Blogging Tips that Make You Money: 10 Things I’ve Learned Over the Last 7 Years as a Blogger

I ran across this great post that contained 65 blogging tips yesterday on Twitter. It was written by David Riley over at the Blog Marketing Academy.

If you want to make money blogging, you should take the time to read the whole post by the way. It’s excellent, first-hand advice from a successful blogger (can’t get more “what works/what doesn’t” advice than that). As I read through the post, I realized that my experiences in over 7 years of blogging mirrored what was being said.

So I decided to select 10 lessons from the list and expand upon them. I could have selected many more, but that would have been an ebook! So, here are my “money-making blogging tips” – and my take on why they work/don’t work – culled from this list.

FYI, I’ve been blogging since February 2005 – over 7 years now; I started on blogger (which seems sooooo old hat now!).

1. It is as important to work ON your business as it is to work IN it. Just in case you don’t know the difference, working “in” your business is like being an employee. Sure, you’re the “boss,” but you’re in essence a slave to your enterprise; it couldn’t exist without you. This means being worried every time you want to take a day off, go on vacation – have a life!

After all, isn’t this why you started your own business – to be able to control your destiny?

When you work “on” your business, this is exactly what you do. You set up systems and processes so that you can have more time to do what you want, ie, go on vacation, take unscheduled days off, be able to “unplug” (from social media, your cell phone, your laptop) without worrying about your business unraveling.

It took me years to learn this difference, and more years to implement it. Nowadays, I set aside one full day to work ON my business (Fridays). I’m a prolific list maker, and I have lists that include short-term and long-term goals. On Fridays, I look at my short-term goals list and choose projects to tackle. Of course, your short-term goals should jive with and get your closer towards your long-term goals (ie, where you want to be in a year, three years, five years, etc.).

I spent a lot of time on this lesson because it is one of the most important things you can learn as an entrepreneur.

If you don’t set aside time to work on your business, all you will have done by starting a business is created a “job” for yourself – one you may one day hate if it can’t survive without you being “on” all the time.

blogging-tips-that-make-money2. Never, EVER fail to launch a site without building your email list. If you’re not building your email list, you are completely wasting your time and you’ve already failed whether you know it or not.

I operated websites for years without a mailing list. And you know what, I struggled to make money online. This became particularly poignant once I started to sell ebooks online.

Increasing Ebook Sales!

One of the two things that catapulted my ebook sales was signing up with e-Junkie, a digital download provider, so that buyers could receive the product right away. The other was regularly distributing a newsletter. Once I decided to regularly publish newsletters, I put a subscriber box on my site(s). First, I used ConstantContact.com; a few years ago I signed up with – and still use — AWeber. 

If web visitors like and trust you enough to give you their email address, converting them into a paying customer somewhere down the line is sooooo much easier. But, you may never have the chance to do that if you don’t have a subscriber box on your site because they may never come back.

Disclaimer: I still have a couple of websites that I’ve yet to add subscriber boxes too, and I KNOW it’s costing me money, but these are affiliate websites I don’t promote much. It’s no excuse, just wanted to give full disclosure.

3. Building your social media follower lists is practically useless when compared to your email list. Focus on your email list.

While social media is becoming a viable metric from an SEO standpoint, David’s right on about this. Building an email list is critical to making money blogging, for the reason listed above.

My email list is tiny compared to affiliate marketing gurus who have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, but mine is composed of interested, willing-to-buy customers. I manage to earn four figures a month (have done so for years) from a list that has less than 10,000 subscribers. So you don’t need a big list to make good money online!

4. Never spend too much time trying to save a few bucks. Your time is your most valuable asset.

One of the things you’ll find as an internet entrepreneur (especially as a blogger) is that you will, as a matter of course, pick up tons of skills. You learn how to do a little bit of everything, from creating graphics, to building websites, to converting and uploading files. But, some things will stump you.

For example, I have a couple of affiliate sites that are in WordPress. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to initially upload a WordPress site. A few years ago, I hired someone to do it for me – and I still use this guy to this day.

He’s cheap, fast and saves me a ton of time.

Now, could I spend time to learn how to do this? Sure. But why, when I can call my guy, have it done in a couple of hours or days, and be doing something else in the meantime.

As I’m so fond of saying if you’ve spent any time on this site (and as David so astutely points out), time is your most valuable asset as a blogger (businessperson).  Don’t waste it, and don’t let anyone else do so either.

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5. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. People like it. It makes you REAL.

There are millions of bloggers out there, but there’s only one you. And while some days I salivate over being as brilliant as Copyblogger, as prolific as ProBlogger, and as insightful as the folks at the Content Marketing Institute, it’s just so much darn easier to be me. It’s one less thing I have to worry about when I sit down to write a post. Being me . . . well, it comes naturally!

And sometimes, I luck out and show a flash of brilliance; turn out a marathon of material; and turn on a light bulb for a reader or two.

Remember, the creator only made one you – and he/she don’t make no junk. So let your light shine! 🙂

6. Don’t ever make promises in your marketing that you can’t deliver on.

I write a Table of Contents for almost all of my ebooks, and make a list of what will be covered in all of my e-classes. And, the one thing I always do when I finish putting together an ebook or ecourse is go back through the list and make sure that everything I’ve  stated is covered. 

My ebook return rate is less than 1% — and I think this is one of the biggest reasons why. There’s a lot of garbage on the internet, and while you may make a sale by not delivering on promises, it’s not sales that make you money. It’s REPEAT sales and if you burn customers by not delivering on what you promise, then you can forget repeat sales.

