Blog TipsMake MoneyWomen in Business

Make Money Blogging {Part 1 of 4}: 3 Steps to Sweet Success!

By May 13, 2013July 8th, 201454 Comments

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Are you ready to really start earning some money? Blogging takes a lot of time and a lot of energy, but with the right plan in action – it’s definitely worth it!

Although there is no quick fix to successfully monetizing a blog, when you follow these three steps, you’ll definitely reap sweet rewards. This mini series, ‘Make Money Blogging,’ will explore what it takes to turn your blog into a regular income source.

It’s time to start getting paid for all the hard work you do!

Let’s do this together!

And if you’re headed to BBC Charlotte this weekend – give me a shout out! I would love to connect and meet you there!


Hey Sitstah!

Step into my {ahem} cyberspace office for a minute and let’s chat!

Is your blog suffering…? I sense it may not be reaching it’s potential and is possibly showing symptoms of the dreaded #slowlysuckingthelifeoutofyousyndrome?


…Now let’s be real, although your blog may not have all the symptoms of #slowlysuckingthelifeoutofyousyndrome, how many of you feel like this? {Go ahead and raise your hands – it’s ok!}

Your blog, at times, may require (or at least get) more of your attention than your family and friends do – and any hobby that requires that kind of attention, better be producing some serious results. It’s time for your blog to pay up!

Don’t despair. It’s never too late for you or your blog. It’s just time to apply the right medication and #kickthesyndromesbuttsucccess before you get completely disenchanted and throw in the towel.

So let’s ring in the sweet success of making money with your blog by focusing on these three steps:

Step 1: Your Blog as a Business====================

If you want to make money blogging, you now own a business, not tend to a hobby. Don’t let that scare you off! Owning a business only means one thing – YOU are in control. You own it. You run it. It doesn’t run you. {And at the end of the day, you get to make money on it too ;)}

You don’t have to be an MBA graduate to make this successful. In fact, you don’t even need a degree to take your blog from Hobby to HOT! You DO have to have vision, drive, dedication and the desire to own it.

{Yes, this is a shameless plug for my sweet new program – Hobby to HOT! The Ultimate Guide: Monetize your Blog by Successfully Creating & Selling Your Own Information Product. Come check it out when you get a minute – I’m running a killer promotion!}

To take your blog from Hobby to HOT! and make it a profitable experience – it’s all in your mindset!

When you see your blog as a business and not as a hobby, it opens doors. All of the sudden you can envision yourself playing at Fenway park under the lights, with a packed stadium cheering. The adrenaline rushes and the game begins – you’re the star, not the ball girl. It ain’t T-ball anymore, mama!

In part 2 of this series, I’ll capture more on this topic and dive into the 5 Foundational Principles of Business and Blogging.  So to be ready for it, here is your homework for this week!

{Feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments below too.}

Homework for my SITStah’s:

  • Make a list of all the reasons you want to turn your blog into a business
  • Make a list of all the reasons you DON’T want to turn your blog into a business
  • Make a list of all the things that scare you when you think about blogging as a business
  • Make a list of all the things that empower you when you think about blogging as a business


Step 2: Take Control of Your Revenue Streams========

Stop waiting for your revenue streams to come to you. Decide what you want, and go for it!

Business is all about calculated risk. Life is a risk – don’t let the word scare you. Calculated risks are wise investments, that’s all.

If you want to monetize your blog and make more than a few dollars a week, then it’s critical that you are in control of your revenue streams AND that you’re using many of them. I suggest having at least three to five streams of revenue in your initial plan. {We’ll talk about specific revenue streams in part 3 of this series.}

Why do I need multiple revenue streams?

Ads are great. Sponsored posts are fantastic and affiliate programs are good – as long as you can control when they happen and how much they profit you. I highly suggest building your main blog revenue around your own information product and then adding the sponsored posts, ads etc as additional streams of income.

Monetizing your blog on the foundation of your own information product is important if you want to automate revenue, be more involved with sponsors, generate a predictable income for yourself and grow your blog from hobby to a profitable business.

Why is having your own product so important?

When you have your own product, you control the costs. You control the profit margin and you control distribution. You control the automation and investment.

When you’re in the drivers seat like that, your ability to really make money blogging increases exponentially.

I’ll get into more detail on establishing high profit, low maintenance revenue streams in part three of this series.

