First 9 Steps to a Money-Making Blog for Total Beginners (in Just 2 Hours a Day)

First 9 Steps to a Money-Making Blog for Total Beginners (in Just 2 Hours a Day)

“Spending my free time sharing what I’m passionate about and getting paid to do it really sucks”… SAID NO ONE EVER. And that’s pretty much what you’re getting yourself into when you decide to start blogging seriously.

Is it a lot of work? Yes. Is it head-bangingly frustrating at times? Yes. Does it mean that you’ll probably have to sacrifice some of your Netflix and Facebook-scrolling time? Yep.

But it is also extremely fulfilling, rewarding and fun! Plus, if you follow the right plan (ahem, see below), you can save yourself a ton of time chasing “blogging tips” and actually start to make an impact on others’ lives and an income for yourself and your family as soon as possible. It’s a pretty great gig. But you’re already here so I probably don’t need to convince you of that!

But before we dive into this detailed 9-step plan, I need to tell you quickly WHY I wrote it, and I can do it in two words: information overload.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, when you start to Google around about how to start a blog and make money, you come head-on to a huge and heavy brick wall called “information overload”. Articles on how to start, what to write, how to write, headlines, tech, design, hosting (what’s that?!), SEO (what’s that?!), alt tags and algorithms and plugins (what the heck are all those??!!!) and before you know it your brain hurts and you just want to curl up on the couch and eat chips and watch Lifetime and never look at a computer screen again.

It’s all just too much, and it scares people away from doing something that is really quite easy, fun and lucrative. The thing is, you don’t need to know it all right now. You just need to know the basics, the right framework for getting started on the right foot.

In my network marketing business, we have a saying that “Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice” which basically just means get over yourself and get started, even if you don’t know all the steps ahead of you yet. But I’ll do you one better: I’ll give you the first 9 steps you should take after you’ve decided to start a money-making blog so you don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t matter right now. If you do these things first, in order, you’ll have set the foundation for a strong and profitable blog that will be a joy to work on.

And that’s why I wrote this post. I recommend you read/skim this guide in it’s entirety first so you get a clear big-picture overview, then start back at the beginning and actually follow along and do the work step-by-step. You can also download this entire guide for free as a PDF so you can access it anytime. Okay, let’s dive in!

Step 1: Treat This Like a Business From Day 1

A “sometimes” blog is a hobby blog, which is fine, but it won’t make you money. This doesn’t mean you have to spend 40+ hours a week on it, but it DOES mean you have to schedule hard, non-negotiable time into your calendar to work on your blog.

10 hours a week is a great start, scheduled in 30, 60, or 90-minute time blocks. This might mean you have to wake up an hour earlier or sacrifice your evening Netflix habit to make it work, but the time has to come from somewhere.

'I don't have time' is a lie. CHECK THIS >> 'Wake up an hour earlier and use that time for yourself, use that time to work on your goal. You have time. You're just spending it doing something else' - Rachel HollisClick To Tweet

Action Step: Schedule 10 hours each week into your calendar in 30, 60, or 90-minute time blocks.

Step 2: Decide WHO You Want to Write To/For

Before your write a single word on your blog, you should decide who you’re going to be writing to. In blogging and online marketing, this is typically called your “Avatar” (this will come in handy when you choose your blog name in the next step).

In the beginning, you might just have a vague idea, and that’s okay, but the earlier you can narrow this down, the better since it will help you create the most relevant and helpful content for your readers.

Think about who could benefit from what you’ll teach. This doesn’t mean you have to be a credentialed expert or have a prestigious degree on your topic! Just think about topics you’re passionate about, can’t stop talking about and naturally love sharing about and helping people with.

Oftentimes your Avatar will be YOU from one or two years ago. This is a little hack I learned from Ruth Soukup in her course, Elite Blog Academy (which teaches you EVERYTHING you’ll ever need to know about running a successful blog… more on that at the end).

No need to feign authority or act as if you know it all. Just be yourself, and share tips, advice, hacks and revelations you’ve learned along the way. We’ll talk more about creating content like this in Step #5.

Action Step: Spend 15-30 minutes writing a list of things you love talking and sharing about. This can be anything from parenting to yoga to business to weight loss to crafting to psychology to fitness to… well, you get the idea ;). You’ll probably have several things written down, but choose the one that sparks the most joy (yes, I’m a huge Marie Kondo fan).

Step 3: Install Your Blog on WordPress

When you start a new blog, there are many different options for which platform to use to write on. I’m going to save you a bunch of time, frustration and money down the line and just tell you which platform is the best: self-hosted WordPress**.

Ask around to any professional blogger and 99% of them will tell you they use self-hosted WordPress. It’s the most versatile and user-friendly of all the blogging platforms and is widely considered THE go-to for anyone who is serious about blogging.

Self-hosted WordPress is a free blogging platform, but you will need to pay for hosting to make your blog “live” on the internet. There are hundreds of hosting providers out there, but I use and recommend Siteground, because of their affordable pricing & freaking amazing customer service.

It’s $3.95 per month (paid annually) and all you do is go to their site, click “WordPress Hosting” on the home page, and sign up with your credit card info for the “StartUp Plan”.

Once you’re done (takes like 5 minutes), just open a chat or support ticket there and let them know you’re a new blogger and would like them to install WordPress for you. They do it for free!

Let them know what you want your blog name to be ( When deciding on your blog name, consider your blog topic and Avatar and make it relevant. For example, my blog’s Avatar is a stay-at-home-mom looking to make money from home, so I named my blog “”. Another option is to use your own name for your blog name. Don’t obsess over this too much, just make sure it’s not confusing or hard to spell and doesn’t have any numbers, dashes or special characters in it (gets waayyyy too confusing for people).

**Quick side note: We’re talking about self-hosted WordPress here, not is really just suited for hobby bloggers. Self-hosted WordPress is for bloggers who intend to make money with their blog.

