Five years ago, I shared my favorite affiliate programs for writers who want to learn how to earn extra money blogging. Now that I’ve more than doubled my income as a blogger, I thought I’d update my bloggy quips and tips.
Sarah Morgan’s The Badass Blog Planner: Your Guide to Defining Your Purpose, Creating Clarity, and Building a Year of Killer Content will help you improve your blog content, social media, products and services, email newsletter, marketing, advertising, budget, and website design. You’ll learn how to create compelling and shareable content, promote your brand, organize your blog, set goals for growth, plan product launches, and feel excited and inspired all year long. If you want to learn how to earn extra money blogging, you need to be professional and serious about your job. Blogging can be a CAREER! But what career comes easy?
Learn as much as you can about earning extra money blogging. Go the extra mile – don’t read the same blogging blogs and websites that every other blogger on the block is reading! Get a book. Take your desire to make money as a writer seriously. Learn how to treat your blog like a small business.
You also need to think creatively about blending the two most important aspects of earning extra money blogging: 1) solving problems for readers and 2) being yourself. It may help if you researched what types of blogs earn money.
Last January I started “Putting Parables Into Practice” on all of my blogs. I love this idea because I can write tips to help readers solve problems, I can incorporate my favorite parables into my blogs, and I can email a newsletter that offers a parable. The newsletter isn’t a marketing ploy, it’s just a sharing of the parable of the week. I love it!
Here’s the parable I’m sharing this week, plus my thoughts on how to earn extra money blogging…
The Parable of the Warrior and the Pineberries
Once upon a time, a young warrior was chased by a streak of snarling vicious tigers. They were big. They were mean. They were hungry. The warrior ran for a million miles through jungle and bush. He was exhausted.
The warrior came to a cliff at the edge of the jungle. Behind him he could hear the tigers crashing through the underbrush. He knew there was no turning back. He saw a thick vine growing over the edge of the rock face cliff.
He scampered down the vine, out of reach of the streak of tigers above.
The warrior lowered himself further down the vine, and glanced below. He saw a big gray wolf sitting at the bottom of the cliff, patiently waiting for him descend. He stopped. Pondered. Above, a snarling streak of tigers. Below, a hungry wolf. What to do when you don’t know what to do?
Above, a movement caught his eye. He saw a big fat black rat chewing on the very vine to which he clung. He only had a few moments before certain death – the vine was sure to break, the warrior sure to fall into the drooling jaws of the wolf below.
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The young warrior noticed a luscious patch of pineberries (a cross between a strawberry and a pineapple) growing on the side of the cliff face, right next to him. They were without a doubt the plumpest, juiciest, most gorgeous pineberries he ever saw.
Since he was always hungry, he figured he might as well spend his last minute on earth eating. He reached over, picked a pineberry, and bit into it. Pineapple juice dripped down his chin and onto his chest. It is the best thing he ever ate.
Revived by the pineberry, the warrior swung over to the narrow ledge of the cliff. He plucked another pineberry, savored the flavor. Another one. Each one tasted better than the last. He sighed, stretched, and suddenly saw a trail leading down the mountain.
The warrior followed the trail, which quickly and easily led him away from the snarling streak of tigers, the hungry wolf, and the big fat black rat.
How to Earn Extra Money Blogging
If you feel discouraged and overwhelmed because your traffic is low and you’re not earning money blogging, stop for a moment. Eat a pineberry. Take a deep breath. Connect with yourself, look up at God, and think about how to make your blog meaningful and fulfilling.
You don’t necessarily need to BE a warrior to earn extra money blogging, but it might help if you THOUGHT like one. Warriors act, but they also rest.
Experiment with different affiliate programs
In The Best Affiliate Programs for Writers Who Blog for Money, I shared that I make $350 a month on Amazon Associates. That was five years ago – yesterday, I made $117 on Amazon. I almost earned $2,000 this month from being an Amazon affiliate. Five years ago, I was making $50 a day from Google Adsense. Today, I’m earning about $130 a day. I also earn extra money from affiliate programs on ShareASale, ClickBank, Mort Fertel, and my own ebook sales.
You need to try different affiliate programs if you want to know how to earn extra money blogging. I’ve also experimented with Commission Junction, PeerFly, BlogHer, and more – but I found that Amazon and Google are the ones that work for me.
Treat your blog like a small business
Don’t steal other bloggers’ work. Do your research, read books on how to earn extra money blogging, and solve reader’s problems. Learn search engine optimization. If you don’t have time to learn how to optimize your blog to get more traffic, then hire someone. The most important tip on how to earn extra money blogging is to treat your blog like a small business. Small business owners take their business very seriously – they learn best practices, they do market research, and they build a business around their passions. Successful small business owners don’t cheat or steal.
Pay attention to Google’s advice
Do you get emails from Google webmaster, advising you on “website best practices”? If not, sign up today. Google has been telling me to make my blogs mobile-friendly for months, and I ignored their advice. I spent a lot of time creating my blog layout, colors, header, etc – the last thing I wanted to do was change to a boring mobile-friendly theme! But for some reason I did it…and my blog traffic increased by 60% overnight. If your blog’s theme isn’t mobile friendly, then change it today. It could be the single most important tip on how to earn extra money blogging.
Ignore my last sentence on earning extra money blogging
The truth is that there is NO single “most important tip on how to earn extra money blogging.” Why? Because what works for me as a blogger won’t work for you. In 75 Ways to Make Money Blogging, I share all the things I learned as a blogger. I started my “Quips and Tips” blogs in 2008, and I have earned at least $35,000 a year since then. This year, I expect to double it. Next year, I may be back down to $35,000 a year – because that’s the normal run of a small business.
If learning how to earn extra money blogging is too much work for you (and it IS work!), read 10 High Paying Jobs for College Students. I listed several excellent jobs that will help pay the bills while you figure out what you really want to do with your life.
Your comments and questions on how to earn extra money blogging are welcome below.