During the current pandemic we are living through, many of us have had to adapt to home working. That’s the luckier ones among us. Many others have lost jobs and are finding it harder than ever to find another one.
This has led to a sharp increase in people trying to make money from home by starting their own blog as a business.
But can writing articles at home really help you financially?
The simple answer is yes.
And I am going to explain how to make money blogging in 2020.
How to make money blogging
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular routes people go down to make money blogging. The concept is fairly simple. Sign up to a merchants affiliate program. Write great articles. Add links to the merchants websites within your content and get a percentage of every sale it leads to. Merchants can also give you banner adverts that can be added to your site.
Signing up to these programs is also a simple process. Fill up a form, wait to be accepted on the program then receive your promotional links or images. A popular marketplace to find an affiliate program is ShareASale.com. You can find merchants from pretty much any niche on Shareasale ranging from small startups to large well known organisations.
You can also sign up to some affiliate programs by going to the company website directly. Some of the most popular ones include Amazon and Ebay. You might not see cash flow initially with affiliate marketing but it will grow steadily as your website traffic grows.
Google Adsense is a program that allows website owners to add targeted adverts on their website. After signing up to Adsense, Google gives you a piece of code that you add into your sidebar, header or wherever you feel is most appropriate. Google then serves adverts related to your content. The businesses being advertised depend on who bids the highest and this can change frequently.
When a visitor to your site clicks on the advert, it is recorded in your Google Adsense account. You are paid an amount per click and this is all managed within your Google Adsense dashboard. This program is free and can earn you a decent amount depending on how much traffic your blog receives.
A sponsored article is where a company pays you money to write an article on your blog, promoting their products or services. Although this is clearly a form of advertising, it is important that the article doesn’t push a product too hard. Instead, links to the products should be naturally placed in a piece of content that is informative and interesting to the reader.
In other words, the company paying for the sponsored content doesn’t want your post to look like it is something they have paid for! Acquiring sponsored articles is probably the most difficult part. You can advertise the opportunity on your website but more often than not, a company will approach you if they feel you are an influencer in their niche with significant website traffic.
Sell digital products
Selling digital products such as templates, ebooks, audio files, software or photography are all excellent ways of making money online. Personally, I have owned online businesses selling web templates and it works great as a side business. The most important part is of course having something worthwhile to sell. And that is where you need to focus all of your time initially.
The great thing is that selling goods online has never been easier. With a WordPress website you can use an ecommerce plugin such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads. These plugins do all the hard work for you including hooking up your website with payments gateways like Paypal.
Types of blogs that make money
Almost any type of blog can make money if you use the methods mentioned above and invest your efforts wisely. But there are certain niches that make more than others. Before deciding on a topic, it’s important to do your research to see where you can fit in, or even better, stand out in the blogging landscape. I believe it’s also vital that you have good knowledge of the subject you choose and it’s something you are passionate about. It may even be a hobby that you can develop into a business.
With that said let’s take a look at some popular blog topics that can make money:
It’s almost impossible to turn on your television without seeing a food show at the moment. Everyone loves food right? So it makes sense that online content related to food also grows massively by the day. Recipe blogs, healthy food websites and cooking videos are great ways to grab lots of traffic. You can ask visitors to sign up to your newsletter where you offer weekly recipes. Monetizing a food blog can come from advertising or you can release a recipe cookbook.
The travel industry makes or breaks countries’ economies all over the world. The impact of Covid 19 has hit this sector hard. But you can be assured that as soon as life returns to some form of normality, travel will come back strong. Travel blogs are very popular for those looking for travel guides or reviews for hotels and restaurants. Forums are also often a part of these sites so travellers can share holiday experiences and travel tips. Money can be made by advertising offers run by travel agencies. Sponsored content can also be used as a good option to monetize a travel blog.
Lifestyle is a fairly broad term but these types of blogs tend to be related to fashion, money, art, design, interior design, home decor and pretty much anything else that impacts our daily lives at work, home and socially. You can really narrow your focus here to a niche that interests you personally. That personal touch will resonate with like minded visitors and you can make yourself an authority in your field by providing informative tips on your subject. You should be able to find an affiliate program pretty easily that will fit in with your topic choice as well.
Health and fitness
Health and fitness are important to all of us. There is far more awareness on this topic due to some great blogs and online resources. Now, more than ever, we care about diet, physical fitness and wellbeing. These types of blogs offer healthy recipes, exercise techniques and motivational articles. You can cover a wide variety of subjects within this field or focus on something close to your heart that will draw a loyal following. There are plenty of health and fitness products you can advertise on your blog. Signing up to Google Adsense might the best way forward for this once you have built up some traffic.
Parenting is arguably the biggest and toughest job in the world. With so many aspects involved it’s a lot of pressure to be good at it 24 7. That’s why we now see so many parenting blogs offering insights and tips on how to keep on top of it all. Mum blogs are particularly popular with some getting over 200k views a month, earning them a small fortune! As you can imagine this can prove to be very profitable for the leaders in this field. You can make money in this niche through advertising, sponsored posts and affiliate marketing.
