So you searched for “How to make money with a blog for beginners” because you wanted to learn how to make money blogging as a newbie.
Then you came across posts from bloggers who are making $5,000 a month, $15,000 a month or even $100,000 a month.
You start imagining what you would do with such a life-changing sum of money. You wonder how they did it and if you could do it too.
In reality, most bloggers who have tried to make money actually failed to make even a cent. But such stories are rare because nobody likes writing about their failures.
What you need is a solid guide that will teach you the basics of how to make your first few dollars with a blog for beginners and then learn the proven ways to grow your blog income and traffic.
That is what this post is about.
It won’t teach you how to get-rich-quick by blogging or make $1,000 in your first month because that is too far out of reach for most beginners!
If you have already started a blog but are struggling to make money, this post is for you too!
This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure for more information.
How to Make Money With a Blog for Beginners
I am going to let you in on a little secret by sharing with you how to make money with a blog for beginners.
Basically, you need three things:
- Pick a profitable niche
- Create content that solves the reader’s problem or/and brings value to their lives
- Get a good amount of traffic
If you were expecting more, sorry to disappoint! While at first glance, these may seem straightforward concepts, implementing them correctly to produce the right results may not necessarily be easy.
Now let’s go into those things into more detail.
Pick a Profitable Niche
A blog niche is a general topic area that you want your blog to focus on.
For example, if you love food – well who doesn’t – you need to narrow down your focus to target on particular lifestyles, cuisines and meals.
Why? Because it will be easier for you to stand out that way.
It helps you highlight your expertise, develop your authority and attract the right kind of audience to your blog.
If you focus on one topic area, there’s a good chance your readers will also be interested in your other blog posts since they all are related to one another.
Trying to appeal to everyone will only confuse your visitors.
That said, avoid niching down too much. If your topic area is too narrow, you’re going to run out of high demand topics to write about. And you’ll struggle to get enough traffic.
So when picking a niche, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Passion – are you passionate and/or knowledgeable about the topic?
- Demand – is there a large enough audience in the niche?
- Profitability – can you monetize your content easily?
I will talk more about specific blog monetization methods below.
Noticed that I didn’t mention anything about competition because blogging is not a zero-sum game. In fact, stiffer competition could mean the niche is probably highly profitable.
For instance, there are thousands of big personal finance blogs out there covering the same topics as I do, yet I am still able to make money from this niche.
What makes TheDollarMint.com unique is that I write from my own personal experience and perspective.
Besides, English is not my first language, it’s not even my second! There may be many mistakes in my writing. To reduce that I try to create simpler sentences.
For better or worse, that probably contributes to the unique nature of this blog.
The Internet is growing by the day and everyone can take a piece of that pie without worrying about stepping on each others’ toes.
Your Content Must Solve A Problem
Usually, when a visitor arrives from the search engine, he/she is either looking for specific information to help him/her do something, or to learn something or just want to be entertained.
No one would ever search for what you ate for breakfast, your weekend recap or random ramblings of your life.
We have Instagram and Facebook for sharing those pertinent life issues. They don’t belong in a blog unless you manage a travel blog, you are a celebrity or a popular influencer.
If you want to write about what you ate for breakfast regardless, you can make it useful by writing about fast recipes for busy morning for instance.
Do you still want to write about your weekend recap?
How about turning it into a guide and talk about 10 ways how to spend a fun weekend in your city with kids.
Take this post as an example. What problem does it try to solve?
Well, it’s showing people how to make money with a blog for beginners!
People always ask what’s in it for them when reading a blog post and if you can answer that question for them, you’re a step closer to making money blogging.
You Need Traffic to Make Money Blogging
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need tons of traffic to start making money from a blog. Rather, you need targeted traffic that will respond to your content.
As a beginner, you can focus on increasing your overall traffic and also learn how to attract targeted traffic as you go.
Getting targeted traffic is more difficult as you would have to know about setting up an email list, search engine optimization and using paid ads to attract traffic among others.
Making money through ads is easier because your visitors do not have to take specific actions. Usually, the more traffic you have, the more money you can make.
All you need is page impressions (and sometimes clicks) to generate an income.
If your goal is to make money by selling products and services or increase leads, then having targeted traffic will do wonders to your conversion rates.
