Starting a blog required investing thousands of dollars not so long ago because creating a website was expensive. Today, starting a blog and monetizing it is easier than ever. Many online tools enable you to design a website and start in just a few hours. There are also dozens of financial tools like Stripe and PayPal that can solve many issues associated with monetization.
For instance, you can create, monetize, and maintain your blog on the WordPress platform with a budget of just a few hundred dollars. Blogging is an excellent tool for self-expression; you can always find an audience, no matter how specific your niche is. However, people mainly enjoy blogging because it offers an excellent opportunity to earn money. If you do everything right, you can earn $20,000 monthly within your first year of blogging.
Not all bloggers, however, manage to succeed quickly. The yearly profit of beginners and amateurs often doesn’t exceed $10,000. Such a figure is highly depressing, especially since most bloggers say they started a blog to become self-employed. Such statistics don’t mean monetizing a blog isn’t as profitable as people expect. So many beginner bloggers fail because they underestimate the marketing factor and don’t realize how much effort they should put into monetization.
Where to Start?
Although blogging can become your business, it’s self-expression and about sharing value. Therefore, you should determine your value and choose the right niche. Don’t start a blog about some subject just because it’s popular while knowing little to nothing about it. You should only choose a familiar subject that enables you to establish yourself as an expert in the niche.
If you’re going to write articles for your blog, the writing part will be very time-consuming. But, it won’t be the most challenging thing about blogging.
Some niches are more profitable than others. For instance, blog owners often find monetizing marketing and personal finance blogs to make the most money. However, any niche can give you opportunities for blog monetization. You can write about virtually anything. The main thing is to sell something related to your niche that is interesting and valuable for your audience.
The Basics of Blog Monetization
You can choose different blog monetization strategies based on the specifics of your niche. For example, you can sell ebooks and online courses if you have a marketing blog. If your blog is dedicated to fishing, you can use affiliate marketing to sell equipment from your favorite brands. You should also choose effective marketing strategies and know how to use them in practice. For instance, you should put some effort into growing your email list and driving traffic to your website.
First of all, no universal rule would determine how much traffic you should drive and how many contacts you should have in your email list. Everything depends on your niche, and you should always stick with the most effective strategies to ensure that your numbers correspond to your income goals. Your traffic should be steady. Not everyone can achieve tens of thousands of monthly visitors. But having a thousand visitors is good for you. The email list shouldn’t be extensive, but your contacts should be highly engaged.
Crunch the numbers
Numbers are crucial if you want to develop an effective blog monetization strategy. You should define clear income goals to plan your blogging activities accordingly. For example, if you want to make $10,000 a month, you may sell a $100 product to 100 people or sell a $500 product to 20 people. Besides, you may give two $5,000 consultations. Blog monetization is all about thorough calculations.
You shouldn’t simply increase your prices to increase your income. Instead, you should choose a blog monetization approach that corresponds to the specifics of your niche and aligns with your financial goals. In this guide, we will consider different monetization strategies so that you can choose the right approach, no matter how many monthly views your blog gets.
Ways to monetize your blog
1. Sell ad space
First of all, you can sell ad space. We will also consider using Google AdSense, but this option involves certain limitations regarding how much you can earn. You can establish your price when you sell your ad space directly. In this case, you won’t depend on the clicks and charge your customers a fixed rate. Such an approach is more accessible than managing clicks and enables you to maximize your profits.
To sell your ad space directly to companies interested in your audience, you can create a page on your website that your potential customers can consume. You can also use platforms like BuySellAds to connect you with potential customers. On the downside, selling ad space directly isn’t easy because you should put much effort into negotiations, managing invoices, etc.
Many successful bloggers use display ads as a form of income. They will sell the ads themselves or the space on their blogs where they can be placed. Both methods can be successful if done correctly. One of the ways bloggers can monetize their blogs is by selling their ads. If they have a large following, it will increase their credibility as an expert and attract more advertisers.
Another option is to sign up with a company selling blog space. The company pays the blogger for the placement. And the amount of money they receive depends on how many people click on the ads. Invest in high-quality ads if you monetize your blog through display ads. This means the text in the ad must be short and to the point. Make sure the links in the ad are relevant and that they work.
Sell ads directly
Selling your ad space directly offers some considerable benefits. But it also requires handling many technicalities and connecting with potential customers. Google AdSense can do all the hard work for you, and it’s the simplest way to sell ads. Google AdSense is used as a part of monetizing strategies of many well-known blogs, including Huffington Post, Healthline, BuzzFeed, and WebMD.