7. The first step to making money online is to stop searching the Internet for how to make money online.

Hallelujah! Glad somebody stated it so simply.

For an in-depth explanation of why, read this post on how to actually, REALLY start making money online.

8. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Have multiple streams of income.

True dat!

Here are the four ways I make money online. When one stream is slow (eg, writing for clients in the summer), other streams carry the day, ie, ebook sales and affiliate / internet marketing.

9. Manage by the numbers.

Or, as my old business mentor used to say, “Know your numbers; get intimate with them for they will never lead you wrong.

I track my income daily. Sometimes I’ll miss a week or two, but I always go back and fill in the blanks so that I can see, at a glance, what I’m earning on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis.

If you’re not a numbers person (and I sooo am not), you may be making a face right about now. But let me tell ya, when it’s YOUR money and you can see patterns start to emerge because of what you’re doing / not doing, it gets fun real quick (especially if your income is on the rise!).

For example, just this past weekend, I sat down and updated my income chart. And, you know what I realized? I’m a lot closer to a financial goal I set more than a year ago. A lot closer!

If you watch the show Shark Tank (excellent show by the way – it’s how I spend my Friday evenings!), you’re probably familiar with Kevin O’Leary, a self-made BILLIONAIRE. One of the first questions out of his mouth all the time has to do with numbers. He’ll say something like,  “How many sales have you got to date,” or “Let’s talk numbers,” or “How did you arrive at that valuation.”

His decisions are almost always arrived at based on the numbers.  Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we get so wrapped up in our dreams and invest time in businesses that will never work. Your numbers will always tell you if a venture is feasible or not. Now, if your blogging business is not profit driven, then of course, you don’t need to worry about this.  

But, if you want to make money blogging, then you’re going to have to eventually pay attention to your numbers.

10. Set money aside for taxes. It sucks when you forget to plan for it.

Freelance taxes owed can be a shocker, in that you’d be amazed by how little you can earn and how much you’ll owe BECAUSE you’re a 1099er. This is why I have a separate account set up just for taxes.  Out of every chunk of money that comes in – whether it’s an ebook sale, an e-course signup, an affiliate payout, or a client payment for a project, etc., I take taxes off the top.

I got caught with my tax bloomers down once –and it wasn’t fun. Now, it’s never a worry – and I can tell you that it makes earning money that much more fun. I wrote one of my biggest checks ever to the IRS this last tax year and you know what? I didn’t mind because it meant that I’d earned more – and I had already set the taxes due aside.

Bonus Blogging Tip


Too many who want to make money blogging give up before they ever give themselves a chance to succeed because they’re constantly looking for shortcuts and don’t hunker down to do the boring, everyday tasks that it takes to succeed.

As I stated in the linked-to post in #7:

There is no shortcut to having to learn how to do the “boring” stuff like learning SEO, learning how to build and update a wordpress blog, learning how to maneuver around the interface of AWeber, etc. THIS is where success lies.

So just decide to stop looking for the shortcuts – and start embracing what is really the “easy” work of learning how to operate an online business.

I hope these blogging tips get your closer to your dream of making money online. David has 14 years of experience blogging; I have 7, so that’s over two decades of first-hand experience you can draw on.

Share Your Blogging Tips: What lessons have you learned since you’ve been blogging? Have you made colossal mistakes? Had tremendous success? Wished there were some things you didn’t do? Some things you should have done? Etc. Please share in the comments section below.

If you found this post helpful, please take a moment to share it on your social media outlet of choice. It’s really easy — all you have to do is click on the Share / Save button at the beginning or end of the post.

Good luck!
cover-makemoneyonline-medP.S.: Learning the Basics of SEO / Internet Marketing Has Helped Me to Make My Living Completely Online Since 2007; You Can Do the Same!

P.P.S.: Want to start a successful career where you have the mobility to live and work where you please? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for a ton of opportunities (freelance writing and internet marketing) to get you started.

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    1. @Anneice:

      Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the post. I found David’s whole list such a worthy read; one of the best things I’d read on the net in a while. I just love first-hand info like this.

      As for SEO training in Jamaica — thanks! I thought it was a good way to kill to birds with one stone. I look forward to meeting people in person. I converse with quite a few regularly, and it’ll be nice to finally put faces to names and Twitter handles! 🙂

    2. Hi Yuwanda, thanks for sharing invaluable blogging tips. A few tips that I found most useful were:

      Tip #1, work on and in your business.

      Tip #2, never, ever, launch a website without building an e-mail list.

      Tip #7, the first step to making money online, stop searching the internet for ways to make money online (my personal favorite).

      Thanks again,

      Anneice Coady

      P. S.
      The SEO training in Jamaica is ingenious!

    3. @Diane,

      So true (RE we get obsessed w/checking analytics and other stats and forget about why we started blogging in the first place).

      One thing every blogger should do is have a “business plan” for their blog; or, as David so eloquently put it, treat blogging as a business, not “just blogging (or “I’m a blogger”).”

    4. Thanks for sharing the link to David’s article. Your post brings up a lot of important points and I look forward to reading all 65 tips later today. I think it’s also important for bloggers to have a schedule and to not deviate from it. If you can realistically post only once a week, then commit to it and don’t go a month or more without posting. Also, write for you, first and foremost and the traffic will come. Many times, we get obsessed w/checking analytics and other stats and forget about why we started blogging in the first place…