By Anil Agarwal
Over a decade ago, making money from blogging was simple.
Create blog posts every single day and Google will send a ton of traffic. Then, use AdSense or banner ads to make money from that traffic.
At that time, there was not so much competition. So Google NEVER worried about duplicated or thin content. But this is 2016 and things have changed completely.
No one is writing blog posts daily now. Instead, they started focusing on creating quality content to increase their traffic and income. And people are not using AdSense these days. They know there are many more powerful ways to generate money from their blogs.
So if you are wondering how to make money blogging in 2016 and beyond and if you are a beginner, this post is for you.
Are you curious to find out the money-making ways? Let’s get started.
How to Make Money Blogging in 2016 as a Beginner
Build an email list even before you’re ready.
Most beginners start a blog, create content, and then think about building their email lists.
That’s the slowest path to making money.
That being said, here are few solid tips for building and growing a profitable email list.
- Offer a bribe. No one shows interest in joining your email list if you are not offering them any freebie. Any free incentive such as eBooks, videos, podcasts, or plugins can do the trick.
- Use a landing page. Seriously, a landing page is what you need to quickly turn the majority of your blog visitors into email subscribers. You can use tools like Unbounce, GetResponse, OptimizePress etc. to building high converting landing pages within minutes. Make sure to only use one call to action and that is to build your email list by placing an email opt-in form along with your freebie.
- Use influencer marketing. Connect with the influencers in your niche. Talk to them. Find ways to offer them help and once you build relationships with them, simply ask them to promote your blog or website. This alone can help you bring a ton of email subscribers to your sites really quickly.
- One of the simplest ways to grow your email list even before you start is to run giveaways. They work like a charm and try to give away something that’s relevant to your industry. That way, you can attract lots of targeted subscribers to your email list.
- You can use social media sites or paid Facebook ads to increase your email subscribers in no time. All you have to do is to focus on giving the right value to your target audience.
Once you have the email list in place, you can create a series of highly valuable emails to deliver to your subscribers. Once you have built enough momentum with your subscribers, you can start pitching your own services, products or courses to start making money from your email list.
Start making money from the first day.
Most people take the wrong approach while monetizing their sites. They usually follow the following steps.
- Create content
- Drive more traffic and
- Find ways to monetize their traffic
That’s a long approach. What if I told you there’s a shortcut?
What if I told you that you can start making money from your blog from the first day?
So what can you do to achieve that?
Get your first customer. Yes, it’s that simple.
You may ask, “How can I get my first client?”
The answer is simple again. Start selling your services.
- Are you good at coding? Offer people web design services.
- Are you good at writing? Offer freelance writing.
- Are you good at SEO? Offer people SEO services.
See that? You are not waiting for traffic and you’re not waiting for a magic moment. You are simply offering your services from day 1.
Make sure to use your email list (that you’ve built before you started) to make money from your services. Seriously, offering your blog services is one of the quickest ways to make money from blogging.
Here are few quick tips if you are offering your own services to make money from your blogs.
- Build a strong portfolio. No one likes to hire you if you don’t have any prior experience to show off. That’s why you must need to build a portfolio sharing testimonials from your clients. Once you do that, you will start getting more clients without worrying much.
- Create a dedicated landing page to offer your services. It doesn’t matter if you are offering SEO, content writing or any other service, you need to have a clear call to action so your targeted clients will show interest in getting your services.
Affiliate marketing can be lucrative.
Affiliate marketing is the most powerful way to start making money from online. You can either create a blog or niche website; create keyword rich content and start promoting the relevant products to make money from affiliate marketing.
But the majority of the bloggers don’t make too many affiliate sales due to one reason: they don’t create a monetization strategy.
If you are also one among them or if you are looking for proven ways to make money from affiliate marketing, here are few incredible tips for you.
- First things first. Do proper research about your market. Before promoting affiliate products, make sure to find keywords. They should be not more than 2000 monthly searches. That way you can always easily rank in Google to boost your traffic and sales.
