There are a lot of ways bloggers make money. Below are some of the most common ways to monetize your blog.
Some methods of making money with your blog are easier than others. Some methods will require you to learn a few skills but the payoff will be huge.
If you are just starting out, don’t worry too much about making money from the get-go, the more time you invest in your blog, the more this asset will grow.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular and profitable ways of monetizing a blog.
Affiliate marketing is when you get rewarded for promoting someone else’s product or service. You link to a product or service using an affiliate tracking link. When someone clicks through that link and makes a purchase, then you earn a commission.
There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there to join. Here are some I recommend:
- Amazon Associates – Get paid when your blog visitors buy products on Amazon through your affiliate links on your blog. (I use Lasso, read my review of Lasso here)
- Bluehost – is the web host I recommend and they have one of the most popular web hosting company affiliate programs out there.
- Commission Junction and ShareASale – Huge affiliate marketing networks with thousands of retailers which products and services you can promote on your blog.
The amount of money you make from ads will depend on a large number of factors. One of the more important is how much an advertiser is willing to pay for the demographics of your readers. If most of your readers are from 3rd world countries, then don’t expect advertisers to pay you top dollars.
If you are writing about an industry where it is difficult to get new customers and the value of each customer to businesses is very high, then you can expect to get paid a good amount of money.
There are many different advertising models bloggers can use to generate revenue. Here are just a few:
Cost Per Click (CPC)
Once you place an ad on your website, you will get paid every time someone clicks it. This is called CPC (or cost per click) advertising. This is the model that is the most profitable. You get paid for every single click.
How much you get paid for every click depends on what industry your blog is in. In competitive industries where the cost of acquiring new customers is high, you can expect to get paid high rates.
For most other niches with medium demand, you can expect to get a nominal $1 – $2 CPC rate. But if you are in a niche where it is easy to acquire customers or where customers don’t spend much money, then you might get paid a much lesser rate.
The amount of money you make from Ads depends on the industry or niche you are in. Some industries pay more, others pay less. That’s just how it works and there’s nothing you can do about it.
If you are considering CPC advertising, then here are two networks I recommend:
Google Adsense is a publisher advertising platform by Google. It has been around for a very long time and a lot of pro bloggers have made their fortune from this ad network. Because it is a Google company, it is one of the most trusted advertising platforms on the Internet.
They offer a lot of different types of ads including Responsive Ads that adapt to the user’s screen size. They let you control what type of ads appear on your website and allow you to disable ads individually if you want. Their ads blend easily with your website’s design without ruining the user experience.
Media.net is a giant in the Advertising industry. They have been around for a long time and are one of the most trusted players in the game. They offer many different types of ads including Native Ads, Contextual Ads, and of course, Display Ads. Their ads look great and blend in with your content.
Unlike most ad networks, Media.net displays beautiful ads that not only look great but blend in with your website’s content. Before you can start displaying their ads on your website, you need to first fill out an application. This network is of high quality because of its process of elimination through the application form.
Cost Per Mille (Thousand) Views
CPM (or Cost Per Mille) is an advertising model where you get paid for every 1000 ad views. How much you get paid depends on what industry your blog is in. There are a few minor differences between CPC and CPM. And depending on your blog’s niche, you might make more money with CPC than with CPM or vice-versa. The trick is to experiment with both types of ads.
BuySellAds is a marketplace that allows you to buy and sell ad space based on impressions. It’s a platform that allows bulk buying and selling of ad space impressions. They are trusted by some very big publications including NPR and VentureBeat.
The problem with BuySellAds is that they try to maintain the quality of their marketplace and as such have high standards for the websites and properties they accept. If you want to work with BuySellAds, I recommend only applying once you start gaining some traction.
Selling ads directly to an advertiser is a great way of generating revenue and keeping a positive cash flow. If you want to get paid in advance for the ads you display on your website, selling your inventory directly is the best way to go.
There are only a few ways to sell your inventory directly. You can either reach out to businesses in your niche and sell them your inventory or you can advertise on your blog that you sell advertising space.
A word of warning about the lesser-known advertising networks
There are a lot of advertising networks out there but here’s a word of advice: a lot of them are scams. It’s not uncommon to hear bloggers complaining about an ad network that just vanished with thousands of dollars of their earnings.
If you want to go the advertising route, only work with ad networks that are already known and are trusted in the industry. Reading reviews about ad networks before putting their ads on your site is a good precaution.