For example, if you have 100 visitors to your blog, you could probably make a couple of cents from display ads.
But if you get targeted traffic who are ready to respond to your offer, just 3 people purchasing a $50 product will net you $150 easily.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
There are various ways to drive traffic to a blog. For beginners, I would recommend focusing on just two, i.e Pinterest and Google organic search.
I won’t discuss in details about driving traffic here because this post is about how to make money with a blog for beginners.
In general, it may take at least six months to a year before you start getting organic traffic from Google. That is just too long of a wait and can be discouraging for most new bloggers.
Fortunately, there’s an easy and quick way to drive traffic to a blog using Pinterest!
In particular, I have been using the Tailwind app to quick traffic before the organic traffic starts to kick in.
Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool that helps you share your posts automatically at the best times for engagement.
How to Start a Blog and Make Money
Now you must be asking how to start a blog if you don’t already have one.
Lucky you, I have written a nice little post for you about how to install a WordPress blog on Siteground.
Starting a blog is easy and it should take you no more than 30 minutes to complete. It’s very affordable too as it’ll cost you no more than $6.99 per month.
The challenge is how to create content that people love and then finding the right audience the will respond to your content.
That said, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. The most important thing right now is to just start and then learn whatever you need to learn as you move forward.
How to Make Money Blogging
I mentioned earlier that your content must solve a problem the reader may have.
Once you are able to offer value, you can recommend a product or service that helps solve their problem. It’s like recommending a product or service to a friend but you’ll get paid for it.
If the reader decides to give your recommendation a try, then you’ll be able to make money.
That said, it’s important to maintain a good balance between offering value and trying to make money. Your goal is to help them. If you push too hard, you’ll only drive people away.
You don’t have to sell anything to make money. You can choose to display ads on your blog and get paid for page impressions or ad clicks.
Now let’s look into the common ways how to make money with a blog for beginners.
AdSense is a service by Google that allows you to put ads on your blog.
The idea is you can display Google Ads on your blog and when a visitor sees or clicks on those ads you get paid for it.
- It’s the fastest and easiest way for a beginner to monetize a new blog.
- With AdSense Auto Ads, Google is using machine learning to increase your ad revenue.
- No need to find relevant advertisers, everything is done automatically.
- Showing relevant ads could enhance the user experience.
- Set up once and get paid continuously as long as you have traffic.
- With AdSense Auto Ads, you can’t control how many ads are placed on a page. It could end up crowding your content and appear spammy.
- Some of your page’s content may be pushed below the fold especially when viewed on mobile.
- You’ll need a lot of traffic to get a meaningful income.
- They compete with your affiliate links for attention and may affect your affiliate links click-through-rates
With AdSense, you are basically getting paid to send visitors away. Although this can be a good compromise if you haven’t fully developed other monetization strategies yet.
To participate in the AdSense program, you need to meet their eligibility requirements.
There are other good ad networks that you can consider joining such as Mediavine or AdThrive.
However, to qualify you’ll need a minimum of 50,000 sessions a month for Mediavine and 100,000 pageviews a month for AdThrive. These make them out of reach for beginner bloggers.
Currently, I am using AdSense on TheDollarMint.com. This may change in the future as I might try other ad network or stop displaying ads altogether.
Affiliate marketing is where you promote a product or service and get paid every time someone signs up for it or when you drive a sale.
There are many affiliate networks out there that have affiliate offers. Here are a few popular programs you can sign up with:
One of the largest affiliate programs, Amazon offers over a million physical and digital products to advertise. The commission may not be big (up to 10%) but there’s always something you can promote no matter what niche your blog is in.
ShareASale offers pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click programs. They have many blogger-friendly affiliate programs you can join.
One of the largest affiliate networks around. I’ve been using CJ Affiliate since the early 2000 so this one is a good one to join.
- Panthera Interactive
Panthera Interactive is an affiliate network offering mostly CPA offers. CPA stands for cost per action, that is, you get paid when users take a specific action such as signing up for a trial, taking a survey, getting a quote and so on. The users don’t even have to buy anything. Because of that, CPA offers usually convert better than pay-per-sale offers.
