How to Make Money Blogging in 2021: The Complete Guide
The idea that you can make money blogging sounds like a dream. Not only do you get to work independently and skip the 9-to-5, but you can also blog from anywhere in the world about the topics of your choice. While it involves hard work, it’s perfectly achievable for anyone, including beginners, with the right strategy.
The first step, of course, is to create a blog. After that, you’ll need to grow your blog’s audience so that you can ultimately earn money from it. Whether you’re simply looking for a side hustle or want to make a living from blogging, this comprehensive guide will walk you through actionable steps to build your readership and get the cash flowing in.
How to make money blogging
Choose a profitable niche
Scale your efforts
Build a reputation
Promote and grow
Monetize your content
01. Choose a profitable niche
If you’re just starting a blog, you're probably asking yourself, What should I write about?
But before you dive into writing, you’ll need to choose a specific niche. Pick one overarching theme for your blog so that you can hone in on a particular field and attract a targeted group of fans.
When selecting your niche, it’s important to start with your passions - after all, you’ll be dedicating lots of time and effort on this subject. You should also think about the kinds of subjects that are profitable and that your audience is interested in reading about.
As a blogger, you’ll be successful if you can address your audience’s pain points and offer them the best possible solution. If there’s significant interest in your desired niche - and if you offer knowledge or information that satisfies an important need - then you’ll be better equipped to make money blogging.
The second layer to consider is your level of professional experience. If you have no prior connections to your blogging niche, you’ll have a harder time establishing yourself as a credible source of information in that industry. On the other hand, if you have work experience, educational background or connections in a particular field, you’re already prepared to write about those subjects and have an easier time building trust among your readership.
If you’re stuck on which topics to focus on, browse through these blog ideas for inspiration.
02. Scale your efforts
Now that you’ve selected your niche, it’s time to start creating content. As you begin, keep in mind that the strategy behind your articles is just as important as the writing itself. Your articles, of course, will involve a lot of writing - but they’ll also involve a great deal of research and planning.
On top of that, you’ll want to get lots of content up and running on your blog right away, without compromising on quality. Here’s what you should know as you start creating and scaling your content.
Choose the right topics
Just as you selected a strategic niche, you’ll also want to choose strategic topics. The best topics must accomplish two things. First, they should address the needs of your target audience and offer them a thoughtful, actionable solution. Second, they should target keywords with high search volumes - a number that indicates how many people are looking up a given word or topic during a selected time frame (typically one month).
The more people search for queries to which your articles provide a strong answer, the more likely they are to land on your site. Take a look at this article for more information on how to do keyword research so you can find relevant words or terms to add to your blog.
To reach your initial goal to get more site visitors, you’ll need to post fresh content frequently. Aim to publish a minimum of 3 to 4 new posts per week so that you maximize organic traffic.
On top of that, you’ll want to publish regularly. Don’t release a huge batch of articles one week, only to publish nothing the following week. Instead, create an editorial calendar and plan a consistent publishing schedule ahead of time. This will signify to Google that you run a healthy, active blog.
Distribute the workload
As you consider how to make money blogging, remember that you’re not only building your online presence; you’re also sharpening your entrepreneurial skills. You’ll soon realize that creating upwards of 3 posts per week is a lot to handle alongside business management.
Still, you shouldn’t let that slow you down. Consider getting extra help as you launch your blog and outsourcing some tasks to freelancers so you can scale your content quickly. That way, you’ll be able to concentrate your efforts on your money-making strategy as you launch your blog.
03. Build a reputation
Once you’ve created a large amount of strategic content, the next step toward earning money is to establish yourself as an authority in your field. These tips will help guide you:
Try guest blogging
Start by expanding your online presence, particularly in the writing and blogging world. You can reach out to online publications in your niche and pitch ideas for guest posts. Remember to send a link to your blog alongside your pitch as evidence of your experience in the field.
To find guest blogging opportunities, browse your favorite publications to see if they publish content by outside contributors. Alternatively, if you follow any bloggers in your niche, you can search for their name online and see where they’re getting published. That will point you toward sites that are accepting guest content.
From there, you can pitch an idea to a writer or editor over email or via LinkedIn. If you already have a relationship with them on Twitter, you can also pitch them ideas there. These are two of the most commonly used social media platforms by professionals, and they’re often an effective way to reach people in the online publishing world.
