Do Blogs Make Money? [Blogging And Earning…]

[Guide for Beginners to Earning Money Online: Introduction]

Colorful Blog word and the Earth on the left. Title on the right: Do Blogs Make Money? Blogging And Earning...

Do you run a blog? 
Would you like to start a blog?

Wouldn’t blogging and earning at the same time be nice?

If you answered “Yes” to 2 of these 3 questions, please stay with me and continue reading. 

For those of you who don’t have a blog yet, but would like to create one, I’ll show how to easily do so closer to the end of this article. I’d like to keep true to the title and start by explaining what’s involved in turning the blog into an earning mechanism.

Do Blogs Make Money?

I’ve seen many blogs that people run just for fun. Sometimes, their posts promote certain products and services, but there is no Call To Action to be seen anywhere. When they are asked about digital marketing, they say that they don’t know what it is. This means to me that these bloggers don’t apply any techniques and strategies to make their blog visible to users and well attended, and they don’t earn any money from their promotions.

If you already have a blog and it’s not bringing you revenue, what a miss! Even if you do it just for fun, why not earn an additional income while having fun? And by the way, it’s a passive income: for work you’ve done once (wrote a post) you’d be paid over and over again.

Do Blogs Make Money?

Cartoon of a guy in a pile of cash.

Yes, they do!!! Some people make a lot of money by blogging: 6 and even 7-digit annual income!!! 

As a non-professional blogger, you can still get paid for helping like-minded people get what they need and receive commissions. 

What generates revenue?
Sales.

What do you need to make a sale?

  • Storefront or showcase
  • Product(s) or service(s) 
  • Customers. 

Don’t worry, you don’t need to have YOUR OWN products. You also don’t need to keep inventory, ship, process returns and provide customer support. 

  • Your blog is a storefront or a showcase.
    Please pay attention: I’ll use these two words as allegory later again to explain the difference between domains and subdomains when talking about creating a new blog
  • You promote other people’s products and services through your storefront.
  • Your blog’s readers are your potential customers.
A clay bird wearing glasses looks up words in a dictionary.

Before we move on and start talking about what products you could promote on your blog, where to find them, who is going to buy them, and how you can get paid, let’s make sure that we speak the same language and understand each other.

A Blog is a type of website or a part of a website where the content gets frequently updated. When we say “website”, we refer to a more static set of web pages. To a “blog”, you write and publish posts regularly. That’s the only difference.

Your blog is usually oriented around a specific topic targeting a certain audience with related interests. This theme and group of people interested in it is your blog’s niche.

Visitors who land on your blog post by searching for certain words in Google and other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo are your organic traffic. Organic traffic your free audience, and thus every blog owner wants to increase it.

The words people type in the search engines to find the information are keywords or keyphrases, but for convenience, we will call both simply keywords

External links are the links in your blog post referencing other authority websites.

Internal links are the links in your post referencing other posts and pages on the same website.

Your Website (Blog)

The foundation of any online business is a website. If you have one already on your own domain – it’s your storefront. If it’s a 100% free website, it must be hosted on some subdomain. Then, it’s more like your own showcase in somebody else’s store.

A few tasks for you:

  1. Define a niche of your existing or future blog.
  2. Tell me in the Comments field below what it is.
  3. Also, tell me in the Comments space whether you have a blog on your own domain, run it on a subdomain, or don’t have a blog yet. 

The niche of the blog that you’ve created just for fun without planning ahead for earnings could be pretty broad. It might be something like travel, or wellness, or pets, or photography, or fashion, or beauty, etc. These would monetize better if broken down to several blogs, each one in a narrower niche. Then, they could reference each other through the external links, which brings you an additional credit in the eyes of search engines.

If you don’t have a blog yet, think upfront of a narrower niche in the area of your interest, knowledge, passion. 

Believe it or not, the more focused topic and well-targeted audience increases the organic traffic and brings up your authority as an author.  

  • The visitors will trust easier that you are an expert in a narrow niche of your blog and your authority will grow faster.
  • Google will be able to match better the keywords people are searching for with the content of your blog and send in interested readers, who, in turn, will stay longer on your site and engage better.  

