3 Myths About Making Money With A Blog – Yes, You CAN Do it!



Guest Post by Tonya (bio end of post)

If you haven’t heard already, the blogging world has absolutely exploded in the past couple of years.  There’s a lot of talk out there about people successfully making an income from their blogs.

Have you ever thought that YOU could be one of those people?

Well, I’m here to tell you, as a blogger making a full-time income from home with my blog – that, yes, YOU can!

Let’s take a look at three reasons most people think they can’t successfully blog for money.

Not Enough Time

I’m not going to lie to you – blogging does take some time and effort in order to be successful.  If it didn’t, would you even believe it was true?  How many “get rich quick” schemes have we all heard of these days?  Most, if not all, are a complete lie.

While blogging does take a time investment, particularly as you get started – it can be so much fun that it doesn’t even seem like work at all!  If you have a topic that you’re really passionate about – something you already talk to people about all the time anyway – why not start putting that information on a blog and potentially earn an income from home while doing it?

As a stay-at-home mom to little ones, I’m living proof that it IS possible to make the time to have a successful, money-making blog.  Here are a few things that I’ve done that help with balancing life at home and running a profitable blog:

  1. Schedule your time.  Decide what chunks of time you have throughout the day to blog.  Then set “blogging hours” – and stick to them.  I don’t like to blog while my kids are awake so I know this leaves me early mornings, nap times, and the occasional evening.
  2. Plan your blogging time in advance.  At the end of each week, plan what you need to get done the following week. At the end of each day, plan what you need to do the next day.  I’ve found that having a plan already in place when I get up in the morning saves me the time of groggily trying to remember where to even start (I’m NOT a morning person!).
  3. Blog ahead of schedule.  Everything about my blog that I can schedule in advance, I do.  I write several blog posts at once and then schedule them out over the course of several weeks.  As much of my Facebook and Twitter interactions as I can, I schedule in advance.  This frees me up throughout the weeks – just in case those unexpected little things come up and I can’t get to my blogging that day.

Can You Really Make Money From Blogging?

Yes, you can!  With the right information, the right resources, and the right motivation, it’s amazing what can be done with a blog! In the first year of my current blog, we grossed over $30,000.

Nope, that’s not a typo – read that number again.

While I will tell you that this isn’t necessarily the norm in blogging, it does show a bit of the possibilities there.

If you’re looking to start a money-making blog – or you’ve already started and need to see some change in your blog’s success, here are three tips I’ve found helpful:

  1. Blog about your passion.  You have to absolutely love your topic.  You love it so much you talk about it even if people aren’t going to pay you.  You love it so much you want everyone to be excited about it, as well!
  2. Get help from those who have gone before.  Don’t try to start out on your own – that’s what I did in the beginning and I wasted so much time trying to find all the answers and fit everything together by myself.  Once I finally learned that I should be learning from those who were seeing the success that I wanted, and I started applying what they were saying, then my life got a lot easier.  There is SO much information available out there.  Find someone who can help you stay on track doing what’s important.
  3. Find a need and fill it.  Take a look at the blogs that interest you – what piece of the puzzle are they missing?  What service or product or information are they leaving out, that you could provide instead?  Find your special perspective on your topic – then reach out and really start helping people by  meeting their needs.

I need to know too much technical stuff.

Maybe in the beginning, blogging required a lot of technical know-how – you know, like HTML coding and CSS, etc. – things I’m not even sure what they stand for, actually.  But, not anymore.  Blogging platforms and hosting companies with support teams are making blogging easier for the average person.

The three things you need to start your blog:

  1. A Hosting Plan – where your blog content is stored.
  2. A Domain or URL – your blog address
  3. A Blogging Platform – I highly recommend wordpress.org as the options for your blog are limitless!

That’s it – those are the basics you need to start publishing your blog!

What Are Your Blogging Questions?

Share in the comments below – I’ll do my best to get you the answers you need.

Tanya is the blogger behind Blogelina.com.  She loves blogging – and also enjoys helping other stay-at-home moms learn how to make money working from home.  Her popular Profitable Blogging for Beginners Online Class (which you can take right now for free!) has helped hundred of bloggers see more success with their blogs. 

 

P.S. Have you heard about our 10-Week Blog Mentorship Program?  It starts February 1st – space is limited so be sure to check it out!

