How to Make Money Blogging in 2020 ($200k+ in Year One)

How to Make Money Blogging

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If you want to learn how to make money blogging in 2020, you need to ditch the cookie-cutter advice you’ve been reading.

“Expert” bloggers tend to give you generic advice like write about your passions, stay consistent, form good writing habits, and create great content.

Then, a few years from now, you’ll finally have enough website traffic to monetize your blog with affiliate programs, Google AdSense, online courses, podcasting, or selling digital products.

The hard truth is, it doesn’t have to take you years – there’s just a lot of bad advice out there.

To make life-changing money from your blog as fast as possible, you need to start thinking like a CEO and developing systems to scale your blog like a startup, not a hobby.

I’ve worked for high growth startups, and some of the best CMOs, VPs, and Growth Marketers out there. And what did I learn?

Most blogging advice is harmful, not helpful.

You’re sold the dream of passive income and the ability to make money online while you sleep, all while 95% of bloggers still fail. And yet, these “experts” that started over 10 years ago are the only ones profiting the most from blogging.

So I started this blog in January 2019 to track my progress as a brand new blogger using everything I learned in the startup world.

Here’s the first thing I learned – to scale your blog like a startup, you need to remove most of the writing from your process.

Remember, you’re a business owner, not just a blogger.

Using the tactics I outline below, I started generating $35k/month by month 9.

And as you can see from my February 2020 blog income report, I’m currently making over $45k from this blog that I started just 14 months ago. 

This guide covers SEO, keyword research, content marketing, WordPress, and affiliate marketing so that you can copy my strategies this year.

Let’s get started.

Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links which may provide a small commission to me at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools to help you make money blogging this year. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

Table of Contents

How to Make Money Blogging in 2020.

Before anything else, you need to learn how to start a blog. The first step is getting web hosting and a domain name. I recommend Bluehost as it’s the #1 recommended host by WordPress and has more than enough features to do everything outlined in this guide.

You can get started with Bluehost for $2.95/month (63% off) with my link.

This article is all about making money this year – I won’t give you a vague list of options like affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, online courses, or advertising.

Instead, we’ll focus on scaling your blog like a startup by choosing your niche, scaling your content, and monetizing your blog to make $10,000/month in 90 days.

Let’s scale your new blog like a startup.

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Choose Your Blog’s Niche Based on Market Factors, Not Your Passions.

There’s a reason that 95% of bloggers fail, and it’s not why you think.

The current myth is that bloggers fail because they aren’t “passionate enough.”

“Push through failure to succeed,” they say.

Google “why bloggers fail,” and you get the same answer from the #1 result: bloggers fail because they aren’t passionate enough.

I officially reject this notion.

The real reason bloggers fail is the same reason that any business fails: it’s not profitable.

Take my passions, for example.

I’m passionate about a lot of things – drumming, flying airplanes, traveling, astronomy, distance running, personal development, Detroit-style pizza, etc.

However, if I wrote an endless amount of blog posts about one of these topics without making any money, I’d burn out 100% of the time.

Additionally, some bloggers claim, “I’m not in it for the money” or, “It’s just a hobby.”

Hobby bloggers are just new bloggers that don’t know how to make money yet. In any creative digital field – whether it’s design, web development, photography, copywriting, or video editing – there are beginners and experts.

And since most bloggers start as beginners by writing about a passion and try to figure everything else out later, they’re destined to fail.

Blog Passion Myth

Source: Google.com

Plus, blogging advice is outdated, written only to rank on Google, and encourages a generalized approach to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

Bloggers don’t fail because of a lack of passion (they have that in spades).

Bloggers fail because they can’t transition from blogger to business owner.

So they choose a non-lucrative niche targeting a low-value audience. New bloggers forget to leverage networking and connections to their strategic advantage. And they don’t have enough market demand to scale traffic.

I want you to succeed.

Before launching your blog, it’s crucial to choose your niche based not on passions, but three business factors: audience budget potential, professional leverage, and market demand.

1. Audience Budget Potential.

To offer a valuable product on your blog, you need to solve a pain point for your audience. That’s obvious.

As a blogger, you should deeply understand your audience’s challenges so that you can offer the most in-demand solution. Check.

Start by looking at niches where you’re a member of the target audience yourself. This way, your domain expertise shines through faster.

But don’t think that after you’ve gotten that far, you should open up a generic list of 100 niches and narrow it down that way. Watercolors? K-Pop? Travel? Good luck with that. 

What is the #1 most important factor when choosing your blog’s niche?

How much your audience is willing to spend.

It’s that simple.

Let’s break it down.

So in this example, let’s say you’re planning to start a blog in the home design niche.

Your blog topics may pull in different readers. Visitors could include professional interior designers, college design students, and even stay-at-home moms who want the latest home decor inspiration.

To monetize this niche, you would create a new blog and move your readers down the sales funnel:

  • First, you’d create content to attract an audience
  • Then you’d build out a home design “freebie” to get email opt-ins
  • Next, you could use affiliate marketing to promote home decor brands
  • Finally, you would offer your email subscribers a $300 online course (with a money-back guarantee) about 10 Expert Interior Design Tips for the Perfect Home

Nothing is wrong with this approach – this tends to be what most bloggers do, and it can earn some passive income after a couple of years of building your audience.

But is it a lucrative audience? Stay-at-home moms, college students, and a few professionals with an average salary?

Here’s the secret.

By changing just one word in your niche, you can increase your blog’s income potential by 200x.

All you do is change “home design” to “retail design.”

Let me explain.

By adding a B2B component, you just shifted your audience from individuals to businesses and increased your blog’s income potential by 200x.