For example, instead of Travel niche, I’d recommend choosing something like this:

  • Travel [Location: Region, Country, or even a City] 
  • Travel by [Transport: bicycle, train, cruise]
  • Travel for [Category of People: campers, wildlife lovers, students, budget travel, luxury travel]

The more searches are closely relevant to the content of your blog, the more people will stay on your blog, read, respond to your prompts, click on the links you offer. Thus, there will be more conversions, which directly or indirectly lead to sales, which lead to the revenue you get from your blog.

If you already have a blog that doesn’t make you any money, even with a broad niche you’d be able to start earning revenue by taking my advice in this post. Narrow niche produces better results, but it doesn’t mean that the broad one doesn’t work at all.

Products and Services to Promote on Your Blog.

If you think out of the box, you’d be able to find something helpful for people in any niche.

Think of the products or services in your niche that could help people experience what your posts are about or learn more about the topics

Taking travel niche as an example again, this could be accommodations in the area you might be writing about, a guided tour, car rental, places to eat, local authentic gift ideas, etc.

Sports: clothes, shoes, equipment, memorabilia, training programs, books, DVDs, etc.

Photography: courses, camera and lighting equipment, artistic prints, printing, framing and finishing services, etc.

Minerals: books, gemstone jewelry, gemstone arts, collectibles, holistic therapy, healing crystals, etc.

Once you identify the products and/or services you could offer your readers, 
find an Affiliate Program for them and JOIN in. 

All affiliate programs are free. Do NOT join if you find one that asks for a fee!!! 

None of the businesses can withhold the competition nowadays if they don’t have an online presence. Also, most of the online stores either have their own affiliate program or participate in Affiliate Networks such as ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, and many more.

Amazon.com offers its own affiliate program and it owns 49% of all online sales.

Maybe you have a favorite online store… Go to their website and check if they offer an affiliate program in the top menu or in the footer – see image below for an example.

Petco Home Page - Affiliate Program in the Footer Menu
Footer Menu on Petco Website

If your product/ service is not on Amazon, and you don’t have a favorite store(s), simply google the name of the product with “+ affiliate” attached to your keyword. For example, “drone + affiliate”

Google Affiliate Program - drone + affiliate example

As you can see in the image above, there were 30,500,000 results for my search. Of course, not all of them are closely related to what I was looking for, but many are. One of the links in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) brought me to this program in the image below, which is awesome! Look at the commission rate: 40% – 70%

Drone Affiliate Program. Earn a 40% to 70% affiliate commissions on every sale!

Once you applied and got approved for an affiliate program of your choice, you’ll get your own affiliate link(s) to the products and services offered through this program. You will then place these links into the content of your post, and if a visitor clicks on your link and purchases something using your promotion, you get paid commission at a predetermined rate.

You do need to have a website before applying for the affiliate program. Some affiliate programs approve your application instantly, others take some time. Amazon.com has its own routine: you get pre-approved immediately and receive your affiliate link. Your application becomes fully approved after 180 days (it’s half a year – more than enough!) if during this time at least 3 sales were made via your promotions. In case you didn’t make these 3 sales, you’d get rejected, but can simply reapply – no problem!

Please note: in this particular post, I purposely didn’t include any of my affiliate links. However, if you click the internal links in this post, they will take you to other posts that do have affiliate links.

Your Blog’s Audience.

The visitors to your website are your potential customers. Of course, not all of them will click on your affiliate links, but the more visitors you manage to attract, the more conversions you’ll get, the more money you’ll earn.

How do you attract visitors? Well, you’d need to learn how to please Mr. Google. ☺ Fortunately, Mr. Google takes the side of your human visitors and every year becomes smarter and smarter in determining whether your blog is interesting and helpful for people or just a chunk of text stuffed with keywords and affiliate links. 

There are certain strategies and techniques that affiliate marketers have to know in order to increase organic traffic to their blog. Applying this set of techniques is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Google bots and other search engines calculate numerous factors in their ranking system of your blog. You get most organic traffic when your keywords rank on the 1st page in Google. If you are on the 2nd or 3rd page, you still get some visitors, but who looks beyond the 3rd page in Google! Very few users do. 

Users can customize the number of items per page in Google’s SERP. I have mine set to 50, but very often there are only 10 search results per page. This means that if your keywords are ranked in a position over 30, the chance that people will find your post is slim, and if it’s ranked in the position 150+, the chance is basically zero.

Here are several tips for improving your SEO:

Google, SEO, Online Marketing and other related words are written in a grey scale in a shape of a crown. Content Is Kind takes central position in a bigger font size and green color.
  1. “Content is King”. It must be interesting, helpful and engaging.

