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8

11 Reasons Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Money (and What to Do About It)

Is your blog isn’t making money (or enough money)?Is your blog isn't making money? If you feel stuck and frustrated with your blog isn’t making money, this post is for you. #makemoneyblogging #failedblogs #howtomakemoneyblogging

Let’s get real – trying to make money from blogging is hard.

In fact, it’s so hard, a very high percentage of bloggers failed to generate any meaningful income from their blog in their first year – and then they quit.

I started blogging since 2006 and have had my fair share of failed blogs.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things from these unsuccessful blogs and noticed they all shared a few things in common.

If you feel stuck and frustrated with your blog isn’t making money, this post is for you.

You may be committing one or more of the mistakes discussed below which are stifling your growth and preventing your blog from reaching its true income potential.

I’ll discuss some of these mistakes and the reasons behind them along with suggestions on how to fix them so that you can start making some money from your blog!

Let’s get started!

 

#1. Not Getting Enough Traffic

During the first few months of your blogging journey, you would probably get very few visits to your blog.

Most bloggers only notice some traffic from Google 6 months (or longer) after starting their blog.

Thinking this would be the case forever, they might only publish new posts once in a blue moon due to the lack of motivation or even quit blogging altogether.

Quitting too early is one of the biggest reasons why bloggers fail to make money from their blogs.

The good news?

Getting little to no traffic is quite common for most new blogs and it’s not bad luck nor it is a reason to quit.

Growing a blog takes time. It’s during this time that you have to persevere, blog more consistently, even when hardly anyone is reading.

One of the best examples of not giving up is the story of Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin’s wife Geraldine and her travel blog, Everywhereist.com

For 2 years, her blog never broke 100 visits per day. Today, she gets over 100,000 visitors each month.

failed blog not making money

Image credit

But what if after all these years, you’re still struggling to get visitors?

Then there may be something else you are doing wrong.

Geraldine’s blog is just one of many examples and you certainly do not have to wait 2 years to start getting good traffic and making money from your blog.

How to Fix low traffic problem

The biggest motivation killer for new bloggers is working on something that gives no reward for their effort.

But there’s a difference between hard work that won’t get you anywhere and hard work that contributes toward increasing your traffic and income.

For example, just dedicating your time to writing blog posts and ignoring the promotion part is one of the biggest mistakes you could make as a blogger.

In fact, you should spend 80% to 90% of your time on promotion and only 10%-20% on content creation.

Check out the following blog posts to help you with this.

You can expect to get little traffic and make nothing at least during the first six months. But don’t just take everything lying down. Fight for it!

If you could implement the tips and strategies outlined in the posts above, you could very well accelerate your growth faster.

 

#2. You are in the wrong niche

Are you trying to make money by blogging about blogging?

If you are new to blogging, I’d suggest changing your niche or at least don’t make the blogging topic as your main topic.

Don’t get me wrong. While you can make money by blogging about blogging, this niche is full of highly experienced bloggers and Internet marketer.

If you find a great blogging product to review, chances are, thousands of other bloggers may have written a similar article about it.

To be successful, you’ll need to be very good or be different to stand out from the crowd.

Besides, the blogging topic is far from being the most popular niches out there. Coupled with the tough competition, it’s a hard niche to make money from.

There are tons of other more popular niches with a much larger audience and lower competition. You’d be able to stand out easier in these niches and attract traffic faster.

Related: How to Find Profitable Blog Niches That Are Insanely Popular

Niching down will help you to stand out more too.

For example, if you want to write about health and fitness, you need to narrow down your focus to target one specific sub-topic. You can focus on weight loss/dieting, healthy living, muscle buildings/workout and so on.

Personally, I’ve made more money from other niches than from my blogging blog.

It doesn’t mean that it will stay that way forever though. It’s just a bit harder to make money by blogging about blogging.

If you just write about general blogging topics, you’ll need tons of traffic to make decent income from ads alone (I put ads on Sabahan.com because I love to experiment ;)).

The best way to make money from the blogging niche is to sell your own products or services. Package your knowledge into info products, coaching packages or online courses.

Then you can start your own affiliate program and recruit other bloggers to promote your products and services.

 

#3. Not doing keyword research

If you want to make money from your blog, you need to write about topics that people are already searching for.

People go online either to learn something, be entertained or find a solution to a problem.

If you can write quality and highly relevant content that serve these needs then you just improved your chance of making good money from your blog.

You can achieve this by doing keyword research.

Keyword research involves finding a series of popular words and phrases that people are searching for based on your topic. Then you make an attempt to rank for them.

Without conducting any keyword research, you risk writing about topics that may be interesting to you but have little to zero interest to your target audience.

When conducting your keyword research, the ideal keywords should satisfy the  following criteria:

  1. Good search volume – target popular keywords that get lots of traffic
  2. Low competition – improve your chance of appearing on the first page of Google result
  3. Have commercial intent – how profitable is this keyword?

The following are several tools to help you with your keyword research.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool by Neil Patel. It’s free to use without the need for a registration.

To use it just enter your keyword in the search box and it’ll show you whether the keyword satisfies the criteria above.

For example when I entered “make money blogging”, I can see its search volume, keyword difficulty and commercial intent.

keyword research make money blogging

A few things to note from the keyword overview above:

  1. Search volume – at 18,100, this keyword has a pretty good monthly search volume.
  2. SEO difficulty – this is the keyword difficulty rating. Although it says 31 Medium, this is not a good keyword to target for a new blog. Checking out the pages that rank on the first page for this keyword should give you a clue whether you have a chance of ranking.If most of them are authoritative sites and have been around for a while, then target a different keyword because you won’t be able to compete with them. To see these sites, scroll down to the SERP Analysis section:
    top 10 serp result competition
  3. Cost Per Click (CPC) – this is the highest price an advertiser would pay to rank for this keyword in Google Ads. The higher the CPC, the better the commercial intent would be.

Trying to find good keywords can take you all day and there’s no guarantee you’ll find good ones unless you know what you are doing.

This next tool will solve this problem.

KeySearch.co

What if you could ‘spy’ any blogs in your niche and find the exact keywords they are ranking for?

With KeySearch, you can!

You can sort of reverse-engineer any blogs and discover new keywords that you may be able to rank yourself.

To find the organic keywords a site are ranked for, I use KeySearch Organic Keywords feature.

Just to give you an example, I entered Raelyntan.com and found all the keywords her blog are ranked for on Google.

I can also access other ‘behind the scene’ information such as the keywords:

  • Positions
  • Monthly search volume
  • Estimated traffic that goes to the site
  • Exact URLs that rank for those keywords.

find organic keywords a website ranked for

 

If Sabahan.com has the same domain authority level as Raelyntan.com, I could easily target similar keywords and could probably rank in the top 10 for those keywords too.

As you can see, this can be a very powerful and quick way to find good keywords to target.

KeySearch is one of the cheapest professional keyword research tools out there. It’s the tool I’m using for my own keyword research.

It costs $17/month, but you can use the following coupon code to get  20% off so you’ll only pay $13.60 monthly until you cancel or upgrade your plan.

KSDISC

If you are serious about using SEO to drive organic traffic to your blog and don’t want to spend $99 per month, then KeySearch is the best keyword research tool for you.

Learn more about KeySearch here.

 

#4. Not learning Search Engine Optimization SEO

It’s one thing to do keyword research, it’s quite another to optimize your blog posts using those keywords so that you rank on Google’s first page results.

You can only rank properly by knowing how to implement good search engine optimization (SEO) tactics.

Don’t worry though, this is not as complicated as it sounds.

To get started, check out the following articles:

 

#5. Not creating the right types of blog post

When it comes to making money from your blog, there are certain types of posts that could potentially make you more money.

You need to create posts that answer questions or offer solutions to problems your readers may have.

For example, you can write about any of the following topics and weave affiliate products/services within the post.

  • Best shampoo for dandruff
  • Best paintball gun under 200
  • How to start a blog that will make money in six months
  • Samsung galaxy s9 vs huawei p20
  • The best blusher for oily skin
  • You get the idea…

The best types of posts to monetize with affiliate links are:

  • Tutorial or How-to posts
  • Comparison posts
  • Product reviews
  • Storytelling/personal experience that solves a problem
  • Tools/resources pages
  • Income reports

You can learn more about these post types here.

 

#6. Promoting the wrong affiliate programs

Just because you write about a topic and place an affiliate link doesn’t mean people will click and buy from you.

If the content is not related to what your readers are looking for, nobody will buy or sign up for the offer.

For example, placing banner ads about diapers and baby products on a page about blogging won’t get you many if any sales.

Other than that you may need to promote:

  • More digital products/ecourses due to the higher commissions
  • Products/services that offer recurring commissions
  • Affiliate programs with higher EPC value

To learn more, check out my other post where I share tips on selecting the best affiliate programs for bloggers.

 

#7. Not promoting any product or service hard enough

Truth be told, I dislike reading an income report only to discover it’s no more than a thinly veiled hosting/affiliate sales pitch.

At other occasions, some posts claim to reveal the secrets to gaining a gargantuan number of visitors to your blog.  Yet there’s actually very little insight to gain from them – unless you buy the recommended course(s).

But do you know why you see these types of posts all over Pinterest?

Because they convert and people, especially newbies, are actually reading and believe in them.

You see, these posts focus on a pain point the reader may have.

A pain point is a problem, real or perceived. In this case, how people struggle to increase blog traffic and make money from blogging.

The opportunities come when you provide solutions to those pain points.

Instead of sharing the values in the blog post for everyone to see, you offer solutions in the form of courses, products or services.

Like it or not, this is part of marketing/trying to make money from a blog.

If you push too hard, you’ll end up alienating your regular readers (but newer blogs don’t have to worry too much about this because there’s likely very few regular readers).

If you don’t promote any products or refuse to address the readers pain point for fear of sounding too salesy, insincere or manipulative, you will make less money.

The trick is to find a balance between providing actual value in your post and trying to sell something when the actual value is elsewhere. You can do both!

If you decide to create an income report for instance, just be honest with your numbers. Don’t show fake figures just to get people’s attention.

 

#8. Not adapting to SEO/Social Media algorithm changes

It used to be quite easy to get rank on Google.

But as time goes by, Google continues to update their algorithm making it harder and harder to rank. Sites that failed to adapt fell in rankings and lose their traffic.

Just by being aware of what the general trend brought by each update allows you to produce content that satisfies Google requirements.

Below are some of the notable SEO algorithm updates over the years:

Florida Update (November 2003)

Google penalized spammy tactics include keyword stuffing, invisible text, using multiple sites under the same brands.

