When I started my blog it was intended to be more of an online journal than a money-making business.
But fast-forward three years and blogging is now my full-time income.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes and taken many false steps along the way, but now that my path to earning money from my blog is clearer I’m managing to increase my earnings every month.
However if you’re just starting out on the journey as a new blogger you are probably wondering if you’re too late to the game or if brand new bloggers can actually make it any more.
When I started back in 2017 there were already tons of bloggers in my niche of parenting and it felt daunting even considering being able to hit the same level the big earners had reached.
Today the number of bloggers continues to grow and for a newbie starting out it can feel like you’re shouting at the top of your lungs and getting nowhere.
So the question is, can you still make a full-time income as a brand new blogger in 2020?
Yes you absolutely can make money as a new blogger today. But you need to be prepared to put a lot of work into your blog.
If you think you will write one blog post and become an overnight viral success with book deals and sponsors knocking down your door, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed.
You need to go into the blogging game with your head on straight and prepared to put in a LOT of hours to build your website and grow your audience.
But once you get to that point, it’s possible to make decent money, maybe even a full-time income, with your blog.
This post contains affiliate links.
You do not need a million followers
The reassuring thing about making money with your blog is that it doesn’t require an audience of millions to start earning.
You can start earning money through your blog from day one in fact, although I have to honest and say you will need to give it a few weeks before you start to see your hard work start to pay off. It will be longer still before your blog becomes a full-time income.
Building a successful website is a long game, and definitely not a quick way to make extra cash.
But if you’re smart you can start making money early on without being a household name. In fact there are bloggers making an amazing full-time income with less than 20,000 page views a month!
So what’s the trick to getting it right straight away and making money from your blog?
Well first of all it’s about being smart and seeing your blog as a business right away. While your business may be your passion, you need to make decisions based on what helps your business grow not just what you love.
For example, many bloggers get started writing about their thoughts on life, the universe and everything. I was one of them!
The trouble is the market is saturated with people’s views on life as a parent and all of its ups and downs. What’s going to help you grow is providing actual helpful content. Content that gets shared on social media and, most importantly, gets picked up by Google.
This is why choosing your blog niche carefully is so very important. I have an entire post about picking a blog niche over here so do check that out for more information.
How much did I make from blogging this month?
I’m talking to you about how you can make a full-time income from blogging, but what do I actually mean by that?
I’m going to give you a breakdown of my June earnings, which were my best yet!
Most of my money continues to come from advertising. The ads on my site are managed by Mediavine, which works with thousands of bloggers around the world.
The US-based agency is amazing to work with and I couldn’t recommend them enough.
You will need to have 50,000 monthly sessions on your site to be accepted onto their programme, but once you’re in you can make decent cash just from the traffic to your site.
Last month I made just over $2,000 (their earnings are in $$$$ as they are a US company) from the ads on my site! This was pretty exciting for me.
In addition to the ad money I made £500 from sponsorship work, plus just over £300 from affiliate sales such as Amazon and £70 from ads on my YouTube channel.
The areas that I want to grow are the affiliate sales and sales of my own products. I am now selling an ebook and a printable planner from my parenting blog.
I hope that if I can sell a few of these every month that will give me a nice boost to my income.
This money is less than I used to earn in my full-time journalism job, but bear in mind that I was not working full-time hours to make this money.
And, most importantly, I made this money while caring for my youngest child full-time. My eldest child is in school for three hours a day at present.
So most of my time was spent with my family! I spend roughly three hours a day working on my blog. This does also include weekends.
Now that you know how much I made from my blog last month, let’s talk about what you can do to start a money-making blog in 2020.
First of all, check out my post about launching a blog. It takes you through the process of getting your blog off the ground.
Once your blog is set up, these are the essential things you need to know to make money from your blog:
Keep your eyes on your own lane
So much time can be wasted comparing yourself to other bloggers.
One of the worst impacts of comparison syndrome is it often saps all of your motivation away. I’m not as good as this person, so what’s the point?
You need to focus on what you are doing. There are many, many ways to make money and be a success with your blog, so while you may have to change direction a couple of times to get your methods right, focus on your own numbers and not those of others.
Think about how to monetise your niche
I really want to emphasise again and again in my advice to you that picking a niche is really important.
Starting a lifestyle blog that covers every little aspect of everything in your life is going to be a tough one to grow quickly.
If you focus on one niche area then you make it easier for Pinterest, Facebook and Google users to find you. You become an expert in that niche and once that audience is there, then you can monetise through affiliate sales and, with enough traffic, ad income.
I saw a great interview on the Income School YouTube channel with a blogger from Sunshine and Succulents. She has a very specific niche, growing succulents, and is making amazing money from her website! It’s well worth giving this video a watch, it’s inspiring stuff!
Within your niche there will be lots of different affiliate schemes you could join and avenues you can go down to make money.
I think it’s important to diversify your income streams, so that you are not 100% reliant on just one area, such as advertising, for your money.
A really successful blogger is always looking at other avenues to go down that could lead to more income. This may be creating courses or selling ebooks, or creating physical products to sell.
Be prepared to work hard
Success does not come easily in blogging!
You cannot hit publish on just one post and then watch the ££££ come rolling in.
Not only will building your website take time and patience, but it will also take a lot of effort from you.
In the early days you need to be really focused on creating a lot of great content that really helps your audience and has great SEO potential.
You also need to prepared to learn a lot. I don’t want you to rush out and spend thousands of pounds on tons of courses, but a few useful courses will help you.
I thoroughly recommend Debbie from the Flooring Girl’s books. Her On-Page SEO book is really affordable and contains so much information.
I also love Pinteresting Strategies by Carly from Mommy on Purpose. This incredible course is packed with tips for using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic and includes step by step help to transform your Pinterest game! It’s great value for money and she updates the course regularly.
You can find my tips for growing your traffic on Pinterest here.
Otherwise join some blogging Facebook groups and just be a sponge! Soak up as much knowledge from other bloggers at different stages of their journeys as you can.
Don’t measure your success on followers
This one is really important! As I’ve said above, you do not need a ton of followers to be a success.
Success is based on what you choose to measure it by. So, rather than telling yourself you won’t be a success until you have 100,000 followers on Instagram, think about achievable goals.
A realistic goal might be wanting to make your first £1,000 through blogging. So break that goal down into steps that will help you get there. This might be:
- Growing traffic to 10,000 page views per month and monetising site with ads. While Mediavine only accepts bloggers with 50,000 sessions per month, there are other ad networks such as Ezoic that will accept your blog with less traffic.
- Getting brand sponsorship work. Pitch to brands or keep an eye on the bloggersrequired hashtag on Twitter where many PRs and brands advertise work.
- Joining affiliate schemes that are relevant to your niche.
Once you have these goals, then break them down into the small steps you need to take in order to achieve them. So for example, growing your traffic may involve upping your SEO game and increasing the traffic you get from Pinterest.
Final thoughts on making money from blogging
It is totally possible to start a brand new blog today and monetise that blog!
But I want you to be prepared to put in a whole lot of work to make that blog a success. It’s also important to be ready to take a few knock backs and for it to take a while for you to start making real cash from your blog.
It may be a good idea when starting out as a blogger to do it alongside your existing job so that it has time to build. Or you could do other work that compliments your blogging passion, such as freelance writing for publications and other websites.
Most importantly, I want you to know you definitely can make money from blogging in 2020.
Work hard, stay focused, keep learning and good luck!