Blogging is one of the most common ways to quit your 9 to 5 hustle and build a different career to a more passive income.
Having one or several successful blogs can ensure wealth and popularity within your field, while you take a sip of a cold cocktail in the Bahamas.
But there are many myths out there. Because the truth is, only a few bloggers can actually make a decent living. But let’s see how they do it. How someone can make a living from blogging.
(Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This does not come as an additional cost to you or anyone. It simply helps me run this website.)
Digital nomads, influencers, agencies, big or small businesses have all worked on blogging to eke out a living.
But how can anyone become a full-time blogger and make a decent living out of it?
There are many myths out there when it comes to making a lot of money just by blogging. Very few people can actually make a decent living by simply blogging.
BUT many can earn a few hundred dollars through passive income streams! But if you want to blog full-time, by all means, there are some digital marketing strategies that you have to follow in order to boost your blog’s exposure and find paying customers.
So is blogging worth it? Definitely! But you have to know how to do certain things to make the most out of your blog.
How can you create your first blog?
The first step is usually the hardest to make.
But not when it comes to blogging!
First, you need to be dedicated enough to start your own website and willing to spend enough time to build it up. While launching a website with services like Bluehost takes 10 to 20 minutes.
The design and layout of your blog are what requires more time. And when it comes to writing and content creation, you might see that there is a ton of work to be made!
But my advice is this!
What matters the most from the beginning is to start! Don’t hesitate because someone else will start dominating the market in your niche before you!
Blogging will require months, perhaps even years to take off. But trust me, it will be worth it! 🙂 Why is that? Because even if your dream salary will not appear on your bank account, you can still very likely to achieve a side-income next to your full-time job or occupation. And it is usually passive!
Furthermore, if you have an audience or a fanbase that looks up to you, you feel your work is valued and it wasn’t in vain. And there is no greater feeling than to have something you’ve built out of nothing to serve others!
Let’s build your first blog!
There is a complete tutorial to help you out that you can check out here. But the steps are very straight forward and that is why I recommend using Bluehost.
Below you will find the steps you have to take:
- Think of a website name for your domain. (Preferably a .com, .net or .org domain name.)
- Choose a hosting plan that suits your needs. (I would suggest the basic package
- Launch your Bluehost account
- Activate WordPress to start building your website and its design
- Choose a website theme or you can design your pages with a plugin like Elementor for free.
- Create your menü options
- Start writing in the Post section to publish new content for your audience.
If you get lost along the way, there is the aforementioned ebook you can download to see all steps you need as well as my article to show you every step you need to take to get you started!
How to make monetize a WordPress Blog?
When you start your first blog, there are MANY things you have to consider!
First, you must have a plan for what you’re going to do and how far you’re willing to go in terms of effort and time spent blogging.
- What are you going to write about?
- How much time can you spare for blogging
- Will you have a niche blog or cover random topics all at once?
- Will you consider writing for other bloggers?
- Is there something you are an expert at and wish to share your knowledge?
- Will you have a product or service to sell?
Whatever your answers turn out to be, your blog can yield high returns for low risks. So you don’t have much to lose in the long run.
WordPress Blogging for Dummies
Your own blog has a ton of potential when you think about making a living. You can be a freelance writer, a consultant, or a coach with a blog that attracts your customers when they visit your pages.
A blogger doesn’t necessarily mean, you sit in front of a laptop and write 24/7. Yes, it is a huge part of being a blogger, but it is not 100% of your job. Your blog is your home base, but writing is one of your skills. Try and exploit all other skills you may have.
But blogging is not about you sharing your life stories or expressing your opinion. Those kinds of blogs fail in an instant.
In fact, bloggers are like coaches, consultants, or experts in a specific field, writing, sharing, and inspiring through their knowledge. They utilize various digital marketing strategies, such as content marketing, email marketing, SEO, and social media channels to grow online.
There are many income streams for bloggers, most of which are passive. It is entirely up to you, which income stream you wish to fortify.
Where does the money come from when you have a blog?
What I love about blogging is that you can simultaneously have multiple income sources from a single blog. If one doesn’t work out, there are many others you can choose to help you. Some of these are passive, some require a smaller audience and some would need your expertise to grow.
Google Adsense is where you can activate ads to be displayed on your website. Adsense is how YouTubers and many bloggers or website owners make money. It’s the simplest and easiest way to start making money online.
- How much money can you make with Adsense?
The numbers vary based on what people have searched for earlier, how much time they spend on your website, and most importantly if they click on an ad. the value of a click depends on how much an advertiser bids for a single click.
Ads based on mobile games usually earn you $0.01 to $0.03 per click, whereas ads based on more profitable and serious niches like managed web hosting or insurance can go up to $3 to $15 per click.
2, Affiliate marketing
Becoming an affiliate means that you will sell someone’s product or service and get a commission for every sale you make.
If your website is about digital marketing you can sell hosting, web design, educational, or WordPress plugin affiliate accounts to your visitors. For example, if there is a $100 package with a 20% commission fee, you would naturally receive $20 if someone clicks and buys from your website.