AdSense offers the opportunity to earn a lot of money. But you’ll need a fair amount of traffic before seeing some money hit your bank. AdSense enables you to sell ad space on your website, allowing you to sell it quickly using a short script. You can simply copy and paste this script to your code to choose where ads should be displayed. If you’re using WordPress for your blog, you don’t need to manually insert the script because many plugins can help you.
How Adsense Makes You Money
You cannot choose what ads will appear on your website when using AdSense. These ads are personalized and based on your visitors’ browsing history and cookies. Whenever visitors click on ads, you earn money. The difficulty with AdSense is that you should have sufficient traffic if you want to accomplish your financial goals.
You can turn AdSense into a reliable source of passive income. But, in this case, you should have at least 5,000 daily visitors. Therefore, AdSense is an excellent tool for well-established blogs that get lots of traffic. However, even in this case, a lot depends on the cost-per-click. The average cost of a click in AdSense is 30 cents. Given that many of your visitors may use ad blockers or simply choose not to click on your ads, we recommend that you don’t make AdSense your main monetization priority, especially at the beginning of your blogging career.
Other Ad Networks
Other ad networks such as Ezoic, Mediavine, or AdThrive claim to pay more as your traffic increases – the earnings are proportional. One of the most successful ways to increase your domain authority and organic search traffic is by boosting your backlink profile. As you develop and grow your brand and more authoritative sites start linking to you, you will notice a direct correlation with the number of site visitors you receive, significantly driving up your display ad earnings.
2. Use affiliate marketing
While there are many different ways to monetize a blog, affiliate marketing is one method that almost every blogger should pursue. Affiliate marketing involves promoting another company’s product or service in exchange for a commission when you refer a visitor who makes a purchase. Other affiliate programs pay per lead or action. For example, you may earn a bounty when you refer a visitor who fills out a lead generation form, creates an account, downloads an app, etc.
There are opportunities for affiliates in just about every niche or industry imaginable. Regardless of your blog, you can probably join several relevant affiliate programs. There are affiliate programs for promoting physical products (Amazon’s is extremely popular) and digital products like online courses, ebooks, web apps, and software.
Some blog monetization options require a large, established audience to make money. But that’s not the case with affiliate marketing. Even small blogs can make money by promoting products that fit well with their content and interest their readers. As a result, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money blogging for beginners.
Affiliate marketing is the top source of income for many of the highest-earning blogs. Depending on the product or service you’re promoting, you may earn a few hundred dollars or more per sale. Digital products tend to pay a higher commission to affiliates than physical products.
Another reason to love affiliate marketing is that it can become a source of passive income. If you have a steady flow of traffic coming to your blog via search engines and your content effectively promotes products as an affiliate, you’ll earn commissions virtually on auto-pilot.
Affiliate Marketing Platforms
There are many affiliate marketing platforms where you can find various affiliate programs and choose the ones with the best commissions. For instance, some of the most popular platforms of this kind are Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and CJ Affiliate. You need to create an account, and then you can browse affiliate programs.
Affiliate networks offer a vast variety of affiliate programs from different niches. We recommend that you always choose products directly related to the topics you cover in your blog. Your audience should be interested in the products you promote so that more people will want to visit your affiliate links and bring you more commission.
3. Accept sponsored posts
This is another everyday blog monetizing strategy enabling you to earn money for blog posts. You can write about a specific product if the company is willing to pay. Sometimes, you don’t even need to write the content. Some companies already have blog posts they want to publish, so you should publish them and get paid.
The same tactic is used by Instagram and YouTube influencers who accept sponsorships. Of course, you won’t get sponsorship offers until you establish authority in your niche; however, even if companies from your niche don’t know you yet. But, if you already have an engaged audience and a consistent blogging schedule, you can look for companies that might want to collaborate.
The best way to find companies for sponsored posting is to join blogging networks, such as ValuedVoice, or Massive Sway. You can register on these platforms and create a media kit to provide potential collaborators with information on your page stats, audience demographics, social media activity, etc. This way, advertisers will quickly evaluate whether or not you can give them sufficient exposure.
Keep in mind that U.S. bloggers should comply with the FTC guidelines. Whenever you make sponsored posts, you should indicate that your readers are dealing with sponsored content and provide the name of the company that paid for this post.
4. Publish reviews
You can also get paid for writing reviews. This strategy for monetizing a blog has much in common with publishing sponsored posts. But, it relies on a different format of content. You should find a company interested in promotion, try its product, and publish a review on your blog. The main thing is to choose products that are directly related to your niche and the subject of your blog. You can contact companies from your niche directly or register on platforms like PayPerPost to find brands interested in paid reviews.
