Blogging is an enriching activity, and I mean that in both the figurative and literal senses. It will teach you new skills and help you enhance existing ones. It will give you the opportunity to help other people and share your knowledge and experience. It will also allow you to meet new friends and acquaintances and build meaningful relationships. And it will help you make money and earn a fulltime income.
Now that everything’s in order with your blog, it’s time to start monetizing all the work you’ve done, and all the work you’ll still do. Here’s a detailed guide to help you put in place a monetization strategy for your blog. It involves ways you can make passive income, as well as active income, through blogging.
At the end of this guide, you’ll learn the most common and most profitable ways to earn money off blogging, identify what income streams are best for you, see a sample roadmap towards making a fulltime income from blogging, and understand how to earn yourself a fulltime income off your very own blog.
Wait… I don’t have a blog yet.
No blog? No problem!
Starting a blog is easy. You can create yours in just an hour or so and in just a few simple steps. In fact, I have a complete step-by-step guide here to help you start a blog for beginners from scratch. If you don’t have a blog just yet, simply follow this guide and in a matter of hours or even just minutes, you’ll soon be the proud owner of a beautiful, brand-new blog, the foundation of what could be a profitable online business that could earn you a fulltime income and allow you to work from home or from anywhere you want.
Just click the button below to begin.
Best ways to monetize your blog
Blogging isn’t a single source of income. It’s actually a combination of multiple income streams. In fact, blogging is all about implementing and maximizing as many ways to make money as you can manage. The best bloggers successfully employ a variety of income streams to rake in hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a year.
Here are the most popular and most profitable ways to make money off blogging. From affiliate marketing, to ads, to donations, you can see that you have plenty of options when it comes to making money. But not all options are suitable to your blog. The list below will help you understand what each monetization strategy is all about, how is it applicable to your blog, and how is it implemented exactly.
1. Affiliate marketing
This list starts with one of the easiest and most profitable ways to monetize your blog – affiliate marketing. It’s where you promote other people’s or company’s product, service, or entire brand on your blog (or social) and you get a commission for every successful sale.
Affiliate marketing is easy in that you don’t have to create the product (or service) you’re selling. Basically, you’re getting paid just for promoting (and directing successful sales). Plus, there’s usually no cost involved in becoming an affiliate. It’s in the brand’s incentive to attract as many successful affiliates as possible.
So affiliate marketing is great for beginner bloggers, especially those who don’t have their own product to sell just yet, because it’s easy to learn, understand, and implement. And it’s even better for experienced bloggers, because then you have all the knowledge and skills to create content that really convinces people to buy the product or service you’re promoting.
Most brands and companies today now have an affiliate program of some sort. If you want to try your hand in affiliate marketing, finding the right affiliate program is the first step. And to do that, you can:
- Join a brand’s affiliate program. If you know of a product or brand relevant to your niche that you think is worth recommending to your audience, because they might find it useful themselves, then go to that product’s (or its company’s) website and check if it has an affiliate program. Popular affiliate programs include Amazon Associates and eBay Partner Network, but there are literally millions of affiliate programs to join!
- Join an affiliate network. Affiliate networks are platforms that connect brands and companies with publishers and content creators. They make it easier for merchants to find people to promote their products, and for bloggers and influencers to find a product or brand to promote. Examples of affiliate networks include ClickBank, FlexOffers, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, etc.
Once you have chosen an affiliate program you want to promote, your next steps are:
- Sign up. Create an account with your affiliate program or network of choice. Make sure you complete all the required info and choose how you want to get paid.
- Get your affiliate link. It’s your unique, personalized link to a product or brand you’re promoting. When other people click on your affiliate link, you get credit every time they make a purchase.
- Create content. Your job is to promote your affiliate link on your blog or social network. But you just can’t leave a bare link anywhere you want. You have to convince people to click on that link. That means creating genuinely meaningful, useful, and compelling content about the product or brand you’re promoting, and then include your affiliate link to direct visitors to said product or brand.
- Promote. Once you have created content, like product highlights, roundups, etc., you need to promote them. That includes optimizing your posts for search engines, and promoting your articles on your social media accounts and to your email subscribers. Your aim is to maximize exposure, get people to click on your articles, click on your affiliate links, and then make purchases.
- Profit. Every time someone makes a purchase or completes a required action using your link, you earn a commission (or other reward) based on the details of your affiliate program of choice. Your payout and payment method also depend on the affiliate program you’re promoting.
- Rinse and repeat. Now find other affiliate programs to join and repeat the entire process. The more affiliate programs you join, the more successful sales you get using your affiliate links, the more income you receive.
Now you should know that in many countries, you are obliged by law to disclose your affiliate ties with brands and companies. You need to inform your readers – very clearly and prominently – about the presence of affiliate links in your articles, what do they mean, why they are there, what happens if people click on them, and that you earn money on qualified sales. You also need a disclosure page on your blog that states that you take part in affiliate programs and earn money in doing so (in addition to the individual disclosure on each article with affiliate links).
Anyway, as you can see, the concept of affiliate marketing is very simple and straightforward. And your potential income is limitless, as long as you join lucrative affiliate programs, promote products that people actually want to buy, and make successful sales. That’s why it’s a great choice for beginner bloggers looking to monetize their blogs early on, and an even greater choice for experienced bloggers who can leverage their expertise to direct qualified sales.
