Believe it or not, there is money to be made from blogging. All one has to do is to have something interesting to say and enough patience and dedication to build a following. Initially getting started with blogging can seem a little tricky, particularly if you don’t have much tech knowledge. Many people are often surprised to learn that blogging encompasses wide-ranging subjects and offers a lot of money-making possibilities.
As a new blogger, you have several choices from starting and running a dedicated blogging website or employing popular social media networks to start attracting traffic. Blogging operates under the premise that people tend to follow the advice of friends and acquaintances. And with the right content, your blog can be a great resource for others seeking your insights.
Can I Make Money From a Blog?
Yes, you can make money blogging and you do have several opportunities to generate some income. In this age of freelance work and the gig economy, more and more people are using blogging as means to generate some supplementary income.
You can start to make money blogging as a side hustle and gradually scale it up into a full-time job. The key is to look to your strengths in terms of expertise and find a niche so you can see your blogging as a business. The goal is to create a destination where people can visit and follow your blog to get some badly needed advice and insights.
Generating great content is half the job. This is because monetizing a blog can take time and relies on you having some good traffic. In essence, the more readers and followers you have, the more attractive your blog becomes for advertisers. And as side hustles go, blogging online is one of the most popular ways to create an online presence and make money.
How to Blog and Make Money
There are hundreds of ways to make money with a blog – some more profitable than others. Blogging can be hard work, but it can pay off. Here’s a guide to the very best ways on how to make money blogging.
Creating Online Courses or Workshops
There is a huge demand for career development courses in the marketplace. Over the years the blogging industry has changed dramatically. What was once a creative hobby is now a high-paying, full-time profession for many creatives.
By offering online courses on your blog you not only help increase your income but also boost your credentials as a recognized and respected authority on the subject matter you are passionate about and have some wisdom to share. Offering your teaching expertise on topics that you are knowledgeable in will help to position yourself as an expert and industry leader in your or the most profitable niches.
The lure of online courses and workshops is that audiences have the opportunity to weigh up their own individual needs and budget before making a decision. They also have the option to enroll in multiple courses and follow the courses at their leisure. Contrary to popular opinion blogging allows for academic interaction.
Blogs can be helpful tools for instructors to impart knowledge and increase students’ investment in learning. Blogs can also be personal, accessible and an ideal online teaching strategy. This is because you can reach large audiences irrespective of geographical location and can be accessed via a smartphone or PC.
By offering people the opportunity to fine-tune their skills through online courses and workshops there is an opportunity to make some serious money. All you need is to provide in-depth tutorials on highly sought-after courses to draw a large following and offer a good opportunity to get people to take action. Make sure that the teaching modules are well organized, well-written and interesting.
You can monetize your blog by providing evergreen digital online courses which allow you to cash in from your tutelage while improving lives all at the same time. You can also provide free courses as well as subscription-based courses such as how to make money blogging.
Selling a Digital Product
Another lucrative way to make money online by blogging is to sell digital products. Following the growth of more and more people buying online, your blog can tap into this phenomenon. By setting up your own online store you can start making money by selling digital products. The perks from selling digital products include the fact that the cost of setting up an online store is minimal and you only have to fork out money for web hosting, digital product creating, and software or plugins to support your online store.
In addition, let’s not forget that the best part about selling digital products is you don’t have to worry about shipping, and once it is made you can sell it limitless times. However, before you take the steps to set up an online store, you have to know what you’re going to sell. Deciding what products you want to sell requires a bit of brainstorming and market research in order to succeed.
The portfolio of digital products you can sell on your blog can be printables, eBooks, templates, presets, stock photos, worksheets, fonts and even website themes- you are only limited by your creativity. Besides affording you the ability to monetize your blog these products are a good source of passive income which means you exert less effort in selling once you put the products for sale.
Making Money From Affiliate Marketing
Besides getting advertising you can also make some extra cash through affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you can literally earn money with little effort by simply adding tracked affiliate links into the text of your blog. By joining an affiliate program set up by a merchant you get paid commissions for new leads or sales you bring when readers click on the links.
Merchants love this model because they only pay if a defined action occurs leading to an increase in sales. As a marketing affiliate, you can make some quick cash by providing your readers with great suggestions for products and services. You do this by simply inserting affiliate links in your content.
