How You Can Make Money Blogging Like Me

A few days ago I wrote a post here on HellBound Bloggers about not getting bogged down when blogging, it was my first post here and I was overwhelmed with the great response I received in the comments, there are clearly some keen bloggers amongst us – excellent. Quite a few questions were asked and one in particular was about making money blogging so I felt I’d blog about that today as it’s something I’ve made a great success with and it’s something that I know a lot about.

Let’s start with a few questions:

  • Is it easy to make money blogging? No.
  • Does it take time to make money blogging? Yes.
  • Does a lot of it have to do with traffic? Yes.

If there’s one thing I’m going to do here, it’s to be honest and frank about things because I see so many bloggers acting like making money online is easy and so many websites that promise to teach you how to make money quickly – it’s not the truth, or not for 98% of bloggers at least, so I don’t want to cloud your vision like they do, but rather give you some real facts.

Make Money Blogging

Should I blog to make money?

I mentioned last time that I’d been blogging since 1996 and that’s the honest truth. Did I start blogging to make money? Absolutely not! I started blogging because I was passionate about the Internet and I loved sharing my stories with people. Because of this, my passion was in place and I was able to grow my blog to an Internationally recognised one. If I had started out with the aim of making money, like so many people do, I probably would have failed – this is the first thing you need to recognise.. don’t start blogging to make money, that’s as bad as trying to blog about something you dislike, you’ll burn out and get bored. I’m not saying don’t go into it completely ignorant to the fact that you can make money, just make sure your interests and passions are in place first, because you won’t make money for quite some time and that’s very off putting. How long did it take me to start making decent money on my blog? Probably 2 years!

How do I get traffic?

This is a huge topic, one which has been blogged about and written about for years and years, and it’s not something I can quickly rattle off, so instead, let me give you some of the things I’ve done to increase my blog’s traffic over the years:

  • Make sure your website is search engine optimized – Websites such as SEOmoz, Search Engine Land, SEO Round Table and KISSmetrics are some of the leading resources for tips, tricks, strategies and case studies when it comes to optimizing your website. It’s a learning curve, but one that every blogger who wants traffic should learn. I cannot stress this enough. You can also opt for link building strategies, like the most popular one – to buy backlinks.
  • Create a social presence – When I started blogging there weren’t things like Facebook and Twitter, if there were, things would have honestly been easier! Facebook and Twitter are excellent platforms for you to share your content, engage with readers and attract traffic to your website. Explore possibilities around creating a Facebook Page where you can import your posts to, look at applications such as Graffiti RSS, which automatically pulls your blog posts into your stream, this will potentially expose your content to all your friends. The same applies for Twitter, create an account, engage with others who are interested in what you are and share your content with them. If you’re using WordPress to blog, make sure you use a Twitter plugin that automatically tweets blog posts to your Twitter account when you publish them. Using Facebook and Twitter as part of your traffic attraction strategy will result in a lot of good traffic. There are other platforms such as FourSquare, Digg, Reddit, Stumble and so forth that you can explore too, but Facebook and Twitter are definitely the two I’d advise.
  • RSS Feeds – So many people say that RSS (what is RSS?) is dead, but I can tell you right now that it isn’t, RSS is a really powerful way to keeping users engaged with your blog posts. In my opinion, anyone serious about blogging needs to have an RSS feed and the RSS feed needs to be created through Google’s FeedBurner. An awesome addition with FeedBurner is that they offer RSS via Email, which is a service you can activate through your account and I’d recommend using it. You’ll need to spend some time inside FeedBurner exploring before you get the hang of it, it’s fairly overwhelming the first time you log in.
  • Write interesting and unique content – Although I’ve put this at number 4 on the list, it’s probably the most important. Writing interesting content attracts people, writing interesting content makes people want to share it and writing interesting content gets you on the map – I cannot stress how important it is to write interesting content. As far as writing unique content goes.. this is crucial, Search Engines hate duplicate content and if you steal content or copy it from somewhere else, Google will know and you’ll be penalized. If you get on the wrong side of Google, you’re going to struggle to get traffic and in turn struggle to make money. A blog is all about what you write.. don’t forget that, ever!
  • Engage with other bloggers – One thing that made a huge difference in my traffic was that of interacting and engaging with other bloggers. I take the time to guest posts on other websites, like this one, I take the time to comment on posts on blogs which blog about similar things to me and I just take time in general to get to know other bloggers who blog about the topics I blog about – creating a community is crucial, you want to achieve a following and you want to make friends.

So, how do I make money?