Think about it this way. If you’re selling to large businesses instead of individuals, you make more money for two reasons. The first is that they have more funds available. Second, it’s not coming out of their own pocket.

Marketing Budgets By Industry

Source: imab2b.com

The beautiful thing about this approach is that your blog launch, content strategy, and sales funnel are almost the same for both the B2C “home design” and B2B “retail design” niches.

Here’s the good part: while the B2C “home design” monetization stopped at a $300 course, the B2B “retail design” niche doesn’t just stop there.

After you build your professional brand, you become known as a B2B design expert. This influence allows your price to jump from a $20 affiliate commission or a $300 course – to a $5,000/month recurring consulting service.

Understanding your audience’s pain points isn’t enough.

To 200x your revenue potential, your audience needs to be in a lucrative B2B niche and pay a monthly recurring basis.

Recurring Affiliate Programs

Source: Datapine.com

To recap, when choosing your niche, rather than worrying about your passions and getting thousands of passive, low-value site visitors, focus on closing 2-3 high-value clients.

With this approach, I hope you’re beginning to understand why I truly believe you can make $10,000/month in 90 days with a new blog.

2. Use Your Professional Leverage to Choose Your Blog’s Niche.

After uncovering a lucrative audience to provide value to, the next step is to discover the strategic advantages you may have over others.

Ask yourself:

  • What is my current level of professional experience?
  • What connections do I have in my industry?
  • Can I leverage this experience into a profitable blog?
  • If I could pitch any website in the world to contribute a guest post, who would take me seriously from the start?

To build a truly successful blog, you first need to build influence. And to build authority, you need to step outside of your comfort zone and leverage your connections, professional experience, and everything at your disposal like never before.

You will also be performing a lot of outreach to make new connections.

Outreach includes building relationships so you can guest post on authoritative sites in your niche. These posts give you get relevant, high Domain Authority (DA) backlinks for SEO, which is still one of the best ways to rise in the Google search rankings. And according to Broadband Search’s recent Internet statistics from 2019, Google process 3.5 billion searches per day – or over 40,000 every second. There’s plenty of traffic to go around.

And when you’re just starting, you may not have many connections or published content out there. You might say: “Why would anyone feature me?”

Leveraging your background helps tremendously.

For example, if you’re a photographer, you might have a base of clients, contacts from local meet-up groups, and even know photography influencers that you met in the past. If you can leverage these contacts in the future, you can accelerate the growth of your blog.

3. Your Niche Needs Market Demand.

Before you get started, you need to do some research and see if people search for your topics and pay for solutions.

Once you understand your leverage and passions, take your chosen niche, and come up with the top 10 keywords to target.

Next, use a keyword research tool like the free Google Keyword Planner or a better SEO tool like Ahrefs and enter your keywords. If your top 5 keywords have search volumes of at least 5,000, this shows that there is interest in these topics. Here’s an example of my target keyword in this blog post:

Ahrefs How to Make Money Blogging Keyword

After that, look at the keyword difficulty score (a number from 0 to 100 on how difficult it will be to rank for the keyword). If your keywords have difficulty scores of 0.8 or higher, the competition may be too fierce for you to make an impact. Shoot for target keywords with over 5,000 monthly searches and under a 0.4 difficulty score so that you can potentially get more traffic with less competition.

Another way to view competition is to use an SEO tool like Ahrefs to see search engine results page (SERP) data. Specifically, look for the Domain Authority (DA) of the first page results and the SERP position history.

If the top 10 results all have a DA over 65, your new blog with a DA of 0 is not going to get on page one, thus getting no traffic. However, if you see a website with a DA under 30 on page one, you can pass them with better content. If the SERP position history hasn’t budged over the last six months, the competition might be too fierce.

To recap, when researching your blog’s market demand, shoot for topics that have keywords with:

  • 5,000+ monthly searches
  • A keyword difficulty score under 0.4
  • The first page of Google has at least one site with a DA under 30
  • A SERP position history that has changed recently.

To summarize, focus less on writing and more on keyword research. Choose your niche based on audience budget potential, professional leverage, and market demand.

Find an audience that you’re a part of and understand their challenges personally. Up-level that audience to make sure there’s a B2B component to 200x your revenue potential. Leverage your network, job experience, and everything else at your disposal. And make sure your niche has market demand.

Because in the end, passion doesn’t create money; money creates passion.

Ready to get started? Try Bluehost for $2.95/month (63% off) with my link.

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Scale Your Content Creation and Stop Writing So Much.

What if I told you that your blog’s first 90 days has nothing to do with your blog and you won’t write a single word?

What if the secret to scaling and making money blogging doesn’t include blogging?

What if everything taught about growing a new blog has limited your growth?

Remember: you’re a business owner, not just a blogger.

From days 0 to 90, you won’t be writing a single word. I won’t give the same old, outdated advice. I refuse to talk about how to write about your passions, follow an editorial calendar, writing habits, writing consistency, (or anything about writing for that matter).

Instead, we’re going to scale your blog like a startup and build credibility in your niche faster.

There are five main components to this process:

  1. Outreach
  2. Guest Post
  3. Outsource
  4. Backlinks
  5. Repeat indefinitely

By using this system for the first six months after launch, my blog received over 3,000 backlinks from 500+ domains, a +66 Domain Rating (DR) increase,  and an Ahrefs Rank improvement from 38,000,000 to under 150,000. Most importantly, a substantial increase in organic traffic:

Organic Traffic 44k

Then I crossed 125k monthly organic visitors a few months later and started making $35k/month:

Adam Enfroy Ahrefs November 2019

If you’re a blogger that wants to focus on writing, consistency, passion, and habits, you can stop reading here.

But if you’re one of the like-minded people that’s serious about growing your blog like a CEO (and not a hobby blogger), let’s start monetizing.

