How To Make Money Blogging

Starting a blog is simple, but making money from it can be tough. With millions of bloggers out there, it’s hard to rank on the first page.

But don’t worry! If you enjoy writing and learn some smart strategies, you can still establish an authority site and make passive income from it.

In this guide, we’ll look at 11 ways that successful bloggers have used to make a living from their websites.

How Much Can You Make From Blogging?

Well, it’s hard to say. Some bloggers make nothing at all, while others earn substantial incomes.

According to ZipRecruiter, bloggers can make an average of $37,652 per year, with beginner bloggers expecting to make around $100 to $200 per month.

Here are some income reports from well-established bloggers:

  • Ryan Robinson: $30,000 per month.
  • Michelle Schroeder-Gardner (Making Sense of Cents): $100,000 per month.
  • Adam Enfroy: $1.5 million in one year.

The income of bloggers can vary widely based on factors such as:

  • Niche
  • Traffic
  • Monetization strategies

The number of pageviews a blog receives is a significant factor in its potential to earn income. For instance, The Busy Budgeter reported an income of $22,930 with 380,880 pageviews in May 2016.

Some of the most profitable blog niches include:

  • Personal Finance
  • Health
  • Digital Marketing

These niches have the potential for high earnings through various monetization strategies like affiliate marketing, display ads, and selling digital products or services.

For example, Financial Samurai, a personal finance blog, reports making a significant income, enough to support a family in San Francisco, after 10 years of blogging.

Read more: Best Side Hustle Ideas

How to Make Money Blogging: 11 Ways

  1. Find a Profitable Niche
  2. Build an Email List
  3. Sponsored Product Reviews
  4. Sell Advertising Placements
  5. Join an Affiliate Marketing Program
  6. Offer Services
  7. Sell Digital Products
  8. Sell Physical Products
  9. Create a Membership Community
  10. Turn Content into YouTube Videos
  11. Start a Podcast and Get a Sponsor

1. Find a Profitable Niche

If you want to become a high-paying blogger, you must choose a lucrative niche. Blogging within a niche means you’ll face less competition compared to broader markets. This can make it easier to attract traffic, sell products, and secure affiliate sales.

Niche blogs usually have a positive impact on search engine optimization (SEO) by targeting specific keywords and creating content that addresses the needs of a particular audience.

Here’s what you have to consider when choosing a niche for blogging:

  • Interests and Expertise: List topics you are passionate about and have knowledge in. Blogging requires a lot of content creation, so it’s important to choose a subject you enjoy.
  • Market Demand: Use tools like Google Trends, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest to analyze search volumes and trends for topics you’re interested in. A higher search volume means a larger potential audience.
  • Competition: Look at how saturated the market is. While some competition is healthy, too much can make it difficult to stand out. If a niche seems too broad or competitive, consider drilling down into sub-niches.
  • Monetization Potential: Some niches have higher commercial potential than others. Consider if there are products or services you can promote through affiliate marketing, the potential for sponsored content, or if the audience in the niche is likely to purchase your own products or services.

Remember, no niche is perfect, and success often comes from execution rather than the idea alone. Before fully committing, you can test your niche idea by writing a few blog posts or creating a mini-site. This allows you to analyze the response and engagement from your target audience.

2. Build an Email List

If you want to generate a stable income from blogging, you should consider building an email list.

An email list provides a direct line of communication with your audience. Unlike social media or search engines, where algorithms can change and affect visibility, email allows you to reach your subscribers’ inboxes consistently.

You can promote products, services, or affiliate offers directly to people who have already shown an interest in your content. Email subscribers are more responsive to your CTAs compared to followers on social media.

To build an email list, place opt-in forms in high-visibility areas of your blog to maximize subscription rates. Effective placements include:

  • Above the fold: Place an opt-in form prominently on your homepage and landing pages where it’s immediately visible without scrolling.
  • Sidebar: Use the sidebar for opt-in forms as it’s visible on most pages of the blog.
  • Footer: A footer opt-in can catch users who scroll to the bottom of your pages.
  • Within blog posts: Embed opt-in forms within or at the end of blog posts to capture engaged readers.

You can also use timed pop-ups that appear after a user has spent a certain amount of time on your site, or exit-intent pop-ups that activate when the user is about to leave your page.

For higher subscription rates, remember to offer incentives or lead magnets such as free ebooks, whitepapers, or exclusive content.

Your blog content is the foundation of your email list-building strategy. So, make sure your blog posts are valuable, informative, and engaging to your target audience. This encourages them to subscribe to receive more.

3. Sponsored Product Reviews

As your blog gains a loyal base of readers, companies may pay you a flat fee to write a review about their product.

For example, if you’re a fashion blogger, a clothing brand might send you their latest outfits. You’ll try them on, take some photos, and write about how they look, feel, and fit. After that, you’ll share your review on your blog. This firsthand information can make the review more relatable and trustworthy.