I’d love to blurt out a list of things that my blog has gotten me such as a fancy soft top car, a gorgeous apartment, tons of gadgets, but I don’t feel I need to do that, if you’re interested, you can go look at my blog. Let me just tell you this, without my blog I’d own half of what I do! There are many ways to make money from your blog, so I’ll cover a few of them that have worked really well for me and I’ll give you some hints for each one:
  • Google Adsense – If you’re interested in making money online, you’ll have heard of Google Adsense, Google’s advertising platform for publishers (that’s you!). The premise is simple, you sign up for an account, you create advert blocks and you paste them on your website – each time a person click an advert, you earn a little money. Google Adsense isn’t a platform that will make you millions, not unless you have a massive website with huge amounts of traffic, but it can assist in making you some money. With Google Adsense, be sure to do some investigation around what colors work best, what advert sizes perform well and how many blocks you can put on your website. There are a large number of resources available that explain all of this to you, so take your time, search carefully and you’ll find a guide that will assist you.
  • Affiliate MarketingAffiliate marketing is the process whereby you advertise a product or service online from another company and each time someone clicks a link on your site and goes to purchase the product or service, you get a referral fee. This is a massive topic in the world of blogging, one which has earned people millions of dollars. It pays to take the time to under what affiliate marketing is and it pays to take the time to look at affiliate marketing options. One of the biggest affiliate marketing websites is Click Bank, it’s worth going there and having a read, it’ll definitely give you a great idea of what it’s all about and you might even end up using their services. Many large retail websites, such as Amazon, offer affiliate programs, so if you’ve got a blog about gadgets or books, be sure to look at the big retail websites and see if they have an affiliate program: remember, you want to advertise products which relate to what you blog about. No point having a blog on cars and then advertising women’s lipstick!
  • Direct Advertising – This is definitely the best way to make money and involves you having a direct relationship with the company who wants to advertise. So what I mean here is that you would have a direct relationship with a brand, for example, you might approach Nike and say to them that you want $100 per month and in return you’ll advertise their products. This is more about being a business man/woman than anything else, you need to contact people, prove that you have traffic, show that it’ll be worth their while to advertise on your site and so forth. It’s also the hardest one to master and you’ll need excellent traffic on your website, because that’s what will sell them ultimately. Don’t be scared to email companies that operate in your niche, pop them an email, tell them about your website and the traffic you have and see if they would like to advertise. I’m not saying run off now and email hundreds of companies, but perhaps one or two that you feel might be interested. A great way of telling who might be interested is looking into whether they advertise anywhere online, if they do, chances are they’ll have someone at their company who understands banner adverts and so forth, making life a lot easier for you to make a deal.

For me, one of the biggest secrets for making money online is by having a large number of income streams. By this I mean, not just the 3 I’ve mentioned about, but rather 7. Think of this: Making $500 a month from each of 7 different streams is going to be a lot easier than making $3500 from one stream!

Making money online isn’t easy, here are some final tips

  • Be careful what niche you operate in, if you choose a niche that’s hugely popular you’ll struggle to get traffic because of other sites that are already established.
  • Create an “advertise on my blog” link somewhere on the site so people can see that you offer advertising.
  • Take your time writing content, research interesting topics and write as best as you can.
  • Start with one advertising stream and then build your list up, don’t try create all 7 immediately, you’ll struggle.
  • Concentrate on your blog and audience first, then concentrate on making the money. If you prioritize the making money part, you won’t succeed.

If you have any questions, please do leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to assist you. If you read this post more than once, you’re serious about making money online. 😉

This article is written by Chris. He is an multiple award winning technology blogger and search engine specialist in Cape Town, South Africa.

48 thoughts on “How You Can Make Money Blogging Like Me”

  1. Hello Chris,

    We must not blog only to make money. For me Blogging is like passion. I take my blog very serious while publishing any article. 
    Yeah I agree that we can make money by many methods and the best one is affiliates 🙂

    Thanks for the tips to earn money from blogging. 

  2. How do I own a blog? Will I have to pay for it?… Again what is the difference between a blog and a website

    • If you create a blog you’ll own a blog mate. If you are really interested in checking out, try Google’s 
      Blog is like a personal space on the web, where you can update and share information with others. A website can also be same, but it is quite different, if you can check out your college or school website.

  3. Just like any investment or business, blogging takes time. Most of the time it takes a lot of months maybe even years before actually earning some serious cash. It's just like that. The key is to not give up on it, as long as you know that you're doing the right methods. Because consistency is a huge part of success in blogging.

  4. Hi Paula,<br />I have 175 niche websites but I'm putting them on the backburner to follow your APP. But … everything I'm reading these days indicates Google is favoring large authority sites for product keywords, making it hard for the little guy to rank. Have you seen changes in your rankings since May Day? If not, what do you think differentiates APP pages from other product keyword pages that have fallen out of favor in the SERPS?

