Blogging has become an incredibly popular pastime, creative outlet, and even potential income source over the past decade and this beginners guide on how to make money from blogging aims to help you get your own slice of the pie.
Whether starting a blog out of pure passion to share your thoughts, interests, or expertise – or with dreams of eventually monetising your content to actually make money – having an online space to connect with an audience can be immensely rewarding on many levels.
While a tiny fraction of bloggers end up making a full-time living from their sites alone, the proof of concept definitely exists thanks to some incredible success stories.
Take British food blogger Jack Monroe for example. She went from struggling to feed her family on a limited budget to amassing over 75,000 regular blog readers in just two years.
By sharing creative low-cost recipes and campaigning on issues like poverty and food waste, Jack’s site grew so rapidly that she landed sponsorship deals, book contracts, and now reportedly earns up to £150,000 a year!
So while becoming an elite top-tier blogger bringing in thousands each month takes rather extraordinary effort and luck, there are absolutely avenues open to make at least supplementary income from a blog if you approach it strategically.
My goal with this guide is to give you the comprehensive basics – from starting your first blog to implementing various monetisation models over time.
With the right passion, effort, and persistence you can steadily grow a following and income stream doing something you love. Let’s crack on!
When deciding what kind of blog you want to create, one of the most important steps is choosing a specific niche or area of focus.
It may seem limiting at first compared to blogging “about anything and everything”. But a niche provides the chance to dive deep into a subject you genuinely enjoy while attracting a loyal readership with similar interests.
Narrow niches also lead to becoming a recognised expert on your chosen topic, making it much easier to rank well in search engines and for your content to be shared within a tight-knit community.
For monetisation down the line, advertisers and potential sponsors are far more likely to work with a blog servicing a very specific and valuable audience segment.
That said, ensure your selected niche has at least a reasonable baseline level of search volume and financial opportunity.
As much as you may love an ultra-obscure subject, gaining traction could prove extremely difficult. Find a concept that intersects your passions with potential for profit.
Analyse competition levels in Google as well to gauge existing authority sites you’d need to contend with.
Select a Domain and Hosting
The next step is purchasing a custom domain name for your blog then setting up web hosting. Your domain becomes the unique web address that builds your brand and identity online (e.g. yourblogname.com), so choose wisely!
Shop around registrars for availability and pricing – classic platforms like GoDaddy offer domains from £10 a year roughly.
For hosting, I’d recommend well-rounded solutions like Bluehost which provide managed WordPress environments with customisable themes plus security and backups for under £5 monthly. Solid hosting and minimising downtime is crucial.
Set Up Your Blog
When it comes to the actual blogging platform, WordPress is by far the industry leader – powering over 30% of all sites online.
Their open source software has all the functions and customisation options a blogger could need. Setting up with Bluehost grants easy 1-click WordPress installation.
Though competitors like Wix also offer free drag-and-drop sites if you value simplicity over flexibility.
I’d be happy to provide a step-by-step tutorial guiding you through the basics of either self-hosted or free blogging options.
Optimising basic on-page elements early on (headings, meta descriptions, images etc.) helps establish solid SEO foundations before worrying about content itself or complex customisation.
Just let me know in the comments if that is something you’d like to see.
The true make-or-break factor for any successful blog is consistent, high-quality content that readers genuinely want to consume.
Consider what value you offer target audiences with each post – whether entertainment, education, inspiration, or utility. Ensure content tackles intent-driven topics and answers audience questions.
Approach posts conversationally using second-person perspective and relatable language. Weave in subtle personality and humour to form connections. Structure content effectively as well using headers, spacious paragraphs, and bold call-out elements for scannability.
Consistency Is Key
Consistency in publishing new content regularly shows readers your blog is actively updated, minimises dead air, and helps set clear expectations. This encourages return visits and retention long-term.
Aim for a steady cadence like 2 blog posts weekly to start. Buffer materials allowing flexibility for life’s inevitabilities without forcing creativity or risking burnout. Take notes on ideas constantly to utilise slower periods. Building content momentum compounds, so persist through any early discouragement.
Utilize Different Content Formats
While traditional long-form blog posts build tremendous value over time, consider diversifying formats as well.
Podcast episodes, short-form video explainers, and eye-catching infographics all satisfy different preferences.
Visual media like Instagram carousels, Canva presentations, and YouTube shorts better convey step-by-step processes or leverage trends.
Test what your niche best responds to both in consumption and sharing to expand reach. Just ensure adaptability doesn’t compromise establishing your blog as the ultimate destination for dedicated followers.
Building an Audience
While driving organic traffic from search engines should remain the primary focus, an active presence across social media platforms is hugely beneficial for bloggers in promoting content, networking, and building a loyal readership.
Focus efforts based on where your target audience is most active. Create shortened teasers nailing the hook to pique interest and drive clicks back to full articles on your site.
Use relevant hashtags, engage followers in discussions, and partner creatively with aligned accounts to expand reach.
Just be careful not to spread yourself too thin chasing the latest hot app. Establish one or two social profiles maximally before adding more.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Mastering basic on-page and technical SEO remains essential for bloggers hoping to rank organically in Google without reliance on paid advertising.
This includes doing thorough keyword research to then optimize page components like meta titles and headings around relevant search terms.
