How to Make Money Blogging [10 Important Questions Answered]

PT Making Money from Blogging

Instead of an actual interview with someone else today, I thought I’d share a bit of my own knowledge about making extra money from blogging.

Blogging can be a great way to make money on the side. It’s a perfect side hustle because it’s flexible and doesn’t require much in terms of start-up costs. You can earn money through affiliate partnerships, sponsored posts, and display ads. Once you get the hang of building a successful blog, the sky’s the limit when it comes to your earnings.

In fact, many turn their blogging side hustle into a full-time venture. If you’re new to the idea, you may have a few questions about blogs and how they make money. As someone who’s been blogging since 2007, I thought it would be helpful to answer some of the most common ones.

Ready to learn how you too can make money blogging?

Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents:

  1. How Do You Make Money from Blogging?
  2. How Much Can You Make from Blogging?
  3. Why and How Did You Get Started Blogging?
  4. How Do I Start My Own Blog?
  5. When Do You Have Time to Do This?
  6. What are Your Long-Term Plans for Your Business?
  7. How Do You Maximize Your Earnings from Blogging?
  8. What Mistakes Do People Make When Trying to Make Money Blogging?
  9. What are the Best Blogging Tips for Beginners?
  10. What are Other Ways to Monetize your Niche Knowledge?
  11. Next Steps

1. How Do You Make Money from Blogging?

There are many different ways to make money from a blog. Here’s what I’ve been doing and how it works for me.

I’m still learning and tweaking things every day. And, while I’m disclaiming here, let me say that “blogging” and “social media” are ever-evolving, hard-to-define concepts.

So, my definition of blogging and making money online is formed by looking through my own lens. Others see it differently.

Still, I’ve been at it since 2007 and full-time since 2010, so I’ve managed to figure a few things out.

At a high level, I make money with my blog by producing content that gets consistent, relevant traffic to this blog from search engines. Then, I convert that traffic to sales.

At an even higher level, I make money by providing an answer to people’s questions. This is basically a form of content marketing.

How This Blog is Monetized

There are many ways to convert the traffic that I get to an immediate sale. I use the following methods here at Part-Time Money: display advertising, pay-per-click (PPC) tables, and affiliate marketing.

The most common and easy-to-implement monetization is with display advertising through advertising networks. Display networks show ads programmatically based on the content in the blog post.

Mediavine is who I’m currently using for display ads, but I’ve used Adsense and with much success in the past.

Affiliate advertising involves more of a direct relationship with an advertising partner (although sometimes established through an affiliate platform.)

The way it works is that I sign up for their affiliate program and they provide me the links and banners to display on the site. This is how I make most of my money from the site.

Our advertising partners include:

H&R Block
Mint Mobile
Opinion Outpost
Branded Survey
Mobile First Global
AI Reactor

PPC tables are those rate tables you find on my savings and personal loan pages. Check out the savings page here, and the personal loan page here. The idea is that instead of me managing a bunch of direct relationships, an ad platform puts it all into one table for me to display. This works best when rates are constantly changing and there are many partners in the space.

Related: 7 Ways to Make Money on YouTube

Why Email Subscribers are Important

Finally, I should add that I don’t exclusively try to immediately convert readers to a sale. I also collect email sign-ups and subsequently share affiliate products I know and trust in my email newsletters.

The common denominator in all of those methods is quality traffic. If you can get the traffic then you can figure out how to monetize it. There are a million different ways to monetize a blog. The trouble is getting the traffic in the first place.

To build high quality, consistent, relevant traffic from the search engines, you need to do two primary things: provide valuable content (e.g. solve problems, answer questions) and be seen as somewhat of an authority on the subject matter (i.e. you’ve been around a while and other people refer to you on the subject.)

I could go on and on about content and authority, but I’ll save that for another blogger to explain. Or, you can email me and I’ll elaborate.

Products and Services

Another, often overlooked way, to make money blogging is by offering your products and services. This could range from a course that solves your readers’ pain points to a service such as consulting you can offer to other businesses,

While this is not how I choose to monetize my blog, many bloggers have success with this strategy. Once you create a product, you can sell it over and over and make money from it. Providing services also require minimal overhead.

One of the great things about this monetization strategy is that you don’t need as much traffic as you would if you made money through advertising. Being laser-focused with your efforts is a lot more important than having lots of traffic when it comes to products and services.

Sponsored Posts

Finally, you can make money with your blog through sponsored content. The way it works is that a company pays you to review a product or a service on your blog and promote it to your readers.

How much you get paid depends on a number of factors. These include variables such as your page views, the product, the niche, the company, and so on. There are some bloggers who monetize their sites heavily through sponsored posts so this can be pretty lucrative.

17 Ways to Make Money Blogging

To get the ideation going, I thought I’d list all of the ways I’ve ever heard of someone making money from a blog. Here we go:

1. Affiliate Marketing*

A great example of this on display is the Swagbucks link on my popular post, 52 Ways to Make Extra Money. To sign up for these affiliate programs you can visit a site like,, or go directly to the advertiser.

