It took me years to figure out how bloggers make money, and now I’m earning a 5 figure annual income with Canadian Budget Binder.
How many of you have contemplated starting a blog but struggling with getting it off the ground?
That was me ten years ago, and I’m still here working hard for my readers and connecting with them.
When I started Canadian Budget Binder on WordPress.com, I had no idea that bloggers make money.
Can you believe it? Here’s a guy who loves earning and saving money, and I missed opportunities.
Some bloggers from all niches are raking in millions of dollars each year with their blogs.
It’s true, and as soon as I found out, I had to make money blogging to pay for the high blog bills.
Blogging to make money is not accessible because as you grow, your blog grows with it.
If you’re not familiar with coding or fixing your blog, you need to hire people to buy themes and plugins.
For years I was mainly blogging about frugal living and debt reduction on the free WordPress platform.
Our blog had nothing to do with paying our mortgage off in 5 years.
Follow me, and let me share a little about how bloggers make money by monetizing a blog.
Side Hustles We Used To Make Money Before Blogging
- Frugal Living (coupons, rewards points, deals, discount codes etc)
- Earning Cash through focus groups and food and drink testing
- Offering a room for homestay students in Canada
- Buying products from second-hand shops and garage sales to flip
- Nielsen Home Scan Canada earning points grocery shopping and redeeming them from their catalogue.
The exciting part was that we weren’t debt-free when this blog began, as we still had our mortgage.
The above suggestions are how we were able to make money to become debt-free.
Canadian Budget Binder was an accountability blog to keep us focused and motivated.
At the same time, we were hoping to inspire others who wanted to reduce debt.
However, when you thought you were doing everything to make money, BOOM, you realize you missed the boat.
The great thing about making money blogging is you can jump in at any time to implement the ways I will discuss below.
I missed out on blogging to make money to fuel debt reduction, but that has changed.
Do Bloggers Make Money?
First off, making money blogging takes time to build up your audience, email list and networking circuits.
Some experienced bloggers know how to earn fast money because they’ve blogged for years.
For new bloggers looking to monetize a blog, this post is to help bring awareness to you.
It wasn’t until around 2014 that WordPress.com contacted me to let me know I could monetize my blog.
They had metrics that bloggers had to meet before they could register for advertising.
Monetizing a blog means finding ways to earn money from a blog to earn an income.
It took me FOREVER to earn $90 because you don’t get paid much.
For some, blogging is just extra income, and for others, it’s a full-time job that can get competitive.
I found out that I was not up to speed on a blogger’s income, lucrative.
So how are these bloggers earning all of this money with a blog?
- Advertising Marketing
- Selling Their Services
- Sponsored Posts
- Affiliate Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- Selling Products They’ve Created example: Budget Printables (Shhh… we give them away for free here.
- Social Media
Let’s explore each of these ways bloggers make money, but this is just scratching the surface.
Creating A Blog That People Will Read
When I started Canadian Budget Binder, I never considered blogging to make money,
All I wanted to do was share our financial journey to debt-freedom and offer free financial tools.
Please don’t pay for printables when you can get them free right here at Canadian Budget Binder.
There were times when I would say to my wife that I didn’t think anyone would read my blog.
Who wants to know about how a couple managed to become debt-free so young?
Well, I was wrong, and ten years later, we have thousands of readers every day from around the world.
It’s not just Canadians who stop in to read and subscribe, which is fascinating.
Having a diverse audience is essential to me because you get financial views from around the world.
Bloggers Make Money In Surprising Ways
I hired a blog designer in 2013 and paid him $800 to move Canadian Budget Binder to self-hosted.
He moved my blog to WordPress.org and set me up with Blue Host as my hosting company.
I soon realized that I needed to move from Blue Host to a company that could handle CBB.
That’s when I found Big Scoots and have been with them ever since.
If you’re a new blog, Blue Host is fantastic, but if you’ve got years in your blog, I 120% suggest BigScoots Hosting.
You’ll also need an email company that allows you to send posts to your subscribers.
You can also do several other cool things with Mailerlite, which I use, such as creating a newsletter.
I couldn’t be happier with Mailerlite as I’ve moved from Feedburner that didn’t allow me the amount of control over my subscriptions as Mailerlite does.
Blog Control Helps Bloggers Make Money
I wanted control over Canadian Budget Binder rather than the free WordPress.com I was using.
The first designer I had started pretty well but quickly changed as he took on too much work.