Choosing low competition long-tail key phrases with decent search volume guides content creation itself.
Other vital factors are site speed, internal linking architecture, descriptive image alt text, XML site maps submission, and most importantly – producing novel, high quality content consistently that answers user intent.
Networking and Collaboration
The blogger community itself presents amazing collaborative opportunities to tap into audiences beyond your own and potentially develop strategic partnerships over time.
Comment on posts from influencers in your space, allow guest contributions to your blog, pursue creative co-promotions across channels, organize X chats, or simply make genuine connections at conferences and events.
The relationships formed could yield mentorship, increase citations, widen future sponsor consideration, enhance authority and so much more.
But focus efforts on compatibility not clout chasing. Find creators who share your values and can support each other long-term.
Once your blog is firmly established with a growing, engaged readership, the potential avenues to generate income really open up with a bit of entrepreneurial creativity. Some of the most popular monetization models are:
Joining reputable advertising networks like Google AdSense allows display ads to be automatically served on your site based on content.
Payment is on a cost-per-click or view basis. Testing different ad units like vertical sidebars vs horizontal placements can reveal what draws most clicks from your audience while remaining unobtrusive.
Affiliate links allow you to promote relevant products or services and earn commissions when readers make purchases.
Common examples are book or tool recommendations on Amazon Associates or software services like Kajabi. This requires selecting partners very selectively however to avoid compromising editorial integrity with overly promotional posts.
Programs offering recurring revenue through newsletter sign-ups or app downloads can accumulate nicely over time by providing ongoing value to audiences already aligned with affiliates’ solutions.
Accepting paid sponsorships from brands wanting to get product placements or dedicated custom content in front of your audience base has huge earning potential.
Ensure clear sponsorship disclosure and only work with companies you genuinely would recommend anyway to avoid alienating loyal followers with fake endorsements.
Negotiating pricing as you grow can be based on typical post rates, newsletter inclusion, social promotions, and content exclusivity.
Selling Products or Services
One of the most lucrative models used by elite bloggers is creating their own specialized digital products, online courses, or coaching services.
Even selling PDF guides, ebooks, toolkits or video lessons leverages your expertise while allowing passive income potential from recurring purchases.
Separate products vs ad-supported free content reduces audience expectation pressures. You may also run members-only consultancies, workshops, or masterminds.
Membership and Subscription Models
Many bloggers opt to monetize their free public content by offering premium members-only areas featuring special perks.
These can include additional posts, newsletters, multimedia, exclusive tools/data, community access, member requests and beyond.
Monthly or yearly access fees let diehard fans support your work at desired levels for a steady reliable income stream.
Just make sure subscriber-only content remains compelling and constantly refreshed or retention may suffer over time if seen as pay walling previously free material.
Earning reliable income directly from a personal blog often takes immense patience and persistence before seeing tangible monetary results.
Many full-time bloggers invested years of unpaid time before reaching profitability milestones. Manage expectations early and accept progress may feel painfully slow even once implementing various monetization models.
Stay motivated in dry periods by focusing on core value provided to those finding your content helpful rather than getting discouraged strictly over revenue growth.
Consistency, responsiveness and gradually levelling up production quality for engaged readers lays the groundwork for eventual financial breakthroughs.
Dealing with Criticism and Setbacks
Understand that putting your work regularly out into the public eye inevitably opens you up to potential criticism, judgment or even intentional sabotage.
This can range from negative comments and volatile reactions to your viewpoints all the way up to full articles critiquing your creations or setbacks like algorithm changes tanking traffic like the Google HCU which has decimated many a blog.
Develop a growth mindset around feedback, learning lessons while ignoring toxic perspectives aiming to cut you down or diminish progress.
Stay flexible and keep perspective around statistics drops, site crashes or campaign flops.
The longevity of a personal brand depends heavily on how nimbly you navigate the rocky terrain of an ever-changing internet landscape and unreliable income streams.
Retain optimism by focusing on supporters who make everything worthwhile.
After breaking down everything from choosing your initial niche and setting up your blog, to crafting high-quality content, promoting it effectively, implementing various monetization models, and dealing with inevitable challenges – hopefully this beginners guide on how to make money from blogging has made you feel equipped with a comprehensive blueprint to embark on your own blogging side hustle or full-on business.
While gaining traction won’t happen overnight, the avenues for making supplemental income from a blog you’re passionate about are certainly attainable with consistent hard work.
Remain patient, closely analyse your analytics, adapt intelligently based on results, network ambitiously, and never stop levelling up your skills or production value.
The platforms and infrastructure available today truly democratize access to publishing and distribution channels like never before.
Anyone can realistically build a thriving brand and community around their unique voice and talents with the proper strategy and perseverance.
I wholeheartedly encourage you to start that blog idea you’ve been sitting on for years, or finally commit to consistency with one you may have launched and neglected.
Potential for life-changing income, freedom and fulfilment await those bold enough to put themselves and their perspectives out into the world. Just be sure to enjoy the journey as much as the envisioned destination.
Wishing you wild success with all your current and future blogging endeavours!
Please drop me a line down the road with updates on your progress or if any part of this guide proved useful.
Now…go inspire people with that unique voice that only you can provide. I’ll be cheering you on!