I get asked this question a lot: so how do you actually make money with your blog?
Most people view blogging as a hobby and don’t realize the enormous growth and income potential it has.
Truthfully, I had no idea that the simple mom blogs I was reading to get through my pregnancy made money either. And not just a few bucks, but hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
I also always thought that anyone that owned a website was super smart, talented, and an expert at their topic. While I wish I were all of those things, I’m really not that special. I just bought a website!
That’s why, if I can make money blogging, so can you!
This post may contain affiliate links which I would receive a small commission should you make a purchase.
How a Blog Brings in Money
Once you have a blog, the world is your oyster. You now have a space in the online world and can begin marketing and selling to billions of people around the globe.
There are a bunch of different ways that your blog can earn money and most of it is completely passive.
Although you will be doing a lot of work to get your blog up and running, once you have your key monetization strategies (money-makers) in place, you can step away and let the money roll in.
Here are the top ways that bloggers earn money:
This is the quickest and easiest way to start making money with your blog.
You can set your blog up with ads very early on. However, you need to generate a good amount of traffic for it to be a substantial amount.
Advertising is directly correlated to how many views you get on your page. That’s why it’s so important to create great content and bring in a large audience.
Typically, companies themselves don’t place advertisements directly on your site (although this is an option).
The most common way to utilize advertisements in blogging is to collaborate with an ad network. They basically rent space on your website for advertising spots and place their client’s ad display for your readers to see.
There are different levels and types of ad networks.
There are some networks, like Google Adsense, that don’t require a minimum amount of page views. Some ad networks require a higher amount of authority and an application process in order to qualify.
Some ad networks pay you just for placing the ad on your website and some pay more for each person who ends up clicking on the ad.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing works by promoting other people’s products on your blog. You make a commission every time your reader makes a purchase there via your link or referral code.
When someone buys the product, it is tracked back to your site and you earn money off of each purchase.
What’s great is that pretty much every product that you use probably has an affiliate program. So promote the things you love and actually get paid for it!
It simply requires you to sign up for the affiliate network and use the tracking link provided for the product you are recommending.
There are affiliate networks that host a lot of different brands, like Awin, where you sign up and can automatically be connected with various companies from one platform.
3. Brand-Sponsored Posts
A company will pay you directly to promote their company or product by sponsoring you to write a blog post. This will come in the form of a lump sum instead of small commissions on each sale.
Every company has different criteria for how they want you to mention them.
Some may like you to write a full post review, product comparison, or write an informative and functional post on some ways to use it.
Companies will find you organically or you can reach out to them.
Once you start gaining a lot of traffic to your site, you can send pitch emails to brands you love in order to get them to sponsor a post.
4. Sell Digital and Physical Products
Once you have readers visiting your site, you now have potential customers, as well.
Digital products are the easiest items to sell online. Bloggers can make things like ebooks, printables, and digital courses, to name a few.
As opposed to selling physical products, you can make a digital file once and keep selling it over and over again without any more work. There’s also no shipping to worry about either.
Although they can take a while to create and market, it eventually results in a completely passive income stream.
Physical products can also be sold from your blog. If you make items by hand, you can sell them via your online shop, and ship them to the customer.
This requires a Woocommerce setup, but it’s not too difficult. Although it does take more time, it’s a great way to make money doing something you love.
5. Sell Services
Just like products, there are a ton of services that you can offer as a blogger. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Virtual assistant services
- One-to-one or group coaching services
- Blogging assistance
- Social media management
If you have a passion or background in a certain area (typically your blog niche), you can offer your expertise by coaching others.
As you become a more experienced blogger, you can even begin to teach other newbie bloggers the tricks of the trade!
How to Maximize Your Earnings
All of these monetization options won’t get you anywhere if you don’t have an established blog with an audience that trusts in you.
It’s important to remember the following tips to both grow your blog and maximize the potential of your earnings.
Always be true and honest with your readers.
Once they trust that you are advising them in the right direction, they will be committed to reading your blog and making purchases when they can.
Only recommend products that you have used and are confident in reviewing and promoting. If you come off as giving misleading information just to make an extra buck, your audience will see right through it.
Also, you must disclose whenever you’re being paid by a company to either write a review or receive a commission upon purchase.
This way they can make an informed decision as to whether they want to take your recommendation or not.
Give the reader what they want
If you’re giving your audience what they came there for, you’re going to have a following of people who don’t mind being sold to.
The best way to not turn off a reader when you’re constantly promoting products, selling yourself, and keeping those annoying pop-up ads on your site, is to give them the best possible information you can.
Answer their questions, solve their problems, and be the most helpful resource that they can trust.
If you’re providing them with quality content and actually helping them get through a personal struggle, they will have no problem buying from you or merely just tolerating display ads.
Think like an entrepreneur
A huge change was made when I had a mindset shift of thinking like a business owner and not just a blogger.
See, blogging is actually more like owning your own business rather than just working at a job.
You manage every single task and develop the necessary strategies to make it grow and earn full income potential.
If you want to reach the levels of top bloggers, you need to treat your blog like not only a full-time job, but running your own business.
The sooner you start thinking in this manner, the sooner you will succeed.
Have the right strategy
This all may seem simple to you, but there truly is a science to monetizing your blog. It’s important to understand all your options and have a vision for the ways you want your blog to grow.
If you just threw all these monetizing techniques on your blog with no plan or strategy, you’re not going to be successful. You wantt to understand how they can all work together to your advantage.
Although you may not have any idea what that is now, you will gain more insight and begin to understand as your blog takes off.
You don’t have to stick to one strategy either. For example, I use a combination of ad networks, sponsored posts, and affiliate networks to make money blogging.
I am just now starting to create a digital course and ebook and looking forward to sharing the process and outcome with you all!
For the first couple of months, your primary focus should be on creating amazing content and building relationships with your audience and other bloggers.
Although you can add in a few monetization strategies from the start, like ads and affiliate marketing, you shouldn’t start selling products or services until you’re well-established.
When I started, I never envisioned selling products because I had no idea where to even start. I didn’t believe I had enough expertise to make something that someone would pay for.
However, you will develop knowledge and confidence as time goes on and feel comfortable choosing new ways to grow your business.
. . . . .
Once you see how much work goes into creating and growing a blog, you’ll realize why bloggers need to monetize it.
The pesky ads and affiliate links that we have to endure as a reader is a small price to pay for the extensive amount of information we now have access to.
Once you start and you see the income growth and potential, you will be so grateful to have your little space on the web!
Are you starting a blog or just starting to monetize it? Leave your comments and questions below!