1. Relationships Are Your Foundation.

Before you start building relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your niche, you have to understand one central theme. You have to provide value to others. Don’t go into the process of building a relationship just thinking about what you’ll get out of the deal. First, you need to focus on the benefits you’ll give others.

Ask yourself: what value are you providing in the relationship?

  • Could you provide content because your expertise matches their audience’s interests?
  • Is their blog currently in need of content to fill their editorial calendar?
  • Can you leverage link building for them in other guest posts you’re writing?
  • Is there a topic that you’re well versed in that doesn’t exist on their blog?

The first step in pitching is understanding your value and what you can do to help. This information will be vital in your initial email outreach strategy.

First, create a targeted list of sites.

Once you understand the value you can provide, it’s time to start building your blog outreach list. This list should be a simple spreadsheet with five columns: Website, Name, Email Address, Status, etc.

To begin populating your spreadsheet, look up the target blog’s monthly site visitors and Domain Authority (DA) by plugging their URL into an SEO tool like Ahrefs. Aim for blogs with a Domain Authority of 50+.

Remember, the higher the DA, the stronger the partnership potential, and the more SEO impact you’ll receive from the relationship. To save time during your search, find an article like this one with the top blogs and websites accepting guest posts in 2020, with Domain Authority scores.

Once you’ve pared down your list of blogs based on the criteria above It’s time to find the right person to contact.

First, use LinkedIn. Start by filtering your search results by the blog’s company page, then within the company, search for people by using terms like: “Content Manager,” “SEO Manager,” “Editor,” or simply, “Content.”

After you find 2-3 potential contacts, connect with them on LinkedIn. 2nd degree LinkedIn connections are better than 3rd – and if you have a mutual contact, even better. Don’t spend too much time on your connection message either, often your text gets buried or comes off as spammy.

Once you’ve reached out on LinkedIn, use an email tool like Hunter.io to scan the blog for email addresses. Even if you can’t find the contact’s exact email address, Hunter.io shows your email structure, such as [email protected] or [email protected]. Add this contact information into your spreadsheet.

2. Start Relationships & Pitch Guest Posts at the Same Time.

Valuable blogging relationships provide content and links. Once you have a list of 50-100 potential contacts and have reached out on LinkedIn, it’s time to start your email outreach.

You can scale your guest blogging strategy by using an email template to start the relationship while asking to guest post at the same time.

Here’s a sample template that I’ve used:

Hey (First Name),

My name’s Adam and I’m the (Title) at (Blog).

I’m reaching out because I love (Target Blog) and am interested in collaborating on content with you.

I was curious if:
1) You’d like to participate in link building. I write (X-X) guest posts per month and would be happy to link to your site in my content.
2) You allow guest posts on your blog.

I’d love to contribute to your (awesome? informative? useful?) blog and can pitch some topic ideas that I think your audience will enjoy. Here are some recent samples from me:
(Sample 1 URL)
(Sample 2 URL)
(Sample 3 URL)

Please let me know if you’re interested and I look forward to hearing back from you soon!

Thanks,

Adam

That’s it.

By using a guest post email template and knowing how to start an email greeting, you save time and scale your process by starting a relationship and pitching a guest post at the same time.

Once your contact responds to your email and says they are interested in a guest post, you need to pitch the perfect topic.

There are four main criteria for the perfect guest blogging topic pitch:

  1. Your content doesn’t exist on their site yet. When you have a topic idea, go to Google and search “site:blog.com topic” to scan their blog to check if it already exists.
  2. Your topic and target keywords have SEO value. Go back to Ahrefs and input the blog’s URL. View which organic keywords are driving the most traffic to see if you can find gaps in their content that you can fill.
  3. The topic matches your expertise. You should be able to write intelligently about the subject and use the guest blog to build more influence in your niche.
  4. The topic matches the audience’s interests. Check their editorial guidelines, look into how they write their blog posts, and try to match their blog’s style.

Once your topic is accepted, you can move onto the heart of your guest blogging strategy.

3. The Importance of Guest Blogging.

In January 2019, I conducted a guest blogging experiment. My goal was to contribute as many guest posts as I could within 15 days to measure its impact on my site’s SEO metrics and traffic.

Here were the results after 15 days:

  • Eight guest posts published on websites with DAs of 81, 73, 60, 66, 71, 61, 94, and 84
  • 32 new referring domains
  • 247 new backlinks
  • 268 new organic keywords ranking in the top 100
  • 372% increase in organic traffic
  • +12 to Ahrefs Domain Authority
  • Alexa Rank improved by 600,000

The results were clear – guest posting on high DA sites still greatly impacts a new blog’s SEO. With 65% of marketers saying that link building is the toughest SEO tactic to master, it can also be the most rewarding.

That’s why I recommend launching a blog with 5 “pillar posts” – long-form, SEO-optimized articles built for inbound links. Add statistics, infographics, and case studies to making linking easier.

Even as my blog ages, I still aim to contribute at least 3-5 guest posts for everyone post I write for my blog. When you’re first learning how to make money blogging, focus more on business and less on writing.

Update March 2020: In 2019, I published 82 guest posts, increased my Domain Rating to 74 and now get over 250,000 visitors/month to my blog.

Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links which may provide a small commission to me at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools to help you make money blogging this year. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

3. How to Monetize Your Blog the Right Way.

There are a lot of options when it comes to making money blogging – affiliate marketing, ads, online courses, one-on-one coaching, consulting, sponsored posts, selling physical products, etc. Some of these income streams require more traffic than others.

That’s why it’s essential to plan your future revenue-driving strategy with the right forms of monetization at the right points in your blog’s lifecycle.