Panda Update (February 2011)

Reduced rankings for low-quality sites and those with copy content from other websites. At the same time, it improved rankings for high-quality sites with original content, in-depth reports and thoughtful analysis etc.

Penguin Update (April 2012)

This is the webspam algorithm update which specifically targeted link spam and manipulative link building practices.

Hummingbird Update (September 2013)

Hummingbird is one of Google’s major updates. Its goal is to increase understanding of the true intent behind user’ searches. If your content answers the user’s question, you will likely rank for several keywords instead of just string of keywords the user searched for.

RankBrain Update (October 2015)

This update introduces machine learning to Google algorithm. It monitors user behaviour and responses to queries to learn more about the user’s intent and the value of certain pages. It’s now Google’s 3rd most important ranking signal.

Should you write for the search engines more?

While all the updates may seem technical, at the end of the day they are geared towards improving the user experience and helping users find answers to their queries.

Your job as a blogger is to create high-quality content that will answer these queries and engage them at every stage of their buyer’s journey.

Related: 21 Terrific Blogging Tips and Tricks That Will Make Your Blog Successful

Facebook Algorithm Updates

If you are using Facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy, you’ll need to pay attention to their updates in order to boost your organic reach.

In 2018, Facebook algorithm places more priority on content around individual’s friends and family members rather than posts from businesses with. The goal is to drive more authentic interactions.

As a blogger, you can start creating quality content that drives real interactions and shares.

Here’s how:

  • Create more video – especially live video
  • Start discussions to drive interaction
  • Encourage your team, friends and family to share your Facebook content
  • Add fewer links, more photos and tags. Facebook prefers it if your content keeps users on their platform.
  • Focus on Facebook groups more than pages.

To learn more, click here.

 

#9. Not treating your blog like a business

Let’s say you want to start a coffee shop. What would you do in order to make it grow and generate an income? Can you..

  • Just turn up for work when you feel like it?
  • Focus on other things while running that business?
  • Can your business grow if you avoid investing money in it?
  • Would it be acceptable to ignore your customers?

The answer to each question is, of course, a resounding no.

You would go through all the blood, sweat and tears trying to ensure your business venture is successful, right? Your whole life would revolve around your coffee shop.

Blogging is the same in that you have to run it like you would a business.

But that could be hard simply because it’s online and all you do is sit in front of the computer screen.

How can you know what to do and how to do it? How can you measure your results?

Here are a few ideas…

Invest in your blog

You need to spend money to make money.

You need to get your own domain name and a self-hosted blog (avoid the free blogging platforms).

Get a good theme to make your blog looks professional and improve your branding.

You’ll also require other expenses as part of your marketing budget.

You may need to spend money on social media automation tools, purchasing Facebook ads, email marketing software, hire a virtual assistant and so on.

Fortunately, these things won’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

For ideas on tools and resources to help you build and run a successful blog, check out my Blogging Toolbox.

Invest in your blogging education

If you are new to blogging, you may want to invest in a blogging course.

Wait, actually that’s not even necessary because you can learn almost anything for free online.

The problem with trying to scour the Internet and figure out everything by yourself is that you will get overwhelmed fast.

  • Where can you find reliable information?
  • Do you know what you need to learn at different stages of your blogging journey?
  • How about all the distractions and misinformation you’ll come across along the way?
  • Isn’t it nice if you have an easy to follow, well-organized information at your fingertips?

If you have the time and are willing to experiment by trial and error, by all means, do it. But sometimes the mistakes can hinder your progress and may prove costly.

Personally for me, I’m a self-taught guy. I’ve never taken any blogging courses or purchased blogging ebook in my 12 years of blogging. (I’ve bought many other ebooks/guides besides learning how to blog though).

That said, recently I decided to purchase Elna Cain’s Ready Set Blog for Traffic because I wanted to learn about Pinterest quick.

It did help me increase my Pinterest monthly viewers to over 60,000 in just over a month.

Monthly pinterest viewers growth

Ready Set Blog Traffic is more than just a Pinterest guide though. In fact, the Pinterest guide is just one of the 5 modules available in the course.

Other modules teach you how to build a solid foundation for your blog, learn some SEO strategies and learn how to create income-generating content.

If you want a good introduction to blogging, how to get traffic and make money, this course is probably for you.

Click here to learn more about Ready Set Blog Traffic.

I am always open to learning new things faster and may purchase more courses in the future.

Dedicate time to run your blogging business

You have to make time for your blogging business.

Don’t have time?

Start waking up early at 4 or 5 am and find that time. Work on your blog on lunch breaks, evenings or weekends.

Now I don’t want to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do when it comes to managing your own time. You probably have a full-time job and have other time-consuming commitments.

My only question is, how bad do you want to make money and be successful? Only you can answer that question!

 

#10. Not starting your own email list

They said the money is in the list.

That’s true but you don’t actually need an email list in order to make money from your blog.

If you get highly targeted traffic from Google, you WILL make money right away with less effort.

But there’s only one problem with this approach.

What will happen if Google or the social media decided not to send you any more traffic? Your blog will stop generating income overnight.

Having an email list makes you less dependent on traffic coming from Google and the social media platforms. It is probably the most important asset you’ll ever have as a blogger.

Your email list is yours to keep. You can bring your audience anywhere with you no matter what happens to your blog traffic or social media accounts.

You can continue to nurture the relationship and continue to market relevant offers over and over again.

Compare that to traffic you get from Google, unless the visitor becomes a regular reader, you only have one chance to market your offer.

Related: Learn how to start your email list for free.

If you’ve just started your blog, I would recommend focusing on content creation first. Remember, your readers will only sign up if they see you have something valuable to offer.

Once you have enough good content then you can start adding the email opt-in forms into your blog and start collecting visitors’ email.

The reason why I recommend you to do this later (one or two months after starting) is that you will spread yourself too thin trying to do everything at once.

But you MUST start your email list even when you don’t know what you want to talk about in the email.

You don’t have to send out regular newsletters right away. Just start collecting email addresses.

 

#11. Not putting the work in

You can’t expect a full-time income by putting a part-time effort.

Be prepared with the amount of time and effort you’ll have to put in to make this blogging thing work.

If you want this bad enough and put in the work, you will make money from your blog.

 

Conclusion

If you blog isn’t making money, I hope you find some tips and tricks from this post that you can implement to improve your odds.

Making money from a blog won’t happen overnight. At times, the going will get tough, and only the tough will get going.

By following the right techniques and implementing the right tactics, plus lots of perseverance and dedication, I believe anyone could start making money 6 to 12 months after starting a blog.

Now it’s your turn.

Are you already making money from your blog?

If you are, how long did it take you to make your first income? If not, why?

Please share your story in the comments!

3

Discover 7 Blog Post Types to Monetize Using Affiliate Links

The best post types to monetize your blog with affiliate links. #monetizeablog #makemoneytips #affiliatelinks #affiliatemarketingBlogging by itself won’t make you money.

In order to make money blogging, you need to know how to monetize your blog properly.

There are several ways to monetize a blog.

You can display banner ads, write sponsor posts, sell your own products or services, even sell other people’s products or services.

In today’s post, I want to focus on blog monetization through affiliate links a.k.a affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing involves selling other people’s or company’s products in exchange for a commission.

Unfortunately, most bloggers make little to no money with affiliate marketing because they fail to understand that simply dropping some random affiliate links on a blog won’t work well.

The devil is in the details of how exactly you promote your affiliate offers.

My goal in this post is to show you the exact ways to make money from a blog through affiliate links that gets results.

Sounds good? Let’s dive right in!

Related: Learn How to Make Money Blogging (Detailed Guide For Beginners)

 

Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

To participate in affiliate marketing, you can sign up to a company’s affiliate program, get a special tracking link that you can place on your blog to promote their products.

When a visitor purchases the product after clicking your affiliate link, you will earn a referral commission for the sale.

Aside from the lucrative income potential, affiliate marketing is a good monetization option if you don’t want to create your own product, deal with customer service or manage your own inventory.

The best part is you only need to put in some work upfront (plus some occasional updates), and it will continue to generate passive income as you continue to get visitors.

As a blogger, your goal is to provide value for your audience, then you can make money along the way via affiliate marketing.

 

How to Monetize a Blog Using Affiliate Links

Choose a Profitable Topic

I assume that you’ve decided your niche when you started your blog. A blog niche is a small topic area that you want your blog to focus on.

This could be personal finance, health & fitness, blogging, and so on.

Keep in mind that some niches are easier to monetize while others may expose you with too many competition.

But don’t let competition deters you as it could mean more opportunity if you can offer something unique.

Niching down will help you to stand out more.

For example, if you want to write about health and fitness, you need to narrow down your focus to target one specific sub-topic such as weight loss/dieting, healthy living, muscle buildings/workout and so on.

In any case, you’ll need to think about what problem your readers have and the solution you can provide by recommending certain products.

Related: How to Find Profitable Blog Niches That Are Insanely Popular

Select the Right Affiliate Programs

Some merchants run their affiliate programs in-house or through several affiliate networks.

Sometimes the commission rates can vary from one network to another. So shop around and promote those which offer higher commission rates to increase your profits.

how to join affiliate programs

You don’t want to promote just any affiliate programs. Try selecting those that are highly relevant to your content.

For example, if you blog about cats, you might want to promote offers that sell branded cat food at a discount or those that offer free cat food samples.

That being said, don’t limit yourself to promoting offers which belong only in your niche.

If you are a mom blogger for example, there’s no rule preventing you from creating a how to start a blog post where you can promote a web hosting affiliate link.

Ideally, you would want to start by promoting only products or services that you’ve used personally.

In all likelihood, Amazon Associates comes to mind since you can promote anything under the sun.

While it’s a good way to start with affiliate marketing, unless you are Darren Rowse of the fame Digital Photography School, don’t expect to be rich promoting low-priced products with low commission rates from Amazon.

I recommend trying Amazon Associates nonetheless because it would be a great learning experience. Who knows you could be the next Darren Rowse!

It can be a pretty exciting experience to get your first sales.

How to join affiliate programs?

Check out my other post for more tips on how to select the right affiliate programs and discover the best affiliate programs for bloggers:

>> 29 Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers (That Will Make You Money)

Understand the User’s Search Intent

Before you sit down and write a post to promote affiliate offers, think about the reason why people conduct a specific search.

Are they looking for specific information to help them with something? Are they in a buying frame of mind?

Here are three types of search intent examples:

  1. Informational – searches performed to learn something or answer a question. Eg: “what is a convection microwave oven used for?”
  2. Navigational – searches to locate specific website. Eg:  “Samsung USA”
  3. Transactional – searches performed possibly to buy something. Eg “best convection microwave oven samsung”.

Understanding search intent

By understanding the search intent, you can optimize your content for keywords that target visitors in any phase of the customer lifecycle.

