Most wannabe bloggers never crack the nut to figure out how to make money with a blog. But you did. And that’s amazing. You’re living the dream, right?
There’s this little voice in your brain asking why you’re not living that four-hour workweek Tim Ferriss lured you into entrepreneurship with. Where’s your $200 million dollar exit like blogger Mark Sisson had? Why aren’t YOU washing your face with Benjamin Franklins, like multi-millionaire Rachel Hollis?
Yes, you’re making money. Maybe even enough to live on.
But you know there’s got to be more.
You probably still don’t feel like you’re completely out of the woods, though. Most entrepreneurs we know admit to having at least a vague sense of worry that it could all go away one day. Some, like our friend Gary Vee, secretly hope it does! He says he enjoys the grind part of growing a business more than anything.
He does have a point. There’s nothing quite so thrilling for an entrepreneur than the idea of starting something new and growing it bigger than anyone would ever have imagined.
But “hey, wouldn’t it be fun to burn it all to the ground and start over?” sentiments aside, most bloggers who make good money would rather keep it that way. In fact, not many bloggers would be mad if their income doubled or tripled.
That is, as long as that didn’t mean doubling or tripling the work that goes into blogging.
Your eyebrows just did that thing, didn’t they?
You’re skeptical. Totally understandable.
After all, before you even started your blog, someone somewhere probably told you it could make you very, very rich. They probably said it would be easy. Or at least fun.
And parts of the journey have been fun. You’ve built an audience of complete strangers who’ve come to love you. No wonder! You probably blog about some challenges they face, too - and your content helps them live better.
But not every part of blogging is fun. Challenges like:
Even once you figure all that out, there’s a new puzzle:
No matter how much you enjoy blogging, it’s a whole lot more fun when it pays your bills. Most profitable bloggers use some combination of the same monetization strategies:
That could be through AdSense or other display ad networks. Or, companies could pay you directly to buy a billboard on your online real estate. This is one of the most common strategies people use for how to make money with a blog.
Bloggers use everything from Amazon Associates (easy to qualify, but rather sucky commissions) to sites like JVZoo or Commission Junction. It’s a little harder to qualify for them, but you’ll earn higher commissions. You can also partner directly with brands to share in sales you send their way.
Maybe you’ve written a book, created a course, or designed an app or some software that people buy.
These are all fantastic ways to create an income stream from your blog. Of course, all of them require some work - either upfront or ongoing. Most also require marketing, which requires an entirely different skillset from blogging.
In other words, even though you’ve found an escape route from having a “day job” by running a successful blog, you’re still working your tail off. Nobody could fault you for sometimes craving the perks that come from being an employee instead.
Absolutely. If you’ve already figured out how to make money with a blog, you’ve already built an asset that gives you a huge head start on that. It’s your audience.
In fact, you could practically bolt on another angle to your business that could easily get you to seven figures. Even better, if you do it right, an eight-figure exit is absolutely possible.
Think about what cashing a check for $10 million would do for your financial life. You’d never have to work again if you didn’t want to.
Bold claim. We know. So, let’s look at some real life examples of people in the Capitalism.com community.
In 2013, a new blogger came on the scene who was talking about mold and drugs. This blogger started a podcast in which he documented the different experiments he was running on himself. He also talked about the dangers of mold in your environment and the benefits of the different drugs that he was experimenting with. Then started writing about food and other ways human beings could upgrade their biologies.
The most popular thing that he talked about was putting butter in your coffee.
If you haven't guessed yet, we're talking about Dave Asprey. Between 2013 and 2014, he was a blogger on The Bulletproof Executive. That blog started getting a huge following because people started putting butter in their coffee and buying specialty beans that were certified mold-free. That led Dave to start his first physical products brand Bulletproof coffee.
Dave is not the only example of bloggers who have learned how to make money with a blog by building physical product brands that have done extremely well. Around the same time, Mark Sisson started Mark'sDailyApple.com, where he started talking about paleo living. But it was just a few years ago that he started Primal Kitchen in which he was selling paleo versions of your favorite condiments and sauces. He sold Primal Kitchen for $200 million.
Both Dave and Mark were relatively unknown until they started putting out content. Their careers really took off when they started physical products brands.
Bloggers like you sit in the most interesting position because you already have a foothold in the marketplace. You already have an audience that wants to buy the products and services you recommend.
Only if you want to establish yourself as an authority in your space, build a scalable, sellable piece of your company, and free yourself from having to hawk other people’s products.
We get a little excited when successful bloggers look for ways to make even more money without working more. Why? Because this is our jam. Bloggers with engaged audiences are some of the easiest people to help become outrageously wealthy… because they’re already halfway through the process we teach.
When you've got an audience in a specific space, and you're already sharing your opinion about things going on in your space, you sit in a very unique position.
See, here’s the most frequently asked question entrepreneurs ask when they’re starting a physical products brand:
“What product should I sell?”
As a blogger who’s already got a few thousand visitors a month, an audience that follows you, maybe a podcast, and a bunch of connections in your space… you already know exactly what your audience wants. Now you sit in the position where you can innovate in your marketplace without the same risk most entrepreneurs have when they start a brand.