Action Step: Set up hosting at Siteground and ask them to install WordPress on your new blog.

Step 4: Choose a Theme/Design For Your Blog

Once you get word from Siteground that your blog is ready, you can log in and start writing. BUT, hold up! There a few steps you need to take care of before you dive in, the first of which is the design of your blog (called a “theme” in WordPress).

My #1 tip for you when choosing your blog theme? Don’t spend more than 20 minutes deciding! Just choose a free theme from the gallery (screenshot below) that you like the general look & feel of.

To do this, once logged in, click “Appearance” > “Themes” > “Add New” from the sidebar menu to browse the free themes.

I know you want a professionally branded blog with amazing colors and graphics that perfectly match your vision and design aesthetic… I know. But so many bloggers spend WAAAYYYY too much time in this phase and get sucked down the never-ending rabbit hole of trying to design a logo and make their blog look perfect. The problem is, that’s the wrong thing to spend time on in the beginning.

You need to focus your time on creating amazing blog posts and getting them in front of the right people. Otherwise you’ll have a perfect-looking blog that no one ever sees.

So just pick a theme you generally like, skip the logo for now (your blog name will still show at the top), and move on to the next step! You can – and should – upgrade your blog design later once you start to get readers… but focusing on this in the beginning really is a waste of time. Just trust me on this one 😉

Action Step: Choose a design (theme) for your blog from the free WordPress gallery. Don’t obsess. Just pick one and move it along!

Step 5: Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas

I always tell people that a good blog post (the kind that gets shared) will focus on the reader, as opposed to being about you. This is one of the fundamentals of a successful and profitable blog: make it about your readers.

It should help them do one or more of the following: solve a problem, reach a goal, inspire them to action, or help them shift their thinking.

With that in mind, make a list of at least 25 problems or questions that your readers might have.

For example, if your blog topic is health & wellness and your Avatar is a millennial mom, the items on your list might look something like this:

  • How to find time to workout with a new baby
  • How to get your newborn baby to sleep through the night (so you can too!)
  • 5 easy mommy and me exercises
  • 10 foods that will increase your energy
  • How to get rid of your mommy pooch
  • How to (safely!) lose weight while breastfeeding
  • How to create a morning routine when you’re a new mom
  • How to make time for self care with toddlers in the house
  • 7 screen-free activities to keep toddlers busy while you work out
  • An easy 10-minute home workout for new moms
  • How to create a routine for your toddlers (and bring peace back into your home!)
  • 21 common health mistakes stay-at-home-moms make
  • Time-blocking for millennial moms (how to actually get stuff done!)

Okay, I think you get the idea 😉 Just make a list of 25 things that you can help your ideal reader with. These will be your very first blog posts!

Action Step: Make a list of 25 problems or questions your Avatar has.

Also! Be sure to grab this freebie download that has 120 blog post ideas for more inspiration:

Step 6: Start Writing Posts

Now that you have plenty of blog post ideas to get started… get started!

As you sit down to write your first post you might find yourself struggling with how to start, what to actually say, how long it should be, and how to end it all off.

It’s the curse of the blank white screen. It can be intimidating for anyone, and especially so for new bloggers! But I’ve got a fix for that, and it’s another trick I learned from Elite Blog Academy.

It’s called the F.O.C.U.S. method.

When you use the F.O.C.U.S. framework to write your blog posts, writer’s block pretty much disappears and it helps the words just flow through your fingertips and onto the (digital) page. To use the F.O.C.U.S. method on your blog posts, just follow the instructions in this post.

One final piece of advice on writing before we move on: be consistent!

This doesn’t mean you have to write every day, but it does mean you should be posting consistently on a regular schedule, not sporadically whenever you feel like it. 1-2 x per week is great.

I can’t stress this point enough: your blog will not grow if you are not consistent.

So plan out your content (use your list of 25 + the freebie with 120 additional post ideas) and plug those titles into your calendar so you know exactly what you’ll be posting and when.

You can use Google calendar, post-it notes on your paper wall calendar, or whichever method you like, but DO PLAN IT and BE CONSISTENT.

Action Step: Write and publish your first post using the F.O.C.U.S. method.

Step 7: Start Using Pinterest

Okay, so now you’re all set up and writing amazing blog posts consistently. What’s next? Can you guess?

Readers! You need people to actually read your blog! In the blogging world, you might hear this referred to as “traffic” or “pageviews”, but it all basically means you want eyeballs on your blog.

But how do you find them? First, let’s shift that question around because it’s actually a matter of how they find you.

There are many, many, many strategies and tactics to getting readers to your blog, but I’m going to share with you the #1 best way to start: Pinterest.

I’m sure you’ve already heard of Pinterest, but probably think of it as a place to save recipes, kids birthday party ideas and DIY projects for your home. And it is that.

But it’s also the successful bloggers’ secret weapon for getting massive traffic to their blogs.

It’s impossible to explain Pinterest blog marketing in one bullet point, but the basic gist is that you create “Pin” images for each blog post (super easy with a free tool like Canva) and pin them on Pinterest for others to find.

You can see my “Pin” image for this blog post at the top of this page. If you hover over it with your mouse or click on it from your smartphone, you’ll see that you can share it on Piinterest. Now that “Pin” is on Pinterest for others to find and “Re-pin” and it links back to my blog.

When you’re ready for this step, take McKinzie’s free Pinterest course so you make sure you do it right (and save yourself time and frustration trying to “wing it”).

**Quick side note! You’re going to be tempted with many other traffic strategies you hear about, such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Facebook pages and groups, live video, YouTube videos, blog networking, Facebook ads, and many others, but I implore you to put your blinders on and just focus on Pinterest to start. It’s the easiest and fastest way to gain traction in the beginning, and if you split your focus onto other things you’re going to get overwhelmed and make very little progress. Stay laser focused!