Some of your posts may not even contain any affiliate links because they are meant to educate and build trust. These posts are for visitors in the learning phase.

While other posts are created specifically for promoting affiliate offers (but it should be done in such a way that they actually bring value to the readers).

You can include the following high commercial intent keywords to target transactional searchers:

  • Best
  • Buy
  • Discount(s)
  • Low priced
  • Free shipping
  • Coupon(s)
  • Review
  • Branded searches/product names

Understanding search intent will help you convert more visitors into buyers.

One of the best examples of a website that make full use of commercial intent keywords is the Wirecutter.

Nearly all of their articles talk about the best of [some product, brand, gear].

Because they are targeting long tail keywords (those with three or four keyword phrases which are very specific),  almost all of their articles appear on the first page of Google search result for their chosen keywords!

 

Uncover the Best Keywords With Keyword Research

No matter what type of post you create, you need to perform some SEO (search engine optimization) to ensure it will rank well on Google.

Organic traffic is the best source of traffic bar none as it converts well when your content satisfies the user’s search intent.

A good starting off point to finding great keywords is to look for these three main ingredients:

  1. Good search volume – potentially more traffic for you
  2. Low competition – so that you have a good chance for ranking
  3. Have commercial intent – is the keyword profitable?

To learn more about keyword research and tools to help you uncover good keywords check out this keyword research section.

To learn how to optimize your blog for the search engines check

9 Quick SEO Tips and Tricks For Blogs

 

Your Blog Content Matter

People said content is king.

That makes sense because it’s easier to attract blog readers with quality content. Over time, the readers will turn to avid followers as they grow to trust the blogger more.

Consequently, it would become easier for the blogger to monetize the content by promoting relevant products and services to an engaged audience.

But I feel nurturing your audience usually take place when they are already in an email list. As long as they stay in your list, you can continue to cultivate the relationship.

This is ultimately more powerful because an engaged and trusting email list could do wonders for your sales conversion rates. It’s also easier to sell high ticket items which could lead to more income.

Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

Unless you have thousands of captive audience and has been blogging for some time, most of your visitors are likely to be new and probably had never heard about you before.

Monetize the new visitors

All you have is one blog post to engage them. So what should you do to monetize these new visitors effectively?

For a start, you can create content that solves a particular problem. Cut to the chase, give them exactly what they are looking for.

But how you ask?

You can start creating certain types of posts to promote affiliate offers without being salesy.

 

Best Blog Posts for Affiliate Links Promotion

From my experience, it’s not always necessary to create ultra-detailed blog posts to convert your visitors.

If you can answer the visitor’s problem and give them what they want in a few paragraphs, why make it more complicated than it needs to be?

The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t always have to sell something in order to make money.

For example, you can promote CPA (cost per action) offers and get paid when a visitor takes a specific action such as signing up for a free trial, taking a survey, getting a quote, all without having to make any purchase.

If they want free makeup, there’s an affiliate program where you can give away free makeup samples!

In reality though, you do have to write substantial, useful and relevant content.

Not because you want to nurture your new visitors (it’s a start), but because long-form content (over 1800 words or longer) usually rank better in Google especially for competitive keywords.

We are creating a blog after all, not an affiliate website which gets its traffic from paid advertising.

Long-form content also tends to offer more value, help establish authority and increase the time spent on a blog while reducing the bounce rates.

These are signals used by Google to rank your content in the search results. If you want organic traffic, you do have to write longer posts.

When it comes to making money from a blog using affiliate links, some post types do better than others.

The following are a few post types that you can create to promote affiliate links.

#1. Write a Tutorial or How-To Post

For these types of posts, you dedicate an entire post to talk about a specific product or service.

You break down a product, show how to use the features and how it could benefit the readers.

The title may contain “how to” or “how do I’ or ‘tutorial”. These types of posts often do well on Pinterest too because they are actionable.

The beauty of these posts is that you can target popular keywords without actually mentioning the exact product name you are promoting in the title.

That way you can attract a larger pool of audience who may be looking for a solution to a particular issue but have no idea what product they should use.

For example, for my post How to Start an Email List, I recommend MailerLite as the go-to solution for anyone looking to start their own email list. It helps that I also love MailerLite!

Since there are more people searching for “how to start an email list” than “how to use mailerlite”, it makes sense to target the more common keyword phrase.

Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com is also using this tactic to promote ConvertKit but using YouTube video tutorial.

write a tutorial or how to post

#2. Create a Comparison Post

A comparison post is where you compare two or more products and favour one product over the other.

It’s also a way to give your readers more choice if the offer you recommend doesn’t appeal to them.

People reading a comparison post often already narrow down their choices or are looking for a second opinion, an assurance that they are making the right decision.

These posts can convert pretty well because the intent to purchase is already there.

You can even go one step further by comparing several different products but that can get complicated.

To see some examples of product comparison posts, just google “[product name 1] vs” and see the autocomplete for some ideas.

Product comparison post examples

#3. Write a Product Review

Writing product reviews can be an effective way to promote products with affiliate marketing.

Review posts provide value by helping people make an informed decision about the product before they make a purchase.

It’s even better if you can write from your own personal experience and make recommendations by adding affiliate links to those recommendations.

How to write a product review that converts?

Check out the following video from Affiliate Marketing Ninja for some review template you can implement.

You don’t always have to write positive reviews though. An honest review which includes your likes and dislikes can sometimes be more effective.

Also, you can write reviews of several products and end the post with an explanation of why one product is the best option out of the bunch.

#4. Storytelling/Personal Experience Posts

If you know something that may benefit others, try finding relevant affiliate offers that fit your story and then share your experience in a post.

For example, if you use a certain product to help you lose weight, you can write about it and recommend that product.

Instead of just dropping links to products and hope people buy, offer those affiliate links as additional resources that complement your content.

Try to include prominent call-to-action. You can ask the reader to click the link or learn more about the benefits they will gain from the recommendation.

Don’t just paste a banner ad out of nowhere because you think people will click and buy from it. They won’t.

#5. Publish a Compilation/Roundup Post

You can create a post listing a number of products or services that help you solve a particular problem or achieve a certain goal.

This can be an easy way to include affiliate links in a blog post because you may not have to include a lot of content. Just a paragraph or two is enough.

You can talk about

  • The best…
  • Top things…
  • Must-have…

#6. Create a Tools/Resources page

Having a page that lists the tools you use is a great way to provide more value to your visitors.

For example, as a blogger, you can list your web hosting provider, WordPress theme that you use, email marketing software, favourites WordPress plugins and so on.

Your resource page can contain free and paid tools which may include your affiliate links.

Usually, these are tools that you use yourself and can vouch for their quality. However, don’t just drop a description without explaining why you recommend it and how it had helped you.

That said, chances are, people who visit your resource page may have not reached your level of expertise yet, so the tools that they need may be different.

Here’s a comment I got for one of my posts which show why you should offer more options.

Create a resource page to promote affiliate links

While I did recommend a mix of free and paid tools in that article, he was probably looking for more free options which are as good as the paid ones.

So think about how you can offer alternative products/services which may suit people at any level.

For an example of a Tools/Resources page, check out my Toolbox page.

#7. Write an Income Report

You see this type of posts everywhere on Pinterest.

Income reports are great because they provide insights into how much other bloggers are making and how they are doing it. This makes income reports very popular.

They can motivate and inspire people to work harder. As people will be comparing your result with that of their own, you’re going to hit their pain point if they’re still struggling.

Your affiliate links within the post serve as solutions to their problem. The more income you can show, the more persuasive your content can be.

Sadly, because of that, income reports can turn spammy rather quickly.

For some, they are no more than a thinly veiled hosting/course sales pitch that has become commonplace.

Some bloggers go as far as creating fake income reports for traffic and to generate clicks to their affiliate links.

Whether you want to publish your income report or not, ask yourself if it aligns with your own blogging goal and values.

If you choose to publish one, also be ready to get some negative feedback too as some people would doubt you (especially if you don’t show enough proof) or might feel jealous of your achievement.

 

Link to Your Money Making Posts for Extra Visibility

Find several of your money making posts and link them from several places to drive more traffic.

You can link to them from your:

  • Homepage
  • About page
  • Main menu
  • Sidebar
  • Posts/pages that get lots of traffic

If you’ve Google Analytics installed, you can find popular pages by going to BEHAVIOUR > Site Content > All Pages

Find popular posts via Google Analytics

 

Make Sure Your Blog is Ready for Affiliate Marketing

There are a few things you need to implement in your blog to comply with any affiliate promotion.

Depending on the affiliate programs, some companies might require you to add a paragraph on each page which includes one of their links.

In other cases, disclosing this in your Terms of Service or Disclaimer page should be enough.

You need to create:

  • A privacy policy page
  • A disclosure or disclaimer page
  • If you promote Amazon Associates, you need to place Amazon marketing policy on your sidebar or footer for each blog post that has Amazon affiliate links.

Here’s how my disclaimer statement looks like on my Start a Blog post.

Disclaimer example

Click here to learn more how to create these important pages.

 

Conclusion

And that’s how to monetize a blog through affiliate links folks!

One thing to keep in mind is that making money from affiliate programs won’t happen overnight.

It takes time and requires consistent effort to make any meaningful income from it.

As your traffic grows, you’ll soon find that any affiliate links you promote will result in a conversion if you follow the strategies outlined above.

Once you start making sales, you can always tweak your posts to improve the results.

Now it’s your turn.

Do you promote any affiliate offers in your blog? Which promotion methods that are working for you?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

 

6

29 Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers (That Will Make You Money)

When it comes to finding the best affiliate prDiscover the best affiliate programs for bloggers that will make you money. #affiliateprograms #passiveincome #bestaffiliateprogams #makemoneyograms for bloggers, identifying programs that are reliable and pay well can be a real challenge.

Which one should you join when you don’t know what to look for?

That’s an important question to answer because most affiliate programs will make you very little money or nothing at all.

Then there are a few that would probably make up the bulk of your affiliate commissions.

So in today’s post, I’ll help you find the best affiliate programs that will make you money no matter what niche or topics you write about.

To make money from affiliate programs, having a website or a blog is very much a necessity (in most cases anyway).

If you haven’t started your own blog, check out my guide here: How to Start Your Own Blog ( Beginners Guide)

Also, you can learn how to make money blogging and affiliate marketing here: Learn How to Make Money Blogging (Detailed Guide For Beginners).

 

How to Make Money From Affiliate Programs

Do you just write some content and then sprinkle a few affiliate links, and sit back and wait for the big money to roll in?

Well, not really.

To generate any meaningful income from affiliate programs, you’ll need traffic and tons of it.