How To Monetize A Blog Without Selling Out

I get emails on a regular basis from other bloggers that aren’t in the coupon/deal blogging niche. Maybe they have a recipe blog, a crafting blog, an ed blog, or just a stream of consciousness journal of sorts.

They know there’s money to be made from blogging, and they would like to make some but they don’t want to “sell out”.

There are those that feel very strongly that if you are providing enjoyment, education or a service for others for free, it somehow becomes less if you stand to profit off of it. Even if you aren’t actually asking your readers for a single nickle, they feel that your information is less honorable because you have sold out.

I’m not one of those people. 

I give the information I give on Family Friendly Frugality freely. I do not require my readers to pay for any service I offer that is related to my website. Free emails, free phone apps, free coupon database, etc. All of these cost ME money or time, but I do not pass those costs on to my readers.

I do however, monetize my website.

I am in a niche that is very conducive to monetization. In fact, if I didn’t make money off of this blog, there’s simply no way I could keep it up. A frugal living blog with a deal focus requires constant updating, which means that in any given day, anywhere from 8-20 hours goes into the production of Family Friendly Frugality (don’t worry, I do have help). Not to mention, the traffic alone requires more than just your average $10 hosting plan.

However, what if you have a blog that isn’t so labor intensive? Maybe you update when you want and you have very little overhead?

Can you even monetize a blog like that? 

Should you even monetize a blog like that? 

The answer?

Yes you can, and if you want to, well then yes you should.

How though? How do you monetize a recipe blog? How do you monetize a journal or picture blog?

Here are some options for advertising on any blog within any niche:

Become an affiliate

Utilize Affiliate links naturally

Just about every company that has an online website has an affiliate program. They know that to get noticed on the web, lots and lots of people have to be talking about them. So they start affiliate programs and in exchange for linking to them, you earn a commission off of what your reader purchases.

How do you use affiliate programs in your content without turning into one big commercial though? It’s actually quite easy.  Think about how often we mention brands, products, services etc on our blogs. Maybe we link to them so our readers can learn more, or maybe we don’t. These mentions aren’t forced. They are natural and flowing and they fit right into our content. These mentions would have a place in our content whether we cared about making money on our blogs or not. Therefore, why not make some money off of them!

Here are some examples:

Journal Type Blog-

“Jimmy and I are just really having a rough time right now. My friend suggested we read this book, (Insert Name of Book here…linked to Amazon with an affiliate link), because it really changed the way her and her husband get along.”

Food Blog-

“Next you are going to want to add all of these ingredients to your slow cooker. I use this (insert affiliate link to slow cooker on Amazon, Sears, Target, Walmart, etc) slow cooker and I find I have to add a bit more water to bring the liquid level up to about 3/4 to the top. “

Mom Blog-

“Then we realized we totally left (insert affiliate link to treasured toy) at the dr’s office! I KNEW he wouldn’t sleep without him so we rushed back. He was gone when we got there, so I raced to Target (link with affiliate link) in hopes of finding a duplicate. Thankfully, they had one left!”

Using affiliate links is really the easiest and least invasive way to monetize your blog content. Many affiliates are actually part of bigger affiliate networks, so when you join one network, you actually have access to several (although you will likely have to apply to each individually).

Here are some affiliates and affiliate networks you can consider signing up with:

  • Amazon Affiliates-All Amazon, all the time. Certain states can NOT participate in Amazon Affiliates. For you, there’s Skimlinks. Use Skimlinks to monetize your Amazon affiliate links if you are in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, or Connecticut.
  • Commission Junction-Gap, Old Navy, Disney Store, Woot, Ulta, etc
  • Linkshare-Walmart, iTunes, Crocs, Sephora, etc
  • GAN (Google Affiliate Network)-Kmart, Sears, Lane Bryant, Target

You will need a disclosure and privacy policy in place if you choose to use affiliate links. It needs to be at least linked on your home page. Anytime you might receive money for any link on your blog at all, you must have some kind of blanket disclosure policy advising your readers. You can get a fill in the blank disclosure policy here. Be careful not to incentivize your links as well. You don’t want to encourage readers to click through your links because you’ll make money.

Ad Placement

Place ads strategically on your blog

Do you ever feel like you are just being assaulted by ads everywhere you go nowadays? So why would you want them on your blog?

