The rise of blogging has meant that more and more people are launching blogs with the hope to make a living off of their work.
It's exciting, but many people go about it all wrong. Blogs, by themselves, don’t make money. They are traffic channels. You have to implement different monetization models in order to have your visitors take some actions that then result in you earning money.
These actions include:
- Viewing and clicking on the display ads on your website
- Purchasing affiliate products that you promote on your blog
- Purchasing your own products, etc.
Steps to Making Money Blogging
In my extensive guide on how to make money blogging, I discuss the nine essential steps that you need to take when it comes to intentional blogging for monetization.
These steps are:
- Choosing a profitable blog niche
- Deciding on the main monetization model
- Intentionally building your blog for monetization
- Design single post templates that help you create content faster
- Design a content strategy that helps you make money
- Map out your audience strategy
- Build a vibrant community around your blog and topical focus
- Create and publish mind-blowing content
- Start monetizing
As you can tell, making money blogging is a long-term strategy, not a dash.
Best Ways to Make Money Blogging
There are many ways to make money blogging, so just be creative in how you approach them.
Let’s now discuss the main blog monetization models below:
1) Coaching or consulting services
Running a successful blog in your niche is an indication that you’re sort of an expert on something. You can leverage your blog to get consulting clients.
Online consulting is a great blog monetization model since you can make as much as $10,000 a month working with 2-3 clients only.
Recommended tool: Trafft for service business owners. ($59 Lifetime Deal)
With this tool, you will be able to:
- Offer an effortless and seamless booking experience to your clients
- Automate payment processing for recurring payments
- Manage reschedules on autopilot
- Manage your staff on one dashboard
- View all appointments at a glance with the app’s calendar view
2) Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a way to make money by promoting products or services of other companies.
As an affiliate marketer, you promote the site of your merchant and if someone buys the product from this company through your link, you get a commission from that sale.
The best part about affiliate marketing is that it doesn’t require any upfront investment at all and can be done completely online, even without a website since most affiliate programs allow you to share affiliate links on major social media platforms.
Here are some steps you need to take to make money with affiliate marketing:
- Sign up with an affiliate program that pays a commission on sales generated by your links (e.g., Amazon Associates).
- Start promoting their products/services using SEO-optimized content relevant for both visitors AND search engines, as well as social media platforms like Facebook/Twitter etcetera – be sure not to spam though!
- Always keep track of how much revenue each merchant has generated through their affiliates in order to know who pays out most often so that you can focus more on them rather than other merchants who might have less activity overall but still pay out fairly often too.
3) Display advertising
Display advertising is to passively earn money from your blog once you have built consistent traffic streams.
Many bloggers use Google Adsense, but it doesn’t pay much. It helps to focus on publishing content and building traffic channels during your first year of blogging and then applying to premium ad networks like Mediavine, once you reach 50,000 monthly sessions.
An alternative is Ezoic which accepts websites with 10,000 monthly pageviews or even fewer but has better rates because of the use of AI to show ads with higher bids
Display ads are often what pay for the hosting fees and other expenses that come with running a website.
The nice thing about display advertising is that it doesn't require much work on your part; if anyone clicks on an ad, then Google will pay you for displaying that ad on your site.
4) Sponsored content
Sponsored content is the practice of writing posts about products or services in exchange for compensation.
This can be paid out in cash, free products, or a combination of both.
Here are some great ways to find brands to work with:
- Add a sponsored page to your website: This way you can let readers know that you do accept sponsored collaborations on the site. Doing this alone can result in 2-5 inquiries per month, increasing your chances of landing clients.
- Work with agencies: Contact content and link-building agencies and let them know that your website is accepting paid guest posts
- List a Guest posting gig on Fiverr. Don’t let the rates scare you, if your site is high quality, you can still get away with charging your normal rates and land clients on Fiverr.
- Pitch brands directly: Yes, it works most of the time. Identify brands that would benefit from a mention on your website and craft a great outreach email. You can use a tool like Jasper AI to help you write effective emails.
5) Sell digital products
Digital products are becoming more and more common in today's world. People are paying for eBooks, guides, courses, etc. You can sell your own digital products or promote other people's digital products.
To start selling digital products, you need
- A payment solution like PayPal, Stripe, etc.
