How to Write a Blog Post that Actually Makes Money
When I first started my blog, I had no idea how to make money writing. I just knew that I loved to write. And if you’ve been following my blog for awhile now, then you already know that I also like to keep things really simple. Learning how to make money from your blog is no exception.
There is so much complicated and misleading blogging advice floating around out there, and it’s hard to cut through the noise and focus on what matters. This blogging series is meant to help you find that focus and build a blog that actually makes money. And this article will teach you how to write a blog post that gets you one step closer to that goal.
THE WORK INVOLVED
I’m not going to sugar coat this: it’s going to be hard work. When I first started blogging, I had a full-time management job at a finance firm (that I didn’t love). I got up super early and worked on my blog, I worked through my breaks and then worked in the evenings. I worked on weekends and holidays, and sometimes still do.
Writing (or blogging) as a profession is not all blissful, easy work that requires no effort. It requires a lot of effort. But, it’s rewarding, fun, and it’s flexible…which is why I love it. I work a lot, but I spend a lot of time chillin’ on the beach too.
If you read my last post on setting up a blog, then you’re probably already set up on your self-hosted website, and you’re ready to write your first real blog post, a blog post that is crafted to appeal to your readers and make you some money.
I know a thing or two about this part of blogging. I spent 7 years doing content marketing, writing, and editing for my prior boss. I’ve been working in the blogging world for 2.5 years, and I’ve probably taken every free course in the book, and a handful of carefully selected paid courses as well! Writing is kind of my jam 😊
Now that I’m actually making money from my writing, I’m happy to share my strategies with you, so that you can do it too.
So, let’s talk about how to write a blog post that actually makes money, shall we?
This post probably contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
HOW TO WRITE A BLOG POST THAT ACTUALLY MAKES MONEY
You probably guessed it already: one of the main ways that bloggers make money is through the written content on their own website. You can write content for other companies and publish it on your site for your audience, or you can write content for other companies and have them publish it on their site for their audience. I know, I know. It’s a lot of writing and sharing, but that’s half the fun! Here’s an article that I wrote for a company and published on my own site.
Some people will tell you that you don’t have to be a good writer to make money blogging, and I have to disagree. Your writing needs to be clear and concise for people to enjoy reading your stuff and want to come back for more.
So, here are the FIVE BASIC THINGS that you need to know about writing a profitable blog post.
THING ONE: BE HELPFUL
Yes, we all know that this is common sense. We’re supposed to provide value and be helpful with our content, but I can’t tell you how many times my amazing students came to me and asked for feedback about their content….and don’t get me wrong, the content was good, but it wasn’t necessarily helpful to OTHER PEOPLE.
Let me give you a quick example. If I say, “I like essential oils”, you’ll probably think to yourself, “that’s nice.” But if I say “essential oils are so beneficial for your family’s health. Here are three important ways that they can improve your life and your health,” well now we have a different story. I’m not just stating an opinion, I’m showing YOU (my reader) how YOU can benefit from essential oils.
Does that make sense?
When you’re unsure if your content is profitable content, just ask yourself: Is this article helpful to other people? If your answer is yes, then you’re on the right track!
THING TWO: BE GENUINE
We already know that you have something helpful to share, but if you’re stuffy in your presentation, it’s going to be a huge turn off. So be your true, genuine self.
I know so many people that have built an enormous online presence just based on their silly quips and peculiar social media captions. Be who you are.
If you want to write a blog post that is interesting to your audience, then make sure you already know who you are, who you’re writing for, and what type of personality traits you want to convey to them.
THING THREE: CREATE A KILLER BLOG TITLE
I don’t mean to sound petty, but your blog title really, really matters. There are probably a million excellent articles out there just dying to be read and shared, but the title is so insanely boring that we just scroll right past it, assuming it’s crap.
Maybe it is crap, maybe it isn’t. But we’ll never know, if the title doesn’t draw us in.
We need to tie in our first two points here: be helpful and genuine in your blog post title. Another example. If your blog post title is: My kid won’t sleep, we’re seriously just going to scroll right past it. The sad truth is, no one cares that your kid won’t sleep. But if your blog post title is more like this: 5 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better at Night, well, now we have a different story. You’re not just telling your own personal experience, you’re helping your audience solve a real problem.
Make sure your blog title helps your readers solve a problem!
But don’t be misleading. No one likes click bait. You need a killer blog title that entices your potential readers, but, that blog title needs to open the door to a really awesome article. If you have a good title and then crappy content, we’re not going to like you very much…and we’re certainly not going to follow you anymore. That leads us to thing number four.
THING NUMBER FOUR: CREATE AN OUTLINE THAT MAKES SENSE
Have you ever read a blog article that was just…all over the place? I have.
I always try to give these writers the benefit of the doubt, but I have to admit, I prefer an article that paints a clear picture for me. A picture that makes sense, and tells a consistent, meaningful story.
Think of your blog content as a road map. You’re leading your reader from one place to another, and the directions need to be clear, so they don’t get lost.
There’s nothing wrong with using a good ol’ fashioned outline for your blog post idea. Then add some of your color and personality. So, for example: you can have your introduction, a few main points, a personal experience, and then a conclusion and call to action. The outline is clear and concise. Now, you can add in some humor, some pictures, some subtitles that break up the content into meaningful chunks, etc.
Bottom line: if your writing makes sense and paints a picture for me, I’m going to remember you, and I’m going to come back for more.
THING NUMBER FIVE: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CALL TO ACTION
Every time we write a blog post, it needs to be optimized and beneficial to our audience. If you want to make money from your blog, you have to make sure that you follow these five points in this article.
When it comes to a “call to action” it doesn’t have to be complicated. We just want to encourage our readers to do something specific by the time they reach the end of our article. Do you want your reader to follow you on social media? Do you want them to subscribe to your mailing list? Or do you want them to buy something?
Be respectful, but don’t be shy. Provide lots of free value throughout your entire blog post, and then ask your reader to do something specific at the end. For example, I always ask my readers to share their personal experience in the comments of my article. I do this because I genuinely want to know how my readers feel and what they need from me. Here is a post that will show you what I mean.
If you’re creating a template for your future blog posts, make sure it ends with a specific call to action.
These are just a few of the fundamentals you need to master for building better content and writing blog posts that will make money. After all, when you start pitching to companies and writing professionally, you’ll need to have this part down. Your content itself needs to stand out and show off your genuine voice.
Another important factor to consider is search engine optimization (SEO). Making sure that the words in your blog post are optimized for search engines is super important for bloggers. I’ll cover this extensively in my blogging course, so make sure you pre-register here. ** Please note, the simple call-to-action I just made **
And yes, there are a lot of rules when it comes to writing a blog post that makes money. But building a following of people that genuinely LOVE your content is super important, and these five basic things will help you to write a good blog post and build that following.
When you’re ready to get started writing, here is a list of 25 websites that will pay you to write for them.