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So You’re Making Money Blogging … Now What?

You’ve started a blog, written great content, engaged with readers … and now you’re making a little money at it. Congratulations!

I started blogging seriously with the aim to make a living from it, but I know plenty of bloggers—probably the majority of those making money blogging—have less clear-cut ambitions to profit.

Many money-making bloggers started simply by trying out some monetization method (an affiliate product, perhaps, or advertising) and were pleasantly surprised by the fact that it worked.

If this description fits you, although you might not be quitting your day job any time soon, you’ve at least proven that you can make money from your blog.

That’s an exciting realisation.

So exciting, in fact, that the world of pro blogging focuses heavily on the questions of how to get to that point, rather than what you might do once you reach it.

Today I want to ask that question.

You’re making money … now what?

Let’s say you’ve made your first $20. Or $200, or $2000. What will you do with that money?

Treat yourself to a movie? Celebrate with a dinner in a nice restaurant? Put it into your holiday savings account?

Or will you look at how you could invest it back into your blog, with the aim to earn more next month?

While it mightn’t sound as exciting as any of the options above, I’d encourage you to consider investing at least some of the money you make back into your blog.

How much? That’s up to you. But it might be a good idea to put a set percentage of the money you make through your blog each month aside to reinvest this way.

That percentage may change over the life of your blog, and depending on your blogging goals at a given time. But the important thing is to commit yourself to a percentage that you’ll reinvest into your blog every time you make some money from it.

How will you invest it?

When you make your first few dollars (and it might literally be a few dollars!) blogging, you’ll probably feel the excitement that, wow, blogging really does work! Your efforts have paid off and that idea you decided to try succeeded in making some money. Great!

That elation can be a great springboard for your plans to use the money you’re reinvesting into your blog.

If you made the money through careful selection of an ad network and appropriate advertisers, for example, you may decide to leverage what you’ve learned in that process—this time with some financial backing. You could:

  • have a designer change your blog interface to create ad space in different places
  • try different ad networks, or change your blog’s listing so that the ads shown on your site are more targeted to specific topics or keywords
  • buy advertising space yourself and pay a designer to create some eye-catching ads for you
  • set yourself up to sell your own advertising space, if you have a large and targeted enough audience.

Of course you’ll want to spend the money you’re investing in your blog wisely. Rather than throwing it all at a one-shot tactic, try to build on the successes you’ve already had.

You might divide up your investment between two or three different trials or test tactics, to get a sense as to what might be the best way to direct your money-making efforts in the coming weeks and months.

Or, you might decide to spend a portion of the investment on something new, dedicating the rest to building momentum with what’s already working to generate income.

This way, you reduce the risk that you’ll get zero return on the investment you’re making in your blog, and maximize your chances of developing skills in the methods that are proven to work with your blog, niche, and audience. You also have the freedom to experiment with new ideas, to see if they might work for you too.

Hopefully, you’ll maintain the same baseline income you had this month next month, and be able to grow that income with some of these new ideas you’re trying out. So next month, you might even have a little more money to invest in growing your blog—and that monthly income—even further.

How are you spending the money you make?

Investing money into your blog can be a big shift for those who have been running their blogs on blood, sweat, and tears alone—but it’s an important one.

It can help you to understand that your blog has the potential to build your income, and to think practically about the implications that could have for you. It can also drive your day-to-day blogging and open you up to new opportunities to learn and engage with blogging as a rewarding challenge.

Do you reinvest some of the money you make from blogging into your blog itself? If not, how do you spend the money you make? Share your approach in the comments.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Samuel says:

    Making money from your blog is such a good point to get to. Even of you make your first dollar, try to make more and more and see how far you can go.

    Your point about investing, I couldn’t agree more. Invest and see a better return form it. Excellent article, Darren.

    • I haven’t earned a lot from the internet, but my first earning was from a mobile recharge website, they recharged my phone. I have yet to implement adsense and others in my blog.

  2. GjiVan says:

    Good post Darren. Yes, definitely we get exicited after getting our first earning. And the tactics to invest it in the business model to grow it, is the best way to build a business empire for future. We should not be set for a limit.we will have a great time in future to enjoy our earnings when our blog business catches a definite way and our earning becomes somewhat consistent even we work less or we be in vacation. So, the idea of reinvesting to grow the blog and take it to another step is inevitable.

  3. Lee says:

    I invest around 80% of my earnings back into my online empire and for anyone that’s trying to make money from their blog i would recommend doing the same. Once you build up a big enough cash flow your realize how much easier everything gets, like they say “the first million is the hardest”. Great post Darren

  4. Jarom Adair says:

    Good point Darren. Reinvesting your money is absolutely key to giving you a whole new wave of traffic that you can turn on at will.

    One of the key things bloggers need to calculate now that your blog is making money is this: you need to figure out how much each of your site visitors is worth to you so you know if paid traffic is going to make you more money or make you lose money.

