Maybe you started your blog knowing that it could be possible to generate income through your content. Most devoted bloggers earn extra side hustle money every month, and some even become full-time entrepreneurs. What’s incredibly enticing is that a lot of this cash flow is passive income, meaning something created in the past can still bring in money without any extra effort.
Sounds like a sweet deal, but don’t mistake blogging for a quick and easy payday! It takes loads of patience and dedication to reach the point where you can relax a bit. And you’re really only going to get there if you genuinely enjoy the journey and aren’t solely focused on potential rewards. By infusing your posts with passion, you’ll be able to grow an audience that believes in you and what you have to offer when you’re ready to do so.
If you can shout your adoration for your blog niche from the rooftops, you’re ready to think about the best way to monetize your blog. Read on to learn some of the most common money-making methods for bloggers.
Advertising is probably the most common way to earn income as a blogger. It may seem intrusive to let ads encroach on your beautiful blog, but you actually have a lot of control over who, what, how, and where you advertise.
Thanks to the FTC law that requires disclosure of their use, you’ve probably seen the tell-tale signs of affiliate marketing on many websites. Affiliate marketing typically involves linking a third-party product or service that tracks the referral source. If your blog is the source, you may earn a commission for directing business to that company.
Let’s say you have a blog about dogs, and you’re writing an article about grooming. You’d like to recommend a specific brand of dog shampoo that you’ve been obsessed with over the past few months. As it so happens, that company has an affiliate partnership program that you can join.
Signing up will provide you with a unique link you can share on your blog, social media, or mailing list (with the appropriate disclosure). When a reader clicks through to that website and performs the desired action, such as making a purchase, you may earn a small percentage of the sale. The terms of each affiliate relationship will vary, so be sure to read over each company’s documentation.
The barrier of entry for affiliate marketing is low, and often anyone can sign up. Most companies with products or services have a link at the bottom of their website with information on their affiliate program. You can also try Googling “business name + affiliate” to see if anything pops up.
Stick with companies, products, and services that you use or have researched well enough to confidently promote. It won’t do you any favors if your audience doesn’t trust your recommendations. Your reputation is on the line here!
Consistently sprinkling affiliate links throughout your blog posts can generate ongoing income as visitors still discover your older content.
Banner & Text Ads
If you browse the web without an ad blocker, surely you’ve seen different types of ads occupying space on various websites. The size and shape of these banners vary and can even be text-based within content, but the core concept remains. Companies pay to display their ads on your website for monetary compensation.
How do members of an advertising program get paid?
|CPC (Cost Per Click)
Get paid every time someone clicks an ad on your site
|CPM (Cost Per Mille)
Get paid per thousands of impressions per ad on your site
|CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)
Get paid when someone clicks and makes a purchase
Get paid the same amount regardless of impressions or clicks
For best results, choose an advertising company in tune with the type of content you post. For example, if you have a lifestyle blog, you’ll want the ads displayed to make sense to that audience. Also, be sure to check the requirements for each ad network to ensure you meet the necessary traffic qualifications.
Sponsors are companies that are seeking outsiders to represent and promote their brand. They’re looking for influencers with an audience they’d like to tap into, which means you’ll need to have established a sizable following to land on sponsor radars.
Sponsored content, paid content, or advertorials must be disclosed with a statement clarifying that you are being paid to promote the product or service. Your sponsorship deal might include a detailed review of your experiences, smaller advertisements within longer articles, or even regularly creating content around that brand. Always thoroughly vet any agreement before diving in.
Why bother doing any of this? Because these partnerships can be quite lucrative! Most are a one-time payment, but your gains can add up over time if several brands reach out during your blogging career. And much like affiliate marketing, if you were potentially going to recommend these products anyway, you might as well earn something for your efforts.
The great thing about digital goods is that many of them only need to be created once but can be sold repeatedly. No inventory space? No problem! Examples of digital products include ebooks, worksheets, templates, and graphics. Stick with your brand message and market something that appeals to your audience rather than going in random directions. You’re looking for products that compliment your niche.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What kind of digital products would my audience find most useful?
- Can I expand upon something my readers want to know more about?
- Is there something I can offer to help others save time, reach a goal, solve problems, or simplify life?
It’s a good idea to wait until you have a bit of a following before launching your products. By taking the time to establish yourself, you’re able to show people who you are and gain the trust of your audience. It also allows you to take notes when interacting with your mailing list, social media, and blog comments. Instead of pushing your own agenda, find out what is desirable to your audience and make it happen!
Useful services for digital goods:
- Canva – The place to create graphics and templates
- Gumroad – A platform that caters to selling digital goods
- PeachPay – A multi-purpose app for freelancers
- WooCommerce – Popular plug-in for sales on WordPress
I’m not going to get into selling physical goods in this post since doing so tends to be more complex, expensive, and time-consuming for bloggers. However, if you are interested in applying your brand to material items, I recommend researching print-on-demand services. This method reduces inventory and typically involves dropshipping to simplify the sales process.
Now that you’ve proven that you know what you’re talking about, you may start to receive requests for more tailored services. Think of everything you’ve provided on your blog as a sample of what else you can provide for an additional fee. Much like the digital goods category, it may take a little brainstorming to sort out what services best suit your brand and audience’s needs. Remember, to reach your goals, you need to help others achieve theirs first.
Provide Coaching & Consulting
You’ve been helping out a broad audience, but some readers will crave a more personalized approach. Both one-on-one training and group sessions can attract buyers who would benefit from having the ability to discuss their individual situations with an expert like you. This is best accomplished through teleconferencing software for face-to-face interactions that forge stronger connections than text-based communications.
Teach Online Courses
Another way to relay education and guidance is through online learning platforms. This is your opportunity to design a comprehensive program that obliterates guesswork and elevates your professional status. Some popular platforms for hosting online courses are Teachable and Thinkific. Their sleek interfaces also boost the atmosphere of an exclusive premium service. Alternately, you can opt for a general online learning service with a wide audience such as UDemy or Skillshare.
Write, Design, Edit, Etc
Many bloggers also offer their creative skills as a freelancer. You can peddle your writing, graphic design, photography, video editing, and so much more. Again, it’s best if these talents align with your niche if you are incorporating these services on your blog. You’ll be able to use your existing website as a portfolio of what you’re capable of accomplishing.
Some blogging entrepreneurs bundle together a premium program exclusive to members only. This subscription membership may include access to special features unavailable elsewhere, one-on-one feedback, community forums, and extra content. It’s up to you what membership entails, but generally, this kind of service requires active participation and regular updates to make remaining on board worthwhile.
You don’t have to choose only one way to make money blogging, though I don’t recommend trying to do it all at once either. Especially when it comes to digital goods and services, you can keep adding something new and exciting to your catalog as you go along. You don’t want to overwhelm your readers with too many options too quickly. Give them a solid starting point, a brilliantly crafted introduction that makes them want more.