It sounds like a dream life. Start a website, write some content and make enough money to live and work where and when you choose.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. It can be really tough to make a living from a blog simply due to the sheer amount of work that goes into it. You need to be a marketer, social media manager, networking guru, graphic designer, coder, learn how to use WordPress and most importantly, write content that helps or entertains your readers. But it’s not impossible – right now there are people just like you and me, making a living from their blog.
I’ve taken a hard look at the first income reports of 10 bloggers and have deduced a few things that I hope are helpful to others.
Lessons From Profitable Bloggers
I’ve always believed that the most helpful thing a successful person can do is share their knowledge. That’s what I love about blogging. Tonnes of bloggers are willing to share everything they know, quite often for free.
The following bloggers are all making money from their blog. My criteria for making money from their blog includes using the blog as a platform for other work, including freelance writing.
What I’ve learnt from each of these reports:
1. Like any business, you have to make investments
I’ve met (virtually) all of these bloggers from my absolute favourite class of all time. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle-Schroeder-Gardner. Each of these bloggers were prepared to invest the $197USD in Michelle’s course, in order to build income from their blogging business. That’s not small change by anyone’s standard, but all of the bloggers you’ll read about below take their blogging business seriously and are willing to invest in themselves and their businesses.
You can learn more about Michelle’s course here: More Information
2. Good things usually take time – but they don’t have to
Some of the bloggers have been around for years, and some only started in the past few months. It’s definitely easier for bloggers with years of content to get ahead in monetising their blogs, as they likely have a higher authority and established social media followings. That’s comforting for smaller bloggers like me, as I can see that my hard work will eventually pay off.
3. It’s possible to change your life, you just have to take that first step
Each and every one of these bloggers were brave enough to take that first step and start their blog. If you’re interested in blogging I’ve written a post on how to start a profitable blog here: How to Start a Money-Making Blog in Five Easy Steps
Now onto the lessons:
Key lesson: Variety is the spice of life, or err, blogging!
Emma earned income from matched betting, affiliate sales, advertising, taking online surveys, mystery shopping and selling her own products. Rather than rely on one source of income, Emma was smart and kept up the non-passive ways of making extra money, whilst she was building up her blog. She’s a smart girl, that Emma. Must be the name!
Key Lesson: Start as you mean to go on.
Aliyyah earned $80 in her first month of blogging, from a sponsored post. That gave her the confidence and validation of knowing she was on the right path, and from there she plans to diversify her income streams.
Key lesson: Traffic is not the be all and end all
Caroline had her highest income month in her second lowest traffic month since getting serious about her blog. That’s because she was focusing on affiliate marketing (did I mention how awesome the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is?) and unlike ads, affiliate income doesn’t rely heavily on traffic. It matters more that you are passionate about a product and let your audience know all about it.
Key lesson: You can still make money from blogging – even with a new blog!
Katie made $136 in her third month of blogging! If you’ve been put off starting a blog because you think you missed the boat, you’re wrong. The internet is a big place, and if you’re prepared to work hard and give your readers what they want, you can still succeed.
Key Lesson: Goal-Setting is vital to success
Stefan is also a new blogger, yet he’s managed to grow his blog audience and income in a short space of time. He attributes his success to setting goals and then subsequently smashing them 🙂
Key Lesson: Done right, diversification can be a good thing
In my experience (and what I’ve been told from others) having more than one blog almost always means that one of your blogs get neglected. I personally know this to be true after abandoning another website project earlier this year, but Pauline has shown that by hiring a virtual assistant and outsourcing some of the writing work, it is possible to have multiple profitable blogs and scale up your blogging business.
Key lesson: Come from a place of service and you just can’t lose
I love Lena’s blog – it’s bright, beautiful and super-helpful. She’s a former CPA turned stay at home mum. In her words “I love teaching others…that’s why most of my posts are about ways to improve some aspect of your life whether it’s parenting, fitness, or finance”. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. You cannot go into blogging just to make money. It’s too much hard work for that. You have to love it! If you love what you are writing about and love helping people, you will be successful.
Recommended resource: Lena wrote an incredibly detailed and helpful eBook on how she increased her page views from 17k to 350k per month. The book is only $25, which is nuts because I’ve taken courses that cost hundreds and didn’t learn as much as I did from this book, it’s that good. Do yourself a favour, skip the takeout this weekend and get Lena’s book – I promise you it is worth every penny. Click the image below if you are ready to level up your blog
Key lesson: You can speed up success by publishing frequently
That might seem like an obvious lesson, but I have never seen a real-life example showing how much of a difference frequent publishing makes. Jenn made money in her 2nd month of blogging! That’s amazing. How’d she do it? She wrote 16 posts!!!!! That’s 4 months worth of posts for me. Jenn did that in one month. I need to lift my game!
Key lesson: What gets measured gets managed
Jennifer’s income and traffic report contain detailed statistics, goals for the month and outcomes. It’s fair to say that Jennifer’s analytic and strategic approach to blogging is helping her succeed.
Emma Healey – Money Can Buy Me Happiness (yes, that’s me).
Key lesson: Keep on truckin’, blogging can be a long game.
I’ve been at this for 18 months but I only consider myself to be seriously blogging since about February of this year. I’ve invested in training and am committed to continual improvement and now my traffic is finally starting to increase and the money is slowly trickling in. Just keep at it!
If you would like to make a career (or even an extra income stream) from your blog, it is entirely possible to do so. These bloggers are working hard to build their knowledge and increase their income, whilst helping their readers live better lives. I cannot think of a job I’d rather be doing, as I’m sure the bloggers featured here would agree with.
Have you made money from a blog? Any hints or tips to share with aspiring bloggers?
SiteGround hosting: simply put, they saved my butt when my previous host crashed on me after a post went semi-viral. I transferred to SiteGround (well, technically they transferred me, which they do for free) and was up and running on a faster site within an hour. Since then I have had zero problems, I absolutely love them. Learn more about Siteground here.
BoardBooster: You might have heard that Pinterest is absolutely vital for growing your blog. Well, it’s true. Since adopting a Pinterest strategy and using BoardBooster my traffic has grown from around 3,000 page views per month to around 15,000 page views per month. You can try BoardBooster for free using this link.
Ebook: 17 Strategies I Used to Increase My Page Views From 17k to 350k Each Month I mentioned Lena’s book earlier in the post so I’ll just give you a quick recap. It’s $25 and it will rock your world. I’ve taken courses that cost hundreds and I didn’t learn as much. 17 very actionable steps to growing your traffic. Get the book, you won’t regret it.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: If you’re interested in affiliate marketing and willing to invest money into learning how affiliate marketing can skyrocket your earning potential (even with a small blog) I highly recommend you check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, the course by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents. I’m halfway through her course and am on track to make back the course fee – this month!! She really does know her stuff – after all, Michelle earns over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing, and she shares all of her best tips in her course.
In this course, there are 6 modules, over 30 lessons, over 20 worksheets, bonuses, an extremely helpful exclusive Facebook group, and more, and she walks you through everything step-by-step when it comes to affiliate marketing. Check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing TODAY!
Just so you guys know, the above resources contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you sign up for them. I only recommend these products because I am using them right now and they are making my blogging life better. I’m sure they will for you too.