Most entrepreneurs are afraid to take risks when they're starting a new product. So they sell what everybody else is selling. It’s an easy mistake to make because not only do most of them not raise money, but they also don't have an audience that can support whatever they do.
But you already know how to make money with a blog, have an audience that follows you, and maybe even some connections you’ve made along the way. That gives you a huge head start. You know your audience well, and that makes it easier to create a product your audience will love, right off the bat. Diving into building a physical product brand is a whole lot less risky for you.
Mark started a condiment line. Kind of a risky move, considering that profit margins on condiments aren’t particularly exciting. You’re selling a bottle of ketchup for like $8, after all.
But because Mark was able to innovate in the marketplace, he was able to get so much traction quickly. That’s what led to his $200 million exit.
What most people don’t know about Primal Kitchen is that before Mark started that condiment line, he built a supplement line. That line had much higher profit margins, which allowed him to fund the buildout of his food company. Easy.
You absolutely can focus on highly profitable product you know your audience will love. Then use that cash flow to fund the growth of a product line that establishes you as the authority in your space.
The primary question right now about starting a brand around your blog following is:
“What do my existing customers really want?”
In Dave Asprey’s case it was mold-free coffee. But if Dave had wanted to be a coffee company, his second product would have been a dark roast.
But it wasn't.
It was an MCT oil, and then an upgraded MCT oil.
This was before anyone was talking about mold in their coffee. And this was long before anybody knew what medium chain triglyceride oil even was. Dave built that market. Because those things were sort of hard to find, he had a nice foothold in the marketplace.
If you are willing to talk about the things most people in your market are not talking about, it gives you a new perspective. That allows people to follow you in a specific way, and then buy the products that you end up recommending.
Nobody was putting butter in their coffee before Dave was telling them to. That allowed him to create an even bigger audience, which then he launched additional products to.
The worst thing a blogger could do is launch a brand that is not directly targeted to the eyeballs they control. We love to work with people who have blogs with followings that rank for keywords and have an email list.
Because you’ve already got followers who trust your opinion. When we launch a brand that’s tied to you, it’s like being able to print money.
Think about it.
People are already looking for your recommendations for products. When they find that you’ve got a brand and you’ve done the research needed to make it the best product line anywhere, you do them a huge service.
Just look at the products you’re already talking about and recommending. You can start developing your own product line in that sphere. Even among entrepreneurs who know how to make money with a blog, VERY FEW take this next, highly-lucrative step. That means you've got a huge advantage if you start now.
Even smarter, start talking this through on your blog. Right from the idea stage through to when you’re holding a prototype in your hand. Then document the whole journey to selling a million dollars’ worth in a year.
The next thing that's important to know is that you already have potential investors and customers following you. Don’t keep your brand a secret at this point in the process. As soon as you start developing the product, start talking about it publicly.
If you run a parenting blog and you're starting to develop a brand new type of stroller, start talking about it. Now, some people will say, well, what if someone copies me? What if someone steals my idea?
The fact of the matter is your audience wants the stroller that YOU recommend. They want the stroller that YOU designed.
There’s a tremendous number of benefits from talking about your product publicly.
In our experience, it takes no more than $25,000 to do a brand really well. In 12 Months to One Million, Ryan recommends having at least $10,000 to play with to hit a million dollars within a year.
Don’t have $10,000 - $25,000 lying around? No problem. Someone in your audience does. And guess what? They’re a super fan already.
The more you talk about the products and brand you’re developing, the more those investors start salivating. They want to be part of your vision. So, don’t keep your product ideas a secret!
You've already got people who are demanding a certain set of products. And you've got people who are following you specifically.
Those two things coming together can almost guarantee a successful launch.
The path from here to a million is a lot simpler than you might imagine. Here’s a simple formula that may blow your mind.
25 Sales of Each Per Day
Average Price $30
= A Million Dollar Business
When you've got an email list, podcast following, or blog readers, it’s easy. (Other entrepreneurs who don’t have the audience you have have to build it first!)
Yes! Once you’ve built a seven-figure business, you’ve got momentum. That makes reaching multiple seven figures easy. After all, having a physical products brand is scalable. It takes no more time and effort to sell 100,000 items than to sell 1,000.
This is the really fun part.
By creating a product that solves a problem for your audience, you serve them even better. Better than anyone else in the marketplace could. That’s because you know your audience like nobody else does.
When Mark Sisson sold Primal Kitchen to Heinz, there was some pushback in the primal world. After all, Heinz was the enemy! But Mark saw this as a great opportunity to bring the high-quality products he created to the rest of the world. He was so proud of his line of sauces and people were loving them.
When Heinz caught wind of their long-time customers lining up to buy condiments from this tiny company, they knew they had a problem. They’re too big to make a massive pivot and start selling only pure, primal-friendly products.
As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them. Or, in the case of big corporations, buy them.
Building your own physical products brand is the natural extension of how beautifully you already serve your audience… and you can do it at scale.
Even better, you can do it without your brand monopolizing your life.
No, no, no!
