Matt ZavadilWritten by Matt Zavadil
Updated February 28, 2024

So you want to learn how to make money blogging?

And is it your goal to run a profitable online home based business?

You think & dream about it…But:

  • Do you feel overwhelmed & confused about “how” to create blogging income?
  • Have you bought course after course that leaves you spinning your wheels?
  • Are you worried that learning how to make money blogging is “too hard”?

How To Make Money Blogging

Are you:

  • Unhappy in your job?
  • A retiree with a need for additional income or to leave a legacy?
  • A millennial feeling “boxed in” by the chains of adulthood?
  • A network marketer tired of the stupid prospecting methods?

If so, I will help you focus on the correct actions that lead to your blogging success…

What You’ll Learn:

  1. Why a blog by itself is NOT a business that makes money (and what to do about it)
  2. Break down of exactly how money is made online
  3. The only 3 tools needed to get started blogging
  4. Why most training online is abstract technique sucking money from your wallet (and what to do about it)
  5. Why excellent content leads to large traffic numbers that bring quality leads and sales (and what “excellent” content looks like)

Before We Start Learning How To Make Money Blogging, Here’s What I Believe:

I believe we have a personal responsibility to gain knowledge that allows us to:

1) Break free from our inner turmoil and blocks preventing us from achieving personal (spiritual?) freedom.

2) Break free from society’s chains built around labeling a career choice that creates a box that holds down our income, ability to experience family time, travel, and do what we damn well please when we damn well please.

I believe a passive online home based business income stream through blogging is a critical step in unlocking your individual spirit to shine your light that inspires others!

My solution is a step-by-step approach that gives “wins/results” without the overwhelm or “stop and start” pattern.

Do you believe in what I believe?


We’re off to a great start together.

And if not, maybe one of these business ideas will resonate better with you.

Should I Learn How to Start a Blog For Free and Make Money?

I get asked this question often when it comes to how to make money blogging. While you can certainly do this on Blogger or the free Wordpress platform, for example, I highly recommend that you don’t do it.

Starting a blog for free means you’re giving up all control over your income generating methods. Why give control to the free service when your overall goal is to make money?

My favorite quote regarding this is from Micheal Hyatt: “Would you build your house on a rented lot?”

Considering how affordable a self-hosted Wordpress blog is (around $10/month), make sure you build your blog in a way that allows you FULL control of content AND monetization.

Related Training: Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to start a blog (this ensures you are self-hosting on Wordpress so you OWN your blog real estate).

Let’s start your domination journey toward how to make money blogging with key concept #1:

1. Why a Blog By Itself Isn’t a Business That Makes Money

When most folks are introduced to blogging (including myself), there’s a belief that you simply add content and money follows.

I want to help you overcome this misguided belief so you don’t do 1 bad thing I did at the beginning of my own blogging efforts:

==> make mistakes that delay making money & waste a boatload of time off the years you have left in life

A blog doesn’t create income. An effective sales funnel creates income.

Write that down. Imprint it on your brain. Do whatever you need to do to internalize that fact.

It’s common to see people start blogging and quit soon after because the money never rolls in.

They heard several blogging success stories. They knew others were making money, such as John Chow. But they couldn’t “make it work”.

What went wrong?

Several things come into play:

  • they didn’t learn why writing for a specific niche is vital
  • they didn’t learn exactly how money is earned online

I’ll get more into these concepts below. For now, simply know that if you start blogging without knowing who your best target readers are and what you’ll sell…

…then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

I know you don’t want to hear this (I didn’t at first either) but you must invest some quality time planning out your blogging efforts.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

If you want to know how to make money blogging, then make sure you take what I’m saying in this section very seriously.

ACTION STEP #1: Create a file (such as a Word doc) that will become your blogging plan. That’s it for now…easy to do 🙂

2(a) How Money Is Made Online (The Tidbits)

In your quest to learn how to make money blogging, you must gain full understanding about online sales funnels.

Key concept:

I’ll keep going back to the fact that a blog is NOT a business. You don’t have a business until your blog points a potential customer to where they can give you money for some value provided in return.

