Ask anyone about how to make money blogging and they’ll tell you the same thing:
“Focus on building traffic first and creating a community around your blog before you worry about making money.”
Awesome. So how long does that take? A year maybe two years before you start making any money? If you applied for a job and the boss said it would be two years before you’d start making any money you’d tell them to…well you’d tell them something.
“Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs.” — Seth Godin
[Note from Martin: This is a guest post from my buddy Joseph. I’ve added my own thoughts throughout the piece. I wanted to share this post with you guys because friends always ask me about how to make money with blogging. I tell them advertising and selling their own products (courses/books/speaking, etc.). Then they get excited. However, I have to inform them that this could take a few years. Nobody seems to like that idea. Joseph has the solution. Check out this post on starting a blog if you want to get the ball rolling.]
These two blogging income strategies will help you beat one of the biggest myths in blogging.
The problem is that blogging is work, sometimes a lot of work. Spending ten hours or more a week and making next to nothing while you’re trying to juggle a full-time job is going to discourage even the most motivated entrepreneur.
That’s why most people give up on their blog before their six-month blog-o-versary.
[Martin: This is sadly true. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see the traffic flooding into your new blog. I’ve seen friends give up after publishing two posts. Most of us want to be an overnight sensation. I’ve been at this for almost a decade. Nobody’s going to care about your first few posts. It might take you eight months to even get 10 loyal followers.]
The truth is that if you have one blog visitor, you can make money.
What’s important is balancing that idea of traffic building with making the money that is going to motivate you to keep going.
How much traffic do you really need to make money blogging?
When you’re first starting out blogging, it’s going to seem like you’re not making money because you just don’t have the traffic.
It’s an easy excuse, something to blame so you don’t feel like a failure.
Reality check: You’re not a failure and it’s not your traffic.
You just haven’t found the right ways to make money blogging. I know bloggers that get less than 10,000 visitors a month but make a thousands from different blogging income sources. One blogger is able to turn just 7,000 monthly visitors into a six-figure freelancing business.
You can waste your time making a penny per page views with Google Adsense. That’s the standard go-to for many bloggers, selling advertising on their blog. That means building your blog traffic to 30,000 visitors a month just to make a few grand.
It’s why a lot of bloggers have shifted away from pay-per-click advertising and Google Adsense. It just doesn’t pay much and you do need a massive amount of traffic to make a living.
Making more than pocket change on your blog, especially from the beginning, means learning how to make money with almost no traffic at all.
There’s two ways you can make money from a blog with limited traffic:
- Making money off other websites’ traffic.
- Making money from super-focused products on your blog.
How do you turn limited blog traffic into big bucks?
Don’t have the thousands of blog visitors that other bloggers say you need to make money? Who said you can only make money on your own visitors?
Money making method #1: The easiest way to make money blogging is by leveraging other sites’ visitors for your products.
That means creating products from your blog you can sell on other sites like Amazon and Facebook. Your blog is still a piece in the marketing strategy but it’s more to develop credibility for yourself and move people through the sales funnel.
- Repurpose your blog content into a book or plan your posts to publish in a book ahead of time.
- After your book is published on Amazon, each post on your blog becomes a marketing channel to send visitors to your Amazon book page.
- Sell your book through email subscribers and on social media.
Even a blog with a few thousand visitors a month can get enough book sales from the website to boost the book on Amazon. That’s enough to keep Amazon’s ranking algorithm working in your favor, enough to keep the world’s largest ecommerce site sending its own visitors to your book page.
Even with a few thousand visitors a month on your own blog, there are ways to convert that limited traffic into a great blogging income.
There’s a reason why the conversion rate, how many visitors actually buy a product, is so low for most blogs. Converting just one or two people in 100 is a good conversion rate for most affiliate products and it’s because the product is only vaguely targeted to the visitor. The product might be relevant to your blog but not as much to the person reading a specific post.
[Martin: This is like setting up a shop in a busy mall. I’ve met online friends over the years who focus their efforts on writing books for Amazon because there are so many more customers on the platform. Sometimes you have to go to where the audience is instead of trying to build your own audience.]
Money making method #2: Fix this by creating hyper-focused printables for your most popular blog posts.
- Create a 3- to 5-page checklist or guide that gives readers everything they need to put the post idea into action.
- Update the post with a few paragraphs towards the beginning of the article talking up the idea of the printable.
- Include one more paragraph towards the end of the post and a link to a landing page selling the printable.
You can price the printable from $3.99 and convert many more visitors because the product calls directly to their needs.
Much of the traffic to your blog is coming from Google, super-targeted visitors looking for the answer to one specific question…an answer your printable provides.
[Martin: Many readers will pay for this guide because they want all of the information in one place. They’re paying for convenience. You also get to double dip as a blogger. The content that you use for your blog is also the content that you use in your premium guide.]
Don’t wait to make money off your blog and don’t think you need tens of thousands of visitors to make a living blogging. Managing your own website can open up a world of financial independence but you need to separate the myths from reality. Use these two strategies to start making money on your blog immediately, while you build traffic to your site.
Joseph Hogue worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs five websites in the personal finance and crowdfunding niche, makes more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job and loves building his work from home business.
“What you do after you create your content is what truly counts.” — Gary Vaynerchuk