Action Step: Set up a Pinterest account for your blog and sign up for McKinzie’s free Pinterest Primer marketing course.

Step 8: Set Up Your Email Newsletter

Having an email list is suuuppper important! You should get this going as soon as you can as it will help you leverage your sporadic and unpredictable blog traffic and convert it into loyal readers and fans who come back to your blog again and again.

To start, you can use a free mail service like Mailerlite or Mailchimp until you reach your first 1,000 subscribers. Just sign up and follow the instructions to create an email sign up form to place on your blog.

Email marketing for your blog is a whole other topic, and when used effectively, can help grow your blog and income by leaps and bounds. But for now, just keep it simple.

When you’re ready to dive into the details of email marketing and making money with your blog (here are the 6 ways most bloggers actually make money), then you’re probably also ready for Step #9, so here we go…

Action Step: Sign up for a free account at Mailerlite or Mailchimp and create an email sign up form for your blog. Place it in your sidebar and footer for now.

Step 9: Invest in Your Blog

Here’s the part where I give you advice that you don’t really want to hear.

As we talked about in Step #1 above, if you think you can create a successful blog by working on it for a few hours every once in a while – you’re wrong. You need to invest time into this and commit to it for the long haul.

But you also need to invest money, specifically in training or you’ll just end up spinning your wheels following endless “blogging tips” and getting nowhere. You need a cohesive blog growth plan.

After all, we’re treating this like a business, remember? I love the way Rosemarie from The Busy Budgeter puts it:

“Whatever job you have now, you probably trained for right? Maybe you went to college, maybe you interned, or maybe your predecessor trained you. Well, trying to blog without investing in training is kind of like trying to do your job without anyone ever telling you what your job is. Without investing BOTH time and money into your blog, this isn’t going to happen.”

Books and courses on blogging, marketing, running an online business are all great investments.

I’ve mentioned several resources throughout this article to help you start your blog and take your education further, but my #1 recommendation is Elite Blog Academy. It’s the only complete blogging program I know of that covers every single thing you need to turn your blog into a successful business.

The catch? It’s only open once a year. The creator, 7-figure blogger Ruth Soukup, is dedicated to making sure each year’s students get the attention and training they need to really make their blog successful.

Just take a peek at these bloggers’ stories… aren’t they fall-out-of-your-seat amazing?! So even if right now you’re thinking there’s no way you can afford to invest in your blog, just get on the free waitlist anyway, because you never know what could happen between now and the time it opens up again and I would hate for you to miss out and have to wait for another YEAR to really take your blog to amazing levels!

Action Step: Sign up for the free waitlist at Elite Blog Academy.

– – – – – – –

Okay, I know that was a lot of information packed into these 9 steps! Your head is probably spinning with ideas and information, but just pause for a moment and take a deep breath. The fact that you’re still here reading this means that you’re serious – congratulations!!

Just take things one step at a time… the really great news is NOW YOU KNOW WHICH STEPS TO TAKE! Doesn’t that feel great?! Isn’t that a relief?!

But now, you have work to do. Knowledge isn’t enough to start your blog or make any money; you need to take action!

So let’s quickly circle back to the beginning and commit to completing Steps #1-3 THIS WEEK to make this happen. Will you do that for me? For YOU? I hope you say yes.

5 Best Affiliate Programs to Boost Your Blog Income

5 Best Affiliate Programs to Boost Your Blog Income


Discover the “Affiliate Marketing Profit Equation” you need to plan your first $100 in blog revenue + 3 affiliate programs that'll get you there quick!

Want easy-access to 5 passive income affiliate programs to boost your blog income? You’re in the right place – read on!

Blogging is fun and all, but at some point you’re going to want to actually some make money at it, am I right?

So let’s get rolling with some Affiliate Marketing! IMHO, it’s the #1 best place to start because it’s super low-hassle and low maintenance.

No products to create or store, no services to provide (huge time suck!), no customer service to provide and no need for huge amounts of traffic.

You just need to create helpful, value-packed content (read: not sales-ey) that clearly explains the benefits of the product, and be sure to use your affiliate link so you get the commission. This content can be in the form of blog posts, tutorials, emails, social media posts, videos or anything else you can think up!

>> Also Read: 5 Super Simple Ways Mom Bloggers Can Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Here’s a short list of some of the best affiliate programs to boost your blog income:

Each of the 5 programs below can be applied to many different blog niches and have at least 20% (or $25) commission! Be sure to download your free $100 Affiliate Marketing Cheat Sheet to use the profit equation to easily plan, calculate and predict your income!

1. CreativeLive Affiliate Program

CreativeLive is an online platform that hosts tons of top-quality classes taught by experts in their field. From family photography to online business to personal growth and so much more, there is something for almost everyone.

Program Highlights: 

  • 20% commission on new customer purchases
  • 10% commission on return customer purchases
  • $1 lead payout for every new member registration (this means when someone signs up top their free email list, you still get paid!)
  • 30-day tracking cookie
  • Large selection of text links and banners
  • Newsletters with program updates, promotions, contests and incentive opportunities



2. Craftsy Affiliate Program

Craftsy is an online platform for creatives, aspiring creatives, and families who want to encourage a culture of exploration and creativity. From physical products like project kits for kids and baking supplies, to craft, creative and family online classes, Craftsy is a perfect affiliate program for Family/Parenting Bloggers and Craft/Creative Bloggers.