The most popular sports blogs tend to be fan blogs focusing on a particular team. This can build an avid following who want all the latest news about their favourite club. These blogs are community driven so adding a forum can also bring regular traffic. Because sports merchandise is such a big business, money can be made through adverts selling sporting goods. Affiliate marketing also works well with sports blogs.
Before I download a game the first thing I do is check out the online reviews. Sites like IGN and Metacritic are great but I also like to dig further and check out reviews on gamers blogs. The next generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft are about to hit the stores so the appetite for this type of content is going to be huge. Advertising these products on this type of blog can bring some nice extra revenue.
Live streaming platforms such as Twitch are massive in the gaming world and gaming videos on Youtube are watched by millions. Tapping into this market with a blog will undoubtedly bring you a loyal following of gamers.
Best blogging platform to make money
The most popular blogging platform on the market is WordPress.org (not the same as WordPress.com). This doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best platform but it is the most used for various reasons. One main factor is it is free. It is also fairly easy to use and has a large support community attached to it. This has led to a massive library of free themes (design templates) and plugins (add ons) that can help make your blog look the part.
Going down this route does require you to have somewhere to host your blog and you will need a domain name. However, lots of major hosting companies, such as GoDaddy, offer WordPress hosting (with a free domain) for as little as a few dollars per month. Everything is set up for you as well, meaning that you just have to log in and start adding your content. I have used the free version of WordPress for years as it offers me the perfect balance between having full control of my website, while also allowing the flexibility of having lots of design and functionality options.
WordPress.com has most of the features and functionality of WordPress.org, but does not offer as much control over your blog. Firstly, your website will be hosted on the WordPress.com servers. This means you will have to use a wordpress.com sub domain. Other restrictions include limited disk space and less plugins and themes to pick from. This platform does have some paid options that give you more features.
Blogger is one of the oldest blogging tools on the market and is owned by Google. It is free and allows good integration with other free Google tools. On the downside, it doesn’t quite have the same amount of design features and functionality that modern blogging platforms give you.
Medium is a very popular blogging platform that is made for serious writers. It’s easy to sign up (free) and start writing straight away. It doesn’t offer much freedom in terms of layouts and design but if it is all about the content then this is the blogging platform for you. You will have to use a medium.com subdomain but on the plus side you will be mixing with a large community base.
Wix is one of the fastest growing blogging tools out there. It has some excellent template and design options that are easy to use and will make your blog look great. The free version is fairly limited however. Paid plans vary from around $5 up to $25.
How to promote your blog
Create great content
Providing great content can work wonders for your blog. Writing interesting articles, posting amazing videos or sharing fascinating tips on social media will all bring traffic that is relevant and consistent. It’s also important to optimize your content for search engines.
Use SEO Copywriting techniques naturally in your copy and you will see good results. Focus on relevant keywords that will bring in the type of traffic that you want. Keyword research and SEO can be time consuming but are key to pushing your blog higher in the search rankings than your competitors.
Social media is used on a daily basis by over half the planet’s population. It makes sense therefore to utilize these platforms to promote your business. Social media marketing is in itself a strategy used by all major businesses. So involve yourself in the community that relates closest to your niche. Make friends, talk to influencers and share your knowledge. Don’t just push your own blog but instead offer something useful to others. This will in return build your brand and reputation as an expert in your field.
The options are endless on how you go about this form of promotion. If you can make great videos then post them on Youtube. Maybe you have products that look great and need to be on Pinterest. Or if you have a great story to tell, post it on Instagram. For Facebook and Twitter, offer tips and techniques that will help others in your industry.
Other blogs are often looking for guest authors to write posts for them. It benefits both parties. The blog owner gets some nice extra content with no effort. For the guest writer you can add a link back to your own website to boost your traffic.
You can find guest post opportunities by typing something similar to this into Google:
keyword “submit a guest post”
Replace keyword with your chosen niche. This should give you a list of guest post submission pages within your industry. Read each of their guidelines closely and submit an interesting post idea. If and when accepted, remember to write an engaging post. More importantly, remember to add a relevant link back to your website. This will provide traffic, a strong backlink and ultimately a boost to your search rankings.
Advertising is difficult for new bloggers on a budget but it doesn’t have to be costly. Yes Google Adwords can eat into that budget pretty quickly but other options are out there. One option that has worked well for me in the past is social media advertising.
I have tried Facebook and Twitter advertising and while the results weren’t massively rewarding at first, you do at least have tight control over your budget. You can spend even just a few dollars and still have your advert seen by thousands. It does take some tinkering though before you find out where and when your ads will be seen by the most relevant social media visitors. The reporting tools are very good though and I would advise trying social media advertising if you are just dipping your toe into this area for the first time.
Should you try Blogging to make money?
Blogging can without a doubt provide a great source of additional income. And if done very well, it can be a well paid full time job. Like anything else in life, it requires a lot of work and dedication if you want to reap the rewards. Acquiring traffic at the early stages is difficult but stick with it. As long as you continue to write great content, optimize your content for search engines and remain passionate about your blog, you will achieve success.
I hope this article helps you understand how to make money blogging. If you have any tips you want to share please comment below. Happy blogging!