    • Jacquelyn – The problem there is that running and maintaining 175 websites is a complete nightmare – I've been there so I know. You need to choose 10 of them based on the potential earning (which you can do via AdWords) and potential traffic, and then focus on these 10 selected sites, you'll find that you can make more than 10 that get watched over carefully, than 175 that don't.

  5. Nice post…….. but i think this will not help out for part time bloggers…… because all part time bloggers mind set will they want to spend less time in blogging and earn more money in that…..hahaha……anyone agree this..

  6. HI Chris! How many days you compose this post?? :) look so dedicated and it looks like it ate all of your time just to give us a quality post! Well, I would not wonder why you are getting lots of traffic here. I am new in blogging too and I'm still experimenting more things to get more traffic on my blog And I really agree that making money through blogging is not EASY. My blog is 5 months old and Im getting 1000 traffic per month and take note those traffics are from referred sites not SE. I don't SEO my site yet cause I don't have much time. Most of the links came from twitter and facebook. Actually I have two blogs and I earned $10 per month from both of them. Hoping that next year I got lots of earnings…Anyway, your post is really helpful. thanks!

    • @algie – I must be honest; when I started blogging I promised myself that I would limit myself to 30 minutes per post and that I needed to learn how to write something in 30 minutes and ensure that the grammar is correct and that there are no spelling mistakes – I still make little mistakes now and then, but I've taught myself, so to be honest, this post won't have taken me more than 30 minutes.

      Keep going, it takes time to find a routine that suites you and keeps you going without stressing the whole time or without finding that it eats all your time.

      Thank you for your comment!

  7. I see your passion for this. Good article. I love how to lay it out so people can skim like so many people do. You are right that its not easy but if you keep at it, you will succeed. 9 out of 10 people fail because they give up. Let's get that number down.

    The Hell Brothers!

    • Thank you Mitch!

      I must admit, I've changed my blog back to full posts rather than the snippets, purely because quite a few users asked for this. So yeh, it's a trial and error I guess 🙂

  8. Blogging can help in making money online but this is not possible for all people those who enter this field only to make money. If you have a passion and if you are able to wait for few years than than only then can make money with their blog.

    • Arun, you are correct, passion is the secret sauce behind being successful with a blog and turning it into a tool that yields money.

      That being said, I know people who hire people who are passionate to blog on their blogs, the owner pays them and makes some profit on top, so that's another way if you don't actually want to blog yourself or you dislike the topic but know the niche is good.

  9. Love your work and then you'll get lots of blessings coming. Love + skills = SUCCESS. I started blogging last 2009 and until now I still can't get the success I need. Indeed, blogging is difficult. Great post Sir!

    • Hi Noel,

      Thank you for much for your comment, it's comments like this that make it all worthwhile. Well done on blogging for a few years, just keep going, it took me a long time to get the gratification I needed 🙂

  10. Very informative and eye-opener article for me. I have also been blogging for about some months(plz check my blog). First I created the blog for sharing my ideas, and then I focused more on money part, but I didn't succeed.
    Now I will surely take care of the points you mentioned! Thanks man!

  11. thanks for these wonderful tips chris. i guess my first blunder was "If you prioritize the making money part, you won’t succeed." now, i had seemed to overcome that and income (although not that big yet), is already coming in.


  12. Good article Chris. It will surely guide a lot of bloggers to make money with their blogs. By the way there is a technique called "article syndication" where you post others' articles on your blog with a link back to the original article(attribution to the real author). That's not stealing !

  13. i have been using Adsense from a while now and look foward to direct advertisment methods. i would suggest buysell ads for direct advertisment.

    Thanks for such a comprehensive post. 🙂

  14. Well I think one tip that is given by many successful bloggers work only for few bloggers that is "Never Blog for the sake of Money".

    • You're quite correct and I think I mentioned that. If you start with the aim of making money, you'll more than likely give up – I started with passion, the money came later and I know a lot of bloggers who would agree with us 🙂

  15. Blogging might be the best way to earn money online but you cannot do it overnight . You need hard work on writing artical and bets way to promote you blog to earn money

  16. Hey Chris, I am glad that you didn't miss out on any of the points, you got it all covered. Further, I'll not fail to mention, that the term "make money online" has developed a totally different mindset with people around the world. You can see that on searching for this keyword at Google. The keyword costs thousands of dollars now. Anyway, your write-up definitely shows your 'wide' experience with the world of blogging. You mentioned exactly the same points I have been following on my blogs, not even one more or one less! 🙂
    P.S: I'd love to explore 'your' work-place. Where do you blog, only if you'd like to share? 🙂

  17. Chris..everybody on this planet will love to learn how e do it..and the secret is to write about something your passion about and the gates will open for you.

    "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

  18. Great tips on blogging and making some money online! Every new bloggers should read this, and even for an "old" blogger like myself, I still find this post informative and interesting to read! Good stuff, Chris!


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