Your role is to simply help drive traffic through your blog’s material and drive traffic to the merchant’s sites. What is required from you is to ensure your blog attracts the right traffic that actually wants to read your product recommendations. However, you need to be authentic and genuine about your review and articles and not get carried away with the sole task of only encouraging your readers to buy something.
You can start your affiliate marketing efforts by thinking about the products you already use that your readers may be interested in as well. Affiliate marketing is by far the easiest way to make money online because you can promote a wide variety of products and services.
There are several ways where you can use affiliate marketing while creating content for your blog. These include:
1. Build Backlinks to Your Articles: Building backlinks to your affiliate article can help to drive more traffic to your site. By writing a blog post you can mention your previous blog posts on that particular subject for better context and background. This could also apply to forum posts, comments, and other places where you think you might get useful traffic.
2. Create a Resource Page on Your Website: By creating a resource page it allows you to promote different products and organize them based on the audience visiting your blog. What’s more, your resource page can also explain the value of the products that is slanted towards providing information of the product and service rather than a sales pitch.
3. Create Promotional Content: You can create promotional content in the form of reviews, advertorials, and sponsored material to help get more value from the affiliate product. Your content can take many forms that include step-by-step checklists, quick start guides, demos, or even discounted services.
4. Diversify your Affiliate link placement: Affiliate marketing is about driving as much traffic as possible. Not only do you want to include your affiliate links on your material but also use them in product tutorials, banner ads, and even social media posts.
5. Incorporate them in Reviews: Social proof is the new word of mouth. By reviewing a product or service people gain insights into the features involved from the perspective of the user and not from the company. People are keen to know the kinks and perks of a product they are interested in – why not boost your material with some affiliate links?
Amazon Associates Affiliate Program
Amazon’s Associates Affiliate program is excellent for making money through product reviews and can be a good source of passive income. You can share products and available programs on Amazon with your audience through customized linking tools and earn money on qualifying purchases and customer actions like signing up for a free trial program.
You have a good selection of products to review with commissions ranging between 1% and 10%, depending on the category of the product purchased. The most lucrative item to promote is luxury beauty products which can earn you a 10% cut on the price.
If visitors end up on Amazon through your link and buys something other than what your content links, you get a commission on the shopper’s entire cart making it a popular affiliate income option. To be a member of Amazon Associates, you must have an active site, blog, app, or YouTube channel.
By joining an affiliate network you can start generating revenues from your organic traffic. Simply put affiliate networks are platforms that act as intermediaries who connect bloggers with merchants (advertisers) who have affiliate program opportunities for their products and services.
An affiliate network is a company that facilitates affiliate programs. For an affiliate network to work, both advertisers and blogs will need to first sign up to the network. Once accepted, advertisers can add their programs to the network and bloggers have instant access to a huge range of affiliate programs and promotional material.
While working through an affiliate network, you typically won’t know the merchant ahead of time and usually won’t build a relationship with them as your business relationship is with the network.
Affiliate marketing works through tracking pixels. When a user clicks through an affiliate link, a cookie is dropped in relation to that action. Once the user completes a sale and reaches the confirmation page of the advertiser, a tracking pixel is fired which ensures a sale is registered which prompts the blogger to get awarded with the relevant commission.
When you register your blog on an affiliate network you will be assigned a unique publisher ID, which will be used to track the sales for each program advertised on the affiliate network. The unique ID helps to track sales attributed to your blog. You can also access your dashboard to track performances and revenues.
An affiliate network offers ease of use as it provides you with an account management system, end-to-end tracking tech support, payment, and reporting options to track, monitor and tweak your marketing efforts. Some popular affiliate networks include AWIN, ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, eBay Partner Network, and ShareaSale.
Stand Alone Affiliate Programs
To start getting ads on your website you will need to partner with a reliable advertisement server. An ad server can help you get impressions for monetization and managing ad spaces. What the ad server does is generate a tag that is installed on the web page to serve ads and receive ad requests.
Through it, blog publishers can connect with advertisers with ad tags and sell their inventory via the waterfall model. The waterfall model offers traffic in turns, usually, it starts with direct advertisers, then agencies, and then to ad networks.