For a start, you’ll need hundreds of visitors or more per day, the more the better of course.

But that’s only part of the equation. What you really need is targeted traffic.

I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars from CJ.com alone because I received highly targeted search engine traffic to my affiliate websites.

affiliate programs commission

Related: 7 Proven Strategies to Increase Blog Traffic for Free

Best of all, once the ball starts rolling, everything will run on autopilot.

You will continue to generate passive income day in, day-out without doing much work as long as you get targeted traffic and your content stay relevant.

I’ll write more about making money from affiliate programs in my future posts, so stay tuned!

Related: How to Monetize a Blog Using Affiliate Links

 

What to Look For When Applying For Affiliate Programs

When applying for affiliate programs, here are a few things you need to consider:

The type of products/services on offer

Only join and promote affiliate programs that fit with your niche.

For example, trying to sell a forex trading software to people interested in gardening will result in little to no conversion.

The kind of traffic coming to your website will also determine the type of products/services you can promote.

The cookies duration

In affiliate marketing, a cookie is a small file placed in web browsers to track sales or referrals.

Some cookies last for 24 hours while others could last 30 days or longer. If a user clicks your affiliate link any time within the cookie duration and makes a purchase, you will get a credit.

The longer the cookie duration, the better because you will still get paid even if the user takes longer than normal before making a purchase.

The company’s reputation and support

If you’re joining an affiliate program that’s managed in-house by the merchant themselves, perform some research to make sure that the company is reputable and is actually paying their affiliates.

If in doubt, it’s better to join larger affiliate networks because all the trackings and payments are done by the network.

Often, the network will still pay you even if the network itself is not paid by the merchant.

Promotional assets, banners, email swipe copies and links

Do the merchants offer creatives to help you promote their offers? This will make it easier for affiliates to market more successfully.

Personally, I prefer using just links and writing my own copy because they convert much better than banner ads.

Linking directly to products via deep linking

Having the option to link directly to specific products will make your affiliate marketing effort more effective.

This is especially important if the merchant offers lots of products to promote.

Pay attention to the TOS (terms of service)

Each affiliate program has specific requirements on how you should promote their products/services.

For example, some don’t allow you to use Google Ads to promote their products or offer rebates or promised kickbacks from your affiliate commission as an incentive.

Understand the do’s and don’ts when applying for an affiliate program or risk having your account suspended.

Pay attention to the affiliate program’s EPC

EPC stands for earnings per hundreds clicks.

This metric is used by many affiliate networks such as CJ.com and ShareASale as a way to gauge how well a merchant’s affiliate program is converting for their affiliates.

epc affiliate program

For example, suppose you are getting 200 visitors per day to a page in your blog. If only half of the visitors end up clicking your affiliate link, that’s still 100 clicks per day.

If you send those 100 clicks to an offer which has a $20 EPC, you could potentially earn $20 per day.

In a month, that’s $600 just by promoting one offer.

That said, the EPC number is just an average, you could earn more or less. In general, you would want to promote programs with a high EPC.

Promote digital goods more

While it’s totally fine to promote physical products, if you have an option to promote digital products more, do it.

Why?

Because digital products usually have much higher commision rates than the physical ones.

Promote products with recurring commissions

Try to find affiliate programs which offer recurring commissions. This means you will continue to get paid as long as a referral remains a customer.

WordPress themes like ThriveTheme and landing page creator like ClickFunnels are some of the high-paying affiliate programs you can consider.

For instance, ClickFunnels offer 40% recurring commission, plus 5% second-tier commission from each sale that your referred affiliates make.

 

Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

The followings are some of the best affiliate programs for bloggers in various niches that you can join right now.

How many programs should you join?

If you are just learning about affiliate marketing, I’d recommend picking two or three to test the waters.

As you gain more experience or looking for more specific products to promote, you can apply for more programs.

I’ll try to summarize what each affiliate program is about, the benefits for joining, along with the commission rates and other details that you may need be aware of.

If you are new to affiliate marketing, you may have come across terms like pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead and pay-per-click.

Pay-per-lead means you get paid when someone gave their email or other contact info to the merchant.

Pay-per-sale means you get paid when someone actually purchase something via your links.

Affiliate Networks for Bloggers

An affiliate network is like a marketplace where you can find merchants in various categories and participate in their affiliate programs all in one convenient place.

Whatever your niche is, joining affiliate networks should be on your to-do list if you want to make money blogging.

Now let’s go through the list of affiliate programs for bloggers (in no particular order).

 

#1. ShareASale

ShareASale has been in business for over 18 years and it’s one of the most reliable and established affiliate networks.

After the acquisition by Awin, a global affiliate network, ShareASale has started including more international affiliate programs which mean more monetization opportunities for bloggers.

In term of payment, the minimum payout is $50 via direct deposit, mailed check, wire deposit and Payoneer.

Payoneer is a great choice for those not residing in the US because they can get their payouts faster.

ShareASale has more than 40 categories to choose from. These include art/music/photography, health & fitness, fashion, financial, food/drink, home & garden and more.

So you should be able to find relevant affiliate programs no matter what niche you are in.

You can also refer affiliates and merchants to their program.

For each merchant signed up through your links, you’ll get $150 and $1 for each qualified affiliate.

This affiliate must sign up with ShareASale as an affiliate, and generate at least one click in order for you to receive the $1.00.

Some of the blogger-friendly affiliate programs you may consider joining after you signed up with ShareASale include:

  • Tailwind – the Pinterest scheduling tools every blogger should use
  • Grammarly – automated proofreader, spelling and grammar checker.
  • PicMonkey – graphic design templates, Pinterest pins, photo editing and more.
  • CreativeLive – online photography classes, shooting and editing photos
  • ShareASale affiliate – you can promote ShareASale on your blog too!

I joined ShareASale since 2004 and find them OK. Some gripes I heard from other affiliates include the somewhat outdated user interface, and problem contacting merchants directly.

Click Here to Join ShareASale

 

#2. CJ.com

CJ short for Commision Junction is one of the largest and most established affiliate networks around. They have more merchants than any other affiliate network.

I’ve been a member for a while and never have encountered any issues with them.

With CJ.com, the minimum payout is USD100 via check, direct deposit or Payoneer. You can even select to get paid in your own currency (if supported).

Click Here to Join CJ.com

 

#3. Amazon.com

This list wouldn’t be complete without the Amazon.com affiliate program.

It’s one of the most popular affiliate programs for both new and seasoned bloggers due to the mind blogging products selection.

Because of that, you can simply choose a target keyword, write your article around that keyword and then later find relevant products to promote and sprinkle the links within your content.

The downside?

Most product categories have pretty low commission rates between 1%-10%.

The short 24 hours cookie duration is also a bit of a bummer. If a user clicked your link and only complete the purchase 24 hours later, you will not get the credit.

That said, Amazon.com is pretty good at converting people to make a purchase. They’re a trusted household name after all.

If the visitors end up buying more items from the other categories, you will be credited for all their purchases.

Another thing you should be aware of is that Amazon.com requires you to make at least one sale within 90 days of sign-up or else they’ll reject you from the program automatically.

The good news is you can always reapply later. Although, you’ll have to update all your links.

Also, you’ll probably make more money if the bulk of your visitors come from the US.

If you want to override the country restriction, you can try tools like  GeniusLink to earn commission through purchases made by international traffic.  You will need an Amazon Associates account in each country for which you want to monetize the traffic.

It will cost $5 per 2000 clicks so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth using.

Click Here to Join Amazon.com

 

#4. Awin

Short for Affiliate Window, it’s a medium size affiliate network company based in Europe so it is a great choice for EU-based publishers.

In addition, you can also find many US companies like Hyatt and BuzzFeed. If you are in finance, shopping, telco and travel niche, Awin is worth joining.

To ensure only serious affiliates apply for their program, they charge a $5 admission fee which you’ll get back with your first payout.

The Awin Publisher Referral Programs encourages you to refer new affiliates. When an affiliate you referred receive their first commission payment, you will earn $30.

Once you got accepted to individual programs, you can install their WordPress plugin that automatically transforms all your links into affiliate links.

Click Here to Join Awin

 

#5. Flex Offers

Flex Offers offers many established US brands like Ticketmaster, Yahoo Small Business and Macy as well as more European companies and others from around the globe.

They have over 20 million products on offer in a wide range of markets, so it’s a good network to join (besides Amazon) if you looking to sell physical products.

As part of their verification process, all initial payments are sent via check. The check must clear before you can setup direct deposit for future payments.

Another cool thing about Flex Offers – you can also refer other publishers and then get a percentage of their commissions.

Their FlexRev-$hare referral program based on your monthly sales volume. In essence, the more money you make, the more you will earn on your referrals (up to 50%).

Click Here to Join Flex Offers

 

#6. MaxBounty

MaxBounty is a little bit different from the other affiliate networks in that most of their offers are of the CPA types.

CPA stands for cost per action. That is, you get paid when a user takes a specific action such signing up for a trial, taking a survey, getting a quote etc – no purchase is necessary.

Personally, I’ve derived most of my affiliate income from promoting CPA offers. They convert pretty well since all the users have to do is take an action.

Getting warm and targeted traffic (like from Google search) will do wonders to your conversion rates. To increase your conversion rates further, make the links contextual and appear as part of the site design.

I usually avoid using banner ads to promote CPA offers. While it could work, it could clutter your site which results in lower conversion rates.

I’ll write more about how to promote CPA offers in my future posts so, please remember to come back!

One hurdle you’ll encounter when trying to join MaxBounty is that they will call you on the phone for an interview. But I think it’s worth giving it a try.

With MaxBounty, you can choose to get paid weekly too which is good.

Click Here to Join MaxBounty

 

#7. Rakuten Marketing

Formerly known as Linkshare, Rakuten Marketing is another affiliate network offering a few big brands.

You can find Walmart, Bloomingdale’s, Sephora and the likes here. It’s often voted as the best affiliate program for fashion and beauty bloggers.

If you offer tutorials in your blog and want to promote relevant online courses from Udemy or Coursera, Rakuten can be an option.

I’ve used them actively during their LinkShare days and they were great. Although I read recently that they have a less friendly user interface.

Click Here to Join Rakuten Marketing

 

#8. Creative Market

Creative Market is an online marketplace for community-generated design assets.

As an affiliate, you can promote WordPress themes, stock photography and other digital goods.

Creative Market offers a flat 10% commission for every new customer who purchased through your links. That’s pretty low for digital products if you ask me.

However, to make up for this, you will earn 10% on every other purchase the customer makes for an entire year.

In addition, you can convert your affiliate earnings to credits which you can spend on Creative Market and cut down some of your business expenses.