Plan Your Future Blog Monetization Timeline

For example, if you just created a new travel blog, it doesn’t make sense to put ads all over your site. Those tactics require hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors to make good money.

Similarly, you shouldn’t start affiliate marketing and cram a bunch of links everywhere at the beginning either. Generating affiliate marketing revenue can also require thousands of visitors to make a single sale.

Yes, you can eventually get a place where you’re generating “passive income” with affiliate marketing, courses, ad revenue, and digital products, but that can take years.

What if you want to start making money from your blog to quit your job in 3 months?

The good news?

The most lucrative form of blog monetization can be used from Day 1 and doesn’t require much traffic.

Your perfect blog monetization timeline will focus on maximizing revenue in each stage of your blog’s growth.

There are four distinct areas of focus:

  • 1-90 days: High-end consulting (0-1,000 monthly site visitors)
  • 90-180 days: Affiliate marketing (1,000-2,500 monthly site visitors)
  • 180-365 days: Your first online course (5,000+ monthly site visitors)
  • 365 days and beyond: Course memberships (10,000+ monthly site visitors)

It may seem counter-intuitive to start with consulting if you’re a brand new blog without much traffic. However, because you’re building relationships and treating your blog like a business, you can land high-end clients from day one.

This post will first focus on days 1-90 and how to perfect your high-end sales funnel to make money blogging from the start.

Ready to get started? Try Bluehost for $2.95/month (63% off) with my link.

4. Master Your Blog’s Sales Funnel

Your sales funnel will be comprised of 5 primary areas leading users down the path to your end goal of a high-end $3,000+ consulting offer. As you scale up traffic, you can focus on lower-priced offers like online courses, affiliate products, sponsored posts, and digital downloads. However, the most lucrative way to monetize a new blog is with an expensive offer from the beginning.

It’s a simple balancing revenue act as you grow your traffic. The newer your blog and the less traffic you have, the higher your price needs to be to compensate:

Low Traffic x High Price = High Traffic x Low Price

Here are the five steps to get prospects down your sales funnel:

  1. A user reads your high-quality blog content related to your high-end offer
  2. They opt-in for your email list for a one-page “freebie” offer
  3. Optional: Add a lower-priced offer around $50-200 to build trust (we will add this down the line)
  4. Your automated welcome email series tells a story and take them down a path to set a meeting with you
  5. Finally, your ideal B2B clients set a meeting with you and pay for your high-end consulting offer
Digital Consulting Sales Funnel

Source: activemediaacademy.com

For a brand new blog, all that you need is your first five blog posts, a one-page opt-in “freebie,” an email platform and list, and a consulting page.

I’ll repeat it: you’re a business owner, not a blogger.

Think about all those local business websites that look like they’re straight from 1996 – auto mechanics, financial services, real estate sites, etc. They might be lucky to get a few hundred visits/month. But their website is bringing in revenue because they’re filling a need in the market and providing a solution with high-end services.

Your blog must have a service that fills a need in the market from day one.

The early focus of your new blog isn’t to write a bunch of blog posts that no one will find. Instead, focus on having just five high-quality pillar posts, a consulting page, and a dialed-in sales funnel. Your sales outreach will do the rest.

5. Master Your High-End Consulting Offer

As we discussed, when choosing your niche, you need to have a dialed-in sales funnel with the end goal of converting $3,000+ sales to business clients.

From day one, your goal to make money blogging should be driving traffic to your consulting page. This page needs to be in your top-level navigation, and include keyword research around the terms that your high-end business clients type into Google.

Make sure the page has a professional picture of you and easy ways to contact you.

Your Home page, Start Here page, About page, and blog posts should strategically link to your Consulting page. Also, when contributing guest posts, you should add a link to this page in your guest author bio. Here’s what mine looks like with links in bold:

Adam Enfroy is a content marketing consultant and blogger. He lives in Austin, TX, and writes about how to blog like a startup at adamenfroy.com.

6. Use The Magic Email Formula

When building your sales funnel, you need to use email marketing software coupled with an on-site email opt-in tool to generate the most email subscribers.

What’s the magic formula?

ConvertKit + OptinMonster

ConvertKit is the best email marketing tool for bloggers.

It’s great for a few main reasons:

  • You can create advanced email sequences based on different site actions to personalize your funnels. Note: 59% of customers say that personalization influences their shopping decision
  • Next, you can create drip campaigns and link sequences together based on actions inside of emails.
  • Finally, it’s perfect for bloggers because their text emails look professional and don’t have annoying branding like with MailChimp and other platforms.
ConvertKit Automation

Remember, simple text emails will generate the most revenue for your blog. Don’t worry about fancy design features, adding your logo, or a bunch of images.

Think about it. If a sales professional was trying to close a $3,000 deal, what kind of email would they send? It would be a text-based email based on a healthy relationship, not an impersonal, image-heavy marketing email.

In unison with the email platform, OptinMonster is the best email opt-in tool out there. It’s a WordPress plugin that you can easily integrate with your blog (and ConvertKit) to generate more email subscribers.

With OptinMonster, you create different types of opt-ins, including exit-intent pop-ups, sidebar opt-ins, and even forms within your blog posts themselves. I have one exit-intent pop-up, one sidebar opt-in, one on specific pages, and one at the end of blog posts.

OptinMonster Campaign

With these email opt-in types on your blog, you are maximizing the number of potential visitors entering your email funnel and converting your visitors into customers.

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How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

Bloggers are making money in all kinds of ways. Successful bloggers can make over 7-figures/year, while other bloggers might be generating no income at all. A goal that many bloggers tell you to shoot for is $2,000/month in recurring income within one year. However, with my monetization strategies below, I made $17k of monthly recurring revenue in the first 90 days.