When integrated into the flow of your design, ads can be a unobtrusive and logical way to monetize your blog.

The key is knowing where to place the ads and knowing how much is too much.

Also, you need to know that there are two main types of ads:

  • PPC – which pay per click
  • CPM – which pay per 1000 impressions

In most cases, you will have more luck with CPC ads unless you have a high volume of traffic. This means that someone has to actually click on the ad for you to actually make any money.

There are many ad networks out there that you can work with to serve ads on your site, or you can privately sell ad space on your website. 

Privately selling ad space is a great idea if you are a well trafficked blog within your niche. Other members of your niche might wish to advertise on your site because they are looking for a similar reader base. Advertisers for products and services might want to advertise on your site because your demographic is actually the demographic they are trying to sell to as well.

There are some cons to private advertising though. It can be time consuming. You have to collect the payments, keep the ad space full (which in some cases might mean contacting companies asking if they are interested) and please your advertisers. You also have to come up with what you think would be a fair advertising price within your niche. A good way to do this is to go to other bloggers within your niche and ask what they are charging. It varies due to traffic and ad size, but if someone with your traffic  in your niche is charging $25 for a 125×125 ad and you try charging $75 for the same ad space, you likely won’t get any takers!

If you decide private advertising is not for you, or you want to do both, you can also join an ad network and place their ads on your blog. Mostly this is plug and play. They give you the code, you stick it in your sidebar and they take care of the rest. Very easy and not much upkeep for you.

The cons with this approach is that you don’t have complete control over what ads are showing on your website. Which might not seem like a big deal, until it’s political season and a candidate you can’t stand all of a sudden has an ad serving up on YOUR blog. In most cases, you can contact the ad network and tell them if you don’t want an ad showing, but first you have to catch it!

The easiest and most profitable ad network I’ve worked with is Google Ad Sense. I’ve worked with a few other ad networks and the income varies. Be careful going to ad networks that ask you to sign a contract. In some cases, you could end up losing out on a lot of money because you contracted out that ad space for low performing ads.

Some big things to remember when monetizing your blog with ads:

  1. Do NOT click your own ads. That’s cause for termination with many ad networks. Many of them will shut you down immediately if they think you are clicking your own ads.
  2. Try to work the ads into your content naturally. Check out this hot spot diagram from Google. These are spots you want to focus on, but make sure it fits in well with your design. A poorly placed ad not only won’t perform well, it also might turn off readers.
  3. More ads equals more money. But many ad networks limit how many ads you can have on each page. Be sure you follow their recommendations as well as their guidelines. Remember that you need to put aesthetics for your reader first, and the money will come. Same goes for private advertising. Just because you CAN sell 50 125×125 ads on your sidebar for $30 a pop doesn’t mean you should.
  4. Vary it up. Test different ads in different placements to see what works best for your site.

More traffic = More Money. So don’t fear if you aren’t making much on ads at first. Over time as your traffic increases, so will your ad revenue.

Product Reviews & Sponsored Content

Use Product Reviews & Sponsored Posts to generate income. Remember to always disclose.

Okay, here we go. Product reviews and sponsored content are probably what a lot of us place the blame on when we notice that a favorite blogger of ours has really strayed from their roots. Now, instead of thought provoking posts or tasty down home cooking recipes, every post reads like a Philadelphia Cream Cheese commercial. What happened!?

To be honest, as of this moment in time, making money from sponsored content and product reviews is actually probably the easiest money a blogger can currently make. Why?

Well first off, you are paid regardless of whether your readers are interested or not (in either product or cash). This takes some of the burden off the blogger.

Most likely, the company asking for the sponsored post or product review has already looked over your site and decided that it’s a good fit for their advertising dollars, which can be pretty flattering. Especially if it’s a BIG well known brand.

Finally, advertisers understand that (for now) blogs are a worthwhile place to sink their marketing teeth into. Advertisers know, if they get in good with bloggers, they can have a slew of social media savvy writers talking up their newest product to an established and loyal audience. This means that if you have the numbers (traffic) and the clout (or Klout as the case may be), you can be guaranteed a steady stream of product reviews and sponsored content opportunities for as long as this fad lasts (and I think it will last a good long while).

This isn’t all bad.