Click Here to Join Creative Market

 

#9. Envato Market

Envato Market is a collection of themed marketplaces for digital assets. You can buy anything from Photoshop actions, sound effects and video footage to WordPress themes and plugins.

I’ve been an active buyer and used them for most of my online projects. So from a buyer’s perspective, they are pretty reliable.

As an affiliate, you’ll earn 30% commission on any first purchase you refer with a cookie duration of 90 days. The minimum payout is $50.

Click Here to Join Envato Market

 

#10. ClickBank

Anyone doing Internet marketing for any length of time should be familiar with ClickBank.

ClickBank is a marketplace for digital products, from advice to getting in shape to healthy cooking recipes and dating advice. It’s one of the oldest and popular affiliate platforms online.

One of the advantages of ClickBank is that anyone can sign up and create unique affiliate links quickly without the need for approval. Also, high commission, sometimes up to 75% is common.

Their Gravity metric (sort of like the EPC) gives you a quick way to judge the performance and quality of a particular product.

However, if you decide to join, be selective with which products you choose to promote to make sure they are of a good quality.

Click Here to Join ClickBank

 

#11. Panthera Interactive

Panthera Interactive is another network offering mostly CPA offers. I have had good experience with them. Unfortunately, my account was deactivated because of inactivity.

Guess it’s time for me to reapply!

Click Here to Join Panthera Interactive

 

#12. VigLink

VigLink is a little different from the other affiliate networks. It works by scanning your site for common product terms or merchant mentions and adds an affiliate link.

While I haven’t tried them yet, I can see how this can appeal to a lot of bloggers.

It allows you to monetize your content without having to apply to individual programs and insert the affiliate links manually.

You may still need to apply individually to many merchants as getting accepted doesn’t mean you can promote all merchants in their network.

Click Here to Join VigLink

 

#13. Skimlinks

Skimlinks specialises in in-text and contextual advertising. It works very similar to VigLink in that Skimlinks converts your outbound links to affiliate links.

The main difference is that you have access to every single merchant’s program (over 27,000) from the get-go.

Both VigLink and Skimlinks are good options in case you got rejected by Amazon associate program or if your blog topics are more diverse.

If you don’t have an affiliate account with a particular merchant which you want to promote or don’t want to bother applying and setting up affiliate links, this may work for you.

Fashion, hobbies, tech gear,  discount and savings are topics that usually do well.

With Skimlinks, you’ll get 75% of the revenue split.

Click Here to Join Skimlinks

 

Blogging Tools Related Affiliate Programs

As a blogger, there are tools and resources which are necessary in order to run a blog.

From web hosting to WordPress templates and from email marketing to social media scheduling tools.

Chances are, they have an affiliate program that you can join and promote to your own audience.

The following are some of the affiliate programs to consider.

  • Bluehost – web hosting. earn $65 for each referral
  • WP Engine – web hosting. Earn $200 per sale.
  • MailerLite – this is the email service provider I use. Earn 30% recurring commission on sales
  • ClickFunnels – sales funnels, landing page creator. Earn a 40% recurring commision.
  • ThriveTheme – WordPress themes, opt-in forms plugin, landing page creator etc. Earn 35% commission per purchase + ​25%​ recurring commission
  • ThemeForest – WordPress themes. Earn 30% commission on sales
  • StudioPress – WordPress themes. Earn 35% per sale.
  • Fiverr – hire a freelance. Earn up to $150 for each referral.
  • Tailwind – the Pinterest scheduling tools. Earn 15% per sale and $0.50 per sign up.
  • Grammarly – automated proofreader, spelling and grammar checker. Earn $20 per sale.
  • PicMonkey – graphic templates, photo editing and more. Earn 30% per sale.
  • WPforms – create contact forms, collect payments, opt-in forms etc. Earn 20% per sale.
  • Social Warfare – plugin for social media sharing button. Earn 30% commission on sales.
  • Sumo – Opt-in form plugins, sharing button, etc. Earn 30% recurring commissions.
  • Ultimate Bundles – offers bundles for ebooks, ecourses and resources at a highly discounted price (90%-97%). Earn 40% commissions for every bundle you sell.

 

Finding Affiliate Programs in Your Niche

The affiliate programs listed above are just a few of the more popular options for bloggers.

But what if you want more option?

Search Google for More Affiliate Programs

Just head over to Google and enter “[niche/topic/product] affiliate program”.

For example, suppose you are getting ready to create content for Christmas and want to monetize it with affiliate links. Go to Google and search for “Christmas affiliate program”.

However, you may have to sift through the results as they can contain anything from related articles, affiliate programs listed on networks or specific products.

search affiliate programs niche

 

Some bloggers and entrepreneurs also host affiliate programs for their own digital products, ebooks, online courses, coaching etc.

One main advantage of joining these programs is the higher commission rates since they are mostly digital products and there’s no middleman to take a cut on.

You can run your own affiliate programs too if you have your own products to offer. I’ll talk more about this in my future posts.

Follow Other Bloggers in Your Niche or Ask Your Affiliate Manager

If you don’t know what to promote or couldn’t find suitable affiliate offers for your blog, check what other successful bloggers in your niche are promoting.

Sign-up for their email newsletters and see how they are weaving affiliate promotions in their emails.

In addition, you’ll often have access to an affiliate manager after you joined a program. You can always ask him or her to find the best performing offers to promote.

 

Conclusion

As I discovered more of the best affiliate programs for bloggers to join, I’ll update this post accordingly.

So feel free to bookmark this page and come back later for updates.

My hope is that this post will make it easier for you to find the affiliate programs or networks that are suited for your content, no matter what topics you write about.

Now it’s your turn.

Are you already making money from affiliate programs? Which ones are your favourites?

Please share your story in the comments!

6

Learn How to Make Money Blogging (Detailed Guide For Beginners)

Learn how to make more money blogging. How do bloggers make money? #makemoneyblogging #blogformoney #howtomonetizeablog #makemoneyblogSo you want to make money blogging?

Maybe you have read stories about how top bloggers are making thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per month from their blogs.

(Later I’ll show you how much some top bloggers are making from their blog).

Perhaps you are not a beginner and have been blogging for a couple of months (or years).

You have been working tirelessly, tried everything you could, yet the income generated from your blog is barely enough to cover your web hosting bills.

What went wrong? How do top bloggers actually make money blogging?

Here’s a little secret, it all comes down to the amount of organic traffic you get from the search engines!

You probably said, you already know this. Hear me out, that’s only half of the story  (but a very important half).

So what’s the other half?

Please read on if you want to learn more.

Related: How to Start Your Own Blog (Beginners Guide)

 

How to Start a Blog For Free and Make Money

To start a blog, you would normally have to do the followings:

  1. Buy a good domain name
  2. Buy a web hosting
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Upload a good-looking theme
  5. Start writing and publish your first post

Can you start a blog for free? Yes, you can.

You start a new blog for free at:

But if your goal is to make serious money blogging, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Why?

  • You don’t control your content. The blogging platform could shut you down for any reason.
  • Your blog address looks unprofessional and can be hard to remember, i.e. Sabahan.blogspot.com vs sabahan.com.
  • You are not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms. So your monetization options are limited.

The advantages of having a self-hosted WordPress site:

  • You are in total control.
  • You can change the appearance of your blog to match your niche
  • You can add and remove functionality to your heart content.
  • Your posts will rank higher on Google search result
  • You can experiment with any monetization strategies.

With the freedom and customization options that WordPress offers, there’s one downside you can’t ignore.

The learning curve can be pretty overwhelming for total beginners. You do have to spend some money from day one as you need to buy a web hosting and your own domain name.

But I think in the long run, it’s worthy.

 

Make Money Blogging – Following Your Passion Isn’t Enough

When it comes to making money online from blogging, the first advice you’d normally get is to follow your passion (and the money will follow or so they said).

That makes sense because you’ll have a much easier time writing content that you actually love. You can write about hobbies that you enjoy, your work or some specific knowledge or expertise that you have.

The problem is that some people approach blogging like how it was in 2008.

They blog about their weekend recap, annual family gathering and random ramblings of their life.

Then they piggyback on a trending topic and come up with a 300 – 600 words article. Unfortunately that no longer works.

I’m not saying bloggers shouldn’t write about what’s happening in their life but it dilutes the focus of their blogs and Google doesn’t like that.

Unless you’re a lifestyle entrepreneur, there are other better platforms for us ordinary bloggers for that, like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

In most likelihood, a typical blog usually has more new visitors than returning ones. These new visitors don’t know you.

When they arrive from the search engine they are either looking for a specific information to help them do something, or they want to learn something.

Unless you are doing a foodie blog or a restaurant review, no – they don’t want to know what you ate for breakfast, sorry.

new vs returning visitors

People have an intent when they arrive. So every piece of content that you create should be there to help them do something or teach them something.

Writing only about what makes you happy won’t always make you money. You also need to write about what makes other people happy.

Writing only about what makes you happy won't always make you money. You also need to write about what makes other people happy.Click To Tweet

To make money blogging today, you need to treat your blog like a business.

In addition to writing about what you are passionate about, your content also needs to solve your readers’ problem and bring value to their lives.

 

My Story

To be honest with you, I was guilty of treating Sabahan.com like a hobby and not like a business too.

Besides writing about helpful tips and knowledge that benefit my readers, I often shared my personal opinions on news and current affairs.

To be fair though, I wanted Sabahan.com to be a little personal and not strictly business.

The result?

Unlike evergreen content which will continue to generate traffic overtime, other content will run its course and become dated and irrelevant.

I blogged for 6 years from 2006, yet the financial return that could keep me motivated and continued my blogging journey never materialized.

I was also running other successful online business so I chose to focus on that instead and stopped blogging at Sabahan.com entirely.

You see, when you have money being deposited into your account every day for the work that you love doing, it’s much easier to keep yourself motivated.

Sometimes you need to make money first, then you learn to become passionate about your work real quick.

 

Write Content That Gets Lots of Traffic

There are two main sources you can get traffic from:

  • Search engines
  • Social media

content traffic source

For certain type of content like tech, sports and business, much more of the referral traffic is coming from Google. By contrast, Facebook does a better job driving traffic to articles about lifestyle and entertainment.

To get traffic to your blog, you need to find a niche that is popular enough and isn’t too competitive.

Then, you need to do some keyword research. You don’t want to write everything in your niche or general topics.

Pick a problem to solve or an outcome your potential readers might what to achieve and find the related keywords using tools like:

  • Google Keyword Planner
    This gives you estimates of the search volume and how competitive the keywords are. Ideally, you should choose keywords that have lots of search volume but low competition.
    keyword planner
  • BuzzSumo
    BuzzSumo helps you find what content is shared the most on the social media. You can enter your competitor’s URL or a keyword to find the most shared posts. Use the result as an inspiration to create something different, useful or better, don’t just copy them.
    buzzsumo.