Homework for my SITStah’s:

  • Make a list of skills, experiences and knowledge you have that could be turned into a digital information product

Step 3: Be Real & Develop Trust==========

If you want to be a voice, then you have to be real. We aren’t talking about TMI. We’re talking genuine, real and relatable. Being real naturally builds trust. Trust is the foundation of a following and once you develop a following, you can monetize just about anything – as long as you don’t lose the trust.

Being real isn’t about gushing to the blogsphere everything you do or don’t’ do everyday. It isn’t about unfiltered sharing and it isn’t about proving yourself through your accolades. It’s simply R.E.A.L.


Relatable, Educated {not necessarily in a formal way}, Available Listener {because everyone wants someone who will listen – you can show you listen by responding to readers in your writing.}

If you want to make money blogging, there is no question that you need a decent size audience, but even more important is a responsive audience. You don’t have to put up numbers that compete with anyone if you’ve built on real principles of success.

Real is what attracts people.

  • Don’t you like real, genuine people?
  • Aren’t you naturally attracted to them?
  • We trust them. We take their advice and want to be like them.

When you build that kind of trust, then you’ve built a real brand.

I’ll dive into more detail about the power of being real and establishing trust in part four of this series.


These three principles will take your blog from #slowlysuckingthelifeoutofyousyndrome to #kickthesyndromesbuttsucccess.

You really can make money blogging – that’s real.

You can be influential and you can generate a consistent income. It may take a little re-framing of how you approach things, but that’s what this series is for. It’s here to get you in the mindset of making the most of your skills, your blog and your ability and success connecting with other influential people and brands.

Let me know if you have questions. I’m happy to chat it up here in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

If you’re headed to BBC Charlotte this weekend – give me a shout out! I would love to connect and meet you there!

More on How to Make Money With Your Blog

Interested in reading more posts like this one? You will definitely want to click through the links below:


  • Linda says:

    Thanks for the tips. I am still new to the blogging game and I have so much to learn.

  • This was a greeeat read! I took notes and shared. Thank you for it. It’s time to make real cash from my blog!!

  • Hi Bonnie! Wow great info, I hopped over from part 2..don’t know how I missed the first part..life I guess!! LOL I have started to make some $$ Blogging but it does always come down to the question..what if the offers stop coming..it’s that dependence thing..

    I have no idea what kind of a “product” I would sell..BUT I think about it a lot! LOL So maybe I should give it a whirl!! 🙂

    Hopping back over to Part 2..but after I give some thought to your questions!! 🙂
    Thanks again!

  • Adrienne says:

    I love the acronym for REAL! Great post!

  • If you desire to get a good deal from this article then you have to apply such strategies to your won blog.

  • allison c says:

    I love this. REAL. Can’t wait to learn more in Charlotte. Having a hard time taking my business site (mominchapelhillnc.com) to the next level.

  • Fabulous, what a weblog it is! This web site presents helpful information to us, keep it up.

  • Bonnie, thank you so much for this information! I’m just starting on this journey to monetizing my blog, and I need all the help I can get… 🙂 I’ll be opting in on your list asap!

  • Tricia says:

    Love this and can’t wait for the rest of the series! In the meantime, I opted in to your list. I can’t afford the program right now but saw you still recommended opting in anyway! Off to do my homework 🙂

  • Keia Lee says:

    This post was very influential for me. I have taken a lot of notes and I did my homework 😉 I am looking forward
    To the rest of this series. I really believe it will help me get where I want to be. Thank you so much for the help!

  • Great post! I am in the process of monetizing my blog and I’m looking for ideas to create as many revenue streams as possible. This gave me a few ideas that I hope would work =)

  • Thanks for this! I am all about learning everything I can about blogging and this will help me so much! Gotto go start writing down everything 🙂

  • Great article! My blog suffers from the slowly sucking the life out of me symptom, too. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to more and checking out your site now…

  • Sarah says:

    Love the info. I signed up. 🙂 I always thought to “be a business” I had to have a tangible product. Never really looked at the info as a product. Can’t wait to learn more.

  • Momchalant says:

    Just signed up and am really looking forward to it!

    • Ashlee, it’s great to connect with you! I took a peek at your blog and I look forward to getting to know you better… have a great night 🙂

  • Sierra says:

    I won’t be at the conference this year. Some day I hope to as I really think I could learn a lot.

    Thank you for your blog post, I plan on reading and following your suggestions.

  • Kristen says:

    Amazing! I wish I was going to be in Charlotte because I think I could learn a lot, but since I won’t be able to, I’m just to be taking detailed notes through your series! Really looking forward to the next segment.