This process of bringing a reader to a decision to buy is typically called a sales funnel.

Ouch! Sales…I’m not a salesperson.

I know, I know…many of us have a negative thought process when it comes to the word “sales”.

But this isn’t that sleazy sales crap you’re actually afraid of. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.

Online, you can ethically & morally give folks enough free input, education, tips, etc that leads them to WANT to buy a better version of all that stuff…

…in a way that keeps you feeling good about the value you’re providing in exchange for money.

OK, enough of that…you’re searching for how to make money blogging so I hope you know that you’re going to have to talk about sales and money at some point LOL

2(b) How Money Is Made Online (Sales Funnel Details)

In general, money is exchanged online when a person wanting a product or service is put into a funnel.

One of the best visual examples I was shown of a sales funnel was one developed by James Schramko:

Online Sales Funnel

(on your phone? Click the image to enlarge it)

This may look complicated but in essence it’s fairly simple. Replace the top of James’ funnel where it says “Company Website” with “Your Blog”.

I’m developing a more in detail explanation of sales funnels and how to use them (if the prior words aren’t clickable yet, it’s because I haven’t finished that explanation…come back soon and you’ll see the link to that info!), but to keep it simple for now:

Your blog is the HUB of everything you do online to make sales.

Don’t miss this:

Look at that image above. Your blog is more important than:

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • MLM

Your blog is more important than anything else you’ll learn about online marketing.

Why is this?


Everything you do elsewhere always points to your blog AND your blog is the ONLY piece of Internet Real Estate you’ll ever truly OWN. 

  • If you think joining a network marketing business means you own your own business, you’d be wrong (those companies go out of business, get shut down by the gov’t, take downlines away from reps, etc)
  • If you think you “own” your YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…ANY social media account…you’d be wrong (they get shut down when you do one little thing against their Terms of Service)
  • If you think getting a bunch of traffic from a social media account to an affiliate offer means you OWN a biz (affiliate marketing = selling products others have developed), you’d be wrong


If you think building a valuable blog and THEN pointing to affiliate offers, selling your own products/services or using various social channels to bring traffic to said blog is “owning” a real online business, you’d be RIGHT…

…dead right…

In fact, Chris Brogan says it this way (if you don’t know about Chris yet, you need to):

chris brogan start with a blog

The first step in the process for how to make money blogging is to stop getting distracted by all the other forms of marketing (more on this below)…

…and focus entirely on your online sales funnel…

…with your blog as the main HUB of that funnel.

ACTION STEP #2: In the Blog Planning file you created from Action Step #1 above, write “I must commit to building my blog first, then my other social media channels later.”

you own your own blog

Let’s Get Mo’ Simple w/ Funnels & How To Make Money Blogging

A sales funnel can quickly become complicated.

In essence, it’s nothing more than:

  1. Get traffic (real people interested in what you sell)
  2. Point that traffic to a sales page
  3. Collect sales & income

Go look at the image above with “new” eyes.

“See” how it all revolves around the “company website”, or in your case, “your blog”.

“See” how the whole process “funnels” traffic & leads (real people) down into sales.

YouTube video

I’m Making a Big Deal About This Because It’s Vital To Your Blog Money-Making Efforts

You must internalize this process…

…because if you think like most folks…

…that all you do is “blog” and money comes in…

…you’ll get disappointed real quick-like (insert your best Southern drawl)

By the way, you don’t need to have your own product or service to build out your sales funnel. Instead, you can build your funnel around a product created by someone else (affiliate marketing)…start small and move into your own products over time.

Let’s Break for a Blogging Success Story: Lest you think blogging is small time stuff, Grace & Silas Moser turned their blog into one of the top money making blogs that hauls in $10,000 to $15,000 per month. And they did it in less than one year! Read their inspiring story here.

Digging Deeper Into a Sales Funnel: Your Lead Magnet

Once you get traffic to your blog by Google or social media, you must funnel your readers into your sales funnel.

The easiest way to do this is to give away something of value to your readers. This is often called your Lead Magnet because it’s supposed to provide you a bunch of leads/prospects.