Try to tweak your topic so you can complement the popular posts instead of directly competing with them.

 

How Do Bloggers Make Money From Blogging?

So how to make money blogging for beginners?

Once you get traffic to your blog, you can start monetizing it using one or more of the following methods:

 

AdSense

AdSense is a service by Google that allows you to put ads on your blog. The idea is you can display Google Ads on your blog and when a visitor clicks on those ads you get paid for the clicks.

Advantages

  • It’s the fastest and easiest way for a beginner to monetize a new blog.
  • With AdSense Auto Ads, Google is using machine learning to increase your ad revenue.
  • Showing relevant ads could enhance the user experience.
  • Setup once and get paid continuously as long as you get traffic.

Disadvantages

  • With AdSense Auto Ads, you can’t control how many ads are placed on a page. It could end up crowding your content.
  • Some of your page’s content may be pushed below the fold especially when viewed on mobile.
  • You’ll need a lot of traffic to achieve a meaningful income.
  • They compete with your affiliate links for attention and may affect your affiliate links click-through-rates

Currently, I’m using AdSense to monetize Sabahan.com. It may not be a permanent fixture though as I want to provide better focus on my own content in the future.

You are basically getting paid to send visitors away. Although this can be a good compromise if you haven’t fully developed other monetization strategies yet.

There are pros and cons but I would still recommend you to give AdSense a try. See if it’s something that could work for you especially if you’re starting a blog.

 

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs is where you promote a product or service and get paid every time someone signs up for it or when you drive a sale.

There are many affiliate networks out there that have affiliate offers. Here are a few popular programs you can sign up:

  • Amazon.com
    One of the largest affiliate programs. Amazon offers over a million physical and digital products to advertise. The commision may not be big (up to 10%)  but there’s always something you can promote no matter what niche your blog is in.
  • ShareASale
    ShareASale offers pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click programs. They have many blogger-friendly affiliate programs you can join.
  • CJ.com
    One of the largest affiliate networks around. I’ve been using CJ Affiliate since the early 2000 so this one is a good one to join.
  • ClickBank
    ClickBank is a marketplace for digital products, from advice to getting in shape to healthy cooking recipes and dating advice. You can sign up and create unique affiliate links quickly. High commision, 75% payout is common.  Be selective with the products you choose to promote to make sure they’re of a good quality.
  • Envato Market
    Envato Market sells digital items such as web templates, themes, video, audio, photos and more. I’ve personally bought lots of items from them since 2010. You’ll get 30% commission for each sale.

Some companies prefer to manage their affiliate program in-house without joining an affiliate network. Sometimes it’s not immediately clear from their homepage whether they have an affiliate program on offer.

So, to find out if a company has an affiliate program, you can do a Google search using phrases like “company affiliate program”. Just replace “company” with the relevant name.

For example, if you want to know if Fiverr.com has an affiliate program, just Google “fiverr affiliate program”.

Here are the pros and cons of joining affiliate programs.

Advantages

  • Very easy to get started. Just publish your affiliate link and start selling.
  • Tons of products and services to promote to match your content.
  • You don’t always have to sell something. Some offers pay you when your readers sign-up for a trial offer or a free service.
  • No need to worry about customer support, maintaining the product pages or deal with technical stuff in the background.
  • Ongoing passive income. You will continue to make money as long as people read your content and follow your links.

Disadvantages

  • You need lots of targeted traffic to generate a meaningful income.
  • You may run into bad affiliate companies that refuse to pay or go out of business.
  • You have no control over the pricing or commission levels.
  • Since you are being paid for mentioning a product, this may compromise your reputation as an honest source of information.
  • Choosing the right products for your blog can take some work.

Ideally, you should only recommend  products and services that you’ve personally used.

While there are pros and cons in promoting affiliate offers in your blog, it’s without a doubt one of most effective ways to make money blogging.

Related: 29 Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers (That Will Make You Money)

 

Sell Your Own Ad Space

AdSense which is owned by Google is the middleman. You can forgo the middleman by selling your own ad space on your blog directly.

That way you can keep that middleman fee and you’ll make more money.

Advantages

  • Potentially more lucrative than Google AdSense.
  • You can hand-picked your advertisers.
  • Can provide a steady source of income.

Disadvantages

  • Takes more work to manage than AdSense.
  • Have to look for advertisers who are willing to advertise directly on your blog,
  • Have to do administrative work like negotiate pricing, create an agreement and invoicing.

Again you will need a certain level of traffic for your blog before people are comfortable spending money on your site.

That said if you have engaged readers that trust your opinion, and lots of traffic, you should prioritize other business model instead of running AdSense or selling your own ad space.

 

Sell Your Own Digital Products

Your blog can be a “free” source of valuable information to your readers.

As they become your loyal followers and are ready for more in-depth material, you can start offering paid information via your own ebook.

But you are not limited to ebooks, you can sell courses, software, digital downloads and other digital products.

Advantages

  • No need to keep inventory. Your digital products can be uploaded once then sold an unlimited number of times.
  • You keep 100% of the profit. It can be the most profitable blog monetization strategy.
  • You can sell to anyone in the world and are not limited by your physical location.

Disadvantages

  • It takes time and a lot of effort to develop your own digital products.
  • People may copy your work, share your files and sell it as their own.
  • Depending on the product type, experience and technical know-how may be necessary.

I once hired a programmer to code a software for me for USD 500. I used a platform that handled the selling. I just provided the download link from my server and the platform processed the payment and delivery for me automatically.

I figured I’ve made over USD 250,000 in profit. The only work I had to do was providing some customer support.

So selling your own digital products can be very profitable venture if done right.

 

Sell Your Services

You can get paid for certain skills that you already have.

You can offer your service locally in your area or virtually online. For Examples:

  • Freelance writing for other blogs/publications
  • Speaking
  • Virtual assistance
  • Consultation
  • Coaching
  • Design
  • Training

Advantages

  • You’ll learn a lot offering your service as a freelancer
  • You’ll make money quicker
  • Low start up costs, little to no inventory is required
  • You get paid for a skill you already have.
  • You can build up your reputation.

Disadvantages

  • You do need  an existing skill that other people need
  • The income is not passive. i.e you are trading your time for money

 

Make More Money Via Your Own Mailing List

Most of the traffic you get from Google or social media are transient. They come and they go.

Sure some visitors who like your content may return. The more they stick around, the more opportunities for you to earn money from them.

But you don’t what to leave this to chance.

Converting your visitors into email subscribers is the best way to have recurring visitors.

You can send them an email whenever you publish new blog posts. They will return, read your new post and continue to share every post you write.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Sign-up for an email marketing platform
    This service allows you to send mass-emails to everyone who subscribes to your mailing list. I’m currently using MailerLite because:

    • It’s beginner-friendly.
    • Support is fast and actually helpful.
    • You can send an unlimited number of emails per month
    • Use all features for free if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.
    • Should you need to upgrade, the monthly cost is among the cheapest compared to other email marketing providers.

mailing list software

  1. Create a sign-up form on your blog
    A sign-up form allows your visitors to enter their email address. You can place the form at the end of your post, in the sidebar or in a popup. This form is connected to the email marketing service above.I am using Thrive Leads to capture email subscribers because:

    • You can try it for free (ask for money back within 30 days if you decide not to use it)
    • No recurring fees (unless you subscribe to Thrive Membership which I think still worth the money)
    • It’s a WordPress plugin so it will work with any WordPress blog.
    • Simple to use. Have a professional looking opt-in form in minutes.
    • So many setup options to suit your blog like popup lightbox, sticky ribbon, 2-step opt-in, in-line forms, slide-in, screen filler overlay, exit popup and more.

thrive leads

An email list can be your greatest business asset. Even if traffic from Google or the social media were to drop suddenly, you can always turn to your mailing list for instant traffic.

Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

 

What Are The Types of Blogs That Make Money?

The types of blogs that make money are those which solve problems.

The types of blogs that earn money are those which solve problems.Click To Tweet

Your money will come from visitors who are searching for a solution to their problems.

I do think you can make money in almost any niche that you decide  to enter provided that:

  • You are solving problems
  • You are adding value to your reader’s life
  • Your content attracts lots of targeted traffic

People want to be a better version of themselves. People also want to connect with people who look like them or that they can relate to.

If your blog helps them to reach their goal faster, easier and cheaper etc., you are on the right track.

Back to the question, so what are the types of blogs that make money? These are some of the blog niches that make money.

Related: How to Find Profitable Blog Niches That Are Insanely Popular

How to Make Money Blog

Unfortunately, most of the blogs that teach you how to make money seem to be run by bloggers who only make money by blogging about how to make money.

To be fair, you gotta start somewhere right?

While this is the niche that Sabahan.com is in, most of my online money making experience came from the software development niche.

How can you start a how to make money blog when you haven’t even started making real money yet?

It’s a good niche to start making money in if you can show that you are already generating some income yourself because it shows you know what you are talking about and it gives you some authority.

But you don’t have to be an expert to start.

An honest and open view of your own making money journey can be just as intriguing and informative as those of an expert. Share what works and what doesn’t for you.

You are not limited to how to make money blogging. There are other ways such as

  • Starting a YouTube channel (ideally you should already run a YouTube channel)
  • Dropshipping
  • Make money via podcasting
  • Make money with Shopify
  • Selling on Amazon
  • And much much more

Personal Finance

Most people have at least a passing interest in personal finance.

When you are:

  • Applying for a credit card
  • Planning to purchase your first house
  • Paying your income tax
  • Trying to get out of debt
  • Getting a better deal on car insurance
  • And so on..

you are within the personal finance territory.

As a blogger, these are topics that you can write about that solve the reader’s problem.

Some personal finance sites write about saving money through frugal living, while others talk about various investment strategies to help their readers make more money.

There are many affiliate offers that you can tie up with your personal finance blog content.

To find out which products and services you can promote, start scouring through other personal finance blogs that make money on affiliate commissions.

Take those ideas, then introduce them to your own audiences. Don’t just copy them, improve and make them unique.

It’s important that you don’t push scummy products on your readers. You are in it for the long term so be professional and earn your trust.

Health and Fitness

You can get a piece of this billion dollar industry by starting a health and fitness blog but you won’t get there trying to reach everyone.

Instead of writing everything under the sun, narrow down your focus to target specific sub-topics such as:

  • Weight loss/dieting
  • Healthy living
  • Food and nutrition
  • Muscle buildings/workout
  • Running/training

By becoming a voice in a specific small segment of the industry, it’d be easier for you to stand out. It’s also easier to get better rankings in the search engines.