- A cart solution like Sendowl, Thrivecart, or Woocommerce
- A content delivery platform. This varies according to the nature of your product.
Other notable players in digital product solutions include Gumroad, Etsy, and Payhip.
6) Freelance services
Freelancing can be a great way to earn money from your blog. If you have a skill or talent, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make some extra cash by offering it up on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.
There are tons of websites out there where people go looking for help with their projects and needs—why not put your expertise on display?
On-demand skills include SEO writing, copywriting, graphic design, logo design, coding and programming, and virtual assistance, to name but a few.
Of course, before approaching potential clients, make sure that what you are offering is something that others would want and find useful in their lives (and not just something fun and random).
And remember: try not to price yourself out of the market! If your rates are too high, then no one will hire you because they think they can get someone else at a cheaper rate.
7) Online courses
Online courses make a great way to monetize a blog by sharing your expertise with others. What’s great about online courses is that you only have to create them once, and sell them again and again, all while doing periodic product updates.
With a great course strategy, you can easily make $10,000 during your course week with only 100 sales of a $97 product.
The easiest way to get started is to use a third-party platform like Thinkific, which is free to get started.
Alternatively, you can install a learning management system on your WordPress website and run everything from your domain. For this, we recommend Learndash, the best WordPress LMS solution.
To get started, decide what topic you want to cover in your course. Try answering these questions:
- Who are expert instructors already covering these topics?
- Are there any gaps in the market?
- What topics have not been covered as thoroughly as they could be?
- What topics are missing from existing courses.
These questions will help determine what kind of product makes sense for your audience right now—and which type will likely sell best down the line when demand increases again after the initial launch hype dies down slightly over time!
Of key importance is that the topic should be relevant to the blog readers who frequent your site.
8) Membership site
Here's the deal with membership sites: they're websites that require payment in order to access their content. You might have heard of them being called members-only or gated content sites.
What makes memberships a great way to monetize a blog is the recurring income, making it a sustainable business model, as you can almost predict what next month’s income would be based on the number of your current subscribers and the churn rate.
Ideas for a membership site include:
- Members only exclusive blog posts
- Premium WordPress scripts
- Template and stock photos
- Food Recipes
- Premium marketplaces
- Premium job boards
To create one, you will need to use a membership platform, or a membership plugin for WordPress like MemberPress and Restrict Content Pro.
9) Run Paid Webinars
Many bloggers use webinars to promote their main offers, but they can actually serve as standalone products that you can sell to your audience.
Paid webinars are online events that people pay to attend, and often involve a number of speakers.
You can offer:
- Paid online classes
- Paid virtual events
- Paid mentoring sessions
- Paid professional development training sessions
- On-demand webinars
To use this blog monetization model, you will need a live webinar software, so be sure to test a few to find one that works well for you. Some are simple, like Streamyard, while others are more advanced.
A good webinar platform will allow users to:
- Create an event with tickets or free registrations
- Track attendees' progress through the presentation
- Provide chat features for participants
10) Paid speaking gigs
Have you ever been to a conference or event where there was a speaker who impressed you?
Maybe it was the way they presented their material, or what they had to say. Maybe it was something about their delivery style that made them stand out from the crowd.
If the thrill of being on the podium excites you, then taking up speaking gigs can be a great way to make money with your blog.
They can also be great fun and create opportunities for building your personal brand
11) Start Print-on-Demand (POD)
Last on our list is the Print-on-Demand model.
POD is a great way to get started selling products and making money online because it’s not necessary for you to have a large capital investment or inventory. All you need is some creative skills, a niche, and a whole lot of coffee…
You can use your blog to promote your POD products. Some of the popular Print on Demand service providers you can leverage include:
- Sellfy (Best eCommerce solution for POD businesses)
- Redbubble (Review)
- Society6 (Review)
How long does it take to make money blogging?
You can start making money with your blog in a few months, but it depends on what you are doing and how much time you have to spend on it. If you are working hard and being consistent, your money will increase as time passes.
There are a ton of ways to make money online. You just need to figure out the one that works best for you.
Some folks are “heavy hitters” while others simply want to generate some extra income every month (I know I fall into this category). But as a blogger, you have so many options it can be mind-boggling, so when in doubt, stick with these three:
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital Products
- Display ads