One of the biggest reasons why people start a blog is to make money. Even if you didn't start your blog for the money, your blog can help you create a passive income for yourself. Here are 5 proven and tested ways to generate passive income from blogging in 2021.
The amount of money you can make from your blog depends on how big your audience is and how much effort you are willing to put in. If you are thinking of making six figures every year with your blog, it will take a lot of time and hard work.
But if you are just starting out, here are a few ways you can start earning a passive income from your blog.
What is passive income
Passive income is any income that you can generate passively without doing much work and maintenance. Think set and forget type of income streams.
Passive income is earnings derived from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprises in which a person is not actively involved – investopedia.com
Now, creating a passive income stream for your blog takes time and effort but once you put in the work it keeps paying you for a long time.
Some ways to monetize your blog are more passive than others. So, the amount of money you can make from your blog will depend on how much effort you put in and how you monetize your blog.
How you can earn passive income from blogging
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is one of the simplest ways to make money from your blog. It is simply promoting other people's products on your blog for a commission.
Some products will pay you higher commissions than others. How much commission you get paid for a product depends on your industry and the cost of the product.
If you are in the dog training industry and promoting a $5 dog training product, then your commission will obviously be very low as the selling price of the product is very low.
But on the other hand, if you are in an industry such as Golfing where people spend lots of money, then your commissions will be higher.
To promote a product, you need to sign up for an affiliate program.
Product creators often offer an affiliate program for their products which once you join gives you a special link you can share with your audience. When someone clicks this link and buys the product you earn a commission (which is how this website is monetized).
The easiest way to find an affiliate program is to search “[YOUR NICHE] + Affiliate Programs” on Google. If you are looking for web hosting affiliate programs, you will see something like this:
Once you sign up for an affiliate program, there are a lot of ways to promote affiliate products. One of the easiest and most popular among bloggers is to write reviews about the product.
Going back to the web hosting affiliate programs, where Bluehost is a popular web host to promote.
So you write a review about Bluehost and when someone buys the product from the affiliate link on the Bluehost review page, you will receive a commission.
Another easy way to promote affiliate products is to write tips and advice about the problem the product solves and then promote the product in those articles.
For example, if you are promoting a weight loss product, writing weight loss tips on your blog is an easy way to promote that product.
Here's an example of a site that uses affiliate marketing to make money:
ThankYourSkin is a blog about Skin Care that promotes a lot of skincare affiliate products.
Their site contains lots of tips and tricks on skincare but it also contains an equal amount of product reviews. They promote affiliate products by publishing both product roundup posts and reviews of individual products:
Here's another example of affiliate marketing in action:
The above screenshot is from a blog called Health Ambition. The post in the screenshot is a review of a mattress company that promotes its affiliate link.
If you are an expert on your blog's topic, then offering consulting services is one of the best ways to make money with your blog. If you publish tips or advice about your blog's topic, then your audience already trusts you and knows you.
There are a lot of different ways you can make money from offering consulting services on your blog. One of them is offering group coaching services. You simply offer advice to batches of students. It can help you offer your services to more than one person at a time and make more money from every hour you invest.
Another way to make money with consulting is to offer good old one-on-one consulting. This way you will make less per hour but will also lessen how many people you work with.
To save time and improve your return on investment, you can also offer productized consulting. It simply means that you offer help to individuals regarding a small part of the process.
For example, offering just a diet plan instead of offering advice. Or just doing an SEO analysis instead of offering the full service. This way you can serve a lot of people and templatize your process to save time on every individual consultation.
Here are some examples of bloggers who offer consulting services:
Neil Patel, one of the most popular Internet Marketers, runs a popular marketing blog under his own name and offers consulting services to his readers:
Now, Neil's way to selective of who he works with simply because he is the most well-known marketer in the industry. But this goes to prove that even the most popular bloggers offer consulting services to their audiences.
Here's an example of bloggers who make money through coaching:
Matt Diggity is one of the most popular Search Engine Optimization bloggers in the industry. He offers coaching as a service.
Selling eBooks is a great way to make money from your blog. It doesn't take as much maintenance as the other methods on this list and is one of the easiest to do. If you own a blog, you can probably sell eBooks on the topic of your blog.
If you blog about personal finance, then you can sell eBooks on personal finance tips to your audience.
Although eBooks are sold cheaper than courses and consulting, you can easily make a passive income by selling eBooks on your blog.