Many blogs in this niche are started by fitness trainers. If you have some experience or knowledge you want to share (weight loss perhaps), you can write a journal or advice blog or a mixture of both.

People like to watch you get better. If you can do it, they probably can too.

The tone of your writing also matters. Should you use a friendly personal tone or a professional tone?  Read other blogs in the same niche and see how they do it.

Affiliate marketing is the best way you can monetize your health and fitness blog.

If you have physical products you can even make more money. For instance, LegionAthletics.com have a blog about physical fitness.

They sell physical products like proteins, supplements and vitamins and they make over $10 million a year because of their blog traffic.

Beauty and Fashion

Creating a successful beauty and fashion blog is hard.

In addition to writing great content, the beauty and fashion niche is more reliant on your own personality and your ability to market yourself.

If you have a unique and interesting way of showing what to wear and how to wear it, interesting makeup tips and know how to portray yourself to the world this could be for you.

Successful fashion bloggers get invited to cool events, receive special perks, free merchandise and even business deals by the top brands.

So there are many more ways to monetize your blog.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle blog can be broad. Some bloggers write about anything in their life but that isn’t the best way to approach the niche.

They can also be categorized into other niches such as beauty and fashion or personal development.

Lifestyle bloggers write about arts and culture, news and events, gardening, survival, home decor, travel and other subtopics.

Lifestyle bloggers have the opportunity to be an influencer, write for other publication, or represent other business and organizations.

Personal Development / Self-Improvement

Personal development, self-improvement or self-help all have the same goal, that is to transform one’s life for the better.

However simply offering a better life won’t be that useful. Just like personal finance, you need to narrow down your focus and target a specific problem.

Narrowing down your focus helps you stand out, get good rankings in Google and monetize your blog content more effectively.

Posting quotes and other motivation stuff don’t make a good personal development blog.

Everyone wants to be healthier and happier but when they go to Google they are usually looking for specific solutions to their specific problem.

They are looking for positive outcomes. Identify who your target audience is and write specifically for that audience.

Instead of going broad, narrow down your focus to subtopics such as:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Yoga
  • Public speaking
  • Dating and relationships
  • Cultivating happiness
  • Mastering social anxiety
  • And so on.

Other Blog Niches That Make Money Blogging

There are many other blog niches and topics that can make you good money from.

As long as there is a demand, one can always create a blog in that niche.

You can target news and politics, DIY and crafts, celebrities and entertainment and many more.

Remember, if you want to make money blogging on any topic, your blog needs to solve a problem or add value to your reader’s life.

 

Example of Top Money Making Blogs

Here are some example of top money making blogs. The niche varies, from personal finance to food/recipes blog, to make money blogging.

Most of these bloggers generate their income by selling their own products and services.

Income from affiliate program comes second, followed by advertising income. This could be from AdSense ads or by selling their own ad space.

The numbers are obtained from their blog income reports which are published regularly for us regular bloggers to drool over and get inspired 🙂

The numbers represent their are gross revenue per month.

Given the low operational cost for running  purely online businesses compared to their brick and mortar counterparts, their gross profit margin are very high.

OK ready? Here are the top money making blogs

Eofire.com

  • Niche: Entrepreneurship, online business and podcasting
  • July 2018 income: $161,709

top bloggers

 

SmartPassiveIncome.com

  • Niche: Entrepreneurship, online business and podcasting
  • December 2017 income: $167,533

smart passive income

 

MakingSenseOfCents.com

  • Niche: Frugal living, savings
  • May 2018 income: $136,807

top personal finance blog

 

PinchofYum.com

  • Niche: Food Photography, Cooking
  • November 2017 income: $95,197

successful foodie blog

 

SoOverThis.com

  • Niche: Personal Finance
  • November 2017 income: $16,156

make money blogging

 

ShowMeTheYummy.com

  • Niche: Food and recipes
  • December 2016 income: $46,367

food recipes blog

 

JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

  • Niche: Home organization, DIY, and home decor
  • December 2016 income: $41,700

home organization decor

 

ShoutMeLoud.com

  • Niche: Tech tips, make money online and blogging
  • February 2018 income: $40,055

successful Indian blogger

 

MatthewWoodward.co.uk

  • Niche: SEO / Affiliate Marketing
  • December 2017 income: $25,718

affiliate marketing blog

 

HorkeyHandbook.com

  • Niche: Freelance writing
  • December 2016 income: $20,492

blog income report

 

MillennialMoney.com

  • Niche: Personal Finance, Investing and Entrepreneurship
  • January 2017 income: $18,450

Entrepreneurship blog

 

DigitalNomadWanabe

  • Niche: Make Money Blogging, Travel
  • January 2017 income: $12,748

digital nomad

 

How Much Money Can You Make Blogging

I am assuming that you want to start your own blog from scratch instead of being a freelance or employed blogger working for other site.

So how much money can you make from blogging? Can you quit your day job and make a living just by blogging?

I guess what you are really asking is can a newbie start a new blog today and be financially independent a few months down the road?

At the risk of sounding pessimistic, it isn’t easy to  make money blogging. Most bloggers make nothing, fewer make a little and even fewer make a lot

blogger income chart

The pie chart above was a result of a readers survey conducted by ProBlogger who said they’re trying to make money blogging.

  • 9% make between $1000 and $10,000 a month
  • 4% make over $10,000 a month
  • The vast majority makes less than $3.5 per day.

While the survey was published in 2012, I think it’s still representative of the income bloggers can make today.

How much you could make would depend on:

  • The quality of your content
  • Your ability to optimize your content for the search engines
  • Your ability to promote your blog
  • Your ability to build followers  and grow your email list
  • The competition in your niche

The good news is, you can learn all these skills  for free online (the exact content you can find on Sabahan.com). Knowing these already put you ahead of the majority of the other bloggers who fail to making money blogging.

Notice that I didn’t include how often you should blog. It may help but it’s less important of a factor today then it was 5 years ago (before 2013).

Brian Dean of Backlinko.com said he has managed to get 1 million unique visits over the last year. At that time he has only published 32 posts in his blog.

You can’t afford to publish tons of low-quality posts every day (a couple of times a week is enough). The days of optimizing 1000 pages around 1000 long tail keywords are long gone.

The good news?

Today, you can get one of your pages to rank for hundreds or even thousands of long tail keywords by publishing  high quality and useful long-form content (kind of like this guide you’re reading 🙂 ).

Now, it may take months to over a year before you start generating income from your blog.

There are exceptions of course but if you follow the right steps, beginner bloggers should start making decent part-time income in 3 to 6 months. It may take 1 to 2 years to make a consistent full-time income.

After that, how much can you make from blogging? The sky’s the limit.

 

Conclusion

In summary, to make money from blogging you have to:

  1. Create your own blog (duh!)
  2. Write quality content that attracts tons of traffic
  3. Promote your blog like crazy
  4. Monetize your content with ads, affiliate offers, or by selling your own products/services
  5. Convert visitors into email subscribers
  6. Promote related products/services via your mailing list

So now you know how bloggers make money, you are not limited to choosing only one method. You can start with Google AdSense, then add some affiliate offers into the mix.

This can be overwhelming if you do everything at once. Bookmark this page, come back later and pick one thing to do at a time.

If you want to make money blogging fast, I would advice you to revise your expectation.

But if you keep your focus and work hard, you will make money blogging.

8

Non-Native Speakers Guide to Making Money Blogging In English

Non-native speakers guide to make money blogging in English. #blogginginenglish #createanenglishblog #howtobloginenglish #englishDo you want to make money blogging and are wondering whether you should write in your own language or try blogging in English?

You are a non-native English speaker, perhaps it’s your second or third language.

You don’t feel confident you can do a good job writing other than in your own mother tongue. You also understand that English is the only available ticket to a global readership.

As a non-native English speaker myself who have been producing English content, I can share some tips which hopefully will answer your dilemma should you decide to blog in English (or not).

You will learn how blogging in English could attract more international traffic and possibly make you more money. But there are a few things you should be aware of and challenges you may need to overcome.

This blog post is a little long but I promise you’ll learn a lot from it.

Ready? OK, let’s begin.

 

Is English the Best Language for Your Money Making Blog?

According to the Internet World Stats, the English speaking Internet users only account for 25% of all the Internet users.

Chinese speaking Internet users are the second largest group. This is not surprising considering China is the most populous country in the world.

 

blogging in english

 

W3 Techs says that about 52% of websites are in English. The other half consists of non-English websites in various languages.

So it’s clear that English is the language of the Internet. It is also the lingua franca of academic and scientific discourse. Therefore it makes more sense to write your blog in English rather than in your native tongue if you want more visitors right?

But before you start a blog in English and get too far down the road, there are a few things you need to consider.

 

What Are Your Blogging Goals?

Express and Share Your Personal Opinions
If you just want to write about your experiences and opinions on certain issues and want to attract a certain audience, consider what their primary language is and write in that language.

Promote a Local Business
If you have a local business, you’d want the locals to notice the business so you need to write in their primary language.

Getting traction locally will be easier if you choose to blog in your own native language. The traffic might be slightly lower, but it may be more engaged and lead to opportunities in a local market.

You may get invited to speaking presentations, coaching even book deal.

Make Money Blogging
This article focuses on making money from your blog so if this your primary goal, then I will explain the pro and cons when writing in English for non-speakers.

I also assume you expect to get most of your traffic from Google organic search.

 

Why Should You Blog In Your Own Native Language?

The big companies like Salesforce generated most of its revenue from the US.  The second country that made them the most money is Japan which is a non-English speaking country.

So what’s my point?

If you look at the make money blogging and Internet marketing landscape, people are focusing on the US market or any English-speaking countries because there is a lot of money to be made there.

For countries like Brazil, the Middle-East, Russia, South Americas (even some countries in the Asia-Pacific) the currency exchange rates may not be favourable so targeting these regions won’t make you as much money.

However, if you are already a native speaker from any of these countries you should consider blogging in your own native language.

Why? I’ll explain next.

 

There’s Little to No Competition

Because there’s very little to no competition in these regions. As the world is becoming more globalised, new markets are opening up.

Going after these regions give you the first-mover advantage. If you are already living in these regions you have a better understanding of what content you need to create that is currently lacking.

In the US, the term  “car insurance” would cost up to US86.11 per click on Google AdWords as shown by Google Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool that comes with AdWords.

google competition

If you look at the top 10 organic search results on Google US, there is no way you and I can compete with those guys (duh!). They are highly experienced in their craft and have the money to outrank anyone.

Now search again for the term  but in your own native language. Even though it may say the term is competitive, you’ll still have a better chance of competing with these guys than those from the US.