Blog publishers can add the partner Supply-Side Platform (SSP) in the interface of the primary ad server to sell remnant traffic and connect additional monetization sources. What SSP does is add the publisher’s ad space to the list of inventory it offers to advertisers.
When a user visits the publisher’s website, the ad tag passes the ad request to the SSP, informing it about the user and his characteristics, to match it with an appropriate ad from the advertiser. The ad spaces are then auctioned off programmatically to interested parties.
Income Generation Through Ad Networks
For blog publishers that desire a more hands-on approach, and sell advertisements to a narrow audience segment they can go through the ad network route. Ad networks act as brokers that help facilitate communication between advertisers and content creators.
These platforms come with data management and creatives management capabilities that allow them to better serve the market. Most ad networks concentrate on a specific inventory often choosing specialized content topics or cater to certain demographics. Since ad exchanges and SSPs already cover the basics of the media trading market, ad networks concentrate on the premium inventory.
Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) are the main types of ad pricing models that you can generate from ad placements on your blog. Under the CPC pricing model, publishers (bloggers) are paid based on the number of ad clicks regardless of the number of impressions it took to receive those clicks. The number of clicks was initially seen as an indicator of ad effectiveness since the inception of web advertising.
CPM on the other hand allows bloggers to be paid according to how many times the ad was shown on the site or blog. CPM is commonly used by advertisers who wish to raise product or brand awareness among consumers, but not necessarily to encourage them to purchase their product. Advertisers looking to drive traffic to their websites will very often opt for Cost Per Click and can also be used as a metric that advertisers incorporate to manage campaign budgets and performance.
Google AdSense is an advertising program the fastest and easiest way for a beginner to start earning a passive income with a blog, website, or YouTube videos. AdSense lets you to display Google Ads on your website and when a visitor clicks on those ads you get a percentage of the ad costs. You can sign up for Google AdSense for free and once you get approved, you can arrange for ads to appear on your site.
You have the option to choose which types of ads run and where on the page they will appear. With it, advertisers can compete for space on your website based on your material, as well as how likely they can get clicks on their ads from visitors. Payment is made based on Cost Per Click (CPC) where payments are paid in a monthly cycle between the 21st and the 26th of the month.
Through machine learning, Ezoic learns how to show ads in locations that make you money but don’t detract from the user’s experience. It also measures bounce rates, session duration and page views per visit, on a per-user, per-landing-page basis.
Websites can use Ezoic to increase revenue, improve user experience, and automate optimizations. Through machine learning, Ezoic helps to adapt ads, layouts, and frameworks to maximize the revenue of each blog visit according to exact testing specifications and preferences.
It comes with a drag-and-drop ad testing locations using Ezoic’s Chrome extension; automatically trigger multivariate testing to run thousands of experiments; choose goals (maximize revenue, balance user experience); and be able to test thousands of ad networks automatically, link existing relationships, and let Ezoic control bid competition for each visitor.
For you to start using Mediavine your blog or site should have 50,000 sessions in the previous 30 days (determined by Google Analytics); a good standing with Google AdSense; have original content in any niche, and your content should be in long-form.
Mediavine helps you place ads onto your blog, which can be a great way for you to earn passive income. In addition to display ad optimization for your blog, it offers video monetization and sponsored influencer marketing,
Mediavine lets you know what you’re earning on a daily basis through the fully interactive Mediavine Dashboard. Payment is made based on your total number of ad impressions, not your traffic, to encourage you to optimize every page and keep your readers engaged.
For you to start using Mediavine your blog or site should have 50,000 sessions in the previous 30 days (determined by Google Analytics); a good standing with Google AdSense; have original content in any niche, and your content should be in long-form.
Making Money with a Blog by Selling Ad Space
One way you can start generating revenue through blogging is by selling ad space on your blog. Factors that can help your blog attract advertisers include the amount of traffic, the blog’s design, and constant churning out of original material. On the latter point, many blogs will need at least 100,000 page views per month in order to be able to consistently find advertisers.
By following the model of directly engaging with advertisers does not require an intermediary such as an ad network. This helps you to establish direct relationships with the brand, and not to share the commission with anybody.
