How these Black Women Turned Their Blogs into Six-Figure Businesses

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When I started blogging nearly ten years ago, I never imagined that it could become a full-fledged business.

I simply wanted a way to share my thoughts and adventures with my family who lived halfway across the country.

Before I knew it, I had reached thousands of people around the world, yet I didn’t make a single cent.

I was merely doing what I enjoyed doing, ignorant of the fact that my passion could be monetized.

It wasn’t until around 2017 that I discovered that there are actually people who were savvy enough to turn their passion for blogging into profit.

The problem was, I didn’t see any bloggers who looked like me—black bloggers, that is.

Certainly, there were YouTubers, but no one who had wielded the art of writing into a legitimate income stream.

I knew that if I could just see an example, I’d have even more inspiration and fuel to do the same.

There is something to be said about having an example of success that looks like you.

That’s why I decided to write this post compiling a list of women of color bloggers who have successfully turned their blogs into full-time businesses.

These women will share their #1 tip for growing and monetizing your blog so that you too can turn your hobby into a business!

If you’re ready to start making money blogging, be sure to keep reading. I’ll share details on how you can monetize your blog and start making real income, just like the women you’ll hear from!


Bola Sokunbi – Clever Girl Finance

Get Bola’s book, Clever Girl Finance

Niche: Personal Finance

When did you start blogging?

I’ve been blogging since Google’s blogspot days.

I discovered blogging right after college and I have always blogged from a personal perspective ever since.

From a business perspective, I’ve blogged for past businesses I’ve owned and I feel that having a blog where you share your products, services, opinions, and reviews should be inherent to any business website.

With Clever Girl Finance, I’ve blogged since late 2015 and while our writing team has since expanded, I still enjoy creating a blog post every now and then.

How long did it take before you were profitable or went full time?

I went full time with Clever Girl Finance about two years after I started it.

Revenue to cover expenses with profit leftover was made in its first year.

I consider our blog as a lead generator that allows us to monetize in a variety of other ways including things like content creation, partnerships, and affiliates.

What is your blog’s monthly income range?

$10,000+

What is your #1 piece of advice for growing and monetizing your blog? 

Building a blog that not only generates revenue but that is profitable can take time. It requires understanding your audience, the creation of quality content and consistent delivery.

You also need a strategy to monetize your blog consistently over time that will allow your revenue and profits to grow as your blog and audience size grows.


Whitney Bonds – Tried and True Mom Jobs

Whitney Bonds – Tried and True Mom Jobs

Niche: How to make money/Personal Finance

When did you start blogging?

January 2018

How long did it take before you were profitable or went full time?

1 year

What is your blog’s monthly income range?

It varies; however I make six-figures per year.

What is your #1 piece of advice for growing and monetizing your blog?

Learn SEO. This has been key to my success.

Fo here, these are my recommendations for resources on SEO:
Easy On-Page SEO
Easy Backlinks for SEO
Stupid Simple SEO

Because everyone is always searching for things on Google and because I have so many articles ranking on Google, I’m always getting traffic to my website.

This means I’m always making money through ads and affiliate marketing.


Latasha Peterson – Arts & Budgets

Latasha Peterson – Arts & Budgets

Niche: Personal Finance

When did you start blogging?

I started blogging in February of 2017.

How long did it take before you were profitable or went full time?

I officially went full-time one year after starting my blog in February of 2018.

What is your blog’s monthly income range?

$1,000 – $4,999

What is your #1 piece of advice for growing and monetizing your blog?

My biggest advice I would give someone who is just starting out with a blog would be to make sure you know who your direct audience is and how you can help them solve the pain points that they are facing.  

I also believe every blog needs the following 3 key components to turn it into a successful business.

  1. Valuable content for your audience.
  2. A freebie for your audience which will help grow your email list.⁣
  3. A product or service to help your audience solve a direct problem that they are facing. ⁣    

I believe that if a blogger puts those 3 key components in their blog and believes that they can be successful they surely will. 


Kermilia White – The Millenial SAHM

kermilia white
Kermilia White – The Millenial SAHM

Niche: Lifestyle/Food

When did you start blogging?

I started blogging in August of 2017.

How long did it take before you were profitable or went full time?

I made my first profit ($40) exactly one month from when I launched (September 20, 2017).

What is your blog’s monthly income range?

My blog’s monthly income range falls on the higher end of the $1000 -$4,999 range.

