Let me tell you the dirty truth. Making money with blogging takes A LOT of effort and time. And it’s also a matter of luck – when and how you’ll get your big break. Here’s how long it took to actually start making money with blogging.
Currently, I’m helping online entrepreneurs to bring their passions online and create a business out of it. This includes, mostly, WordPress website creation and online courses. That’s also the reason why most of my articles are related to these or similar topics.
There is this big misconception that only those who “blog about blogging” can make money online but that’s not true!
The topics of your blog do not matter, as long as you find an audience interested in what you have to share.
Let me give you a bit of a timeline before we dive into details.
- In early 2015, I started my first serious blog. With no intention of making any money, it was a place to share my newfound knowledge about design and freelancing.
- Later that year, I started learning about things like affiliate marketing. While my main source of income was freelancing, I was eager to start monetizing my blog. So far, I had no big hits on it, more like a decent readership of around 100 people per day.
- Around two years into blogging, I started researching and seeing even more opportunities to earn income with it, including affiliate marketing and online courses.
- Eventually, blogging became an equal part of my income.
How to start making money with blogging
Since I’ve done my best to base this post on my personal experience, I’ll be sharing how it went for me, step by step.
To monetize a blog, I first had to:
- Decide what blog monetization methods I’ll use &
- How to drive more people to my blog
I decided to look into affiliate marketing and find affiliate programs that will be (1) worth my time; (2) relevant to the topics I wrote about & (3) useful for my readers.
Besides all that, I wanted to join programs for products I already used and loved. Most of which included a variety of online services.
Since I was just niching down, I made the first mistake of starting with way too many affiliate programs. I was signing up to anything online business related and it was a hot mess!
At some point, I had joined around 20 programs and within a few months made around $15…
Eventually, I realized the simple truth that FOCUS is what will get me more leads and give me a chance to start making money with blogging.
It was the time to make a decision which programs my readers will REALLY benefit from. Those also needed to be programs that I could write about a lot, share my personal experience in…
That’s how I ended up focusing on:
- Siteground (website hosting)
- Teachable (course creation platform)
- WP themes (website design)
It took me a while to figure this out! But once I started focusing on these three programs and sharing them in most of my posts, I also started getting leads.
Even when I had no more than 100 readers per day – I still made several leads per month! Because I knew what my audience is coming for and I gave them just that.
How to get more blog readers?!
As you saw previously, growing my audience was one of the tasks to tackle before earning any decent income.
I’ve tested and tried. Failed and tried again. Out of 7 of the most popular methods to drive leads to your site, Pinterest is my all time favorite.
When I had my account established (which, realistically, took around 3 months), I started seeing more and more leads coming in.
Eventually, Pinterest became my no.1 traffic generator.
I’m still experimenting with new graphics! Now, I not only create around 5 graphics for each post but I also create new ones for ALL posts once in a while.
And Pinterest is a tricky game. Just like many new media, they’re changing the algorithms and “rules” once in a while. A part of my job is to keep up with that and continue creating relevant marketing strategies!
When Pinterest is failing me and I need a bit of a short-time boost for my traffic I go on Facebook groups and comment on relevant posts with links to my articles. Often, they keep driving consistent leads for a while.
Although I don’t have enough time to hang around these groups on a daily basis, I definitely find some time to engage in them when I have some new offers or posts I want to drive even more attention to.
How long it took to actually start making money with blogging?
Here’s your long waited answer – it took me around 3 years to start making money with blogging.
In January 2019, it’ll be 4 years since I started my blog and in the past few months, I’ve seen a huge increase in my affiliate numbers. At the beginning of 2018 – exactly 3 years into blogging – I was confident with my passive income.
I’ve managed to clarify my business goals. It took a lot of time and dedication but the results are totally worth it!
Here are a few things I learned:
- Those who make money blogging within their first month or two are HEROES. I mean, you need to be either really lucky or super skilled to do that. Realistically, I don’t think anyone can start making big bucks with blogging within their first months unless they have an incredible plan on how to do that (like an online course launch or anything alike)
- Blogging income isn’t consistent. There are some months when I get 5 new affiliates within ONE hour in ONE day and then hear nothing for another month (a true story, I have no idea what was this flashmob…) In some months, I drive twice as many leads as in others. It’s something I can’t control. The only thing I can do is to always drive more leads to my blog.
- All of this takes A LOT of time. To create your strategy and work on it, to write relevant posts, promote, find the right audience… On a daily basis, it is hard to start making money with blogging if you’re not into it full time.
So where all of those “10K in my first month of blogging” stories come from?!
Many of those bloggers have had a previous experience in blogging and they know exactly what they’re doing. As mentioned, they might sell courses or use other blog monetization methods. Sometimes it’s a matter of luck, great Pinterest manager or really… so many variables here!
What else could you do to earn income blogging?
Well, there really are UNLIMITED options when it comes to blogging and making money:
- ads from a variety of ad providers
- working with brands and coming up with sponsored posts
- selling your products or services
- creating courses, and a lot more.
What’s important is to find something that works for YOU, your audience and your business module. The reason why I don’t use ads on my blog is simple – I can’t stand them. Would it be a profitable way to earn income? Maybe! But is it worth breaking my own principles? No!
Experiment and give yourself some time.