Program Highlights: 

  • 75% of first-time class or DVD purchases by new customers
  • 15% of class or DVD purchase by existing customers
  • 15% of physical product purchases by new customers
  • 4% of physical product purchases by existing customers
  • $5 Bluprint trial signup (similar to the CreativeLive program above, you get paid even when someone signs up for free)
  • $15 Bluprint monthly membership signup



3. Ultimate Bundles Affiliate Program

Ultimate Bundles is a unique resource that offers huge digital bundles on a range of topics including parenting, homemaking, blogging, photography, healthy living, essential oils, handmade crafting, and meal planning

Program Highlights:

  • 40% commission on every bundle sold through your unique link
  • Most bundles are only available once a year, so there’s a built-in sense of urgency when you tell your readers about them (increases sales)
  • Huge value for your readers since the bundles are 90%-98% off the retail price of the products
  • Top-quality affiliate marketing training built right in. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest perks to the program: they give you access to an entire course on affiliate marketing including videos, swipe files, email templates and more.



4. Ebates Affiliate Program

Ebates is a website that pays you cashback on purchases you make online and is a perfect to promote to your readers if you are a budget, lifestyle or mom blogger.

Program Highlights:

  • You get $25 for every qualifying referral you send through your affiliate link
  • You gift your readers with $10 automatically when they sign up through your link
  • Vacation Giveaways for affiliates! As of this email, the current giveaway is the Maui Prize Package and includes Roundtrip airfare for 4 (up to $4,000 value), a 5-night stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani ($4,000 value), Roundtrip transportation to and from airport, and Food and entertainment stipend!

**When you sign up for an Ebates account, you automatically get access to your unique affiliate link. Just go to the “Refer & Earn” link at the top of the page.


5. Elite Marketing Pro Affiliate Program

Elite Marketing Pro is an online training program for people who are doing (or want to do) a Network Marketing business (eg. Arbonne, DoTerra, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, etc.). It teaches them how to generate leads and sales online so they don’t have to harass friends and family to try and grow their business.

Program Highlights:

  • 20% – 70% commission on every sale (depending on which affiliate level you are)
  • Lots of free resources and training you can offer your readers that lead right into a sales funnel for effortless sales.
  • Residual income potential. This perk is HUGE! This means that you get recurring commissions month-after-month on autopilot.

To sign up for the Elite Marketing Pro affiliate program, you first need to be a customer, but the entry-level product is only $27 so it’s definitely worth it if you have an audience of readers who are interested in starting a side-hustle or working from home since the commissions are so generous and you get recurring income every month.



And that’s a wrap! You may not be able to use ALL of these affiliate programs on your blog, but I’m willing to bet that at least ONE of them will work for you!

And that’s really where you should start anyhow… with ONE affiliate program. If you try to incorporate a gazillion affiliate programs into your blog all at once, it’s going to get confusing and overwhelming… to you AND your readers.

💡 Also… the best thing that can happen to a bad idea is that it’s forgotten. The best thing that can happen to a good idea is that it’s shared. If you liked this post, I’d be so grateful if you shared it on Pinterest, Facebook or however you like to share good ideas best!


Best affiliate marketing programs for new bloggers to boost income! Can apply to many different niches :)

Pin this to share and access later!


Discover the “Affiliate Marketing Profit Equation” you need to plan your first $100 in blog revenue + 3 affiliate programs that'll get you there quick!

The Popular Blog Post Formula: How to Write a Blog Post That Gets Shared

The Popular Blog Post Formula: How to Write a Blog Post That Gets Shared

Love this! How to write a popular blog post every time - the formula makes it so easy to remember!The babies are finally down for a nap, you just poured yourself a piping hot cup of coffee, you settle into your chair, open up your content calendar and start typing away to create your next viral blog post.

But after a few words in, you stop. Then delete what you just wrote. Then let your mind wander in search of some inspiration for how to start and what you want to actually say in the post.

Then you check Facebook… or worse yet, Pinterest. And we all know what happens after that, don’t we?

I always teach people to make sure they’re blogging about things that can help their audience solve a problem or reach a goal. This is a surefire way to make sure your audience stays interested in what you have to say.

Related: Don’t Start a Blog Before Answering These 2 Questions

And there’s a simple formula you can follow to make sure you’re writing posts that your readers can’t get enough of and want to come back for again and again… viral blog posts.

This method for how to write popular blog posts comes from Ruth Soukup, New York Times Bestselling Author and owner of the popular blog, Living Well Spending Less.

In her free blogging video series, Blogging Made Simple, she shares the writing method she used to catapult her own blog to epic success.

You see, Ruth started her blog simply as a way to keep herself accountable to her new family budget. As she got deeper into this whole “blogging thing” she realized that she absolutely loved it and wanted to dedicate herself to making it grow.

But that was easier said than done. She started comparing herself to other bloggers that were farther along than she was and felt like she could never catch up.

She became obsessed with learning about how to grow her blog traffic and turn her blog into a success.

And that’s exactly what she did. Through this process, she developed a blog posting method that catapulted her blog to epic status.

She calls it the F.O.C.U.S. method, and it’s quite brilliant.

Watch This: Ruth dives deep into all of this and more in her free video series, “Blogging Made Simple”. It’s honestly the simplest and smartest way I’ve heard for creating a blog that people want to read and want to share.


In this age of busyness, we all know that we have about 3 seconds to grab someone’s attention with our post before they’re off looking for something else. But how do you do this?

The First Impression, or title, of your post is the first thing people see, and it’s got to be magnetic.

Your title must grab your readers’ attention and let them know right away what the benefit will be to them for reading.

As Ruth says in her free training: “Don’t ever underestimate the importance of your title. It will make or break your post.”


If you’ve succeeded at winning your reader’s attention with your awesome title, then you better make sure your opening paragraph is just as powerful. In writing, this is often called “the hook”.

It should set the stage for your Central Idea (see next point) and draw the reader in for more.

Ruth suggests these tips for using in your Opening:

  • An interesting illustration (this is what I used in my opening to this post)
  • A bold statement of fact
  • Ask a hypothetical question
  • Share a startling statistic


If you’ve gotten your reader this far, congrats! You’re well on your way to having learned how to write popular blog posts that get comments and shares.