If the affiliate program has something called “cookies” this tracks the page visitor’s activities. This is very important because if an affiliate program has something like 30-day cookies, that means, if someone goes to your website, clicks on your affiliate link, but only buys the product 29 days later, you will still receive your $20 commission.
Here are some of the best Affiliate Programs for Beginners to help you get started.
3, Provide a Service
From my experience, this is where most people start making money from the start. Consultancy, coaching, web design, or some form of education to your client is the best and fastest way of making money.
In order to be able to provide a valuable service to your clients, you need to build trust and value for anyone who visits your site. Since people’s attention span is so short on the internet, you have a few seconds and words to let your page visitors know what you can offer them.
Coaching and consulting is the most profitable way of making money online with low traffic.
I have tried traditional publishing and to tell you the truth, it was a nightmare. It took 23 months to get my first book back in 2018 to the shelves. And even after all that time, it did not pay off. But as a blogger, you can publish any book and share it with your audience on the spot with services like Woocommerce.
As you can see below, I’m sharing these free ebooks with my visitors. Why free? Because it is very unlikely that someone is willing to spend money on something that is already available on many other platforms across the internet. But most importantly, because I can get closer to my page visitors and build trust by helping them start their blogs.
My suggestion is to sell a shorter ebook with some simple instructions or educational value to your reader for FREE! Afterward, once your website has increased its traffic and you’ve built some trust, you can charge a small fee for every book.
With websites like Printify and Printful, you can design shirts, mugs, hats, home decorations, and much more. The beauty of dropshipping is that you work as a B2C salesperson. You do not manufacture or distribute.
All you need to do is sell!
This also means that you will not receive 100% of the sales price, but a fraction (decided by how much you charge per product.) Usually, dropshipping companies or bloggers charge 20% – 30%.
Unlike dropshipping, with eCommerce, you can sell your own products and services from your blog. This is where you take most of the profit, but the risk as well. You can sell books, gadgets, clothes, ebooks, downloadables, videos, or music. The possibilities are endless.
Be aware that it is crucial to provide quality and trust for your buyers.
7, Freelance writing
As a blogger, you need to be a great writer. I consider myself an average writer, therefore I don’t make many attempts at writing for a living. But I occasionally do guest posts to boost my website’s Domain Ranking.
However, many bloggers turn to freelance writing and it is an excellent way to try and make money. Fiverr or Upwork can be the place for you to start looking for clients.
Start building your portfolio as a writer and make money.
Similar to freelance writing, ghostwriters take no credit for their work. They do what needs to be done according to their clients’ requests and execute their tasks with diligence.
Normally, ghostwriters are hired by other companies or even bloggers who think of their sites as online businesses and no longer want to bother with scribbling words.
9, Allow advertorials and paid content
One of the most relaxing ways to make money with your blog is to give a chance for other bloggers to grow through your blog. You can create a menu section in your footer or top menu where you allow others to guest write for you. Usually, this comes for free.
However, if your website has grown exponentially, you can charge your guest writers and allow them to link to their pages.
In the same way, you can get in touch with agencies or advertisers where you can display their company banner or logo with a link to their page on your widget or a page or a post.
Be aware that this step is only worth taking if your monthly traffic has reached several thousand per day in a specific niche. Otherwise, few people will be keen on paying you to share their content on your site.
10, Sell newsletter space
Building up your newsletter is another great option to charge someone for advertising space in your weekly or monthly newsletter (you can use Mailchimp for this).
However, you’ll need to build up a decent size mailing list for brands to consider this.
It is not advisable to restrict your blog to one income source only. If you have to, try and find many ways you can squeeze every penny out of every page so that you are secure, should something change at your job!
Adsense and affiliate marketing are just side-hustles. It’s incredibly hard to make a living from these two alone (despite being the most comfortable passive income source.)
The Importance of Building Traffic to your Blog
At the heart of every blog’s earnings, comes from building traffic to their website. Traffic basically refers to visitors, bounce rate, user activity, and behavior on your website.
The end goal is to get people to visit your blog and interact with it. But now comes the important question:
Five Ways to Boost Blog Traffic
You have to build content that you can use to reach out to your target audience. There is a good old saying that: “Content is King!” By building content, be it written, video or podcast, it is meant to address your audience.
How do you get thousands, even millions of people to visit your blog so you can finally make a living from blogging?
In my expertise, I have learned 3 methods to grow Times International’s traffic and readers from 0 to 50,000 in a year and a half.
1, Build Organic traffic
You have to learn all you can about what good SEO requires. What people search for on the internet. What does your competition do? How can you rank first on search engines and take the steps to make it happen? Get the plugins, do the research, be persistent as it takes time.
2, Link building
You need others to link and reference your website. It is not only a good way to let people come to you from other domains, but also increase your blog’s domain authority. Why is this important? Because this way you can signal search engines like Google that your website is trustworthy and thus, it will take your articles or pages closer to being Number 1 on Google.
