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Starting a blog can be wildly exciting. And then you realize you can actually use your website to gain passive income to go along with your writing. This is where many “blogging moms” make extra income without adding to their daily routines or interfering with family time.
The moment you receive your first paycheck (or bank deposit) and your excitement skyrockets… even if it is less than $1.
Decide on how you will monetize
We all start somewhere. I’ll never forget my first $0.27 the first month I added Amazon Affiliate links. I was so excited. Of course, I didn’t see the money until my third month after I reached my first cumulative $20… but it still felt amazing.
How to monetize your blog:
- Create digital downloads or ebooks to sell
- Enroll in affiliate programs to earn commissions of other people’s products, subscriptions, courses, or programs
- Establish a membership program… either as a membership site, using social media groups, or even an online magazine
- Create your own online course
- Drop shipping (creating designs that a manufacturer places on a product and ships the product to the customer for you, giving you the profits)
- Network Marketing, when done the right way
- Sell a service you provide, whether it is coaching, something technical, administrative skills, graphic design… etc…
Quite literally, if you can dream it up, you can make it a reality.
What I like best about blogging… you don’t have to fit in someone else’s box. Opportunities are quite literally unlimited. Well… in all honestly… your only limits are those that you put on yourself. If you can imagine it, you can create it, you can monetize it… just might take some advance thinking and strategizing.
Personally, I do a variety of the options mentioned above.
eBooks are a great way to gain authority, respect, and market to a new audience. eBooks can even be created from a series of blog posts, so you don’t necessarily have to write completely from scratch. One of my favorite uses for eBooks is providing simple forms of them for free as a way to exchange a reader’s email address. You can also upload your eBooks to Apple iBooks, Amazon’s Kindle, Google Store, and other areas to expand where your readers find you.
You can list your book for free or for a fee. I usually recommend charging something if you’re not trading it for someone’s contact information to use for email newsletters. I do give eBooks away for free on Amazon Kindle through their Kindle Unlimited program. This enables the readers to read for free, but I still receive a small stipend (usually between $1 and $2 per page read). This is a great way to still earn some residual income while providing free eBooks. Though with how the pay scale goes, you’ll either want long books or a lot of them to make much money on it. Over time that isn’t difficult to do… just make sure you’re leading with quality and end with a call to action to another offer.
A great use for eBooks is to add links to references you offer, your website, and supplemental information. This will enable you to sell your eBook on multiple platforms and have a way for the readers to find you to learn more or engage with your content.
You can sell your ebooks through your own website, through websites like Amazon, Shopify, eJunkie, Send Owl, or Podia. The cheapest option for listing your book would be Amazon, though they do take a significant chunk of your profits. Personally, I recommend Podia because of other benefits and having an easier way to diversify your other endeavors.
Affiliate programs are a way to earn commission by recommending products, services, or programs. Many people who sell information or products online offer social media influencers, online marketers, and bloggers the opportunity to earn additional income for recommending their audience to purchase through their links.
There is quite literally an affiliate program for every niche. So you can take part in this whether you’re a photographer, online course builder,
My favorite affiliate programs are
Unless you are actively promoting affiliate programs, which you can and should to increase your sales, affiliate income from your blog posts is largely passive. Once you make your post, it becomes “evergreen” content, enabling you to make commissions while you sleep, or days (even years) after posting.
Some of my affiliate income still comes directly from posts I initially wrote in 2015, and rarely if ever still share on social media anymore!
Network Marketing – Done Right
You can also look into other creative ways to sell other people’s products for commission. For example, over on my healthy lifestyle website, we provide information about reducing your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals, increasing your energy, enhancing your quality of sleep, and choosing healthy lifestyles, and provide links to our favorite network marketing health and wellness products.
I know… many people cringe about MLMs, but many of them do create fantastic products, and can be highly profitable without being obnoxious to friends and family (which is exactly what I teach to my leaders: genuine ways to grow a business without hassling anyone, being obnoxious, or selling your soul). Through blogging alone, I bring in 1-3 new customers each month, and several new business leaders each year, and have never once made cold calls, left spammy messages, or used outdated hard sales techniques.
This income has been incredibly helpful while taking 4 months off completely from everything for maternity leave with my second child. It is much more consistent and stable than affiliate income that often dramatically fluctuates depending on the season.
Then a year later I took a 5 months off for our hectic 1500 mile move while full time living in an RV for a couple months followed by living in a hotel for a few weeks when our RV trailer axle broke.
Having the extra income without needing to sink a lot of time into business activities was a huge help for our family… not something I could have simply managed if we didn’t have these passive income sources set up.
Even if it isn’t your primary income… I highly recommend having something on the side you can slowly grow while you focus on your website… especially if you have a solid team who has your best interests in mind and willing to help support you when you need some extra time.
Memberships are a fantastic way to earn recurring income while making a larger impact. Through groups, communities, masterminds… at whatever level you choose… either in person, online, or an element of both… you enable yourself to serve more people while setting up reliable monthly income centered around providing quality information and producing a community (large or small… or a variety of both) to serve your audience in a manner that helps them solve their problems.
What I like the most about memberships… if you’re already providing information or consulting/coaching to people, you can scale up without adding to the amount of time you’re spending.
For managing memberships, I highly recommend Podia. It is relatively inexpensive by comparison to other programs (and I’ve personally tried most of them), and truly is a fantastic option. Through Podia, you can sell digital downloads, eBooks, physical products you make or keep inventory of, memberships, online courses, services you provide, and more. Its definitely worth the investment, and is relatively cheap, costing under $40 each month. Plus, they have an affiliate program, so you can pay your own affiliates for marketing your products and services for you.
