After how to get more followers on social media and how to get more page views to a website, the next most popular question I get asked all the time by new bloggers is when will I start making money from blogging?
Let’s start with the premise that blogging is a marathon and not a sprint.
If you’re looking to make a few quick bucks, blogging isn’t for you.
Even if you’re doing everything right it will still take time for your blog to earn you a liveable income.
That said, there is no reason why you shouldn’t set up your blog for monetisation right from the start.
To better understand when the right time to monetise a blog is, you first need to understand the different types of monetisation strategies most bloggers use and the audience requirements for them.
Different blog monetisation techniques
Affiliate marketing is when you recommend a product, tour, hotel or service in a blog post, and if one of your readers clicks on it and carries out a sale you get recognised a commission.
There is a common myth that you need tons of traffic to make an income from affiliate marketing.
That’s not true, you don’t need thousands of page views to make money with affiliates, but you do need the right kind of page views.
You need to write articles with affiliate links that target people with the right buying mentality if you want to see results. For example if you’re trying to sell a blender, a blog post about the “best blenders of 2019” or “Greta’s blender review” are the type of articles someone with a buying mentality might be searching for online. If you write a smoothie recipe and at the end of it add a link to the blender you used to make it, the conversion won’t be as high.
Affiliate marketing is a monetisation technique that you can use right from the start of your blogging journey. You probably won’t see results at the beginning, as it takes some time for your articles to start appearing on Google or being shared on socials, but when the time comes you’ll be set for success!
Ads are the easiest and most common way to monetise a blog. You just sign up to an ad network, stick a little bit of code on your site and voilà, there are ads up on your site that are making you money passively.
One thing to note however is that in this case, you do need a considerable amount of traffic to earn a decent income from ads. It’s hard to say how much money you can make with ads since every site is affected by different variables. It all depends on where your audience is from, what type of content you write, how you write and a million other factors, but generally speaking, the more page views you have the more income potential you have from ads.
Some people put ads on their blogs right away. Personally, I don’t recommend it. Ads will slow down your website and ruin the reader experience, increasing the risk of people bouncing away and not reading your content and maybe never returning to your site.
To me, if I’m going to ruin my readers experience it has to be worth it. I don’t recommend putting ads on your site until you have enough page views for Ezoic or Mediavine (these are two ad networks that have decent rates, unlike Google AdSense) and to make it worthwhile.
Working with brands is a very popular monetisation strategy for bloggers and Instagrammers. This usually entails a collaboration with a brand where they provide a product or service and pay you in exchange for promotion to your audience.
Again, there’s a myth that you need to have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to make money working with brands on social media. This is also not true.
It’s not about how many followers you have, but the quality of what you have to offer. For example, for a brand interested in promoting vegan products, a vegan food blogger with 10,000 engaged followers is much more valuable than a generic Master Chef judge with 200,000 followers.
While the Master Chef judge might be more famous, a large part of their audience might not care about vegan products. With the niche vegan blogger you know that their audience loves to see that type of content, and will probably be interested in purchasing relevant products.
Small bloggers are also cheaper, which is why recently there has been a rise in “micro-influencer marketing”.
One thing to note from a blogger point of view however is that you should always be very aware of the value of what you provide relative to the value or fee you’re receiving. Recently bloggers and influencers have been given a bad reputation as “freeloaders” that are just asking for free stuff. Don’t be one of those bloggers that contributes to the problem.
For my very fist hotel collaboration when @gretastravels was just at 15,000 followers I stayed for 2 nights in a 6-star villa in Bali that charged 700 AUD per night. I knew the value of one Instagram post wouldn’t match what the villa was offering, so I provided additional Instagram posts, stories, and content creation for their own marketing uses.
You can start working with brands as early as you like, just make sure that what you have to offer genuinely is valuable.
Creating your own products
Once you have a blog and an audience that follows you and genuinely cares about what you have to say, it’s quite common for bloggers to create their own products. This can be literally anything, from t-shirts, Adobe Lightroom photo editing presets, books, courses, swimwear, kitchen utensils, paintings and so on, you get the idea.
What product you end up creating massively depends on your niche and audience. Only you know what your audience likes, what they might need and what they would be interested in buying.
The benefit of creating a product as a blogger as opposed to a “normal person” is that you already have an audience to market it to. You won’t have to invest as much in marketing and reaching new potential customers, since in theory your existing are already potential customers.
Just make sure that you ask your audience beforehand what type of products they would be interested in. Don’t just go ahead and create something without making sure there would be someone interested in purchasing it, or you might end up with wasted time and resources.
Similarly to other monetisation techniques it’s not about the size of your audience that matters, but how engaged they are. If you create the right product that responds your audience’s needs, you will likely make sales even with a small following.
When is the right time to monetise a blog: in conclusion
So there you have it, I hope that answers your question about when is the right time to monetise a blog.
- With brand partnerships and creating your own product you can start monetising as early as you want, as long as you have an active and engaged audience and what you have to offer genuinely is valuable
- With affiliates you can also start early on, it might take some time to see results but at least you’ll be set for success
- While ads are the easiest monetisation technique I would personally wait until you have enough page views to make it worth it
Any questions about monetising your blog just ask us in the comments!