Can you make money blogging? 100% yes!
Is it easy to do when you’re first starting out? 100%, no!
It takes work to build up a profitable blogging business, but it is absolutely worth it. In this post, I’ll give the details on how I made my first $100 blogging and how long it took. I will also cover what you need to focus on first if you want to make money with your blog!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more info
If you are not familiar with my back story, I am not just someone who blogs about blogging. My online journey started with a boy, a big challenge, and a blog. The first blog that I started (and still run today) is in the parenting niche.
I started blogging back in 2014, documenting our family’s experience raising my three-year-old son who was diagnosed with the childhood anxiety disorder, Selective Mutism (SM). It was simply a hobby blog on Blogger that I just used as a place to keep a record of my son’s progress with SM.
During this time, I began helping parents in a few of the Facebook groups I was in for parents raising kids with anxiety and Selective Mutism. I was able to answer so many of their questions based on my own experience raising my anxious son.
Slowly I started sharing my personal blog with them so that they could learn more about the treatment process for SM and the therapy techniques that I was using. This led to me to start getting some traffic to my private blog. It was basically just a log of what we did each day to help our son with this anxiety disorder.
Over time, my traffic continued to increase. More and more parents were reaching out to me wanting more information on how I was helping my son. It was at this time that I started to realize that there were a lot of parents who needed help navigating anxiety in their children.
I knew I had the ability to really help a lot of people with my knowledge and so at the end of 2016, I decided to turn my mess into a message.
I had to make a huge shift from a personal blog about my family’s life to a business blog. I now had to create content that people raising kids with Selective Mutism and high sensitivity were actually searching for.
There was definitely A LOT of trial and error along the way!
When I decided to turn my blog into a business, I knew I needed some help. I took a blogging course that taught me the importance of creating content and collecting email addresses to stay in touch with my readers. In the first few months of this new blog, I did two things.
Approximately four months after officially starting my blogging business, where I was blogging consistently and building up a small loyal audience, I decided to try my hand at some basic affiliate marketing. I signed up for the Amazon Associates Affiliate program.
If you are not familiar with affiliate marketing, it is basically promoting other companies’ products that you use and love and when someone buys through your affiliate link, you get a commission.
Here is my payment history section of my Amazon affiliates from 2017 when I was just starting out. I earned my first money blogging in March of 2017, but I didn’t get paid for it until May.
So four months into my blogging business I made my first $.99. Not very impressive, but honestly, I was thrilled! If I was able to make 99 cents at the very beginning with really low traffic and a small audience, I knew I could grow significantly from there.
To get more detailed info about the payments in this graphic, check out the video above at the 5 minute 34 second mark.
You can see that my affiliate earnings made a huge jump from March to April. This was because I launched my very first product that month and I led people to my product via my affiliate link.
My first product was a physical journal that I had created for kids with anxiety. It was based on a few printables and a scary chart that I had created for my son when he was going through SM therapy. He had a lot of anxious and scary feelings and these helped him so much. I knew that it could help other parents going through the same thing.
After getting feedback from my audience, I created a physical journal through CreateSpace (now known as Kindle Direct Publishing) and launched it in April 2017.
I made 89 sales on the day I launched the journal to my very small list. (I think I had about 100 people on my list in total.) Granted, some of the people who bought it were family and friends who were not on my email list, but a lot of those who purchased were from my list. I also posted in my parenting Facebook groups where I added a lot of value. This is how I got a lot of sales on my first launch as a new business blogger.
I only launched this product once, but as the graphic below shows, I continue to make sales on this product every month on autopilot. That is the beauty of the online space and having a blog. I created it once and I continue to get money from this product every single month.
I quickly learned though that when you sell a physical product on Amazon you make a very tiny commission. This is due to the fact that money has to go into printing and shipping the physical book.
My journal is priced at $6.99, but the profit I make for each book sold is between $1-$2 a book. The total profit from 89 journals sold on that first day’s launch was $113.03. I was able to make an additional $23.34 of affiliate money by using my affiliate link to share my book. This is the reason for the drastic difference in my Amazon affiliate income from March to April.
Since this was my first launch and the first time I had made any money blogging, I was pretty excited. I quickly realized though that if I wanted to make a full-time income with my blog, physical products were not going to be the way to go.
A few months later I decided to offer a digital version of my journal on my website. I added a few extra printables and priced it at $6.00. I set it up so that a customer can instantly download their digital product after purchasing. The only thing that I am charged for is a Stripe or Paypal processing fee. This allows me to make a little more than $5 profit per sale with this digital product.
As a blogger, you don’t want to put all of your income streams in one basket. You want to make sure to diversify. My print journal and the digital version were just the first of many products I have created for my audience. The bulk of my income now comes from digital courses that I offer on both of my blogs.
Digital products and courses will have a much higher profit margin than physical products. Therefore I recommend bloggers focus on these income sources primarily.
I also earn a good amount of money each month with affiliate marketing. I am an affiliate for many different products, services, and courses that I love, use, and know will be beneficial to my audience as well.
As of the date that I am recording this video, I make my income from both my blogs through
In order to make any money with your blog, you need to have an audience. This starts by…
You grow an audience by creating quality, helpful content for your ideal reader CONSISTENTLY.
This is where so many bloggers fall off. They set up their blog and spend a ton of time getting their site to look the way they want. They spend time on social media and do pretty much everything, but create the blog posts or content their audience needs.
Content is the backbone of your entire blogging business.
Creating blog posts and other types of content is where the real work comes in. It takes time to create quality blog posts, so people tend to procrastinate with this. You will not make money until you become consistent with your content and start driving traffic to your site.
Content is how you build your authority in your niche and start building a relationship with your readers. People buy from people they trust. You need to get them on your email list and start developing a know, like, and trust relationship with them. Give them value consistently so that when you launch your product or service they’ll be ready.
It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. It depends on how quickly you put out quality content, grow your audience, and have a strategy in place for monetizing your blog.
As you begin creating content consistently and growing your audience, sign up for an affiliate program or two. Begin recommending things you use and love within your niche that would also be helpful to your audience.
Amazon Associates is a great way to dip your toes into affiliate marketing. The majority of people use and trust it, so it’s a great way to earn some passive money over time; however, the percentage you get per sale with Amazon Associates is one of the lowest around. This makes it hard to bring in a good income with this program alone. Your success really depends on your niche and how strategic you are with it.
Now that my first blog in the parenting niche is well established, I make well over $1,000 a year passively with the program. Most of my Amazon affiliate income comes from links in blog posts I wrote years ago!
You will want to start introducing other streams of income into your business as you grow, such as services, sponsorships, ads, and/or digital products and courses.
I say it a lot but blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time to build up a profitable blog, but it is 100 percent possible. It all begins with creating content consistently and building your audience.
Want to learn the secrets to creating content that grows your following, saves you time, and leads to sales? Check out my course Content Creation Blueprint for all the details.