But don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. You still need to craft the heart of your post: your Central Idea.

You need to have JUST ONE central idea, and it should be either instructive or influential in order to make an impact.

Remember, your reader is interested in the BENEFIT TO THEMSELVES, so make sure your Central Idea clearly conveys that. Watch this for specific examples on how to do this.


The “U” is what Ruth calls the “meat” of your post, and it’s what makes your post come alive and actually be interesting to read!

After all, no one wants just bland information that’s going to put them to sleep.

You need to include bullet points with interesting facts, statistics, images/graphics and personal illustrations that support your main Central Idea. Don’t expect your readers to “just get it”… paint a picture and your readers will understand your message on a deeper level!


Watch This: Ruth dives deep into all of this and more in her free video series, “Blogging Made Simple”. It’s honestly the simplest and smartest way I’ve heard for creating a blog that people want to read and want to share.

The last thing you want to do after taking your reader through an epic post is to leave them hanging out to dry!

Be sure to make your conclusion work for you and take the time to wrap the post up in a nice tidy bow. Reiterate your main points and remind them of the key benefits that were shared. This is also a great place to have a “call-to-action”, which basically just means giving your reader a “next step” to take once they’ve finished reading. Is it to share your article on social media? Sign up for your email list? Download a worksheet related to the post? Chat in the comments? Be sure to lead your readers on an intentional journey to start building a relationship.

When all is said and done, you want your blog to be a success. We all do. But the old Field of Dreams mantra “If you build it, they will come” just doesn’t cut it when it comes to blogging.

You need to give your audience a compelling reason to read your posts and come back for more again and again and the F.O.C.U.S. method for writing blog posts is the best way to do just that. Give a great First Impression, Open strong, share a clear Central Idea, include Useful examples, and finish Strong. It works like magic every time 🙂

Want to Pin this post for later or share it on Facebook? Use the handy-dandy share buttons on the side or bottom of this post. ❤

Yours Free: 10 Steps to Take When Your Blog Post Goes Viral

Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program Review

Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program Review

The Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program

An insider’s review of the EBA affiliate program benefits and features.

elite blogging academy affiliate

A review of the Elite Blog Academy affiliate program for bloggers. Click the image to learn about the program benefits, payout amount, and how to apply.What Is Elite Blog Academy?

Elite Blog Academy (sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Elite Blogging Academy”) is the premier blog training program on the internet. EBA is the only blogging course recommended by most 6- and 7-figure bloggers for its comprehensive approach that teaches new and seasoned bloggers alike to make a full-time income blogging from home.

I have also taken and personally recommend the course.

How Much Money Does the Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program Pay?

The Elite Blog Academy affiliate program pays out 40% for anyone who purchases through your referral. The price of the course in 2017 is $797, but has typically gone up every year since it originally launched. That’s almost $320 commission per sale… you can see how this could add up fast. In fact, the top affiliate last year (2016) earned almost $50k in commissions!

There are also monthly payment plans available wherein if someone purchases that way, you’ll get monthly commissions for the duration of their payment plan.

Is the Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program Easy to Promote?

Yep, and this is a huge perk of the program. TThey have tons of freebies that you can offer your readers and audience that are tracked all the way through the sign-up and sale (called a “forever cookie”). Once someone signs up to the mailing list via your referral link (either through one of the freebies or a direct link to the waiting list), they are forever linked with your account. So, even if they purchase a year after they sign up for the waiting list, you still get paid.

Additionally, it’s just flat out an amazing blogging course, so you can feel confident that you’re promoting a quality product that will benefit your audience. They also have a 100% money-back guarantee:

“Elite Blog Academy comes with a 100% money back guarantee, which gives you the freedom to promote it with confidence. If one of your referrals completes the course and doesn’t see measurable results, they will get a full refund.”

– taken from the Elite Blog Academy affiliate program description

Elite Blog Academy Freebies (or “Freemiums”) You Can Promote

When you promote these freebies to your audience, and if they sign up to get one then they’re forever linked to your affiliate account. That means if they EVER purchase Elite Blog Academy down the line, you get the credit. Click on each image to see the email capture page for each.

How To Apply to the Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program

If you want to become an Elite Blog Academy affiliate, the program is currently available by invite only, but if you purchase the course, or are alumni, you can become an affiliate.

You are required to complete an “affiliate bootcamp” before being approved as an affiliate. This short course has videos that show you how others are successfully promoting the program and how you can do the same, so it’s a super helpful.

Questions? Comments?

If you have any questions about becoming an Elite Blog Academy affiliate, let me know in the comments below & I’ll do my best to answer them for you!

5 Super Simple Ways Any Mom Blogger Can Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

5 Super Simple Ways Any Mom Blogger Can Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

The Little Black Book of Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

107 Affiliate Programs for Bloggers + The $500 Affiliate Marketing Roadmap
Check It Out!

Need to try this! She shows how to make money blogging using affiliate marketing. Love the mini case studies from other mom bloggers - gives me ideas to try! Pin for later or click through to see now.Six years ago my world changed in a moment.

Up to that moment, I was a young wife and working professional who could go anywhere and do anything on a whim.

After that moment, I was a young mother completely responsible for the life and health of another human being.

It was humbling and terrifying and exciting all at once.

As I held my newborn boy in my arms, the thought of “going back to work” was the farthest thing from my mind. But the reality of having two full-time incomes and no kids go to one income and a baby (with more to come) was impossible to ignore. We made it work, but knew we didn’t want to stay in that place.

You know which place I’m talking about, right?

The paycheck-to-paycheck place. The “You’ve got to be kidding me! The car needs what? And it costs how much??” place. The “I don’t think we’re going to be able to make it for Christmas” and “thank GOD for hand-me-downs” place where money is tight and stress is high.

