How to Take Your Blog Seriously & Make Money with it THIS YEAR.
Happy 2018 Boss Babes! I am so excited for this year! I have so much planned for you all so be sure to subscribe to get the latest updates!
*disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read my policy here.
Today, seeing as it’s 2018 I wanted to talk to you about taking your blog seriously this year, and actually making some steady income!!
I believe that this is a reasonable goal. I started making my first couple hundred within the 2nd month of blogging, and my first $1,000 6 months in! Today I am going to share with you some of my tips and how I started making more than a thousand dollars monthly!
Hoping that these tips can help you and maybe this year you will make your first hundred dollars too!!
Before I decided to go and make my money I decided that it was important to invest in a few things for my blog. I wanted my blog to look professional, and ready for monetization. NOT only should you invest money wise but you need to be prepared to invest your time as well.
You must treat your blog as if it is already your full time job if you plan on making any bit of money. You can’t take multiple days off of your job so why should you take multiple days away from your blog? It won’t work if you decide to take breaks constantly. I don’t mean NEVER give yourself a break. I usually will give myself Sundays off to really relax without the stress of my phone, social media, etc.
But I will admit I dedicated almost all of my time to growing my blog, and figuring out strategies for my blog until I figured out what worked and what didn’t. Most nights I stayed awake until 4am. I actually just posted a blog about how I managed a full time job and blog.
What did I Invest in Money Wise?
after researching for days I realized that the best thing for my blog was to self host. Not only does self hosting give me complete control and ownership over my blog but it also gave me the best design flexibility. I was able to purchase my own domain as well which looks more professional than ( ellduclos .wordpress .com)
I decided to go with Site Ground because I heard they did free site transfers! At the time I had to transfer my site from wordpress .com to .org and Site Ground helped me do it all for no additional cost! I LOVE their support team. They are so helpful and they have a live 24/7 tech support chat! Overall their servers are fast and secure!
I knew that self hosting meant that I wouldn’t run into any issues with monetizing. Other sites like wordpress .com , wix , squarespace etc. have restrictions and limitations that self hosting doesn’t have!
After I had my self host set up it was time to buy a theme. I could have chosen a free theme but I wanted something a little more complex and polished. I went with a theme from pipdig co and I am obsessed with it! My theme costs about $70 but in my opinion it was so worth it! I also love creative market.
Lastly, I recommend if you want a little bit of an extra boost/help; invest in a blog coach! Blog coaches will help you stick to deadlines, get organized, set up strategies, crush goals, and can even help teach you how to use wordpress to your best ability! This is a service I offer if you are ever interested. You can check into it: HERE.
WAYS TO MONETIZE
When I first started monetizing my blog I quickly realized that in order to make steady income, I had to focus on more than one income source. So I focused on affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and eventually added in a 3rd source (my coaching services).
So far I have been successful in all 3 BUT it took a lot of trial and error. It didn’t happen without figuring out what worked, what didn’t, and what helped me reach my goals!
This was the first way I chose to try and monetize. Before I began trying to score sponsored posts (brand collaborations) I worked on growing my Instagram following. I had heard all about “Influencers” and how brands paid them to post about a product. I wanted to do that! But I knew in order for a brand to want to pay me, i’d need a decent following first! One that was worthy of getting paid.
Once I got to about 2,000 followers I decided it was time to start reaching out to brands. Anytime I want something in life, I know I have to go after it. I can’t always wait for the opportunities to come to me. GO TO THEM. That’s what I quickly learned. So I started pitching to brands that I loved and wanted to work with.
Shockingly, many would get back to me! Not all would be willing to pay BUT all were willing to give me free product to feature. I’ve scored so much free makeup & even a free mattress that I still use every day!
Now that my Instagram following is even higher, brands are much more likely to pay. You can find out an estimate of how much you should be charging brands by using: Social Blue Book
It’s also smart to join a few Influencer/Marketing networks. Here are some of my favorites:
One of my main sources of income from blogging is affiliate marketing! If someone purchases a product via your affiliate link you will receive commission at no extra cost to the purchaser.
I love affiliate marketing because it’s like getting paid to sell a product that you absolutely love. Affiliate marketing income that I receive helps allow me to continue to blog and do what I love doing.
Last month I made about $1,300 in affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can be extremely difficult though. There are a few key points you should keep in mind.
FIRST: Is your audience a buying audience? You need to make sure that what you are trying to sell is something that your audience needs. Your audience will be more willing to buy something that can help them rather than something they may just want but may not need. If your audience isn’t a huge buying audience, it will be more difficult to become successful at affiliate marketing in the beginning. Until you have a larger audience.
IMPORTANT: Does your audience trust you? If your audience doesn’t trust you, they most likely won’t purchase what you are recommending. You need to make your audience trust you. Continue to build personal connections because that will make your audience feel more comfortable, and trusting. They will also be able to relate to you more.
It’s also important to make sure you don’t sound/look like an AD. If your blog is primarily affiliate links, your audience will probably start to get annoyed. It will come off tacky if every new blog post is just trying to sell a product etc.
