start a blog? Or when I first made a million with affiliate marketing, can people duplicate that success?
The answer is YES and it lies in positioning. There are ways to position yourself as the expert, the trainer, the coach or the tutor in areas that you are comfortable in. Before spending six months on an idea, you can quickly validate any idea by setting up a simple capture page & video using LeadPages.
How to Validate Your Course Idea
I have daily “money-making” ideas, but I have to say NO to the majority of them because they don't pass the “worth my time” test. You could come up with a great idea, spend 3-4 months building it out and then, spend another month creating sales letters and videos JUST to have it flop with zero interest. You need to validate your idea first.
So I placed a few ads targeting “6th grade tutoring” or “science tutoring” keywords and drove traffic to this simple 2-step process. If you have an email list, YOU can also send traffic through this validation process. I quickly had a ton of interested students willing to pay for my training.
However, I over-estimated how much they would pay. Pricing is incredibly important when you create your own course. With a tutoring group like this, I could easily charge $9 per month and reach a massive worldwide audience with 50,000 students. Right?
What Platform Do You Use for Your Course
As a blogger, you could create a course that works for your niche. I recently took my affiliate marketing course from a complete membership site that I built to a “done-for-you” course platform called Thinkific.
Thinkific is a platform that enables you to create, market and sell and deliver your course. They allow THREE free courses with ZERO revenue split. That means you can setup your course for free. A few of my mentors recommended it; so I signed up with Thinkific.
And I was blown away.
I was surprised how easy they made it from copy and pasting my course content to how fast uploading videos to easily creating a sales letter for my online course. Thinkific made it super simple and super fast.
Click here to read our full Thinkific Review.
Click Here for Other Online Course Platforms
If you need a complete on-demand training for affiliate marketing, then, I recommend taking my online course called Unstoppable Affiliate. I train you on my simple affiliate marketing blueprint that has allowed me to work full-time as an affiliate marketer for the last 15 years straight. All of this is built using Thinkific's platform so you can start making money with affiliate marketing & see their platform in action.
Click here to take the affiliate marketing course.
Examples of Online Courses (that aren't internet marketing or make money related)
I want to challenge you to really think of a skill or a hobby that you really enjoy. I've helped many students realize that their passion lies in gardening or sewing or home improvement projects or even, power washing decks. The majority of online courses are built around hobbies and passions and interests. Here are a few:
- How to Take Your Tattoing Skills to a Whole New Level
- Develop Your Best Five Minute Stand-Up Set
- How to Make Fabulous Cakes
- How to Play the Bass Guitar
- Learn to Play Piano Online Course
Can you really make money with your online course? YES! Build it around what you love to talk about & then, create a community of like-minded people who waiting to learn from you.
Is the online course world oversaturated? There are 7.5 billion people in the world. Just because your competition enrolled 10,000 students last month doesn't mean you can't enroll the same 10,000 students THIS month. You can do very well with a small number of students who enroll every week or every month.
Quick Coaching Session on Money
The way you create wealth in this world is by creating value in the world. The more value I create, the more money I make. I create money through my abundance mindset. When you blog from a place of scarcity, wanting to make sure you get every single commission or get paid for every single piece of content you create, then, you stop creating value and you live in a place where you trade time for a paycheck.
I've lived in that “small world” & know that this scarcity mindset actually shrinks your world. I want you to go into this with a joint venture mindset where you're creating content, helping as many people, providing value to the world & joint venturing with your competition to do the same.
Quick Marketing Strategy for Your Online Course
I want to share with you a quick tip on how to grow your enrollment for your online course. If you have a ongoing skill like sewing, then I recommend charging a smaller monthly fee & keep that evergreen up and running. That way – people can pay you a small fee to immediately join your course & your new community.
If you have a one & done problem fixed type of course, then I recommend charging a higher fee. For example, if you specialize in helping people stop drinking alcohol, you can charge a higher fee to help them STOP drinking. Right?
If you have an ongoing problem like weight loss, the best way to market this course is to open and close your enrollment. Pick 3-4 times throughout the year to open & launch your enrollment. Let your email list know what to expect. Let your social media following know what to expect. Then, launch it during a 10 day period and truly close it down. Then, put up a “waiting list” until the next launch. As you continue this method, you'll see more and more enrollments for each launch.
How to Make Money Blogging with Consulting & Coaching
Now, your blog is making money with affiliate marketing. You've launched your online course to your email list & placed it on your menu & wrote a few blog series that push your online course out. Then, you add pay per click advertising & schedule guest interviews to promote your new online course. And you're opening and closing your enrollment periods for your online course.
Then, to continue monetizing your blog, people will pay you MORE for one on one coaching or even, group coaching.
I recently ran into a coach who lost 100 pounds and now, runs a monthly group coaching program called Phit n Phat. She charges a monthly fee to coach people through their thoughts about losing weight. For $49 per month, she has around 20,000 members paying her a monthly coaching fee. She's hitting around $5 million dollars a year with a coaching program and she's a badass at what she does. She runs this like a business and the practice, finding mentors, and getting her certification has helped her become a huge successful business owner. Check out her coaching program here.