2. Selling digital products
You could sell other people’s products on your blog, sure. But you could also sell your own products and make more money in doing so. Now there are two types of products you can sell: digital and physical. Let’s start with digital products.
A digital product is any product you sell online that doesn’t have physical form or substance. It can be sold and distributed repeatedly without the need to replenish inventory – put simply, it means you can create it just once and sell it as many times as you like (unlike a physical product, which you have to create for every sale).
Examples of digital products you can sell on your blog include:
- Online courses. Create your own online course about a topic of your expertise that are relevant and helpful to your audience. It could be about how to start a blog, negotiate a pay raise, get started with decluttering, or anything. Your course could be something as simple as a PDF file or a series of videos.
- Ebooks, audiobooks. Create an ebook or an audiobook that’s useful or interesting to your audience. It could be anything – how to be a work from home mom, how to use essential oils for healthy skin, must-have tools for podcasters, etc.
- Digital printables. These are digital files or documents that your customers can purchase and print for themselves. These include planners, journals, checklists, worksheets, calendars, cards, labels, stickers, wall art, coloring pages, knitting and crocheting patterns, etc.
- Templates. These are sample documents or files that customers can purchase and personalize for their own use. These include Canva templates for Pinterest Pins, legal pages for a blog, business flyer templates, etc.
- WordPress themes. If you know how to design and develop a theme for WordPress, you could start selling it too.
- Plugins, software. You could sell fully-fledged software programs and applications, or plugins (like WordPress plugins), which are essentially add-ons to bigger software products.
- Filters, presets, graphic design elements. These are basically anything to help make a good graphic design or image such as clipart and vector files, enhance a photo like Lightroom presets, etc.
- Photos, videos, music tracks, sound clips. You could also sell media products such as stock photos, video clips, sound effects, or even your own music.
As you can see, there’s a lot of digital products you can sell. And they’re great because you only need to create a single digital product and you can sell it infinitely. You don’t have to worry about inventory, storage, or shipping – people can literally just download your digital products or receive them via email.
Anyway, there are several ways you can start selling digital products. You could:
- Add an ecommerce store on your blog. Convert your blog into a fully-functional online store with a plugin like WooCommerce, which allows you to sell digital and physical products, receive secure payments, manage inventory, and manage all your taxes automatically.
- Create your own store on an ecommerce platform. Open your own store on dedicated and fully-hosted ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Big Commerce, BigCartel, etc. These websites offer paid complete solutions to help you start, grow, and manage your online business, and are especially made for non-technical people.
- Sell on dedicated digital sales platforms. Sites like SellWire, Sellfy, Easy Digital Downloads, FastSpring, etc. are especially made for selling digital goods, complete with the tools and features you need to manage your business. You could open a store in any of these to eliminate the hassle of setting up shop on your own blog.
- Sell on Etsy (or similar sites). Etsy is known mostly as a marketplace for handmade crafts and vintage items, but it’s also a huge place for buying and selling digital goods like printables.
- Sell on self-publishing companies. You could sell your ebooks or audiobooks on self-publishing sites like Amazon KDP, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble Press, etc.
- Sell on stock photo and graphic resource sites. You could sell your stock photos, illustrations, graphics, clipart, vectors, PSD, and other graphic design elements on sites like Alamy, Shutterstock, Getty Images, Creative Market, Design Cuts, TemplateMonster, etc.
- Sell on WordPress-related marketplaces. If you have WordPress themes or plugins to offer, you can sell them on ThemeForest, Creative Market, MOJO Marketplace, etc.
Selling digital products can be intimidating and overwhelming at first, but you have to try it at some point. It can make you more money than any another income stream. Did you know that the wealthiest bloggers derive 80% of their income from selling online courses? So yeah, eventually you have to start selling your own products.
3. Selling physical products
Alongside or instead of digital products, you can also sell physical products on your blog. Physical products are goods that you can touch and feel – it’s pretty much self-explanatory. These include:
- Books (paper books)
- Planners, journals, notebooks, stationery
- Handicrafts, artworks
- Toiletries, cosmetics
- Artisanal food and beverages
- Clothing, fashion accessories, jewelry
In general, selling physical products requires much more time and effort than selling digital ones. For starters, you have to create each product separately (unlike a digital product, which you create once and sell as many times as you like). Then in most cases, you also have to handle the packaging, shipping, etc.
But selling physical products also has its advantages. For one, since each product is made separately, it’s regarded as more valuable. Your customer wouldn’t mind paying a higher price for it. Second, you can build more meaningful relationships with your customers because the products they’re buying from you are a direct extension and physical manifestation of your effort, creativity, and passion.
Of course, you can also sell products that you didn’t have to make personally. You could buy products from other people or companies, and simply resell them yourself. This works best if you already have the audience willing to buy, or the know-how to attract such an audience, and you can find a reliable and affordable supplier.
With all that said, there are different ways you can sell physical products as a blogger. You could:
- Add an ecommerce store on your website. You could install a plugin like WooCommerce to your WordPress blog to add an online store or fully convert it to an ecommerce site.
- Create your own dedicated ecommerce store. You could set up your own online store on a fully-hosted ecommerce platform like Shopify, Big Commerce, BigCartel, etc. These websites offer paid complete solutions to help you start, grow, and manage your online business, and are especially made for non-technical people.