- Spy on your competitors. Find out what products they are promoting and figure out the keywords they might be using. You can use tools like SEMrush or Long Tail Pro to find the profitable keywords of your competitor’s along with their backlink sources.
- You can make a lot of sales if you write detailed and unbiased reviews about the products you promote. Just make sure your product reviews are not biased and try to help your readers as much as possible instead of focusing on your sales. Once your audience starts trusting you, they will buy start buying from you. Trust is the new currency online and it helps you become a successful affiliate marketer.
- Analyze top affiliate marketers like Pat Flynn, Zac Johnson etc. You can learn a lot of things from their income reports and also find out how they are promoting their products. Watch their videos and read their interviews to grasp more knowledge about affiliate marketing.
- Don’t promote too many affiliate products at a time. Unless your website is solely related to products, promoting too many products can do more harm than good. And your blog visitors might think you’re making them buy your stuff instead of adding value.
- Be patient. Getting your first affiliate sale usually takes a lot of time especially if you have zero selling skills. So give it some time, learn affiliate marketing, and know how to sell without sounding like a salesman, and you will start getting the best rewards.
Sell your own products.
Ramit Sethi, Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, Pat Flynn – all these guys are legends who are making a living by selling their own products. Of course, they have a ton of other ways to monetize their sites.
But the majority of their income comes from their own products. You can also start thinking about it by creating your own videos, eBooks, online courses and so on.
The point here is to first build a group of targeted people who are interested in your content. Then it becomes easy for you to sell whatever you create.
That being said, here are few incredible tips for you to make more money by selling your own information products online.
- Make sure to come up with a ton of ideas for your own products. Before even start working on them, trim down your ideas and only focus on those which really makes you happy.
- You can use product reviews before creating your own products. Go to Amazon, Udemy or other sites and find out what other customers are saying about the products you might want to create. You will get a fair idea about what to include and what not to include in your own products. It saves a lot of time in making successful products.
- Create buzz around the products even before you start selling them. That way, your audience will be curious to know more about your products. Also, try to give them incentives which are relevant to your product. It persuades people to buy stuff from you without thinking twice.
- Use scarcity. If something is going out of stock pretty soon, people rush to grab it. Use it to your own advantage if you want to make more sales from your own products.
- While selling products, start from offering low-priced products. Start with $10 to $20 products, make them even better and once you are started getting more money, you can double your products rate and so on.
A caveat to remember
I’ve been making money online for over 6 years now, and I know it’s not at all hard to make a living from blogging. You just need to create a monetization plan if you want to build a profitable blog from scratch.
Have a clear goal, define your target audience, use the right hosting service, build an email list, frequently engage with your audience, and build your own personal brand to make a decent income from your online sources.
Don’t worry about your traffic when you are just starting out. You may struggle to increase both your traffic and sales in the beginning but once you start understanding the power of blogging and if you give it some time, you will definitely get massive results.
Don’t consider blogging as a get rich quick scheme. You can’t make hundreds of dollars within months after starting a blog. So be patient, create a great content strategy, build buzz around your products and you can reap the best rewards.
Final thoughts about making money blogging in 2016
You can’t depend upon on AdSense and banner ads anymore if you want to make more money from your sites in 2016. You have to find creative ways which not only help you make more money but add real value to your audience.
Fortunately, making money online is not a rocket science. You need to find ways to turn your visitors into customers as soon as possible. Offering services, selling your own products and promoting affiliate products can be really helpful.
So what do you think? What are the other ways you’re using to make money from your sites in 2016 and years to come? Do let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Anil Agarwal who is an SEO and blogging expert is the owner of the Bloggers Passion blog where he is writing on the topics related to blogging, SEO, affiliate marketing, web hosting and social media. You can connect with him on Facebook here and Twitter here.
Host Blogger’s Commentary:
Readers, there is great interest in how to make money blogging. Please share, so other bloggers know how they can turn their hobby into a money-making business.
Which tip do you feel was the most valuable? What other money-making tips for bloggers can you recommend? I look forward to your views in the comments section.