This can be in form of:

  • Checklists
  • mp3 Audios
  • Cheat sheets
  • Short eBooks
  • Video series
  • Local and educational events
  • Webinar registrations
  • Free software trials or demos
  • Discount/Coupon (“buy 1 get 1 free” offer for a local business, for ex)

Here’s a couple in action:

At Matthew Woodward’s site, Matthew does a great job on one of his social media posts. First, this pops up:

When you click the green button, you get this:

Enter your email and Matthew has a new lead.

Jon Loomer has a nice looking Lead Magnet offer on his sidebar:

Lead Magnet

Here’s an example from an entirely different niche from Betty Rocker:

Click her “Sign Up Now!” button and she even has a great video explanation before you sign in to her funnel:

This is the same process you’ll eventually put into action on your own blog to get folks into your sales funnel process.

Don’t worry if you’re wondering whether you can make these cool looking Lead Magnet offers or not. There’s Drag n’ Drop software out there that makes it all simple to implement.

Which leads me to…

3. Want To Learn How To Make Money Blogging? Only 3 Simple Tools Needed!

No need to get fancy when you want to know how to make money blogging, especially when you want to know how to make money with a blog for beginners…

You only need 3 tools and you’re in business:

  1. Your blog (duh!)…well, specifically you need hosting
  2. Your Autoresponder
  3. Your Landing Page Creator


#3: How to create your blog: To get your blog hosting in place, click here where I detail this process.

#4: Set up your free autoresponder trial here.

#5: Read about the Landing Page Creator I use here & get it implemented.

Allow Me To Explain These 3 Blogging Tools In a Bit More Detail

1) Hosting: When you take Action Step #3 above, you’ll get your hosting.

There are many hosting companies. Once you choose your hosting company, they provide the service that allows your blog to go “live” online.

You don’t need to know “how” they do this, just follow the steps I provide here & you’ll have hosting in place.

2) Autoresponder: As your blog gains traction and visitors start reading your content, you’ll want to capture a certain % of them as leads or prospects.

Your autoresponder (AR) allows you to do this.

An AR is simply a piece of software that allows you to place code on your blog so optin forms appear. Your readers will enter their name and email so you can now followup with them with future email messages.

3) Landing Page Creator: This allows you to create more eye-appealing optin forms than your AR usually provides.

All you do is “connect” your AR software to your Landing Page Creator. When you build your landing pages and a reader enters their email, it will connect to your AR so you can send your followup emails.

I wish someone taught me this when I got started blogging…

At the beginning of my blogging journey, I didn’t realize how important it was to start collecting leads right away.

When your goal is to ultimately make money blogging, this is so vital!

That’s why you don’t want to set up your blog without setting up your AR and landing page creator at the same time.

No, you won’t get leads instantly (you need to get that traffic flow kickstarted first)…

…but, you’ll be ready to do so…

…and your email list is going to be your biggest income generator over time.

 4. Warning! Most Internet Marketing Training Will Serve To Distract You & Delete Digits From Your Bank Account

I’m going to use a story from my guitar playing journey to lay out this advice.

While you may not be a musician, I think this will “hit home”.

When I was 13 or 14 learning how to play guitar in my bedroom I would hear 1980’s greats like Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen or George Lynch and I’d want to play like them instantly.

But they were distracting me…

…from important stuff like getting my guitar technique basics mastered first.

In the same way, most training online is nothing but abstract technique that sucks money from your wallet but doesn’t help you succeed.

When you get distracted by gurus selling YouTube, Facebook ad, SEO, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc trainings…

…you’re getting taken waaaaay off course through their guru marketing wizardry…

…just like I was getting distracted by Steve Vai or Joe Satriani wizardry, not realizing I didn’t have the basics of chord structure, lick composition, etc mastered yet. I had to stop trying to play Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption” until AFTER I could play a basic 12 bar blues progression or knew how to finger basic chords up and down the neck of my guitar.

All those slick marketing courses serve no purpose but to lighten your bank account and keep you confused and discouraged.

Do you have the basics intact yet?