Drop shipping can be a lot of fun.
- Create designs, upload them to various products, and offer them for sale… or even coordinate with manufacturing companies to create things for you.
- List them on your website.
- Market your website and listings
- Then when someone purchases them, you don’t lift a finger… everything is processed, printed, and shipped automatically… with your only involvement after the design and upload process is receiving the profits.
While you can sell just about anything with a Shopify Store, my favorite ways right now for drop shipping are uploading my designs on the Merch by Amazon program and syncing my Printful account with Etsy. You can also take a few extra steps in with your website in how it is setup to include a security certificate and store WordPress plugin (like WooCommerce) to integrate with Printful as well.
For just starting out (especially if you’re not technologically inclined), it is much easier to use sites like Etsy. Having products on those platforms offer an easier way of getting them noticed because you can take advantage of the search functions. AND you can use your affiliate links to post them, earning product profits and affiliate commissions. Using your affiliate link in this manner doesn’t cost you anything because it comes out of the fees you already provide to Amazon and Etsy.
My favorite part of drop-shipping… you aren’t tied down to one location, but still have a way to expand your brand and creativity. What a great way to earn some extra passive income!
Whether you decide to offer your services online or offline, you can use your blog to help you drive sales. This can work for
- financial services,
- virtual assistance,
- freelance writing,
- design work,
- online courses
- … etc…
There is no shortage of service options you can provide to someone else to help solve their problems and make their lives easier. This does require you to exchange your time for money, so be sure to price what you’re providing adequately.
Advertisements through places like Google AdSence, MediaVine, AdThrive, or ClickBank are very popular. These are the ads you see on various websites that don’t usually make sense with what you read. While I have friends who make a good amount of money posting ads on their sites, I’ve noticed many people are shying away from having too many or even using “ad blocker” software on their computers to block those ads (which loses ad revenue).
I personally choose not to run ads from ad companies. I much prefer affiliate links because I feel I can better bring in specific programs and products that more aligns with what each post is written about. I enjoy providing a more visually appealing layout, and love spending the extra time needed to best serve my readers.
There is one ad company I do recommend once your blog is established and has grown is Mediavine. Once you reach over 30,000 page views from 25,000+ unique sessions in a single month, you’ll qualify for Mediavine. This ad company is one of the best, providing the most amount of ad revenue. I like how they’re not obnoxious with their ad content too, attempting to tailor the ad experience to the viewer and making the ads relevant.
How to start
When you’re just starting out with creating a new blog, create a solid month’s worth of content, and publish your articles. When I started, I took a challenge to write a new post each day for a month. This took me from brand new with zero readers (not even my mom looked at my website) to about 50 readers by the end of that month.
When you combine keywords in with your search engine optimization (YOAST plugin), you are noticed faster. Once you have 25 viewers in a single month, you should be set to start with Amazon’s Affiliate program, though you will be probationary until after you make 3 sales (required in your first 90 days). As you grow, you’ll be more likely to be approved for additional programs. You can get started with Share A Sale and other affiliate programs right away without needing to wait.
Definitely stick to a schedule. I’ve done posting every day, every week, every month, and sporadically. It is much easier to gain reliable traffic when posting consistently on a schedule. You don’t need to every day, but I would recommend at least once a week. This helps with keeping your blog growing.
Once you have a large amount of content, you can reuse old content as well. This is simply done by adding relevant info, updating links, and changing the published date to today. I did this seasonally on my first blog (Warmly Rustic, which is now shut down), and my team website’s blog.
Adding Social Media
Having social media pages help a lot with growing your website. Especially Pinterest, which is more of a social search engine. It is a great way to boost your blog traffic and increase your email subscriber list.
Social media sites, especially Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, also provide you another platform to share your affiliate, digital, or drop ship products. Not everyone on social media regularly visits your website, so it is beneficial to include them in appropriate-sized posts. This also gives you additional content to serve your audience with, and grow your audience with.
When it comes to deciding which social media platform to use, don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to jump into all of them at the same time. Use what you’re comfortable with or where your ideal readers are.
Adding Email Marketing
Having an autoresponder (way to send out emails to a list) offers me the ability to automate emails, send one email to all my subscribers, set up my own memberships and courses, provides a way to create special sales pages, and even handles payment info for digital products. They even have the capability for me to create my own affiliate program to pay other bloggers a commission for promoting my digital products!
Email marketing is one of the most efficient ways to convert readers into buyers. They give you permission to email them, and you provide them with value with how it relates to what you write about, and supplement with things you love, like the products, services, and programs you decide to affiliate with. For emails, I have two favorites: ConvertKit (free option with referrals) and MailerLite (has a free option).
While there are other free options out there… I’ve tried numerous… I found them to be massively limited in capability. ConvertKit and MailerLite have been the most user friendly options I’ve found with the best prices.
If you choose to use a service like Podia for your membership, courses, downloads, or programs, then it comes with an email service so you won’t need another one. I love this because it keeps everything in the same place, which makes life so much easier.
Did you enjoy this post? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you commented below and shared on your favorite social media site!
PS If you’re looking for ways to make additional income from home (with or without your kids hanging around), we need to talk! I teach a dynamic team of leaders how to create residual income in a genuine, classy manner that doesn’t require being obnoxious to friends and family. Head on over to my Contact Me page, and send over a message!
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