What is your #1 piece of advice for growing and monetizing your blog?

My #1 piece of advice for growing and monetizing your blog is to focus on creating evergreen content (content that will always be relevant). It’s one of the best things I’ve done to generate consistent traffic to my blog.

Starting a profitable blog

As you can see, there are women just like you and me who are turning their blogs into profitable businesses.

Although each had their on specific piece of advice to share, there was a common thread throughout:

  1. Consistency
  2. Having a strategy
  3. Focusing on your audience/solving a problem
  4. Having diverse income sources

So, let’s talk about the last point. What diverse income streams should you have as a blogger?

How do bloggers make money?

Now that I’ve introduced you to four different women who have been able to make a career out of blogging, you probably want to know how they do it.

How can you actually make money blogging?

There are several ways that bloggers make money. It’s ideal that you leverage a combination of more than one of the ways that I’ll share to not only increase your income but also reduce your risk.

Let’s talk about how these bloggers actually make money blogging and how you can too.

How to make money blogging for beginners

Advertisements

The first way that most bloggers begin making money is from ads. 

As a publisher, you are able to allow advertisers to run ads on your platform. Each time someone views an ad or clicks on it, you will receive revenue.

Ads are typically the first form of monetization that bloggers choose because, quite frankly, it’s the easiest.

You simply put ad code on your pages and are able to make passive income.

The four most popular and well-known ad management platforms that bloggers use to serve ads are Google Adsense, Monumetric, Mediavine, and Ad Thrive.

Each has its own requirements to apply to and get progressively harder.

  • Google Adsense (no minimum)
  • Monumetric (minimum 10K pageviews/mo to apply)
  • Mediavine (minimum 50K sessions/mo to apply)
  • Ad Thrive (minimum 100K pageviews/mo to apply)

Generally, most bloggers start out by having Google ads run on their blog. This is because Google’s Adsense program doesn’t have a minimum number of page views or sessions that you have to meet in order to qualify for their ads.

You simply need to have an established blog with consistent content. 

However, once you are able to grow your page views into the tens of thousands, there are other ad management companies that will pay significantly more than Google.

Whitney from Tried and True Mom Jobs shares on here blog that she made $4,000 in one month through her ads alone.

Though ads are great for immediately generating income on your blog, there is a delicate balance required to make sure your readers have a good experience on your site.

There’s nothing worse than landing on a website, only to be bombarded with ads.

Obviously, the more ads that you have, the more you stand to make. However, don’t make it such a bad experience for your reader that they won’t come back.

Affiliate marketing

In simple terms, affiliate marketing is getting paid if someone purchases a product or service that you recommend.

This is a large part of how many bloggers are able to make money, myself included.

The most profitable affiliate partnerships are for products by fellow bloggers. 

These affiliate partnerships often offer as much as 40% commission for referrals!

Many times, you can become an affiliate for another blogger’s products after you have purchased it yourself. Other times, bloggers will allow you to become an affiliate if you have a large following that you can promote to.

In this instance, it’s all about networking and developing relationships with other bloggers in your niche.

Don’t worry if you aren’t at that stage just yet. You can still apply to become an affiliate for other programs.

The most popular affiliate program that bloggers tend to leverage is Amazon’s affiliate program. 

It is an easy program to get accepted into and it has a very high conversion rate.

Nearly everyone shops on Amazon, so they are more likely to buy something that you recommend from there.

Amazon is unique in that they will pay you even if someone doesn’t buy the specific product that you recommend, as long as they used your link to access the site and makes a purchase within 24 hours.

Other affiliate platforms that are familiar to most bloggers include:

  • FlexOffers
  • ShareASale
  • CJ Affiliate
  • PepperJam
  • Impact Radius

These platforms handle the affiliate partnerships for some of your biggest brands. So, once you have created an account, you can then apply to be an affiliate to a specific company.

They also manage the disbursement of your funds once you make a successful referral.

If you’re not sure which platform a brand that you want to be an affiliate for is managed by, simply do a quick Google search to find out. (Type in “brand name”+ affiliate program).

Once you are an affiliate, you will receive a special link that will track any purchases made from your referral. 

You can put these links throughout your blog posts so that readers can click them to access whatever you’re recommending.

There are legal implications associated with affiliate marketing. Primarily, you have to disclose to your reader that you are using affiliate links and that you will receive a commission.

