How To Become Successful At Making Money With Your Blog

When I talk to new clients about how to make money blogging, the first thing they want to talk about is actually selling their product or service.

Makes sense, right? “Cut to the nitty-gritty, Sue, and help me make money NOW”

how to make money with your blogBut the steps you take, starting from putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), are crucial to making that sale.

Click here to get your own copy of the infographic!

Here is a straight-forward system to persuade your readers to buy from you.

  1. Address Your Readers’ Problemsinfographic
  2. Communicate Your Expertise and Connect With Your Readers
  3. Keep in Contact Frequently
  4. Create Anticipation For Your Products and Services
  5. Sell Your Products and Services

If you kept this in mind every time you write a blog post or email, you will have dollars ka-chinging in your pocket before you know it.

1. Address Your Readers' Problems

You always hear “make sure you have a target market” but just what is the simplest way to do that?

It’s easy – just grab an image of someone who looks like a current client of yours (or a potential client, if you're just starting out) at or

Give her a name (mine is Jane) and a back story. How many kids does Jane have? (2 – A freshman in college and a teenager in high school) Work or stay at home Mom? (She is a solopreneur) Reads “O, the Oprah Magazine” or The Huffington Post? (Both!)

Now, what problem does Jane have? If you are a life coach, does she feel anxious about her kids? If you are a copywriter, does Jane have stress over writing emails?

If you aren't sure what problems your ideal reader has, talk to one (or two or three)! Interview several clients (or potential clients) for 5 to 10 minutes and ask them just what they have problems with.

Then, put that photo of your Jane where you can see it every time you sit down to write a blog post or email. That's the very first step to making money blogging.

2Communicate Your Expertise and Connect With Your Readers

Now, think about how you communicate and connect with Jane. How will she discover your site so she can read your posts and start to know and trust you? The best ways are:

  • Social signals
  • Guest Blogging
  • Reverse Guest Posting

Let's talk about each of these.

Social Signals By posting your blog posts on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ plus tweeting it on Twitter, you will not only get new readers coming to your site but you’ll get natural backlinks (which Google loves).

And you don’t have to spend lots of time on social media. Just post/tweet your blog posts to start with and, over time, you’ll start to see which of the big four sites your target audience hangs out on the most. Then you can concentrate on spending a little more time on that site each day.

Guest Posting When you get to post on someone else's site, the same things happen – new readers and new backlinks.

The easiest way to start is with a circle of 3 or 4 blogger friends. You help each other market their posts through guest posting to each other’s sites and through liking, pinning, and tweeting their stuff on social media.

Reverse Guest Posting This is when you get one of your new blogger buddies to write a blog post for your site. The benefits – they will post, tweet & email their audience so you get new eyeballs on your site.

3. Keep in Contact Frequently

Not everyone will buy your offer the first time they see it. There is a sales cycle of “time plus trust” for your readers.

Sometimes this can happen immediately (when they pour over your articles and connect with you right away) and sometimes it takes several weeks or months.

The best way to keep connecting, of course, is to have your new readers opt-in for your newsletter. You can then send emails regularly so they keep you top of mind.

What I hear from clients is they say they only send emails sporadically, if at all.  Only 15% – 35% of your email list opens each email from you so if you email weekly, each person on your list is just reading your stuff only once a month.

4. Create Anticipation For Your Products and Services

This is the key to selling your products, crafts and services and making money with a blog. Building up anticipation with your readers.

This is where many of my new clients fall short. They just stick up a sales page or send a sales email and wonder why no one buys.

Preselling is crucial. To create anticipation, you need to have a clear, focused plan where absolutely everything you write – blog posts, emails, guest posts, and social media – all lead eventually to making an offer.

The first step in preselling is collecting testimonials and case studies. This builds your credibility and trust with your readers.

If you have current customers, you can survey them and offer a gift or discount for allowing you to share their answers as a testimonial or case study.

No clients yet? Offer your product or service for free to several target audience members. Run a small test group or some individual session in exchange for testimonials.

Want to get great testimonials that aren't vague?

I loved Sue's class

Emphasize that you want the benefits and the value your clients receive from working with you:

Before I took Sue's class on preselling, I didn't know that having a waiting list was so important. Now I have doubled my sales for my next course by just adding a presell waiting list

The second step of preselling is to create a waiting list.