So let’s start monetizing your blog.

You’ve chosen your blog’s niche, outsourced your content, and planned your blog monetization timeline. It’s time to learn how much money you can make blogging in 90 days.

Before you tackle this plan, you will need:

  • A WordPress blog – make sure to get started with Bluehost.
  • Five pillar blog posts you want to promote.
  • All web pages complete: About Page, Start Here Page, Contact Page, Consulting Page, Resources Page, Email Opt-In Page, etc.
  • Email marketing software set up with opt-ins in your sidebar, in blog posts, and upon exit intent.
  • An active email sales funnel with a welcome email series – using ConvertKit and OptinMonster.
  • A content marketing writer or freelancer ready who will help with your guest post pipeline.

Once you have these covered and launch your blog, your 90-day blog monetization plan can begin.

You’ll notice that this plan to make money blogging consists of almost 100% outreach.

Since you have your original content, sales funnel, and blog posts published, you maximize impact by building relationships and getting backlinks.

The main outreach targets include influencer relationships, your professional network, your high-end client personas, and blogging communities.

It’s time to scale your blog like a startup in 90 days.

Let’s earn some real, life-changing money blogging.

Week 1

Goals: Begin influencer outreach, get five guest post topics approved, get 2nd tier professional connections, join communities on a blogging platform.

Tactics:

  • Influencer Relationships
    • Create the spreadsheet list of 100 high DA sites you want to partner with
    • Find contact information and email addresses of proper contacts
    • Begin LinkedIn outreach with template
    • Begin email outreach with template
    • Get five guest post topics approved
    • Have a content team begin writing and add in your links/target influencer links
  • Professional Network
    • Get a list of 2nd tier contacts in your niche from your network
    • Reach out to them, tell them about your blog, and figure out ways you can provide value to them
    • High-End B2B Client Personas
    • Build a list of 50 ideal B2B customer personas for your high-end consulting services
  • Join Blogging Communities
    • Join communities on blogging platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn, local meet-ups

Weeks 2-3

Goals: Get the first two guest posts published, get approved to contribute five more guest posts, outreach to high-end B2B client personas.

Tactics:

  • Influencer Relationships
    • Get first two guest posts published under your name
    • Continue outreach and get accepted to contribute five more guest posts
    • Outreach to target influencers you linked to in your two published posts
  • Professional Network
    • Meet with 2nd tier contacts you were introed to, see how you can provide value
  • High-End B2B Client Personas
    • Outreach to list of 50 ideal B2B customer personas to ask about business and pain points
  • Blogging Communities
    • Reach out in your niche, introduce yourself, and see how you can provide value

Week 4

Goals: Outreach to high-end B2B client personas, get two more guest posts published, begin link network.

Tactics:

  • Influencer Relationships
    • Get two more guest posts published (4 published, 6 in progress)
    • Share posts on social media and with network
    • Outreach to influencers that you linked to in guest posts
    • Leverage current influencer relationships to create link building network
  • High-End B2B Client Personas
    • Follow up with your list and offer to set up a meeting
    • Meet with and practice four sales meetings with your high-end B2B client personas

Reminder: this blog post covers the first four weeks to help you make money blogging. If you want a free 10,000+ word email course, a 7-Day Blog Launch Checklist, and your full 90-day plan to make $10k, you can sign up for my email list below.

To recap how I want you to think about how to make money blogging, look at it this way:

To earn $10,000 in monthly recurring revenue from your blog, you either need to:

A. Sell 200 affiliate marketing products at $50 per sale every month. Or B. Close 3-4 high-end consulting deals. Which is easier? The affiliate marketing option may require 25,000-50,000+ monthly site visitors; the consulting option only requires a little expertise and a sales funnel.

Ready to make money blogging? Try Bluehost for $2.95/month (63% off) with my link.

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Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links which may provide a small commission to me at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools to help you make money blogging this year. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

How to Make Money Blogging FAQ.

Can you make a living blogging?

Yes, you absolutely can make a living blogging and it can be very lucrative. However, the harsh truth is that the vast majority of bloggers do not make enough money to support themselves. I launched this blog in 2019 and as you can see in my February 2020 Blog Income Report, I make over $40,000 per month from this blog.

How do beginner bloggers make money?

If you’re just starting out, it can take a little bit of time to start accumulating an income. During the early days, bloggers should offer consulting and coaching services to earn a higher income in exchange for their time. Since traffic levels are low at the beginning, turning those visitors into customers with a higher-priced offer makes the most sense.

After you have some steady consulting income rolling in and traffic levels increase, bloggers can then add affiliate links, digital products, and ads to their blog.

How much money do bloggers make?

The amount of money that bloggers make varies widely. According to a ProBlogger Report, earnings per month are broken out as follows:
1. Almost 38% of bloggers make less than $10.
2. 10% of bloggers earn between $10 and $99.
3. 17% of bloggers earn between $100 and $499.
4. 7% earn between $500 and $999.
5. 9% earn between $1,000 and $9,999.
6. 4% earn $10,000 or higher.

Do bloggers pay taxes?

Yes, bloggers must pay taxes on their income, regardless if they’re an LLC, S Corp, or sole proprietorship. Different income streams require different tax liabilities.

For example, if you sell products on your blog, you need to collect sales taxes only if your customer lives within your tax nexus (in the US, this is typically the state you reside in). Most ecommerce platforms take care of these calculations for you.

If you generate income from affiliate programs, the companies you are promoting treat you as a 1099 independent contractor.

No matter your entity type, you need to use accounting software and keep a good record of your books for tax season.

Do I need an LLC for my blog?

The short answer is no, you don’t need an LLC to run a blog. You can start out as a sole proprietor and include your income with your personal taxes. However, once you start making a sizeable income, there are tax advantages to creating an LLC or S Corp.

