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There seems to be this idea that it’s all the bloggers out there who are teaching you how to blog that make the most money. With their Bluehost affiliate links and courses about how to create courses, they rave about how you too can make money online. But is it possible to make money blogging if I don’t blog about blogging?
If anything, I’d argue it’s easier for you to earn an income from your blog if it isn’t about blogging. And here’s why.
Ever since the blogging mega stars started sharing their income about blogging, people have thought that having a niche about blogging (that is, blogging about blogging) was the way to go. So people quickly abandoned their lifestyle content and flocked towards writing posts about How To Start a Blog and plastered affiliate links everywhere. After all, they too had been through the process of starting a blog and had searched for these same topics.
However, what has happened is there’s a massive saturation of this market. Do you know how many Pinterest courses there are? Or blogging courses? Or Instagram marketing courses? SO MANY!
I’m not saying that you can’t blog about blogging and make money, but when every second person has been doing it, you need something that makes you stand out. Something that gives you a point of difference. You need to give more than you ask for and you need to blog about topics that you love, not just topics that you think will make you money.
You might be sitting back thinking, ‘hey, but you blog about blogging and you obviously make money from it…’ True. But, I make more money from my other websites than I make from blogging about blogging.
My goal with The Daily Femme has always been to help out those who are starting out or who cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on courses right off the bat. At the end of the day, this blog is a business and it needs to make an income, but blogging about blogging is not my focus for income creation.
It’s a tough market. There is so much ‘how to blog’ information out there it can be incredibly difficult to stand out. So I always suggest to find your niche, find the topics you could talk for a thousand hours about, and blog about that. You don’t have to niche down, you can talk about a wide variety of topics all on the one site – Chasing Foxes is a great example of this. They have just about every topic you can imagine on their site including blogging and make a killing doing it.
Or you can create multiple sites for each of your specific topics. Scrivs from Obstacle.co is a great example of this. I’ve lost count of the number of websites this guy has, each are super niche specific and it works brilliantly for him.
Keeping all of this in mind, here are some ways you can monetize your niche sites.
Love them or hate them, display ads can earn you some serious money. You’ll find there are people out there that will tell you that display advertising (like Google Adsense) are bad for your reader’s experience, which to some degree can be true. If you run display ads that take over your screen, autoplay music or video or obstruct your reader from being able to consume your content then, of course, they will be bad for their experience.
However, if you take the time to ensure your display ads are well placed and are advertising things that are in alignment with what your readers are looking for then you can earn a good amount of money from them, without having to create products to sell.
When you use display advertising, your content is your product and instead of selling it in a book, you’re allowing readers to read it for free. Consider how magazines and newspapers present their content, they sell advertising space so they can sell their magazines and newspapers at a cheaper rate. Display advertising can be the same on your site.
I do recommend going with a reputable ad network as soon as you can. I, personally love and use Mediavine for my websites because they take reader experience very seriously and ensure that no dodgy ads get through, they make sure your ads are in the right places and they are always willing to help. Check out this income report from Pinch of Yum who use an ad network called AdThrive. They earned over $52,000 in a month!
You’ll need at least 25,000 sessions a month before being able to apply to work with Mediavine and 100,ooo sessions a month to work with AdThrive.
Do you have an amazing idea for a product that you just have to get out there and you know your readers will love? Then why not make it happen?
Products can range from physical products through to digital products such as eBooks and courses and really, you’re only limited by your imagination. This is where you can really start to take control of your blog as a business and choose how you want to work.
You can create a physical product that you can make yourself, or outsource the creation, it may require you to physically post the item or you can use a site like Amazon FBA as a dropshipping option. Remember, your product needs to solve a problem for your audience and often that problem could be one you’ve faced too. Like how Tash Guthrie couldn’t find a daily planner that she loved and had all the elements she wanted and needed in it to plan her day so she created her own and released it to her audience.
Or if you don’t like the idea of physical products and would rather create something a little more passive, you could create digital products that fulfil a need for your readers. Things like printables, eBooks and courses are great options. And while the idea of creating a course may seem daunting for you, this post by Regina shows you how you can create one in just 12 hours!!
If the whole idea of creating your own products makes you cringe, you can make money from promoting other people’s products. The key is to only promote products that you love and would be excited for your readers to know about. There’s a particular blog hosting platform that a whole heap of bloggers promote because the affiliate payout is high, not because they believe it’s a good platform (there’s much better for similar prices).
Before you promote any product or service, as yourself if you’d be happy recommending this to your mum or to your best friend?
You can create blog posts specifically for your affiliate products, such as reviews, or better still, you can add links to affiliate products naturally as you create your content.
Pinterest is a fantastic platform to use to promote affiliate links, but it’s not as simple as just posting links and hoping for the best. This eBook by Elise from House of Brazen is the one I used to learn how to use affiliate marketing on Pinterest, it’s brilliant.
As bloggers, we are getting pitched all the time but often it’s from people wanting us to promote their stuff for free. And while I do believe that there are some occasions when working for free is a viable option, the truth is that working for ‘exposure’ doesn’t pay the bills.
It’s a common misconception that you need to have massive traffic and huge followings before you get your first sponsored post. This isn’t always the case. My first sponsored post on a previous site was when my site was less than a year old, had around 10,000 pageviews a month and not a huge social following. I was paid $150 for it. Not a huge amount of money but you bet I danced around like the happiest person on earth when it came through!!
I don’t do a lot of sponsored posts anymore and there are others out there who are far more savvy at it, like Mostly Morgan who has a great guide all about how you can get started working with brands.
If you’ve got a particular set of skills that you’re amazing at, then you can offer these skills as a service to others and make money that way. Take Kara from Simplifying DIY Design as an example. She is a kick-ass Canva creator who makes gorgeous Canva templates and teaches you how to do it as well, however, as part of her business she also offers services of creating Canva products. Amazing.
You can even offer your services as a general Virtual Assistant (VA) to other bloggers where you can do blog related tasks for them.
Write For Others
Do you love writing and love the idea of writing for others (and getting paid for it)? Then you could make money by blogging for other people as a freelance writer. There are tons of websites out there that pay writers for article submissions (like Her View From Home and a ton of others) or you could find freelance writing jobs on sites like the Problogger Job Board.
You could even set yourself up with a profile on sites like Fiverr or UpWork where you can display your skills, set your price and have people request for you to write for them.
Not sure how to get your first freelance writing job? Check out this amazing post by Elna Cain all about how to put yourself out there as a freelance writer and land those jobs!
Want to teach an audience how to do something but not too excited about the idea of a course? Workshops are fantastic ways to teach a skill or topic to others and you can do them online or in person too.
Online workshops, like webinars, are great if you’re wanting to run classes and again, they’re only limited by your imagination. You could teach how to meal prep for a whole week, or teach yoga classes, or teach how to make furniture out of palettes… Whatever you do well and know how to do, you can teach to others for a profit.
But don’t feel like you have to teach online. Running workshops in your local community can be a great way to interact with people who are your target market, get immediate feedback and hone your teaching skills.
As you can see, there are tons of ways you can make money with your blog, and they don’t revolve around teaching others how to blog. So get creative, find a niche you’re passionate about and earn yourself some amazing income!