I need up with a dead-beat blog designer who didn’t care about my needs and eventually stopped responding to my emails.
Luckily I found Sara from Moonsteam Design years ago and paid her to keep Canadian Budget BInder updated and running.
Having control over your blog means you can learn more about how bloggers make money.
It took lots of time for me because I also work full-time in a busy career which I love, and I have a family.
My first blog posts are atrocious, and I fix them up by adding more content as they are short.
Whatever you do, try not to make the same blogging mistakes that I did if you plan to blog.
There are many things to consider if you want to join millions of bloggers who make money online.
I must say never let money go to your head and never compare your blog to another.
Also, not all bloggers are successful because it’s an investment of time and expertise that comes with experience.
Typically, I would see new bloggers drop out of blogging within the first five months to one year.
Let’s explore the basics of how bloggers make money which means there are loads more.
It’s a case of starting the process and educating yourself along the way.
1. Bloggers Make Money Selling Digital Media
Digital media can include a variety of sources that bloggers make money to build wealth.
- Digital Media, Writing and Selling and E-book online about a topic they are passionate about
- Selling an online blogging course where the blogger is successful and shares how they did it.
- Creating blog Pluggins and Themes for blogging platforms such as WordPress.
- Video Education, selling blogging music and professional photographs for online use or print media.
- Interviews for blogs, guest appearances via Skype or Zoom, news media, radio, blogging events or other events about how to make money blogging
Be Careful With Earn Money Fast Courses
Digital marketing is one way bloggers make money by sharing how they became successful.
At the time, I was looking for a legitimate course about how bloggers make money blogging.
Although many are fake, asked or paid for, I often read reviews encouraging others to buy a product.
Just take them with a grain of salt and Google it instead of reading at the source.
To learn more, I bought a blogging course by a millionaire blogger that I’ve known since we both started our blogs.
She invested more of her time into her blog than I ever could at the time with a new baby and career.
I asked if there was any information that I might find helpful as I was blogging just as long as she had.
She assured me there was, and I was a fool to believe her because money was her objective.
Nobody is your online friend when money is involved.
Research To Avoid Money Hungry Bloggers
Everything in the course was essential, and for beginner bloggers, and after ten years, I was no beginner.
The course was introductory and filled with other bloggers who shared their experiences.
I had emailed her asking if I could get my money back and explained the situation, and she declined.
There was a cut-off date for the money-back guarantee by days, so I was out of luck.
We had a death in the family, and the blog was the last thing on my mind which I explained.
There are many fantastic blogs where the blogger makes money and shares their success.
Just do a bit more research than I did, and don’t trust someone just because you know them.
I love a great tutorial or e-course, provided it is engaging, and I’m learning something new.
2. Bloggers Make Money With Advertising
Although Google Adsense is one of the most popular ways bloggers make money, it wasn’t for Canadian Budget Binder.
These days bloggers have turned to the Full-Service Ad Management company, Mediavine, which is a company that makes dreams come true.
My blog income has grown exponentially with Mediavine, and I’ll be sticking around to work with them.
Everything from banners, ads, videos and recipe cards have advertising from Mediavine.
You might be approached by a company and offered a percentage or straight sale commission for running an ad.
Remember that first $100 I earned blogging? Now it’s thousands, and I never look back.
They are an excellent team of people who want you to be a successful blogger and are always there to answer questions.
Types Of Ads Bloggers Make Money From
There are four types of ads on blogs called CPC, CPM, PPL and PPS ads.
What are CPC Ads?
CPC ads are known as Click Per Click, which means that when a reader clicks on the ad, the blogger gets paid. CPC is also known as PPC or Pay Per Click.
What are CPM Ads?
CPM ads are a fixed amount of money the blogger gets based on impressions or how many people see the ads. For example, the blogger could make $100 for every 1000 impressions.
What are PPS Ads?
Pay per Sale ads are ads the blogger gets commission from when a link is clicked, and there is a purchase or a sale.
What are PPL Ads?
Pay per Lead is when the blogger gets a commission when someone clicks on a link and signs up to an email list.
3. Include Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are not guest posts only because one is free, and the other comes with a price tag.
Can you guess which is which?
I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure out that companies who want to share their products pay for a sponsored post.
I do my best to test products first or look at the links they want me to share.
From there, I decide whether it will offer advice to my readers or ways to save money.
Not all of my readers cut out parts of their budget because they can afford it, so they’ve set money aside for specific hobbies or entertainment.