Nope. We definitely did NOT want to stay there.

I was able to work on and off from home on a part-time basis (which helped), but I started to feel trapped. Tired. Bored. I thought: of all the things life can be, boring should NOT be one of them!

I craved flexibility and freedom, so I went out to get it.

I read and learned everything I could about blogging, wrote post after post during my baby’s naptimes, obsessed over SEO and my blog design, put ads in my sidebar… and wondered when the money was going to start rolling in.

Want to start a blog of your own but not sure how? Here’s your free step-by-step guide.

Not that I expected to get rich.

But I thought there’d be something coming in after several months at the grind. What was I doing wrong?

It wasn’t long before I realized that blogging – at least profitable blogging – doesn’t actually work that way.

The ads that I thought would be bringing home the bacon were actually a waste of space on such a new blog, and there was actually a MUCH BETTER way for me to be making money as a new blogger.

As Ruth Soukup teaches in Elite Blog Academy, if you have a new blog or low traffic, ads are most likely not going to be the best income stream for you.

Thankfully, I realized that there was a much quicker and easier way to make money with my blog.

The Quickest and Easiest Way For Mom Bloggers to Make Money

So, what is this diamond in the rough I found that enabled me to make money from my blog naturally and easily?

It’s called Affiliate Marketing, and it’s probably not what you’ve heard it is.

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission (money) for referring buyers to products and services. As a busy stay-at-home-mom of 4, this is now my #1 favorite way to make money blogging because it requires very little time to get rolling and, if done properly, still has huge potential for making a lot of money.

No products to create or services to provide that suck hours out of your day. No writing half-hearted sponsored posts just to make a one-off buck or randomly placing ads in your sidebar and crossing your fingers that someone clicks them.

Affiliate Marketing the Right Way (Because There is a Wrong Way)

Unfortunately, lots of bloggers do affiliate marketing all wrong, which causes them to make NO money and  LOSE trust with their readers. Don’t let that be you!

Here are some “Dos and Don’ts” you should know if you want to be successful with making money from affiliate marketing on your blog:

Get Your FREE $100 Affiliate Marketing Cheat Sheet for Bloggers

Discover the “Affiliate Marketing Profit Equation” that makes it easy to plan your first $100 revenue (+ peek behind the curtain at 3 of my personal favorite affiliate programs for bloggers)!

Not That!

Don't make these common affiliate marketing mistakes!
  • DON’T: Personally recommend products and services that you haven’t used just to make a buck (you’ll lose the trust of your readers)
  • DON’T: Sign up for every affiliate program under the sun. It gets too confusing to track them all and remember which ones to include in posts. I recommend signing up for 5 – 10 core affiliates to stay focused and effective.
  • DON’T: Get too pushy or salesy with promoting affiliate products. No one likes to be sold to (this is why people dread buying a new car or walking through the perfume & makeup section of a department store). Remember the “friend rule” from the “Do this” section.
  • DON’T: Just put affiliate ads up in your sidebar or random places on your blog and expect to make good money.
  • DON’T: Try to hide the fact that you’re an affiliate for the products and services you recommend. Not only does this violate the law, but it also violates the trust of your readers. Not worth it.

Steal These 5 Affiliate Marketing Hacks From Smart Mom Bloggers

As a blogger, there are countless ways you can use affiliate marketing to make money with your blog. Here are five real-life examples from bloggers who are using affiliate marketing successfully on their blogs:

1. Reviews

Write a blog post focused on reviewing a specific product or service.

Ashli from The Million Dollar Mama demonstrates this perfectly in her review of the Living Well Planner.

In her post, “How to Organize Your Whole Life With The Living Well Planner”, she explains what she was looking for in a planner and why the Living Well Planner was the perfect solution.

It includes several pictures and examples of how the planner would be useful to her readers, making it a great example of an effective review post that earns affiliate income.


Packed with practical tips you can implement right away, this super helpful mini ebook reveals 7 easy things you can do today to start making money from your blog tomorrow. It's a game changer, and for a limited time, you can get it free!

2. Tutorials

Write a how-to article that helps your readers solve a problem or reach a goal.

This article about going paperless from Abby over at Just a Girl and Her Blog is a great example of how to write a helpful tutorial that also earns money from affiliate marketing.

The post is packed to the brim with step-by-step advice and helpful resources. Affiliate earnings come from recommending products like the scanner (Amazon), Evernote and The Paperless Home ebook.

This type of post is perfect for earning affiliate commissions since it helps her readers solve a very specific problem and also has several opportunities for including affiliate links in a natural and authentic way.

3. Lists

Present a list of products or services that will help your readers in some way.

BuzzFeed made the “list post” popular, but you can make it profitable! Here’s a great example from the blog What Moms Love:

87 Energy-Busting Indoor Games & Activities For Kids (Because Cabin Fever Is No Joke)

Instead of another puny list of ideas, What Moms Love compiled a whopping 87 ways for moms to entertain their kids on a rainy day. Filled with bright, colorful pictures and easy-to-follow instructions, this post goes over-the-top in delivering value to its ideal reader.

The affiliate links that are sprinkled throughout the post accomplish two things: 1) They make it super easy for readers to get what they need and, 2) They earn the blog easy profit from commissions.

4. This vs. That

Put two different products up against each other and declare a winner.

Showdowns have drawn crowds since the Wild West, and blogging is the perfect platform to pit one thing against another in an epic head-to-head match.

Try comparing two similar products or services that your readers are interested in and break them down into nitty-gritty detail. Chantal of Busy Blogging Mom does this in her post about two popular but competing Pinterest schedulers, Tailwind and BoardBooster:

BoardBooster VS. Tailwind: Which Is Better?

In her post, Chantal discusses her experience with trying both services out, the pros and cons of each, and which one she ultimately decided to go with.