 

Your Chance to Fill The Knowledge Gap

Your blog can target many other niches and not only the money-making blogging niche. For example, you can blog about:

  • Personal Finance
  • Health and Fitness
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Women’s Lifestyle
  • Working From Home
  • Parenting
  • Beauty and Fashion

Depending on your language, Google and all these social media sites don’t have enough content in the local languages in those niches. There’s a large knowledge gap you can fill by creating blogs in your native language.

If you create content for these regions, it’s much easier to get social shares and good Google rankings allowing to dominate your niche.

Although getting social shares and engagement differ from country to country. For example, the Spanish speakers engage a lot in social media, while the Germans social media usage is significantly lower but increasing.

You may not be making much today but you are going to grow faster because you have less competition. In the long run, there will be more people in those regions getting online and this helps you grow your blog traffic even quicker.

 

Blogging In Your Best Language

In general, starting a blog in your best language is a good idea because it can give you more confidence as you build your blog audience.

You could fine tune your sentence and use playful words in your own mother tongue. You could write faster too.

When building your own mailing list, you are writing in your audience native language. As a result, you’ll likely see a high open rate and click-thru rate on your emails.

 

Should You Create Two Separate Blogs In Different Languages?

Writing a blog in your own mother tongue is good because of the growth potential and future opportunities.

But I also understand bloggers  want to make money now, not sometime in the future when our regions have caught up with the US and other English speaking countries.

So should you create two separate blogs, one in your own native language and one translated into English?

Personally, I’d only look into creating a second blog only after having some success with the first blog. It takes a lot of effort to translate a blog into another language.

You also need to think in terms of the work involved in optimising each blog for the search engines.

Since your main source of traffic would come from organic Google search, for each language, you also have to perform keyword research, creating an optimal title and meta tags, build backlinks, sharing on separate social media accounts, commenting and so on.

Two sites, two times the work.

Also, your English-speaking audience is not interested in seeing tweets in other language and will most likely unfollow you. So you may also need two different social media accounts for Twitter, Facebook Google+ and so on.

Too much work if you ask me. However, if you are up for the challenge, by all means, go for it.

 

Use Google Trends to Survey What Hot In Your Target Market

What keywords do your potential readers use to search for your blog?

  • Do they use native keywords only or a combination of native and English keywords?
  • Is there a standard native vocabulary that’s widely used in your niche?

These are some of the SEO issues you have to consider.

To help you answer these questions, you can use Google Trends to survey what your potential readers are searching for.

google trends

Go to Google Trends and start typing the keywords you want to write about. Make sure to select the country you want to target.

This will give your some additional keyword ideas to target.  If your keyword doesn’t have data, try a different keyword.

related queries

Some of these keywords are  up-and-coming and currently trending upward or downward. May be you can do additional keyword research on top of it.

It will also tell you what topic is hot right now. If you take those keywords and integrate them into your blog, you’ll start getting more traffic from Google News (assuming you are already in).

You can start writing about the hot and buzz-worthy topic related to your niche. If you are one of a handful of local websites writing about the topic, you’ll likely appear on Google first page result and will get lots of traffic.

 

Creating Bilingual Blog or Mixing Two Languages In One Blog

You may be thinking of creating a multilingual or bilingual blog where you write posts in two or more languages to target more readers.

Again there will be extra work involved. You need to manage the multilingual version of your site, learn how to target site content to a specific country and make sure you are not creating duplicate content.

You may want to read Google multi-regional and multilingual sites guide. To learn how multi-language sites may affect your SEO, click here.

 

Should You Blog In English Even With A Poor Command of English?

I find most non-native English speakers are pretty forgiving when they encounter a badly written or less than a perfect blog post.

It’s probably because they are also not aware if there’s anything wrong with the article.

However, for native speakers, it’s definitely a turn-off.

Writing in a foreign language is not an easy skill to acquire. While it can be done, learning is always a gradual process. The more you write the better you will become.

Native English-speakers who are already blogging in English have no idea  how easy they have it 🙂

However if your goal is to make money now from your English blog, and you are targeting the English speaking countries, you are just making it harder for yourself.

If you write in broken English, your otherwise quality blog may look amateurish. You’ll get less engagement. People are less likely to subscribe to your newsletter. It may cause frustration and confusion which affect your website conversion rates.

So, a broken-English set back is not what you need to begin with.

Personally, I’m aware that my own English is far from perfect. Besides my less-than-stellar grammar, I sometimes struggle to express my idea in a way a native English speaker would.

For example, I often write something like this:

When it comes to blogging, the trend is always changing

While the sentence did get my message across, I know  there’s a better and more concise way to communicate the idea but I’m unsure how to improve it immediately.

Then later I may come up with:

The  blogging landscape is continually evolving

which is more eloquent.

 

Do You Need A Good English to Create A Good Blog?

Coming up with a good blog post is hard, even more so if you are doing it in a foreign language. That said, you definitely do not need to have a perfect English to make money from your blog.

Case in point,  Anil Agarwal, a professional blogger from New Delhi, India who blog at BloggersPassion.com.

He primarily writes about blogging and SEO with the goal of helping other bloggers to get traffic and make money from their blog.

If you read his posts, you’ll notice that his English is far from perfect. Still, according to  Forbes.com, he makes around USD70,000 a year from his blog

bloggers passion

 

Should You Use The American or British English?

Another thing to consider is the cultural and linguistic differences within the English language itself.

I know some native-speakers may feel annoyed reading the American or British English when they are not from that region. There are differences in the vocabulary, spellings, collective nouns and others which can be another hurdle to overcome for non-native speakers in their writing.

One can go on and on but I think you can just write in whichever English style you’re familiar with.

For me, I want more traffic from the US, but I often write in British English rather than the American English because, in Malaysia, we are taught British English in schools. English is also a compulsory subject in all schools.

However, I am more exposed to the American English on TV, movies and the Internet. I often ended up mixing both styles in my writing because I didn’t know which style belongs to which region except the obvious ones.

Also the copywriting style I prefer using is mostly the American one that tends to overuse certain words like “great, awesome” etc while the UK is a bit more toned down.

 

You Need to Write (Very) Long Posts to Get Good Rankings

The days when you can write a 500 words or less article and still appear on the first page of Google search result are gone.

In 2013, Google announced the Hummingbird update where they prefer pages with an in-depth answer to a question. In fact, the average word count of a google first-page result is 1890 words according to some research.

word count

To have a better chance of ranking in Google, you need to write a very thorough and extremely helpful post that covers as many angles as you can for your topic.

Do you have what it takes to write very comprehensive posts, day in day out,  in a foreign language so that you’ll have a better chance of success in blogging?

To make the process easier, you need to write something that you’re passionate about. Share your own value and expertise with others. If you do not have experience then you can take your readers on a journey as you learn.

For instance, what I put up here at Sabahan.com is partly my learning experience. The blogging landscape is continuously evolving and you can’t be an expert in everything.

As I learn, I feel excited to share my new thoughts and discoveries with my readers in each new posts.

Also, check out my SEO tips for beginners to help you start off on the right foot. If you have an existing blog, you’ll learn things you can do right now to improve your blog SEO rankings.

 

Tell Google You Want Your Blog to Rank Globally

In order to attract the global traffic, you need to use a generic top-level domain, such as .com or org.

If you use a country-specific domain such as .de or .co.uk, Google will associate your blog with that specific country. This is useful if your business serves a country-specific audience.

Now sign-in to Google Search Console, go to Search Traffic > International Targeting and select the country which is the most important to you.

international targeting 1

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You can target the United States but it can be very competitive.
  • You get less competition if you target your own country but you’ll probably get less traffic.
  • If you want to target a global audience but still want to associate your blog with a particular country, leave the box unchecked.

For the third point, if you get more backlinks from your own country, that signals Google to give some importance to you in your own country too.

 

Blogging In English: Offer Your Own Unique Perspectives

As a non-native English speaker, you have one powerful asset as a blogger. That asset is your own unique voice.

There’re no other bloggers like you. You have your own way of explaining things, telling a story and sharing your own unique experience.

Use these to make your blog stand out and to better connect with your readers.

For example, for this post, my target keyword is “make money blogging”.

At the moment, it is almost impossible to compete with anyone in the top 10 in Google search result for that phrase. But I may have a better chance if someone searches for “make money blogging in English”.

make mone blogging google result

There are thousands of blogs teaching you how to make money blogging. It’s really getting out of hand.

But none of those (at least I haven’t found one yet) that talk comprehensively and specifically on how a non-native English speaker can make money blogging in English.

So when you write about a popular topic, think about how you can add value to the existing conversation. What unique perspective you can tackle to make your post stand out?

If you want to be memorable, and want people to come back to your blog, avoid writing another “me too” blog post, unless you can write a better post than the existing ones.

 

Tools and Services to Help You Write Better English

You can hire someone from as low as USD5 from Fiverr to proofread your blog posts. Just make sure to hire a native English speaker.

fiverr hire proofreader

If you are just starting out, and you don’t have money to pay someone to edit and improve your blog post, you may be thinking of using Google Translate but I advise against it.

Start writing your blog post in English and improve upon it continuously. Don’t write in your native language and translate it later to English using Google Translate.

It can give you an idea of what the text may be but, you’ll miss a lot of nuances, hidden meanings and sometimes even alter the meaning of the text.

Since it’s machine translation, you will end up with many grammatical and punctuation issues.

It’s may be enough just to “get by” but if you want to make money from your blog, its poor quality will reflect badly on you as a blogger or your company.

Personally, I am using Grammarly to help me fix and improve my English blog posts.

grammarly write better

Grammarly checks your text for many common and advanced writing issues including common grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It also provides synonym suggestions to make your writing more readable and precise.

It won’t help you write like a native English-speaker but it’s good enough in detecting the obvious mistakes you would otherwise miss.

I’ve tried both the paid and free version and find both very helpful. You can add the Chrome plugin or Microsoft Word plugin (this is what I’m using)  to automatically check as you type.

Check out how Grammarly can help you improve your English text.

 

Conclusion

Blogging in English or any foreign language for that matter is not easy but it can be done.

You just need the right idea, basic grammar skills, a unique voice and a good writing style.

You need to understand your audience. Write about topics that solve their problem. Try to include reference to your own context to connect with them closer.

You don’t have to be an expert in your niche. An honest and open view of your own blogging journey, for example, can be just as interesting and informative as those of an expert.

Many other bloggers whose English are not their first language are making good money blogging online. If you stick to the tips outlined in this article, even expand them, you’ll be on you way to creating a good English blog.

If you want to learn more about how to make money from blogging, please check out my other post: Learn How to Make Money Blogging (Detailed Guide For Beginners)

Please leave a comment or share this post if you find it helpful. Thanks for reading!

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