When you start a blog, chances are you didn't intend to start it to bring in loads of cash. But after you start spending A LOT of your free time pouring your heart and soul into your blog, you might start to wonder. Look y'all, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make money and even a living from your blog. I believe that the world and the job market is changing. Creating a job for yourself is an incredible way to be independent, pick your schedule, and truly be passionate about what you're doing.
Making money with your blog is a natural next step. This is the fourth and final part of the series, #GrowYourBlog. To recap:
I believe that in order to start making money, the above will help you tremendously. Any blog needs great content and a strong social media presence. If you want an easy way to communicate and work with your community, an email list is a great way to do so.
Before we get into the actual ways to make money, I want to reiterate a point I've tried to stress throughout this series: Community is key. In order to build a blog that people care about, you need a strong community around your blog.
Now that we've covered all of that, let's look at how to make some money as a blogger! You now have foundational content to build your blog, a rocking social media presence, and a newsletter. So how can you make some money?
Ways to Monetize your Blog
There are a LOT of ways to make money as a blogger. Which is a great thing. I highly suggest using multiple streams of income. This way, you'll find what works for you. If you find you don't like something, move on!
The most successful bloggers explore different and unique ways to make money online. They are able to diversify their income, since the “blogging market” is constantly moving and changing. One minute Facebook might be all the rage, the next it's Snapchat. So we have to stay on our toes.
I'm going to focus on a few areas today, that you can obviously expand.
2. Affiliate Advertising
3. Sponsored Posts
4. Physical Products
5. Digital Products
6. Online Education
Advertising can take a couple of different forms. But the main ways are through display ads, such as Google Adsense. These are typically placed in the sidebar, header, bottom, or in between your posts. Display ad networks also include Blogher or Mode media and can also contain links or video.
Payment: Low. In the past, bloggers made big bucks from display ads. But with the influx of bloggers the amount paid out has significantly decreased. Even a blogger having about 100,000 pageviews a month can only expect to make about $100-$150.
However, this is a fairly simple way to make money, with minimal effort on your part.
Another way to make money with advertising is with ads you manage on your own, or sponsors. I use a service called “Passionfruit” to manage the sidebar ads on my blog. These include mostly other blogger's blogs and small-medium sized company that display “banner ads.”
I manage the ads, meaning I have a price that I set, and I also include various options for each. Such as: giveaways, social shout outs, and guest posts. I also sponsor or advertise on other blogs at least once a month to send some traffic back to my blog. It can be a great resource for you blog.
Related: Does Sponsorship Actually Work?
Payment: You set this payment yourself, so it can vary. This has always been a great way for me to make some extra income on my blog. You can check out my sponsor options here, to get a good idea of how to set up ads.
Affiliate ads or marketing is when you post or promote someone's product or service in return for a fee. Affiliate fees can range, but typically these are pretty easy to implement. I'm a huge fan of affiliate marketing because if you're already talking about something you like why not get some kick back for it?
To set up Affiliate links you can work with a company such as Commission Junction or you can work directly with the seller. For example, Leadpages (who I use to set up my webinars) has their own affiliate program.
Some great affiliate programs?
Ebates (get paid for shopping online), Creative Market (where I buy all my fonts and lots of graphics), Bluehost (for web hosting), and Linquia (for paid programs for using their links).
Payment: Payment with Affiliates differs from each program, but you're most likely getting a portion of the payment. Meaning, if someone signs up, you get a percentage of the sale. Over time, this can be hugely beneficial. Let's say that you have a post that continues to do well on Pinterest, you can continue to make money from this post.
Many people seem to have a love/hate relationship with sponsored posts. But I believe that when you write sponsored posts in a way that relates to your audience, they can be hugely beneficial. When you work with a sponsor, you write a post including their product or service.
What I love about sponsored programs is that you don't always have to post on your blog. You might tweet, or post on instagram. Be aware: you need to disclose that this is sponsored! Make sure not every post you write is sponsored, this might make your readers want to run away.
Payment: Payment is usually fairly high, ranging from $100-$1,500 for sponsored posts, depending on what the terms of the program are.
Selling products on your blog is a great way to monetize, especially if you're creative. You can sell basically anything under the sun, and Etsy has allowed us to bring the art of handmade to anyone.
Here are some ideas for products you can sell:
Books, T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs, Prints, art, or anything handmade.
Payment: payment is set by you. Typically, you'd rely heavily on your marketing and social media skills to promote your items for sale. This is up to you, so might require more work but is generally worth the payout.
Having a newsletter is a great way to let your audience know about sales, specials, and new items!
You can sell almost anything digitally these days. The world is relying more and more on digital products that help shape our online landscape. If you can think it, you can build it. I love digital products because they are usually useful ways to help me grow and manage my own blog!
Here are some digital products you can sell:
eBooks, Graphic design, digital prints, blog design, blog migration (ie, moving from blogger to WordPress), photos, and more.
A place I HIGHLY recommend to sell your Digital Products is DPD (digital product development). Instead of paying fees for each user that buys your product, you pay $10 a month. It's easy to use and makes selling your stuff uber easy.
Again, having a newsletter is the best way to sell digital products and keep potential buyers interested.
Payment: You set up and manage your payment. This can range from low to high depending on how much time and effort you put into it. I highly recommend trying this out!
Teaching your skills online is becoming one of the most profitable ways to make money from your blog. A great place to sell your online education is by building up your blog through great content, building a social media and newsletter, and using tools such as webinars or online courses to sell your education.
I use Teachable to host my online courses, but there are other options such as Udemy and Zippy Courses (a WordPress plugin) for online classes. If you're looking to host live courses you can use a free tool like Google Hangout and Leadpages to set it up.
If you teach it, you can sell it. Here are some ideas:
Blogging, WordPress, Photoshop, Graphic Design, Online Workshops, Podcasts, eCourses, Webinars.
Payment: Of course, this payment can range depending on what you sell and how often you sell something. This can be one of the most profitable ways to make money online. (And it's really fun!)
So, there you have it! These are some of the best ways to make money online from your blog. I'm sure you can think of more, but I wanted to give you some of the most popular and best ways to start making money.
Of course, now that you start making money, you need a way to track it! Download my FREE Income and Expenses Tracker. Right here!
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Do you make money as a blogger? How do you make money?