Relationships between brands and bloggers are beneficial for all consumers. Bloggers provide valuable feedback and can help get good products out there into the general population, but they can also make real change to products and services that need it. Bloggers who adopt a policy of honesty &  integrity first can review products and post sponsored content without sounding like a commercial and without selling out.

Product Reviews & Sponsored Content can have their place on your blog and earn you a good deal of income as long as you remember a few key points:

  1. Don’t lie. If you don’t like a product, please don’t say that you do. If you feel uncomfortable posting a bad review, let the company know you didn’t like the product and if you did post a review, it wouldn’t be favorable. In some cases, advertisers will still want you to post the review. In others, they’ll thank you for your honesty and ask you  not to post the review. However, if you didn’t like the product, and you feel your readers need to know, tell them. You are never under any obligation to post a good review. Likewise, if you think a company stands for all that is wrong in the world, don’t put their sponsored content on your site. You can review products you are interested in and write for companies that you believe in (for pay) and still make good money without ever having to compromise your morals or ethics.
  2. Be careful that what you are posting is relevant to your readers. The readers of your recipe blog don’t want to know about Joe Schmoe’s campaign for Governor. They might be interested in what you think of that snazzy new Kitchen Aid appliance though. Don’t post a catnip review on a blog about dogs. If it’s not relevant, I don’t care how much they want to pay you, it doesn’t belong on your blog.
  3. Make sure your original content outweighs your sponsored content heavily. At all times.

In many cases, these opportunities will come to you as you grow and become known within your niche. They might actually come sooner than you think. I was offered my first review when my blog was only 1 month old!

However, you might need to seek them out. Here are some ways to find sponsored content and product review opportunities:

  • You are in LOVE with brand x. Email them and let them know! Tell them your audience and ask if they might be interested in working with you. Cold contacting advertisers typically just involves tracking down the PR contact on their website.
  • See a product being reviewed on other blogs in your niche? If you know the blogger, it’s okay to ask for the contact. They might not be able to give it to you (and they might not want to!) and you have to be okay with that, but it never hurts to ask. If you can’t get it from them, check out the website for the brand and see if you can track down a PR contact.
  • Join Social Spark, or other blogger friendly groups/services that link up bloggers and companies.

You must ALWAYS disclose if you received money or products in your posts. It’s the law. You can get in big trouble. Don’t risk it.

Example:

DisclaimerI received a free X from Company ABC to facilitate my review. I have provided my unbiased opinion of Product X and was not compensated to write this review.

Time To Make Money?

You can make money from your blog. You can make money from any blog!

The main thing to remember is that your readers are what matter most. Above anything else. 

You will not make a dime if you alienate your readers. 

In addition, in order to be effective monetization, it  has to be a Win/Win/Win for everyone involved. Your reader has to benefit, the advertiser has to benefit and you have to have to benefit. Take one of those wins out of the equation (yes, even taking yourself out of it) and your efforts have become unbalanced and ineffective. If you receive an offer, but it’s not a good fit, you owe it to everyone involved to turn it down.

I hope this helps some of those bloggers in niches that aren’t easily made profitable. If this helped you, I’d love for you to share it with your blogging friends!

Blogging Resources All Bloggers Should Have

Being a blogger sounds like an easy gig, right? Especially if you already have informally blogged in the past. Maybe you have a blog about your family, your job or your hobby. I had a blog for years before I started Family Friendly Frugality. It is a learning experience and here is a few blogging resources that I have used over the years.

My first blog was my pride and joy, but to be perfectly honest, I was horrible about updating it…but it was pretty easy. I moved that blog around a bit, it spent some time on Blogger and WordPress.com (both free blogging platforms) so I had experience with both content management systems. The paid versions of these platforms are really not all that much different navigation-wise from their free counterparts.

The day I learned that people actually made an income (and in some cases…supported their entire families!) from blogging…

My.mind.was.blown.

I had been an avid blog reader for years and for some reason never realized that many of those links I clicked on, or ads that caught my eye were actually earning my favorite bloggers an income.

You can call me naive, unobservant or even blissfully ignorant and you would be right.

In fact, my first impression upon learning that one of my favorite bloggers was earning an income off of ME was disgust. Luckily, I quickly realized that I was being incredibly selfish.