However, you should disclose any sponsorships to your readers, making it clear that you have been compensated in some way for the review.

Despite the sponsorship, it is important for you to provide honest reviews of the products. You should include all necessary details about the product, including its features, benefits, and potential drawbacks. To make the review more appealing and informative, include high-quality photos, videos, or infographics.

Sometimes, bloggers may provide updates on the products after extended use, offering more in-depth insights or addressing reader queries. This can help maintain interest and provide ongoing value to their audience.

4. Sell Advertising Placements

Selling advertising placements on a blog can be a lucrative way to monetize your online presence.

Ad networks like Google AdSense, Mediavine, or Raptive can simplify the process of selling ad space. These networks act as intermediaries between publishers and advertisers. Once you sign up and are approved, the network will display ads relevant to your content or audience.

This method is less labor-intensive than direct sales and can provide a steady income with less effort. However, ad networks take a cut of the revenue.

If you prefer to keep full control over the ads displayed on your blog, you can opt to sell your own advertising space directly to businesses. This method allows you to set your own rates and terms.

However, you’ll need to actively market your advertising options to potential clients and handle all aspects of the advertising operations.

5. Join an Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways for bloggers to monetize their traffic.

To get started, you first need to sign up for an affiliate program. You can choose from a variety of affiliate programs that align with your blog’s niche and audience interests. Programs like Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, and ShareASale are popular choices among bloggers.

After signing up, you must get approval from the affiliate program. This usually involves meeting certain criteria, such as having a website with quality content and a decent amount of traffic.

Once approved, you can start promoting products or services on your blog. You can write reviews, create tutorials, or simply place affiliate links within your content.

Affiliate programs provide customized linking tools that allow bloggers to create unique affiliate links. These links track the referrals from your site to the merchant’s site.

You earn a commission when your audience clicks on the affiliate links and makes a purchase or completes a desired action, such as signing up for a service.

Affiliate programs typically have a payment threshold that you must meet before you can withdraw your earnings. Once the threshold is met, you can receive payments through various methods such as direct deposit, PayPal, or checks.

6. Offer Services

Are you a guru in your niche? Whether it’s graphic design, writing, or providing virtual assistance, your expertise can become a service that generates income.

For example, if you have expertise in a specific niche, you can offer personalized coaching or consulting services. This could include one-on-one sessions, group coaching, or even corporate consulting.

As a blogger, you’re likely a skilled writer. So, you can also offer your writing services to other businesses, websites, or individuals who need quality content. This can include ghostwriting, article writing, or creating marketing materials.

If you possess technical skills, you can even offer web design and development services. This ranges from creating simple blog layouts to developing complex websites.

Many bloggers also create and sell online courses in their area of expertise. For instance, Adam Enfroy offers the blogging course ‘Blog Growth Engine’ on his personal website.

You can package your services into a productized offering, such as a fixed-price website audit, content strategy plan, or social media setup package. This way, you don’t have to spend too much time negotiating with new customers.

7. Sell Digital Products

Selling digital products is a good way to monetize your blog. Digital products typically have low overhead costs since they do not require physical materials, storage, or shipping. Once created, they can be sold repeatedly with minimal additional expenses, leading to high profit margins.

There is a vast array of digital products that bloggers can create and sell, including:

  • eBooks: eBooks are a prevalent digital product among bloggers. They allow bloggers to monetize their expertise by packaging it into a downloadable book format.
  • Online Courses: These are instructional courses that can be about any subject the blogger is knowledgeable in. Online courses are highly valued for their educational content and can be sold at a premium price.
  • Graphics and Creative Art: Bloggers with a knack for design sell various graphic design products, such as illustrations, animations, logos, GIFs, and vector art. These can be created using tools like Canva and sold on various platforms.
  • Templates: This category includes a wide range of digital products, such as social media templates, invoice templates, resume templates, and more. They help users save time by providing a pre-made format for common tasks
  • Audio Products: For audiences that prefer auditory learning or entertainment, bloggers sell audio content such as podcasts, original music, or sound effects.
  • Website Themes and Page Templates: For the more tech-savvy bloggers, creating and selling website themes and page templates can be a lucrative digital product. These allow users to quickly set up aesthetically pleasing and functional websites.
  • Software: Some bloggers develop and sell their own software tools or apps that serve specific functions or solve particular problems.

Your digital product should address a specific problem or need that your target audience has. The more effectively it solves this problem, the more valuable it will be to your customers.

To save time on customer service, provide clear instructions on how to use your digital product. Otherwise, you might receive a lot of inquiries from buyers.

8. Sell Physical Products

If you’ve built a loyal following and your readers trust your recommendations, why not consider selling physical products related to your niche? They can be branded merchandise, handcrafted items, or products that align with your blog’s theme.

Here are some popular types of products you might consider:

  • Branded Merchandise: These can include t-shirts, mugs, and stickers that carry your blog’s logo or catchphrases.
  • Handcrafted Goods: If you’re skilled at crafting, consider selling your creations such as handmade jewelry, artwork, or even skincare products.
  • Curated Products: Identify products that resonate with your audience. For instance, if you’re a travel blogger, you might sell travel accessories.

