You’ve read the income reports, you know the earning potential of blogging. But when you’ve not made anything with your Blog yet (Or not even started your Blog yet) it can feel like reading a work of fiction and not something that could ever actually happen to you.
So how exactly do the big earning Bloggers make money? And which strategy is best for your blog?
In this 3000+ word post I’m breaking down the 6 main types of monetization to explain what each one is, what sort of blogger it’s best for and how to get started.
I’ve also included my favourite inspirational bloggers who have totally mastered each monetization strategy and I’ve share the best resources for learning more.
The best bit about monetizing your Blog is you aren’t limited to just one strategy. In fact I recommend having at least 2 different income streams for your blogging business. However, if you’re new to monetizing your blog, concentrate on getting one method profitable before moving onto the next one.
So, let’s see which monetization methods will work best for your blog…
(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase a product I recommend via one of my links. Thank you for your support.)
What is Affiliate Marketing?
You earn money by getting a commission from the sale of services and products that you recommend. When you become an affiliate for a business you’ll get provided with a unique link with a special code built into it, which tracks the people that have clicked your link. When they purchase the product, you get a commission.
Commissions can vary from 5% right up to more than 50% so with the right affiliate partners, it can be a very effective way to make a lucrative income. Affiliate marketing is how I currently make most of my blogging income.
Who is Affiliate Marketing For?
Affiliate marketing is a great way for even new and ‘smaller’ bloggers to earn money. Most affiliate marketing programmes don’t have page view requirements so it’s great for bloggers at any level.
You can share your affiliate links across social media as well, so even if your blog is quite new but you have a large social following you can still earn affiliate commission.
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing on your Blog
To get started you’ll need to choose affiliate programs to join. Have a look for affiliate programs of the companies that you would recommend anyway. Start with products that you actually use. Shareasale is a network that works with thousands of different companies across many different niches and is a great place to start looking for affiliate programmes to apply to. Ultimate Bundles is another good one to get involved with. They have a high commission rate of 40% and really great training materials, which is a huge bonus for new affiliate marketers.
When you have been approved for an affiliate programme, you will be given your unique affiliate link. Add your unique link to your blog posts, emails, social media or freebies or even create a Resource Page of your favourite products and services like I have. When your links get clicked on and one of your readers buys something you get your commission.
My Top Affiliate Marketing Tips for Bloggers
- Only recommend products and services that are relevant to your blog niche and partner with companies that you genuinely like and use.
- You need to add a disclosure (like the one at the top of this post) to your content to make sure your readers know that you are earning a commission from your affiliate links.
- Your affiliate links need to be nofollow links.
- Be aware that affiliate payouts take time. It depends on the programme but you will need to wait between 2 weeks and up to 3 months in some cases before you get paid your earned commissions.
- An affiliate link should be an extra to your blog posts not the main reason you’re writing them. Always provide value first and foremost.
Be Inspired By
Making Sense of Cents: Michelle’s income reports are mind blowing! In this recent Income Report (Nov 2017) she earned over $52,000 just from affiliate marketing! Bear in mind she has been blogging since 2011 but her numbers are definitely a goal to aim for. Check here for her first income report to see even she started small.
Learn from Affiliate Marketing Experts
- Make your first affiliate sale within 24 hours on Pinterest
- Affiliate Acceleration
- Zero to Superhero Affiliate Marketing Training Bundle
Make Money Working with Brands
What are Brand Collaborations and Sponsorship
You get paid to write a Blog post (called a sponsored post) about a particular product or Brand or share them on social media. You may get paid with actual money or you may get a product as payment, which can vary from a single product such as an item of clothing right up to an all inclusive holiday!
Which Bloggers Should Collaborate with Brands?
Bloggers of any level can make money writing sponsored posts and it’s a particularly popular form of income for lifestyle bloggers. The more page views your Blog gets and the more Social followers you have, the more you can charge for sponsored posts and the better opportunities you’ll get.
How to Get Started Working with Brands
There are a couple of ways of getting started with sponsored posts…
Firstly you can apply to join an influencer network such as Linquia, Social Fabric or Pollinate Media. They all work in slightly different ways, but basically they act as the middleman between you and the Brands themselves. Some of them will match you with brands they think suit your blog and some of them send you a regular list of different opportunities and you have to apply for the ones that interest you.
If you have a large Instagram following, or your audience is very active on Instagram, you definitely need to look into monetising your Instagram with sponsored posts. Influencer networks that work with Instagram campaigns include Social Native, Snapfluence and InstaBrand.
Another way is to pitch brands directly. Reach out to brands relevant to your blog niche or that sell products that you actually use and send them a proposal for a sponsored collaboration.
Create a media kit and make sure it’s available on your blog for any Brands that want to reach out to you.
