You guys! I finally started to monetize my blog! This is such an exciting post for me to write because I’ve dreamed of this for so long.
I’ve been consistently blogging for about 6 months at this point. She Travels is a bit older than that, but when I say “consistently,” I mean I’ve been publishing a blog post every week. Before that, I published a post whenever I felt like it, which, let’s be real. Publishing a post every few months is not the way to grow.
I decided a few months ago that I needed to get serious if I really wanted to make She Travels a profitable travel blog – so that’s what I did.
Where the Money Came From
Most content I read about how to monetize a blog suggests affiliate marketing to start. If you’re not familiar with that term, affiliate marketing is simply promoting products. When someone purchases the product using your unique link, you get a commission.
I tried affiliate marketing back in the day, but it just didn’t work well for me. I’m sure I could have been more successful if I promoted the products more (I still try to this day!). However, I simply wasn’t motivated to do that, so I found another way to monetize my blog.
I made a digital product to sell.
I wanted to start relatively small, so I made an ebook called Free Travel Formula. It helps people learn how to travel for free using travel credit cards.
This topic was perfect because I have advanced knowledge on it, so I can definitely help teach beginners. I also talk a lot about travel credit cards in my blog posts, so I thought it would be helpful for my audience to have an ebook to guide them through the basics.
I chose this medium (an ebook), because it was relatively simple to write and produce. It took me about a month to write, design, and create the sales pages to actually sell it. Keep in mind, I made a strict writing schedule for myself to finish writing it in a short amount of time.
How Much I Actually Made
My audience is still relatively small, so I wasn’t expecting to make millions (or even thousands) right when I launched it.
Honestly, if I made one sale to someone I didn’t know, I would have been happy to even monetize my blog in a small way.
I ended up making exactly $101.50 in the first two weeks. This was from 7 sales since I was running a 50% off promotion for the first two weeks.
While this number is quite pathetic if you think of the hourly rate I’d earned writing it, I know that it’ll continue to make sales as long as I continue to promote it.
That’s the beauty of a digital product – even a simple one like an ebook.
You make it once and it can continuously sell as long as you keep updating and marketing it online.
How I Learned How to Write an Ebook
If you’ve been an avid reader on this site, you may have already read about the time I went on a Blogging Retreat. If not – here’s that post.
Well, on that retreat, I met a fellow blogger named Ana who just so happens to have had a LOT of success writing and selling ebooks. She has a lot of free info right on her blog, The She Approach, about how to monetize your blog.
She also has a course that’s designed to walk you through the steps of writing, editing, designing, publishing, and selling an ebook. In her eyes, launching an ebook on your blog is the best way to monetize it.
I can tell you first hand that it was so so helpful! She teaches you everything from how to pick a topic to setting up a sales page and even publishing on Amazon.
If you’re interested in her course, you can find more info here: Ebook Bestseller Bootcamp and you can use the code “EBB20OFF” to get $20 off the full price of the course!
This is an affiliate link which means if you purchase the course, you’re helping support She Travels and all the free content I publish! Rest assured that I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t use and love, myself.
The Mindset Shift I Needed Before Selling
This is arguably the most important section of this entire blog post. That’s because I had to overcome a few mindset blocks before I could actually feel comfortable selling something to my audience. And I suspect a lot of bloggers feel this way.
Mindset shift #1
I didn’t even know it at the time, but for some reason, my mind was subconsciously convincing me that
a) no one would ever buy anything from me, and
b) nothing I made could ever be worth anyone’s hard-earned money.
I’m fully aware of how heavy these thoughts are.
It took some deep introspection and a lot of journaling to overcome. If you’re feeling that way, just know that you can replace those thoughts with new ones.
Understand that what you know and what comes easy to you may not come easy to someone else.
And that’s exactly why they’d pay you for your expertise.
Think about it. Do you try and fix your car yourself (if you do, pretend you don’t)? NO! You take it in to someone who knows what they’re doing.
In my case, I had to realize that the knowledge around travel credit cards is worth something. Money and credit are two very sensitive topics and some people aren’t comfortable figuring it out by themselves. They’d gladly pay a small, one-time fee in order to assure them they’ve got it right.
You can replace travel credit cards with nearly anything: cutting hair, website design, dog training. There will always be people who are more comfortable paying someone with expertise to help them out instead of trying to figure it out themselves.
Mindset Shift #2
The second mindset shift that helped me was this:
People will literally be getting so much more value out of my ebook than what they put into it.
By this, I mean if someone bought by ebook for $29 and implemented the entire step-by-step process, they’d be able to get a free flight or hotel stay within 3 months. That’s a HUGE return on investment. I’m not even telling them they might get a free flight. THEY WILL.
Who wouldn’t want that?!
Because of this realization, I was able to understand that I’m literally doing people a disservice if I don’t start selling this ebook. If I don’t get this book in front of as many people as possible, those people may never get to go on their dream vacation due to financial issues.
But with travel credit cards they can.
Is it starting to make sense?
Once I mastered these mindset shifts, I was SO EXCITED to publish my ebook and get it out into the world.
My excitement showed everywhere I talked about it. I showed my Instagram followers every step along the way and they were thrilled for me. They wanted to see what the ebook was all about!
And THAT’S what lead to me making my first $100 travel blogging.
What’s holding you back?