    If 1 out of every 100 visitors buys something from you that nets you $100, each visitor is worth $1 to you. If you can find a paid traffic source that charges you $.70 per click, then open the flood gates! That is a very simplified example, but that’s the idea.

    If clicks cost you $1.10, you’d better find another traffic source or improve your site/offering.

    Which reminds me…

    If you’re still bootstrapping it because you’re not making money–this is not a bad thing. This is your time to really improve your message and your offering and really fine-tune the different aspects of your business. Then when you start making the sales off free traffic and reinvesting that money, things will take off faster than you ever expected.

    Thanks Darren!

  5. Ishan says:

    I spent my first earnings to buy hosting and shifted blog to WordPress. Best move I’ve every made. I invest a little bit back into the blog and keep rest for myself.

  6. How you will use the money that your blogging generates is an important factor to consider. Yeah, you might want to use the money on personal things…and that’s fine. But, if you invest it back in your business you’re giving yourself a better chance of making even more.

  7. I have a little different approach to earning income from my blogging efforts. I mainly use my blog as a platform for offering my freelance writing and marketing services — but I do consider this blogging income, even though it’s indirectly earned from the blog.

    Right now I’m booked solid, but my current clients didn’t actually come from landing on my blog and seeking me out. What I did was go out seek out a couple of opportunities/clients, and because I’ve been blogging in a couple of different niches for a few years, and as a result learned a ton about blogging, online marketing, social media and so on, I was able to land these clients. So the income I earn is all related to my blogging efforts, as indirect as it may be. : )

    How I spend the money is how anyone would spend income generated from client work, BUT, if and when I ever do earn $$$ from more direct blogging categories — affiliate promotions, say — I would invest it back into the blog. Because there are many improvements to be made there!

  8. Fahad says:

    This is what I’m doing. I invested some amount of money to list my blog to some very good high ranking directories My next target is to buy any good theme and customized it by any good designer.

  9. Ocha says:

    I think the first few dollars I made blogging was to buy a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. There have been ups and downs (weight too depending on how much ice cream) but as long as I know it can work, I’ll keep on working it.

  10. Thanks for the post Darren. I not only sell advertising on MY blog, but I’ve created quite a successful custom blog business. Those blogs, used as a core upon which to build my clients’ social media presence, have filled a niche, providing my clients with the digital presence they desire while allowing them to focus on what they do best! I cater to the commercial real estate industry but provide service to others outside of the industry as well.

  11. Graham Lutz says:

    Everything goes right back into new products, design, tools, etc. I’m not really in this to make a couple hundred bucks – I’d like to be able to provide for my family while doing something that matters! As opposed to trading time for dollars at the day job that does nothing of lasting value.

  12. Eric says:

    Once I started making real money, I started to put money back into places where I saw big value in the future. A professional logo and header, Thesis theme, and an affiliate link plugin were early places I spent money to help my blog (or revenue) grow.

  13. Zach says:

    I took my first ad sales and bought some domains to turn into niche adsense sites. I am just getting my first Amazon affiliate money and will more than likely buy some products to review with that.
    Turning my profit back into the site is about the only way I can get the money to finance my site.

  14. Bernard says:

    Great article…I’m just getting started and trying to establish content. I would like my site to catalog my steady growth and ultimately be able to provide some step-by-step process of how to create a source of income that anybody that is willing to do the work can follow.

  15. Ben Troy says:

    I will continue to invest in another blog project, build other online asset .

  16. HT says:

    Well, I would think that the first few bucks should be used to reinvest in the basics:

    1) A solid WordPress theme with decent design, logos (if that hasn’t been done yet).
    2) Basic plugins (most essential ones are free, but there are some good premium ones).
    3) A decent book/course on blogging and how to take it to the next level.

    The temptation beyond that is to get caught up with mountains of WSOs and all kinds of backlinking services and more unnecessary premium plugins etc.

    I would think that the best is to invest in YOURSELF, to increase your knowledge, skills at whatever you’re blogging. This is to ensure that you can come out with more QUALITY CONTENT. It’s sad to see many bloggers spend their money on cheap PLRs that many are using, which get their website penalized by Google for duplicated content.

    Also, investing some money on good images is also worth it.

    Lastly, many would use the money to outsource some of the work. That is good if you know what you’re looking for and have all the processes worked out. That really can save a lot of time, which will free you up to do what really matters for your website, like reading up more and produce more quality content.

    • Ben Troy says:

      I’ve always found that the design of a person’s blog is very important. It’s effectively your image on the web. I know that for most people it seems to be something that is skimmed over; however, I think that if some time and effort is applied, it can make a real difference to the appeal of the site. Thanks for very detail comment.