I recently had a reader pay me $2,500 for a two-hour question and answer consulting gig. Once you start sharing your skills, people will reach out to you for additional help. That expertise is another way you can monetize your business and make money with your blog.
How to Make Money Freelancing
Then, it's time to send your earnings into overdrive by freelancing. The best way now to make money as a freelancer is to signup as a Fiverr seller. Now that Fiverr has evolved their marketplace to bring buyers & sellers together, they have also increased earning potential by offering additional upsells & Pro status.
If you're looking to become a freelance digital assistant AKA virtual assistant, then check out the best platforms to find digital assistant freelance jobs. If you have web development skills, then you can find freelance jobs at the best platform to find freelance jobs for web developers.
- Best Platforms for Freelance Writers
- Platforms for Freelance Graphic Designers
- Best Platforms for Photographers
- Best Platforms for Videographers
Freelancing is big business. Now with upsells and Fiverr's Pro marketplace, you can charge higher prices like this one below:
You Can Work from Home with Fiverr
The Hidden Secret Behind Making Money with Your Blog
As this site has grown over the past six months, I've discovered two additional ways that bloggers make money. One of the fastest ways to grow your blog is by guest posting on higher ranked blogs. You do this by joint venturing with the products and services that you promote. Those JV become your partners.
You and your team write content for your partners' blogs. Within this content, you'll link back to your content. That causes a huge spike in Google rankings. Within each guest post, you'll also sell backlinks to your other partners who also want a backlink.
When you sell that backlink, then you can also pay big bucks to guest post on the higher price websites. That allows you to get free advertising for your site by offsetting any costs.
And then, that opens up paid guest posts on your own blog. You can now charge other brands to run sponsored content on your own blog. If you're just starting out, you can charge $75 to $100 per article and as your traffic grows, you can increase your prices.
These are the main ways bloggers make money:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Digital Products
- Coaching & Consulting
- Guest Posting
- Selling Backlinks
- TikTok Creator Fund
- YouTube Ad Revenue
Additional Ways Bloggers Make Money:
- Selling Merch
- Online Courses
- Banner Advertising
- Google Adsense
- Ad Networks
- Paid Job Boards
- Donation or Patreon
- Email Sponsored Ads
- Podcast Sponsors
- Premium Gated Content
- Dropship Products
- Resource & Recommended Tools Page
How to Install Your Blog
Okay. First, you will want to head over to Bluehost and if you're interested in learning how to start a blog using WordPress, continue to my WordPress tutorial below.
Remember, if you signup for Bluehost and you are confused for any reason, leave a comment below or reply to any email that I have sent and I can help you get started with WordPress hosting. That's what I'm here for and have been doing for the last 15+ years.
Click here to get started with Bluehost.
Pick a WordPress Plan on Bluehost
When you click on the graphic, click Reliable Website Hosting to see the WordPress plans. The basic plan is all you need & as your site grows, Bluehost will let you know when to upgrade to the next plan.
The setup is very clickthrough simple. Let's talk about the costs related to blogging.
- To get the cheapest plan, choose the Bluehost basic package.
- If you are moving over a site and already have traffic, then you can choose the PLUS or the Choice Plus plan.
- Also, if you have more than 1 website, select the PLUS or the CHOICE PLUS to take advantage of the Unlimited Website feature.
Step 2: Register Your Domain Name.
After you select a plan above, you'll reach this screen below. After you choose a plan, you will be able to register a new domain. Also, if you already have a domain you will select the second option I already have a domain.
Remember when coming up with a domain name, walk yourself through the radio rule.
The radio rule is if you somehow wind up on a radio program and they say – you have 5 seconds to announce your website to the world – would the listeners be able to remember it and spell it easily. If they can't, then don't use that domain name.
You can get your domain directly through Bluehost and make the entire process very easy. If you do this, your new domain will appear directly in your dashboard.
How to Save Money on Your WordPress Hosting
Here's where I like to save money and forget it. When you reach the next page, you will be able to choose between paying month to month or pay in full annually. Pay 1 full year in advance with Bluehost or 2 full years or 3 full years. If you can afford to pay $142 upfront, that will take care of your hosting for 3 full years. That will give you three full years of building your business through WordPress blogging without paying a monthly fee.
When you are ready to create your blog, follow these steps to buy your hosting for your blog.
- Click here for Bluehost and click the “Reliable Web Hosting” button.
- Next, click on the package you're interested in (startup if you're just starting out)
- Choose a new domain or select already have a domain name.
- Enter your payment information (pay in advance to save money)
- Enter a password that you will use to enter your dashboard each time.
If you need help or run into any issues, you can email me at email@example.com. I know two tech people and their manager who can help solve any issues quickly.
Optional Tutorial: I found this tutorial from Websites So Simple that walks you through the entire process if you need hep.
Install WordPress on Your New Domain Name
How to Get Started with WordPress
You can create your first blog post by clicking on Posts > Add New Post in the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard. I'll create a step by step tips and tricks for creating your posts coming up shortly. If you want to add any image or video to your blog post, click enter to create a new section within your blog post. Then, click the plus sign and click the image.
