Hey Creators! Today we’re going to talk about the how to monetize a blog. You’re likely here because you know that this is no small feat!
For those of you that don’t know, Lauren and I started blogging around 7½ months ago and now earn 10k+ per month blogging.
Oh and don’t worry, it’s in a topic unrelated to blogging.
We didn’t start out making money online by teaching other people how to make money online, and we don’t JUST blog about blogging.
We teach from the standpoint of our other blog in the health and fitness niche, Avocadu.com.
7½ months ago, on January 5, we went full time with this health and fitness blog.
We had a small following, a few blog posts, and one big problem.
We were making virtually no money.
Actually we ended the month of January at -$207.33.
Despite all rational thoughts, security, and family objections, we were determined to make this “online thing” happen and quit our jobs before we were ready.
We wanted extra income.
We wanted to work on something we were passionate about.
But more than anything in the world, we craved some goddamned freedom.
Freedom to travel the world.
Freedom to live life on our terms and not bound to shitty jobs.
Fast forward to today, and things are a little different…
We make over 10k per month with our blog and had a record setting day actually at the time of this writing…
As you can see, from this statement, we have made over $8,732 in the first 17 days of this month via Stripe.
I know… We’re pumped too!!!
On normal days, we are clearing $300 – $400 from Paypal and Stripe, but these abnormally high numbers are from one of our recent Pinterest pins that went crazy viral.
It will be a good month for us. When we open up our inbox every morning, we are often greeted with messages that look just like this:
We don’t show you these things to brag or feel cool. We show you them to inspire you and give you a vision of what’s possible.
Anyone can go from $0-10k per month blogging with the right tools and plan of action in place.
The following is the step-by-step process Lauren and I took to build our blog from -207.33 to making well over 10k per month!
How to Monetize a Blog
For all of you preferred video learners out there, here is a quick video on this topic from our Youtube Channel, Blog and Go, below.
For more free blogging tips and tricks from the experts, make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel!
Step 1. Create your own blog.
Before you learn how to monetize a blog, you must have a blog! Don’t worry… We won’t waste your time on this. We just wanted to direct you to how to get started with it if you haven’t already made one!
Now, don’t just create some random ass blog in a niche that doesn’t make money. I’m sure there is a niche group of people interested in the fine art of tossing potato sacks.
However, it’s probably not a very profitable niche.
The key is to align your passion with what people want and need.
Lauren and I personally love health and fitness, so we created a blog around a couple of sub niches (yoga and weight loss) that people actually will pay money for.
If you have not read it yet, see our complete guide on how to make a profitable blog here: How to Create a Successful Blog Step-by-Step.
You can also follow this link from Bluehost to go ahead and purchase your domain name and hosting plan. It’s only $2.95 per month with our discount link!
Step 2. Create awesome posts around topics people are looking for.
People often wonder: What should I post about?
Well, it’s rather easy. Post about the things that people are LOOKING for.
Pinterest is by far the best way to quickly learn how to monetize a blog.
Using Pinterest’s search engine is a quick and easy way to find topics people are seeking out.
By typing in content like “Yoga Poses” into Pinterest, you’ll see some of the most popular pins at top as well as other top other searches people use related to the topic:
People search for “Yoga Poses for Beginners” the most often, and the second most commonly searched is “Yoga Poses for Flexibility.”
That is how Lauren and I decide what content to create. It’s no coincidence that on our 10k per month blog, these are some of the highest trafficked articles.
They have over 50k repins and are generating thousands of monthly views.
Do some research about what people are seeking out and what pins get the most repins! Another resource we use often is google.com/adwords to see how often a term is “googled.”
You can look up anything that is searched with their Keyword Research Tool and the results look like this…
While this does not ALWAYS reflect the searches on Pinterest, there is some serious correlation there.
(NOTE* Google’s Keyword Planner is a complicated tool that takes some time to get familiar with navigating. When we end up making our courses for making money online and Pinterest strategy, there will be training on how to properly use this tool for business. As for now, try to hunt down some free resources if this information is important to your business).
Remember, almost anything with lots of google searches will have Pinterest searches as well.
The reason we make sure what we create is searched for is because we want people to want to come to us, not us having to go out to them (aka spending money on ads).
Remember that every post should have a PURPOSE.
By purpose I mean,
- Make a sale
- Get an email address
- Get new people to a Community Group
- Sometimes all three
Don’t just post about randomness because you’re a “blogger.” Our motto around here is Create Awesomeness, not Create Boring Bullshit.
If you focus on creating the things people want to see and truly get value from, you will find it hard NOT to make money online.
We also have a whole article on what to blog about: a 4-step process for finding topics your readers will love.
Step 3. Drive traffic to those posts (We love Pinterest).
We raved about Pinterest in our last post and for good reason.
While there are lots of ways to drive traffic to a blog…
- Google SEO
- Guest Blogging
- Email Drops
Pinterest for us seems to win out every time.
