5 Quick actions you can do today to start making money from your blog

If there’s one thing I’ve realized about blogging over the last 5 years, it’s that you can do as many blogging courses as you like, google ‘how to make money online’ and read every ‘blogging tips’ article available to you, but there are only 2 real ways to start making money from your blog…

By creating engagement and desire for your products and services.

I’ve spent years experimenting with what works online and what doesn’t – in my own personal projects and my clients. I came from a desktop publishing background where print media and the traditional advertising platform made sense – but it doesn’t quite work the same way online.

What I mean by that is you can’t just start a blog, get some advertising in your sidebar and expect to get rich. I hate to break it to you but 90% of the time, that don’t work honey!

So today I’m going to give you 6 simple and actionable steps to help you build a profitable blog.

Step 1: Stop sending people away


I know all these pretty little social media icons make you feel professional and sexify your blog but do you know what they’re really doing? They’re sending people away into a world of social media distraction. How many times do you logon to Facebook to do one thing and 10 minutes later you’re like “why did I come here again?” Social media is a noisy place. I get that you want people to like your Facebook page and follow you on twitter, but instead of doing the social media icons – rather embed a Facebook like box in your sidebar – this way people can just click the like button and stay on your website. The same goes for twitter, embed the follow button so they can follow you directly and not actually leave your website.

Step 2: Don’t get social media backwards

Use your social media accounts to bring people to your website and not send them away. Tweet out your blog posts on a regular basis. And don’t be afraid to recycle old posts either.

Step 3: Interview inspiring people on your blog

Interviewing inspiring people is an awesome way to bring fresh traffic to your blog. It’s a great way to get in front of a new audience when that person shares their interview with their readers. The purpose of your blog is to inspire and educate your audience – and trust me on some days, it’s hard to dig deep and find that inspiration, especially when you’re having a bad week. Interviewing other inspiring people is an awesome way to get around this, inspire your audience and lift your spirits!

Step 4: Ask people to do something for you

“Did you like this post? Like it, tweet it, leave a comment.” Research shows that just by asking someone to do something, you have a 50% greater chance of them actually doing it. (Okay I made that statistic up, but in my own research I’ve found this to be true.) If you’re providing real value to someone, they’ll usually be more than happy to help you out with a tweet or a like.

Step 5: Start building your mailing list

When someone visits your website for the first time and they’re impressed and want to know more, they’ll look for an easy way to keep in touch with you. Social media is one way, but if they just like your Facebook page, that means that when you have a product or service to promote you have to be reliant on the hope that they will be on Facebook to see your update. An easier and more personal way? Make sure you get their email address.

Okay Shannon, so I’ve done all that, but I’m still not making any money from my blog?!

So I mentioned that there are only 2 real ways to start making money from you blog – by creating engagement (steps 1-4) and creating desire (step 5). Let me explain…

Steps 1-4 keep people on your website and encourage a deeper level of engagement. If you only implement these 4 steps I promise you will see an increase in hits as well as the time people are spending on your website (you should be able to see this via your Google Analytics reports).

Step 5 is your money maker… and it’s dedicated to helping you create a desire for your products and services. The aim is to build a mailing list of potential clients who you can keep in contact with via your newsletter and link them back to your blog – if you aren’t doing this yet, you are cheating yourself out of a lot of potential business.

The purpose of your blog is to offer valuable information that creates a desire for your audience to buy from you. 

Tip: Even if you don’t have a product or service yet, you can still do this!

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is any profitable blog. If you want real people to buy from you, you need to create real value, help them solve real problems and build real relationships. Get this right and you’ll see that people will naturally want to spend money on your products and services to better their situation.

It’s not something that happens overnight, but with a little hard work and passion, you can make this happen!


  • Jennifer Kennedy

    Great advice!!

    I recently did an interview for my blog! I enjoyed it because it took pressure off of creating a new post and I was able to provide a different perspective to my topic.

    Was wondering how do you suggest encouraging people to share the interview on their Social Media spots?

    • Shannon McLaughlin

      Hey Jennifer, thanks for your question!

      I find that as long as you’re portraying them in a positive light, they will naturally want to share their interview with their followers. You could also tweet it out and then ‘@’ them in the post so they get a notification about your tweet – they will usually retweet it when you do that.

  • Christina

    Hi Shannon,

    This is great advice and very valuable–*loved* it!!! I had never thought about the “sending people away” part and your advice on how to do it differently is awesome.


  • Carol

    This is a great list! You have some invaluable tips that, if followed, are sure to improve the engagement on your blog — and eventually make money. Thanks so much!

    • Shannon McLaughlin

      That’s exactly the point I was trying to get across – EVENTUALLY make money – blogging is a marketing tool and you need to have some kind of product or service to sell to actually make money in the long run.

      However, by creating engagement and desire for your current (or future) products or services now, you are putting yourself in a position where your fans will be ready to buy from you in the future.

      Glad you enjoyed it Carol.

  • Michele Lewis

    I love this! I had never thought of interviewing someone, even though I’ve seen others do it. 🙂 I also get to do some redesign as currently I’m sending people away to like and follow. Good to know! The timing is perfect as well!

    • Shannon McLaughlin

      Thanks for your comment Marquita. The big misconception is that people think that monetizing your blog is something that you can action in 1 step, however it’s a process of creating that desire over a period of time, and providing consistent value to your audience, that will *eventually* lead to being able to sell.

  • Suzie Cheel

    Shannon, great post and I am going to follow your advice and put a twitter stream and take out my social buttons. I love the design of your blog and it’s time to do interviews again

  • msdiane

    Hi Shannon! Great advice and I am totally resonating with Step 3 – Interviewing inspiring people. I actually do most of what you talk about but that one. Thank you for the great ideas!

  • Emma

    Thanks for the article… I think that the social share is pretty critical… and have been working on getting my blog to work better for me! Would you mind creating a post on the apps that help keep people on the page (Step 1) and I love how you have a newsletter sign in on the top bar… how did you do it?
    Oh… and I loved the tweatable link you have!!!

    • Shannon McLaughlin

      Hey Emma, thanks for your comment, the tweetables are awesome! You can create them for yourself by going to
      I used some custom code to create my newsletter sign up bar, every website is different so there is unfortunately no set code for that, but I think I’ll take you up on your request and do a blog post sometime in the near future solely about keeping people on your website instead of sending them away, I’ll include the plugins you can use there as well 🙂

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