You may have readers who want to learn tricks for saving money by going out for the night, playing the lottery or online shopping.
I know what you’re thinking, don’t go and save yourself money.
Perhaps that’s right for your budget, but not everyone’s budget is the same.
That’s the great thing about having a free budget download for readers because they can customize it.
Other sponsored posts are about saving money on;
- Canadian life insurance
- Banking and loans
- New phone apps
- Writing a Legal Will
- Best Credit Cards In Canada
Sample Sponsored Post Idea For Credit Card Comparison
For example, The Tangerine World MasterCard is popular because of their rewards program.
Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.
There’s also a sign-up bonus which most credit cards will offer, along with a low introductory interest rate to market their product. Earn an extra 10% back* for a limited time with a Tangerine World Mastercard.
Advertising credit cards can be lucrative as long as you have readers in the market who are interested.
Comparing the best credit cards in Canada in a blog post yields an excellent return for the blogger if a reader signs up.
Be Picky About What You Post As Sponsored
As a blogger, you need to be picky about what you allow as sponsored content and ensure it follows your blog guidelines.
I send a media kit to anyone interested in sponsoring a post with my prices and guidelines for moving forward.
Trust me, and I turn down many sponsored posts because I don’t like them or can’t afford my rates.
Invest In Guest Posts By Professionals
When you start blogging, you will get all sorts of emails from people wanting to “Guest Post.”
I never allow a random guest post, as I made that mistake at the beginning of this blog.
You think people are interested in your blog, but all they are after is a do-follow link, so they get paid.
You’d be surprised at how astronomical a crappy 500-word guest post can be lucrative.
I ignore those emails as you’ll get to learn what is legit and who’s trying to scam you.
Another form of a guest post that I allow is from my readers who genuinely want help or share their success or failures on the blog.
Adding personal experience to your blog is a great way to connect with your audience.
Below is an example of a guest post from an expert Canadian Accountant.
I’m not an investing expert, so my friend Neal Winoko wrote a book titled, The Grumpy Accountant.
Yes, this is an affiliate link if you click on the book and decide to purchase it. (it’s worth the money, trust me).
It’s an excellent book about what he’s learned as an accountant and what changes are needed.
Recently he wrote a guest post titled, DeathTax Windfall For The Government of Canada.
As you can see, there are benefits to having guest posts on a blog, provided it adds value.
4. Include Affiliate Links In Your Content
I think affiliate income is super cool because you get to link to your favourite products and share them with your readers.
Affiliate income can also become a nice chunk of money if you promote and insert them on your blog.
Affiliate links and advertising are two of the most significant ways bloggers make money.
By signing up with companies that offer affiliate links is how you start monetizing your blog.
Below are just a few affiliate companies that I use on the Canadian Budget Binder to give you an idea.
There are so many affiliate companies in Canada, and typically I find them by scrolling to the bottom of a website and looking for “Affiliate Program” information.
You’ll also learn about affiliate companies through networking with other bloggers or just asking the company directly.
Before you can use any affiliate program, you first must be approved.
Once you have your blog set up, you can start to apply for affiliate programs.
After your profile is approved, you can start applying to affiliate programs.
All you have to do is wait until you are approved, and you can insert your affiliate links where it fits on your blog.
- Cj Junction
- Rakuten Advertising Technology Used by Successful Businesses
- Fintel Connect
- Amazon Canada Associates Program
- Flashfood app Canada – Save 50% off food products close to expiry from participating Loblaws Stores such as RCSS, Zehrs, Dominion, and Loblaws.
- I use Keeper Security to protect my passwords and stay safe online.
- Join Pinecone Research Canada if you love completing short surveys to earn money.
- Canva Pro series is the best for making cover photos, magazine covers, cards, infographics etc.
- Get a beautiful customized logo today with Fiverr.com! Guess where I got my logo?
- Sun Life Go gives people the flexibility to help meet health and financial needs with convenient access to insurance coverage.
- As an Affiliate of the Adbloom network, you’ll be able to amp up your passive blog earnings by working with other Canadian businesses.
You will find affiliate links on some posts on CBB apart from the earlier years, which I have noted in my disclaimer.
When I post a recipe, now I know to add Amazon affiliate links so readers can see the products I use.
This is fantastic, especially if your readers want to make a recipe using the same products.