Remember that when strategizing to drive traffic to a website, focus on one thing and one thing only. Master it. Don’t try to do everything in the beginning.
Read our article on starting a Pinterest account and how we went from 0-300k unique visitors in 4 short months.
Step 4. Recommend relevant products in those posts.
One of the biggest initial mistakes Lauren and I made was always trying to force our products down people’s throats.
We’d be writing about something like “23 Healthiest Foods” and in the middle of talking about the avocados, we would write a sentence with a subliminal message that went something like this:
HEYYYYYYY!!! WANT TO LOSE ALL THE WEIGHT, LOOK SEXY SEXY, AND HAVE PEOPLE SAY DAMNNNNNN GIRL WHAT HPPND TO U!!! BUY OUR NEW PRODUCT!!!
CLICK HERE! CLICK HERE NOW!! CLICKITY CLICK CLICK!!!
Okay… It wasn’t that bad, but at times it felt that bad. Basically, we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Sales, and more importantly your sanity as a creator, will be much smoother if you don’t force it.
Here’s a good example in our 10 Steps to Losing Weight Without Counting Calories:
You will see that #10 is actually our product with a little shameless plug about how our weight loss product doesn’t require calorie counting…
If trying to sell something, this is an easy way to do it. It’s also a great way to boost income with Amazon.
Amazon and affiliate marketing are some of the best ways to learn how to monetize a blog and find out what your users are interested in.
Just find natural places to recommend products and books you enjoy reading, link it with Amazon products, and send traffic.
Simple as that.
Also, keep in mind that this works best for low cost products that are an almost mindless purchases.
Our $47 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge is definitely on the upper end of what works. Products more around the $5-$20 range will work better.
If you want to really make the big bucks, you must…
Step 5. Start building an email list.
Our email list, at the time of writing this, tops out at around 25,000 people, as shown below:
Growing a list is important for these reasons:
- You have full control over it.
- It’s an asset, and the more it grows, the easier it will be to make money from it.
- A list allows you to build stronger relationships with your customers.
Let’s say we send an email our about a new $47 product to our 25,000 people.
→ 20% of those people open the email (5,000 people).
→ 5% click the link (250 people).
→ 3% convert (7-8 people buy the product).
So if we sent that one, single email, we would have made $259-$296!!!
$300 per day is around $9000 per MONTH. It adds up FAST.
The truth is, most people don’t buy products without knowing a little bit about you first.
Especially if that product is a digital ebook or some sort of information. Building that trust through a list is the smart way to do things.
Plus, the first few emails you send could and SHOULD be an automated indoctrination series with insider information about you as the creators.
There are lots of platforms to collect emails and sell products, but our favorite right now is Clickfunnels.
It’s very easy to use, with a drag and drop editor, and has great customizations. They also offer a 14-day free trial for new users.
See our Clickfunnels Review article for more information on how to use Clickfunnels to make killer sales page.
Step 6. Start with affiliate products first.
Please, please, please don’t miss this step.
Lauren and I sat down when starting our first business failure together called Health and Happy Hour.
We spent almost 3 weekends and weeknights busting our asses to create a weight loss and muscle building product. Then we spent another week making an overly complex funnel and sales page.
Finally, after 4 weeks, we launched it.
Nobody bought, and we were absolutely distraught. All that time and creativity was wasted making something nobody wanted.
Worst. Feeling. Ever.
Part of creating awesomeness is creating products people actually WANT and NEED.
This means that you will need to promote someone else’s creation before making your own to confirm that the idea works.
Then only AFTER you know that the product sells, should you make your own!
Step 7. Create your own product once viability has been proven.
Lauren and I finally got smart and started promoting a relevant yoga product to our market where we only made $5 per sale.
We didn’t care about the money. I mean we did, but we knew $5 sales wouldn’t break the bank. We just needed to confirm that we could actually sell a yoga product.
We made a list, set up an autoresponder, and crossed our fingers.
2 days later, we had made our first sale!
We were ECSTATIC.
Not only did they buy the product, but they loved it!
Once we got good at creating sales pages that promoted someone else’s product, we THEN we created our own original work called the Yoga Fat Loss Bible.
We’ve now sold hundreds of copies, and instead of getting $5 a pop, we get $27.
Learn how to market products BEFORE creating your own! Let me be clear, you should never stop CREATING. This is just part of the process of Creating Awesomeness.
Creating awesomeness is creating the things people want, need, and love.
Now go create something awesome today!
Related Topics and Resources:
- What to Blog About: 4-Step Process to Finding Topics Readers Will Love
- 8 Biggest Blogging Mistakes and How to Fix Them Fast
- Why No One is Reading Your Blog
- FREE 7-Day Blogging Course for Beginners
And our ultimate resource for success on Pinterest: Pinterest Organic Traffic Avalanche
Creating something awesome today!
Alex & Lauren
Co-Founders, Create and Go
P.S. What are the biggest struggles you’re having with your current blog right now? Share them with us in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to help!
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Alex & Lauren
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