Like most bloggers, when I was first growing my audience I saw so many people talking about making hundreds or even thousands of dollars from their blog EVERY month. And so I did was most bloggers do – I jumped on Google ads, set up a sponsorship program and tried my hardest to monetize my content.
And I made about $5 . . .
No matter how hard I tried I could not figure out how they were earning that much money just from blogging. I blogged and I blogged and I blogged and still…five measly bucks!
Now that I’ve done my research and learned exactly how to work with brands and monetize my content that measly $5 has turned into thousands each month.
So how do you go from making all of two cents from blog ads to earning enough money to pay for your blogging expenses, add to your monthly income, or even turn your blog into your job?
It’s definitely possible, but probably not the way you imagine. Here are 6 myths about making money from your blog AND what actually works instead.
Myth #1 | You need to have a huge following
Earning money from your blog doesn’t require hundreds of thousands of followers. It doesn’t even require tens of thousands of followers. Nope – you can jump on the money makin’ bandwagon with just hundreds OR thousands of followers, BUT in order to make it happen you DO need a highly engaged audience that is coming back every week for the content you share. If those readers think you’re the bomb-dot-com you’ll have a much easier time earning affiliate income or generating traffic to sponsored posts because they’ll be excited to learn from you and share your content.
What does work: Focusing on building trust and a connection with the readers you already have.
Myth #2 | You can only make money by getting companies to sponsor you
You don’t need to wait for companies to find you in order to create sponsored content. You can join influencer networks or affiliate programs on your own. Outside of my own products, this is one of the ways I’ve earned money just from blogging. I love sharing the apps that I use to run my blog and business and often these companies have an affiliate program that is available to anyone who uses their product. (You can find a list all of my favorite apps and tools over here)
What does work: Researching the products you love and integrating affiliate links into your blog content.
Myth #3 | You’ll make 6 figures your first year
Unless you have crazy traffic and a large audience from the start you’re more likely to make only a few hundred dollars your first year. While it seems like bloggers blast off out of nowhere, it’s more common to build an online presence for years before monetizing into the thousands. But this doesn’t mean you can’t make money straight out of the gate. Start out by building income to pay for your domain + hosting or SquareSpace fees, a premium blog theme, and any fonts or stock photos you purchase.
What does work: Working your way up from the beginning, learning and adjusting as you grow.
Myth #4 | You need to create your own products
Launching ebooks and courses has definitely become popular lately and as someone who earns income from ebooks and courses, it can be lucrative. But if you don’t have time in your day to write a book or create lessons you can still earn income from your blog. Sharing products and services that you love and use along with your own experiences and advice can be as helpful to your audience and as appreciated as a course. It’s something you can include in blog posts and social media content without having to invest hours and hours before seeing a return.
What does work: Featuring products from other people who your readers will love as much as you do.
Myth #5 |You should cover your blog in ads
Ads are more likely to make your blog look cluttered than they will to bring in cash. Most ad services are PPC (pay per click), which means you’ll only make a fraction of a cent every time someone clicks an ad on your site. Sounds pretty easy, but unless you’ve got hundreds of thousands of pageviews each month you probably won’t make that much money.
What does work: Affiliate links within your blog content, so your blog is a resource instead of a cluttered mess of advertisements.
Myth #6 | You should fill your blog with sponsored posts
Your readers are smart and they aren’t going to put up with sponsored post after sponsored post for long. They want to feel like the information you’re sharing is genuine and not just a way to make money, which means you need to take the time to connect with and grow your audience instead of blasting them with sponsored content. Your readers won’t stick around for long if all you do is sell sell sell someone else’s stuff.
What does work: Integrating sponsored posts with valuable content – give, give, give, then ask.