Don’t be discouraged if your pitches aren’t accepted right away. That’s a perfectly normal situation for many, and your pitches will be accepted as you scale up your outreach efforts. Besides, the more content you have published, the more you’ll build up your reputation - and the easier it will be for you to get published in the future.
If you’re lucky, some publications may offer you payment for your contributed content. This is already a great start when it comes to making money blogging. That said, even if guest posting doesn't compensate you financially, it’s still a great opportunity to network with others in your field and start growing your readership. With enough experience, you could eventually land your own guest column.
Guest blogging also comes with the benefit of providing backlinks to your own blog, which boosts your SEO. This is important because it makes your site more visible on search engines like Google, thus directing traffic to it. Read this article for more tips on SEO for bloggers.
Collaborate with experts
Another way to establish your credibility is by working closely with other experts in your field. This will give you more exposure and help you build an audience.
Begin by reaching out to professionals within your blogging niche - for example, this could be a successful guest writer you follow or the editor of your favorite publication. Ask if you can conduct an interview with them, either as a guest post or for publication on your own blog. While this may seem like a bold request, people in this position are often happy to give interviews since it also increases their exposure.
Likewise, you can cross-promote other bloggers in your industry. Give their articles a shoutout on your social media posts and blog, and engage back and forth with them on Twitter. Chances are they’ll start reading your content as well and return the favor.
04. Promote and grow
At this point, you know that the more people read your blog, the easier it will be for you to earn an income from it. For that reason, growing your website traffic is an important stepping stone for making money from your blog.
Before we dive into how to promote your blog, keep in mind that marketing your work is an ongoing effort. You should promote your site alongside all other steps, from the very moment you decide to start your blog. Even as your readership grows, marketing your site will be just as crucial to its success as the blogging process itself.
Here are some ways to spread the word and build your popularity:
Optimize for SEO
As mentioned earlier, SEO is critical for getting your website on Google. If you want people to find your blog, one of the best ways to do this is by creating content that ranks on the first page of organic search results for relevant queries. For example, if you’re creating a vegetarian food blog, you’ll want to appear in the top results for queries such as “vegetarian recipes,” “vegetarian dinner idea,” and “vegetarian enchilada recipes.”
To do this, you should not only strive to create the most informative blog posts on the web, but you should also optimize these posts using strategic long tail keywords - a specific type of keyword that targets your precise audience and can offer conversion value. While this might sound intimidating, keyword research is actually quite simple for beginners to learn. Using keyword research tools - such as Google Search Console, SEMrush and Ahrefs - is a great place to start.
Create a newsletter
Another way to drive traffic to your blog - and make money as a result - is by making an email newsletter to promote your content. This will ensure that people who find your blog will come back to read future posts, thereby bolstering your traffic and monetization potential.
But how do you get people to subscribe to your newsletter in the first place? Here are some ideas:
Create lead magnets: Also referred to as “freebies,” lead magnets are just incentives that you offer in exchange for a subscription. People are much more likely to sign up if they’re offered something valuable in exchange. Your offers might include a free e-book or guide, a complementary slide deck or online course, or a coupon code for your online store.
Create opt-in forms: Opt-in boxes typically take the form of pop-ups or slide-ins asking readers to subscribe. Because they’re hard to ignore, they tend to grab the attention of site visitors more so than static text. You might choose to create an opt-in form that directly tells visitors to subscribe to your emails. Another route is to make opt-in forms that highlight your lead magnets and that ask visitors to enter their email addresses in exchange for the free reward.
On top of that, you should make sure that your newsletter is pleasing to look at and engaging to read. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to make a newsletter that converts, have a look at these stunning newsletter design ideas.
Build a social media strategy
Just as you drive traffic to your blog through SEO and email marketing, you’ll also want to use social media marketing.
Not only should you share your link on your personal channels, but you should also create separate social media accounts dedicated to your blog. Try creating a Facebook business page, as well as dedicated business accounts on Instagram and YouTube.
Once you do this, grow your audience even further by creating new forms of content that accompany your articles. For example, you can make Instagram and Pinterest posts that touch on recent themes in your articles, and then link back to those articles within the posts. Likewise, you can repurpose your blog content as YouTube videos, and then include a link to the relevant article beneath each video.