This blogger had saved me so much money, made me laugh, made me cry…made my life better. Also, she actually didn’t hide that she made an income off her blog at all (which in fact would be illegal), I just had never paid attention (I actually thought those ad spots on her blog were just blogs she liked, LOL).

I never had to pay a penny for the information she gave freely.

She also never endorsed anything that seemed like a scam. I never worried that I would sign up for a deal from her blog and deal with telemarketers spamming me for weeks on end.

Once I realized she was making an income having a blog, I figured why not me? I knew how to blog, I had some free time…I could do this!

Blogging for business is hard work.

It didn’t take me long to realize that blogging for fun/hobby and blogging for profit are not even in the same ballpark. In fact, I’m not sure they even belong in the same universe with each other. To keep this blog running, I work more than a 40 hour work week. You don’t even want to know what that currently breaks down to as an hourly wage.

When I think back to what I didn’t know then…and compare it to what I know now…I’m shocked I didn’t close up shop within a month. I made a LOT of mistakes. I was a mess! Thankfully there were a handful of bloggers that reached out and supported me in that time frame. I’m not going to call them out here…they know who they are!

I was still left finding out a lot of things on my own though.

You see, it’s not that bloggers aren’t friendly (well I’m sure there are unfriendly bloggers out there, I’ve just been blessed that they have stayed away from me!), it’s just that everyone does things a bit differently.

Laws regarding certain aspects of blogging (affiliations, disclosures, etc) even vary from state to state. Don’t even start trying to compare notes with someone that is outside your niche. They might have entirely different blogging philosophies, organizational systems, guidelines, etc.

So you use Google. Google is a bloggers best friend, but honestly it turns up a lot of junk. There are so many blogging “gurus” nowadays, that you really can’t trust that someone knows what they are doing just because they claim to be a blogging expert. Shoot, I have been blogging for over a year now and I am convinced I know more than some of these people (and to be fair…the amount of blogging knowledge I have gleaned over the past few months could still fit on the head of a pin)!

So where do you start?

Well, I can tell you what has been helpful to me in the past few months…and hopefully these resources will help you as well. None of these are niche specific. They are all very general, and that is purposeful.

To learn more about your niche, I encourage you to reach out to likeminded bloggers. Send them an email, tell them you are the newbie in town and ask if they wouldn’t mind answering questions from you when you come up against a wall (and really mean it. Do your own research and only email them when you have hit a dead end. You don’t want to overwhelm or push them away!).

Helpful Websites:

  • Problogger-You had to know I’d include this one. The ultimate go-to source for blogging. He’s actually not my favorite, but there is some great info in the archives. Specifically his 31 Days To A Better Blog series. Now, you could purchase the eBook, or you can just go to this link here because it is all available for free on problogger.net!
  • Blogging With Amy-You might know Amy as Crystal’s go-to person on Money Saving Mom. She has her own blog called Blogging With Amy all about setting up your own money making blog from scratch. I refer EVERYONE to her (seriously, I should be getting a kick back for it! Just kidding…sort of.). More specifically, I refer everyone to the links on her sidebar where she step by step gets you started on a self hosted WordPress blog. I can vouch for those steps. I used a few of them to set this blog up on WordPress (my blog was already established so I didn’t need all of them), but I have set up a few other from scratch blogs using her steps exactly and never hit a wall. She even has videos for some of the more complex steps. I’ve also reached out to Amy in the midst of a blogging crisis on Twitter and she was more than willing to help (but I had already used my mad blogging skillz and figured it out on my own).

Helpful Books:

  • Problogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way To a Six Figure Income-Don’t let the title fool you, he pretty quickly lets you know that the odds of anyone earning a 6 figure income from blogging (like he does) are stacked against you. Some great info to be absorbed within this book though. More for the newbie blogger, or at least the blogger that is just starting to monetize.
  • Blogging for Dummies-This book was pretty good. Once again…more of a newbie book. Still, I definitely have some parts bookmarked and highlighted for future reference.

Helpful Twitter Hastags (use these when you have a question and want to ask the masses…for more on how Twitter works click here):

  • #blogchat– A chat that goes on on Sunday nights filled with great knowledgable bloggers. The conversation extends all week long though, so use this hashtag and you should get a pretty quick response.
  • #wordpress-Got a wordpress fire to put out? Use this hashtag and I promise you’ll have no less than 10 responses in a matter of minutes. Consultants and blogging gurus follow this hashtag closely in hopes of helping bloggers and getting their attention.
  • #blog, #blogging or #bloggers-Pretty generic hashtags, but just like the above #wordpress hashtag, you will be more likely to receive a quick response.

