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Blog monetization guide: How to make money blogging

Apr 16, 2024 | Business, Marketing

Gone are the days when blogging was just a way for writers and hobbyists to share their craft. Through a combination of different blog monetization strategies, many bloggers today earn a full-time income by creating content around a niche topic.

Blogging is also a way for small businesses and creative service providers like myself to diversify revenue, for instance by sharing affiliate links to relevant products.

Whether you’re a seasoned blogger looking to boost your earnings or a newcomer eager to start monetizing your platform, navigating the landscape of blog monetization can be both exciting and daunting. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the process of blog monetization, offering actionable insights and strategies to help you unlock the full potential of your blog.

What is blog monetization?

The concept of blog monetization is fairly straightforward: effectively, bloggers get paid to publish content on a website on a niche topic. But, where does that money actually come from if the content itself is free to access?

To monetize your blog, you’ll earn money either from companies that want to advertise their products on your site or from members of your audience who are willing to pay for more resources or in-depth information on a specific topic. Bloggers making a full-time income from their blog are typically monetizing multiple ways.

Blog monetization prerequisites

Anyone with an Internet connection can start a blog. Whether you’re a business owner or side hustler, there is no shortage of topics to blog about that can be monetized in some way.

Although there are no strict prerequisites for monetizing your blog, it’s important to understand that it can take a significant amount of time and effort to get your blog to a place where it’s bringing in consistent, sustainable income.

In general, it’s recommended that before you start monetizing your blog, you meet the following guidelines:

  • You’ve published at least 10 articles.
  • You’re actively growing an email list of subscribers who are interested in your content.
  • You know how to grow your website traffic and are seeing it increase over time.

If you’ve met or are on your way to meeting these “prerequisites,” keep reading to discover five top blog monetization strategies.

5 ways to monetize your blog

In no particular order, here are five different blog monetization strategies. Choose one to focus on, or implement all five to get the most ROI out of your blog.

1. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a popular blog monetization tactic wherein bloggers promote products or services and earn a commission for every sale or referral generated through their unique affiliate links. It offers bloggers the opportunity to leverage their influence and credibility within their niche to recommend products they genuinely believe in to their audience.

A simple way to get started with affiliate marketing is to jot down all the paid tools, resources, or services you’ve invested in within your niche. Then, do a Google search for each brand to find out if they offer an affiliate program. You can also find relevant affiliate programs through platforms like Impact, ClickBank, and CJ Affiliate.

By strategically integrating affiliate links into their content, bloggers can earn passive income while providing value to their readers. With the right approach, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative and sustainable monetization strategy for bloggers of all levels.

Many of the tools I share on my Resources page contain affiliate links; these are all tools, services, and products that I’ve personally used and genuinely recommend.

2. Sponsored content

Another popular way to monetize a blog is through sponsored content. For this strategy, bloggers will collaborate with brands to create promotional content in exchange for compensation. Unlike traditional advertisements, sponsored content blends seamlessly into the blogger’s platform, offering valuable information or entertainment to their audience while subtly promoting the sponsor’s products or services.

Sponsored content can offer a lucrative revenue stream to bloggers while maintaining authenticity and relevance to their audience. However, transparency and alignment with the blogger’s values are crucial to maintaining trust with their readers.

In order to attract sponsors for your content, it’ll be important to have demonstrated website traffic and a sizable audience that aligns with the sponsor’s target customer. Although there are no hard rules on what these numbers should look like, it’s generally recommended to have at least 10 posts generating 1,000 pageviews per month before seeking out sponsorship opportunities.

3. Advertising

Advertising is a widely-used blog monetization strategy where bloggers display ads on their websites and earn revenue based on various metrics such as clicks, impressions, or conversions. These ads can take different forms, including display ads, native ads, or video ads, and are often sourced from ad networks.

The most popular and established advertising network is Google AdSense. Their requirements for signing up are fairly loose, however not everyone who meets their guidelines is accepted. Another popular network is Mediavine, which has more stringent requirements, including a minimum of 50,000 website sessions per month.

While advertising offers bloggers a straightforward and passive way to generate income, it’s essential to balance ad placement with user experience to avoid overwhelming or annoying your audience. If you choose to go this route, try to keep your ad placements to a minimum.

Personally, I prefer not to display ads on my blog since my primary revenue sources are my services and products, and I don’t want ads to turn off any potential customers. If you’re not selling your own services or products, advertising could be a good monetization strategy for you.

4. Digital products

Although it requires much more work than the previous strategies, creating digital products can be a fantastic way to monetize your blog. A digital product is any kind of product that is delivered virtually to a customer. Some examples include ebooks, printables, online courses, workshops, checklists, and templates.

SEO Essentials Kit course dashboard
Example of a digital product I created this year, the SEO Essentials Kit.

Unlike affiliate marketing and sponsorships, digital products give you total control over the selling process. If you know your audience well, you can create unique products that meet their needs. You can survey your audience directly to find out what they need help with, or create a product to complement your most popular blog posts.

The best thing about digital products is that once you’ve created them, you can sell them indefinitely. Depending on the product, you could do a launch a few times a year to drum up interest, or set up an evergreen funnel that sells your product on autopilot. Assuming your product is high-quality and relevant to your audience’s needs, your income potential is virtually limitless.

5. Selling services

Last but not least, another way to monetize your blog is to sell your time. In other words, you can offer a service to support clients who need support within your area of expertise. For example, I offer branding, web design, and SEO services, and many of my clients originally found me through my blog.

Selling services is typically the most time-intensive blog monetization strategy, but it can also be the most lucrative and rewarding. It gives you the opportunity to form a real connection with your audience and make a tangible difference in their lives.

If you don’t want to offer a done-for-you service such as design or copywriting, you could consider offering consulting or coaching services. These can be offered on a small scale, such as a one-time consultation, or through a high-touch program that spans several months. In sum, if you’re an expert on a topic, and you’ve demonstrated your expertise through your blog, you can get paid to lend your expertise to your audience.

How to scale your blog

In order to get the best results out of your blog, it’s important to work on growing two things:

  1. Your website traffic;
  2. Your audience.

The best way to increase your website traffic is through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This strategy primarily involves researching and optimizing keywords for your content. With high-quality content and the right keywords, your blog posts can rank on the first page of Google, in turn skyrocketing your website traffic.

Your audience is a group of people who enjoy or find value in your content, and therefore have “opted in” to consume it regularly. For blogging, your most important audience is your email list. You can collect and engage with email subscribers through email marketing platforms such as Flodesk.

If you focus on growing your website traffic over time, your audience will consequently grow as well. The more traffic and subscribers, the more income potential your blog will have.

For a beginner-friendly deep dive into SEO, check out my course, the SEO Essentials Kit. In this self-paced course, you’ll learn a simple SEO strategy for growing your website traffic consistently over time.

Final thoughts

In this guide, we covered five proven strategies for monetizing your blog and how to scale your efforts through strategies like SEO.

But beyond these strategies, what truly sets successful bloggers apart is their unwavering commitment to their craft and their audience. Building a profitable blog isn’t just about making money; it’s about creating value, forging connections, and making a meaningful impact on the lives of your readers.

As you embark on your own blog monetization journey, remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, dedication, and perseverance to see meaningful results. Be willing to experiment, learn from your mistakes, and adapt. Above all, stay true to yourself and your audience. Your authenticity and passion are your greatest assets in the world of blogging.

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This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Steph Corrigan Design Blogger

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