Each time you develop a new service or product, write a blog post (or two) about the offer and ask your readers to join a waiting list in order to become a “priority customer”.

This concept of a waiting list works great – it gives you an idea of how many of your readers are interested in your offer and psychologically builds scarcity into your offer. ( Inside scoop – you can even wait to create your class or course until you ask who's interested by having them join a waiting list. You can see how many of your readers are ready to buy before you spend the time and energy creating the product!)

You can close the waiting list within 3 – 7 days or after 2-3 blog posts and/or emails.

Now you have your first list of “priority customers”. You can also give them a bonus product or a discount when you start actually selling. It's a great way to reward your readers for signing up for your waiting list.

5. Sell Your Products and Services

So, you can see by the time you get to this step, you have created credibility, trust and anticipation for your offer. Now you can start blogging for profits.

As one of my mentors, Yaro Starak, calls it “It is the slippery slope from first impressions to long-term relationships”

It's so much easier to sell once you have gone through each of these steps.

Want to remember the 5 steps? Download my newest infographic created specifically to help you sell your products and services.

Click here to get your own copy of the infographic!


  1. says

    Congratulations and welcome to Annabel’s previous site.
    I did the anticipation concept for the launch of the “My Gutsy Story” Anthology launch in 2013, and managed to get 125 people to attend. How soon in advance, and any other tips on how you propose using this concept for a paid Webinar?
    Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living recently posted…Do Authors Make Money? Here’s The TruthMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks and good work, Sonia. That’s what I’m talking about!

      All webinar preselling is customizable but a good rule of thumb is to send at least 4 emails – one 2 weeks in advance, 1 week advance, day before and 2 hours before. Your attendees should be able to pay and register at little as an hour before the webinar.

      Then, you can even sell the webinar recording after the fact. Send an email the day after and several days later.

      Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions/ideas.
      Sue Anne recently posted…5 Steps To Making Money By BloggingMy Profile

  2. says

    Hi Sue, these are all great tips not only for monetizing a blog, but for building up credibility as a blogger. So many people think that guest blogging and reverse guest blogging is all about links, especially after Matt Cutts weighed in on the topic – but it should be looked at as a way to make a name for yourself as a blogger and to gain some credibility.
    Kostas recently posted…How To Write The Perfect Guest PostMy Profile

    • says

      I totally agree with you one making a name for yourself and building trust and credibility thru guest posting and reverse guest posting. Most of the time, it’s who you know that helps you the most! And starting with bloggers on the same “level” as you is an easy way to start to build that trust.

      Thanks, Kostas!
      Sue Anne recently posted…5 Steps To Making Money By BloggingMy Profile

  3. Alex Taylor says

    Hi Sue,
    Content is king!!! If you have a great post, you must draw the attention of the reader within a very short time.

  4. says

    How to make money blogging? Hmm….this is a really fabulous post. Kudos!

    This technique of making money is actually for those trying to sell their products, which I believe is by far the best way of actually making money online.

    All of the points you shared are actually very valid and what we should as Internet Marketers be doing to make those deserved dollar bills.

    Thanks so much for sharing tips with us, Sue.


  5. says

    Really like all 5 tips. The use of testimonials is something I think is becoming more and more important for all businesses. Sites like Tripadvisor and Ebay have made the independent testimonial a key part of the selling process. The best use of a testimonial I’ve seen in the last few weeks is on the home page of a company called Return on Digital. I have never used their services but I think the way they have put a testimonial front and centre of their homepage is powerful. Have a look at

    • says

      Hi, Ray,

      So glad you enjoyed this. Good point about testimonials being a key part of the selling process. They build trust online.

      Thanks for your comment!

  6. says

    Sue Anne,

    This is such great information. I’m at the point where I’m transitioning to seeing myself as a businesswoman and my blog as a business not just a hobby and these tips really hit home. It has me thinking about what my expertise is and what I have to offer. Thanks for the guidance!

    • says

      I totally agree, Daniela! Top way to validate your niche problems or even for a product.

      Thanks for commenting today!

  7. says

    Hi Sue, this is another golden post by your knowledge ocean. I learnt few new things however I am a regular visitor of your blog. Every time I read new post, it includes something new and attractive. I quickly bookmark your each post to take fresh ideas for my post.

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and helpful post with me.