Helpful links:

  • Monetize My Blog: This is my personal series about monetizing my blog and gaining traffic. I’ll be adding more to this in the coming weeks and updating some things.
  • Google Analytics-Great way to measure what works and what doesn’t. Companies also tend to use this as a standard of measuring your traffic and how effective your traffic will be at advertising their products.
  • Website Grader-This can get addicting! Still it’s a really good way to see any areas you might be lacking in. Right now my Grade is 99….but that could drop if I don’t keep up my quality control and keep building backlinks!
  • Host Gator-This is the hosting service I use for my website and I have to admit that even though it causes me issues from time to time, I have a fraction of the issues I see other bloggers deal with with their hosting providers. I recommend for Host Gator for any blogger who is looking to self host their blog.
  • Feedblitz-Feedburner is great, but it’s limited functionality (inability to deliver my e-book mainly) made me switch to Feedblitz which has been a great solution.
Ways to Make Money:
Many bloggers ask me how I monetize my site. I am not the type to put all my eggs in one basket, so I actually use a wide variety of affiliates. This also enables me to bring a wider range of content to my readers. Many of the companies I am an affiliate with send me previews of great sales and deals, so I can let my readers know about them ahead of time or at least right when they begin. Here are some companies you might want to sign up for to monetize your own site:

Finally, feel free to contact me about any questions you might have. I cannot guarantee that I know all the answers, but I might be able to point you in the right direction. You can contact me in the following ways:

Perhaps most importantly, make friends with fellow bloggers. I know I mentioned earlier that bloggers outside your niche might not be very helpful for your specific niche based questions. That doesn’t mean that community and variety are not essential. In fact, the bloggers I spoke of earlier who helped me so much were not frugal bloggers at all.

Now that I am a bit more rooted and a bit more knowledgeable, I am looking to branch out in certain areas (most notably reviews and giveaways) and these bloggers have been essential in helping me learn the ropes and get my feet wet.

Let’s face it, blogging as a business takes most of us into uncharted, lonely waters. Utilize the resources I have mentioned above, reach out to fellow bloggers and pay forward what you learn whenever you can.

Blogging is all about community, come join us.

What resources have helped you as a blogger? Any other great resources I should have included? Tell me in the comments!

Monetizing Your Blog: Building Traffic

Build your traffic My post about Monetizing My Blog sparked a lot of interest from bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Since so many are interested…I decided that I would start a series of posts titled “Monetizing Your Blog“. This series will serve as a helpful jump start for anyone wanting to begin monetizing their blog, or just to get some new ideas.

You can sign up for all the affiliate programs, have several Google Ad Sense banners running, and post your referral links until you are blue in the face. If you don’t have traffic, you can forget about making any money from your blog.

How to Get Traffic To Your Blog

So how do you get traffic? Well the internet is wide and vast and if you want traffic you have to go out there and get it. I recently wrote this article on Quick Online Tips about Why New Blogs Fail. First and foremost, make sure your blog isn’t making any of those big mistakes. Make sure you have a Twitter account and Facebook fan page associated with your blog. Promote your posts in social media. That is the easiest and most predictable way to get your content out to the masses.

What Else Can I Do To Get Noticed?

These are my 5 best traffic boosting suggestions as of right now. I have had good success with all of these methods.

  • Promote your writing and your niche elsewhere. I freelance for Associated Content and Ezine Articles. At times I re-purpose content I write here to submit over there. Associated Content can also earn you some money. These sites rank very high in the search engines, so by association…your articles will get a boost. You can link to your blog from your bio, so if someone clicks on your author profile, they’ll land back on your site.
  • Guest Post. I posted about why guest posting works for me already, but it bears repeating. Guest Posting has been my #1 traffic booster
  • Comment GENUINELY on other blogs in your niche. This means you read what is written and you write a comment that says more than “Great Post! Rock On With Your Bad Self.”. No one expects a 3 paragraph monologue in their comment section, but well thought out comments make people take notice and might drive some traffic back to your site.
  • Take the time to build up your email list. The more people who see you in their inbox every day, the more people that will come to your blog. I subscribe by email to VERY few blogs. Those that I do subscribe to, I visit almost every day. I’m currently running a monthly giveaway right now for those that subscribe by email. I’m also about to release my very first e-book! It will be free with email sign up (don’t worry, if you are already subscribed you will be the FIRST to receive the e-book!)