5. Sell digital products
One of the best ways to monetize your blog in 2023 is by creating and selling digital products and printables! The easiest way is to have a Shopify shop with printables for sale, through which people can buy your products directly from your blog or website. You can use free graphics design software like Canva or PowerPoint to create printables to sell to your audience. Think about some of your audience’s most significant problems and how you can help solve those problems by creating digital products. Think templates, ebooks, planners, organizers, etc., the endless options, and so is the amount of income you can generate from selling digital products with your online business.
6. Create a membership blog
Suppose you have an impressive audience of loyal followers. In that case, you can introduce a paid membership so that your readers will pay to access exclusive materials that deliver unique value. When running a membership site, you can allow your readers to get lifetime access after paying once or offer a monthly subscription.
The second option is more profitable because it enables recurring revenue. Introducing membership options requires you to change the functionality of your website. Fortunately, many WordPress plugins can help you turn your site into a membership blog in just a few clicks.
7. Create And Launch A Virtual Summit
Hosting a virtual summit is a quick and fairly easy way to gain traction with your blog. “Virtual summits are collaborative online events where a host interviews speakers on relevant topics, benefiting both business owners and newcomers,” Says Megan Jones, Manager of NutraSweet Natural.
Virtual summits can create new leads and relationships, boost your website’s authority, and increase your website engagement quickly. As underrated as a marketing tactic as they are, the Virtual Summit is becoming incredibly popular as the workforce shifts to an online presence. Not only can you earn tons of new email subscribers, but you can also earn tons of money just from hosting one conference. Bloggers have reported making a six-figure income just from hosting virtual summits regularly. A blog can increase its lead generation drastically from a well-thought-out and publicized virtual summit, allowing its network to grow by the numbers.
8. Utilize Social Media
There are so many social media platforms with different audiences just waiting for you to tap into. “Promoting what your blog can offer through platforms such as Tiktok and Twitter can greatly boost traffic to your blog and therefore boost revenue,” says Gregg Dean, Co-founder and CEO of Layla Sleep.
Not only can you boost your revenue on your blog, but if you garner a large enough audience on social media, you can find yourself making some money on those platforms as well. In the end, it is a win-win situation to begin utilizing social media.
9. Email Marketing
While it may seem like a lot of work, email marketing can be powerful. Building a strong relationship with readers can ultimately lead to increased subscribers to your blog. While building a decent list of subscribers may take some time, the payoff is there. “Emails allow you to market not only your blog but services and offers from your blog directly to your readers,” says Rich Rudzinski, Founder at Oversight.co. This is an easy way to boost revenue for your blog but it can take a bit more time to get up and running. There are plenty of email finder tools and email marketing platforms that you can utilize to get you started.
10. Create a private forum
You can also choose another option and create a private forum instead of selling memberships. You can create a place on your website where audience members can discuss relevant topics and share their experiences. A forum is a great solution not only because it can become an additional source of income but also because it will increase overall engagement. This way, you’ll build a whole community around your blog.
11. Publish a book
Ever thought of writing a book? This step often ends when we wonder how to develop the book’s title. And then, getting a book published is no easy task. Publishers want a “sure thing, ” usually a proven concept. And authors want an advance and hope for royalties to follow. However, small business owners such as blog publishers who publish a book independently can save money and be recognized as an author.
A book increases an author’s authority and trust – regardless of whether or not the book becomes a bestseller. “A book is a phenomenal lead generation tool because it allows instant gratification. I recommend you include a link to your website at the beginning and the end of your book and enjoy all the extra traffic and revenue you will get from this strategy.” — Alinka Rutkowska, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author and CEO of Leaders Press.
And self-publishing a book means opening a new stream for a blog. For example, book publishing can lead to speaking engagements, on-air and off-air interviews, product placements, and lucrative endorsement deals. These wins increase the blog’s organic reach and generate additional income.
Publishing a book to Amazon KDP is a popular choice among DIY authors, and when combined with Amazon SEO, your commissions can skyrocket!
12. Offer consultations
You may have encountered many poorly designed blogs of financial advisors and lawyers that look terrible and outdated yet profitable for their owners. The reason is that these professionals charge a lot for their services. In this case, a blog is just an opportunity to promote services, and this approach can be beneficial if your blog is relatively new and you don’t get much traffic yet.
First, you should turn your website visitors into email subscribers. Create an online form with an attractive offer. For example, you can offer a free webinar or online course. To get access to this exclusive content, readers will need to leave their verified email addresses. After this, you can send targeted emails. Use email marketing to build strong relationships with your readers and provide value.