  2. The content can be written in conversational language, but has to be free of grammatical errors.
  1. Your blog has to be well formatted: use H1-H5 settings for headers, write short paragraphs with relative illustrations and embedded video(s)

  2. Fill in “Alternative Text” for all images.

  3. Optimize image sizes for the web. Keep them under 50KB

  4. The recommended length of each post is 1,500+ words, but not shorter than 1,000

  5. Your blog has to be frequently updated: 2-3 new posts per week are ideal.

  6. Carefully analyze and choose targeted keywords.
    You can use some help from Google itself: it shows you the total number of results – so, you can estimate your competition. It also offers you a few related phrases people search for, which you can try instead in case the competition for your chosen keyword is too high.

    If using Google for your keyword analysis, click on “Tools” and select “Verbatim” to get information relevant to your exact keyword. Perform a quoted search as shown in the image below.

Place your cursor in the search field to open up a drop-down list with related searches (left image below). This list and the number of shown results are also printed at the bottom of the last page in your search results (image on the right):

However, a good keyword research tool, such as Jaaxy, is much more useful and will visually present you with accurate and detailed information on your keyword and with many more related keywords ideas.

Below is a screenshot from the same search performed by Jaaxy (note, that there is no need for quotation marks):

As you can see, this keyword is great for a post!

  1. Use the targeted keywords 3-5 times in each post, one of them should be in the title.

    Do it naturally and don’t overload your content with the chosen keywords. In bots’ view, every word and phrase in your content is a keyword. However, you would choose and analyze only one or two per post. Though, you might get ranked for a different phrase in your content as well.

  2. Use clear and simple site navigation.

  3. Don’t use more than one pop-up per visit.
    Pop-ups are disturbing and annoying. Many visitors will leave your website immediately if you attack them with various pop-ups. Such behavior will increase your bounce rate, decrease session duration and your site’s rank.

  4. Include internal links.
    You want visitors to stay longer on your website and browse other content. In Google’s terminology, this will decrease your site’s bounce rate and increase its rank.

  5. Use external links to authority sites, but open them in a new browser tab or window – so that you don’t lose your visitors after they click on such link.

  6. Make sure that your posts display a Comment field at the bottom and encourage visitors to leave you feedback, ask questions, share their own stories there. Always reply to the comments and try to do it promptly, within 24 hours.

    Comments are good for higher ranking as they complement the content of the post and reflect on visitors’ interest through their engagement.

  7. Create prominent and well-defined Calls To Action (CTAs)
    Good CTAs not only help in improving the rank of your blog, but also play a major role in your conversions.

  8. Don’t stuff each and every post with your affiliate links.
    Try to centralize your affiliate links in a few locations, and use internal links in other posts to reference these locations – similar to what I am doing in this post you are reading. 

  9. Set Meta Title and Meta Description for your blog, and do it for each post. With WordPress websites, you can install and activate ‘All In One SEO’ or ‘Yoast’ plugin, which will help you tune your blog for SEO.

  10. It’s good for SEO if your domain name is relevant to the niche of your blog. Use your targeted keywords in permalinks of the posts.

Use Google Analytics and Search Console to track traffic and analyze your website performance and conversions.

The average conversion rate is about 2%. If your blog is set up properly with affiliate links and CTAs that lead to sales, every 2 people out of a hundred will buy something and you, my friend, will earn commissions. The amount depends on the products you promote and affiliate programs you joined.

Once you see hundreds of people visiting your website daily, your blog will definitely make money. 

In the next section, I will explain to the newbies how and where they can easily create their blogs. Please continue reading even if you are not one of them. This same place provides comprehensive step-by-step training on all of the above and everything that I was not able to fit in this post. 

How to Create a New Blog from Scratch.

Click This Link
to learn about the company that offers everything you need to create a new website. 

You’ll find my affiliate link in there and will be able to use it for joining Wealthy Affiliate as a Starter member. 

Read carefully what CTA you are choosing, because that article also contains a link to creating a Premium Membership account.

Wealthy Affiliate offers two types of Membership:

  • Free Starter Membership 
  • Premium Membership

Free Membership allows you to build two free websites. They will reside on the SiteRubix subdomain. As I explained above, a website built on a subdomain can be free, but it is more like a showcase in somebody else’s store rather than your own storefront. A website built on subdomain also loses some credits in rank to a blog running on its own domain name related to the niche. 

