Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that - at zero cost to you - I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally use and find to be a valuable asset to my business.

How to Make Money Blogging


  1. This was an AWESOME post. After reading, you really inspired me to make my own blog! You’re also right about following through. It’s tough for people when things aren’t working and they just want to say, “the hell with it!” But thank you for the advice. We’ll see if I get to where you are in 5-10 years! Ha

  2. Martypants says:

    [quote]Understand that most who attempt it won’t, but ANYONE CAN.[/quote]
    Understated somehow, yet right on the jugular here. Thanks again, Rae.

  3. Abdul Ghani says:

    I guess this is what you call a detailed, must-read guide about making money blogging.

    Easy to see you use those techniques/tips yourself throughout your own blog. Definitely adds to the value of those tips.

    Thanks for taking the time to share those worthy tips, pretty motivating to whoever needs some kind of boost. The parts about being real, and finding your POD are key to whatever venture you throw yourself in IMHO.

    And if I may add something, some fail even before trying to be real, even before choosing a niche. Many fail thinking they don’t have anything special that’s worth people attention. But the truth is this in most cases absolutely false. Out of all the people out there, there ARE some who’ll love to hear about your thoughts, insights, humor, personality (or curses actually).

    It goes beyond blogging or making money. That’s a major lesson of life actually : just be who you are. Some won’t like you. But some will. And you’ll be much much happier.

    True story :)

  4. Claude "CodeAngry" Adrian says:

    I’m still laughing, tears rolling down my face [from the video]… the white kid wants to be black. Seriously, talk like normal people, be thyself. Eminem pulled this off, you are totally failing.

    PS: Sorry for the trolling. But he needs to know this for people to take him seriously.

    • Rae Hoffman-Dolan says:

      Derek is a New Yorker, I think that just comes across ;-) … but he knows his shit :)

    • Thanks for the feedback Codeangry.

      – Derek

      P.S. Sweet middle name. It screams credibility.

      • Claude "CodeAngry" Adrian says:

        It’s the Nickname, homie ;) It’s not meant to be credible… but INCREDIBLE (great movie ‘Ray’, you should see it).

        PS: Don’t be getting into a flame war with the Human Torch. Just accept my blunt advice (I’m INTP, not good at being nice but I compensate through honesty). If someone looked like you (or like me, totally not gangsta) and talked like that in my face, I’d feel deeply offended and the conversation would end abruptly.

        • Ha — no flame war here.

          Quick tip though: You can’t please everyone, and while you would be offended, there’s tens of thousands of other people who love it.

        • Claude "CodeAngry" Adrian says:

          I’ve been trying to teach this to my brother for years. Check this out:

          It’s a train wreck. It keeps getting worse. BUT the audience is cheering, louder and louder. The more preposterous the performance gets, the louder they get. Everybody loves a failure, it’s entertaining. That’s why failblog is so popular. It’s in people nature to enjoy someone else’s failure. It makes them feel better about themselves.

          But do you think they liked what they heard? Do you think, at any moment, they want to be in her shoes? NEVER. But it’s fun to watch. Nothing but a fleeting moment of entertainment. Consumed and forgotten. Off to the next youtube video WITH CATS…

          I’m stopping here… this is getting too offtopic and I’m messing up Rae’s blog and very valuable post. Next week I should be launching my own blog (if I finish coding the Affiliate System by then)… and I’ll share more. It’ll be FUN.

  5. Awesome post Rae. Although I’ve been working on the web full time for many years now, I’m relatively new to blogging. So this helps. And I’ve been totally lazy with building email lists, meaning I’ve never bothered with it.

    I had never heard of Derek or Social Triggers, so thanks for posting the video. It sold me on building an email list…off to work on that. :)

  6. Ana Hoffman says:

    I’d love to hear more thoughts on “being passionate” about your niche, Rae.

    I am more of the mindset that you need to be “1. knowledgeable about and 2. something you’ll enjoy blogging about” – things we are passionate about might not in the end be the best money-makers.

  7. Jonah Stein says:

    Rae, give the mass of scammers who call themselves “Internet Marketers”, I think you should start off by saying that no one should spend thousands on guru classes and “systems”. There are no secrets or short cuts to making money by blogging. You made money as an affiliate by building topical destinations and promoting products, not magical launches with systems filled with pixie dust.

  8. MicroSourcing says:

    It’d good how this post clarifies that blogging has overhead costs. Too many people assume that blogging is a free way to make money, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

  9. Matthew Insardi says:

    Derek in social triggers is awesome… I’ve been following and learning from him for a while. Glad I found your blog!

  10. Rae, you are a great writer! I can say that I am guilty of never following through. I am great with all things electronic, computers, graphics, business, and I’m into politics. My problem is I think to start a niche and think to start another. After all that thinking I haven’t started anything! This has gone on for many years. I have to stop thinking so much and start somewhere. But how do I do that?

    • Thanks Dwayne – glad you enjoyed it. What you’re describing is something I refer to as Analysis Paralysis… I wrote about it here. I hope it helps!

  11. Hi Rae,

    I just started a blog not very long ago, so I wanted to see other people’s blogs to get an idea what they write about and really to know what I should do! It is hard to know what to do. I got some knowledge through reading yours…so thanks. I understand it takes time and EFFORT on my part to build my blog up and if I do it right people will eventually go to my blog like they are to yours.

