How to Make Money With a Blog and Live a Happy Life
So you’re wondering how to make money blogging.
Before we dive into this mega guide I want to give you some background on why I believe I’m a good person to write a guide like this.
My First Blog
I started my first blog in 2003. It was a blog about web design and I had no idea how to make money with a blog. I started it because I was interested in web design and thought it would be a good way to learn it.
By sheer luck, the blog became pretty popular and that’s when I started to realize that you can make money from a blog. It seemed kind of silly back then because all I was doing was writing about a topic I loved and people read.
But blogging is more than that.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge with the world. It gives you a chance to show people how to solve problems.
It connects you with a global audience.
Since that first blog I’ve created, destroyed, sold, bought and grown over 27 blogs. I’ve learned a lot over the past 13+ years and I’m still learning.
Blogging Provides Freedom
Being able to work from anywhere in the world working on something you love is one of the greatest feelings.
There are people that laugh at the idea of being able to make money from a blog but that’s because they don’t understand that the purpose of any business is to provide value and that is what you will do with your blog.
I want you to start making money from blogging just like I do, but how do you do it with a blog? There are many different ways and I’ll cover a number of them in this post.
But first, let’s tackle some of the myths about making money with a blog because you need to enter this game with a clear mind not filled with junk.
The Myths About Making Money From Blogging
The thing about making money online is that so many people do it differently. You’ll see one person doing one thing that works really well for them and someone else doing something completely different. Unfortunately, this can cause some myths to form.
Myth 1: You Need a Ton of Traffic
This is probably the biggest myth out there. I’ve seen people set up a blog and plan to not monetize it for the first six months because they think they need a ton of traffic. Sure a ton of traffic will benefit you, assuming it is good traffic, but your revenue doesn’t have to be tied to it.
The very first course I ever sold on Makers Cabin went out to a list of 500 people and it made $3,000 the first weekend. There weren’t more than 100 people a day visiting the site.
If you plan to monetize your blog through ads then traffic is probably the only metric that matters to you, but as you’ll read later, there are better ways to make money blogging.
Here is a traffic snapshot for the first 3 months of blogging here at Obstacle.co. As you can see I wasn’t setting any records.
Myth 2: Only Experts Make Money Selling Products
I was talking to someone the other day who had recently started a blog. She was asking me about ways to make money online (you can thank her for inspiring this post) and I told her that she should create a course.
Her face went pale as she told me that she wasn’t enough of an expert to create a course.
Anyone can create a course because everybody has some knowledge to share.
Maybe you feel you don’t have enough material for a course, but you’ll be surprised how much you have in that big brain of yours when you start to plan things out. Plus, courses do not have to be large. You can create mini-courses that sell extremely well.
Whatever you do, just don’t wait for that mythical expert status to arrive, because if you are anything like me, that time will never come.
Myth 3: The Only Way to Make Money Is by Starting a How to Make Money Blog
This one is tricky because sites that teach you how to make money can do very well. People think it’s just because they are teaching people how to make money, but there is something deeper at play here and it applies to almost every niche.
As humans, we have a natural inclination to want to get better. We want better for ourselves. We want better for our family. We just want better.
One of the ways people try to better their lives is by making more money so they go searching for ways to do that.
Other people want to lose weight.
Some want to learn a new language or teach their cats how to use the toilet.
The point is, your blog doesn’t have to be in a heavyweight industry to make money. It just has to be in an industry where there are people actively searching for solutions.
As your audience expands, you’ll start to notice some problems they talk about continuously creep up. These are your opportunities to make money.
Myth 4: All the Big Blogs Make All of the Money
It’s easy to think that blogging is a zero-sum game. If you are starting a blog on kitten mittens and there are already 3 major blogs that cover it, you might think you don’t stand a chance.
But you do.
Although you cover the same topic, that doesn’t mean you cover it in the same way. The great thing about blogging is that you get to bring your perspective to the world. Your brand and message are what separate you from everyone else.
There is always room for more. Blogs aren’t sports teams. People don’t pledge their allegiance to one blog and ignore the rest.
You are about to get a piece of a pie that continues to grow and won’t stop.
How to Start a Blog and Make Money
Now that we’ve debunked some myths about making money online lets dive into what thing you need to make money online. It doesn’t make sense to try and make money if you don’t have these things.
1. A Blog
Hopefully, this one was obvious to you. You aren’t going to make money blogging if you don’t have a blog.
If you don’t have a blog then here is a nice little post for you about how to start a blog. You can get one set up in just a couple of minutes which is pretty awesome.
However, don’t mistake the easy setup with easy results. Getting a blog up and running is easy but getting content that people love and finding the right audience are going to take a bit of work.
2. Content That Rocks
Getting a blog is simple and that is where most people stop. They think that simply having a blog is enough to start making some extra money, but it isn’t. The hard work begins when you start writing content. You can’t just fill your blog up with the hope that people will find it magically and read it.
The content needs to be good. The content needs to provide value to your reader. If it doesn’t provide any value then you will see that people visit your site and never return.
3. Relationships With Influencers
I’m a very independent person.
I truly believe that I can do anything on my own if I put my mind to it. However, that doesn’t mean I should be doing everything on my own. No matter what topic you decide to blog about there will be others blogging about it as well. You might see them as competition, but you shouldn’t.
In fact, you should treat them as allies. A rising tide raises all ships.
Don’t be scared to reach out to people when you write a new post. If you include another blogger in one of your posts then let them know.
That opened Obstacle.co to a whole new audience and why is that important? Well, take a look at the graph to see:
What’s going on here? You are looking at a graph of pageviews for the month of June (the orange line) and the first four days of July (the blue line). In four days, July’s pageviews have already surpassed all of June’s.
This doesn’t happen without networking.
Build relationships on social media, comment on other people’s sites and participate in forums and groups. You are not building a dynasty in a vacuum.
4. Authority Status
Your blog is your platform. It’s where you share your knowledge and create a brand. Over time you want people to think of your blog when they think of a specific topic.
Authority status is a term you will see me throw around a lot on this site. What does it mean? It means that when someone thinks of a topic and they have a question, they think of going to you for the answer.
Whatever topic you write about, you want people to think that you are making complete sense because you are an authority on the subject.
5. A Tribe
This is probably the most important thing you will need to make money. Your Tribe is similar to your audience, but they go deeper. Your Tribe is the people that buy everything you create, open every email you send, and tell the world about everything you do.
They are your True Fans and the people that will help your empire grow.
It is important that you are always in communication with your tribe. The best way to do this is through an email list.
But isn’t email old-fashioned? It is, but it’s also the best way to keep in touch with your tribe. Not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook and those that are probably won’t see your message.
Everybody has email and everybody checks their email constantly.
If you want to really make money with your blog, you need to create a mailing list using one of the billions of email service providers out there. I use and love ConvertKit, but if you are just getting started and don’t understand sales funnels, sequences, or tagging you might want to start off with something simpler and free. If that is the case go with MailChimp where you get the first 2,000 subscribers free or Mailer Lite.