3, Social media
In my personal opinion, social media does not bring too much traffic to my websites. However, because it is free and it helps people see your activities, you shouldn’t avoid it. Facebook and Instagram are most bloggers’ starting points. But Pinterest should your best friend when it comes to building traffic via social media.
This is perhaps the best way to get traffic, subscribers, visitors, backlinks, and guest writing opportunities. I used to attend a lot of WordCamps across Europe and the payoff was great. Networking is the way to go.
5, Guest writing
If you want your website’s Domain Authority to grow and get closer to the first page of Google on a specific topic, guest writing is your best bet. Simply send a friendly email to the site you want to write for. This is kind of like applying for a part-time job. You may get ghosted or rejected multiple times. But if you keep trying, someone will eventually take interest in what you have to write for them.
Make A Living Blogging – The many Myths
Do I need thousands of daily visitors to start making a living?
Huge amounts of traffic on your own blog are only one small way you can make a living as a blogger. It can come in handy to have a handful of curious eyes peeking through what you have to offer them.
But that is not the whole story.
While traffic is crucial, it is the quality of your traffic that matters. You do not have to have a huge blog with massive amounts of traffic unless you plan to spend every winter in Mauritius solely off of Adsense.
At the moment with one of my websites called Times International, my main source of income derives from Adsense, which is anywhere from $60 to $100 per month. This is really not a lot, considering that my traffic on Google alone is around 22,000 to 26,000 per month and +50,000 on all platforms.
The rest comes from affiliate marketing and very often from a client who happens to be able to dispose of a few hundred dollars for my consultancy.
Affiliate marketing varies greatly. In the past few months, the numbers ranged between $65 to $300. This came mostly from hosting and WordPress related affiliate links.
With that in mind, I still consider myself lucky, since 75% of my income from this blog comes passively. And that makes it worth the effort while having a full-time job.
If I wanted, I could dedicate myself to blogging, but I do not want to become a full-time blogger since my monthly income will not compensate for what I’m earning at work.
Let’s be honest. That kind of outcome happens to very few writers and bloggers, mainly the ones telling you they did it and getting traffic and clicks from bloggers like you who want to figure out what they did. That’s a pyramid, and not everyone is at the top.
Traffic is important, particularly if you’re selling a product or using ads or affiliates for income, but not everyone needs a million hits a month to still make a decent living off of their blogging.
There is no magic pill! There is no magic formula! You can imitate a lot of bloggers, but they build pyramids. Every new follower is an addition to the stacks of bricks added to their pyramid.
You can copy a few things, or be inspired by their success. But try to create your own formula and see if it works. If you want to make a living by blogging, you have to make your own magical formula and convince others that it works perfectly!
What can I blog about?
You can about anything!
Many people fall into this trap. Consider these questions before you start writing. Is your content worth reading? Does it bring value? Does it inspire, encourage or is it informational?
Will your content be able to sell anything or is it made just to make someone giggle a little? You can still make some money with entertaining or fun content. But it will hardly guarantee a living with your blog.
When you are new and starting out, you don’t have the luxury of being picky about what you love. Blogging shouldn’t be a stressful job, but it is still what it is… a job!
It will take time to make your own blog an income-generating giant. Until then, find out what people want with SEO tools like Ahref, Ubersuggest (free), or SEMrush.
What should I blog about?
There are three major points I like to cover when I tell people what sort of content gets the most traffic and money. But I would like to highlight 3 major points that every successful blogger has used and I’m consistently adapting.
Provide informative Content
People use search engines to look for something. Most of them are not in it for shopping. Just like you and me, we want to find information about something. This is where many bloggers come into the picture. They provide their readers with the information they need.
Evergreen content is the key to stay relevant and build passive income streams. Imagine that your blog is about covering major events or quick trends. Those things will fade into obscurity and oblivion. People move on to the next big thing. However, evergreen content remains the same.
Imagine your blog is about cooking. You tell people how to make pancakes and provide them with the best pancake recipes. This is the first step to an evergreen article. Why? Because imagine you will want to have a pancake recipe 2 or 3 years from now. You will still use the same formula, the same ingredients.
Keep giving to your audience
Whatever you wish to blog about, the most important thing to consider is GIVING! I cannot stress this enough. If you give information, sentimental value, a product, or a service to people, they will keep coming back. they will remember and trust you. And this will eventually lead to purchases or paying customers.
This takes time. Some people get their blogs to start off with a bang and make thousands of dollars in a matter of months. That’s 0.1%. Most people who make a living from their blog are doing it for years. They start early and so should you if you want to make a living.
Are you ready to start and create your first passive income source?
If you’re considering starting your blog, like many others, (including myself) I’d recommend starting with Bluehost. You can create your domain name, set up WordPress, and start designing your blog in a matter of minutes. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
Whatever you choose to do. My advice is simple.
Start today! 🙂
Robert is a part-time blogger and internet entrepreneur. Join Robert and thousands of other monthly readers to learn how to build and scale up the next-gen of online entrepreneurship. While running this blog, Robert is the founder of his media company, Times International, and a PR Team Lead at Lensa.