For example, when I first wanted to learn about blogging, I bought the book “Blogging For Dummies.” (Affiliate Link)
Learn The Basics Of Blogging First
I highly recommend for anyone who plans on starting a blog to learn the basics of blogging,
Then follow bloggers in the niche (mine is personal finance/frugal living) and network with them.
Plus, they can order the product from Amazon Canada if they don’t know where to find it.
Another way to earn affiliate income is by adding links to products, although affiliate links and advertising banners.
An advertising banner may look like the TD Canada Trust banner at the bottom of this mobile phone screenshot.
KOHO is Canada’s leading digital challenger bank determined to make the financial system transparent and intuitive. KOHO offers a free pre-paid, reloadable card + integrated app that gives you real-time insights into your spending and savings
By clicking on the KOHO affiliate link and signing up, I get a small percentage of money from the company.
5. Selling Exclusive Memberships
Bloggers make money selling memberships to their blog or a particular blog area where the blogger is active.
These types of memberships might include a private Facebook group or exclusive forum only for members.
There’s nothing wrong with these methods, especially if you want to work with the blogger exclusively.
Many bloggers don’t always have the time to answer every comment or question, so this is fruitful for learning and earning.
By this, I mean you’ll have more access to the blogger for questions and privileges of a private social media group page.
If this is a passionate topic, support the blogger’s efforts and see what you gain from it.
As mentioned above, research what you will be spending your money on before buying.
Ensure that the membership has a money-back guarantee and that you don’t miss the cut-off date.
Bloggers Make Money With Social Media Traffic
I don’t specifically have goals using social media to make money for the blog, but many bloggers do.
Anything from sponsored posts to shout-outs on social media can yield money for a blogger.
For example, If a business notices that you have a vast audience, they may negotiate with you to share their business name or do a product review.
I have social media shoutouts as part of my media kit, but I have yet to do any as I don’t push it.
I don’t use LinkedIn for my blog, but this is also a social media traffic booster.
Once in a while, I will pay Facebook to put out an ad for Canadian Budget Binder to drive traffic to the blog.
So far, I haven’t found it to be as successful as I thought it would be, but others have great fortune.
Search Engine Traffic
Lastly, I want to talk about Pinterest since most people believe it is considered social media.
News flash, it’s not; it’s a search engine, and my second most considerable traffic flow comes from Pinterest, followed by organic traffic and direct traffic from Google.
Search engines such as Google, Pinterest, Bing and Yahoo are some of the best traffic sources.
I also have many of my blog posts on the first page of Google search, which is every blogger’s dream.
When someone searches for Google having your blog post on the first page is a win.
Most people don’t go to the second or third page of results on search engines.
This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a MUST for all bloggers, driving organic traffic.
What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic means that someone searched for a topic on a search engine such as Google. Your efforts of search engine optimization will drive organic visitor traffic from a search engine.
For example, if you type in the Scanning Code Of Practice in Canada, you should see my post on the first page. When someone clicks on a link that is not an ad or sponsored, it becomes organic traffic based on SEO.
What is Direct Traffic?
Direct traffic comes directly to a blog or website where they type in the URL or have it bookmarked.
If you don’t have the time to take care of social media, you could hire someone to do it for you.
That is, if your blog is earning enough money to hire help for your blog so you can focus on other things.
What is email traffic?
Email traffic comes from subscribers to your blog who want your blog posts sent to their email.
Building an email list for your blog is vital to driving traffic and securing a new reader for life.
Your email traffic may also read more blog posts you’ve written and click on affiliate links that will earn you a commission.
You can send out mass emails to your subscribers with your email list, such as my bi-weekly newsletter.
Don’t Quit Blogging Before You Start
My final advice to anyone considering starting a blog to make money is never to give up.
Earning money online with a blog takes time and patience, but it will pay off if you do it correctly.
It can be challenging, but once you’re out there and people recognize your blog, they will come for you.
Being shared on The Globe and Mail, Yahoo, Toronto Star, and numerous other well-known media is a pat on the back.
Related: CBB Media Mentions
There were times I questioned continuing Canadian Budget Binder, but then I found my groove again.
As you can read from my personal experience from blogging, there is money on the table.
When a fan emails me about learning to blog, and if bloggers make money, I always say it depends.
It depends on how motivated you are and what you are going to teach your readers.
If you’re lucky, you might even have blog readers who offer donations to help pay for blogging expenses.
Good Luck, and if you have any questions, shoot me or fill out my contact form.