My Top Brand Collaboration Tips
- Always make sure you write great quality content when writing sponsored posts so you don’t just look like an advertising machine!
- Only work with Brands that you genuinely like and are happy to advocate for
- You need to make sure you disclose that you are being paid for any sponsored posts, even if you are being compensated with free product and not actual money.
- Don’t forget that sponsored opportunities don’t only come in the form of Blog Posts; you can also make money with sponsored posts on Social Media, especially Instagram.
Be Inspired By
In this Income Report, lifestyle Blogger Carmen shares how she made over $1400 with Sponsored posts. And I want to share this Income Report from Simply Amanda, because, even though it’s only a small amount, she earned $70 from sharing sponsored posts on Instagram (with an Instagram following of around 3,000)
Learn From The Experts
- Alex Tooby’s Instagram course Infamous to Influential is a must if you want to monetise your Instagram account.
- The book, Make Money Blogging at any Level discusses Sponsored Content Income for different sized Blogs (as well as income from Ads & Affiliate Marketing)
Make Money Selling Info-Products
What are Info-Products?
An Infoproduct is a product that teaches your blog readers how to do something. It could be a book, a course, a workshop, or even a membership site or a conference.
Which Bloggers Should Sell Info-Products
Selling products is a great way of making money from your blog even with a small audience. But you do need an engaged audience that you have proved to over time that you are an expert in your niche. If you’re just starting your Blog give yourself 6 months plus to put in the audience building groundwork.
How to Get Started Selling Info-Products
Firstly, you need to decide what you want to teach. Consider what you get asked about the most, which content is most popular on your blog, a product that is related to a service you provide, a topic you get particularly excited about or something that you’ve got extensive experience or education in.
When you have decided what you want to teach it’s time to decide what sort of product you’re going to create.
When you’ve created it you need to decide how and where you’re going to sell it. You might choose a 3rd party platform (such as Sendowl for eBooks, or Thinkific for a course) or maybe direct from your website, depending on your budget and technical know how.
The final thing is to create and implement a launch and continuing marketing plan for your product.
My Top Tips for Selling Info-Products
Digital Infoproducts are a really effective way of generating passive income as long as you put in the time and effort at the beginning in the product creation stage and when setting up your sales funnels.
Selling Infoproducts is particularly effective if you’ve got an existing, engaged email list so if you’re new to blogging take some time to build up an email list before you start selling products.
Practice your product creation (and validate your idea) by creating a freebie first as an opt-in to your email list.
Be Inspired By:
byRegina.com: One of my favourite bloggers, Regina, was one of the first to successfully blog about creating and selling infoproducts as a business model.
Learn From The Infopreneur Experts
Monetize and Market your Mind is a Free 4 hour workshop created by Regina from byRegina.com
Sign up to Sold is a brilliant course on sales funnels
Epic Instructor Lab is a detailed course on the course creation process
Profitable Funnels for Sensitive Sellers (the eKit) is an amazing course from byRegina which tells you everything you need to know about Email sales funnels.
Make Money from Ads
How do your Make Money from Ads on your Blog
You place an advert on your blog and then you get a small amount of money either for displaying them or when they are clicked on, depending on what sort of adverts you display. You will generally work with an ad network which is like the Middleman between you and the companies that are paying for the advertising, or you can sell advertising space directly to companies yourself.
Who Should Make Money with Ads?
Making money from ads is definitely for high traffic blogs. You don’t get a lot of money per view or click, so it is very traffic dependant. However, it is a completely passive form of income. When your page sessions reach 25k per month you can apply for higher paying networks, such as Mediavine which could earn you upwards of $200 per month.
How to Get Started with Ads on your Blog
If you want to try earning some ad income and have less than 25,000 visitor sessions a month then you will need to apply join a network like Google Adsense, Media.net or Svorn that don’t have minimum visitor requirements.
Mediavine have a good reputation for paying well but they do have a minimum visitor requirement of 25,000 sessions per month before they will accept your application. Adthrive is recommended for when you reach the 100,000 visitor sessions per month.
Once you have applied for and been accepted by an ad network you will need to add some code to your Blog to display the ads and then that really is all you need to do.
My Top Tips for Ad Revenue
- Don’t cover your blog in adverts. It makes a your blog look really tacky and will distract your blog readers from actually reading your blog content.
- Do your research into different ad networks. There are quite a few out there and different ones will suit different Blogs better. Some have got requirements for pageviews, some require you to share only their adverts and some require you to sign a contract for a minimum amount of time.
- Some ad networks have a high earnings threshold before you they pay you any money. Google Adsense and Media.net don’t actually pay you until you’ve earned $100. If you’ve got lower page views it could take you literally months to see any money.