Since she’s including the features and benefits of each in an objective and factual way in order to let her readers decide, she’s able to use her referral links for both services – bonus!

5. Videos

Record a video to answer questions your readers have that would work naturally for making money with affiliate income.

Jordan Page of recorded this video to answer her #1 asked question from her fans on social media:


In the description of the video on YouTube, it has affiliate links to all the products used in the video. This is a fun, entertaining, and super helpful way to deliver value to her audience and make money.

There are a lot of different ways to make money blogging: ads, sponsored posts, selling products and offering services, to name just a few. But all of these methods have the drawback of either taking a lot of time and effort to setup and maintain or they only make you pennies when you’re starting out.

Affiliate marketing is the only blog monetization method that works great for new bloggers, takes very little time to set up, and also has great potential for making you a lot of money (which is why it’s perfect for busy moms!).

If you want to be successful with affiliate marketing on your blog, remember to stick to the “Dos & Don’ts” from the table above and use the real-life blog examples in this article as inspiration to create your own profit posts!

If you enjoyed this post, will you please share it on social media? That 5-second gesture goes a long way to support my blog. Thank you! ❤

Get Your FREE $100 Affiliate Marketing Cheat Sheet for Bloggers

Discover the “Affiliate Marketing Profit Equation” that makes it easy to plan your first $100 revenue (+ peek behind the curtain at 3 of my personal favorite affiliate programs for bloggers)!

Create Your Own S.M.A.R.T. Blog Profit Plan

Create Your Own S.M.A.R.T. Blog Profit Plan

Stop reading other bloggers' income reports and create YOUR OWN blog profit plan. A simple and S.M.A.R.T. profit action plan (+ free worksheet)So, hey. The new year is here… again. Another year gone, another year where your blog didn’t make any money. Or if it did, it was only a few measly bucks a month.

You read a million blog posts about making money and tried every monetization tip under the sun hoping it would do the trick.

And to be sure, some of that helped.

You probably learned a ton, grew your pageviews and social media following, and are a more seasoned blogger today than you were last year.

But you can’t cash pageviews in at the bank. If making money with your blog is a goal of yours, but you’re still not where you want to be after tons of trying, then it’s time to create a S.M.A.R.T. profit plan for your blog.

Tips and tricks and tools aren’t cutting it, and in fact, they’re probably doing more harm than good.

If you haven’t started your self-hosted blog yet to start earning money, here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

A Quick Word On “Blogging Tips” and “Trying Things”

You’ve heard Pinterest is awesome for getting traffic and subscribers to your blog, so you go after it!

You’ve optimized your profile, switched to a business account, and revamped your Pin images on all your popular posts. You were just about to set up your daily Pinning schedule and re-work your board descriptions when you see it:

“Webinars Are The Best Thing In The World For Getting Subscribers”

It’s the shiny New Thing that gets your attention and makes you think everything you’re doing now is a waste of time. So you forget about Pinterest and start researching all things webinars. You’ve drafted your webinar outline and were just about to finish your slides when you see it:

“Facebook Groups Will Change Your Life! You Must Start One Today!”

Another shiny Shiny New Thing. Ugh. You put your webinar work on hold and start a Facebook group for your blog. You have a few hundred members, daily prompts and were just about to start doing Facebook Live videos when you see it:

“The Ultimate Guide to SEO and Infinite Free Traffic To Your Blog!”

STOP! Just stop, please.

It’s nearly impossible to finish the thing you’re working on right now before something new, and seemingly better, gets your attention.

And believe me, I get it. There are so many awesome ideas and advice out there about blogging, marketing, list building and making money that it’s hard to stay focused.

But focused, you must stay, my friend.

Jumping from one thing to the next is the kiss of death when you’re trying to grow your blog into a profitable side hustle or full-time income.

You need to stick to a goal-focused blogging plan and put every potential action through that filter before you do it. Don’t write one more post or spend one more minute on social media until you have a plan.

Create Your Own S.M.A.R.T. Blog Profit Plan

Before we start creating your blog profit plan, let’s take a quick moment to discuss what this whole S.M.A.R.T. business is that I’ve been talking about, because it’s important to set the right kind of goals before you set out.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym used to help people set the kind of goals that get results. While the meaning of the letters can vary a bit depending on which application they have, for planning out our blog profit we’re going to use:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Actionable

R – Realistic

T – Time-bound

In order to get the best results from your blog profit goals, they need to meet all criteria. For example:

BAD GOAL: Make money with my blog.

This goal is Realistic, but it’s lacking the other 4 criteria. It’s completely generic, so once you set out to try and achieve it, you’ll end up chasing tips again and reading a dozen more articles about “How To Make Money With Your Blog” without adding a dime to your bank account.

GOOD GOAL: Make $2,000/month in consistent passive income by the end of 2017.

This goal is S.M.A.R.T.!

Specific – $2k

Measurable – Monthly

Actionable – Since the goal is passive income, you can focus on strategies that will feed that goal (eg. affiliate marketing) and ignore strategies that work against it (eg. offering services).

Realistic – While $2k a month isn’t easy to reach (you still have to set the foundation and do the work to get there!), it’s definitely realistic!

Time-bound – By the end of 2017

Okay! Let’s create your S.M.A.R.T. blog profit plan.

Step #1: Choose a “Dream Big” Goal for the Year

Start by choosing your one main profit goal for the year. Now’s not the time to be shy. Dream big – set a goal that excites you!

Doing this will help keep you motivated throughout the year as you start working through your plan monthly, weekly and daily.

Make sure it’s something strong enough to pull you out of bed in the morning and towards your keyboard at night when Netflix is calling.

Quick tip: Make sure you write your goals down! You’re 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

Step #2: The 10-Minute Idea Dump

This step is crucial to do at the start of your planning so you can avoid chasing after the Shiny New Things as they come up throughout the year.