    Mohinder Paul Verma
    BloggingFunda – A Community of Bloggers

  8. says

    Hi Sue,

    Really good advice here! Too many of us (and too many coaches, too) encourage us to make Step 1 “Create your product.” It’s a real time-waster! Good to go through these steps.


    • says

      Best way of validation of a product is to ask readers.

      Thanks for your comment, Cathy!

  9. says

    These suggestions are helpful. You need to meet a need potential customers have, get them the message you can meet that need and get them to make the buying decisions. Even with a good product or service getting customers to buy is challenging, which is why there is so much written about it.
    John recently posted…Motivation and Delivering Solutions When You Work for YourselfMy Profile

  10. says

    That’s a fantastic blog post and reminds me a lot of what we learnt in our business school back in the day. And to say we paid thousands of dollars and struggled to somehow get into one while you are giving it all away here for free!


    Bill recently posted…How to make money blogging?My Profile

  11. says

    All five pointers are so valuable. Testimonials are golden, as well as having a plan, and sharing experiences with your readers, both good and bad. One’s readers need to know that being vulnerable and making mistakes happens to everyone!
    For me, number 3 is the challenge. I know I can’t stand getting bombarded with emails, so I am hesitant to start an aggressive campaign. I am working to get beyond that limiting belief. Thanks so much for sharing and I look forward to getting back to my coaching with you next month.

    • says

      Hi, Laurie,

      You don’t need to be aggressive at all with emails. Neither of us would ever do that!

      Thanks for your comment today.

      • says

        Picked the wrong word! Again, this is one of my weaknesses that I have to work on. Consistent would be better – does not have a negative connotation. I know it takes a plan and devotion to get those emails out. Working on that 🙂

        • says

          That makes more sense! Yes, consistency is key. A publication schedule and an email per blog post is a great start.

          Thanks for clearing that up!

  12. says

    It’s a common question that many people asked, but like I said, it’s common question, so it’s too general. There are many ways to make money online but if writing a general articles like this, it’s not useful at all.

    No offence, but these concepts are repeat many times around hundred blogs. I suggest if you (author/writer) should to write more specific.

    After reading the article, I learn nothing. If I’m new to blogging or make money online, I really don’t understand this ” how to ” article can help me. So for many new users that just come to blogging or make money online, it’s useless.

    I have joined to blogging for years and with me, this article is just telling something that I already know, but still general.

    Honestly, that’s what I think.
    Alize Camp recently posted…Movie Streaming SitesMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Alize,

      I just wanted to give an overview but will be more specific for the next article.

      Thanks for your opinion!

  13. says

    Great post. This is my favorite point “Address Your Readers’ Problems”. There are too many businesses that miss this.

  14. says

    Hi Sue,

    I really enjoyed this post. It resonated with me in two areas.

    1. Thank you for the information on how many people on an email list actually open their emails. I thought I must be doing something terribly wrong! I feel better now 🙂

    2. Also the advice about having a waiting list for buyers. I’d heard of getting interest going but not by this method. That is such a clever idea.

    I feel like I learned a lot – thank you for the help!
    Mary Collings recently posted…101 Tips for Creating Viral Blog PostsMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Mary,

      I know, no one tells you what the average open rates are. And click-thru rates are between 3% and 20%. So you are doing just fine 🙂

      Thanks for your comment today!

  15. says

    Hi Sue,
    Hope you are doing well in this weekend!

    Yes, “make money online” is a hot topic around the world!
    We are looking different ways to make money online. We need to understand our audience firstly if we want to sell something online.

    I like this point most “Address Your Readers Problems”. Really it make sense.

    Anyway. thanks for sharing this article.

    Have a nice day!
    MINHAJ UDDIN recently posted…Explode Amazing free website traffic now! – Grab 50+ Headline TemplatesMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Minhaj,

      That point is first because it is the key to both blogging and making money with your blog.

      Thanks for pointing that out.

  16. says

    Blogging is one of the best way to make money online and the steps you have shared are really helpful to start making money online. Making money online is not just passion but also needs commitment and dedication.
    Gaurav Kumar recently posted…How To Check Virus Online By Uploading File?My Profile

  17. says

    Wow Sue, there is so much to learn still, even after years of doing this whole blogging thing! I appreciate your expertise and sharing of all of these different tips. I learn something(s) new every single day! Stacie

  18. says

    Great post Sue,
    The best way to make money from the internet or even in any from both online and offline is really by discovering and solving peoples problems.