- Sell on online handmade stores. If you’re selling artisanal or handmade products, crafts, or vintage items, you could sell them on online marketplaces like Etsy. All you need to do is sign up, create an account, complete your shop details, and start listing and selling. You could also try Amazon Handmade, IndieMade, Bonanza, Zibbet, etc. Depending on the platform, you’ll be charged a variety of fees, but you’ll have the all tools for managing your business as well as a dedicated market to sell to.
- Sell on Amazon or eBay. You could also sell your products on Amazon or eBay. You’ll also pay a bunch of fees, not to mention compete with stores selling cheap, mass-produced goods, but the upside are the tools you get to manage your business and the large market of buyers.
As you can see, selling physical products might require you to use a third-party platform, but that doesn’t mean your blog is already sidelined. On the contrary, it becomes more important is it is what allows you to stand out from other stores on your chosen platform. Use your blog to promote your products through creative lists, roundups, product highlights, etc., and drive massive traffic – and sales – to your online store.
4. Selling services
Apart from digital and physical products, you could also sell services on your blog, such as:
- Coaching. You can sell one-on-one or group coaching sessions on a variety of topics you’re a master or an authority in, from personal finance, social media marketing, creative writing, yoga, DIY crafts, to life and living in general. This is one of the best ways to monetize your expertise and experience while directly connecting with your audience.
- Consultation. You could also offer consultation sessions, which are usually more personal and are tailored to your current client’s needs and situation. For instance, you could get paid to help a client decorate and design her home office, if you’re an interior designer; or provide advice and actionable steps to a client struggling with her business, if you’re a business consultant.
- Virtual assistance. If you’re a virtual assistant, you could offer administrative, secretarial, and support services (managing schedules, scheduling appointments, preparing reports, making calls, sending emails, etc.) to paying clientele.
- Blogging and social media management. You could also sell your services as a blogging guru or a social media expert.
- Photography. If you’re an expert in photography, you could sell your services as a professional photographer.
- Wedding (and other events) planning. If you’re a wedding or events organizer, your blog or website is basically your online office. It’s where clients can find you and book your services.
Now selling services won’t make you passive income. It’ll make you an active income, as you’ll be directly trading your time, skills, and effort for money each time you perform a service. Therefore, you should make sure that the services you’re offering are worth the time you could otherwise spend on building more passive income streams. But a good thing about mixing passive and active income streams is that you get a more consistent overall income each month.
Anyway, to start selling your services on your blog, you should:
- Have a beautiful and functional website. When offering your services for sale, you need to clearly and effectively communicate your expertise, authority, and credibility. You want people to trust you. And it all starts with a well-designed blog or website that not only looks beautiful and professionally made, but also works smoothly and quickly.
- Create a sale page/s. Set up a dedicated page (or pages) on your website where potential clients can see what services you’re offering, how much are your rates, the benefits of working with you, work you’ve done before, testimonials and reviews from past clients, as well as book, buy, or rent your services, complete with a payment system, contact information for inquiries, etc.
- Promote your sales page on your blog. If your blog or website isn’t solely about your services, then make sure you help visitors and potential clients find your sales page, or at least the part where they can see what services you’re offering and how they can book your services. Add banners, images, buttons, or links that direct to your sales page on your header, footer, sidebar, beneath the titles of your articles, etc.
- Write posts about your services. Create useful blog posts and articles promoting, highlighting, or mentioning your services. For example, if you’re offering wedding planning services, you could write posts about the newest wedding trends, best wedding destinations, or the perfect wedding dresses, and then introduce your business as the one to arrange, organize, or realize all these for your clients (that is, if you do actually offer those things).
- Promote on social media. Get the word out about your business on social media. Promote your services. Link your blog posts about your services. Share highlights from your past work and testimonials from past clients.
Selling services go hand-in-hand with selling products. For instance, if you’re selling coaching services, you should also be selling online courses, ebooks, and digital resource kits. If you’re offering professional photography services, you could also sell stock photos, Lightroom presets, etc. It’s all about maximizing and diversifying your monetization strategy. And it all leads to a larger and more stable income for you.
Online ads, or advertisements, are another way you can monetize your blog. They’ve been here ever since, and they’re only becoming more popular today as marketers increase their spending on digital advertising, especially on mobile devices.
Now online ads are usually a debated topic in the blogging community. You’ll find bloggers who are against it. They say that ads only ruin user experience by messing up your blog’s otherwise beautiful design and layout, partially or fully covering your content, forcing your site to load slowly, and even putting off your readers when the ads are too garish and tasteless. Ads also distract people and unwittingly make them leave your site and click to another, thereby robbing you of a potential sale, subscription, etc. Besides, you usually need a lot of traffic just to make a decent income from ads.
But then there are also bloggers who favor running ads. They say that almost every site and platform on the Internet is filled with ads, such that people have already come to accept them as part of the online world, so they wouldn’t bother your readers as much. Ads are also a quick and effortless way to earn passive income off simple and normal actions like views or clicks (sometimes even accidental ones).
The choice to publish ads on your blog is yours to make. But if you ask me, ads are a good thing as long as you don’t overdo it. Ads provide an extra source of income. And they won’t ruin user experience, as long as you only put ads strategically and sparingly. Besides, many ad programs today are now using more modern and organic ad designs and intelligent ad placement, to make sure that the ads being displayed fit the look of your blog, are not too obtrusive and annoying, and are placed only on the most ideal parts of your site.