AND ALWAYS be honest with your audience. Don’t talk about, or sell products that are crap. Your audience will realize this and the trust will become broken.
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN UTILIZE PINTEREST FOR AFFILIATE MARKETING?
This is one of my FAVORITE tips.
If you know about me, you know that I LOVE Pinterest. I currently receive 1.6 million monthly Pinterest views because I am THAT addicted to my Pinterest strategies.
Now some would say what the heck? HOW did you get those views! It didn’t happen over night, and I DID get those views strictly by MANUALLY pinning. I would repin constantly, at least 50 times a day. I would Pin my pins and other people’s pins.
One of my biggest secrets is GROUP BOARDS. If you join group boards and pin your pins to them, it helps expand your reach! All of the followers of that board will now see your pin. So you could have only 100 followers but if you are a part of a group board with 1,000 followers, and pin to that board, those followers are seeing your content too! BOOM! MIND BLOWN.
Did my blog receive all of those views – NO BUT a decent amount did transfer over!
I finally decided to make the step and Invest in Tailwind – AND OMG IT’S A GAME CHANGER!!!
I thought I was getting decent Pinterest views & blog traffic by manually pinning but when I put my manual pinning and Tailwind (scheduled pins) together, IT WAS MAGICAL.
My daily activity to my blog from Pinterest has increased by 71% since I started using Tailwind.
I also noticed my affiliate income rising too thanks to scheduling my pins! Basically Tailwind allows me to schedule pins so that I am constantly pinning on Pinterest (even when I am sleeping) which increases the chances of someone seeing your content AND increases your Pinterest follows and views. Tailwind makes my Pinterest life a bit easier as well as helps increase my blog traffic which to me is a WIN WIN!
Tailwind also allows you to join Tribes which are like Group Boards which ALSO helps increase your chances of getting your Pins seen!
Want to Join Boss Girl Bloggers Tribe ? Click Here
NOW LAST SECRET: How do you share affiliate links on Pinterest WITHOUT a blog post?
Create a perfect Pinable image with Canva that will capture attention & add your affiliate link into the “website” – JUST MAKE SURE YOU DISCLOSE THAT THEIR IS AN AFFILIATE LINK BEING USED IN THE DESCRIPTION.*
Then get to pinning and repining your affiliate pin!
Affiliate Marketing to Join
ShareASale– They have a TON of companies to apply to their affiliate programs.
FlexOffers – ALSO has a ton of companies you can apply to.
Shop Style Collective – Perfect for fashion/beauty niches!
CREATE YOUR OWN PRODUCT/SERVICE
This is my third and favorite way to make income blogging. If you really want to kick your income up a notch, create a service or product! I chose to offer blog coaching services because I have so much that I want to offer, & because I love being able to talk one on one with other bloggers and help them reach their ultimate success! It’s such a rewarding job.
You can also create E-Books or E-Courses that offer information that people NEED. Make sure the course is worth the price. I have one: Pinterest Strategies with Ell
Remember when it comes to getting people to purchase or when it comes to scoring a client, you have to practice these tips:
- Don’t wait for them to come to you. Don’t be afraid to promote your service or course. Offer it whenever someone seems like they could use it.
- Don’t OVER promote which I find many do. There is nothing worse than going to someones blog and realizing that all of their content is just posts that direct me to purchasing their e-book. That can be annoying. You need to offer some free content too so that I can trust you first. I’m not going to purchase your e-book if I don’t know that you are capable of teaching me something of value. (if that makes sense)
- When it comes to coaching, you must be flexible in the beginning! I will always make sure that I can try and accommodate to my clients as best as I can. I stay very organized and have a planner that is dedicated specifically to blog coaching.
CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP
I can honestly say creating a Facebook group is the best thing I could have done for my blog + biz. If you don’t already know, I have a group that I created and run called Boss Girl Bloggers. I created this group in April 2017, and it has since then grown into over 24,000 members. I love to keep my group VERY active and I work on this group NIGHT and DAY.
All of the members are like sisters to me. I care a lot about helping them whenever I can and providing free content and tips as often as possible. This is why I rely so strongly on affiliate marketing because it helps me to continue to provide free tips & content AND allows me to keep as active as I can with running my group!!
The best part about having your own group is that you can post whatever you want whenever you want. You can also create your own rules for the group! If you grow your group successfully MANY of your group members will transfer over to blog views and they will become your audience.
I can 100% say that I LOVE my group, all of the members are so sweet and supportive AND they are a huge part of my audience. I am so thankful for my audience and group. I feel connected personally to my audience.
I definitely recommend that you create a Facebook group that is related to your Niche and start growing a “tribe”/audience this way.
It’s also a great marketing strategy because you can promote your services and products to your group! Depending how large your group is, it can really have a positive impact on your income!
I hope these tips and tricks help you to UP your blog game! I have faith that you will score your first hundred dollars before the end of 2018!!! Now let’s have a successful year!
Don’t forget to connect with me further:
Twitter: Boss Girl Bloggers
Until Next Time,