- Finally, if your blog isn’t with self hosted WordPress check the terms and conditions of your Blog host because some don’t allow you to share ads (I know WordPress.com don’t)
Be Inspired By:
A Pinch of Yum: Food Blog, A Pinch of Yum have been sharing Income Reports since August 2011, when they made $21.97 from ads. They no longer share their income reports, but the last one (published Nov 2016) reports how they earned over $52,000 just from ads! Even though they don’t share Income Reports any more, I love how you can see the growth of the Blog over the years.
Learn From The Experts
Ads are not a form of income I currently have any experience in, so I don’t have a lot of resources to suggest. However, this Blog post from Well & Wealthy is a great introduction, and the book, Make Money Blogging at any Level discusses Ad Income for different sized Blogs (as well as income from Sponsored Posts & Affiliate Marketing)
Make Money Providing a Service
How to Make Money Selling Services
You earn income by providing a service on a Freelance basis, normally to other business owners or bloggers, getting paid either per project or on a month by month basis. Common services offered by bloggers include Freelance Writing, Virtual Assistant work or Social Media Management.
Who Could Make Money Selling Services?
Anyone can offer Services but it helps if you’re highly organised and self-motivated and enjoy working with other people. It’s a bonus if you’ve got a particular set of sought after skills and you enjoy doing that type of work. And you can prove your expertise and grow your skills while you’re working too.
How To Get Started Offering Services From Your Blog
Simply create a Work With Me page to give details about your prices and service packages and then use your blog to bring attention to your skills.
You’ll need to create an ongoing marketing plan to attract and convert new clients but the main thing is to just put yourself out there. Tell your current audience that you have started offering services by sending an email, posting on your social media, or writing a blog post. Tell your family and friends and ask if they know anybody they could refer you to.
Consider cold pitching your ideal clients, offering a discounted rate while you build up your portfolio.
And don’t forget job sites such as Fiverr or Upwork.
My Top Tips for Selling Services
- Write up a contract for you and your clients to sign which describes exactly what work you are agreeing to do, how much for and the payment terms. The Contract Shop sell legal templates written by an attorney.
- Don’t forget to ask your happy clients for testimonials that you can share on your Blog.
- Make an effort to streamline and automate your process as much as you can. It will improve your customer’s’ experience and make you more productive.
Be Inspired By
Visit The Virtual Savvy for resources and tips for budding Virtual Assistants and Miranda Nahmias leads a Digital Marketing & Virtual Assistant team and shares advice for getting more clients and managing your own service business on her Blog
Learn From the Experts
The Ultimate Work at Home bundle. This amazing bundle contains 37 eBooks, Courses and other Resources to teach you everything you need to know about Freelancing, becoming a Virtual Assistant, getting clients, legal & accounting requirements and how to get things done. Get the whole Bundle for a Limited Time for only $47!
Make Money with E-commerce
How do Bloggers Make Money with E-Commerce?
Generating an income from selling either digital or physical products which are related to your blogging niche.
Who Should Start an Online Store?
Anyone can start an online shop, and many people start businesses by creating and selling products but if you’ve already got an engaged Blog audience you’ll make better money quicker than if you’re just getting started.
How to Get Started with an E-Commerce Store
When deciding what products you are going to create and sell, consider if there is something other bloggers in your niche sell that you can put your own spin on? Is there something relevant to your niche that you’ve maybe made for yourself that would also benefit your readers? How can you use your talents and creativity to make something that little bit different?
When you’re deciding what to make, work out how you can make and distribute a product in the most efficient way possible. Digital products, print on demand or a service such as ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ all help you sell products with a lot smaller time investment.
My Top Tips for Adding E-Commerce to your Blog
- Protect yourself with clear policies especially with things like refunds.
- Consider increasing desirability and perceived value with limited edition products
- Diversify your selling platforms, so once you’ve got yourself set up on your own Blog for example, expand to take advantage of an existing marketplace such as Etsy or Creative Market.
Be Inspired By
Kayla from Blog Ivory Mix has a very successful business selling stock photographs as both one time bundles or on a monthly membership basis. As well as selling from her own Blog, she also has a shop on Creative Market.
- Paper and Oats have an Etsy on Autopilot course, created especially for sellers of digital products.
- Fuzzy and Birch is a Blog also aimed at Etsy sellers, whose creator Jenni runs an Etsy Seller membership site that I highly recommend.
- The Merriweather Council Blog shares tips for handmade sellers on both Etsy and Shopify.
- Amazon Selling Blueprint: How to Find & Launch your First Private-Label Product on Amazon in 90 Days or Less
I hope you enjoyed this post and have been inspired to either try a new source of income, or to start monetising your Blog if you haven’t already.
Making money from Blogging does take time but it doesn’t have to be hard. My best piece of advice is to find a method of monetisation that works for you, create tangible goals and focus solely on those goals to avoid jumping about trying everything and getting nowhere!