Selling services related to your niche is a great way to make a side income from your blog. Although in the beginning, you will not make much money this way, as your traffic grows you can turn your side hustle into a full-time freelance business. And if your niche is big enough, you might even be able to turn your freelance service into a full-time agency.
If you run a fitness blog, maybe you can sell a customized diet plan if you are a dietitian or a certified medical practitioner. If you run a personal finance blog, you can offer your personal finance advice as a service.
How To Promote Your Services
Once you have a service in mind that you want to sell to your readers, you will need to promote it to people who read your blog. If no one knows you sell a service, they won’t be able to buy it.
The easiest place to start is to create a service/hire me page for your blog. You only need a few things on this page. The most important one of all is a list of services you provide and a detailed description of what exactly it is that you offer.
I also recommend writing down how your process works in detail. This will let your clients know what to expect.
Another thing you can add to your services page is a list of case studies or your portfolio. If you are a marketing consultant, people will want to know how you have helped other businesses in the past.
Showcasing a detailed case study of your previous work helps convince prospective customers that you can actually fulfill your service. If you are a web designer or do some sort of visual work like Graphic Design, you may want to showcase your portfolio on this page.
Next, you may want to showcase other businesses in your niche that you have worked with. Most people don’t showcase who they have worked with unless they have worked with a big corporation like Microsoft.
But when you are selling a service to a niche, showcasing a list of business however small who you have worked in the past can help build credibility.
Finally, you may wish to list your pricing information on your services page. Most freelancers prefer not to do this so that they can raise their prices with each new customer.
Utilize the sidebar
If you want people to know that you are selling a service, you have to actively promote it. A simple way to do this is to place a banner/graphic on the sidebar of your blog that links to your services page.
It will catch attention and make sure your services page doesn’t go unread.
Promote Your Services In Your Blog Posts
Most people hesitate to promote themselves or their services worrying they will come across as spammy or too “salesy”. But that couldn’t be far from the truth. When people read your blog regularly, they begin to trust you.
And when they need a service in your niche, there is no one they trust more than they trust you. So, promoting your service in your blog posts where it is appropriate is a great way to land your first few clients.
Information Products are nothing new. An information product is something that sells packaged information such as an eBook or an online course.
And there are a couple of reasons for that:
Writing an eBook or creating an online course can take up some time but it doesn’t require much money and if you are ready to do some extra work, it doesn’t require any money at all. On the other hand, if you decide to create a software product, it will cost you well over thousands of dollars.
Once you create an information product, be it an online course or an eBook, there is not much need to keep updating it. You may need to update your course material once every few months but the maintenance cost of an information product is way lower than any other type of product.
Easy To Scale
An information product is a digital product and can be copied as many times as you like. Unlike a physical product, you don’t need to wait for a shipment of your product to arrive from another country before you can start selling. You can sell information products to both 100 people and a million people without any increase in the manufacturing cost.
Unlike Physical Products or Software Products, there is no maintenance cost or ongoing development cost. Once you create the information product, the costs are over. Everything you make after that is just profit.
If you are just starting out and have never made any money before, I recommend you to start with advertising and then once you have got your feet wet, move to information products.
Now, creating and delivering an information product requires you to learn a lot of different skills and a section in an article can’t do it justice. Even writing a whole book won’t do the topic of creating and selling courses any justice.
Here are some resources to help you get started:
- Social Triggers Guide To Creating Your First Course.
- Foundr Magazine 5-Step Guide To Creating Your First Online Course.
- Ramit Sethi’s Guide To Creating Your First Online Course.
If you run a blog in a niche where Coaching is possible, then coaching your clients can be a very lucrative option for making money with your blog. Your regular readers trust you and want to learn from the experts.
How much you can make as a coach will depend on what niche you are in. For example, if you are coaching software developers on creating complex algorithms for their companies, then you can expect to make well over $10,000 per month with even a few clients.
But on the other hand, if you are a dating coach catering to college students, then you might not make much money at all.
Step 1. Pick your blog’s name & domain
Step 2. Find a web hosting provider
Step 4. Set up your blog (with Bluehost)
Step 8. How to find your blogging niche
Step 9. Use free stock photos & graphics
Step 11. Sites for outsourcing blogging tasks
Step 12. Develop your blog’s content strategy
Step 14. How to make money with your blog