Remember, selling physical products involves more logistics compared to digital products. You’ll need to manage inventory, shipping, and potentially customer service.

9. Create a Membership Community

Bloggers can make money by creating a membership community where their readers gather, interact, and gain access to premium content.

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to build a community. Platforms like Mighty Networks, Uscreen, and Memberful offer various features tailored to different needs, such as video content delivery, community engagement tools, and easy payment processing.

The core of a membership site is its content. You should provide exclusive content that is not available to non-members. This could include in-depth articles, video tutorials, webinars, and downloadable resources. The content should be valuable enough to justify the membership fee.

You can offer multiple membership levels to cater to a broader audience by providing options that fit different budgets and engagement levels. Each tier can include various benefits such as exclusive content, direct access to you, special members-only events, and more.

Active engagement is key to a thriving membership community. You should interact regularly with members through forums, live Q&A sessions, and feedback surveys.

As the community grows, you can consider hiring virtual assistants and using automation tools for better management. This includes automated email responses, scheduled content releases, and community moderation tools. These can help manage a larger member base efficiently.

10. Turn Content into YouTube Videos

YouTube is the second largest search engine and has a vast user base. By repurposing blog content into videos, you can tap into a new audience who prefer video content over text. Videos also tend to have a higher potential for viral sharing. This might increase your blog’s visibility. 

Apart from that, videos often rank well in search engines. By creating videos, you can target specific keywords and appear in both traditional search results and video-specific searches on platforms like YouTube.

YouTube offers additional monetization options, including

  • YouTube ads
  • Sponsored content
  • Viewer donations via features like Super Chat during live streams
  • Channel memberships

More importantly, YouTube allows you to present yourself and your personality, which can help in building trust and a personal connection with your audience.

11. Start a Podcast and Get a Sponsor

If you have a unique voice for grabbing attention, you might consider monetizing your blog through podcasting. A podcast allows you to connect with your audience on a more personal level and opens the door to sponsorship opportunities.

Here are some popular ways to monetize your podcast:

  • Sponsorships and Ads: As your podcast gains listenership, brands might be interested in sponsoring your episodes. You can also monetize through ads similar to YouTube videos.
  • Listener Support: Some platforms allow listeners to support your podcast by subscribing or making voluntary contributions. This method can be particularly effective if you have a dedicated fan base.
  • Premium Content: Offer exclusive episodes, early releases, or bonus content to subscribers who pay a monthly fee.

Remember, podcasting involves more than just recording – you’ll need to think about editing, hosting, and promoting your episodes. But if you have a unique perspective to share, it can be a fun and profitable hustle.

How Long Does It Take to Make Money Blogging?

Blogging is like planting a garden – it takes time for your efforts to bloom into profits. While some bloggers see quick results, it usually takes a long time to build a substantial income.

For some, the first $100 can come within months, especially if you offer digital products or services that resonate with your audience.

However, it might take a year or more to build a steady income. You’ll have to create quality content, grow your audience, and experiment with different monetization strategies.

For long-term success that allows you to quit your 9-5 job, it might take a few years of dedicated work. Don’t get discouraged by slow progress at the beginning. It took me around 3 years before I could quit my job as a business consultant and become a full-time blogger.

Since Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, you might also need more than a blog to achieve a stable passive income.

Making Money Blogging FAQs

Starting a blog with the goal of making money can lead to a lot of questions. Let’s address some common queries.

1. How do beginner bloggers make money?

For beginners, a popular option is display advertising. Platforms like Google AdSense allow you to place ads on your blog, and you earn money based on the number of people who see or click on them. As your audience grows, you can also explore affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products.

2. Do you need experience to be a blogger?

No prior professional experience is necessary to start blogging. You’re in control, and you can learn as you go. Your enthusiasm, dedication, and willingness to learn are what matter most.

3. How can I make $100 a month blogging?

To make $100 per month, focus on building an engaged audience and diversifying your income streams. Start with display ads, and as your traffic grows, branch into affiliate marketing by recommending products you genuinely believe in. Selling digital products like ebooks or printables can also contribute to your goal.

4. What kind of blogs make money?

Blogs that connect with their audience and provide value have the potential to make money. Niches that solve problems or fulfill passions tend to perform well. From lifestyle and personal finance to travel and health, a variety of niches can be profitable when approached strategically.

5. How long does it take to make money blogging?

The timeline varies widely. While some bloggers make their first dollars within a few months, for others, it might take a year or more. It depends on factors like your niche, content quality, and how effectively you implement monetization methods. Patience, persistence, and a commitment to delivering value to your readers are key.

6. Is blogging a reliable source of income?

Blogging can become a reliable income source, but it takes time and effort to establish. Diversifying your revenue streams and focusing on building a loyal readership are essential for long-term success.

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