Run a quick internet search, and you’ll discover hundreds of online experts telling you how to make money from your blog. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find income reports from bloggers who earn five- or even six-figures a month.
Yet, the reality is most new bloggers struggle to earn their first $100, let alone $1,000, in one month.
Which leads us to ask: Why are some people earning top dollar whereas most are not?
I became obsessed with this question, which is why I set out to interview 17 six-figure bloggers. I wanted to know exactly what they were doing differently.
Holly of this blog was one of the generous people who shared her story with me. You can read Holly’s and the other 16 interviews in my new book The Essential Habits Of 6-Figure Bloggers.
The more successful bloggers I met, the more I discovered there’s no one magic bullet. In fact, no two people earned money from their blog in the exact same way.
Yet, all six-figure bloggers did have one thing in common.
The Secret Of Making Money From Your Blog
Each person I spoke to had built a business that was unique to them; They wrote for a specific audience on a topic they and their audience cared about. They monetized their blog in a way that fitted their strengths. And they didn’t waste time chasing trends that didn’t work for them.
Most bloggers learned this lesson over time. None were an overnight success. All pursued several false paths before uncovering their ideal blogging strategy.
In this post, I want to save you time and money by teaching you how to create a blog with purpose. I also talk about how to make money from your blog in a way works for you.
Your Blog Mission Statement
Let’s start with your blog’s purpose. Remember how I said successful bloggers write for a specific audience?
Your blog needs to be about something bigger than you. You must write about something you (and others) care deeply about.
The following exercise will help you get clear on what your blog is about and who it’s for.
Start by answering the following questions.
(NOTE: These questions are influenced by Todd Henry’s excellent book Louder Than Words.)
- When are you at your best? When do others respond most to your ideas? What are your unique strengths?
- When are you moved emotionally? When can you recall getting emotional about something you experienced? Why were you moved?
- What stirs you to compassionate anger? When do you get angry on behalf of someone else who has been wronged?
- What gives you great hope? When have you taken a position, even in the face of skepticism or criticism from others?
- What kind of problems are you naturally drawn to solving? What are the qualities of the issues you to which you are drawn?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to write a mission statement for your blog. Review your answers. Take an in-depth look at problems you’re drawn to solve, people you’re moved to help, and positive change you want to see in the world.
As you write your mission statement, consider who you want to help and what you want to do for them. For example, my mission is to help moms share their gifts with the world and make money from home doing what they love.
Having a clear mission shapes everything you do on your blog. Each article you publish, email you write, and social media post you share. It ensures you stay connected to your blog and attract readers who love everything you do.
Don’t worry if your blog’s purpose doesn’t immediately jump out at you. This is normal! It’s okay to refine your message over time. The important thing is to define a starting point.
Select The Best Monetization Strategies For Your Blog
Now that you have a purpose, it’s time to make some money. You can help your audience by writing inspiring or actionable articles. But, on their own, amazing posts won’t pay the bills.
Below I describe five common ways to monetize your blog. There are many more variations on each option.
But which method should you use?
If you want to be successful, you must find a strategy that works for you. And to do this, you need to look at your strengths.
- What do you love doing?
- When are you at your best?
- Do you like to write or connect one on one?
- Or perhaps you prefer creating stuff?
Here's a look at each of the monetization methods and who it’s best for, so you can decide whether it’s a good fit for you.
Affiliate marketing means promoting someone else’s product or service. When you sign up as an affiliate for a company, you receive an affiliate link. You use this link to share the product or service with your audience. When a visitor clicks through your link and makes a purchase, you receive a commission.
You only want to share something that’s right for your audience; always make sure it’s a product or service you believe in.
Best For: Bloggers who want to focus on writing and don’t want to spend time creating a product or providing a service. Also, if you’re in a space where there are many quality products you can promote.
2. Product Creation
The next method takes a little more work, but it’s rewarding and allows you to create something that meets your audience’s needs. Here are five common products bloggers create:
- Downloadable products (workbooks, bookmarks, a PDF game, customizable labels, etc.)
- A video series
- An audio-based training series
Best For: Bloggers who love to create. Designing the perfect offering for your audience is fun and lucrative.
This next option is the fastest way to earn your first $1,000. You don’t need a large audience, and you don’t need to create a product. With just a handful of one-on-one clients, you can quickly earn four figures a month.
Here are 10 services you can offer:
- Freelance writing
- Virtual assistant work
- Graphic design
- Photography/stock photos
- Web design
- Social media management
- Blog management
Best For: Bloggers who enjoy working with people. Offering a service is a great way to connect with your audience and get to know their needs.
Advertising is one of the most passive ways to earn money from your blog. However, you do need a lot of page views before you can earn an income through advertising.
There are several advertising options. The first is Pay Per Click (PPC). For PPC ads, you earn a small amount each time a reader clicks on the ad. You partner with an ad network and give them space on your site.
Some of the biggest PPC companies are:
You can also work directly with companies to sell advertising space. Before approaching a company, you want to have a media kit to share. This includes specific information about your traffic and the demographics of your readers.
Best For: Bloggers with a lot of traffic and who want to focus on creating content.
A sponsored post is a blog post a company pays you to write. Typically, your post will include a link to a specific product.
You can find sponsored post opportunities through influencer media networks, by reaching out to brands directly, or through advertising and having brands find you. Some media networks that work with bloggers are:
As with advertising, make sure you have a media kit with information about your demographics, blog stats, and social media following. This gives brands the information they need to decide whether to work with you.
Best For: Bloggers with a lot of traffic and who want to focus on creating content.
Your Next Steps
Of course, you don’t need to limit yourself to just one income stream. Many bloggers do well by diversifying their income, while others build a successful business by specializing in one area.
The key is to leverage your unique strengths and experience to serve your audience in the most customized way possible. Be ready to experiment. Few people hit on the perfect blogging formula straight out of the gate. Try different things until you land on what works for you.
Now it’s your turn. Start by defining your blog purpose. Get clear on what it is you do best. And create your six-figure blog. You can do this!
If you’d like to learn more secrets of six-figure bloggers, check out The Essential Habits Of Six-Figure Bloggers. You can grab it on Amazon right now for the discounted price of 99 cents. Don’t wait; the price will go up!
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Sally Miller is a writer and coach who loves learning how things work, mastering new skills, and sharing her knowledge with others. Since leaving her nine-to-five, Sally has published seven best-selling books on Amazon (and counting). You can find out more by visiting sallyannmiller.com where she talks about sharing your gifts with the world to make money from home doing what you love.
This post includes affiliate links. Please be aware that we only promote advertising from companies that we feel we can legitimately recommend to our readers. See our disclosure policy for further information.