Who is the richest blogger?

Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post is the world’s richest blogger. She founded her company in 2005 and now makes over $2 million per month from her news website.

Another wealthy blogger is Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch. He brings in around $800,000 per month from his technology blog.

Back to top

Summary.

By selecting your niche based on market factors and B2B components, you 200x your blog’s revenue potential.

By scaling your content strategy and outsourcing aspects of your writing process, you 200x your backlink acquisition and Domain Authority (DA).

Finally, by choosing the right high-end blog monetization strategies from Day 1, you can make life-changing money as a blogger within 90 days, not five years.

Using these tactics in the first year of my new blog, I started making $35k/month by month 9, got 7.1k backlinks from 1,000 new referring domains, increased my Domain Rating from 0 to 73 and my traffic from 0 to 250,000+ readers/month.

I hope this article helped you learn how to make money blogging in 2020. Join my email list for my full 2019 blog income report where I highlight how I made $203k in my blog’s first year.

Recommended Resources on AdamEnfroy.com: If you’re interested in learning more about blogging, check out my ultimate guide to learn how to start a blog, the best web hosting companies, and take a deep dive into my guest blogging and outreach strategies.

88 Comments

  1. I really like the business model you have laid out. My struggle is the ‘niche’ and I know I have to devote more time to finding a profitable one. Cheers.

  2. Hello,

    This was very informative. I’ve read several blogs about how to start blogs online and how to make money and they are very vague in their details and I really don’t understand how to do it. Blogging is something I’m interested in doing not as a hobby, but to be able to make money enough to provide for my family and to put away money for savings. It seems it’s possible. I really don’t know what type of niche to blog about. I work as a registered nurse, and I am also a part-time teacher.

    Also, every blog I have read about starting a blog and making money always talks about how it takes years to become lucrative. I’m looking for something that I can make lucrative in the next 3 months. I just don’t know how to make my ideas work. Maybe I’m not creative enough?

    Thanks for the information.

    SJ

  3. Whoah. I am a small online jewelry artist, that is looking for ways to earn extra income by selling something intangible.

    The coronacrisis has dried up my sales as people are panicking and I am taking these 3 weeks of lockdown to think of ideas for another business.

    A way to earn income for my family of 5, but no longer selling actual products that Amazon or aliExpress copies and sells for much less. I want a digital product.

    But what topic? I have a background in biochemistry, but am providing as a small business owner in jewelry for 12 years now. I am quite good in google ads. What combination is that, hahaha, biochemistry, google ads and pendants. Sounds like a Quentin Tarantino movie.

    Through the corona panic, hitting small businesses hard, i want to look back in a few years and think this was the turning point in my life. I just have no clue where I could add value. Can only think of google Ads tips for small business owners, but those are hardly high end customers…

    Thoughts are much appreciated!
    Lidia

    1. Lidia, please email me at adam at adamenfroy dot com. I feel your story and was there at one point. Please connect with me there and I hope I can help. 🙂

  4. Hello, ADAM ENFROY

    Blogging is a good platform in which you can start a good start and make a good income from it. In this blog, you share such good information on blogging and be able to earn money. I learned a lot from your blog about blogging. Keep it up, I appreciate you.

    Thank you
    Have a nice day

  5. Hi Adam,
    Wow, This article was nice and useful. You have described very well how to make money by blogging. You speak real that “Choose Your Blog’s Niche Based on Market Factors, Not Your Passions”. I appreciate your opinion💖.
    Thanks for your valuable post and waiting for your next article.👍

    Anita Jacobi
    Contributor, Careeriz

  6. I’ve been thinking how should I start blogging. You just nailed it. Your information is genuine and informative. I like how you did a detailed explanation of the ins and outs. One thing I learned from here is not just write about your passion but target a niche that would totally hit the sales! Nice job. Hope to read more about your blog. Once I start my own, I would definitely leave a comment again. Hope to connect with you in the future!

  7. Hi! I love the honesty in your post. I’ve wanted to start a blog for awhile because I just had a baby and would love to work from home. But of course my options are teaching or being a mom, either a small audience or a over populated niche, so I don’t think I’ll be able to monetize as I hope. My fiancé, however, owns his own business as a general contractor and can literally fix anything and has a wonderful eye for home renovations. He’s truly an expert in his work and would have much kore to offer. He wants to start a YouTube channel and I thought it be good to connect it to a blog. I’d love your thoughts and suggestions on the possibility of this direction. Thank you!

  8. This is a very intriguing post. Lots of great info.

    I’m generally quite happy with the organic traffic I receive at my blogs. I’ve never done any guest posting or any other kind of link building.The info here has me wondering what I could be missing out on.

    Sounds like some experimentation is in order.

    Thanks for the info and the inspiration!

    Rick

    1. Hey Rick, that’s great you’re happy with your traffic. I think some more off-page SEO might be worth trying out.

  9. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for you post that helped me a lot to update my blog traffic. I’m just a new blogger and I am afraid people who actually accept my invitation. Let me try your pitch and try if it works. Thanks.

  10. Google Adsense is an easy way to make money from your blog. All you need to do is add a script from Google to your website and start displaying ads.

    1. While this is true, it’s also the least lucrative form of monetization. It’s mainly used for news organizations and sites that can get 500,000 or more visitors/month. I personally have no ads on my site.

  11. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information to start making money online. I am also working as a freelancer since 5 years. Now I am trying to grow as a blogger.

  12. Very nice article. Actually I agree with you You are right passion doesn’t create money; money creates passion. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful information.please keep sharing more info about HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING IN 2020.