As a blogger, there are four different types of ad pricing models you should know about. Each type allows you to earn money in a different way.
- CPM or cost per mille (mille is the Latin word for ‘thousand’). You get paid for every 1,000 views a single ad gets. This works best if your blog gets tons of traffic.
- CPC or cost per click. You get paid every time a visitor clicks on that single ad. This works best if your readers and visitors are highly engaged.
- CPA or cost per acquisition. You get paid only when a visitor makes a purchase or signs up after clicking that single ad. This usually involves ads from affiliate marketing programs.
- Fixed-rate. You get paid a fixed amount for a single ad, whether that ad does well or not. This usually happens when you manually sell ad space and negotiate directly with advertisers.
Anyway, there are three main ways you can publish ads on your blog. You can:
- Sell ad space directly. You can create and designate spaces on your blog (on top of each article, at the sidebar, on the footer, etc.) where ads can be shown. Then you contact brands and businesses personally and sell them these ad spaces for their products and services. You can work out the pricing, payment method, etc. This involves a lot of work, effort, time, and patience, but you get to keep 100% of what you charge.
- Join ad programs. These are platforms that connect publishers with brands, companies, and media buyers. Just sign up and they’ll automatically start publishing ads for you. Ads shown usually match your blog’s niche and audience, plus match your website design, too. You have substantial amount of control over where ads can be shown, how they look, etc. This is by far the easiest way to make money from ads, but the ad program gets a cut from what you earn.
Different ad networks have different requirements for joining. Some require you to be in a certain niche (travel, lifestyle, insurance, etc.), or reach a certain monthly traffic (50,000 page impressions per month, 100,000 unique monthly visitors, etc.). Some use display ads, some use in-text ads, etc. The most popular ad programs include Google AdSense, Media.net, Infolinks, Monumetric, Ezoic, Mediavine, AdThrive, etc.
- Join affiliate programs. Many affiliate programs don’t just provide you with affiliate links. They also provide custom banners, images, etc. that serve as ads. You can manually place these custom ads anywhere on your website. They work like your affiliate links – every time someone clicks on them and makes a purchase (or completes a required action), you get paid.
Now remember, ads are a good thing so long as you don’t overdo it. Be smart on where you place your ads. Put them in spaces that are easily seen, on pages where you get the most traffic, etc. But don’t overwhelm your users. And maybe don’t put ads on articles where you have your affiliate links – users might be distracted by ads, click on them, leave your site, and rob you of a potential and more lucrative affiliate sale.
6. Sponsored content
Sponsored content refers to content that brands and businesses, and sometimes private individuals, pay you to write and publish on your blog. Essentially, you’re getting paid to promote, endorse, and talk about a certain product, service, or the entire company selling it. Examples of sponsored content include paid product reviews, testimonials, listicles or roundups that include the product you’re promoting, etc.
Depending on your popularity, expertise, and experience as a blogger, sponsored content could easily generate you some big bucks. Did you know that an average blogger with a sizeable following could already earn as much as $1,442 for just one sponsored blog post? Write three of those in a month and you’ve already made a fulltime income.
Anyway, to get sponsors to notice you and pay you to write blog posts, articles, and other content for them, you need to:
- Create quality content. The best way to attract sponsors and get them not just to notice you, but to want to work with you, is to create meaningful, engaging, useful, and topnotch content. That tells them that if they’re going to work you, then they’re making the right choice because you’re guaranteed to write quality sponsored posts that people will find interesting and useful, and that will very likely convince them to buy or use the product, service, or brand you’re promoting.
- Rank high on search engines. Sponsors usually work with bloggers and content creators who rank highly on Google and other search engines. That increases the likelihood that the posts they’re paying for (and in effect their products and services they’re paying you to promote) will be seen – and bought – by the greatest number of people.
- Be found (and be popular) on social media. Sponsors also often work with bloggers who have a big and active presence on social media – for obvious reasons. They want their products and services to be seen on as many different channels and platforms as possible, thereby increasing the likelihood of engagement, conversion, and sales.
- Set up a sponsored page. Create a page on your website specifically designed for interested sponsors. Tell them why they should work with you. Add your contact info, or better yet, include a custom email form for sponsorships (which includes details about the proposed sponsorship) to make everything organized and very professional.
- Create a media kit. On your sponsored page, your media kit should be a big focus. Your media kit is what will convince potential sponsors to work with you. It’s basically a summary of your blog, including your website stats (number of visitors, email subscribers, etc.) as well as your social media stats (what platforms you’re on, how many followers, etc.). It also includes all the brands you’ve worked with, links to similar work you’ve done (besides your blog), etc.
- Pitch to potential sponsors. You can’t just wait for sponsors to come to you. Go to them instead. Make a list of possible sponsors – big brands and companies on your niche, etc. Or see who’s sponsoring similar bloggers on your niche. Then send emails to these brands and companies, ask for sponsorships and tell them why they should work with you. Link to your blog and social media accounts. Add your media kit. Provide samples of your work, etc.
- Join sponsored content networks and marketplaces. These are essentially websites and platforms that act as intermediaries or middlemen between brands and bloggers/publishers. They’ll connect you with companies willing to support and sponsor you. The most popular platforms include Cooperatize, Izea, Markerly, TapInfluence, SeedingUp, GetReviewed, etc.
