Are you looking for a new way to make money on the side? Or do you already have a blog and you’re trying to work out if it can give you a decent income? Then take a look to see if you can still make money from blogging and if so, what you can realistically earn.
Can you make money from blogging?
Quick answer – yes. Blogging is still alive and kicking and there are plenty of people using it as a form of extra money or as a full-time income. But, there is a lot of work involved before you see decent returns.
Blogging is dead. Isn’t it? If anyone wants information, they just go off to YouTube or TikTok, right? Wrong. Although blogging has been around since the early days of the internet, there is still very much a place for it. You see, sometimes, the written word is still much easier to understand than a video. You can take your time with it and constantly reread if you need to.
But it’s not only that. There are times when you watching videos isn’t ideal. If you’re sat at work, you don’t really want everybody to know that you’re looking for other ways to make an extra income. Or if you’re sat on the train, do you want the guy next to you know that you have an itchy, burning sensation?
The fact is, if you have a question that needs answering, it’s almost certain that there’s a news article or a blog post about it. And if you’re the person providing the answers, you could make money from it.
How much money can you make from a blog?
Before you throw yourself into it, you’re probably interested in knowing how much you can actually make from a blog. Unfortunately, that’s an almost impossible question. In theory, there’s no real limit to how much money a blog can bring in. The more people that come to visit your blog, the more money you can make.
Some bloggers are happy to make a few hundred pounds per month just by spending a few hours per week writing. Others can make tens of thousands per month. Obviously, that’s not the norm, but it’s certainly possible.
If you put the time in and you’re willing to be patient, there’s no reason why you can’t make well over £1,000 per month.
In case you’re wondering, I make anywhere between £2,500 and £4,000 per month. Around £1,500 of this is from adverts and the rest from affiliate marketing. And just to be clear, I work full-time elsewhere and have 3 kids to run around after.
Blogging for money – the truth
Be warned though, making money from blogging isn’t the easy money some people will lead you to believe. As I said above, the key is patience. Yes, some bloggers can start making serious money quite early on. However, they usually have a background in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or are a little lucky. You never know when you may write something that is a massive hit with Google that nobody else knew about.
The majority of bloggers will give up after a year or two after they fail to see the results they hope for. For me, it took just over 5 years before I started making serious money. Before that, I made a slight profit, but only around £150 per month.
Other bloggers will tell you that it’s all very easy and you will soon be making big money. That’s because they want you to sign up for various services so they can make a commission from you.
But it’s a passive income, right?
Well, sort of. It’s true that you can leave your blog running in the background and it will earn you an income. But that’s not to say that you don’t need to keep an eye on it and add new content. If you leave your blog alone too long, you will soon see your earnings decline.
I look at it like holiday pay from my full-time job. When I’m sunning myself and still earning wages, I don’t see that as a passive income. It’s money that I have earned after putting in the effort for the rest of the year.
How do bloggers make money?
I realise that I have been talking a lot about money without going into specifics. Another question you may have is how you go about making money once your blogging is up and running. Well, there are lots of ways. And the beauty is, you can focus on one or use a combination of methods.
But first of all, you will need to attract readers. There are 2 main ways of doing this – through search engines and through social media. Both have their positive and negative sides.
- Search engines (SEO) will bring you a lot of visitors, many with the intent of buying something or signing up to a service. This is a real long-term strategy to drive people to your site. The downside is, it takes a lot of work and can takes months, if not years to implement.
- Social media can bring in a number of visitors, depending on the platform and number of followers you have. If you have the right strategy, you can attract lots of hits to your website. The problem with social media is that you often have to keep working at it and your visitors are less likely to buy or take out a service.
But what are the main money-making methods?
This is potentially the most lucrative of all income a blogger can make. Affiliate marketing involves placing links to products and services that you think your readers may find useful. When a reader clicks on one of these links and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission. Depending on what they buy, this could be a matter of a few pence to hundreds of pounds.
There are 1000’s of companies you can work with, it’s just a matter of finding the ones that are the right fit for your blog. You can take a look at my list of the best affiliate networks to help you get started.