  13. This is great advice, really it’s exactly what I was looking for, but I’m wondering, what if you don’t have any impressive professional leverage to get you in the door? I’m a student, about to start graduate school in clinical psychology, and I don’t have the credentials yet to have any real leverage with businesses, etc.

    I’m also curious if you think a blog can evolve (e.g. as long as a blog stays within a broad niche like lifestyle do you think that it may be able to shift main content type like from diy to parenting advice, for example)?

  14. Really great article especially for new bloggers. Keep up the good work. You are a motivation to many of novice bloggers like myself.

  15. Thanks for this very informative article on making money from blogging.

    Hopefully we can apply some of these techniques and see some positive results.

  16. Thanks for this very informative article on making money from blogging.

    Hopefully we can apply some of these techniques and see some positive results.

  17. Thanks for sharing on how to make money from blogging ..
    Many ways to make passive income online, but creating the website and drive the traffic on your blog.
    apply for google Adsense and keep the ads on your blog and earn money.. You can also earn money by affiliate marketing…

  18. What a nice presentation of the tips of making money by blogging! Thanks you for the post that you posted on the site.

  19. Wow! I love your content, This is a fantastic blog. I will keep in touch with you for the next posts. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Hello Adam,

    You write with such authority and professionalism that it’s easy to see why your services are in demand and you earn such a good living. You obviously have the experience.

    For someone like me, however, my area of expertise is writing itself, as a profession – I have been a ghostwriter and author of both books and articles for the past 11 years (a few awards for my writing and my clients), before that a screenwriter (award-winning also, and one produced film).

    Another area of expertise might be puppy-raising and dog training (I’ve raised puppies for two guide dog organizations and have rescued and rehabilitated numerous dogs over the years. I’ve also helped train and breed bird dogs).

    That said, both of those areas seem so saturated with online experts that I wonder if either would be a viable platform from which to launch. Your thoughts?

    Thanks, Adam, for being so generous with your knowledge on this blog. Very insightful.

    Blessings,

    Noah

  21. Thank so so much for this info. I just started a new blog from scratch and hoping I will soon become a blogger like you!

  22. wow! such an informative blog Adam! You seem like a master of SEO. im new to blogging and you said every thing right, passion doesnt make money. money makes passion! Do you have any SEO courses or how to guespost? im so lost in how you get backlinks or just where to look for guest posting etc, and currently SEO is like just flying over my head! Would love some help and guidance please:) x

    1. Hey Sadia, thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you found the articles useful. 🙂 Right now I’m working on an online course that will cover SEO, keyword research, WordPress, affiliate marketing – hopefully everything at a deep level that’s also easy to follow. For now, I have a product called Backlink Blueprint that provides some guidance and may help. I’ll keep you posted on when a full video course goes live.

  23. Thank you, there are a number of useful and effective make money with blogging ideas and how to make money blogging advice here now. Thanks

  24. Thank you, there are a number of useful and effective make money with blogging ideas and how to make money blogging advice here now. Thanks

  25. Adam, I am happy i found your blog. It gave out the real core insight on how to be successful blogging. I joined many top blogging site email lists to see what exactly, how they are doing their marketing and making their money. I found yours was different and unique.

    Others seem hesitant to tell you the real stuff. They just want to sell you down the line through affiliate links.

    I seems to have found the missing key (High DA Guest Posting) in my blogging. The first time i read your blog, i verified what you said by checking your DA (76), Blog age, i knew you know what you saying.

    right now,I study your content like math books every day and firing my site on steroid

    Adam, I am short of words! really. Really. God Bless you

    1. Wow, thanks so much – your comment means a lot. And I agree with you on the key of high DA guest posting and link building. One good thing is that some niches don’t even require super high DA sites to link to you. Since my site is in the marketing niche it requires it, but lots of others can be successful with much lower DA links. Thanks again for reading and I’m very glad you found my site.

      Adam

  26. Thanks for the post. But I think even though the niche market is really competitive – it’s hard to make as much money as your title

  27. Thank so so much for this info. I just started a new blog from the scratch and hopping i will soon become a blogger like you.

  28. Thanks Adam for the informative content. You recommend picking niches that make money even if you have no passion for them. Does this mean you recommend outsourcing all the content creation even for the first five blog posts you mentioned?

    1. Hey Anthony, good questions. I would say that you need to pick a niche that you have either leverage or professional experience in. You shouldn’t go into a niche without having some knowledge in it or it doesn’t make sense. For example, I’ve seen people with a ton of career experience think they should start a fitness or nutrition blog just because that’s a niche they read about online. Go with your strengths. If you were to develop a personal brand and be known for one (profitable) thing, think about what that would be.

      For the first five posts, I wrote those myself as I think it is important to get some writing experience under your belt so that you know how to format posts, what to provide your freelancer, etc. I hope that helps!

  29. Hey there. Greetings from this side. Being a blogger myself I couldn’t agree more. This is a brilliant article. I really enjoyed reading this. This is truly insightful to your readers. Much thanks for sharing. Keep it up 🙂

  30. Thank you, there are a number of useful and effective make money with blogging ideas and how to make money blogging advice here now. Thanks

  31. thank you, Adam.
    thanks so much for this post.
    men I have not seen this amount info in one place since I started researching on blogging.
    what you just gave for free here is what people pay for.
    thank you for your heart of goal and passion for helping startup bloggers like me make money. am just so in lone with this site right now.
    if I tell you this is the most resourceful place I have been to in the blogging thing am not flattering. its truth. thanks much and I love sincere people like you.
    thanks again.

    I want o start a blog on relationships(love and dating advice).
    – do you think it’s a good niche that I can make money from well since am not a certified coach yet? but I have good coaching skills and is working towards certification
    – also, how do you think I can start monetizing it from day one as you said apart from coaching?