If you're looking for a beautiful theme, click Appearance in the left side of your WordPress dashboard and you can search for free themes.
Congrats! Your audience is ready to hear from you. If you need visitors to your blog, check out these 21 ways to get proven internet traffic to your new blog. My advice to you is to create a blog around big problem areas and focus on solving people's problems. The biggest money-making blogs help people in these three niches: Health, Wealth, and Relationships. Click here for additional ways to make money.
- Pick a niche that people are desperate to solve those problems.
- The biggest niches with the biggest audience are solving health problems, helping people make money onine, or helping people fix their relationship.
- Create content solving your niche's biggest pain points.
- Start building an email list. Click here for the best emailing service.
If you have any problems or need any help, leave a comment below. I'll create additional content and update this “how to start a blog” post to link to it. If you are looking for blog training, then click here for our blog marketing academy review.
I first broke down the how to start a blog video tutorial back in 2005 (almost 14 years ago). Over the years, as Google algorithms change over time where speed, backlinks and loading times impact search engine rankings, HOSTING makes a huge impact on your blog's speed and loading times. And quality backlinks are still crucial today as they were in 2005.
Why You Should Start a Blog
Pro Tip: Pick a traffic strategy like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube (or all of them) and then, drive traffic to your website or online store. The majority of my traffic comes from our social media channels like TikTok and Instagram. Facebook is the worst free traffic strategy, because they charge you to build a fanbase and then, charge you to show your posts to your fanbase and then, charge you again).
Make money online is easier than ever because you can get up and running in ten minutes or so regardless of age or experience. While we head into the 2020's, it's time to create that passive income you need while blogging can do two things:
- Allows you to grow your brand while connecting with your audience.
- Allows you to position yourself as someone passionate about your topic.
Just having an interest in a topic & showing/sharing that passion will connect you to your audience through your blog. That will become your purpose sharing what you know with the world.
Now that we're stuck at home – this would be a long-term strategy for creating a passive income but once you have it setup and running, then you can really spend four hours a week updating and advertising your blog.
The more hours you put into your blog doesn't equal more money. You need to pick ONE topic, start monetizing it through affiliate marketing, Adsense and even your own line of products.
What Hosting Company is Best for Blogging
I wanted to update this tutorial to walk you through how to start an affiliate blog (where you can easily start for less than $20 and get started right now). My goal is even if you have zero technical ability and zero experience to get your blog up and running in the next ten minutes or so.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Bluehost and will receive a commission if you signup through my referral link. This is at no additional cost to you.
Click here for our How to Make Money Blogging, then use the step by step tutorial below for easy directions.
If you're looking to start a blog on a budget, then starting with Bluehost is the answer because they are built specifically for WordPress & most if not all of the experts agree that Bluehost is the best for loading time, ease of use and speed.
Should I Use WordPress for my Blog?
Blogging with WordPress and creating side hustle income with WordPress membership sites has been one of the best things ever for quitting my teaching job. I've had six-figure months and 7-figure years (not to mention over $10,000,000 in revenue) by using WordPress and it begins with this how to start a blog tutorial.
I have been able to buy a home, work from home and pay off my home, and more importantly, I get to have a flexible schedule. (which I needed it during my injury rehabilitation) Blogging for Affiliate Marketing has allowed me to improve my life dramatically.
Since I published how to start a blog back in 2005, blogging has gone viral & millions of people around the world are now making a full-time income. You may worry about the start-up costs, but for under $5 you can easily get started. I definitely recommend paying for hosting and being in full control of your blog and you'll be able to cover the monthly $5 with affiliate marketing.
The reason why I stress so much about paying for hosting is because THIS will allow you to branch out and treat blogging as a business – a real business. You'll be able to use my training to get your content out there fast, get it ranked for the search engines and grab the traffic coming just from the search engines alone. You can run any of your ads, affiliate links and promotions and direct advertising straight from your WordPress blog hosted by Bluehost. Making money on the free platforms is very difficult & I only recommend using the free platforms to advertise your main blog hosted with Bluehost.
Top 5 Reasons to Use Bluehost for Your WordPress Host
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should choose Bluehost for your website hosting.
- Bluehost is one of the easiest platform I have ever seen. It really is click a button, see the results happening in real time and you're up and running.
- They offer free SSL through their hosting cpanel (which is click a button and ssl is installed)
- Bluehost offers a free domain name for one year.
- Starting at $3.95 per month, Bluehost is extremely affordable and they offer cheaper hosting to get started with your blog. You can have a blog of your own and since WordPress itself is free, you can start your blog for under $4. That's incredible.
- Positioning – you will have your own self-hosted blog and you can position yourself and come across more professional to readers, companies who will want to do business with you.
If you haven't started your own blog, here are some relevant training and articles that will help you start a blog and grow your blogging business.
Make sure you bookmark this page as I’ll be updating it as often as I can to keep you informed on making money.
If you know anyone looking to make money blogging, please share this page with them.