How To Make Money Blogging In 2020: Complete Guide For Beginners
You want to make money with your blog but don’t know where to start? How to actually make money blogging?
Then this post is for you!
Make yourself comfy, grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and get ready to take notes as this is gonna be a very long and jam-packed post!
Pin for later!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
What you need to make money with your blog
- a self-hosted WordPress website
- legal pages
Why you should start a self-hosted blog
There are lots of free blogging platforms you can start your blog on BUT if you are serious about making money blogging (I assume you are as you clicked on this post!) you SHOULD invest in a self-hosted website.
Because you are actually LOSING money by blogging on a free platform.
Not literally. No one is actually taking your money.
But you are missing out on A LOT of opportunities so, metaphorically speaking, you ARE losing money.
A lot of money!
You see, most free blogging platforms don’t allow you to monetize your blog (or if they do, it’s very limited).
So making money on a free platform is very hard (almost impossible).
Another thing is that, by having a self-hosted blog, you are telling companies that you are serious about blogging, they are more likely to work with you and take your blog seriously.
But, isn’t a self-hosted blog expensive?
Starting a self-hosted blog can be expensive depending on the web hosting company you use and the plan you choose BUT it’s actually a lot cheaper than you think!
You can start a self-hosted blog for only $3.95 a month.
That’s less than most drinks at Starbucks…
So by buying ONE Starbucks drink LESS a month, you can start your own self-hosted blog.
That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?!
Plus imagine how many drinks you’ll be able to buy once you start making money from your blog…
Ready to give up (one cup of) coffee and start your self-hosted blog?
This step-by-step guide will show you how!
How to start a self-hosted blog
Go to Bluehost’s homepage and click “get started” and pick a plan. I’d recommend “Basic” which is all you need as a blogger.
Once you’ve decided on the plan click select, you’ll be taken to a new page where you can set up your domain name and click next.
Then just fill out all the required information about your account and payment information.
When you’re done registering you’ll see this page:
Click on “go to login” and sign in using your domain name and password you just created.
Once you sign in just follow the steps on the screen and fill out some information about your website and pick a theme.
Then you’ll see this page, just click that “start building” button and you’ll be taken to Bluehost. There just click on “Log in to WordPress” to go to your WordPress dashboard and start building your website.
And you have started a self-hosted website.
It’s so simple, isn’t it?!
You can install different plugins and customize your website how you want.
(if you need more help with starting your blog I have a detailed guide on how to start a blog you can follow where I go through all the steps of starting a blog, from picking your name to writing your first posts and everything else.)
Why do I need legal pages on my blog?
You’re probably wondering, wait, why do I need legal pages?
I’m not even making money with my blog or getting a lot of traffic.
But it doesn’t matter how much traffic you’re getting or how much money you’re making.
You are required by law to have legal pages on your blog.
Even if you started your blog yesterday.
If you don’t, you’re breaking the law.
Other legal pages will depend on what you’re offering on your blog, if you’re monetizing your blog, etc.
You can check out my complete legal guide for bloggers for more information on legal pages and find out which ones you need.
Legal pages are one of the most important blog investments.
And they are worth every penny!
You can check out the legal pages that I use on my blog on this link!
Getting legal page templates is the cheapest and easiest way to protect your blog legally.
You just buy and download the templates, fill in your information and paste them onto new pages on your blog.
And that’s it!
Your blog is legally protected and you don’t have to think about it anymore 🙂
How to make money blogging as a beginner
Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for!
How do I make money blogging?
There are lots of different ways you can make money from your blog.
The ones we’re going to talk about are:
- affiliate marketing
- sponsored posts
- selling your own products or services
Affiliate marketing is the most common and most popular way to make money blogging.
This is how affiliate marketing works:
you (a blogger) find a product or a company you like > apply for their affiliate program (through their website or an affiliate network) > get access to affiliate links (with your unique tracking code) > add those links to your blog or social media > your readers click on those links > you get a commission from their purchase
How to make money with affiliate marketing
The best and most effective way to make money through affiliate marketing as a new blogger is directly on your blog.
Okay, but how do I promote affiliate links on my blog?
By promoting them in your blog posts.
Here are some blog post ideas where you can include affiliate links:
- gift guides
Basically you can promote affiliate links in any type of post.