Remember, sponsored content isn’t all about money. Don’t sell yourself short – know how to value your time, skill, effort, and reputation. Don’t sell yourself out – work only with brands and businesses that mean something to you, those you truly support or are genuinely interested in. And don’t sell your readers out. It takes a lot of time to earn your readers’ trust and loyalty; it only takes a short while to lose it. Don’t betray your readers – make sure your sponsored posts are honest, useful, and are relevant to your niche and audience.
You also need to remember that depending on where you live and operate your blog, you might need to write a disclosure to inform your readers that what they’re reading is sponsored content. You also need a disclosure page on your blog that states you accept sponsored content (in addition to the individual disclosure on each sponsored article).
7. Referral bonuses
There are plenty of products and services that offer referral programs, where you’ll get paid money for recommending your friends, acquaintances, contacts, and other people to sign up, use these products and services, complete an action, etc. And if you could get enough people to sign up on enough referral products and services, then the referral bonuses you’ll earn could add a lot to your blogging income.
Earning from referral bonuses is a straightforward process and involves only a few steps:
- Find a product or service with a referral program. Pick one that is legitimate, applicable to your niche and audience, something your readers will want or need, and something you use yourself.
- Sign up. You yourself will need to sign up first on your chosen referral program, so you can get your referral link – it’s basically this unique, personalized link that when another person clicks it, it lets your chosen product or service know that it was you who should get credit for referring that new person.
- Promote. Now you need to promote your referral link everywhere. On your blog, on your socials, on your email list, etc. But you have to know first where you’re allowed to promote it. Some referral programs only allow you to post your link on your website, some only through email, etc. And of course, you can’t just post your referral link and that’s it. You have to create content around the product or service you’re promoting – write a review, an article, etc. – which will convince your readers to click your referral link.
- Profit. When someone clicks on your link and signs up or completes the required action, then you earn your referral bonus.
- Rinse and repeat. Find more referral programs to join, get more referral links, create content about those links and promote them, get people to click those links and complete the desired actions, and earn more referral bonuses.
As you can tell, referral programs are quite similar to affiliate programs, except that the former is all about rewarding current loyal users regardless if you’re blogger or not, while the latter prioritizes third-party advertisers like bloggers, publishers, content creators, influencers, etc.
And you should also know – not all referral programs give out money (cash, credit, discounts, etc.) as a reward. Some provide products, perks, and other incentives instead. And some referral programs have a limit to how many new people you can refer and be rewarded for.
Anyway, some examples of products and services that offer referral programs include:
- Swagbucks. This survey app/website will give you 10% of the lifetime earnings of each person you successfully refer.
- Rakuten. This cashback app/website pays you $10 for signing up (and completing additional requirements), and a referral bonus for getting your friends into the program.
- Respondent. This high-paying research site will give you $20 for every new referral who earns their first $75.
- Payoneer. This financial services platform rewards you and your referral with $25 each, as long as your referral meets certain requirements.
- T-Mobile. This wireless network operator gives you $50 for every qualified referral (max 10 referrals).
These are just a few examples. If you have a product or service you’re using, and you’re thinking it’d be great to recommend it to other people, go to that product or service’s website first, and check if it has a referral program. It’s a nice way to earn a little something from referring a product or service you would recommend anyway.
8. Freelance writing/blogging
If you’re making money blogging for yourself, then why not try blogging for other people, too? If you have the skill and the time to spare from working on your own blog, then freelance blogging for paying clients could definitely be another lucrative income stream.
Freelance blogging involves writing blog posts and articles for clients. And that includes researching topics and keywords, editing and proofreading your text, and optimizing your content to make it SEO-friendly.
If you’re interested in diversifying your income streams by becoming a freelance blogger, here’s what you can do to get clients to notice you:
- Promote on your blog. Set up a page on your website where you offer your blogging services for hire. Include your contact information for interested clients. Plus make sure your blog is full of well written and engaging articles in the first place – your blog is already your resume and your portfolio.
- Promote on social. Use your social media accounts to get the word out about your amazing writing and blogging services.
- Guest post. Collaborate with other bloggers to have your work published on their own websites. You’ll do it for free at first, but soon, people will be willing to pay you to write articles for them. Plus, if you write enough guest posts, especially on big blogs, you’ll soon attract interest from paying clients.
- Pitch. Send an email or a message to possible clients – mostly brands and businesses, and other bloggers and website owners – offering your blogging services. Link your blog, or include your media kit or portfolio of written works, for further credibility.
- Accept offers or inquiries. If you’re well known in the blogging and online sphere, expect people to come to you with offers or inquiries of blogging work. It’s up to you work out a deal with these potential clients.
- Join freelancing platforms. Sign up on freelancing websites like Upwork, iWriter, FlexJobs, BloggingPro, etc. and look for writing or blogging jobs.
Now freelancing takes time and effort, valuable resources that you could be devoting on working on your blog instead. So you have to make a choice here: will you earn more money by blogging for others, or by pouring all your time and effort into your blog?
Now if you’re already a well-established blogger with significant reputation and following, and your blog is pretty much on autopilot, then you definitely have the skill, expertise, and the time to blog for others and charge a high price for it.