Expand your reach even further using different and creative forms of content marketing. In addition to sharing content on YouTube, you can also post informative how-to videos on your site. In the same way, you can share your insights and expertise by creating a podcast or hosting a webinar. The more types of content you create to promote yourself as an expert in your field, the more likely people are to discover your blog.
Note that while you should initially offer this content for free in order to build your audience and drive traffic to your blog, you can eventually start charging as an additional source of revenue. Keep this in mind as you think about how to make money from your blog.
05. Monetize your content
With strong content and a growing online presence, you’re now fully equipped to make money blogging. The next step is to add features that allow you to monetize your blog and earn a profit. Here are some ideas:
Advertise within your blog
When you use Wix as your blogging platform, you can add Google AdSense ads to your blog posts - and generate income as a result.
What, exactly, is Google AdSense? It’s a program that allows you to place ad spaces on your site. Google then fills those spaces with advertisements that are relevant to your blog and your site visitors. You, in turn, earn money when those ads are viewed or clicked.
This is a popular and lucrative advertising program for many bloggers and website owners. You have the freedom to choose your preferred ad sizes, shapes and placement, allowing you to optimize for clicks while maintaining a non-intrusive browsing experience for your visitors.
Another advertising option is to add the Bannersnack app to your blog. This is a third-party app available on Wix that lets you partner with brands you love and design your own ads. That way, you can create ads that match the look and feel of your blog and that promote products you trust.
Offer paid subscriptions
A second way to make money blogging is by allowing readers to purchase subscription plans. This is a key money-making feature of the Wix blogging platform.
Wix Subscriptions lets you create and sell subscription plans so that readers can buy access to exclusive content. Posts that have been added to a subscription plan get marked as an “Exclusive post” and display a short preview to readers, along with a Subscribe button. That way, people who want to keep reading have the option to sign up for a paid plan.
An alternative approach is to offer paid memberships, and then reward paying members with free, exclusive content. Here’s everything you need to know about how to create a membership site.
When talking about how to make money blogging, people often think about selling products directly to their audience. On Wix, you don’t even need to open an online store that’s separate from your blog. Instead, all you need to do is add a Pay button to your blog posts. This lets you sell products related to your blog niche or personal brand while readers browse your articles.
This option can be especially profitable if you sell products that are closely related to your topics. If you run a fitness blog, for example, you might sell branded sports gear in an article about fitness equipment. Similarly, if you operate a travel blog, you can sell your own travel guides directly in your posts. Keep in mind that your products don’t have to be physical; they can also be digital goods such as e-books, online courses and virtual events.
Add affiliate links
In addition to selling your own products, you can make money blogging by promoting other people’s products. One of the most effective ways to do this is through affiliate marketing, which involves adding affiliate links to various products or services within your posts. When your site visitors click on those links and make a purchase, you’ll earn a commission from the sale.
To find brands to partner with as an affiliate, take a look at programs such as the Wix Affiliate Program, CJ Affiliate and ShareASale. Amazon Associates is another program popular among many bloggers and influencers.
Write sponsored content
Some brands are willing to pay you for writing posts that promote their business. These posts often take the form of product reviews or other demonstrations of how you use a company’s products or services. The company will compensate you for each post you create, as you’re essentially advertising their products to your audience. To find these opportunities, reach out to organizations relevant to your field and inquire about sponsorship options.
A word of caution, though: When partnering with brands, only recommend products you believe in so that you retain your readers’ trust. In addition, look for partnerships that enable you to create a series of sponsored posts across an extended period of time. This ensures a recurring source of revenue.
Offer consulting services
The final way to make money blogging involves harnessing all the knowledge you’ve gained as a professional blogger. Using your blog as a portfolio, offer your own expertise as a service and promote yourself as a consultant.
Depending on your field, you can either work with individuals or act as a consultant for companies. Many types of blogs, from marketing to nutrition and design, are a natural stepping stone for a full-fledged consulting business.
To start, offer one-on-one services to clients, as well as packages that bundle a couple services together. You can also branch out into group services, such as conferences and public speaking events, webinars and online courses.
As you’ve seen, there are a multitude of ways to make money blogging. Follow these tips and experiment with creative approaches to reach your audience, build your reputation and make your content profitable. With a combination of quality content and business smarts, you’ll be well on your way to earning revenue from your blog.
By Rebecca Strehlow
Marketing Expert for the Wix Blog