Just make sure it’s RELEVANT and that it makes sense.
You’re not gonna promote a laptop in a hair tutorial, are you?
It doesn’t matter how amazing that laptop is, if it’s not relevant to the actual post DON’T mention it.
Other places where you can promote your affiliate links:
- your email list
- social media
- courses and ebooks
The biggest mistake bloggers make when it comes to affiliate marketing
What most bloggers do is just randomly include affiliate links in hopes people will click on them.
And that’s not the way to do it.
At least not when your blog is still small.
You need to be intentional with your affiliate links.
You need to tell people about that product and WHY they need it, how it’s gonna benefit them, what problem it will solve.
Also, show results!
People need some proof.
If it’s a course that doubled your traffic include some screenshots, if it’s a face mask that helped clear your skin include some before and after photos.
But show people something, some kind of proof, to convince them that they need that product (or service), that it could do the same for them!
You need to sell them the product!
That’s why I think that reviews and tutorials and the best type of posts to write as they will give you the best results (aka make the most money)!
Especially when you are just starting out so you don’t get many pageviews and haven’t built up your social media following yet.
Best affiliate networks for new bloggers
There are lots of great affiliate networks and programs out there but the ones I would recommend to a new blogger to start with are:
The reason I recommend these ones is because they are quite easy to get accepted to and don’t have any minimum requirements (like pageviews or number of followers) so they are perfect for new bloggers who are just starting out.
And if you are looking for more programs to join I’d recommend checking out this masterlist of over 500 programs in 19 different niches where you’ll definitely find something for you.
You can also make money blogging by displaying ads on your blog.
That is the easiest way as it doesn’t require any actual work and it’s the most passive way to make money blogging.
Sounds like the dream, doesn’t it?
But the thing with making money with ads is that you need to have some traffic to be able to make money.
That’s why I wouldn’t recommend putting ads on your blog right away.
When you’re just starting out and your traffic is low, you can only sign up for networks like Google Adsense or Media.net which don’t pay much and just slow down your website.
That’s why it’s best to wait until you have more traffic so you can apply for a premium ad network like Mediavine.
Another way to make money blogging is with sponsored posts.
A sponsored post is a post you are paid to publish on your blog.
You can write it yourself or it can be written by a company that is paying you.
How much should you charge for a sponsored post?
There are so many things that go into the price, from how many pageviews you get a month, to the number of email subscribers and followers you have, the time it takes to create the post, the promotion of the post and so many other things.
There is no one shoe fits all!
But what I will say is, do not go under $75 no matter how small your blog is!
Don’t sell yourself short!
Just because your blog is small don’t neglect all the work and time it takes to create a post!
If you want to learn more about sponsored posts and how to work with brands I would highly recommend reading this post from Cate of Sweet&SimpleLife.com.
Sell your own products or offer services
And lastly, you can make money blogging by selling your own products and offering services.
With selling your own products and services the possibilities are endless.
You can sell physical products or digital products.
Some examples of digital products would be courses, ebooks, templates, printables, photos.
For creating online courses I would highly recommend Thinkific.
Thinkific is a really great platform where you can create and sell your own online courses. You can add text, photos, videos and so many other things to your courses to make learning easier. The best part is that you can create 3 courses to sell for free.
For selling other digital products, I would recommend Sendowl. It’s super simple to start selling your digital products with Sendowl and the price is really affordable ( starting from $9 a month).
What is the best way to make money as a beginner blogger?
We just went over the 4 most popular ways to make money blogging but which one is the best for new bloggers?
It’s affiliate marketing!
You could probably tell as I talked about it the most but I truly think that affiliate marketing is the best place to start.
Especially as you don’t need A LOT of pageviews to make any real money unlike ads or selling your own products.
All you need is a good product you believe in and a great piece of content promoting it!
Don’t believe me?
I made over $2,000 blogging in one month and most of it was with affiliate marketing.
And I did it with under 50,000 pageviews and a small email list.
okay, but how do I ACTUALLY make money?
I told you all the ways bloggers can make money with their blogs but how do YOU actually make money blogging?
Here are some quick tips to help you grow your blog.
Use Pinterest to get blog traffic
The fastest way for bloggers to get traffic to their website is with Pinterest.
