Wanna know how to quit your day job and make money blogging from home? I got you covered in this extensive training guide!
I’m no stranger to growing blogs. I’ve been in this game since 2010 and I’ve seen it all.
THE JOURNEY TO FULL-TIME BLOGGER
Back in 2010, I started a little hobby blog to share random thoughts about life, work, books, and everything in between. Not sure if anyone ever read that blog, because I knew nothing about traffic, SEO, or analytics back then.
But it didn’t matter. Because after that, I was hooked.
Between my day job as a marketing admin and running my hobby blogs, it was allll about online business from there on out!
Then in 2015, when I was pregnant with my first baby, I started thinking about starting MY OWN legit online business (I’m soooo original, I know).
I had been working from home for years, so remote work was nothing new to me. I had also done freelance work and marketing gigs on and off since 2010, so online business was nothing new to me.
But boy oh boy, was I tired of being snapped at by a moody boss.
I knew I needed to figure something out, and I wanted to make a plan before my new baby arrived and changed my whole world.
So I got to work! And I’ve been working ever since then…
In this article, I’m going to show you exactly what I did to build a money-making blog that allowed me to quit my day job!
This article probably contains affiliate links, you can read my disclosures here.
HOW IT STARTED
During pregnancy and maternity leave, I was determined to make a strategic plan and start my own legit online business. I love writing and marketing (obviously) so I knew I wanted my online business to be in that vein.
And that took me back to those hobby blogs of mine. Was it possible to take a hobby blog and turn it into a money-making business?
Well, let’s hope so! Because that’s what I was determined to do…
Please note that my personal experience and results are not exactly ‘typical’. I had professional experience in this field and STILL made many mistakes along the way. Things have also changed dramatically in the online landscape over the past few years, so we have to be realistic and adapt as needed, myself included! Don’t expect your results to be exactly like mine.
I jumped in.
I started a BRAND NEW blog with the goal of writing a ton of helpful articles and monetizing them with affiliate recommendations.
It took time, patience, and daily strategic action… but I did it!
And after some hard work and putting a chunk of change into my savings account for security, I was able to quit that day job and start working for myself full-time.
If I can give you one piece of advice that will actually help you, this is it: setup your site and start that blog today.
Don’t waste another minute. It’s cheap and easy to setup a website and will only take a few hours to publish that first blog post.
At this time next year, you’ll be wishing you had started today!
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
There are a few things that everyone should consider before they actually setup their website and start blogging.
First, it’s important to recognize that blogging is not easy work or easy money, especially in the beginning.
If you hear people spreading that nonsense about working a few hours a week and making a gazillion dollars from your blog, you should run the other way.
That is NOT realistic.
In fact, many bloggers jump into the game thinking they’ll make a ton of money, and then they give up before ever making a dollar – because they just didn’t realize how much WORK this was going to be!
You aren’t just writing blog posts, you are using content marketing to build a money-making business.
This is going to take:
You’re going to be stepping out of your comfort zone and learning how to run a legit online business. Yes, you’ll be doing lots and lots of “blogging” but in reality, the blog is only one piece of the business puzzle.
And it’s still work.
It can be fun and flexible and profitable work, but it’s still work.
So keep this in mind.
Secondly, building a successful blog takes time, patience, and strategy.
You will not be profitable overnight.
Maybe you’ll make a few bucks during those first few months, but the real success will come after some time, patience, and strategic work.
Some folks make $100/mo from their blogs and some make $10,000/mo. Some folks reach their goals within a year and some folks take much longer.
With that simple truth in front of you, I will show you how to set up a blog and make money blogging (as quickly and easily as possible).
Because once you know HOW to make money blogging, the whole process becomes much easier.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR BLOG
Here are the basics for setting up your blog the right way.
As a quick aside: keep in mind that your blog is the stream of published articles on your website. Your blog is one PIECE of your website.
I tend to call it ‘setting up a blog’ but in reality, you are setting up a website with a blog section on the site.
Now, lets get into it!
First, think about WHO you want to write for, aka: your target audience.
- CHOOSE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Money-making blogs are problem solving blogs. Who are you helping with your content? Where are they at in life and what can you help them with?
Your blog posts should be helpful, relevant, and (hopefully) entertaining to your readers.
And I cannot emphasize this enough: you need to be writing for a very specific targeted audience.
We gotta use the right bait to catch the right fish (weird analogy, I know, but it’s true).
Before you even start your blog, you should think about what you want to write about and who you want to write for.
I have many profitable blogs at this point in my career, but this site, for example, is about simplifying the business of blogging so you can make money working from home.
Before I publish an article, I make sure that it’s useful to my specific readers that visit this site, because content marketing is all about your readers.
- GRAB YOUR DOMAIN NAME + HOSTING
This is what your website is called and where your website lives online.
Your domain name is like ths street address where folks can find your site. You can buy your domain name for a few bucks through a site like NameCheap.
Your hosting is like the land where you’re going to build your house (your website). Don’t stress too much over hosting, they all have pros and cons. But an affordable host like NameHero is good for new and intermediate bloggers!