So I Have Traffic, Now What?

Now you have to keep your traffic. This pretty much means that whatever it took to get them there?

You need to deliver on.

Be a responsible, trustworthy blogger and you shouldn’t have much trouble keeping your audience. If you give your readers what they want, they will stick around! I love my readers, I think hard and long every day about what they want, and what they need from me. I’m here to help them and once I stop delivering on that promise…they’ll go elsewhere.

Another thing to think about is how targeted is your content? Be sure not to lose focus on what the primary content of your blog should be made up of. Family Friendly Frugality is a family blog about frugal living.

If it doesn’t fit in those categories, it shouldn’t be a part of my blog. Don’t get me wrong, my personality and my life is ever present.

I’ve learned through this experience that my readers expect a certain stream of topics from me. They want to see hot deals, money saving tips, frugal recipes & activities and ways to earn money!

Topics outside of that focus don’t do much for the blog or my readers.Be Patient!

You aren’t going to build an email list overnight. You aren’t going to have 60,000 visitors a day in a month. It takes time to build up a readership.

Have patience, keep plugging away and be an authoritative voice within your niche and you will succeed!

How & Why I MonetizE My Blog

I know there is always a bit of controversy surrounding monetizing your blog.

You either are for it or you hate it.

Personally? I love it.

It’s no secret that my blog is monetized. I try to be as upfront about it as I can so people can make the decision themselves about whether they want to click my links (please do!) or not.

Monetizing my blog allows me to get paid for doing something I love. It allows me to get paid for something that takes time away from my family. It allows me to get paid for helping a store get a sale, or a sign-up or simply helping get a site NOTICED!

I decided early on that I wouldn’t ever promote anything I:

A. Wouldn’t take advantage of myself (not to say I take advantage of every deal I post…I’m not made of money!)

B. Wouldn’t fit in with my own moral standards (for instance, you’ll never see me promote anything that is illegal!)

C. Would be considered spammy or unhelpful to my readers.

My goal is to enrich your life by providing deals, access to special offers and links to coupons…and I get paid a bit for it. I’m not ashamed of it. I own it, and it works for me.

Now, am I making enormous wads of cash doing this? Absolutely not. I know there are people that make 6 figures blogging. I am certainly not one of them! Do I even make a living? No, not by any stretch of the imagination.

In time though? I do hope to earn enough to allow me to work from home even after my children are in school so I can be more available to them. Every time a reader supports my efforts, I get a step closer to that goal.

I think because I am so upfront about my affiliations and have my disclaimer right at the bottom of all of my posts, I get a lot of emails asking HOW I monetize my blog.

Here are a few links to companies I am affiliated with:

  • Google Adsense-If you have a blog, this is the easiest ad network you can sign up with. 
  • ShopHer– I don’t use this affiliate network that often, but often when I link to a coupon, I use their coupon printing links. 
  • Commission Junction– a network with Best Buy, Restaurant.com, Torrid, etc
  • Linkshare– Toys R Us, Itunes, Walmart, etc
  • Amazon Affiliate – This is my favorite! Who doesn’t love Amazon? It’s actually really easy to make money as an Amazon affiliate just by sharing the things you love. 
  • RewardStyle – RewardStyle can be a bit tough to get into for a new influencer, but it’s worth it! 
  • ShareASale – I love ShareASale for online retailers such as Jane and Proozy. I link to the great deals on these sites on a regular basis and ShareASale helps make this a win/win for me and my readers! 
(yes some of those are referral links)
The main way I make money though is because I am honest and passionate. I don’t promote things I don’t enjoy. I don’t promote things that I think are scams. If I goof up and promote something that doesn’t work out. I’ll fess up and pull it down.
Monetizing my blog is a way to turn my passion into a business. It’s a way to help out not just all of my wonderful readers, it’s also a way to help out my family!

Looking for more resources on starting a blog and monetizing a blog? Click the links below!