Direct sales allow publishers to strike long-term partnerships and reserve blocks of ads for specific advertisers. The only downside to this is that selling ads directly requires finding advertisers by yourself and individually negotiating terms with each of them, which could be burdensome.
It is important that you create a unique niche in terms of content for you to distinguish your blog from the competition. Search engine traffic is also critical if you want to maximize your income with ad sales. If you want to rank in Google, you’ll need to publish content which people are searching for.
In most cases people are looking for answers and insights. You will need to understand which search queries (or keywords) people are searching in your niche. You can do this by using keyword research tools and grouping keywords together. Then you can craft content targeting those keywords to gain good reach among search engines. You will also need to promote your material through social media and backlinks which can significantly increase your content.
Learning to Make Money Off a Blog Through Sponsored Posts
There are many ways to make money online off your blog and producing sponsored posts is one of those. Sponsored blog posts can be articles published by other people on your blog or those written by you. You also have the option to suggest edits or even write a blog post yourself and ask for more money. Most often these articles come by way of reviews and then get published on your blog.
The method is simple. In exchange for featuring a company’s product or service and spreading the word, you will be paid by the company and often also given the opportunity to test the products and services for free. This also opens you to other revenue streams such as being a brand ambassador or influencer. However, it is important that the post fits your niche and that the topics revolve around your blog’s main subject.
To succeed in fostering lucrative partnerships with companies you will need to build an audience of engaged followers as well as guarantee consistent website traffic. Companies will also look for engaging comments from both you and your audience for them to really leverage their brand.
Once you have established a strong following as well as sufficient following you will need to produce your media kit. A media kit will normally contain everything a brand representative or sponsor would need to know about your site to solicit your services. This will include your blog’s general overview of topics, statistics, and previous collaborations as well as a sales pitch to the brand.
Remember that advertisers want value in return. They want to see positive sales and profits and that comes through targeted exposure through your blog. Make sure that you cover all the bases in your review as well make it attractive enough for readers to follow through on the Call to Actions.
Offering Freelance Services to Earn Money
There are many different services that you could offer as freelance services through your blog. Instead of looking at your blog as a personal diary, you can use it to boost your freelance career. Most importantly to generate clients you will need to select a niche of sellable content topics that you are both interested in as well as have expertise in.
You can kick off by making a list of topics that would be interesting to your prospective clients. You can start with topics on the types of challenges they might be facing in their businesses and offer tips and guides to solve those challenges. There is no better way of selling your skills by publishing high-quality content to not only generate traffic but capture a strong following.
Creating a Podcast
An estimated 90 million Americans listen to podcasts, which is another strong market to try your hand at. Podcasts are taking the world by storm as everyone from influencers to journalists, celebrities, and your friends are podcasting. The lure of podcasting comes with its ability to combine the instant information exchange of blogging with audio files that can be played on a computer or mobile device.
The ease of producing a podcast allows people to expose their craft to anyone with an Internet connection. There are many reasons for starting a podcast, including growing your business, connecting with people in your niche, entertaining, and creating a relationship with your audience. If you are podcasting, your audience can now follow you either through streaming or simply downloading them on the go and listen to them later.
Creating a Digital Community Around Your Content
With so many bloggers and blog posts cropping up every day standing out from the competition is going to be a challenge. One way to overcome the challenge is by cultivating a community of followers around your blog. Besides providing social proof for your blog other benefits of having a community of bloggers or readers around your blog include: having a large following encourages social shares which translate to more traffic to your site; comments by fans help to position the blog as an authority, and it increases the chance of them linking back to your posts adding to its SEO value.
To build a strong digital community you will need to build your content around a single idea. Focusing on a specific topic is generally more successful as you can create consistency as well stronger connections with followers with interests in that particular topic.
Besides having great content you can also spruce up your website with themes, graphics as well as social media integration. Other suggestions include looking towards building an email list, set up push notifications, create a mini online course, or host regular giveaways for better impact.
Making Money Through Public Speaking Gigs
If you are looking to try out as a paid speaker why not look to blogging to boost your reach. Even though public speaking is among some of the scariest professions, it does come with some great perks. One obvious perk is that you can have an impact on your followers by sharing your knowledge.