- INSTALL WORDPRESS
If you already read my detailed guide on setting up a blog the right way, then you already know these steps, but I want to cover them again briefly.
When you purchase your website hosting, you’ll login to your host account, and from there, you can install WordPress (this is WordPress.org and it is FREE through your hosting account).
WordPress is essentially the dashboard where you will write and publish all of your content. Watch and read their tutorials, and get familiar with WordPress. You are gonna want to learn all you can about this tool!
- WRITE, PUBLISH, AND SHARE GOOD CONTENT
Once you have reviewed a few WordPress tutorials and have set up the basics, you can start writing your first series of blog posts.
The goal is to publish relevant, helpful, and optimized content.
If you’re a newer blogger, you might not know what ‘optimized’ content is, but it’s important to learn ASAP.
One of my biggest mistakes in blogging was delaying optimizing all of my content.
If you want people to find your stuff and buy through your blog, you absolutely MUST optimize your stuff using SEO (search engine optimization).
>>> Learn more about search engine optimization here.
Remember to focus on content that is helpful and specific to your readers.
You don’t want to write a bunch of random posts on random topics. If you write about your favorite football team today, and the health benefits of essential oils tomorrow, not only will your readers be confused, but search engines won’t know what the heck your site is about.
Is this a football blog or an essential oil blog?
If search engines can’t figure out what your site is about, then you won’t be able to get any of your blog posts in front of potential readers in search results.
Figure it out, and focus on THAT THING.
- OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE
I know it feels like we’re covering this one twice, and we kinda are.
Because it’s that important.
Yes, you need to write helpful and relevant content that your target audience is searching for online. But if your entire site is not well-optimized, you won’t be able to get traffic, and you won’t be able to make money blogging.
So optimize each article. Make sure you are focusing on keyword phrases that your target audience is searching for.
Review this over-the-shoulder training on finding low-competition keywords for your blog!
Then make sure your homepage, your menu and categories, and all pages on your site are organized, easy to read, and easy to navigate on mobile devices.
If you need help with any of these things, you can look into joining a membership community for ongoing support as you grow your blog. If you want help from me and my team, join our Scale community here.
This is the foundational stuff: the setting up of the site and creating some great content for your audience.
This is the start, but there is a lot more work to do.
So, let’s get to it!
HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
There are several ways to make money blogging, but your options generally fall into these two categories.
- You can create and sell your own stuff (products, courses, coaching, memberships).
- You can promote and sell other people’s stuff (affiliates, sponsorships, summits).
I know that sounds pretty vague, so let’s elaborate a little bit here.
Your blog is basically the informational and educational side of your content marketing business. It shows off your expertise, your credibility, your guidance, and your personality!
It can also be the place where people get to know you and what you do.
You write helpful, informative, detailed articles that give people a glimpse at what you do, share, and sell.
Regardless of what income streams you choose to focus on, your blog is going to be a key part of your business strategy, because those blog articles can be the catapult that starts your income flowing in.
Especially if you’re recommending truly helpful tools, products, and services that your target audience is already looking for!
It’s easier to sell other people’s stuff when you’re just getting started, so let’s start there.
SELLING OTHER PEOPLE’S STUFF
If you don’t have your own products or services, you can start earning by promoting other people’s stuff on your blog, your social media channels, and more.
One of the best ways to get into selling other people’s stuff on your blog is through affiliate marketing.
This is essentially the process of signing up with an affiliate program of your choice, getting a personalized link to share someone else’s products with your audience, and then earning commissions when that product sells.
Of course, you need eyes on your stuff to get those clicks and conversions.
So make sure you have your site setup and optimized first!
There are more affiliate programs out there than a human could possibly count. In fact, most companies either have an affiliate program or can start one quite easily.
The program you join will depend on your niche and what kinds of products/services you plan to promote.
The Amazon affiliate program is a popular one. It’s not the highest paying, but definitely the most commonly used by bloggers, influencers, AND consumers.
If you want to dig further into affiliate marketing, which I highly recommend, follow this affiliate marketing series here on my site!
How to make money with affiliate marketing?
Let’s say you write an article about the best bunk bed options for your kids. You recommend a bunk bed that retails for $1000 and you earn 10% commissions from each sale that comes through your link. One sale would lead to $100 in your pocket.
A simplified example yes, but that’s how affiliate marketing works.
Another great way to make money selling other people’s stuff is through sponsored work.
When you’re doing sponsored work, you’re sharing other people’s products or services with YOUR audience in exchange for payment.
The sponsor is the person paying you or covering the costs of the promotional work to increase awareness or sales in their business.
It’s just like Nascar drivers that have cars covered in stickers from companies that ‘sponsor’ their race.
You’re the driver.
Your blog/platform is the race car.
The brands that you work with are the companies sponsoring your race/your content.
Depending on the size of your audience, you can earn a wide range of compensation for sponsored work, from free sample products to thousands of dollars per post.
But the most important thing is to have an engaged audience or plenty of traffic to leverage.