But if you’re only a beginner blogger, it’s better to focus on your blog first until it starts making money. The hardest part of blogging are the first few months of building it up – you would want to focus all your time and attention to it first.
9. Offering related services
Apart from freelance writing, you can also hire out your other blogging-related skills to paying customers. As a blogger, you’ve now learned and even mastered a wealth of skills that other people value highly and are willing to paying for, such as:
- Web development and web design. If you know how to build beautiful and functional websites.
- Graphic design. If you know how to create stunning images, infographics, Pinterest Pins, logos, printables, etc.
- Photography and photo editing. If you know how to capture the perfect shots and edit them.
- Videography. If you know how to record great videos and make even greater films out of them.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). If you know how to improve websites to rank higher on Google (or other search engines) and get more traffic.
- Social media management. If you know all about social media and how to use them to drive traffic and engagement to a blog or website.
- Digital marketing. If you know how to leverage digital technology (websites, online content, social media, email, etc.) to promote products and services.
Just like in freelance writing, you can hire out your other blogging-related services if you:
- Promote on your blog. Create a page on your website where you list out all the blogging-related services you’re offering. Include your contact information for interested parties. And don’t forget that your blog should be well built and well designed, and your content, from article to photos to logos, should be well made.
- Promote on social media. Tell everyone on your social accounts that you’re blogging-related skills are available for hire, and tell people how to get in touch with you.
- Reach out to potential clients. Seek out possible customers, usually brands and businesses and other website owners and bloggers, by sending them a pitch via email, chat, or sometimes, call. You’d be more credible if you have a fully-fledged media kit, or a separate portfolio of samples of your work.
- Accept offers or inquiries. There are times when potential clients, whether private individuals or organizations, will contact you instead. That could happen if you’re already of significant importance and popularity, or they might have randomly stumbled upon your blog and were impressed by what they saw. Then they’ll contact you seeking your services. Respond to them, work out a deal, and don’t let these opportunities just pass by.
- Join freelancing platforms. You could join freelancing websites like Upwork, FlexJobs, Fiverr, etc. and scour their job boards for suitable work.
And just like in freelance writing or blogging, you should consider whether freelancing is a worthwhile use of your time. Would you be earning more money if you’re hiring out your skills, or if you just focus all your efforts on growing your blog instead?
10. Membership/subscription fees
Most blogs offer their content for free. But there are some blogs that are require visitors to pay a certain fee to access some or all of their content. You could turn your blog into one of the latter to make money.
For instance, you can turn your entire blog into an exclusive membership site, and require visitors to become members and pay a set membership or subscription fee to access your content.
Or you could keep your blog free for all, but offer premium content and services to members. These could include premium articles, exclusive courses, or members-only website features like private forums, etc.
By turning your blog into a membership site, you can rely on a consistent and recurring stream income from membership/subscription fees. And because you already have steady revenue, you don’t need to bother yourself with other ways to monetize your blog. Instead, you can focus all your efforts into creating content worth paying for.
Anyway, to turn your blog into membership site, you need to:
- Pick a model. Decide how much of your blog do you want to turn into pay-to-access. Do you want to keep most of your blog free, but offer premium content (articles, forums, etc.) to paying members? Or do you want to turn your entire site into a members-only area?
- Install a membership plugin. To easily convert your WordPress blog into a membership site, simply install a membership plugin like MemberPress, LearnDash, Teachable, Restrict Content Pro, S2Member, etc.
- Set up payments, levels, rules. Through your plugin, decide what your membership levels are, how much each level costs, what perks or products people get for each level, what are the restrictions, etc.
- Create premium content. Make sure you create content that’s worth paying for (articles, videos, courses, etc.), and make sure your members can access them immediately upon joining.
- Include a membership page. You need a page where interested people can view your membership plans and pricing, sign up and log-in.
Remember, not all blogs are suitable as membership sites. Most people expect blogs to offer free content, so if you want people to pay to access your content, make sure your content is worth paying for in the first place. It helps if you’re already known in the blogging and online world, and people know that you offer expert advice worth paying for.
11. Speaking engagements, seminars
If you’ve already gained substantial clout and a significant following as a blogger, you can monetize your skill and influence by offering and accepting speaking engagements. Put simply, you’ll get paid to talk to people and share your experience and expertise.
And since you’re already recognized as an authority in your blogging niche, you won’t just be talking about blogging per se. You can also talk about things on your niche – travel, personal finance, digital minimalism, stress management, etc.
If you’re already known to the public, then speaking engagements will come to you naturally. You won’t be doing much – it will be brands, businesses, and other organizations, or even individual persons, who will reach out to you.
But if you’re still building up your reputation, then you have to do a lot of self-promotion. Build up your blog. Offer excellent content. Grow your audience. Be seen and be heard on social media. And it also helps if you tell other people that you’re available for hire as a speaker – you can say so on your website, on your social media accounts, etc.
Another way to add even more to your income is to start a podcast, which offers several benefits that complement blogging well, such as:
- Growth. Podcasts offer a new and different way for people to appreciate your content. Some people simply prefer listening rather than reading. By offering your content in two different formats, you can attract the best of both worlds, readers and listeners alike. You can grow your audience faster that way, and more audience almost certainly means more profit.
- Save time. For people who don’t have the time to sit down and read your articles, they can listen to your podcast instead while they’re doing other things, like walking, commuting, mowing the lawn, preparing dinner, etc.