If you're a blogger, a creator, or an audience builder, you need to stay in that mode. It's a disservice to the business for you to step out of what drives the entire business. Keep gathering an even bigger audience. Stay in that role. Simply be the person who comes up with the ideas for the physical products brand.
The best thing you can do is solicit a manager or a partner who works specifically on the physical products brand. There's plenty of builders out there who can take your vision and bring it to life. So if it were me, I would keep my blog as a separate company and start a new one that was a physical products brand. And then bring on a partner who would manage and do the leg work of bringing that product.
You’d be surprised how easy it is to get just about anything made. It can be as simple as talking with a manufacturer and describing what you want. In most cases, you can get a prototype very affordably - especially if you have the right connections.
The “hard” part for most entrepreneurs starting a physical products brand is deciding what product to make. You’ve already got a huge advantage there because you know your audience. You’ve heard them complain. They say stuff like, “How come nobody’s figured out how to make a great ______?” They’re already asking you to make it - even if it’s not in so many words.
Here’s where you’re probably bracing for a sales pitch for a course. Honestly, that’s the last thing you need. We hate courses. People buy them, they don’t do anything, they feel guilty about wasting money, and the cycle repeats.
You don’t need a course.
In fact, everything you need to know is Googleable. If you just used all the free training you’d get by watching our YouTube channel to build a million-dollar business, you wouldn’t be the first to do so. (Please let us know!)
What you DO need and want is the result: a million-dollar business. The best way we know to help you get that is to surround you with people who are building businesses like that. Also, it helps to surround yourself with people who know the people who can help you move faster and avoid pitfalls. Probably wouldn’t hurt to know some people who invest in businesses just like the one you’re envisioning.
That’s what we’re creating for entrepreneurs just like you.
We have a give-only community called The One Percent. It’s not like anything else we’ve seen out there. In most communities, it’s all about extraction… what can I get from this group’s members? Inside The One Percent, that won’t fly. Instead, you’ll find people who give. Relentlessly. Not a week goes by where members aren’t asking, “Who can I help in here? Where are you stuck?”
You also get access to Ryan and the Capitalism team and its advisors - the kind of access nobody else on the planet gets. Getting help to get unstuck is as easy as asking (we show you how once you’re inside).
When you join us and start this new part of your journey, you may decide you want to go even faster. Then it may make sense for you to join our Capitalism Incubator (assuming we’re accepting new members then). But that’s a discussion for another time.
And what if you’re not ready to do anything about this idea yet? You might find that reading 12 Months to $1 Million gives your brain the kind of detailed blueprint you crave.
Whichever way you decide to go, we just wanted you to know… you’re sitting on a goldmine. You’ve done the hard part already. Your audience is practically begging you to create a physical product brand just for them - because you get them like nobody else.
If we can help you do that, we’d love to.
P.S. In case you’re just beginning your blogging journey and you landed here, we hope this has given you a whole new perspective on what’s possible!
If you haven’t started blogging yet - or you’re blogging but not making money, we want to encourage you. You are absolutely onto something.
By building an “authority site” based on a subject you’re passionate about, you can start earning money as a blogger.
You probably have questions! Here are some quick answers to the most common questions we get about making money blogging.
Here’s a training that will show you how to start a blog for free and how to make money with a blog:
There are lots of ways, and several types of blogs that make money.
Most of these strategies would work on any type of blog, whether it’s based on a hobby, interest, cause, or passion. They’d even work on a blog for a service-based business. The blogs that make the most money are typically money-related. Think investing, finance, and entrepreneurship topics.
That’s a great goal! For many families, just a thousand extra dollars a month would make a big difference. To do it, use any or all of the strategies above. Seriously, if you commit to doing it, you'll see how easy it is to learn how to make money with a blog this way.
We’ve got you covered! Sure, we can make money by blogging - but here are 41 ways you can make $100 a day or more.
Blogging is not a get rich quick strategy. It doesn’t take forever, but it doesn’t happen overnight either. It takes work. For blogs that fail, it’s usually because the blogger gave up too soon or got distracted by another shiny object. They might also have struggled to generate enough traffic to their blog, which makes building an audience tough. You’ll need an audience to make this work. That audience is one of the most important keys for how to make money with a blog.
Definitely! Now’s a great time to start - especially if you’re in-between jobs. Are blogs still profitable in 2020? Of course! People are buying online more than ever, so even if you just promoted affiliate products, you could do very well. Do people read blogs anymore? (Um, you’re reading one right now!) So, no… blogs are not dead in 2020 - and they are not a waste of time. Now is the best time to learn how to make money with a blog!
It’s best if you can at least pay for a domain of your own, so you’ll own the site. Then you can install WordPress and blog away. But if you truly have no money to invest, the next best thing is to start blogging on Medium. It’s not the best blogging platform to make money, because you don’t have as much control; you have to follow their terms of service. But it’s a good start.
Meanwhile, you should check out this video that’ll go a little deeper into how to make money blogging for beginners.
The key is to stay consistent. Choose a subject you’re curious about (even if you’re not an expert in it), and collaborate with other bloggers whenever you can to help each other. That’s how to start a blog and make money.
We hope you found this guide helpful. You might also enjoy this free training series we made about starting and growing your business. We’re rooting for you!