As our modern world pours more and more into social media and video content, it has become more important to have a ‘social’ following as well. But don’t give up on the blog content – it still has value too!
Especially if you have some traffic flowing in.
In the beginning, I do recommend FOCUS on one specific thing.
Choose 1-2 affiliate programs and focus on them until you start earning a little cash. Then you can incorporate more affiliate programs or other revenue streams. Or, you might choose to focus on growing your social media account and pitching to brands.
But remember, if you try to chase two rabbits, they both get away.
Focus on one thing at a time for now. I’m only providing these money-making options to give you ideas and examples, but you don’t have to do it all!
SELLING YOUR OWN STUFF
Now, tet’s talk about creating and selling your own stuff.
You can create and sell your own physical or digital products, which gives you full creative control and 100% of the income resulting from sales.
Physical products, like candles, clothes, supplements, subscription boxes, or toys.
Digital products, like courses, e-books, software, logos, or stock photos. There are a ton of options out there.
I personally love selling digital products, like my online courses and downloads, because you put in the initial work (a lot of work), and then you make passive income with just a little maintenance.
And the best part?
It’s pretty darn cheap and easy to setup a course on a platform like Teachable or Podia.
If you don’t already have a skill you can share with the world, LEARN ONE.
It’s time to get creative and leave all excuses at the door. This business is going to be your baby, and you’re going to need a lot of persistence and creativity to make it work.
OTHER WAYS TO MAKE MONEY FROM HOME
Let’s say you aren’t ready to promote affiliate offers or you don’t want to create your own product right now.
Maybe you’re still in the early phases of learning SEO and creating some fresh content for your brand new site.
If that’s the case, you can consider providing a service, which is often the BEST WAY to start earning income when you are trying to get a new blog off the ground.
As an example, you might write or edit articles for someone, create logos or brand assets, or help someone run their Facebook group.
It takes more time and effort to grow a blog and make money blogging now, so if you can provide any kind of service to help that income start flowing, take it into consideration!
Freelance writing or editing…
I love the business of blogging. I love the writing, editing, pitching, optimizing, marketing…all of it.
But if you aren’t interested in setting up your own blogging business yet, or you need income a little quicker than blogging can guarantee, then consider freelance writing, editing, or translating/dictating content.
There are a lot of companies that will pay you to write for them or edit their work.
And when you’re a freelancer, you can work for as many companies as you want. You’re an independent contractor, and you run your own show.
You can find writing gigs on places like LinkedIn or JustRemote.
You can provide transcription services through platforms like Rev.
You can do gig work on Fiver or Craiglist.
You have options, boo! If you take nothing else away from this article, please take this away.
Working for yourself will have ups and downs, but if you really wanna quit that day job and be a blogger, marketer, or freelancer, YOU CAN DO IT.
Being a virtual assistant (VA) is another good way to earn money from home.
Virtual assistants help bloggers and business owners on a variety of tasks, and they work from the comfort of their own home, or anywhere that has WiFi.
VAs can specialize in whatever category they choose, but having a specialty will absolutely help your chances of getting reliable work!
– Brand design
– Graphic design
– Social media management
– Facebook group moderating
– Email marketing
– Customer service support
– Tech support
The sky is the limit in this space.
Yes, the field can be competitive, which is just another reason why you need to specialize in one area and get good at it!
Joining virtual assistant groups on Facebook is a great place to start learning the ropes.
HOW TO EARN 5K A MONTH ONLINE
You probably opened up this article because you wanted ideas on how to become a full-time blogger or make money online, and I hope you’ve gotten some inspiration to get started!
Again, I do recommend FOCUS on 1-2 specific things in the early days. And once you have a little income flowing in, expanding your revenue streams is a great idea.
Making 5K a month is going to require some time and effort, but I want you to get there and then expand wayyy beyond what you ever thought possible.
So, start at the end goal and work your way backwards.
5K a month requires earning about $167 a day, 7 days a week. OR…
It requires selling about 50 products at $100 each. or selling 10 courses at $500 each…Or providing services to 5 clients at $1,000 each…
There is money to be made out here…so let’s get out there and make some!
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE
At the end of the day, your blog will be one piece of the puzzle that makes up your online business. But depending on your revenue streams, the blog might be a very BIG piece of the puzzle!
So don’t discount the work that goes into this process.
As a quick recap for my speedy scrollers out there:
- It’s going to take some time, patience and strategic effort to make money blogging
- You’ll need a clear target audience, a self-hosted website, and some great content
- You will absolutely need to learn SEO and will need to build authority to your site
- You can earn money selling your own stuff or selling other people’s stuff
- The online world changes quickly, we have to be persistent and adapt as needed
Like my favorite Rocky Balboa quote says, “It ain’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning’s done.”
So get back up when you fall down. Adjust and adapt.
If you want to fast-track your way to the online business success you’ve been hoping for, make sure you hop on my mailing list for instant access to all of my best free blogging tools available!
I’m here in your corner and I’ve got your back!