You can see my affiliate disclosure at the top of each of my blog posts. Just to be cautious, I’ve set up my posts to automatically show this disclaimer even if it doesn’t contain an affiliate link.

You can learn more about affiliate disclosure requirements in the Federal Trade Commission’s website and in the terms and conditions of your affiliate program contracts.

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are another way to make money as a blogger.

They are a less overt form of advertising in which you write content around a product or service to promote it. 

There are several ways that you can connect with brands to find opportunities for sponsored posts.

You can reach out to brands with a pitch, have brands contact you, or join an influencer network that will find opportunities for you.

I happened to snag this screenshot of a post by Latasha from Arts & Budgets where she shares some networks that bloggers can join.

sponsored posts

These networks are a great start, particularly for new bloggers who may not have a large audience reach. They are also great because they give you access to brands that you otherwise wouldn’t have a contact for.

As your following continues to grow, you’ll notice that brands will begin to reach out to your inquiring about opportunities to work together in the form of sponsored posts. 

You definitely shouldn’t go into these conversations blindly. 

Not knowing how to navigate brand sponsorships can result in you leaving money on the table, or worse, signing a contract that’s to your disadvantage.

As brands began to approach me, I decided to educate myself on the business.

I signed up for a course, Sponsored Success by Tracie Fobes, so that I could get instructions from someone who has been in the industry for years.

Not only does the course navigate how to respond to brands, but it also delves into how to pitch to brands for sponsorships.

Being able to negotiate sponsorships with brands is truly where the real money lies, so I can’t reiterate how important it is to be prepared.

Some other things that are covered in the Sponsored Success course include:

  • Pitching to brands
  • Setting your rates
  • Contracts & negotiations
  • Media kits
  • Email response templates and more

Again, I do not recommend pitching to brands or responding to their inquiries without first educating yourself on the business.

You can check out Sponsored Success if you plan on making sponsored posts a part of your monetization strategy.

Products & Services

The final way that bloggers are able to make money is through products and services.

This is ultimately the best way to make money as a blogger because it doesn’t rely on anyone else. That means your earning potential is endless and you can keep 100% of the profits!

The most common products that bloggers offer are courses, ebooks, and printables.

Online Courses

Courses can literally be around any topic related to your blog. For instance, in the future, I may create another course on how to start a blog.

I can then put my course content on a platform like Teachable or Thinkific for my audience to sign up.

Courses tend to bring in the most money, as they are higher priced and often have affiliates to help with marketing.

The cost is typically equivalent to the amount of work and content that goes into it and the support that comes with it.

Ebooks

Ebooks are just digital books that can be delivered via download or email.

Many times, bloggers will consolidate their blog posts or course material down into an ebook format for those who prefer this option.

Ebooks are great because they are a low investment option when it comes to creating products.

You can literally create an ebook in Canva, GoogleDocs, or even PowerPoint for $0.

This is how I’ve created all of my ebooks.

In fact, just last year, I made $600 from sales of the ebook version of my book, Dump Debt & Build Bank: The Everyday Chick’s Guide to Money.

I created the cover in Canva and wrote the contents in GoogleDocs.

It’s a quick, simple product to make that can be sold over and over again.

Printables

Even more simple to make are printables.

These are the budget templates, weekly planners, or goal trackers that you may see on sites like Etsy.

Simply put, they are pages that meant to be printed.

I sell printables that I’ve created in Canva in my Etsy shop

Depending on what the printable is and how many pages are included, you can sell them for several dollars.

Over time, those dollars add up to a big payday.

If you’re interested in learning more about creating digital products and printables, I recommend checking out my course, Profitable Products

It’ll walk you step by step on how to determine what digital product to sell, how to create it, and how to market it.

Services

As a blogger, there are a ton of skills that you learn that can be offered to other bloggers and/or businesses as a service.

For instance, I set up people’s email funnels and courses are a part of my online business.

Below are the most common services offered by bloggers:

You can market your services via Facebook groups and blogging networks, or on sites like Upwork or Fiverr—a freelance marketplace.

Bloggers may also sell physical products, like physical books or tshirts.

Are you ready to start a making money blogging?

I hope that you found this post both inspirational and informative. 

As you can see, making money as a blogger is totally possible. You’ve seen it from these women interviewed above and from the information provided lays out how you can do that same.

Each of these women has built success in their own right and are blazing the trail for us to follow.

If you’ve been inspired to start your own blog or to turn your blog into income, check out these blog posts:

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