You also increase your credibility as you embark on more and more speaking engagement by pinpointing your targeted audiences. This can include coaching clients and consulting gigs. With this additional revenue stream, you also expand your network by connecting with people in your industry.
Selling Images on Your Blog
By selling stock photography you can generate some passive income from your blog. If you are a good photographer there is a great market for you from large corporations, businesses, bloggers, graphic designers, marketers, and publishers who are looking to buy and use photos. The subjects of your photography can be diverse and by selling them directly from your website you cut out the middlemen and earn a decent income.
To start making money from selling your photos online you will need to get good photography equipment preferably a DSLR camera as well as photo editing software. Once set you can start selling stock pictures, stock libraries, photo prints, or print-on-demand products.
How to Make Money Writing a Blog: Things to Consider
The first step to making money from your blog is to understand the basics of becoming a successful blogger. If you’re a beginner, learn how to build an audience with these important blogging basics before you address the how-to-make-money blogging part.
Choosing a Profitable Niche
To be a successful blogger you will need to have a consistent style or theme that runs through your posts. As a blogger, you need to understand that people will follow other people online to see more of what interested them in the first place. People might also unfollow you when their expectations aren’t met. You can also evaluate the demand for certain topics using keyword research to analyze the search volume for terms related to your posts.
Using Content Marketing
Whether you blog using only text or incorporate photography, videos, or podcasts in your work you will need to build and leverage your network to expand your reach and credibility. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook come with built-in audiences.
That can help you reach a wide audience to build a following. Linking your various accounts can make it much easier to reach large segments of audiences across several platforms, which is good for the visibility of your posts.
Writing Good Blog Content
People that visit your blog should not leave it without reading it all the way through and also should come back. For your blogging efforts to achieve success, you will need to produce good blog content and this entails first knowing your audience. Your content should be something that your target audiences are looking for and should capture their attention from the onset. And for this you will need to craft a compelling headline. Some of the popular blogging posts include How-Tos, guides, reviews, recipes, interviews, personal experiences, and activism.
Building a Great Email List
Your blog’s email list is a powerful tool for communicating with your readers. Not only can you engage with your readers at a personal level but also help you offer updates about your blog, offer freebies and other audience engagement strategies. With it, you can yield dramatic results in terms of garnering a captivated audience. You should also be able to provide your audience with a sign-up form and confirm their email address, which in turn, provides permission for you to contact them.
With the emails, you can manage your database list of subscribers and provide updates on specific posts. It can also help you handle the process of sending out marketing emails and giveaways. At a practical level, it provides reports and statistics so you can know who your subscribers are to improve your engagement.
In order to build a great email list you need an autoresponder to help you manage the list with ease and automation. I recommend the autoresponder I use which is Aweber. You can get started for free. Your first 500 subscribers are free. When you have 500 subscribers paying the low monthly fee will be no problem as you will be making money every month off your list.
Creating Great User Experience
As a blogger, you can compete for your readers’ loyalty by offering them to be part of the blog as well. This entails allowing them to comment, share and if possible collaborate in the production of the content. This will help your followers feel that they are part of the process and are valued contributors to the blog.
Attracting Website Visitors
The success of any blog is in its ability to attract and retain a high number of followers. As such you should be constantly engaged towards continuously improving your reach. To do this you can employ a number of strategies to bolster your audience base.
One obvious way is to churn out consistent compelling posts because people first come to your post seeking content. Another way is to offer a lead magnet or opt-in giveaway in exchange for subscribing to your blog. Through a lead magnet, you can attract people by providing enticing offers these could be in the form of courses, PDF guides, eBooks, cheat sheets, and more. You can also boost your content with graphics, audio, video and photos.
Building Domain Authority Through SEO and Link Building
Next to producing high-quality content, your reach is equally important. Search engine traffic is critical if you want to maximize your audience and income with ad sales. You can optimize your content around keywords. For example, you can use Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool to find out what keywords are prominent in your niche.