    Everyone of us has something that is bordering us and i believe that we will be happy to spend money in order to solve it so, why not try and figure what that problem is and then, provide a good solution to it and you will go home with your dough :).

    You really nailed it here Sue.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Theodore Nwangene recently posted…Newsjacking – 21 Ways to Be Sure You’re Doing it RightMy Profile

    • says

      So true, right? Solve a problem and you can make money.

      Thanks for your comment, Theodore!

  19. says

    Hi Sue,

    In a faceless society, like the internet, selling is sure one of the most difficult task to overcome. It takes lots of efforts to get people to trust you here, and it even takes time to build that trust, credibility and authority require to make things happen here.

    Your five steps worth giving a try, I must commend your efforts in bringing them togther. Thanks Sue, nice read.
    Shamsudeen recently posted…Top 10 Beginners Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to AvoidMy Profile

  20. says

    “Cut to the nitty-gritty, Sue, and help me make money NOW”

    ^ Ah, if it only it were that simple, huh Sue?

    These things take time, and your breakdown of the process into five steps is very helpful. Great infographic, Sue! Sharing your post now. 🙂
    Brent Jones recently posted…How to Deal with Trolls, Bullies & JerksMy Profile

    • says

      So true, right, Brent? That’s what we hear!

      Thanks for the compliment and comment.

  21. says


    What a great post. As you know, I’m in the process of wanting to sell my own products. As I’m a freelance writer, making money with my own products like an eBook or boot camp class is all new to me.

    I’m at the grow your email list and keep in contact regularly. I’m doing all that I can to give them a lot of great free info to build trust and credibility so that when I do let my subscribers and readers know my product is out, they’ll more likely want to buy it.

    I’m excited at this!
    Elna Cain recently posted…Keeping Things in Order – My Freelance Writing Project Management SystemMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Elna,

      You are setting you and your blog up perfectly for selling your own product. Preselling will come in the form of guest posts and posts/emails to your readers.

      Thanks for your comment and let us know when your product is coming out!

  22. says

    Hi Sue,

    I love this topic. Nice succinct list here. Theodore stole my thunder, so I’ll go a different route.

    When conveying the benefits of your product or service always think of it this way using the acronym WIFM – What’s In It For Me when writing a blog post about your product.

    If you can’t answer that question you need to start over or else you’ll just be spinning your wheels and wondering why you can’t sell anything.

    Thanks for sharing Sue.

    Have a great day!

    Kurt Kummerer recently posted…Why Your Corporate Job is Not Safer Than Making Money BloggingMy Profile

    • says

      Love that, Kurt! WIFM is a great way of saying think of your readers and their issues.

      Thanks for that comment!

  23. says

    Hey.,,These suggestions are helpful. You need to meet a need potential customers have, get them the message you can meet that need and get them to make the buying decisions.,I learnt few new things however I am a regular visitor of your blog. Every time I read new post, it includes something new and attractive. I quickly bookmark your each post to take fresh ideas for my post.So many people think that guest blogging and reverse guest blogging is all about links, especially after Matt Cutts weighed in on the topic – but it should be looked at as a way to make a name for yourself as a blogger and to gain some credibility.
    You really nailed it here Sue.

  24. says

    Lots of good ideas here, Sue Anne. Thanks once again. I particularly liked the following points:

    1. ‘The Easiest Way to Start is With a Circle of 3 or 4 Blogger Friends’. Great strategy for newbies, and so easy to set up.

    2. ‘Reverse Guest Posting’. Here we have the law of reciprocity kicking in – a sweet way to get some traffic and backlinks happening.

    3. ‘Keep in Contact Frequently.’ This one is vital. I may have neglected the networking activity for my blog, but when someone opts into my list I am diligent about sending regular follow up emails, five times a week. It needs to be relentless.

    Your 5 Steps are spot on:

    – Address Your Readers’ Problems infographic
    – Communicate Your Expertise and Connect With Your Readers
    – Keep in Contact Frequently
    – Create Anticipation For Your Products and Services
    – Sell Your Products and Services

    Most people are impatient – they want to start at Step 5! It doesn’t work that way of course, so thanks for bringing this information to us


    • says

      Great points, Kim! Starting at Step 5 is the usual way most beginning bloggers do this. You obviously realize the better way to start.