Just take a look at my blog, for example.
I got over 5k pageviews on my blog in my SECOND month, all thanks to Pinterest.
How to get started with Pinterest
- set up a business account
- claim your website and apply for rich pins
- create 10 boards related to your blog (make one board specifically for your blog and one board for each category and then, for every category, make a few more boards.)
- optimize your profile (name and description) and all your boards (titles and descriptions) with relevant keywords
- to every board you created find and save 5 pins from other people before you start pinning your own content
- for every blog post you write make 3 different graphics for Pinterest (2:3 ration, use big and bold letters)
- pin it to the most relevant board first and schedule it to all other (relevant) boards
I just quickly went over Pinterest basics but I have a FREE Pinterest course where I go through all of this in detail you can enroll in.
Just enter your email below and you’re in!
I also have lots of Pinterest related post that can help you drive more traffic to your blog, you can access them all HERE.
I talked about Pinterest and how you can drive lots of traffic fast with Pinterest but SEO is also very important!
Don’t neglect SEO!
Yes, it takes time to start seeing organic traffic but once you start getting it it won’t stop.
You won’t have to do anything to get the traffic.
That’s why it’s so important to optimize your blog for search engines from the very beginning.
Here are some SEO basics and quick tips to help you get started:
- NICHE DOWN so Google sees you as an “expert” in that niche, therefore, puts you higher in search results
- BUILD BACKLINKS-They are crucian for ranking higher in search results! If you don’t know what backlinks are, they are links from other websites that lead to your website (you can build them by guest posting, being included in a roundup post etc.)
- INTERNAL LINKING-that’s when you link to a post or a page on your website (make sure to link to relevant posts)
- KEYWORDS- do keyword research and optimize every post with the right keywords
- install Yoast SEO plugin
Speaking of keywords, some tools I would recommend for research are Google’s Keyword planner, Ubersuggests and Keywords Everywhere.
Find long-tail keywords (those are longer keywords) that are less competitive and target them.
Where to include your target keyword:
- URL (make it short and only include the keyword, no need to write words like “how to” or “easy” or any numbers-also don’t include dates in your URL!)
- your blog post title
- at the beginning of the post (in the first 50-100 words)
- inside the post (the body)
- meta description
- image titles and alt text
Build an email list
Another important part of making money blogging is building an email list.
Like I mentioned above, an email list is a great way to promote your affiliate links.
Not only that, but it’s also very important if you’re planning on selling your own products or services as people on your email list are most likely to buy from you!
They are the ones who trust you the most and are the most interested in what you have to offer.
That’s why it’s important to start building your email list from the beginning and work on building a strong relationship with your subscribers.
As this post is already quite long I won’t go into detail of building an email list.
But I do have a detailed post on how to start and grow your email list you should check out!
Can you actually make money blogging in 2020?
When it comes to making money blogging the first question is always “How can I make money from my blog” but this question comes very close.
If you read different posts you’ll get different answers, some people will say it’s not possible as there are already way too many blogs out there.
Others will say that you can make money blogging in 2020 and might even say that it’s “easy”.
What is my answer?
I’m somewhat in the middle.
I don’t think that there are too many blogs and that it’s impossible to make money blogging but I also don’t think it’s easy.
Is it POSSIBLE to make money blogging?
I made over $1,000 in my first six months..
So I can confirm that it is possible to start a blog to make money in 2020.
But can ANYONE do it?
Theoretically speaking, yes.
Anyone can make money blogging.
But does that mean that everyone who starts a blog WILL make money from it?
As it takes A LOT of hard works and determination.
And hours and hours of writing, and promoting, and researching and whatnot.
Another thing is that there ARE lots of blogs out there so YOU need to find a way to stand out.
You need to be unique and different so people notice you and your work.
Types of blogs make the most money
Let’s be real, there are some niches that make more money than the others.
And that’s facts.
When you are starting a blog with the intention of making money and turning it into a business you need to take that into consideration and choose a niche that is the most profitable.
These are some of the most profitable niches at the moment:
- health and fitness
There you have it!
This is how you make money blogging!
Starting a blog and making money blogging is not easy and it will not happen overnight but I truly think that if you work hard and don’t give up you WILL make it happen!
You just need to be patient and continue to work and learn!