    1. Hey Nkenne,

      Thanks for the kind words – I’m glad you’re enjoying the content. 🙂

      To answer your questions, most dating and relationship blogs make money via affiliate marketing (recommending dating apps/products) or via ads on their site (which require a lot of traffic. While I think you can make money in this niche, it is a highly competitive and difficult niche to make money in quickly. You will have to develop your personal brand, rank on Google, and funnel your readers into an email funnel where you offer them a dating product. Is there a reason that you’re primarily interested in this niche? Apart from coaching, I don’t know how to monetize this niche from day 1 – I think coaching is the way to do that.

      1. to answer your question of if there is any reason why I am primarily interested in that niche, I will say its because I know I have great knowledge when it comes to that aspect, and have helped people in the past have great relationships. though not certified.

  32. I read your post, it s very interesting.Now i am building my new blog and your suggestions are very helpful.VERY WEL DONE.The five pillars exposed by you are very important in creating a blog.Ihope to become as good as you as a bloger.a big thank youbit.ly/ 2iH6gdp

  33. Dear Adam
    You have expose every truth that there is to know about blogging.

    Indeed blogging for passion is a no no but blogging as business owner is a sure path to real success.

    There is so much I need to do now. Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome article. Keep up the good job

  34. Great content, I like the part where you said to always research about your niche and its demand. The first step is the key point

  35. I read your post and found it very interesting and informative not only to me but to all digital marketing professionals. I love this kind of posts on how to earn from blogging.

    Please share more posts like this.

  36. This is quite refreshing and informative compared to what i usually read. That distinction between passion and business is where i’ve always struggled

  37. Thanks Adam for this revelation. I found this article very helpful. I’ll have to try out these tips on my blog. I believe it will work for me too. I can’t wait to start seeing dividends on my blog. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Very few people are talking so cleverly about making money through blogging. Thanks for sharing such important resources with us. It really helped me.

  39. This is the best Blogpost about Blogging I’ve read in a while! I have a question. do you thin all these strategies work for the Spanish speaking market? I’ve been wondering about starting my blog in English or Spanish or both languages. What is your advice for this subject? So little information talking about this!
    Thanks in advance.

  40. Hi
    Am sugargurl this write up has really changed my concept about blogging, I am glad I came in contact with it. I wanna know if all these features can be found on blogspot.com cause that’s where I just launch my blog…thank you for this tremendous information

    1. Hey there, thanks for your comment. Ultimately, I recommend you do not use blogspot but purchase your own hosting and domain name and use WordPress.

  41. Hey Adam – Love this post! I’m referring to this religiously as I do my reachouts. From the email template you included in this post, just want to confirm, does this mean you guest post for each site multiple times a month? If so, how many guest posts do you typically do for each site? Thanks!

    1. Hey David, I don’t guest post for each site multiple times per month. I often just contribute once to a site and never again. Others I may do a few times or monthly for 4-6 months. But I’d say in the vast majority of cases I do between 1-3 total guest posts for them. That way I can get links from a number of different sites. It requires more work/email outreach but is worth it to me.

  42. I need to work on guest posting and developing an email list. I keep reading that having an email list should be the number one thing to do, but I wasn’t sure about what company to use for growing an email list. I also like how you broke down the growth of website visitors to the days you’ve been blogging and methods of ways to make money during those times of growth. Thanks for this! It helps a lot!

    1. Hey Jasmine, thanks for the comment and the kind words. I currently use ConvertKit and OptinMonster for email list growth. You can check them out if you’d like. 🙂

  43. Hi Adam.

    You mention you started all this success “without writing a single word.”. Did you outsource all the content on this blog too?

    Thanks,

    1. Hey Kevin. While I outsourced all of my guest post content, I wrote all of my initial content on my own blog. Now I do outsource some initial drafts for my site, but edit and update everything. Most of my writing is updating/improving current posts. So I might get a draft that’s 2,000 words. Then edit it and over time add to it to make it 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,000+ words.

      1. Hey Adam, thanks for the article. Do you have a recommendation for who/platform to go to for outsourcing posts on your own blog? Thanks

        1. Hey David, you can find individual freelancers on Fiverr and other sites like that. I posted a job on ProBlogger and got a lot of applications that way. Hope that helps!

  44. One of the best guides on blogging, I was really interested in blogging.
    Thanks for sharing such important information.

  45. Well done on an amazing achievement on your blog. I’ve been browsing around and you’ve created a real asset here. Your content is great. I’m practising my writing skills trying to engage my audience on my blog. Even went to buy Pro writing aid to help me with grammar. I’m really inspired by your success. Keep the great content coming!

  46. I appreciate your blog.This is the first time i am visiting to your post.really it’s so intersresting to read.Please keep up writing. Thanx for sharing.

  47. I really like the business model you have laid out. My struggle is the ‘niche’ and I know I have to devote more time to finding a profitable one. Cheers.

  48. Hi Adam,
    This post is very informative.
    Really guest blogging is very important as the competition is fierce.
    I would love to know if you accept guest post.

    Best regards
    Eniola

      1. If blogs in our focus niche don’t accept guest posts, should we target a sub-niche just in case we run into something like that?

        1. Hey Bridget – great question! I would say that if your focus niche doesn’t accept guest posts, find a related niche. For backlinks, Google looks at the guest post site’s Domain Authority (DA) and also their relevancy to your content. So for example, for my blog, I aim to write on high DA marketing sites, but also find value in sites related to anything from sales to web design, ecommerce, etc.

      2. Thanks for this idea. Blogging with passion in mind is just not going to work recently.

        You’re right when you said that hobby bloggers are just there because they can’t figure out how to make money from their blog.

        Thanks a lot though

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