- Deeper connections. A podcast can also build closer and more intimate relationships. When people can hear your voice, perceive the changes in your tone, and feel your emotions, they can know you better and relate to you on a more personal level.
However, you should know that podcasting isn’t for everybody. It requires a lot of time, effort, and equipment. With all the work you’re already doing on your blog – writing articles, optimizing for search engines, promoting on social, maintaining your site, etc. – starting a podcast will essentially double your workload.
Plus, getting your podcast found online isn’t easy. Unless people already know you or what you do, very few will be interested in what you have to say. In this regard, bloggers who have already earned significant reputation and following are better suited to podcasting.
13. Selling (flipping) blogs
You can also make money by selling blogs or websites – literally.
There are plenty of people (or companies) out there who want to have their own blogs or websites, but don’t want to bother themselves with the long and difficult process of starting and building up one. Instead, they’re looking to buy well-established blogs or websites already, especially the ones that are already making good money.
So if you can start a blog, build up its content library, and direct paying traffic to it, then you can sell it for a profit.
Of course, you have to have the expertise in blogging first, from content creation, SEO optimization, promotion on social media, and monetization. All these things, and more, are what make a successful blog.
Then you also need to have the expertise in pricing and valuation. You need to consider everything – from current traffic, age of your blog, diversity of its income streams, domain authority, email list, how much time you spend working on your blog, legal issues, to potential growth and profit for the next two, three, etc. years – before settling on a final price for your blog. You also need to consider whether you’ll make more money by selling your blog, or by keeping it and its earnings for yourself instead.
Alternatively, you can also buy low-performing blogs, turn them around, and sell them for a profit.
Finally, you can also supplement your income by accepting donations, tips, and contributions from other people. It’s perhaps the quickest and most direct way that your readers can support your creative projects and help you grow blog.
However, this only works if you can convince your readers that donating to you is a worthwhile use of their money. To do this, you need to, first of all, give them the best content you can create, content that’s truly interesting, useful, entertaining, and valuable in all ways. Your content should answer their questions, provide solutions to problems, address pain points – you get the idea.
Second, you need to build meaningful relationships with your readers, really engage with them on personal level. Your posts and entries should feel as though you’re giving a heart-to-heart talk with your readers. Give them a reason to like you, to trust you, to cherish you. And make it a point to respond to your readers’ comments, questions, emails, etc.
Third, you can also offer incentives, rewards, or perks for people who choose to contribute to your cause. Perhaps you can offer exclusive content available only to your patrons. Or you can put a list of your donors on your website’s sidebar or footer. Maybe you can add a small section or block acknowledging your sponsors right before every article. Or you can give them a shoutout or mention on social media. It’s up to you.
Anyway, there are several ways you can accept donations to your blog, the most common of which are:
- Add a PayPal Donate button. PayPal provides you with a customizable Donate button that lets people make contributions straight to your PayPal (Business) account. Simply copy the given HTML code and paste it on all the pages (or posts) where you want your button to appear. Learn more how to do it here.
- Add a custom donation button or form. You can also create your custom donation button or form via your theme or website builder. Then you can link it to your PayPal, Stripe, or bank account to receive donations.
- Install a donation plugin. You can also set up donations to your WordPress blog just by installing a donation plugin. The most popular ones include WPForms, WP Simple Pay, GiveWP, Seamless Donations, etc.
- Open an account on membership or crowdfunding platforms. These are third-party websites that help content creators earn an income from contributions, donations, and membership or subscription fees from their supporters. Usually, these platforms allow you to provide perks or rewards to your supporters. The most popular ones include Patreon, Podia, Indiegogo, Buy Me a Coffee, Ko-fi, etc. Just make sure you tell your readers where they can donate – either through buttons, links, pop-up forms, or pages on your website that direct to your account on your crowdfunding platform of choice.
How to earn a fulltime income off blogging
Now that you know what the best ways to earn off blogging are, it’s time to put together a monetization strategy for your blog. Essentially, you want to identify what income streams will work best for you. Should you do affiliate marketing early on? Or should you start selling products already? Your blog income will be determined by what monetization techniques you put in place, as well as how well you create content and promote it on search engines through SEO and on social media.
But let’s say you’re working your way towards your first fulltime monthly income. You’re a new mommy blogger. You have a newly built blog, where you write and share pregnancy, parenting, financial, and lifestyle advice for other mothers. Here’s what your income reports might look like for every significant milestone.
$100 a month
You spent your first two months building your blog from scratch until you now have a beautiful and fully functional site. You wrote 20 blog posts and entries, and you’ve committed to publishing a new article twice a week. You opened a Business Account for your blog on Pinterest, where you share stunning Pins for your blog posts, which you design on Canva. You applied to two affiliate programs and got accepted, and you’ve been writing and promoting articles about baby brands and products which you think your fellow moms might like.
By the end of your second month blogging, you managed to hit 2,000 monthly visitors to your blog and earn your first $100 a month income.
|SAMPLE INCOME REPORT|
|Affiliate program #1 (ShareASale)||$65.89|
|Affiliate program #2 (Amazon Affiliates)||$47.09|
$1,000 a month
Buoyed by your early gains, you put more time and effort to growing your blog and your Pinterest account. You continue writing thoughtful and compelling content, and you continue getting engagement from your growing audience. In particular, you created your own tutorial on how to start a mommy blog, applied to two more affiliate programs related to blogging, and were accepted. You also decided to join your first ad network and see if ads are worth it.
By the end of your fifth month blogging, you now have 8,000 monthly visitors to your blog, and you just reached your $1,000 a month milestone.
|SAMPLE INCOME REPORT|
|Affiliate program #1 (ShareASale)||$254.60|
|Affiliate program #2 (Amazon Affiliates)||$208.34|
|Affiliate program #3 (Bluehost)||$390|
|Affiliate program #4 (Elegant Themes)||$65|
|Ads (Google AdSense)||$151.67|
$3,000 a month
Blogging has really grown on you. You’ve become more comfortable with the process, and it has been showing on the way you manage your blog. All the things you did before now take much less time and effort, and with all that extra time you freed up, you decided to open your own shop on Etsy selling digital printables like baby meal planners and baby-themed stickers. Brands, too, have begun to notice your presence, and it wasn’t long before you landed your first sponsored blog post.
By the end of your eighth month blogging, you got over 25,000 monthly visitors to your blog and your first $3,000 a month income.
|SAMPLE INCOME REPORT|
|Digital products (Etsy)||$201.35|
|Affiliate program #1 (ShareASale)||$303.07|
|Affiliate program #2 (Amazon Affiliates)||$275.12|
|Affiliate program #3 (Bluehost)||$1,300|
|Affiliate program #4 (Elegant Themes)||$194.66|
|Affiliate program #5 (ConvertKit)||$100|
|Ads (Google AdSense)||$484.11|
$5,000 a month
You’re ecstatic about the way everything is growing with your blog, your Pinterest account, and your Etsy shop. You’ve applied to a couple more affiliate programs dedicated to childhood learning and education. And more brands were reaching out to you for sponsorship deals. Soon you decided that it was time to create and sell your first online course – a course on how to start a mommy blog from scratch, complete with everything beginners would find useful and inspiring. On top of that, you also wrote your first ebook containing pregnancy advice for first-time moms.
By the end of your eleventh month blogging, you now have 55,000 monthly visitors to your blog, and were able to rake in your first $5,000 a month income.
|SAMPLE INCOME REPORT|
|Online course (How to start a mom blog)||$525|
|Ebook (Pregnancy advice for first-time moms)||$115|
|Digital products (Etsy)||$453.50|
|Affiliate program #1 (ShareASale)||$396.74|
|Affiliate program #2 (Amazon Affiliates)||$301.04|
|Affiliate program #3 (Bluehost)||$1,625|
|Affiliate program #4 (Elegant Themes)||$254.17|
|Affiliate program #5 (ConvertKit)||$145|
|Affiliate program #6 (Kiwi Crate)||$84.08|
|Affiliate program #7 (The Scholastic Store)||$79.18|
|Ads (Google AdSense)||$778.51|
$10,000 a month
It’s been more than a year since you first set out on your blogging journey. You look back and see how far you’ve come, proud and grateful that you had the courage to take the first step. You blog has brought so much joy and benefit to you and to your family. But you look ahead and see that there’s more in store for you, and you realize that the work is far from over.
And so you push on. You continue writing insightful, inspiring, and information-rich content, and you continue engaging with your loyal following in genuine and meaningful ways. You’re promoting your blog, your Etsy shop, and your online courses not just on Pinterest, but on every social media platform you could manage. You applied to more affiliate programs centered around motherhood, family, and home. You switched to a higher-paying ad network, now that you reached the required monthly traffic to join. You even launched a companion book to your first ebook, this time a collection of parenting tips for first-time moms.
By the end of your fourteenth month blogging, you drew in 90,000 monthly visitors to your blog and achieved your first $10,000 a month income milestone.
|SAMPLE INCOME REPORT|
|Online course (How to start a mom blog)||$1,600|
|Ebook #1 (Pregnancy advice for first-time moms)||$200|
|Ebook #2 (Parenting how-tos for first-time moms)||$305|
|Digital products (Etsy)||$809.45|
|Affiliate program #1 (ShareASale)||$453.24|
|Affiliate program #2 (Amazon Affiliates)||$397.68|
|Affiliate program #3 (Bluehost)||$2,600|
|Affiliate program #4 (Elegant Themes)||$301.89|
|Affiliate program #5 (ConvertKit)||$210.90|
|Affiliate program #6 (Kiwi Crate)||$145.96|
|Affiliate program #7 (The Scholastic Store)||$103.40|
|Affiliate program #8 (MomSelect)||$93.52|
|Affiliate program #9 (Wayfair)||$285.44|
|Affiliate program #10 (Mommy Makeup)||$197.33|
|Affiliate program #11 (Grocery Budget Makeover)||$78.02|
You’ve made it. In a little more than a year, you built a blog from scratch and turned it into a money-making machine that earns you fulltime income. More important, you proved to yourself that you have the perseverance and acumen to start and manage a business to success.
You’ve steadily and successfully steered your blog from milestone to milestone, and now that you’re earning more than $10,000 a month blogging, you’re now ready to take on your next goals – $50,000 a month, $100,000 a month, then who knows what’s next? Perhaps you’d like to start more blogs on other topics you’re interested in, too. Or maybe you’d like to turn your successful blog into an LLC. Or maybe, even maybe, you’d like to form your own digital marketing company. The future’s wide open.