  • patty says:

    Great & helpful information! thank you!

  • Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your blog. You have some really great articles and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write
    some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

  • lisa fine says:

    So true. I’ve been doing some freelance social media and blog work for a photographer, and even though the work isn’t necessarily digital (though I do work from home, and currently, it’s done without needing to meet in person), I’d love to expand on this.

    I’m not sure what direction to go with though – small businesses, green companies, food companies, or people without many technical skills are all areas I could tap into, and think it would be best to specialize. Any thoughts? And on how to promote?

    • Lisa, way to go! Sounds like a great foot in. You’re exactly where you need to be. I could give an epistle for each of your questions – they are fantastic. I will cover a lot of the jump start info in an email series. So my best answer for you is to opt-in to the Hobby to HOT! program (you don’t have to buy it, but you’ll get the freebie training emails that I send out and they will more than answer your questions!)

      You definitely have something going 🙂


  • I’m headed to Charlotte this weekend. Would love to meet you. Thanks so much for this post. I think one of my main reasons for going to Charlotte is that my blog is running me rather than me running my blog. I need to have a better balance and still monetize my blog. I really appreciate the info. you gave here and will work on the homework.

    • KC, I would love to meet you there! I completely get the feeling o being run by your blog, and it’s no bueno… It’s something I fight on a regular basis. It’s the nemesis 🙂 Systems are super helpful and I’m sure there will be some incredible take aways this weekend too. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

      (p.s. I am a super fan of homeschool co-ops 🙂 )

  • Rebekah says:

    Hi Bonnie,
    Thanks for the advice and tips in this post. My co-worker and I are looking forward to attending Bloggy Boot Camp this weekend. We are fairly new to blogging as well, and we look forward to learning so much and meeting fellow bloggers.

  • Ashley A. says:

    Hi Bonnie, fantastic post!!! I am very new to blogging and monetizing, and I am just getting to the point where I have more time to put into it all. I recently joined a group for blog help, and it seems as though everything is based on ads and sponsored posts and reviews/giveaways. I don’t want my blog to turn into one of those, so I guess my question is how do I keep my blog something that I love and not turn into one of “those” blogs while still making income from it? I am a very small blog right now, and I know it will take time to build, but I do have hope. I really wish I could sign up for your course because I know it would help a great deal, but I unfortunately am not in a position to afford it. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, and have a beautiful, blessed day!

    • Ashley – fantastic question. First, it’s important to have multiple streams of revenue. Naturally because of that, ads, sponsored posts etc all have their time and place and you can definitely use them tastefully to avoid feeling like one of ‘those” blogs you’re referencing.

      In the ten years I’ve worked with businesses and blogs online, the most explosive incomes undoubtedly have a single common thread – their own products. And then they wisely supplement with sponsors, affiliates ads etc.

      Even if you don’t have the funding right now to purchase the Hobby to HOT! program – that’s ok! I still highly suggest you opt-in to the list as I will share email info weekly that will help position you to create your own product in the near future 🙂

      So glad you asked! Hope you have a fantastic afternoon 🙂

  • Brian James says:

    check out this blog to get some insight from a real aspiring Entreprenuer

  • Honeybee says:

    Very interesting, Bonnie! I’ve bookmarked this page to do the homework later 🙂

  • Hi Bonnie! Another great post with great info as always! I have always thought about “what I could do” that is not ad based or affiliate post based, etc. It’s a bit different in the “craft and recipe” area. I haven;t come up with much yet. I do have over 12 years of marketing and sales experience to put to it when I find that idea….Lol.

    • Ah, yes! The brain damage of brainstorming! I know it all too well. I would take a gander and guess that you have some really varied and great skills you could package and market. If nothing else, take a minute to opt-in to the Hobby to HOT! list on the landing page. (back end spoiler – it’ll start to walk you through those basics of brainstorming and finding your groove.)

      p.s. I LOVE the Minnie Mouse Buggy you did! My little girl was coveting 😉 (me too!)

  • Alison says:

    Good stuff as always, Bonnie!

  • Tammy Eakes says:

    Bonnie, this is a great post! I followed your link and signed up for your pre-launch promo. I really love your idea of selling your own product. This is what I need the most help with! Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • Tammy! I got your info and check out your blog – you’re on the right track! There are so many things and products you can build on the foundation of fitness. Looking forward to watching your blog business grow!

  • Hey! I’ll be going to Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte this weekend! Love the tips, and can’t wait until the next installment.