You’ve probably heard of people who work from home blogging and make good money doing it. But have you ever wondered how they make money blogging?
I’m one of those people and I’d like to explain!
Let’s Start At The Beginning
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I have always been a creative person who loved music, art and decorating. It makes me happy to design something that I love and is uniquely my style.
However conventional wisdom says that you can’t make money with those kinds of creative talents, so after getting my degree in psychology, I went into computers.
Now I can’t really complain about my career choice. I worked in the field for 28 years, was never without a job, and it more than paid the bills. But somehow there always seemed to be something missing.
So a few years ago, I started this blog as an outlet for my creative side. At that point, it was a hobby. At that point, I didn’t even know making money from a blog was possible!
Then I started to read about people who actually made a full time income from their blogs, and I set myself a new goal.
To be making enough money from my blog to be able to quit my IT job when I was 50.
Working on what I want to work on, when I want to work on it and getting to do what I love every day sounded like a bit of a dream.
But guess what? I DID IT!
Two weeks before my 51st birthday, I handed in my resignation. I no longer work for someone else. I am now a full-time blogger.
How I Make Money Blogging
Now on to the question you all came for…HOW do I actually make that money?
There are a few different ways that bloggers can make an income, but at the moment I only use two of them. (That means I have lots of room to improve. )
Let’s start with the one everyone already knows about — Ads.
Not knowing that there were other options at the time, this is what I started with.
I think all bloggers (including me) have a bit of a love-hate relationship with ads. No-one really wants them on their site. But it’s a really easy way to make money.
When you’re not selling any products of your own and trying to make a full-time income, they are kind of a necessary evil. (I use the AdThrive ad management company).
Where Does The Traffic Come From?
The thing about ads is, in order for you to get paid, people actually have to see the ads and click on the links…which means you need traffic (visitors to your site).
When I started out trying to make money, the only way I knew to get traffic to a website was through … you guessed it … ads!
So I paid Google to advertise my blog. And waited for the traffic to start rolling in. And waited… And waited…
And do you know what happened? NOTHING!!
I was paying way more in advertising fees than I was making! (Good thing I had that IT job to cover the bills ?? )
Then I ran across a course* (this is an affiliate link which you’ll learn about below) that changed my blogging life forever! This is where I learned how to use Pinterest to drive all kinds of traffic to my site FOR FREE!! I stopped paying Google and got WAY more visitors. (The course paid for itself in a couple of months).
I can honestly say that learning to use Pinterest to get traffic to my blog was the single biggest game changer in my blogging career. It was 2 years almost to the day after I implemented these strategies that I was able to quit my job and start blogging full time.
Okay, let’s go on to my second blogging income stream.
Did you know that pretty much every online store pays commissions to other websites to sell their products? They do! (And I certainly didn’t know this when I started out).
The best part is, the product price is the same…whether you buy a product direct from the store or through a commission-paying link from another website, there’s NO change in the price. That’s why most people don’t know this is a “thing”.
And that’s what affiliate marketing is. You sign up with a store that sells things online (like Amazon, Pier 1, Target, Home Depot…the list goes on and on!). They give you a special code. You create a link to a product on the store’s website that includes your code. If someone clicks on your link and buys something, the store pays you a commission. Easy right?
I learned this from another course* (yes, it’s an affiliate link) I took, and it almost made me fall out of my chair. The author makes more than $50,000 per MONTH from affiliate marketing (yes, that’s fifty not five).
That puts my IT salary to shame! And in full honesty, I am not making even close to that amount on my blog…but at least there’s hope!
How Much Does Blogging Cost?
The next question I always get is…isn’t setting up a website expensive? It seems like you would need to make a lot of money in order to cover the costs of running a website. Not everyone has that extra money to spend on something like this.
And the simple answer to this question is…NO. I’m not going to lie…it does take some time. But dollar wise, it’s probably the least expensive business you can start.
The grand total to start and run my blog for the first year? $63.35.
That’s $15.95 to create a URL (do you know how cool it is to type your URL into your phone and see your own website come up?), and $3.95 per month for 12 months to a website host to keep my blog up and running.
With the host I use now, the process for setting up your website really couldn’t be easier. Click a few buttons to create a WordPress site and you are up and running. Plus they have great customer service. I have never had to wait longer than 15 minutes to get a response back from their support team. You can find out more about them HERE.
So there it is in a nutshell…how this site makes money. If you want more details about this stuff, head over to the blogging resources section of the site. That’s where I’m posting the nitty gritty details of how I run the blog.
Have comments or questions on how this blog makes money? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on August 22, 2018 but was updated with new content on November 29, 2020.