You can also do this through affiliate marketing with some of the common affiliate marketing networks out there. The premise is that you connect with brands to promote their products and/or services.

Here are a couple of big networks:

  • Awin: With over 15,000 brands to choose from, Awin is an award-winning affiliate marketing network that includes brands such as Fiverr, Alibaba, Screencast-o-matic, Bonsai, LendYou, and more. This network has very few requirements, which makes it accessible for those beginning in business.
  • Shareasale: Having been in business for 19 years purely as an affiliate marketing network with over 3,900 brands, Shareasale is another great option that is easy to get accepted into. Some of their brands include StudioPress, CustomInk, Freshbooks, Trunk Club, Masterclass, and more.

There are plenty of ways to get paid by recommending products.

2. Display (Cost-Per Impression) Advertising*

I use to serve up my display ads. You can see them in the content, sidebar, and at the footer. I get paid based on impressions, not clicks.

A better option when you’re just getting started would be Ezoic. Ezoic stands out from Mediavine with its greater flexibility in ad placement, while also not requiring a minimum of 50,000 monthly sessions like Mediavine does.

This allows anyone using Ezoic to take advantage of their platform regardless of traffic levels.

3. Cost-Per-Click Advertising*

You can see this type of advertisement in the table on my Best Savings Account page. I use QuinStreet/ Surehits to serve up these types of tables. I get paid when readers click on those ads to see more info about the offer, regardless if they actually sign up or not. Google Adsense is the most popular CPC advertising platform.

4. Direct/Private Placement Ads*

Some advertisers might pay you directly to put up an ad or to place their affiliate link higher on the page. These are usually negotiated directly with the advertiser.

5. Sponsored Content*

A great example of this type of paid content is my post: 7 Things to Do Before You Quit Your Day Job. The advertiser paid to have this content produced and the extra funds allowed us to promote it across social media, our newsletter, and in our own Facebook ad campaigns.

6. Freelance Writing Services*

By having your own blog you are naturally showcasing your writing capabilities and creating trust with other site owners. I never had to even advertise my services and I ended up with a regular contributor gig with TurboTax for several years.

7. Consulting / Coaching*

A blog will put you in a position of authority with your readers and many may seek your advice. Set up a profile over at and start charging for your time. Here’s my profile. I rarely use this–but as my businesses grow it’s becoming more and more difficult for me to just pick up the phone so someone can “pick my brain”. 🙂

8. Other Professional Services (i.e. Tax Preparation Services, Financial Planning)*

A blog can be a great tool to drive leads to any type of service, really. In my industry, many financial professionals use their blogs to bring in customers/clients. I have a link on some of my tax pages to my father’s accounting practice (see the example at the bottom here). It drives a few leads every year.

9. In-Person Seminars or Speaking Gigs

If you’re a public speaker or if you want to host paid, in-person events you can certainly use your blog to drive interest in your abilities. I’m not necessarily interested in this route, but I still get asked to speak occasionally.

10. Paid Webinars

Similar to paid seminars, you could host paid online seminars (aka webinars) and charge a group of folks a fee to share information. The free webinar model probably cuts into your ability to sell this directly, but I know it’s done.

11. Digital Products/Courses

Other than affiliate marketing, digital products and courses are probably one of the most scalable business models in blogging. The idea is simple: create premium offers using your own expertise and host the product or course somewhere people can purchase it.

12. Memberships / Masterminds

If you’ve built a community of followers, some of them may be willing to opt-in to regular membership with you to gain more access to your expertise or routine accountability. Or, you could put together a small group of folks who come together around you and a subject and charge a real premium for this service. This podcast episode with Nick Loper over at Side Hustle Nation does a good job of showcasing what’s possible with paid masterminds.

13. Book Sales

Whether you’ve published traditionally, self-published, or simply have a small series of guidebooks, a blog can help drive book sales. A great example of this method on display is from Todd Tresidder from Financial Mentor.

14. Physical Products

Have a physical product that pairs well with your subject? Have it created and sell it from your blog. Here’s a nice guide on physical products created by my email marketing software provider, ConvertKit.

15. Software as a Service (SAAS)

Build software that solves your reader’s problem. A great example of this is on display over at LoanBuddy, which was co-founded by bloggers/podcasters Robert Farrington and Ryan Inman.

16. Conferences & Online Summits*

Hey, here’s one I’ve got some experience with. While FinCon doesn’t directly serve my reader, having my blog was instrumental in helping me connect with the people who would come to my event. Online summits have become very popular and some can even turn a nice profit.

17. Podcast / Youtube Channel Sponsorships*

Finally, a podcast or Youtube channel is a natural extension of your blog. And, with that new medium comes the opportunity to monetize it separately. When I was regularly podcasting, I turned to an a podcast network to help me monetize.

18. Content Leasing (bonus!)*

Hey, I just thought of one idea you likely haven’t heard of. Did you know, you can lease your content out to others? A unique service from lets you put up certain blog posts for lease. An advertiser pays you monthly (after gets their cut) to use your content at an agreed-upon price. All you need to do is redirect your blog post to the advertiser’s website where your content is now hosted. This is perfect for blog posts that are hard to monetize on their own.