Continuing with our goal example from above of $2k per month in passive income, set a timer to 10 minutes and write down all the things that come to mind that might help you reach that goal.

So if you run a style blog for busy moms, your list might look something like this:

  • affiliate marketing
  • google ads
  • simple hairstyles for moms (affiliate links to hair products & accessories)
  • amazon affiliates
  • sell ebook
  • roundup blog post with affiliate links
  • 5 staple pieces every mom wardrobe must have
  • look into RewardStyle affiliate marketplace
  • sell ad space
  • research how to do funnels
  • create course
  • reach out to etsy shop owners to pitch ad spots
  • course idea: “rock every season in style”, videos, photos, how-to guides
  • email series with affiliate links
  • shop page with recommendations
  • ask email list & FB groups what their biggest style frustrations are
  • how to style any outfit with these 3 accessories (post with affiliate links)
  • ebook idea: the frumpy mom’s guide to chic style in 10-minutes a day

This is just a sample list I came up with in about 5-10 minutes, and I know pretty much nothing about style! I’m sure you can come up with many more ideas that fit your own niche.

The trick is – don’t hesitate and don’t judge your ideas before you write them down. It’s an idea dump. Be general, be specific, be redundant… just write everything down and don’t stop until the 10 minutes are up. You can (and should) edit later. Just focus on getting ideas out of your head and on to paper.

Tip: If you need help figuring out a comprehensive gameplan for how to make your blog thrive, I personally suggest Elite Blog Academy. It’s only open once a year, so it’s best to jump on the (free) waiting list now so you don’t miss the enrollment period.

Step #3: Create a 90-Day Action Plan

Since I started blogging and goal setting roughly 7 years ago, I’ve always used a monthly planning system to guide me towards my yearly goal.

While this has worked pretty well, I’ve recently started to implement a 90-day plan and am loving the clarity it delivers! It’s so much easier to break my “Dream Big” goal into 4 large chunks and work my way down from there.

To implement the 90-day plan for yourself, set a goal for the first 90 days of your yearly plan, and break it down into 30-day actionable items.

Here’s what it looks like:

Download your free copy of this editable worksheet.

**This worksheet is modeled after the 90-day plan in the Fresh Start workbook, a workbook & planning guide to help you grow your blog & love your life in 2017! To download your own copy of the worksheet, go here.

Step #4: Work The Plan

I learned a new mantra recently (from the Fresh Start workbook mentioned above), and oh man is it powerful: “Work the plan”.

Don’t let its simplicity fool you; these three words will keep you focused and on track like nobody’s business! Work the plan monthly, weekly and daily.

  • When you sit down at your computer and don’t know what to start on first – work the plan.
  • When you find yourself scrolling aimlessly through Facebook looking for something exciting to happen – work the plan.
  • When you find yourself checking email for the 100th time today hoping for something noteworthy to pop up – work the plan.

By making a habit of this, you will start to make something happen. Of course… that’s assuming you have a plan to work.

Here’s how to create your plan:

1. Start by breaking your 90-day action plan into monthly tasks (like in the worksheet example above) and write them out in your blog planner (LOVE this one by Meera Kothand) or weekly and daily planning sheets.  You can do this for the full year if you want, but I like to keep it to 90-day chunks at a time so I don’t get overwhelmed and I can stay nimble and change things up if I need to (see step #5 below).


2. At the end of each week (I do it Sunday night), write out your goals for the following week so you’ll be able to hit the ground running on Monday morning. Make sure the items that make it onto your list feed your 30-day goal for that period. Don’t waste your time doing things you think you might need to do… be ruthless with your time and focus on things that you must do in order to meet your goal.


3. At the end of each work day, write out the tasks you’ll need to complete the following day to be able to meet your weekly goal. Since I only work about 2 hours a day, I keep my list to 2-3 things max (most days only 2).

Keep everything S.M.A.R.T., and make sure every item is feeding it’s bigger goal, and remember to write it down! Even billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson still writes down his goals, plans & ideas daily:

Write it down, write it down, write it down

A photo posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on

So your daily tasks should feed your weekly goals, your weekly goals should feed your monthly goals, your monthly goals should feed your 90-day action plan, and your 90-day action plan should feed your “Dream Big” goal for the year.

Step #5: Evaluate + Adjust Monthly

As important as it is to create your blog profit plan and work the plan daily, it’s just as important to evaluate your results on a regular basis.

Use a time block at the end of each month to check in on your goals and make sure your plan is actually working to help you reach them.

If so, great! Keep on working that plan! If not, then it’s time to be flexible and change your approach.

For instance, one of your 30-day goals might be to increase your email subscribers by 100. In order to accomplish this, you set a weekly goal of publishing one guest post per week to get 25 new subscribers per guest post.

If, however, your guest posting isn’t returning those results, then it’s time to switch up that strategy! Consider what you might be doing wrong with your guest posts and also brainstorm other ways to build your email list. Then, work up a new plan for the next 30-days.

Having a thriving and profitable blog is no accident, and no amount of chasing tips or reading articles is going to help if you don’t have a strong goal + plan to get there.

We’ve learned how to:

1. Set a “Dream Big” profit goal for your blog this year

2. Do a 10-minute Idea Dump

3. Create a 90-Day Action Plan

4. Work the Plan!

5. Evaluate & Adjust

Follow these 5 simple steps to creating a S.M.A.R.T. blog profit plan that works… take the time NOW to map it out and get clear on what you want from your blog. Don’t forget to sign up for the Elite Blog Academy waiting list if you need help figuring out how to grow your blog readers and income. You can do this – I promise.

Consider sharing? If you enjoyed this post, would you share it on social media? That one 5-second gesture goes a long way to help support my blog ❤. And I’m always happy to chat with you in the comments below if you have any questions or feedback!