Have you ever read something online and thought to yourself, “But that’s simply NOT true…”?
I feel like that a lot of the time, especially when it comes to my two zones of genius: blogging and Pinterest. I’m not saying I know everything about those topics, but what I am saying is that it’s important to filter and analyze the sources you get information from. Because sometimes, that shizz just ain’t right!
As I’m sure you know, when you’re constantly hearing so many different tips, strategies, and opinions (some of which are completely opposite of each other), it becomes impossible to know who to believe and how to separate “fact” from “fiction”.
This is why you should take everything you read online with a grain of salt (including my blog posts!) To help you cut through the noise, today I’m busting 7 myths about making money as a blogger. These are things I’ve seen “experts” claiming as fact, or things that have managed to wind up as part of the collective consciousness of the blogging community.
And you know what? They simply aren’t true.
7 Myths About Making Money as a Blogger . . . BUSTED!
Let’s start with one of my personal faves.
Myth #1. The only people who make money blogging are people who blog about blogging.
This just isn’t true.
But with that being said, I do understand why some people think it is. Here’s the deal. The reason it seems like the only bloggers who make money are those who blog about blogging is because they’re the only ones talking about it.
A travel blogger has absolutely no reason to share an “Income Report” on her blog. In fact, it would be completely off-topic and off-brand, and would confuse and turn off a lot of her readers. But trust me, there are plenty of travel bloggers making money – I know this for a fact because I’ve worked with lots of them.
In fact, I’ve worked with clients and students in tons of different niches, like:
+ And more
… And they’re all earning money online!
I truly believe that EVERY blogger in EVERY niche can successfully monetize their website and business. The key is to find your tribe online, and to create an offer that they can’t refuse.
Stop using this as an excuse for why you aren’t successful (#toughlove). I guarantee there are bloggers making money in the exact same niche you’re in, and if they can do it, so can you!
Myth #2. XYZ is the only way – or the “best way” – to make money blogging.
For example: Writing sponsored posts is the best way to make money blogging.
Or: Online courses are the only way to make money as a blogger.
Here’s what I think.
There are LOTS of ways to make money as a blogger, and different methods will work better for different bloggers, different niches, and different audiences. Your job is to figure out which strategies work best for your skillset, situation, and readers.
To get the wheels turnin’, here’s a big list of different ways you can monetize as a blogger:
+ Sponsored blog posts
+ Sponsored social media posts
+ Writing and selling ebooks
+ Placing ads on your website
+ Creating and selling courses
+ Freelance writing or ghost writing
+ Offering virtual services
+ Affiliate marketing
Related Read: 5 Ways to Make Money Blogging (And Which Method is The Best Fit For You?)
The strategies I’ve personally had the most success with on Blog Beautifully are affiliate marketing, ebooks, courses, and services. I don’t use ads on my site (I don’t like them), and I haven’t written any sponsored posts on this particular blog.
Never put all of your eggs in one basket and think that one strategy will be the be-all-end-all. Test out different strategies and find YOUR winning combination.
Myth #3. You can make a living as a blogger WITHOUT having an email list.
I mean… you could TRY. But why would you want to?
An engaged email list is your #1 tool for making sales and earning those precious dolla dolla bills online. I’d estimate that 80-90% of the sales of my courses, ebooks, and affiliate products come from my email list subscribers.
Case in point: After re-launching my Pageviews from Pinterest course recently, I analyzed the data and found that 100% of students who joined the program were existing subscribers on my email list. Seriously, your email list is GOLD.
Need more reasons to start, grow, and nurture your list? I have 11 right here.
Myth #4. You need a ton of traffic before you can make money.
False. And I’m living proof of it!
My pageviews are currently in the range of 10K-15K per month, and I consistently earn enough money through my blog to support myself financially. The truth is that while some strategies rely heavily on traffic in order to be successful – for example, ad revenue, and to a certain extent, sponsored posts – there are lots of strategies that don’t.