When it comes to writing, most people suffer imposter syndrome. You don't have to be the next Steven King.
All you have to do is put together a PDF that contains your best tips and advice on the subject that you blog about. Once you have the book ready, offer it at a modest price to your audience and you will start generating a passive income in no time.
Here's a great example of how bloggers make money by selling eBooks:
Nomadic Matt runs a very popular travel blog and has built a huge following over the years. He sells travel guides on his blog about the places he has already visited.
Although Nomadic Matt has a very big following, it shouldn't discourage you from selling your own eBooks even if you have a small audience.
Even if just a hundred people buy your book every month, you stand to make anything from $500 to $1000 depending on how much you sell it for.
Selling physical products online can be a profitable business if done right. Just look at e-commerce and selling online. Jeff Bezos is the richest men on the planet.
Now, although selling stuff on the Internet can potentially make you a lot of money, there are a few problems why people hesitate to start an online store.
Here are a few:
- Capital: You need a lot of money to buy the products you want to sell before you can start selling them.
- Storage: You need a place to store your inventory.
- Proven Product: Finding products that your audience will actually buy is very difficult and can cost a fortune if you have to buy a lot of units before you can test selling a product.
This is where dropshipping comes in. Instead of buying inventory upfront, you buy the product only when someone buys it from your website. This way, you don't need a lot of startup capital and you can avoid paying for storage.
This works with almost all types of products including small items like T-Shirts to bigger items like electronics.
You simply showcase a product on your website from an aggregator like AliExpress.
When someone buys this product on your website, you place an order on AliExpress for the product with your customer's address. And of course, you charge a little more than what you are paying for the product and shipping.
Dropshipping is a lot like affiliate marketing except instead of selling other people's products you sell generic products that aren't branded at all or are branded under your blog's name.
5. Online Courses
There are thousands of Entrepreneurs online who have made their first million dollars by selling online courses. People pay top dollars for online courses that offer to solve their problems.
There are bloggers selling online courses in every niche imaginable. From Golfing to Weight Loss, online courses are everywhere teaching people to do all sorts of skills.
Whether you write about photography or about personal finance, you can easily package your advice and tips on the subject into a course and charge anywhere from $100 to $5,000. Yes, there are bloggers out there who charge as much as $5,000 for their courses.
Now, if you are just starting out, don't expect people to buy your course for $5,000. It takes time and discipline to build an audience big enough and to build trust with that audience.
Unless you are already a known expert in your niche, I recommend charging in the ballpark of $100 as anything more will be difficult to sell without marketing skills or credibility.
Here are a few examples of bloggers making money with their courses:
Zac Johnson's Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging course teaches you how to start a profitable online business by mastering affiliate marketing, content creation, social media, paid search, plus loads more.
The above screenshot is of a course that Frank Kern sells on his website.
Frank Kern is one of the most respected Internet Marketers in the industry who has consulted with dozens of big players. He sells his course for $3,997. YES! You read it right. That's the price of his course.
That goes to show how much you can actually charge if you build a big enough audience in your niche.
Here's a more down to earth example:
Get Stuff Done Like a Boss is an online course on productivity and GTD created by Tiago Forte, a productivity blogger. He sells this course for only $99.
He also sells a course on using note-taking tools like Evernote to build a system of storing everything you learn in an accessible way:
He charges $699 for his Building a Second Brain course.
If you are just starting out, charging $3,997 or even $99 for a course may sound impossible. But you would be surprised to see just how many bloggers are successfully selling courses online and generating more than just a passive income from it.
Although all of the passive income from blogging methods on this list can make you a millionaire, some are easier than others.
If you are just starting out, I recommend that you start with affiliate marketing.
Unlike most other methods, it doesn't take much time to set up and requires the least effort. It's a great way to monetize traffic even if you have just started with your blog.
If you are an expert on your blog's topic and don't mind spending an hour helping your blog's audience, then consulting may be the best option for you. It can help you make a modest amount of money for helping others over Skype calls.
Although selling courses is the biggest moneymaker for most bloggers, I don't recommend starting with it.
It takes experience and knowledge to nail what your audience wants and to deliver it.
I recommend that you start by selling eBooks, as they cost much less money and time to create than courses and require very little maintenance.
It is better to fail with a $10 book that you wrote in a month than it is to fail with a $500 course that took you more than a year to create.