So, if you want a free blog, these are sacrifices you’d have to make. 

Wealthy Affiliate screenshot - build your website

Building a website on the Wealthy Affiliate (WA) Platform is extremely easy and takes only 30 seconds. WA takes care of the technical part behind the scene. You only need to provide a part of the domain name related to your niche, the title for your blog, and choose one of 12 available free WordPress themes. Then, click the “Build” button and you are done. 

Your own part of the domain name should be the same as the title/ name of your website without spaces. Your site’s URL will look like shown in the image:
YouChosenSiteName.siterubix.com

If you were building a site on your own domain, the SiteRubix would not be a part of the URL. Your URL would be in the following format: YouChosenSiteName.com 

Choose any theme – it doesn’t matter which one at this point. You’ll be able to change it later.

Once the build is complete, you’ll see your website with preloaded sample content created by your theme. You can delete it, and start creating your own content. Or, you can change the theme at this time with no problem. After you started creating your own content, you should still be able to change the theme, but you have to be more careful as some elements you’ve created may not be compatible with a new theme. Have a full backup of your website if you find yourself wanting to change the design later.

There are 10 free lessons offered to the Starter members in phase 1 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification course. They will walk you through creating your first page and a post. 30 Free keyword searches in Jaaxy are included in Starter membership.

Here is what I mean when I say that free website is a showcase in another owner’s store:
MyWebsiteName.SiteRubix.com
is “renting” (for free) the space in the SiteRubix store.

MyWebsiteName.com
is owning the MyWebsiteName.com store
(the domain name price is somewhere between $10 and $15 per year).

With the Premium Membership, WA offers web hosting for 25 websites on your own domains and 25 free websites on the SiteRubix subdomain. 

With the Starter Membership, you can only have 2 free websites on the SiteRubix subdomain. 

Premium members also have a selection of 3,000+ design themes to choose from (comparing to 12 available to Starter members). 

Wealthy Affiliate: Affiliate Marketing Course.
Wealthy Affiliate Review [The Best Place to Start Affiliate Marketing Business]

And of course, Premium Members have access to endless courses and training modules in all areas of online business as well as weekly Live Webinars, which are recorded and accessible at a later time.

You can find the Membership Comparison table in this Wealthy Affiliate Review. It shows all features and prices. There are absolutely no upsells – Premium Membership opens up access to everything you need and Wealthy Affiliate offers. Your own domain name(s) is the only extra spending to the membership fee.

I do not encourage you to sign up for Premium right away unless you are reading this before December 3rd, 2019.
The Starter Membership gives you an ability to “look around the platform” and decide for yourself whether you want to go Premium or not. You can upgrade at any time later, and if you make your decision within your first free week at WA, I offer you $30 off your first Premium month.

In Conclusion…

Of course, the scale of this post does not allow me to give you comprehensive training on SEO and optimization of your blog for conversions. I hope that I’ve done a pretty good job considering the blog post format.

To create your own free website easily,
sign up for Free Starter Membership with Wealthy Affiliate
using the links in the referenced article.

In order to get full comprehensive training, unlimited keywords searches and analysis in Jaaxy, web hosting for up to 25 websites on your own domains, be part of an amazing worldwide community of like-minded people, receive support 24/7/365 and much more, you’d want to upgrade to the Premium membership at some point. Do it within your first week and receive $30 off your first month.

There are also other ways to increase traffic to your blog, but they are outside of the scope of this post, and some of them are not free. You’d be able to learn about them when you become a WA Premium member.

There are more ways to earn money from your blog, such as running an email campaign, using social networks, placing 3rd-party ads on your site (also thoroughly explained at WA to the Premium members). I don’t recommend ads until you see hundreds of people visiting your blog daily. These ads pay you pennies, but drive your readers away from your blog and thus from your own affiliate sales. 

Do Blogs Make Money? Yes, they do, and yours will too as long as you are willing to invest some time in learning more techniques and strategies for optimization and make adjustments accordingly to the training created by the expert marketers. 

Please use the Comments field below to ask questions, answer the questions I asked you above, and give me your feedback. I’m always delighted to hear from my readers and usually reply within a day.

Wishing You Great Success in Blogging and Earning!

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