- Other good affiliate networks to consider include Awin, Admitad, FlexOffers, Impact Radius, and Rakuten Marketing. Note that Awin will charge you a $5 fee while they process your application to ensure that you are legit. You get it back with your first payout.
Some companies prefer to manage their affiliate program in-house without joining an affiliate network. Sometimes it’s not immediately clear from their homepage whether they have an affiliate program on offer.
So, to find out if a company has an affiliate program, you can do a Google search using phrases like “company affiliate program”. Just replace “company” with the relevant name.
For example, if you want to know if Fiverr.com has an affiliate program, just Google “Fiverr affiliate program”.
Here are the pros and cons of joining affiliate marketing.
- Very easy to get started. Just publish your affiliate link and start selling.
- Tons of products and services to promote to match your content.
- You don’t always have to sell something. Some offers pay you when your readers sign-up for a trial offer or a free service.
- No need to worry about customer support, maintaining the product pages or deal with technical stuff in the background.
- Ongoing passive income. You will continue to make money as long as people read your content and follow your links.
- Need a lot of targeted traffic to generate a meaningful income.
- May run into bad affiliate companies that refuse to pay or go out of business.
- You have no control over the pricing or commission levels.
- Since you are being paid for mentioning a product, this may compromise your reputation as an honest source of information.
- Choosing the right products for your blog can take some work.
Ideally, you should only recommend products and services that you’ve personally used or can vouch for.
While there are pros and cons in promoting affiliate offers in your blog, it’s without a doubt one of the most effective ways to make money with a blog for beginners.
Selling Digital Products
This next method is not really beginner-friendly but I include it here because it’s always good to be aware of any proven money-making opportunities you have with blogging.
Your blog can be a “free” source of valuable information to your readers.
As they become your loyal followers and are ready for more in-depth material, you can start offering paid information via your own ebook.
But you are not limited to ebooks, you can sell courses, software, digital downloads and other digital products.
- No need to keep inventory. Your digital products can be uploaded once then sold an unlimited number of times.
- You keep 100% of the profit. It can be the most profitable blog monetization strategy.
- You can sell to anyone in the world and are not limited by your physical location.
- It takes time and a lot of effort to develop your own digital products.
- People may copy your work, share your files and sell it as their own.
- Depending on the product type, experience and technical know-how may be necessary.
This is one of my favorite ways to make money with a blog.
I once paid a programmer USD500 to create a software to sell from my website.
When a visitor bought the product, my payment processor would handle the payment and delivery automatically for me.
I figured I’ve made over USD 250,000 in profit. The only work I had to do was providing some customer support via email.
So selling your own digital products can be a very profitable venture if done right.
Sponsored posts, also known as advertorials, are like product reviews and appear as part of your regular blog posts.
With sponsored posts, you’ll be working directly with a company or brand who pay you to mention their products or services to your readers.
How much you make would depend on your traffic level or follower counts. Either way, sponsored posts can be a great way to make money with a blog for beginners.
Here are a few places to find sponsored post:
If you choose to do sponsored posts, it’s important to disclose to your readers that you get paid for the post to maintain trust and transparency.
Also, keep the number to a minimum and ensure that it’s a great fit for you and your audience.
Remember, people come to your blog to get value from your content, not to read ads.
You can get paid for certain skills that you already have by offering them locally in your area or virtually online.
Some of the services you can sell:
- Writing for other blogs/publications
- Virtual assistant
- Graphic designer
- You’ll learn a lot from offering your services as a freelancer
- You’ll make money quicker
- Low start up costs, little to no inventory is required
- You get paid for a skill you already have.
- You can build up your reputation.
- You do need an existing skill that other people need
- The income is not passive. i.e you are trading your time for money
How to make money with a blog for beginners?
In a nutshell, making money blogging involves these steps
- Start your own blog
- Write content that solves problems
- Monetize your content properly with ads, affiliate programs, sponsored posts etc
- Build up your audience
People want to be a better version of themselves. People also want to connect with people who look like them or that they can relate to.
If your blog helps them reach their goals faster, easier and cheaper etc., you are on the right track.
Remember, your goal is to add value to your readers’ lives. Only then you can make money with a blog.
If you invest the time necessary to learn and are willing to work hard, I’ve no doubt you will find success.