In case you haven’t noticed, I love blogging as a way to work from home. Blogging is something you can do with very little overhead, technical know-how, or special degrees or experience. The more training you get, the better off you’ll be, but you can still get a successful blog off the ground without any major investment.
The foundation of a successful blog is great content, so you need to put most of your focus into the content of your blog when you’re just getting started. But while you get the ball rolling with your blog full of valuable content, there are a few other plates you can spin to start generating income relatively quickly. Some of these are things you’ll do with your blog and your brand, and other things are simply ways you can put your skills and experience to work for you. Here are 10 ways to make your first $100 as a blogger:
1. Include Affiliate Links in Your Content
Look for affiliate programs for products and services that will be relevant for your audience. The best place to look for these is the companies you’re already using, so you can offer a genuine and knowledgeable recommendation. Possible places to look for an affiliate program include things like your website hosting company, your financial institutions (like a checking account or credit card), training programs, and things like that. Just be sure to disclose any and all affiliate links clearly and up front to comply with FTC regulations!
The great benefit to affiliate products is that you receive a commission when anyone buys or enrolls using your link. Affiliate marketing is a great way to start making money with your blog. The key when you’re just starting out is to make sure that the products you choose to promote are incredibly relevant to your audience and fit naturally within your content.
2. Sell an Affiliate Product to Your Email List
One of the things you need to do immediately when you start your blog is build your email list. This post isn’t about list building, but the long and short of it is that you need a way to collect email addresses, and you need to give people a reason to subscribe to your list (namely, a freebie for opting in). Email your list regularly, by whatever schedule you choose. Once you’ve built up a list — even a small list of 100 or so — you can begin to offer affiliate products in your emails. Again, be sure to disclose your affiliate relationship in the emails.
Email marketing is my passion. I am going to be sharing some of my best email marketing tips soon. Sign up to receive notifications here.
3. Offer a Downloadable Worksheet, Printable, or Ebook for Sale
If you’ve got valuable knowledge about something your target audience will love, package it up as a downloadable product of some sort and offer it for sale on your blog. Think about “quick-hit” things your readers would love to use, like a meal planning worksheet with a weekly calendar, a guide to using a specific social media platform, or a collection of 30 post-workout smoothie recipes.
You can also decide to put together a more robust product or course to sell online. If you’re already an expert in something, this is a great way to start making money immediately. I’ve already shared some of the best places to sell your digital products and courses here.
4. Join an Ad Network
Ads are often big money-makers for bloggers with enough traffic. Research the blogging ad networks that are popular in your niche, and sign up with at least one of them. Google Adsense is a common advertising network to join, especially in the beginning. Amazon CPM Ads are also receiving a lot of praises lately. It’ll take a little bit of time and traffic to start receiving much money from your ads, but it’s best to join up early if this is going to be one of your income streams.
5. Sell Your Book on Amazon
One of the great things about Amazon is that you can sell digital and physical copies of your book. If you can get a nicely designed cover and a manuscript that’s formatted well, you can self-publish anything you want and, with the right description copy and some promotion, you’ll start making money from book sales in no time!
6. Teach or Coach
Offer a one-time in-person event (like a workshop) where you teach a broad-strokes review of your blog topic — or even teach a workshop on how to start a blog. You can often rent rooms at the local library for a small fee, and charge for admission to generate income. Or, if you have a highly specialized niche, you can put up a page on your blog offering one-on-one coaching. Just one workshop or two coaching sessions could lead to your first $100!
7. Look for Paid Guest Post Opportunities
Check out some of the big websites in your niche and see if any of them accept paid guest posts. You can also look for big websites that are related to your niche, or are also of interest to your audience even if they aren’t directly related to your blog topic. Guest posts aren’t always paid, but you can certainly find good opportunities with a little bit of digging.
8. Be a Blogger for Hire
Blogging for hire is one type of freelance writing. While you’re getting your own blog established and growing your name recognition, you can start offering your writing services to other businesses and websites that hire freelance writers. These can be within your blogging niche or not — it all depends on what you want. The main difference between guest posts and blogging for hire is how your post will be “positioned” to the audience. A guest post might have a guest introduction, for example, whereas a post you’ll write for a blogging client will simply be another post on the website.
Another opportunity for “blogging for hire” is to be a ghost blogger — writing blog posts for a blogger who’s already really well established and is ready to outsource their actual content production. These opportunities aren’t often advertised, so the best way to find them is to tap your network and see if anyone you know is looking for a ghost writer.
9. Be a VA for a Bigger Blogger
When you’re just starting out as a blogger, one of the best things you can do is work for another blogger who’s already fairly established. By being a virtual assistant, you’ll pick up valuable skills and learn how a professional blogger runs his or her business, all while getting paid to help out.
10. Develop a Membership Program
A great way to make money with your blog at any time, including the beginning, is to develop a membership program of some sort to sell. You can have the membership renew for whatever time period you set (usually it’s monthly or yearly). The key to maintaining this program is to make the membership extremely valuable to your members. Possible membership sites might include tutoring, training, a ___-of-the-month club, or a mastermind group.
There’s no limit to the types of income streams you can set up for your blog. The key is to get started as quickly as you can, instead of waiting until you’ve got everything “perfect.” If you wait until you’re totally ready, you’ll never get started.
New to The Work at Home Wife?
Working at home successfully is all about maximizing your online time for profits. If you are new to my site, I highly recommend the below opportunities and resources.
- Ebates – I love, love, love Ebates. It’s not unusual for me to earn $300 to $1,000 per month in cash back bonuses and referring my friends. And, the program is free! They will even give you a $10 gift card just for signing up (and so will you).
- Swagbucks – This program has come a long way from its earn-for-search beginning. Today you can earn SB for completing surveys, watching videos and more. Redeem your SB (aka Swagbucks) for cash or gift cards. (Members redeem approximately 7,000 gift cards per day!) Get a $5 signup bonus when you earn 2500 SB in your first 3 months.
- Ibotta - This nifty little app can help you earn money doing something you have to do anyway - grocery shopping. It's kind of like coupons, but instead of money off at the counter, you get cash back on select items each week. You can take your rebate by PayPal in cash or use it to purchase gift cards at great merchants like Amazon. They also have an amazing referral program. Get $10 for every two friends you refer! If you sign up through my referral link, you will get another $10 bonus when you redeem your first rebate.
- Start a Blog – Blogging is what pays my bills these days. It’s not too difficult to start a blog on the side and it’s not expensive either. Learn how you can get your first month of hosting for only a penny in the above link. Already have a blog? Learn 7 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Income here.
- FlexJobs – This is my go-to job board for high-quality job leads. The listings are always researched and always telecommute. No scams!