You can optimize your content based on Keyword focus or Keyword Placement in two primary ways. With keyword focus, you select two or three dozen of the highest-priced keywords in your industry or niche and write content about these topics. While with keyword placement you put high-ranked keywords in your title tags, subheadings, hypertext linked words and phrases, and more. In addition, you will have to work to focus on the most profitable topics, and then make sure your content is indexed correctly by the search engines for these keywords.
Starting a WordPress Blog: A Brief Overview
WordPress is a popular open-source blogging platform that has becomes an invaluable asset to bloggers and businesses of all sizes. This free platform offers a do-it-yourself opportunity to spruce up the look and feel of your blog without the need to know any coding or hire developers. You also get a domain name and free hosting for your blog with limited features.
WordPress offers standard drag and drop page builders that allow you to easily design elements, add-ons, functionalities that include responsive controls, export/import, and real-time front-end editing system- offering all the bells and whistles to power a full-fledged website. Users also have the option to choose from a collection of pre-built elements which you can add to any of your pages. Simply put, you have the ability to re-arrange and style elements to your home page that suits your particular needs.
How do I start a blog with little or no money?
- Choose a free Blogging Platform: If you do not have the budget to purchase the services for a blogging platform no problem! Just head to WordPress and start a blog for free. With it, you can create an account, choose your theme, choose a domain and customize your blog post.
- Research, Find your Passion and Niche: Before starting a blog you need to find your passion and niche that will provide the framework for your content. It should be highly sought after, as well as commercially viable.
- Build your Tribe: Your tribe or followers are the engine that drives your blogging enterprise as they not only provide inspiration for your content but also are a source of your revenues as well.
- Make your blog stand out: Your branding, blog theme, graphics, color palette should be distinct and attractive enough for readers to recognize your blog and frequent it. You can also use metrics and analytics to continue to tweak your blog for better impact.
What are the best blog platforms for the beginner?
Wix offers design customization for your blogging needs. It comes with an easy to use drag-and-drop site builder that comes with a side menu for adding images and other elements for your blog. Considered the best alternative compared to WordPress it comes with design templates to customize your blog. It comes with analytics and metrics, custom domains, an online store in addition to SEO and more.
Weebly offers the tools you need to build a decent blog. It comes with customizable templates which are simple, stylish, and mobile responsive. This includes a drag-and-drop site builder for creating a blog, image galleries, and E-commerce. It offers a helpful SEO guide on coding, keyword optimization, and tips on boosting your site’s ranking.
You can get on board with Google’s Blogger using your Google ID. It offers easy-to-use templates, flexible layouts, and hundreds, background images and designs your blog layout from scratch. You also get a free domain name, built-in analytics and get paid with Google AdSense ads on your blog.
Joomla’s blogging platform offers a variety of customization features, and built-in Access Level Control (ACL). This open-source platform lets you configure many of your blog’s settings on the backend, modify articles, banners, menus, media, redirects, and SEO settings. Joomla is also a more beginner-friendly option than WordPress, making it the easiest and fastest way to create a site.
How much money can a blogger make?
According to Glassdoor the average base salary for bloggers is around $50,994 a year. Starter income can come as low as $24,000 a year where the highest fee is an annual income of $108,000.
How do bloggers get paid?
There are several options on how to make money blogging. Here are some of them:
- Advertising: Through revenues generated with the placement of ads. Payment can come from ads through the use of an ad network or managed by yourself.
- Affiliate marketing: Through affiliate marketing, a blogger establishes a connection with a company and then promotes that company’s products and or service. A unique URL generated to the company’s website traffic from the blog is tracked.
- Selling merchandise: Bloggers can also generate that extra dollar by selling physical products such as T-shirts, mugs, or products that are tied to their niche content. You can also sell eBooks, templates, pictures, videos and other digital products as well
- Sponsored Posts: This is where a company pays a blogger to create content about a brand or product. Sponsored content will normally be similar to the content the blogger usually produces with the same tone and feel but with a disclosure that the content is sponsored.
- Teach online courses: Bloggers can further capitalize on their expertise by offering online courses to people willing to pay for these services.
- Provide Consulting Services: There is a huge demand for consultancy with people needing insights and help. Bloggers using their niche and expertise can get hired to provide consultations and help their audience. By already establishing themselves as authorities in their field they can offer personalized advice for a fee.Image: Depositphotos