Offering services is a fabulous way to earn a steady income online before your blog has tons of traffic. In this post where I shared my blogging journey thus far, I talked about how I started offering services only 2 months after launching Blog Beautifully, and credited it as one of the biggest keys to my success.
Other monetization strategies that can work well without tens of thousands of monthly pageviews are:
+ Affiliate marketing
+ Selling ecourses
+ Writing ebooks
And adding on from our discussion of Myth #3, your number of pageviews isn’t nearly as vital as your number of email subscribers. That’s where your real gold (*ahem* money) is.
If you don’t have tons of traffic yet, don’t sweat it. But at the same time, stop focusing your efforts on monetization strategies that rely heavily on pageviews. There are better places to direct your attention and spend your time!
Myth #5. Selling online courses only works for some niches (and won’t work for mine).
I beg to differ, missy. I really believe that online courses are the way of the future. I mean, who doesn’t want to learn a valuable skill from the comfort of their own home, at their own pace, on their own time? I sure do!
Yet I see a lot of comments about course creation along the lines of, “The only people who making money selling courses are people who create courses about creating courses” (whoa, course inception).
If you currently have this viewpoint, I encourage you to go back and re-read Myth #1. Because it’s the exact same thing. The only reason you’re hearing about THOSE course creators’ success is because THEY’RE THE ONLY ONES TALKING ABOUT IT.
And because you’re trying to learn how to create online courses, you’re in those people’s “sphere”. You’re seeing them speak at webinars and summits, you’re reading their blog posts, and THEY’RE targeting YOU with their Facebook ads (because you’ve expressed an interest in course creation, so it makes sense for them to target you).
Courses can be sold in any niche and on pretty much every topic you can imagine. Don’t believe me? Just check out this post from Mariah Coz. You’ll see courses on everything from music to fashion designing to astrology and more.
Again, STOP USING THIS AS AN EXCUSE. If you have an idea for a course you want to create for your audience, hop to it, lady!
Myth #6. You have to create your own stuff to sell in order to make money as a blogger.
Yes, the “new wave” of monetization strategies is creating and selling your own digital products — things like ebooks, video tutorials, and online courses. And as much as I personally love doing this type of monetization, it is A LOT OF WORK, and it definitely isn’t for everyone.
Creating and launching an online course is by far the hardest, most intensive and time-consuming thing I’ve done thus far in my business. You know what isn’t that time-consuming, or really all that hard? Promoting someone else’s products.
Enter: Affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is where you promote another company’s products and earn a commission from any referral sales made through your special link. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you can get started with it in less than a day, and YOU don’t have to create something of your own to sell (unless you want to, of course!)
Related Read: The Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
Jumpstart your affiliate marketing strategies TODAY. Don’t wait! There’s no time like the present. Again, this post will be just what you need to start off on the right foot.
Myth #7. Your readers will like you less if you try to “sell” them something.
Look, here’s the reality. Your readers will only lose their trust and interest in you IF what you’re selling isn’t both:
a) Relevant to them and their interests
b) Something you genuinely love and believe in
Your word is all you have as a blogger, so don’t tarnish it to make a quick buck. If you try to sell or promote something that you aren’t 100% crazy about, your readers and subscribers will see right through you (and will probably unsubscribe from your mailing list and never trust you again).
Be picky about the products you create, the services you offer, and the affiliate products you promote. Ask yourself: Is this relevant to my audience? Will it truly make a significant impact in their lives? If not, skip it.
In a similar vein, don’t become an affiliate for dog food if your niche is beauty blogging. And don’t promote mascara if you’re a pet blogger. That’s not what your audience is coming to your site to learn about, and it will throw your audience way off-base.
Create, share, and promote items that are relevant to your niche and audience, and that will have a real impact in people’s lives. Be picky with what you choose to sell and promote. When you talk about things you truly love, your passion will shine through and your “sales pitch” will ring with authenticity.
So, be honest with me: Did you believe any of these 7 things before reading this post? What other misconceptions about making money as a blogger have you come across?