*Ideas that I have used.

2. How Much Can You Make from Blogging?

Right now, this blog brings in anywhere from $10k to $25k in monthly income. However, there are bloggers on all ends of the spectrum when it comes to making money blogging.

For example, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents regularly makes more than $100K with her blog every month. Other bloggers with large followings or better traffic numbers make more than $1 million a year.

Keep in mind that when you start out, you won’t be making much. Many bloggers quit before they really gain traction. It’s a slow process but once you build your audience and find your people, your blog and your income will grow.

It’s one of the best ways to generate passive income without much monetary investment upfront.

3. Why and How Did You Get Started Blogging?

I started blogging about personal finance after a year or so of reading other personal finance blogs and feeling like I also had something to contribute.

When I first started blogging, I wasn’t that great (I’m a grammatically-challenged writer), and I definitely didn’t know how to monetize the little traffic I did have.

I think now that it was my passion for personal finance that kept me going and allowed me to eventually have some success.

I started making real money after meeting other bloggers online who were doing just that. They were kind enough to share their methods with me and I’ve been optimizing different monetization techniques ever since.

As for the technical aspects, I started on Blogger but moved to WordPress hosted on Bluehost in early 2008. Bluehost provides affordable hosting services for beginners and more advanced needs.

Now I use WP Engine as a website host.

4. How Do I Start My Own Blog?

Now that you know what’s possible when it comes to making money blogging, you’re probably wondering how to get started. Since I know blogging can be overwhelming at first, I wanted to help you get started.

Below are the steps I’d take if I was starting a blog today from scratch.

Choose a Blogging Platform

The blogging platform used by a large number of professional bloggers is WordPress. This is the platform I use right now and recommend to new bloggers. However, if you’ve never heard of it before, you may be wondering what exactly is WordPress.

Basically, it’s the system on which your blog runs. It’s the backbone of your blog and makes it possible to build a website from scratch without any prior technical experience. You don’t need any technical knowledge to get started with WordPress.

There are two main options for starting a WordPress blog– and Below is some information for each one to help you decide:

  • You own your blog (not WordPress)
  • Your site looks professional
  • You can change up your design however you choose
  • You can get a professional domain “”
  • Bloggers who make money use
  • Fairly inexpensive hosting

  • WordPress owns your blog (not you)
  • Your site doesn’t look professional
  • You’re limited in what you can do with your blog
  • You’ll get a “” domain
  • It’s free
  • It’s harder to make money on the free version of WordPress

If you’re looking to make money blogging, the better option is a blog. While it’s not free, it’s very affordable. There’s so much more you can do with a self-hosted blog. It’s also much easier to monetize–this is why so many big bloggers go this route.

Pick a Web Host for Your Blog

If you do some research on starting a blog, you’ll see a number of different web host options. They all have their positives and negatives. As a new blogger, you don’t want to invest a lot of money into your blog before you figure out how to make money. There’s definitely a learning curve and you’ll spend a lot of time tweaking your blog. If you’re just starting out, my recommendation is to go with Bluehost for website hosting.


Bluehost is one of the largest web hosting solutions companies around. They’ve been in business since 2003 and offer some of the lowest initial hosting services. Shared hosting is very affordable and works well for those just starting out. It costs just $2.95/month through my link. Shared hosting comes with tons of features like:

  • 50 GB SSD Storage
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Hosting for one website
  • Free Domain Name for 1st Year

bluehost landing page

They also have premium hosting options. Bluehost’s VPS hosting is designed for websites with medium to high traffic. It costs $18.99/month. For websites with really high traffic, the dedicated hosting option makes more sense. Dedicated hosting costs $79.99/month.

As a beginner, the shared hosting is more than enough to get by. It’s more important that you just get started blogging. You can always make changes to your hosting later. Bluehost is a great option for website hosting when you are first starting out as a blogger. Other hosting options can be much pricier.

Sign up for cheap website hosting with Bluehost.


DreamHost is a budget-friendly shared web hosting service. Shared web hosting means your website shares a server with other websites. This helps to keep hosting costs down for site owners.

Hosting with DreamHost starts at $2.59 a month. Their starter plan includes perks like a free domain name, free SSL certificate, unlimited traffic, fast SSD storage. You can also add email for as low as $1.67 a month.

Their DreamPress plan is the next step up and costs $16.95 monthly. This plan is designed specifically for WordPress and allows for 100k Monthly Visitors, 30 GB SSD Storage, a free domain, an SSL certificate, and unmetered bandwidth. The starter plan is probably enough to get started with your WordPress site. If you end up needing more, the DreamPress plan is a good option as well.

DreamHost features a custom control panel that most users find easy to navigate. They also offer 24/7 support for all your needs. DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosting companies and one of the most reliable ones too.

Sign up for web hosting with DreamHost.

