How to Make Money Blogging A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking for a guide on how to make money blogging, you’ve come to the right place. This guide is different from others because it is based on my personal experience of taking three different blogs to over $1 million per year in revenue. In fact, the blog you’re reading right now has made a total of $6.7 million. In this post, I will provide a step-by-step case study showing you exactly how I did it, starting from nothing, along with a step-by-step guide for beginners trying to get started. So let’s jump in.

7 Ways to Make Money Blogging (with Examples!)

Before we dive into the specifics of how to make real money blogging, let’s take a look at the top 7 ways bloggers can make a good income:

  1. Online Courses and Workshops
  2. Books and Ebooks
  3. Affiliate Marketing
  4. Advertising
  5. Speaking Gigs
  6. Consulting/Coaching
  7. Selling Freelance Services

Now, let’s explore each of these methods in more detail, with examples of successful bloggers who have used them to generate significant income.

1. Online Courses and Workshops

At Smart Blogger, we make most of our income from online courses and workshops, earning over $1 million per year. But we are not the only successful blog doing this. Many bloggers make a lot of money from their blogs by offering online courses. For example, Ramit Sethi reportedly crossed $10 million dollars in annual revenue with his suite of premium courses. Even blogs in non-business or wealth-focused topics can monetize with online courses. Interior designer Maria Killam, for instance, offers a variety of courses and workshops.

Online courses and workshops can bring in one-time payments or recurring income through subscriptions.

2. Books and Ebooks

Many writers have turned their blogging success into major publishing deals. Mark Manson, for example, published a blog post called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” in 2015. The post gained millions of readers and led to a book deal with Harper Collins, selling over 3,000,000 copies in the US alone. Self-published books have also been successful for bloggers. James Altucher’s “Choose Yourself” has sold over 500,000 copies.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to create passive income streams from your blog. It involves recommending the services, digital products, and physical products of other companies in exchange for a commission. At Smart Blogger, we make over $100,000 per year promoting affiliate products. Other successful bloggers have also made substantial income through affiliate marketing. For instance, John Lee Dumas of EOFire made $710,835 in affiliate income last year. Digital Photography School has reportedly made over $500,000 in commissions as an Amazon Associate from promoting photography equipment.

Joining an affiliate network such as CJ Affiliate, ClickBank, eBay Partner Network, or ShareASale is a good way to tap into this revenue stream.

4. Advertising

While selling ads on your site may not be the most profitable monetization strategy, it can make sense for certain niches such as recipes, fashion, and news that are hard to monetize through other methods. For example, Share the Yummy, a food blog, generated income through banner ads.

To join an ad network, you can start with Google AdSense and later grow into more selective networks like Mediavine and AdThrive.

5. Speaking Gigs

Once your blog gains recognition and you establish yourself as an authority in your field, you may start receiving invitations to speak at conferences. Speaking gigs can be highly profitable, with speakers earning thousands of dollars for a 60-90 minute talk.

6. Consulting/Coaching

Offering consulting or coaching services can be a lucrative online job, even with a small audience. Many bloggers have successfully charged high rates for their expertise. For example, Maria Killam offers design consultations by photo and email for $1,275 per room.

Consulting or coaching can work in almost any niche, as long as you provide value to your clients and are confident in your skills.

7. Selling Freelance Services

If you have skills that can be sold digitally, such as writing, designing, photography, or programming, you can sell your services as a freelancer. Many bloggers have made six-figure incomes by leveraging their blog as a lead generation tool to attract clients.

Now that we’ve explored the different ways to make money blogging, let’s dive into a step-by-step process for starting a profitable blog from scratch.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Make Money Blogging

Starting a blog from scratch and making money from it is not easy, but it is possible with persistence and hard work. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Choose the Right Blogging Niche (a Profitable One)

Passion and expertise alone are not enough to make money from your blog. You need a large audience that is willing to spend money. Identify a profitable niche by researching what people are buying in your space. Look for successful blogs in your niche that are monetizing with online courses, affiliate marketing, or other methods.

2. Improve Your Content Skills

Creating high-quality content is essential for attracting and retaining an audience. Study successful bloggers in your niche and learn from their content strategies. Develop your own unique voice and style. Focus on creating the best content ever published on popular topics in your niche.

3. Choose a Traffic Source (Google Search or Facebook)

Most of the traffic for written content comes from either Google or Facebook. Determine whether your topic is something people actively search for on Google or talk about on Facebook. Depending on your niche, focus on either SEO or viral traffic strategies. Study and practice SEO or learn how to create viral content on Facebook.

4. Grow Your Email List with Pop Ups

Building an email list is crucial for monetizing your blog. Use pop ups to capture email addresses from your visitors. Offer valuable content or incentives in exchange for their email addresses. Your email list will become your most valuable asset for promoting your products or affiliate offers.

5. Begin Monetizing with Affiliate Programs

Start monetizing your blog by promoting affiliate products and earning commissions. Look for affiliate programs that are relevant to your niche and that offer products your audience would be interested in. Test different offers and track their performance. Consider creating your own product if you find a high demand for a certain type of product.

6. Develop a Unique Mechanism

Differentiate yourself from your competitors by offering a unique mechanism that makes you the best solution for your audience. This could be a specific method or approach that sets you apart. Develop your unique mechanism based on your expertise and what your audience needs. Use your unique mechanism to create and market your own products or services.

7. Launch the Minimum Viable Funnel

Before fully developing your products or services, test the demand by launching a minimum viable funnel. This could be a simple sales page or a webinar where you gauge interest and collect pre-orders. If there is enough demand, proceed with creating and launching your product. If not, refund your customers and adjust your approach.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can start a profitable blog and make money from it. However, it’s important to note that building a successful blog takes time and effort. It may take several years before you start making a significant income. Stay persistent, keep learning, and focus on providing value to your audience.

FAQ about How to Make Money Blogging

Do bloggers make money?

Yes, bloggers can make money from their blogs. However, not all bloggers are successful in monetizing their blogs.

How much money can you make from blogging?

The amount of money you can make from blogging varies greatly. Some bloggers make a few hundred dollars per month, while others make millions. It depends on factors such as your niche, audience size, and monetization strategies.

How do you make money blogging? (Or, How do bloggers make money?)

Bloggers make money through various methods such as online courses, ebooks, affiliate marketing, advertising, speaking gigs, consulting/coaching, and selling freelance services.

How do you start your own blog for free?

You can start a blog for free on platforms like Medium,, Blogger, Squarespace, Wix, and Joomla. These platforms offer free hosting and easy-to-use interfaces for creating and publishing blog posts.

What are the most popular blogging platforms?

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, followed by platforms like Medium, Blogger, Squarespace, Wix, and Joomla.

What are the top blogs about how to make money blogging?

Some top blogs that provide valuable insights on how to make money blogging include Backlinko, Digital Marketer, and Smart Passive Income.

In conclusion, making money from blogging is possible, but it requires patience, persistence, and hard work. By following the step-by-step guide and leveraging the various monetization methods, you can build a profitable blog. Remember to focus on providing value to your audience and continuously improving your content and marketing strategies.

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