You know that saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”? Well, I answer a few of the same questions over and over again in email, and it’s time I stop expecting you to magically know the answers.

If you don’t advertise, how do you make money? Some people come right out and ask this. Others work around the question. And I can only assume that there’s a huge number who are too shy to pose the question. So I don’t sell ads on Unsettle because they’re spammy and gross. How do I make money, then? Here’s how:

  • About 25% of my income comes from affiliate marketing. If you buy website hosting, many of these books, sign up for LeadPages or ConvertKit with my affiliate links, I receive a small kickback (at no extra cost to you).
  • About 50% of my income comes from coaching. I take a small amount of select one on one coaching clients. I help them start blogs, grow their freelancing businesses, create email sand content marketing strategies and launch products.
  • Another 25% comes from product sales. I sell a course, eBook and challenge.

There are a ton of ways to make money blogging that I don’t do. Here’s a complete list: The Ethical Guide to Finally Earning Money from Your Blog (Without Selling Out)

What should I blog about?

This is a tough one. On one hand, you want to make sure you start a blog about something you’re interested in. After all, writing about something consistently means you need to spend a lot of time with the topic. If you’re not interested in it, you’ll find it nearly impossible to get anything meaningful done. On the other hand, you want to make sure it’s a profitable niche. You don’t want to pour your heart and soul into a blog that ends up costing you time and money and gives you nothing in return. It should also be something you’re good at. So, there’s no one universal answer to this question. I’m not even going to tell you to follow your passions. I am going to tell you to do the research. Validate your topic. Spend some time analyzing your target audience. I created a free 7-day course to help you through this process.  Ultimately, know this: Your blog will change. What it looks like now, when you start it, will be vastly different from what it looks like in 2 years (if you stick with it, which you should). That’s because you’re human and you grow and evolve and learn. So don’t put so much pressure on yourself to pick the perfect thing right off the bat. Just choose, start, and figure it out.

What is the quickest way to make money online?

Finally answer that email from that Nigerian prince who left you a bunch of money. Or become a cam girl. I hate this question with a passion. If you’re desperate for money and want to find some way to “get rich quick” online, know this: It’s not happening. What I’m teaching you on Unsettle and what all ethical, reputable websites that talk about online business will teach you, is that building an online business (whether you’re starting a blogoffering a service or opening an online shop) is a career move. Careers take two things to build:

  1. Time
  2. Work.

If you’re not willing to put in both of these things (or, in the absence of both of these things, a lot of money so you can buy other people’s time and work), go get yourself a nice desk job and call it a day. Online business isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It’s a long term investment in your work happiness.

So, I need a self-hosted WordPress blog. What if I can't afford hosting right now?

There’s no point in starting a free WordPress website (ie one that has yourdomain.wordpress.com) at the end of it. You can’t build a meaningful audience on a free platform. You don’t own it. And ultimately, it’s difficult for your readers to take your site seriously if you don’t even take your own site seriously enough to… well, get serious about it. Hosting is important. Save up for it. It’s also pretty cheap – you can sign up for a self hosted WordPress website through BlueHost for 50% off here.

I want to follow my passion, but I don't know what it is! Help!

Following your passion is… well, a bit of a myth. First, you have to have a passion that is super profitable – meaning others are willing to spend money on it. So if your passion is knitting, tough luck. Second, you have to have a pre-existing passion that’s super profitable. But the problem here is that humans don’t really like doing most things until they’re good at them. Third, you have to have a passion at all. And most of us (nope, it’s not just you!) don’t. Sure, we have things we enjoy doing, but they’re not your typical “passions”. Finally, monetizing your “passion”, if you’re so lucky to have one, is a fool’s errand. When you rely on something for your livelihood, it becomes less about loving that thing, and more about relying on it. It’s hard to feel a spark when you set out to do something that you have to do, otherwise your family will go hungry. So stop obsessing about passion and just start something. You can pivot. You can change. But later, you’ll wish you started sooner.