      Thanks for your comment today!

  25. says

    Hello Sue Anne!
    this is very impressive article for me because it contains all content which i needed
    i am new webmaster and i really need such information
    keep it up

  26. says

    Hello Sue,
    You really nailed it here. I know that the main goal of any blogger is to make money from whatever it is he is doing on the internet so he can quit his daily job, i know that’s what i want too :).

    However, making that money is never an easy task especially when you’ve got no good plan as to how best to go about it.

    But like you mentioned on this post, the first step is to always solve your readers problems, give them lots of value and you will gain their likes and trust and this will eventually make the whole process of making money much easier for you.

    Also, you need to have your own products or have a certain skill that people will be happy to pay for.

    This is really a very awesome post as always Sue,

    Thanks for sharing.
    Theodore Nwangene recently posted…21 Habits of Highly Successful Growth HackersMy Profile

  27. says

    Hi, Sue. These are really great advices for making money and, even though they are a bit general, it helps me understand how does one start making money through blogging.
    One thing I still have problems with even after 10 months of blogging is my target audience.
    How do we identify the needs of our audience if we’re not clear about who they are?
    I couldn’t find any article on the net about this.

    • says

      Hi, Marlena,

      The best way to find the needs of your audience is to ask them. You can put a question in your first autoresponder asking what they’re biggest challenge or frustration is. Or do a survey on social media. Polldaddy and SurveyMonkey are free to use.

      Then you’ll know they’re biggest issues so you can write solutions for them or produce a product or course that helps them solve their problems.

      Hope this helps!

  28. says

    Hey Sue, awesome post. The advice’s provided in post is really going to help many especially the starter bloggers. Addressing readers problems in the post is also an good way. I think all points are helping to make money in this digital era.
    Lily Smith recently posted…Top 8 Tips to Boost Web Traffic in a WeekMy Profile

    • says

      As you build your audience and your list, you will sell more and more, Esteban.


  29. says

    Sue, I am so impressed with your sincerity, responding so fast when I requested an opinion of my new website. I have made some changes and hope those work (they are certainly better suggestions). You have addressed the real nuts and bolts of making money online and not some wishy washy stuff. Thanks for the sharing and caring.

  30. says

    Hi, Sue. These are really great advice for making money and, even though they are a bit general, it helps me understand how does one start making money through blogging. Lovely post Sue…

  31. says

    I never see a short article with great content like this and which are on point.
    This is my first time in your blog and its will be my breakfast everyday.
    Thanks for sharing useful information.

  32. says

    Hi Sue,

    The points you have shared are really great and must be implemented. This is the first time i have read your post and you really have a good blog. Will surely come back to read more blogs and have also subscribed.
    Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good the work.
    Robin khokhar recently posted…Guest Blogging Tips and TricksMy Profile

  33. says

    Of all the options, I could work on my networking and guest posting. A big reason I don’t do this as much as I should is because I still debate whether it’s smart to put my best content on another person’s site instead of my own.
    Brian Robben recently posted…How To Avoid Hiring A Bad EditorMy Profile

  34. says

    Hey Sue,

    Glad to read your informative post and I totally agree with your points. Problem solving blogs and websites get success in very less time and become popular. People on the internet will not visit our blog just to read what we are bragging. They want something useful, valuable or we can say that Tasty.

    So be a problem solver in any field problems are every where just we have to think and the solution will come in your mind. Creating relationship with other people in our field is very useful, it is a source of great knowledge. Talking with experience people and learn from their failures and mistakes, can make you even better than them. Eventually, thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    With best regards,

    Amar kumar

  35. says

    Hi Sue,
    I love the way you portray the methods of gaining money through online. As you have said content is the king. when you have a relevant content, your post will be ranked higher in SERP and also may be shared by other bloggers. I am a beginner in this field and i love to hear from experienced people about their blogging. once again thank you Sue, it is so inspirational. Great job!

  36. says

    I am managing a website and from 150,000 pageviews I have per month, it only brought to me $800 a month.
    Hope this article will help me make more money.

    • says

      Ads aren’t so great, right? How about affiliate products or your own products/courses?

      Thanks for your comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge