(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
Are you just starting your blog and feel like your readership is too small to make blog monetization worth it? I disagree. I started monetizing my blog from the first day I hit publish and I think it was worth every second of the time I spent on it.
Before you all think I hit six figures my first year blogging, I will be 100% honest: I did not make enough profit to break even my first year blogging.
Running a professional blog is not free–there are domain fees and hosting fees. These are not huge expenses, adding up to only $10 a month, which is much less than a year’s worth of tuition. If you are wondering why I mentioned tuition in that last sentence it is because within months of starting my blog I decided to mentally enroll in my own personal Blogging University.
Having the mindset of being a student allowed me to be okay with not earning a full-time income right away -after all, many people spend up to eight years in university to obtain the training they need for their chosen career. They spend those years dishing out money instead of bringing it in. At least with a blog, I could earn something right away and my income could grow as I learned and applied the skills I need to grow a blog to a full-time income.
My first class was “Blog Monetization 101” and by starting with it right away I learned what worked and what didn’t before I had thousands of readers watching me mess-up.
3 Ways Monetize A Small Blog
How To Make Money From Your Blog Right Away
1. Join Programs With Low Readership Number Qualifications
I highly recommend all new bloggers sign up for the Amazon affiliate program as well as Google Adsense the moment you can qualify. Read the current rules for both programs to find out what the current qualifications are but back when I started blogging I was able to join them within a month or so of starting my blog.
You probably won’t earn much the first year, but it will help you get you used to placing advertising in your sidebars and placing affiliate links in your posts.
It will also get your readers used to them. I have heard from other bloggers who waited to add advertising that their readers complained when they did, yet without them, bloggers in many niches have a harder time getting paid for their time–and believe me, a lot of time goes into producing a blog.
2. Use Referral Links For Companies You Love
I have used point reward programs to help out my family’s tight budget for years so before I started blogging I was familiar with referral credits.
When I had the blog up and running I put a few ads for these companies in my sidebar and linked to them in posts whenever it made sense. You can usually find these ads in their referral banner sections.
The key to sharing referral links is to share them for companies that either your family has personally used and loved or at the very least those that come highly recommended by people you know, love and trust.
If I share a referral link for a company I have not used personally yet, I disclose that I have researched it (because I do spend time reading reviews) but haven’t personally used it yet.
The amount you earn per referral might not seem like much but over time as you gain readership it can really add up –currently, these programs account for 15% of my income.
Point Programs That Offer Referral Links
Survey Companies That Offer Referral Links
Daily Deal Sites That Offer Referral Links
- Living Social ( sometimes they offer a referral incentive and sometimes not)
- Rue La La
Online Clothing Consignment Style Stores That Offer Referral Links
Apps With Referral Links
- Berry Cart
- Receipt Hog (enter YECT1667 when you sign up for a $10 bonus after you submit your first receipt )
- Fetch Rewards (enter the code RE9FU at sign up for a $1.50 bonus after you submit your first receipt)
Online Cash Back Companies With Referral Links
Discounted Gift Card Companies
Various Other Companies With Referral Links
- Ting (economical cell phone company)
- Educents (sells school supplies at great prices, has a daily deal area too)
- Boxed.com (online warehouse store without the membership fee up to $50 in credit)
- Dollar Shave Club (monthly subscription that can be slowed down to suit your needs)
- Golden Tote (monthly clothing service- except you choose what months you want to buy)
- Erin Condren (sells planners, journals and personalized stationary)
- Dropbox (an online file storage site)
- . Time4Learning (Online homeschooling site (our family personally uses this for history and English)
- Hollar (Like an online variety store, lots of great $1 and up items)
Natural & Organic Food & Cleaner Online Stores
- Vita Cost (online natural foods and vitamin store)
- Lucky Vitamin (online natural foods and vitamin store)
- ePantry (now called Grove)(household cleaners & personal products delivered to your door step)
- Thrive Market (online organic foods & natural cleaners warehouse club)
Two Book Companies With Referral Links
I am continually on the lookout for other companies that offer referral programs with referral links I can share on my blog. I love trying out new companies and seeing if they might be a good fit for my audience. Sharing great deals with others is one reason I started my blog.
(psst…as I find more companies with sharable referral links I like I update the list above so make sure to pin this article and check back in later for updates)
These companies pay me in various ways, from points I can cash in for gift cards to store credits I can use to purchase items on their site. It is not exactly money in the bank, but it does help my family out financially. However, some of the programs (like Swagbucks and ibotta) have an option to convert your points to PayPal cash so then it truly is money in the bank.
Check out your favorite point programs, daily deal sites, and more and see if they perhaps offer a sharable referral link.
4. Sign-Up For Affiliate Programs For eBooks And eCourses You Love
If you find an e-book or e-course you love by another blogger that is sold directly on that blogger’s site, check to see if they have an affiliate program you can join and earn as much as 50% commission if someone buys it through the link on your blog. These programs usually don’t require you to have a certain amount of unique monthly visitors making them a perfect fit for new and small blogs.
One great one to sign-up for and promote is Ultimate Bundles which sells different “themed” bundles of eBooks and eCourses. Since each bundle covers a different topic there is a good chance that at least one bundle sale a year if not more will cover a subject your readers are interested in and therefore will buy. With Ultimate Bundles, affiliates earn a generous commission on each bundle sold so you don’t have to sell that many bundles to see a fair return on time spent promoting them.
Now That Your Blog Is Monetized Here Is How To Find The Information You Need To Grow Your Blog In Readership And Income
1. Utilize Free Information For Growing Your Blog
I am a thrifty blogger so I am not going to recommend buying expensive “how to blog” courses when you haven’t yet earned a dime instead, I recommend using free sources of blogging education until you make enough to pay for some key courses that will help you boost your blog to the next level.
Free Blogging Help Blogs
- Your Blogging Mentor – written by Crystal Paine who runs the HUGE hit of a blog Money Saving Mom
- Amy Lynn Andrews – I read Amy’s entire site contents before starting my blog
- Elite Blog Academy – Ruth’s course by the same name I hear is excellent but it is pricey her blogging website is free to read.
I have a section of my blog devoted to blogging help articles I have written over the years and I also recently started a facebook group just for moms with blogs who want to grow their blogs at a rate that won’t take over their lives
Free Blogging Podcasts
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast- covers more than just blogging but most applies.
- Simple Pin- Pinterest is vital for traffic this podcast will help you figure it out.
- Become A Blogger – wise advise and oh how I love the sound of his voice.
Free Courses & Ebooks All The Cost Is Your Email Address
- Anything found over at the blog Wonderlass -her free material is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
- Blog Clarity has an ebook called Do It Yourself Blog Critique–super helpful
- Brilliant Business Moms has a great freebie section -I enjoyed her free Pinterest class
Heads-up! Many free-course and webinars that you enter your email for will end in a sales pitch for a paid course. Use caution signing up for them if you have problems avoiding tempting sales pitches and you are on a tight budget.
2. When You Have Earned A Bit Of Money Start Paying And Reading A Few Good Books
Eventually, you are going to take your blog as far as you can with free materials at that time you should be earning enough to invest back into your blog. The first “type” of blog education I spent money on was a few eBooks which are generally cheaper than courses but go into greater depth than free materials.
Here are 3 Books On Blogging That Can Help You Gain Traffic Traction
- How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul -after applying what I learned in this book I doubled both my readership and my income in less than 30 days.
Delicious Blogging: The Ingredients You Need To Create A Better Blog – this book is great for beginners I wish I had read it during my first few months of blogging it would have saved me hours and hours of work that were unfruitful.
iBloom in Business: Equipping You to Build a Successful Business while Living a Life You Love! – takes you through an important series of questions that will help you create a clear focus for your blog as well as a clear direction for its future.
3. When You Start Earning More Money Start Investing In Courses But Do It The Thrifty Way
Once I started earning over $1000 a month I felt okay about investing in some more expensive blogging courses but I still did it the thrifty way as part of blogging course bundles. My favorite blogging eBook and eCourse bundle is the Genius Bloggers Ultimate Bundle which is available at an amazing price for just a few days every year — if you are a mom who blogs join my blogging facebook group and I will make sure to notify you the next Genius Bloggers Ultimate Bundle sale.
I hope these tips help you turn your new blog into a profitable one!
Haven’t Yet Started A Blog?
What are you waiting for?
It is as easy as 1. 2. 3. 4.
- Pick a domain name (blog name) and register it: I personally use Go Daddy. This is so simple and inexpensive to do Go Daddy often run sales where you can register your domain name (blog name) for as little as .99 cents.
- Pick a Web Host: I started out with BlueHost. It costs as little as $5.95 a month.
- Get started on WordPress.org. : I started with a free WordPress template and saved up money until I could afford Genesis with the Prose child theme.
- Start blogging: I simply jumped right in (yep that is my first post it makes me cringe but I did it). I learned as I went and I don’t regret it.
Find that list a little much? For under $20 you can take the 5 Days to a Successful Blog Launch course through Your Blogging University Powered By Your Blogging Mentor. This course will guide you through each step of starting a blog from picking a blog host to writing your first blog post and more.
3 More Blog Posts On Blogging You Are Going To Want To Read…
- What Slow Blogging Is And Why You Might Want To Make The Switch
- 15 Ways Busy Moms Can Find The Time To Create A Successful Blog
- Why I don’t Hustle: Blogging In The Margins Of Life
Get snail-e-mail in your inbox each week!
A weekly email with the feel of snail mail. A peek into my week, a few deals so good I just have to share, and links to all of Snail Pace Transformations latest posts!