Then why are you learning Facebook Ad marketing wizardry when you don’t have a solid offer that you know converts to market?

Why are you learning YouTube marketing wizardry when you don’t yet know who your target market consists of?

You’re putting the cart before the horse.

Seriously, I want you to sit back, take a deep breath and “see” what you’re doing to yourself.

You’re sabotaging your chances of success by distracting yourself with these get rich quick marketing courses about how some fancy YouTube or Instagram or Facebook “hack” is the answer.

Just like Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen or George Lynch used to distract me from getting my guitar technique basics mastered first.

You’re being “sold” through slick copywriting techniques. And it’s OK to eventually buy all that stuff and keep learning…

…just don’t get sucked in until you NEED that training…

…and you don’t need any of it until your basics are complete…

BOTTOM LINE: do not buy another marketing wizardry course until you have the 3 basic tools I outlined above in place inside your online marketing arsenal.

The exact funnel and lead magnet can come later…The YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc lessons can come later.

All that stuff will take more training and thought.

And it won’t help you if your basics aren’t in place first.

BONUS ACTION STEP #6: In the Blog Planning file you created from Action Step #1 above, write “I commit to avoiding all Internet marketing courses until I have my blog, Autoresponder and Landing Page Creator tools in place.” (Action Steps 3, 4 and 5 above)

Let’s Break For a Blogging Success Story: Mayi Carles has created massive success at her blog, Life is Messy Bootcamp. One of her accomplishments was selling over 5 thousands copies of one of her digital products. Awesome!

5. As You’re Learning How To Make Money Blogging, Please Know That Your Content Must Be Excellent…

…internalize this:

If you expect to make money blogging you must know that only excellent content leads to large traffic numbers…

…large traffic numbers lead to getting quality prospects/leads from your efforts…

…quality leads bring you the sales that add money to your bank account

What “Excellent” Content Looks Like

Long gone are the days when you post little 400-500 word articles and rank at the top of Google.

Instead, you need to “bring it” when it comes to content. You content has to be the “best” in your niche.

Don’t worry, I know you won’t start out with the “best”. But I don’t want you entering this process without knowing what it takes.

Generally speaking, creating long form content ranks best and gives you the best results. There are other considerations of course, as this article discusses.

Overall, you want to provide a quality amount of content in each of your posts with actionable steps your readers can take to improve their lives.

This is why choosing your niche is vital. If you choose a topic to blog about that you love, then creating excellent content will become second nature.

Your content must be targeted to a specific group of people who have the exact problem your products and/or services solve.

Again, who cares if you know the latest Facebook ad tricks if you don’t have a specific product or service to sell to a specific group of people who NEED and WANT it?

You’ll spend money on ads only to lose it all because you don’t have quality content that gets leads and moves folks through your sales funnel…

…a sales funnel they LOVE to move through and LOVE to buy from.

Let’s Recap Your How To Make Money Blogging Action Steps:

ACTION STEP #1: Create a file (such as a Word doc) that will become your blogging plan.

ACTION STEP #2: In your Blog Planning file, write “I must commit to building my blog first, then my other social media channels later.”

ACTION STEP #3: Get your blog hosting in place, click here where I detail this process.

ACTION STEP #4: Set up your free autoresponder trial here.

ACTION STEP #5: Read about the Landing Page Creator I use here & get it implemented.

BONUS ACTION STEP #6: In your Blog Planning file, write “I commit to avoiding all Internet marketing courses until I have my blog, Autoresponder and Landing Page Creator tools in place.”

Stop whatever you’re doing and get these steps completed. If you keep reading, surfing the Internet, etc then blogging for cash will always be a pipe dream.

Every blogger who has successfully learned how to make money blogging has completed these steps. Money will never flow through your blog if your blog isn’t set up first.

Don’t do what most folks do, which is “think, think, think” & “hope, hope, hope”. ACTION TAKERS get the goodies!

Your goal is learning how to make money blogging. Please take action so I can help you move toward your next steps…

And if you’ve truly gained value from this post, please share (using one of the buttons you’ll see to the left or bottom of your screen), or right here:

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