  12. Marko Saric says:

    All the info you might need to start in one post – good stuff. I would just echo the advice on not quitting too early. All the advice you’ve given is good, practical and will work. The most important thing to understand is that it takes a lot of effort and time to make money blogging. Most people quit too early when they don’t see big results, but it is important to keep blogging and keep putting the effort. If you work on your blog daily for a longer period of time you will slowly start seeing the results and you mind get your big break where you actually start earning money with the blog.

  13. Leslie La Gringa says:

    Wow, just finally got my website on the web after taking a web design class. I started a blog before I was anywhere near finished with the site. I love to write and I love Mexican Food! So voila, I got my niche. I found you on Google when I searched for affiliate marketing & boy am I glad I decided to click on your link. It’s a bit overwhelming and i’m no wheres near read enough )I’m skimming your links to your other blogs). I guess you can tell by now i’m a southerner with some of my dialect and yes I write my blog that way just like you said, be real! Hell, look at Paula Deen, she’s way more country than I am and she’s loved everywhere. But, getting back to the subject, thanks for all you have done and your writings. I’m sure I’ll be a whole lot more successful thanks to you!


    Btw, I speak Spanish, too…lol, can’t you just imagine a southern accent speaking Spanish.

  14. Rae you are one hell of a writer! I must admit this my first time stumbling upon your blog, but I will definitely be following from now on. I honestly can’t say I have ever read a single blog post with so much complete & useful information. And for those of you newbie bloggers reading, this just goes to show how important it is to write good quality content. As Rae has stated, this is what brings you loyal readership and eventually earn decent money.

  15. This is indeed a great post and one worth sharing. my question here is; how can one truly monetize his blog without using adsense? what are the necessary steps to take and where to go. thanks

  16. Thanks for the info. You say you are not about using free services like WordPress.com .. but your site is made in WordPress :)

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Marauf – there’s a difference between using WordPress as a content management system on your own domain (like I do here at Sugarrae) and *hosting* your site on a free WordPress subdomain (which I do not). :)

  17. Hi Rae

    Great information! You really covered all the major points. The most important one that I got from it is, “Understand that most who attempt it won’t, but ANYONE CAN.” I appreciate your honesty here.

    I’ve blogged for a few years now and have done quite well. But I have tried to help members of my team who “really” wanted to do it too and they just were not successful because they wanted immediate results. It take dedication and consistency with blogging and may take months before monetary results are realized. This was the hardest thing to explain!

    Thanks again for the informative article and telling it like it is!

  18. Andraz Vene says:

    Great article Rae!

    Really loved reading through it as even though I’ve read quite a few “similar” articles/guides they often forget to point out that when writing a blog you have to be YOU. Building a loyal readership is more valuable in the long term, than building a readership of twice as many, but less than half as loyal.

    When people start to like you and return to your blog, that’s when you’ve hit gold! Not only in possible sales, but also in tons of other new opportunities that these people might offer.

    I always tend to think of the internet visitors as people you might meet. Will you buy something from a stranger on the street who yells about his/her product? Or rather from a long-time friend?

    “You need to blog as if everyone is listening from the moment you launch because when someone happens upon your blog, what will turn them into a READER vs. a VISITOR is said awesome content. ”

    THAT has to be one of the highlights of this post. So many bloggers often forget this (including myself :/) and initially just make “half” posts instead of great written, quality posts. Write great from the GET-GO. With so many bloggers around these days, you have to show something new to them ;)

    Kind regards,

  19. Craig Crawford says:

    You know it! So far I have only been giving free content away… I have been getting subscribers too… but the main idea for me was to also share valuable knowledge that helps people in communities!

    Now my blog isn’t even two weeks old and I have about 80 people a day visiting!!!

    Thanks for the great information!!!


  20. And Sugarrae, don’t forget paid marketing. I’ve seen A LOT of ‘bloggers’, who are mostly just marketers, who are making a KILL’N, just getting paid traffic into their ‘funnel’. Yes they’re bloggers, but they’re marketers #1.

    Also, I like how you mention blogging for value or readership #1. When I first got started, I was so desperate to earn an income online, that I basically spammed the hell outa’ the search engines lol. I created little value, and really was just directing traffic into my funnel. That killed me long-term, as well as using “tools”, to share and syndicate, and really overdoing it.

    The key is value. And oh yeah sourcing other info.

    Awesome blog.

    “Make Money Blogging PROS”
    (Currently the internet’s most ghetto blog, but it’s game on once I can get someone to help with the aesthetics :))

  21. Kevin J. Timothy says:

    Very good analogy regarding brick and mortar businesses reaching out to even their local Chamber of Commerce.

    It really drove the point home.

    I’m really glad that you emphasized on the importance of “being you” when posting. It gets really easy to over-formalize yourself when posting. Your natural train of thought is that some super authoritative figure could be reading. lol

    I don’t use profanity when blogging, but lately I have noticed that I’m being more relaxed. With that said, I’d like your opinion on this. You suggest being you, but what are your thoughts for posting in the 1st person? I’ve come across bloggers speaking against using the word “I” often.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      I’ve never heard people recommending against writing in the 1st person. For me, I would never be able to write a post in the third person – to me, THAT would feel awkward. :)

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