WP Engine

If you plan on having tons of traffic to your site, WP Engine might be a good web hosting solution. WP Engine is a premium web hosting option. While their plans cost more than most other hosting companies, they also offer a higher level of services.

Startup plans begin at $35 a month. The Startup plan has tons of features including:

  • Up to 25,000 visits/month
  • 10 GB local storage
  • 50 GB bandwidth/month
  • Genesis Framework
  • 35+ StudioPress Themes
  • 24/7 chat support
  • Automated SSL certificates
  • SSH Gateway

Unfortunately, WP Engine doesn’t sell domains and doesn’t offer email service. The Startup plan also has limited phone support.

WP Engine also has high-end plans as well. The Growth plan (100k visits/month, 20 GB local storage) starts at $115 a month and their Scale plan (400k visits/month, 30 GB local storage) costs $290/month. Larger business and mission-critical sites can opt for a customized plan. The average user should be more than happy with the Startup plan.

Sign up for web hosting with WP Engine.

Decide on Your Domain Name

One of the keys to making money with your blog is deciding on a niche. You can make money blogging in a variety of niches but the more specific your blog is the better.

What do I mean by that? For example, if you want to write about pets, having a blog dedicated just to dogs will be a lot more successful than one that talks about cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and so on.

Sure, you can have success with a blog that covers a variety of subjects but it’s a lot harder. This is why it’s best to narrow down your focus to just one area and cover it extensively.

Once you have an idea of what you want to blog about, brainstorm some ideas for your domain name. While your blog name doesn’t have to be strictly related to your niche, it does help make it easier to remember.

A few tips:

  • Pick a URL that’s easy to spell and not very long.
  • Stick to URLs that end in .com rather than .biz, .org, .info, etc.
  • Avoid using number, dashes or special characters

Ready to get started? Check if your blog name is available and get started by purchasing your domain name from Bluehost:

Finding the right name for your blog can take a few tries so don’t despair if you don’t get it right off the bat. Make sure you grab your social media handles for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. as soon as you finalize your domain name.

Sign Up for Hosting

The sign-up process with Bluehost is fairly straightforward. First, choose what package you want. If you are just starting out, the Basic package should be just fine.

blue host pricing

Just follow the on-screen prompts and fill in the required information.

bluehost sign up

To get the biggest discount on your hosting, I recommend picking Bluehost’s 36-month hosting plans. This will greatly reduce the overall cost of your blog. How many side hustles can you start with such a low upfront cost?

blue host sign up

Next, enter your billing information:

bluehost card info

Review your order details and click submit. That’s it–you now have a blog.

You’re now ready to move on to the next step–choosing a theme for your new site.

Choose a Theme

Once you have a domain and you get hosting set up, you’re ready to start building your blog. Many people get stuck on this part and never move forward. Don’t get too wrapped up in setting up your blog theme.

Choose something simple and easy when setting up your blog. You can always change your theme at a later time. Don’t spend too much time and money agonizing over the look of your blog. Remember, this is all a learning process so just sit back and enjoy the ride.

This site, Part-Time Money, is built on the Dynamik Website Builder (a child theme/builder for the Genesis framework).

If I were starting a new blog today I would likely start with the Acabado WordPress theme from the team at Income School. They built an incredibly fast, responsive, and SEO-optimized theme based on their passion for the best user experience.

Pro tip: Make sure the theme you select works well on mobile devices. More and more people view online content through the lens of their smartphones. This is also one of the factors that Google uses to rank your site.

Set Up Your New Blog

Once you have your hosting and your theme picked out, it’s time to set up your new blog.

Log in to your WordPress Admin dashboard to get started. Here’s how to get there: (where you replace ‘yourdomain’ with the URL you selected for your blog).

Once you log in, take some time to get familiar with the admin dashboard and where everything is located. Play around with the different options and learn how everything works. There’s no better way to learn how to blog than by doing.

Write your first blog posts and enter them into WordPress. Figure out how to format posts and what tweaks you need to make to get them looking the way you want.

The best time to learn is before you start getting traffic to your blog so you can work out all of the kinks.

Now, keep in mind that my guide above merely scratches the surface when it comes to starting a blog. No worries though, because my friend Pete from Do You Even Blog has you covered if you need more information to get started. Check out his Illustrative Guide detailing how to get started.

5. When Do You Have Time to Do This?

When I first started I didn’t have much time. I primarily wrote and worked on the blog from 8 p.m. to midnight (sometimes to 3 a.m.) This allowed me time to spend with the family each evening, but spend a significant amount of time each night on the blog.

This explained why I couldn’t tell you what happened on any TV shows or meet you out at the movies. I also spent at least eight hours on the weekends writing or tweaking the blog. It was tough at times to balance a job and a side-business. But I’m proof that you can do both, at least for a little while. (Check what Gary V. has to say about doing both.)

Related: How to Balance Your Freelance Career With a Full-Time Job

These days, I spend two or three days a week on Part-Time Money and the rest of the week working directly on FinCon.

6. What are Your Long-Term Plans for Your Business?

I’ve been making a full-time living on this blog since 2010 when I quit my traditional career.

Can everyone make a full-time income from blogging? Yes, I think so. It takes a lot of hard work for most people, but it can be done.

Do most bloggers make a full-time income? No, because they are either not trying to, or because they’re not there yet. I’m convinced that if you want it, and you put in the time, it will come.

Can I see myself doing this forever? In some form, yes. I still love it. With over one-thousand articles on the site now, there is a lot to keep up with and there’s always something new to cover.

Related: Surviving My First Year of Business

7. How Do You Maximize Your Earnings from Blogging?

The baseline for blogging, in my opinion, is writing consistently and interacting with the community. If you’re doing that, then you are going to eventually see some income, if only enough to buy yourself a nice meal out once a week.

To maximize my earnings I’ve done the following:

  1. Write to answer questions and solve problems.
  2. Produce a large amount of content.
  3. Interact with others doing the same thing as much as possible.
  4. Constantly try different monetizing methods.

The thing about those first three items above is that they come naturally to those with a passion for the subject matter.

One specific tip I can give here is to focus heavily on converting search engine traffic. I try not to “sell” to my subscribers and daily readers. I love you guys, but you don’t pay my bills.

The folks coming from Google, Bing, and Yahoo every day are the paying customers. They are visiting my site for the first time and I’m providing an answer that is highly relevant to what they need right then and there. They are therefore the easiest to convert.

Not to say you can’t develop a nice niche following and make sales. This is just not something I’ve had experience with although I’m getting there.

8. What Mistakes Do People Make When Trying to Make Money Blogging?

I’m sure I made a ton of mistakes along the way. Heck, I’m probably still making a few. I think overall people make a mistake when they try to blog just for money. They underestimate how much effort it takes to create income from free content.

As I stressed earlier, it takes a long time and a lot of hard work. If you’re passionate about your subject matter then it’s easier to press on when success comes slowly.

Advice for New Bloggers

Since I wanted to provide you with some specific tips from other bloggers, I asked some friends for blogging advice. I asked them what they’d tell anyone on the fence about starting a blog of their own. Here’s what they had to say:

“1. Post often at the beginning; 2. Keep focused on your niche; 3. Don’t get frustrated nobody is “finding” you; don’t expect people the first three months.” – Hank from My Investing Blog

“Don’t do it! Leave it to us! Just kidding! I say go for it. There are so many personal finance blogs out there but we all have a different voice and a story to tell.

You would think it would be competitive but I’ve found the personal finance blogosphere to be totally friendly and helpful. There’s room for all of us to tell our story.

I’ve met some really great people online. Some have helped me out directly while others provided inspiration to keep writing.

Blogging is a great way to make yourself accountable for your actions because you now have readers asking if you’ve followed your own advice or asking how you are doing.

You also learn so much from reading what others have to say. I’m surprised every week with great articles that are written.

One last thing–It’s fun! This is like my own little business that I get to run anyway I want. Not that it will make me rich but it helps keep me organized and keeps me in touch with lots of other blogs authors out there.

I love seeing what people come up with as well as seeing Free From Broke grow.” – Glen from Free From Broke

“Do it! When I started looking into the personal finance blogosphere I found that there is a pretty wide-ranging group of people blogging about personal finance. Despite that fact, there is always room for more, and the diverse opinions are what keep things interesting.

Also, I’ve found that people in the personal finance sphere are by and large very supportive of each other. It’s a good way to keep yourself centered and always learning about new things.” – Pete from Bible Money Matters

“Do it! When you blog about personal finance, you’re automatically more tuned in to your financial situation. You have increased focus, and are more likely to meet your goals.

You’ll have the support of others in the personal finance community, you’ll learn from your reader’s comments, and you’ll be inspired to find new ways to save money.

Starting out isn’t easy, though. It can be difficult to continue blogging if you feel like nobody is reading your blog.

Be patient and try things such as commenting on other blogs, joining social networking sites, and participating in blog carnivals so others can be exposed to your blog.” – Kacie from Sense to Save

“Start off with zero expectations and just start writing. Find things that matter to you and research the heck out of ‘em and try to convey what you learned to others. Have the mindset of helping people and take notes when things come up that someone might be interested in.

You don’t want to be in the situation where something pops up that would be great to write about, if only for your own benefit, and forget what it was.

Most people look at blogging as a way to make money. And it is, although only after an inordinate amount of time investing into it. The Internet is a big place and having the mindset of simply helping others will be much more fruitful in other ways besides money.

It’s rewarding to hear that what you contribute is valued.” – Ben from Milk Your Money

9. What are the Best Blogging Tips for Beginners?

As a beginner, looking at the whole world of blogging can be overwhelming. With all the advice available, where do you even begin? When you start, it’s best to keep your focus on key areas. Once your blog is up and running, you’ll be able to grow your blogging knowledge over time. Here are the best tips for beginners in blogging.

Find Your Niche

Niche is #1 in blogging. A niche is a particular topic or area of practice. It will help you gain attention by being an expert in your area of focus. People will come to you because they want your specific information, not general knowledge.