  17. Abhishek says:

    Making money from blog is now every second person’s choice and they makes money also, i also earn money from my blogging but never invested again for more income, but after reading your point of view i knows that if i invest all my earned money into my blog then i able to earn lots of money in next month, now i surely try this with my blog…Thanks for your great tip Darren….

  18. Nice post Darren, and I should say at the right time. I did start getting a steady income from my blog and have been thinking of promoting my blog by holding some contests and giving away some custom t-shirts or related stuff via the blog. Hoping to create more awareness of the blog and trying to cash in on that somehow. Your ideas of redesigning the blog and all others are quite valid, but does cost some serious money.

  19. K says:

    Small things like this were never a problem for me. But I’m making 6 figures from my blog now… A lot of which I need for taxes, for my income, for my sep-Ira… I could maybe spare about 1/5th of it, which would net me a really crappy assistant… I know I should look into VAs but don’t have the time to do it and haven’t wanted to risk getting a lousy work product that takes me longer to redo myself.

  20. K says:

    Actually, this post made me go back and reread your ebook on productivity, Darren… In your interview you mention “jasmin, who helps you create products” — how does one get one of those? Is that like a coach, an editor, an assistant… I wouldn’t even know how to advertise a position like thwt, or what skill set to look for. Can you speak any more to that? Thanks…

  21. I make money from my blog and since my only source of income is online, I use it for my family. However, I do put back little percentage into the blog, paying for things like the domain name, hosting and email marketing.

  22. Dolphin247 says:

    HI,
    really your articles are very useful and interesting, i will come often to read your comments

  23. synorises says:

    Thank you for share with us , it’s a good for Making money from our blog is such a good point to get to.

  24. Kirsty says:

    I’ve just made my first $3000 dollars blogging about niche books. My blog also helped me to get a literary agent and I have a solid romcom lovin’ customer base for when I release my own book this July.

    Each bit of money I get on Novelicious goes back into my site, whether it be running a writing competition (paying for a voting system/prize) buying for a smarter landing page for facebook or, like Ocha above, purchasing ice- cream to aid the creative process. My next aim is to make enough money to get a kick-ass app designed and implemented. Hmmm…maybe I should think about shifting to WordPress too…sounds scary!

    Thanks for the post, Darren.

  25. Slavko Desik says:

    I’ve thought about this just recently. We are already going up with the numbers in organic traffic (high targeted traffic acquired from the long tail keywords), and as time progresses we caught ourselves wondering what will we do with some money on our hands, or better yet where will we invest it.

    I guess things such as good newsletter service, or maybe some keyword generator tool are a good idea.

    Going for the ads is also a great idea Darren, as the brand is getting a huge exposure, and you are going up in branded search and brand metrics (things that have established themselves as a growing part in the SEO equation). Also you are building more trust and get people familiarized with your name, a thing that is very important nowadays in the blogging world, since niche blogs rarely differentiate from one another.

  26. I spent my first earnings on getting my own domain and hosting for my blog. Subsequent income was spent on antivirus software for the PC and small treats for the kids.

  27. syahrilhafiz says:

    i try to write in english , but a lot i have to learn. actually, make money online that i’ve been focused on in my blog.. i hope this the best way i invest

  28. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    I believe that most of the bloggers who make money from the internet don’t really bother to spend money to improve their blog, the formula should be give and take, we make money, but we have to give (invest) at the same time, or else the blog won’t grow.

    I spent the money I made from online into my blog and websites, such as getting a designer to design a customize blog theme for my blog, hire article writer for my micro niche website, outsource some SEO tasks, and purchasing some blogging related software, these all could improve your blog and websites, and it will generate more income to you in the end.

    My 2 cents, never keep all 100% of your earning on your dime or daily expenses, you shall take part of it to improve your blog and make more money out of it.

  29. or better yet where will we invest it.

  30. I think investing the money back to your blog is a great way to spend it. Thank you for the suggestions.

  31. Alexandra says:

    Yes! I did reinvest and it was a great idea. I hired a designer (www.flod.it) to make a new logo and suggest new colours for the blog. I hired a programmer to make some little changes to wordpress and to make sure the SEO setup was correct – this was very important and I recommend it. And I put just a little bit into facebook advertising for my fan page, which is a pretty good investment if you can retain those fans in the long term. Thanks Darren!

  32. Yes, I do agree with you… Making money from the first blog is one of the most toughest thing.. Your article does help a lot in providing ideas of how to work out things… But coming to SEO i am still confused…. Anyway thank you very much for the valuable points….

  33. Larry Rivera says:

    Awesome post Darren!

    I have been grinding away blogging for so long I am finally getting some traction. I have been thinking about different ways I can re-invest my earning back into my blogging so that I can increase my traffic.

    I like the idea of getting a designer, I haven’t thought about re-designing my blog but it seems like a logical direction to go.. Thanks for the advice :)