Wouldn't it be nice to blog about your daily life and happenings and get financially rewarded for it? For once, it would be sweet to get paid to share your thoughts, right? While many people know how to get started sharing their life online, they don't know how to make money from a personal blog.
Fortunately, there's no hidden lever you need to pull to start making money from your personal blog. In fact, all that's needed is the awareness that you can monetize your blog, even if you don't aim to build it into a full-time business.
In this guide, I will teach you how to make money from a personal blog by sharing with you the same strategies and monetization methods I use to make money from my affiliate blog. Don't worry – it's easier than you think!
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How To Make Money From A Personal Blog
If you want to learn how to make money from a personal blog, the first thing to know is that blogging has more-or-less outgrown the “traditional” sense of blogger.
That means that nowadays, it's no longer enough to write and publish your thoughts online in an article-type format if you want to attract a blog audience and make money from it.
Nowadays, to monetize, bloggers need to juggle many tasks including optimizing content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), growing a social media presence, and collaborating with brands and businesses for paid sponsorships.
Personal blogs that are strictly personal in nature – and not business-oriented – can still make a profit, but it will take attracting a blog audience. More readers = more chance and opportunities to monetize.
That said, here are the top ways to begin the journey toward making money from your personal blog.
Affiliate Marketing & Your Personal Blog
Many people would say that affiliate marketing can only be effective when used on blogs or websites designed for affiliate marketing (like this one).
But I would argue that affiliate marketing can be effective no matter where you intend to use it – personal blogs, websites, even social media apps.
I would go a step further to say that as long as you have any type of blog – you can benefit from affiliate marketing.
Did you know you can even put affiliate links on Instagram and even Facebook? Yep! Affiliate marketing is even allowed on most social media apps so if that's the case, you can bet that personal blogs are great places for it too!
The idea of affiliate marketing is simple – insert affiliate links (i.e. tracked links tied to an affiliate program/service) in your blog articles whenever you recommend or want to promote a product or service.
The execution, luckily, is also fairly simple. All you need to do is join an affiliate program of your choice that is relevant to your blog topic/article and blog niche.
There are hundreds of types of affiliate programs you could join, but knowing how to find the best affiliate programs right for your personal blog and audience will make the difference between making money and not making money (aka getting zero affiliate conversions). Also, I would recommend applying to only 1-5 to start.
The Amazon Affiliate Program is a popular choice among all types of blogs – even personal blogs – since so many people use Amazon and since commissions can result from any consequential purchase from a link click.
Meaning, you can make money on any product purchased on Amazon when a user clicks through your link, even if it isn't the product mentioned in your article (and as long as the transaction is tracked and occurs within Amazon's 24 hour cookie period).
It's best to stay realistic about affiliate marketing. Yes, it's extremely powerful and worth learning. But it's not going to make you hundreds of dollars per month unless you have a solid strategy and a substantial amount of blog readers.
Use Pinterest To Grow Your Audience
As the owner and writer of a personal blog, it's unlikely that you will be writing your articles with SEO in mind.
If you're focusing on sharing about your life, much like a lifestyle blog, then you will no doubt be writing more intimately, sharing your thoughts, emotions, and opinions with an audience rather than how-to guides.
In that case, your articles likely won't be SEO-optimized or targeting a specific keyword to rank in Google, thus bringing organic traffic to your blog.
But what if there was a way you could still attract an audience to your personal blog, but just with another search engine? Enter Pinterest.
Did you know that Pinterest is a visual search engine? That's right! That means you can promote your blog articles via publishing eye-catchy pins on Pinterest.
Pinterest users can see the pin, save it to their boards (spreading it to other Pinterest users), or click through to the pin link which will take them to your blog article.
While bloggers who write with SEO in mind may have to wait months (or even years!) for some of their blog articles to rank and bring them traffic, with Pinterest, you could publish and then promote your article that same day on Pinterest and have 1, 5, or 10 new readers.
The catch? Since Pinterest is a search engine, you kinda need to optimize your pins for Pinterest SEO. Luckily, though, it has less of learning curve than blog SEO and only takes minutes to do!
Republish Your Blog Articles On Medium
Another clever way to get people reading your personal blog (and clicking on those affiliate links!) is by republishing your blog articles on the free blogging platform called Medium.
There are many reasons to blog on Medium, and one of them is that you can republish your own content to its platform, where millions and millions of active monthly members await to read the next best-written piece of art.
Essentially, by republishing your own blog content to Medium you are giving your content the chance to be seen by a large audience that already exists. No need to lure them in from Google or Pinterest.
What's more, you can link to your own blog from Medium AND use affiliate links on Medium as well! That means your affiliate links on your blog will also work whenever you republish on Medium using a canonical tag (so that it doesn't get seen as “duplicate” content by the Google gods).
You could even take it a step further and put your content behind a paywall (exclusive only to paying members) so that you can also make money on Medium from your blog articles!
Eventually Monetize With Display Ads
Once your personal blog begins to pick up more and more readers each month, you can then begin thinking about monetizing it with display ads.
Display advertising is a great way to make money from a personal blog because it's passive income. Basically, there's no extra work you need to do.
The only catch with ads, though, is that many have “minimum thresholds” concerning monthly sessions or users on your blog before you can join.
Some ad networks allow you to join their programs once you reach 10,000 unique monthly viewers (UMV) or sessions on your blog per month. Others have 20K, 50K, and even 100K thresholds to ensure their blog advertisers and partners are entering into high-quality partnerships.
You could always fall back on Google Adwords and manually place ads on your site yourself, but you risk appearing spammy and for not much profit.
Trust me, it's worth waiting it out until your personal blog grows in traffic before you monetize with display ad networks.
Sell A Digital Product On Your Personal Blog
Finally, you can make money from a personal blog by selling your own digital products on your website.
For example, ebooks are a popular e-product because they cost virtually nothing to create – only your time!
If you have something to teach, a skill to pass on, you could also think about creating and selling a course through your personal blog.
Let's see… There's also the possibility to sell printouts, e-planners, pdfs, Lightroom presets, branded logos, photography prints, and much, much more.
Who knows, you could even sell physical products on your personal blog, that perhaps your audience or family/friends would be interested in buying. But doing so means entering into a whole other realm of eCommerce and drop shipping. However, it's possible!
Can You Really Make Money From A Personal Blog?
What I hope you learned from this article is yes – you can really make money from your personal blog, but it won't be without its own slew of challenges.
You first need to find where your traffic will come from, if not Google.
Then, you should nail down a killer affiliate marketing strategy so that your readers are encouraged to click through your links and make a purchase.
Later, once your blog grows, you can begin monetizing with display ads or consider launching your own digital product.
The most important thing to remember, though, if you want to make money from a personal blog, is that money will trickle in at first. You won't ever get rich from it without treating it like a business.
Ultimately, it's all about learning what works and what doesn't and scaling from there.