To decide your niche, look at things you love, are good at, and that the world might need help with. Keep in mind; it should be a subject you’re interested in or have a passion for because you’ll be writing about it a lot! Having a niche will also make it easier to create content that resonates with your audience.

Understand and Use SEO

There’s no way around it. If you’re blogging, you need to have a basic understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a long-term strategy to make your website or blog search engine friendly.

The goal is to get your website to rank higher on search terms. Since almost everyone uses a search engine to find answers to their questions, utilizing SEO is essential to help people find your blog. A great place to start learning SEO is here with the MOZ Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

Another idea for beginner SEO help is the Yoast SEO plug-in. The Yoast plug-in is software you can add to your WordPress site that provides features that guide your posts with SEO in mind.

Answer Questions People Are Searching

If you want people to find your content, answer the questions they’re asking. People use search engines to ask questions and solve problems. Let your blog be their solution by writing content that gives them the answers they’re searching for.

To find the word they’re searching, use free or low-cost keyword research tools. Using these tools will help you craft content that responds to their searches within your niche.

Free or low-cost keyword research tools:

Provide Value

Write something so valuable people want to talk about it and share it. Make it share-worthy! Ensure your content is valuable by giving your audience high-quality knowledge.

Using your keyword research tools, create content around the keywords and questions people want to know. Think quality, not quantity. Increase the value by providing helpful tools and resources like images and videos to supplement the content you write. Tools and resources can be what compels someone to share your content.

Keep it Simple

It’s not a dissertation. Make your blog posts easy for people to read and understand. They’re coming to your content for a reason. Make it painless for them to receive the help or guidance your writing is providing.

Avoid using jargon and your industry lingo because a new person may not understand it. You don’t want a first time reader to feel like an outsider. Make them feel welcome by using terms or give explanations everyone can understand.

Be Consistent

Create a consistent writing and publishing schedule. It lets your readers know what to expect. Plus, practice makes perfect. The more you write, the better you’ll get.

Build a schedule and stick to it. Developing a plan of what and when you’ll write is an editorial calendar. Making one will help you plan a well-polished blog post from start to finish.

What action do you want your audience to take? Subscribe to your newsletter, watch one of your videos, or buy your course? Be sure to include a CTA in your posts to let readers know what you want them to do next.

Promote Your Content

Don’t put all your hopes on search engines. Do your part to promote your writing. Share your blog posts on social media platforms and with your email list to let your audience know when new content is out.

Be you

Most importantly, be you! People follow people. Let them know you’re personality. Write your blog posts as if you’re talking to friends and family. Do not write like you’re giving an hour-long presentation.

Let your personality come across by using your natural tone of voice. And the best way to do that is with contractions. Think about it. I don’t usually introduce myself by saying, “I am Philip Taylor.” I introduce myself as, “I’m PT.” Don’t write like a robot. Write as if you’re speaking to someone, to let your personality comes across.

10. What Are Other Ways to Monetize Your Niche Knowledge?

Creating an online course is another way to share and monetize your niche knowledge. If you’re not familiar with online courses, the thought of creating one can seem daunting, but it’s not. You already have the knowledge base. Now you just have to have a plan to make your course online. Here’s how to create an online course.

Pick a Course Topic

First, look at areas you have education, training or experience in. Something you know and have a passion for helping others with. Your course topic also needs to be something people will buy.

Look at a problem people have on the topic and show them how your course can solve it. Don’t forget to look at similar courses already available to find a gap on the topic they’re not filling.

Test for Success

Testing will not only help you judge the viability of your course, but it will also give you insight into what customers want. Testing will also give you ideas of what content to include in your course.

Survey your community or email list and ask them their biggest challenge. Ask them what their pain points are and then gage the response. If you receive a lot of feedback, it’s probably something people are struggling with and need help doing.

Pick a Platform

There are many options when it comes to picking the platform you’ll deliver your course through. For many, the decision will come down to your personal preference. Some things to consider are the cost, customer support, and the platform’s capabilities. Don’t forget to consider affiliate income. A higher affiliate income payout may be a deciding factor when choosing which platform to use.

Also, keep in mind your student user experience when choosing your platform. Will you be using video, checklists, slides, and surveys? Think about how you plan to teach to help decide what platform.

Here are some of the online course platform options:

Set the Course Price

How much money will taking your course save a person? Use that as a jumping-off point to think about your course pricing. Think of all the time and money a person will save by taking your course. Time can often be the determining factor for people to buy your course.

Ask yourself questions to determine your course price. What’s the equivalent cost of your hourly coaching on the subject? What’s the minimum amount you want to make for creating the course? Look at your course offering compared to the competition, do you provide more or less value? Reviewing all those factors can help you reach the price of the course.

Create a Sales Page

A sales page is the place people will come to learn more about and, hopefully, buy your course. A good sales page will be the difference between selling lots of courses or no courses. It also helps you test the course idea viability by beginning sales and produce income cover any course creation expenses.

Your sales page should have your include details about the problem your course solves, the benefits people will receive from it, and testimonials. Also, consider the story behind why you created the course and frequently asked questions about your course.

Develop the Course Content

Start with an outline of content and learning objectives. Use the valuable information you received from your audience to help shape what to include in your course.

Keep in mind your delivery method and remember people have different learning styles. Include a combination of teaching methods like using audio recordings for auditory learners. Or slides to help visual learners. Using various teaching methods will help make it a well-rounded course for everyone.

Launch the Course

Tell them (educate), then sell them. Here’s where you’re actively selling your course. A launch isn’t something you wing. It’s a strategy you plan and execute to help people learn about your course so you can sell your course.

A launch will take time and planning to prepare, but it’s the strategy that will help you get in front of people that want to buy your course. Launches can include a combination of social media, webinars, blog posts, and email campaigns.

Next Steps

Whether you’re new to blogging or established, there are many ways to make extra money with a blog, anywhere from ad displays and affiliate partnerships to freelance writing and coaching. The sky’s the limit once you begin and find the methods that work best for you and your niche.

Using the tips for beginners or advice from seasoned bloggers will go a long way to help you make money and avoid mistakes. Use this post as inspiration to start or add a new method to your blog monetization. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be earning extra money.

Have you started a blog? What’s your best tip for making money?

How to Make Money Blogging [10 Important Questions Answered]

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  1. Avatar Financial Wolves says:

    Oh yeah, this is a good way to start blogging, especially nowadays there are so many people using the internet. Great article, keep posting!

  2. Avatar Nick Carroll says:

    Thanks for writing this article Pete! As a blogger now approaching the one-year mark, I have made many mistakes along the way but have significantly improved my blog as well. Your material always delivers gold nuggets for readers like me. Keep it up!

  3. Avatar Millionaire Mob says:

    Thanks for sharing us your tips and suggestions about blogging. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and hoping for you to post more!

  4. I’m also a blogger who is trying to replace my current full-time income, with an online income. It’s been a struggle, but I think as long you publish good original content, and if you are passionate about what you are writing about, you will eventually succeed.

  5. Great candid explanation Philip, thank you for sharing!  I haven’t monetized my blog yet, thinking of starting in 2014, I didn’t want to be guided by making money, I would rather concentrate on building up readership at this point. Thank you for the tips!

  6. Avatar Student Finance says:

    Brilliant Article! Been struggling to get people to interact with my blog 🙁

  7. Great info, I am looking for extra money.Such have shared a good post, it will be helpful for me.

  8. Hello PT,
    This is my first time in your site and I am glad I found it (not sure how…). This is great information since I am in the process of buying a domain soon. Thanks for all the tips and your honest opinion and experience.

  9. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

     @WhatMommyDoes Thanks for saying so, Lena. Although I’ve updated this post a few times since, it was originally written in Feb 2010. Ironically, I quit my corporate gig a few days later. I’ve been (mostly) full time blogging since. This was written a year later: Now this blog, and FinCon, are all I do. I checked out your tax blog briefly. Good stuff. Good idea joining Yakezie too.

    1. Avatar WhatMommyDoes says:

       @Philip Taylor  Thanks for the compliment on Taxes and Stuff..means a lot!!  Sometimes I can’t make up my mind which site to focus on, WhatMommyDoes or TaxesandStuff.  They are so different, and I felt weird when I tried to mesh all the topics together on one site, so I know having different sites is the way I need to go for now.  I just need to get my writing mojo back so I can post consistently to both sites and see where they go.  For now, I’m just doing Yakezie for T&S, but will likely eventually add WMD to the challenge.  Both at once seemed a little much all at once.  
      Going to go check our your Year Later update…thanks for linking to that for me.

  10. Avatar WhatMommyDoes says:

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog.  You have such an honest writing style!  It’s nice to read about another blogger’s progress.  I can’t tell when you wrote this, but hopefully you’re already problogging by now.  I hope to join you one day!  Luckily, I am already a SAHM and have a husband who can support our family while I give this a real shot.  But, like you, I have other demands on my time (3 kids and part-time work from home gigs) that force me to fit blogging into the wee hours of the morning, during naptimes, etc.  It’s an adventure, for sure! 🙂   

  11. I’m not quite ready for my own blog. However, I really enjoy reading yours. I’ve been a subscriber for some time now & listen to your podcasts regularly. Thank you for sharing so much information.

    Thank you again!

  12. Avatar HalimaKhatun says:

    Earn money by online is very intersecting. It is very easy to earn money. If you know right way of earn money. This site is very useful for us. There are many helpful information for us.

  13. Avatar Madhav Tripathi says:

    I also believe blogging is a good idea to make money online. If we have a blog we can make extra money using out blog platform.

  14. Avatar Ben - BankAim says:

    Hi Philip,

    This is an encouraging post to read, especially looking at a website like yours’ it looks perfect from an outside point of view. I know that we mess up all of the time, but its the fact that we never give up or stop blogging that eventually leads to success. The hardest part is learning this as we go. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Even the inconsistent flow of money is hard, but since we love what we do we continue working.

    Hope to see as much success in our future as you have.

  15. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sandy, and congrats on the success. Yes, the ups and down of blog income can be unsettling. That’s why I think it’s important to move beyond content marketing for someone else (adsense and affiliates) and eventually come up with your own product line.

  16. Avatar Sandy @ yesiamcheap says:

    I’ve reached the point where some months the blog makes more than my monthly take home pay. Some times it’s 20%. But it’s a decent amount of money and a good side hustle. I don’t know if I could blog full-time. For now, it’s all I have to post 4-5 days each week while holding a full time job.

    The total cost of working for oneself goes beyond the easy comparison of take home pay. Tax implications, medical coverage and retirement accounts have to be factored in before jumping ship. For now, I’m comfortable as it.

  17. Thanks for the info….if there is one recurring theme about success it’s “quality content.” Thanks for the tips and good luck.

  18. Thanks, Mrs. Money. I will take you up on that guest post offer. I’ve got you down on my list.

  19. Avatar Mrs. Money says:

    YAY PT! That is fantabulous! If you ever want to guest post on my blog, I’d be all for it!

  20. Thanks, Mrs. Accountability. I’m sure you’ll get there.

  21. Avatar Mrs. Accountability says:

    I love hearing these success stories, I too aspire to blog full time one day. Currently I spend a lot of time on Friday and Saturday. The other days are too busy and I have to sleep. I hope you meet your goals soon!

  22. @Evan – for the skyscraper adsense ad I just use a text widget in the sitewide sidebar. for the in-post adsense ad I rotate two different ad sizes depending on the user. this is done using a plugin called WhoSeesAds. I highly recommend anyone looking to optimize with adsense look into this plugin. if I ever do stick a banner up, i just use a text widget to throw it up. there is a plugin called ad manager, i think, that will help you track clicks on banners, but I don’t use them enough to care. i probably should though.

    @courtney e. – thanks for the encouragement and for reading for the past couple of years. 🙂

    @Samurai – I’m assuming your “you” is general. I think it depends on a few things: can your blog income cover your expenses, has your income been consistent enough to count on, could you join the corporate world again without a hitch, will your family still be protected (insurance), etc. Bottom line: when you are making enough money and you are comfortable with the risks, it’s time.

  23. Avatar ChristianPF says:

    PT, I can remember the days of trying to squeeze in the time to write and do blogging stuff around the day job. From what I have seen, I think you understand the keys and will be joining the problogger crew soon. Shoot me an email if I can ever be of help…

  24. PT – thanks for the link to my blogging series! Like you I’ve found that blogging can be a nice secondary or even full time income – although I never thought it could be when it started.

    The things I’ve learned:

    1. Focus on content.
    2. Write a lot.
    3. Write some more.

    Ok, I guess you probably get the point.

    Also – network with other bloggers to help promote your content, organize and prioritize your blogging activities, and be consistent. Good luck all!

  25. Avatar Tiffany Willis says:

    Phil, thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. Great information! I was especially attentive to you mentioning that you aren’t up to date on all the TV shows. I read something more than 20 years ago that helped me make the decision to put most TV out of my life (something about 4 hours a day and a person can learn a couple of foreign languages in their lifetime). Your post illustrates that beautifully!

  26. Avatar Financial Samurai says:

    PT, thanks for your post. At what point do you decide to go full-time?

  27. Avatar courtney e. says:

    i’m so impressed with the $$ you’re making on a monthly basis! that’s fantastic! good luck in your goal to be FT PT! 🙂

  28. Avatar Monevator says:

    Regarding RSS subscribers and regular readers, I’m very interested in exploring ways to, erm, pass the hat around (while delivering value!) later this year when I have a bit more time. I agree they contribute nothing to my pot at the moment, which is clearly a disconnect when they’re a big part of the reason I blog!

    Some bloggers seem to manage to create bespoke products for a loyal audience. I think I’ll go down that route eventually.

  29. PT,

    Can you give some insight into ad placement on your site? How you set it all up? etc.

  30. Avatar Four Pillars says:

    Good post.

    I’ll agree that most bloggers could make decent money at blogging but most of them just want to blog about whatever interests them at the moment and don’t want to do the other 80% of the work necessary to make $$.

  31. Thanks, Money Funk. I totally agree about guest posting. I’m doing a bit of that myself here lately.

  32. Avatar Money Funk says:

    I finally am ‘getting it’ at making money blogging. You mean writing a ‘huge amount of content’. LOL. maybe not.

    But as we have all heard, you need to be passionate or really love it. Ask yourself, can you see youself talking about personal finance (or your topic) for years ahead?

    Keep it real. Amost anyone can spot a fake. Make your money but continue being you in your writing or the masses will fall.

    Constantly try different methods. <==True. Everyone's blog brings in a different audience. There is no one magic formula for making it a win situation.

    And Network! Put some guest post out, write some articles, participate in challenges. Definitely helps. I've done this recently and have rendered some really positive feedback. 😉

    Great post. BTW, I use BlueHost and love it!

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