So you started a blog – congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards sharing your ideas with the world.
Maybe you’re doing it for fun or to share information with friends. Or maybe you’re trying to build a personal brand and even start a business.
Whatever your goal is, blogging is one of the best ways to reach an audience, and there are plenty of ways to make money with a blog once you know what you’re doing.
This guide will help you learn many ways of monetizing a blog, as well as some tips to keep your audience engaged. Keep in mind that some of these strategies require more traffic than others.
Let’s look at some of the most popular ways bloggers make money and explore what they are — and how you can use them to monetize your blog.
There are several ways to make money from blogging. There are also a lot of scams out there, so you have to be careful.
(To learn how to start a blog, click this link to read our previous post.)
1. Affiliate Marketing
Instead of promoting your own products, you can sell affiliate products to your audience. For example, if your blog was about Apple devices, you could promote the latest iPhone accessories to your audience and make a good commission for each sale.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your site because of how simple it is. All you have to do is include affiliate links, provided by an affiliate network, such as Amazon in your posts. When a sale is made, the merchant will handle the rest. But it takes time to build trust with an audience before anyone buys something from you.
Remember- blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Always recommend products that you actually use or have knowledge of. Building trust is the key to affiliate marketing.
This type of monetization usually makes the most money for many bloggers. The pros are you won’t run out of content as there are millions of products and services to recommend, and there is basically no risk as you’re not the one shipping products or dealing with customers; but you have to be very selective on what you want your brand to represent.
(Note: You don’t need a blog to be a successful affiliate marketer. Some of the most successful affiliate marketers use TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest to promote products.)
Below are some of the best affiliate networks to join.
- Amazon associates. This platform needs no introduction. Amazon is one of the best affiliate networks. It has almost any product you can think of.
- Clickbank. Similar to Amazon marketplace, Clickbank offers a collection of products to promote.
- Refersion. Connects Ecommerce businesses with affiliate marketers.
- eBay Partner Network. Promote products from eBay. Though eBay has amazing deals, the only caveat is that auctioned products can sell quickly and as a result, your links can lead potential customers to expired items.
- Nord VPN. VPN’s are very popular with tech blogs. Most of these affiliate programs pay well, averaging around $50 a sale.
- Fiverr Affiliate program. Get paid to promote Fivver and receive a commission for every qualified purchase.
- Envato. Envato is the go-to marketplace for web designers, bloggers and anyone who needs digital assets. They sell themes, plugins, art, templates and more. As an Envato affiliate marketer, you could focus on premium WordPress themes and plugins because you’re likely using WordPress.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more affiliate networks that can represent your niche. Take time to research and narrow it down.
2. Sponsored posts
Getting sponsors is a great way to make money on your blog. But how exactly do you find sponsors and what do you do when they come knocking?
A sponsor pays you to test and review their product or service in exchange for promoting their company on your blog. This is an effective method of monetizing your blog and engaging with your audience by providing recommendations for new products and services.
Different companies will present different terms on how they want you to feature their products, so it’s important to review their terms and see if they align with your interests. Pay is also a factor, but that will mostly be determined by how much traffic you get.
Don’t be scared to reach out to companies for sponsorships. Some of them will be willing to work with you, even if you’re a smaller blogger. The key is to have rich content and a blog that is geared towards a mutual audience.
Here’s how you can get sponsored by a top-notch brand:
- 1. Research Your Target Market. First things first, before approaching a company with a sponsorship offer, do your research! Find brands you think you’d like to collaborate with. Look at the niche that your blog covers and find out what brands would contribute positively to your readers’ experience.
- 2. Contact Companies With Offers To Sponsor Content. Once you have a list of companies that are relevant to your niche, contact them with an offer to become a sponsor on your blog. Do not ask them for money directly (i.e., “I’ll promote your product if you give me $300”). Instead, ask if they’d be interested in sponsoring content on your website (i.e., “Would you be interested in sponsoring an infographic I created about electric cars?”). This approach reduces their expectations and allows them to see the value of your content.
If you’re looking for sponsorship opportunities, I’d recommend starting with a site like lookingforsponsors.com, which is an awesome resource for bloggers (and advertisers) alike looking for free and paid sponsorships.
Lookingforsponsors gives you access to the sponsorships & promotions forum where people post blogging opportunities that they’re seeking sponsors for. It’s pretty easy to use; just look through the forums and see if any posts interest you. There are also opportunities available on SponsorFind’s Job Board, which is like an online classified ad section.
The most common method of making money through a blog is through advertising, either through pay-per-click (PPC) ads or banner ads.
One of the most popular ad networks is Google Adsense. Once signed up, Google will review your website, and if it gets approved, you can successfully show ads on your site.
To show ads, Google will provide a code that you can embed in any location of your site. Don’t freak out, it’s easier than it sounds. There are many tools, guides and plugins that can help with ad management.
(Google has also made it quite easy to add ads to your website through automatic ads. To read more about Google Auto Ads, read our article here.)
Check out these Google Adsense alternatives below
- Amazon Native Shopping Ads
4. Sell your own products
If you have a product or service that you want to sell, create a store section in your blog or set up an account with Amazon so that people can purchase directly from there. You can also sell digital products such as art, music files, software and ebooks.
If you’re a WordPress user, install the WooCommerce plugin and transform your blog into a fully-fledged store. WooCommerce is extremely powerful and a must-have tool for any seller.
These are some of the most popular things that people sell on their blogs
- Ebooks. A lot of seasoned bloggers have written ebooks that sell for less than $5. These short-form ebooks can cover anything from blogging, and affiliate marketing to cooking guides. If you do decide to make an ebook, make sure it’s priced right and offers value to the reader.
If you do decide to sell your own products, just make sure that these products align with your audience’s interests.
5. Sell courses on your blog
If you’re particularly good at something, consider using your skillset to sell courses to your audience. It can be anything from (but not limited to) “Coding for Beginners”, “How to file taxes”, “Social Media Marketing”, or even “How to be a better cook”! You’d be surprised how many people are willing to pay to learn a new skill.
Tailoring your content and pricing appropriately is also important. While it can be tempting to just start with a one-size-fits-all price, consider what real value means for your customers. If you’re not sure what’s right for your audience, test different prices and see what people are willing to pay.
Improve SEO to increase traffic
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the technique of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic, by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. The more exposure your blog gets, the more revenue the site will generate. To learn more about SEO, read our article here.
Understand your expenses
- Increase income.
- Decrease expenses. It’s important to think about the cost of running a website. With growth and development, at some point, the site will pay for itself. Selecting a good host with good performance at an affordable price is crucial. One of the best hosts is Bluehost which only costs …/month. To learn more about Bluehost, click here.
- Improve user experience. Your audience should be able to easily navigate and find posts. Having a good user interface can really enhance the overall reading experience, thus boosting sales and content engagement.
Quick Summary (how to monetize your blog)
- Display ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Making an e-book
- Writing sponsored posts
- Sell physical goods
- Sell digital goods
- Collaborate with influencers and brands
- Do paid reviews
- Sell courses
- Host paid events on your blog
- Get sponsors for your content
- Offer membership and subscriptions
- Join Patreon
- Rent out ad space
- Accept guest posts on your blog
- Host webinars and workshops
- Offer one-on-one services