I didn’t start making money with my blog from the beginning. In fact, I didn’t even know you could monetize a blog! I started my blog purely as a hobby, but it was pretty freaking awesome to learn later how much earning potential there was through blogging.
Even after learning about the different ways to monetize a blog, it took me an entire year before I started to make money from my blog. Would I do it the same way if I started over again? Heck no – I would want to start making money from the beginning!
If you’re starting a blog as a business, that’s AMAZING. And if you can make money from the beginning, that’s even better. But there are a few things you want to make sure you have in place before you try to make money blogging!
There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU MONETIZE A BLOG
This is the first big task you should tackle because your blog design is the first thing visitors will see when you scope out your blog for the first time. It’s important to make sure you have a clean, cohesive blog design. Make sure there isn’t clutter all over your sidebar and footer, and that it looks altogether professional. It’s also important to feature a picture of yourself and links to your social media pages in a prominent place.
For my blog design, I use the Divi Theme from Elegant Themes. It’s a drag and drop theme and SO easy to use. I’ve used quite a few blog themes over the years and Divi is the one I would hands-down recommend to anyone.
Good content is the bread and butter of a great blog. You can have the best marketing strategy in the world to drive people to your blog, but no one is going to stick around for bad content. People aren’t going to spend their money on your products, and companies aren’t going to pay you to promote theirs.
Make sure you’re writing really in-depth articles that are giving actual value to your readers. When your blog is your business you’re not writing for YOU, you’re writing for your readers, so make sure you’re giving them what they want to see.
When it comes to blogging, try to write in your own voice. Readers can probably find similar information on other websites and blogs, but your personality and branding is what is going to hook people.
For as much time as you spend writing content for your blog, you’re going to spend even MORE time promoting it. And that’s where social media comes in.
Many new bloggers make the mistake of trying to be super active on every single social media platform. And while it would be great to get traffic from everywhere, it’s better to start focusing on one platform at a time. That way instead of dabbling in everything, you’re really mastering a platform and learning to drive a ton of traffic from it. Then, once you’ve mastered one platform, you can move onto the next.
You can have a presence on every platform from the beginning, just try not to devote too much time to all of them at once.
Make sure you also have social sharing buttons on all of your blog posts so your readers can help you out by sharing your content on their own social media pages.
You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but blogging and online business is SUPER visual. People want to follow pretty feeds. They want to click on things and read things that are visually appealing. This is why Instagram and Pinterest are SO big right now!
Having killer photos on your blog is essential. If you’re like me and photography isn’t your forte, you can use stock photos. There are TONS of sources for free stock photos online. Even better would be to pay for a stock photo subscription, because then you aren’t using the EXACT same stock photos as everyone else on the internet.
If you’re going to write on a blog, you have to know who you’re talking to. You cannot write content that every single person is going to relate to and if you try to do that, you’re ultimately going to end up writing content that NO ONE relates to.
While it might seem like the larger your potential audience, the larger your revenue potential, it’s actually the opposite. The more you niche down and the more expert you are in ONE area, the more people who are interested in that topic are going to see you as an expert.
Knowing who you’re writing for will allow you to figure out what kinds of products to create and what kinds of affiliate products to promote. That way you’re not just throwing stuff up to see what works. And once who KNOW what your audience will be interested in, you can create sales centered content to help reach your goals.
So let me preface this by saying that you don’t have to have a ton of traffic to start making money from your blog. But it’s going to make it WAY easier to really make serious money in the long-term.
First of all, some forms of monetization are reliant on traffic, like ads. The ad earnings for my blog are based on how much traffic I get. If people stop coming to my blog, I stop making money from ads.
Other forms of monetization are less reliant on traffic before you can monetize a blog, but traffic is still important. For instance, you can sell affiliate products and your own products to a small audience, as long as they really care about what you have to say. But the more traffic you get, the more chance you have of reaching people who care about what you have to say, and the more people you have to sell to.
Don’t worry if your traffic isn’t huge from Day 1. It’s something you’re going to be working on literally for as long as you are blogging!
BEFORE YOU GO
If you’re ready to start or grow your blog, here are some blogging resources I recommend checking out:
And don’t forget to sign up for my FREE 5-Day blog challenge where I teach you how to grow your blog from hobby to side hustle!