There are 3 standard ways to make money from a blog: Ad money. Affiliate commissions. Sponsored content.
These are the simple, legitimate, and time-tested income streams that hundreds of thousands (100K+ and growing) digital creators rely on to make a part-time or full-time living. Real everyday people in the coziness of their homes in all parts of the world. Every US dollar earned counts!
This article is for creators who have blogged between 1 and 10 years. We teach you how to create and optimize Tier-1 income streams. SEO and user experience tips to increase RPMs and total monthly earnings. How to market yourself and strike creative deals with brands. How to plug affiliate links in organic content (without remorse).
For seasoned professionals blogging for over 10 years (respect!), you can do more. You really should — we’ll explain why and more importantly, exactly how.
FWIW, our writing is rooted in real world experience. We share lessons extracted by hundreds of creators, Fortune 500 employees, and business owners, collectively.
We kindly ask you to apply them and hope they are useful to you in your endeavors. More importantly, we ask that you keep us honest: stress test everything, we always welcome your best or your worst feedback. Whatever your definition of success, we hope you achieve your goals and more.
Whether you began your blog as a fun way to keep in touch with family and friends, or you began it with the goal of eventually being a full-fledged business, you’ve probably asked yourself how you can make money with your blog. Don’t fret – it can be easier than you think!
Making Money by Blogging: Sponsored Posts
One of the easiest ways to make money by blogging is with sponsored posts. Companies will pay you to post about their products or services. How much you charge for a sponsored blog post is up to you!
It’s a good idea to determine what you’d like to make per hour for creating any blog posts. Don’t forget to include any photography and photo set up time time, in addition to writing the actual post. The amount brands will pay can vary greatly and often depends on your site’s pageviews. The higher the pageviews, the more money you can make!
It’s also a good idea to make sure that the company and the topic fit the theme of your blog. If you’re a food blogger who creates recipes, it doesn’t make sense to accept a sponsored post for a bank, for instance. Keeping your blog’s theme consistent is better for your audience and should be protected over making a few hundred dollars with a sponsored post that doesn’t fit.
Sometimes you may also get offers from companies who want to write their own post and put it on your blog. Be careful with these – if you take too many from a number of different industries, your site will look like a mishmash of sponsored content. Brands are sometimes wary of working with a blog that accepts every sponsored post, regardless of topic.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to start your blog and instantly start making money with sponsored posts. However, if you keep creating great content, you’ll eventually get to that point.
Making Money by Blogging: Ads
Putting ads on your site is a great way to passively make money with blogging. When you’re first starting out, you likely won’t make a lot of money with ads, but your income will go up with the more pageviews you have.
The most popular ad networks for bloggers are Google AdSense, Media.net and Infolinks. The right one for you depends on how you’d like to be paid. The different payment rates are cost per impression, cost per click, fixed rate and cost per acquisition. If this sounds like gibberish, don’t worry!
Cost Per Impression
The amount you receive under this model depends on how many impressions each ad receives on your site – that is how many people visited the page it’s on. However, it’s important to know that you’re not paid by each single impression, you’re paid for each thousand.
Cost Per Click
Just like it sounds, you’re paid each time someone actively clicks on your ad. It’s a great model if you have an active and consistent readership.
The fixed rate model is somewhat outdated and can be the most complicated. You’ll need to negotiate with each advertiser on your blog and determine what a fair rate is for each ad.
Cost Per Acquisition
This is a great plan for experienced bloggers, especially if you like to share products you love. Advertisers will pay you per sale under this model. You don’t need to have a huge audience to make money with cost per acquisition sales, but you do need to be a trusted source for products.
Making Money by Blogging: Selling Digital Products
Free printables rule many blogs, but that doesn’t mean there’s not money to be made with digital products. Consider offering a free product once a week (maybe on your slowest traffic day to encourage visitors), but charge for the majority of your downloads. Although Etsy is quite popular for these digital products, try to get a sales platform on your own site so you aren’t sending traffic away.
Stay tuned for part two of our series on how to make money with your blog. What’s been the most profitable money making method for your site? Let us know!
Making Money by Blogging: Affiliate Partnerships
Affiliate partners are very similar to the pay per click advertising that we mentioned in part 1. However, with affiliate partnerships, you receive a portion of sales that your readers make. The amount depends on a number of factors. Some affiliates pay the same to everyone, regardless of page views or other metrics. Others tailor the percentage per user so you may be making a different amount than other blogging friends.
There are a number of different affiliate networks. Amazon is well known and quite popular, but other popular companies are Impact Radius and Share a Sale. Both Target and Walmart use the Impact Radius network so it’s a great place to start if you’re new to affiliates.
When you use an affiliate link in your post, you’ll need to make sure that you’re disclosing that you may receive a portion of sales revenue if someone shops through your link. This is required by the FTC and not disclosing affiliate links could get you in big trouble.
Making Money by Blogging: Physical Products
If you have a crafty blog, consider selling your finished projects. You can create an Etsy shop, but it’s also a good idea to set up a store on your own site so that you’re not directing all your traffic to Etsy. If you have a lot of inventory taking up space in your house, it’s also not a bad idea to set up a table at a local craft fair. Just make sure to vet the fair before you sign up – you want to make sure it’s worth your time and any expense before you sign up.
Making Money by Blogging: Subscriptions
A loyal audience and a good following is the perfect venue for a subscription course to educate your readers. If you have a skill that you can teach others, consider creating a subscription course so you can share your skills. If you haven’t sold a subscription course before, a free teaser post to encourage your readers to pay for the full course.
Making Money by Blogging: Crowdfunding
If you have a product idea in the back of your mind, you don’t need to have a lot of capital to get it off the ground. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo can help you earn the start up money that you need to create and sell a physical product. Popular products like the game Exploding Kittens and the water balloon filling system Bunch O Balloons both started on Kickstarter and can now be found in stores so don’t discount crowdfunding!