15 Easy Steps To Monetize Your Blog

Blogging Basics

Hey everyone!  I have some easy steps for you to do today to monetize your blog and start making some money with affiliate marketing.  And trust me, it's not as hard as you though it was.

This post contains affiliate links, because this is an affiliate marketing blog.  So if you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I make a commission at no cost to you.  That's how affiliate marketing works.

15 Easy Steps To Monetize Your Blog

Affiliate marketing is everywhere.  And most of the time, you as a reader don't even notice.  That's when it's done right.  Affiliate links shouldn't feel like a commercial.  So today I'm going to share 15 steps to take to set your blog up to monetize with affiliate links like I do.

I've been building blogs and websites since 2004.  I love the creative process and watching something I start from scratch grow into something that not only allows me to be a creative person, but to bring in money for my family.

But as a Mom, I know that learning something new, while trying to keep up with everyday life can be overwhelming. 

What's worse is that when you search for help building your blog, you are bombarded with “Buy My Knowledge” or not-so free guides to better blogging.  

Personally, I HATE getting pulled into reading an article only to find out that they want to enroll me in their course and sell me expensive memberships. So I am going to give you what I've learned through those classes and years of trial and error here on Nerd Mama.

Because a good Mama teaches what she knows so everyone can be successful!

15 Steps To Make A Great Monetized Blog

  1. Think About Your Niche – Finding the right niche is like finding the golden ticket. Once you can narrow down your passion, you will love your blog even more. The biggest mistake I made when I first started was being too random in my niche. And through the years, I've followed different passions and it showed in my blog. My biggest tip is before you start blogging, know exactly what 3 things you are going to write about and make sure they are related somehow. 
  2. Buy your domain – GoDaddy and NameCheap – We like domains that are easy to remember.  Our first blog Dancing With Fireflies struggled for years when we didn't have a domain name that worked well. We wanted to make it small – FireflyDance.net.  However, nobody could ever remember it and people kept thinking it was a dance studio.  So we switched it to DancingWithFireflies.net and suddenly we started seeing better traffic. NerdMama.com contains two easy to remember words that reflect what this blog is about and who writes it. So keep that in mind when you choose your domain. 
  3. Your Social Media handles are forever! Just as important as choosing your blog's name is choosing the social media handles you are going to use and be known as. But it's okay if they are different from your blogging name.  When I first started Twitter, I had a craft shop called Morning Tempest and that became my Twitter handle since I used twitter the most back then. Because you might have several blogs, choose a name that you can use constantly. You can even use your own name.  Since Dancing With Fireflies was my main blog – most of my social media profiles are related to Dancing with Fireflies. 
  4. Choose the best platform for your blog. We love WordPress because it grows with your needs. You can start with a free site and upgrade when you are ready to take the next step. However, if you are going to monetize or sell anything from your blog, we suggest upgrading to the business plan since the free plan won't allow you to do that.
  5. Meet other bloggers and ask questions. Blogging can be a lonely venture if you don't have allies. Don't do it alone. Anne Parris of Midlife Boulevard gave me the best advice. She saw that I was struggling in my blogging journey.  She said “Make some friends.” She told me about the great group of bloggers that she spends time with that support each other and help each other become better bloggers.  As an introvert, I almost found this task too much to ask.  However I took her advice and joined several bloggers groups and made an effort to connect with bloggers like myself. Surprisingly, at the next conference I went to, I realized how many people I knew and could connect with. Being part of that community changed how I saw my blogging career.

Affiliate Marketing is easy!

Be Original – You need to write your own special story. When you can write engaging, original content, people will come back. Don't try to be everyone else.
You can start monetizing from day one –  Many people think you need to have a tone of content on your blog and high traffic before you can start to monetize. But the truth is, you can start from day one and there is no reason not to.

Join Affiliate Programs- Look for programs that favor your audience.  I LOVE ShareASale because it is so easy to use. You can also use Awin and CJ.  Find a few programs related to your blog and join.  

Make a connection with your Affiliate Managers – Reach out and introduce yourself to your affiliate managers. They want to see you be successful and it's their job to help give you the tools you need to help promote the brands. Two of the BEST Affiliate managers I've had were for products that I didn't think were going to be big hits – TruDog and Joy Organics and they were hits because of Greg Hoffman and Stephanie Robbins who are the managers for those brands.

Links go in your posts-   Focus on writing great content. Tell a great story, use great grammar and if you need help with that we suggest installing Grammarly.  After you've written the post, go back and insert text links on both brand names and keywords.  Avoid using banners inside the blog text unless you are writing a post specifically about that brand and then you can use banners for that brand.

Test your links!!! –  This is a huge issue that has annoyed me for years.  You think that your post is great.  It goes live.  You proudly look it over and all looks perfect. And then you get a message that one of your links isn't working. NOOOOOO!

What to do after you've written your post:

Okay, you've set up your blog.  You've signed up for Affiliate programs.  And you've started to link in your text.  Here's where the harder parts come in… driving traffic.

We are going to go into more tips for driving traffic in another post.  But the next 5 things are key.

Share your post on social media the day you post. – The day you go live, you need to share the post on all of your channels. WordPress makes sharing that post to your social media easy by auto-publishing to your chosen platforms the day you publish. 

Share it again and again! Your post needs love and attention in order to bring people to you. That's why using a scheduler like Buffer.com for twitter and facebook takes the stress out of social media.

Pin it! Pinterest is where I get most of my traffic driven from. I make all of my pins on PicMonkey using their templates that are designed for the exact perfect pinterest measurements.  Then I use Tailwind to schedule those pins with my blog post links.  I can schedule them to go out on multiple boards and I can schedule them to go out at later dates. 

Tell your friends and family. When you monetize your blog, you are working with brands that you like and believe in. Tell your friends and family about those brands and share your links with them.

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