But make sure you choose advertisers that fit in with your niche. There’s nothing worse than seeing somebody write about something completely off-topic, just because it gains them a commission.
This is actually my favourite way to make money from my blog. Let’s be honest, nobody likes ads but they have become a way of life. Having ads dotted around your site can be a real money-spinner. And the longer your content and the more engaged your audience is, the more money you can make.
You can start placing ads on your site more or less straight away with companies like Adsense. But unless you have decent traffic, you probably won’t earn much more than £1 per day. But as your blog becomes more popular, there are other ad networks you can move to. I use Mediavine, which can see an income of over £100 per day. Really popular sites can see over £1,000!
Sponsored posts involve you working with one company directly. They may approach you or you can contact them. How much you can earn really depends on the work involved. Some companies will just want you to write a single post, whilst others may want a series of posts and promotions across social media. They may even ask to use your image on their own promotional material.
Sponsored posts can pay anything from £50 up to the £1,000’s.
Sell digital products
Another way to bring in an income is from selling your own digital products. This could be something like a how-to guide or an ebook. Your customers will be able to send you money directly and then will be able to download your product. Once your digital product is ready to go, there is little work for you to do.
A lot of your payments will come in $US. It’s the way of the world. Often, this can be paid straight into your PayPal account. Although that’s an easy option, it’s not ideal. PayPal has terrible exchange rates and it could cost you a lot of money over the long term. Instead, you can open an account with Wise, which will be just as easy and money-saving too.
What not to do
There are a couple of things you should avoid when you have created your blog because it could soon undo all your hard work.
Without getting bogged down in too much detail, links in and out of your blog are generally a good thing. But…
You will be contacted by lots of companies that will want to have links to their website placed into your posts. They will offer anything from £5 upwards. It may sound good as it’s easy money. My tip would be not to do it. Readers of your blog will be wondering why you are linking to all of these sites and it won’t bring you any long-term benefit. In fact, Google may mark your site as spam if you do it too much. If that happens, there’s a good chance you’ll slip down in Google’s rankings.
I would also advise against purchasing links to your site too. Usually, if a company links to you, it makes Google think that your site is more trustworthy. But if these links come from a ‘dodgy’ source, it will have the opposite effect.
Careful with your ads
The more adverts you have on your site, the more money you make. But don’t go overboard. Not only does it make for unpleasant viewing for your readers, but it also slows down your site. Again, this isn’t good for Google rankings.
What should I blog about?
Now you know how to make money, what should you write about? That’s really up to you. Generally, you’ll find it much easier to write about something you’re knowledgeable on or a subject you enjoy. But, you need to consider if it’s worth writing about your chosen topic if nobody else is interested in it. It’s all very well writing pages and pages about your favourite door handles (I’m sure it’s all very useful) but is it the kind of thing that other people will search the internet for? If not, it won’t make you much money.
In that case, you may want to look at something else to write about. The drawback is, you will have to do a lot more homework beforehand to make sure your content is correct. But, if it makes you money, it’s certainly worth it.
How do you start blogging?
If you’ve decided that blogging is for you, your first step is deciding on a name for your website. Once you’ve thought of one, you can pop over to any hosting service to see if it’s free. When you find that it’s not (probably), it’s a case of thinking of another one. Rinse and repeat until you actually find one that’s free.
Then, it’s a case of finding a host. For this, I recommend BlueHost. Not because they’re great, but because they’re cheap. As I said above, a lot of bloggers give up early on. You don’t want to be paying £40 per month to an all-singing, all-dancing host, only to find out that you haven’t got the time to write after the first month.
Bluehost was the host I started with and their joining offer works out at around just £2.50 per month. And after a year, you can choose to renew or move away. Or just cancel if you get bored.
So, is blogging still worth it for 2021?
It certainly is. I know plenty of bloggers that are making a full-time living from their blogs and many more that use it as supplemental income. Just make sure that you don’t set your sites too high, too soon. And make sure you learn about SEO. It’s a game-changer.
Best of luck!