Active subscribers who read your emails and want to hear more from you might be interested in a consultation. Once you’ve proven that you can deliver value, you can give your audience a chance to contact you directly and get answers to their questions.
13. Sell online courses
If you can provide valuable information and educate your audience, you can create and sell online courses. You don’t need to be the best expert in your niche to sell courses. The main thing is to deliver value and ensure that people will learn something specific from your course. Good courses have a clear direction and don’t simply focus on general knowledge. Consider the how-to format and ensure your audience learns helpful skills or gets valuable insights.
Jason Smith, the founder of Courses for Success, says, “We monetize our blog by creating valuable educational content — this results in some users signing up for a short course.” Indeed, blog content also pairs this up and targets other marketing channels, such as remarketing and targeting new interactions (I.e., top of the funnel).”
14. Become a coach
If you’re an influential blogger, the chances are that many people will appreciate an opportunity to receive advice from you in a one-on-one setting. If you’re an expert in your niche – for example, maybe you’re an architect and know many helpful, practical tips, offering a blog-based coaching service is a tremendous monetizing strategy. You should choose the type of coaching based on your blog’s niche.
15. Sell your branded merch
This approach is used by traditional bloggers, YouTubers, Instagram influencers, and many others with a platform and a dedicated fan base. If you’re successful at blogging and have a loyal audience, you can sell your branded t-shirts, mugs, hats, and other products. Include your logo, or consider designing a distinctive logo for your merch. You can also come up with meaningful slogans. Ensure your product design corresponds to your blog’s general niche and style.
Remember that selling physical items isn’t easy because you must consider many factors, from communication with suppliers and managing orders to shipping. Besides, you need to add shopping functionality to your website. The latter can be easy to achieve if you use WordPress because this platform supports numerous themes and plugins with built-in eCommerce features.
16. Focus on a specific niche
A blog can gain credibility as an authoritative source for a specific topic by zeroing in on a specific niche. Let’s say we have a blog in the furniture niche. And this blog has 40-50 well-written articles about furnishings of all different types: Kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, etc. These are all very competitive niches as the scope is broad.
When combined with an SEO strategy, the general rule of thumb is the more narrow the niche, the better the organic reach. This is because competition will be lower. Think of it this way: Imagine you were operating the same furniture blog. You might have 3-4 dozen articles about furniture. In this case, you’d be competing with thousands of kitchen or bathroom sites, if not hundreds of thousands. But what if your blog was super specific, such as modern bathroom furnishings? The blog would face less competition if it had 40-50 articles about modern bathroom furniture. And that translates into more visitors, which means more money for the blog owner.
“Organic traffic from commercial evergreen queries is necessary to monetize and ensure high profitability. The key to finding this is to look at competitors doing well in your space and audit their sites to see which URLs drive the most traffic from terms with high CPC rates. Then create blog content that is better than theirs for the primary queries. A tool called Ahrefs makes this super easy as they have a function that estimates the traffic value to each URL and which queries are driving it.” — Nick Brogden, founder of Earned Media.
Once traffic builds, the blog owner can partner with companies selling furniture and earn a commission from the sale.
17. Host webinars
Paid webinars can help you demonstrate your expertise in the niche and promote your blog. Webinars have a lot in common with online courses. You should define a precise topic and provide well-structured material. Besides, you should plan for a Q&A session so your audience can clarify any details at the end of your webinar.
Webinars are helpful blogging tools for two reasons. First, you can use free webinars to promote your services or products. This option can be helpful if you’re using other blog monetization strategies. However, you can also offer paid webinars and make them your main product. You should create a landing page to promote your webinars and sell tickets.
18. Build Real Relationships
Ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? The same deal applies to blogging and business. But before you go sending out emails and requests to everyone in your niche trying to see if they’ll be your friend, there’s something you need to understand first.
Value. You need to provide real value first. If you go into a deal thinking only about what you will get out of it, then, unfortunately, you won’t be coming out as a winner. You need to focus on what you can bring to others and how that will benefit them or their business.
Questions to ask yourself before reaching out to bloggers include:
- Can you bring your knowledge and expertise to their audience?
- Do they need more blog posts to fill up their content calendar?
- Are they link-building themselves? If so, can you provide them with a link to another guest post you have?
- Is there a topic that the blog hasn’t covered yet?
When you understand this and start your outreach strategy, make your email or message (if you’re using social media) as personalized as possible. This will make you stand out from the other emails the website owner may be getting that have been sent through a mass email service.
Valuable relationships can come in the form of content and links. While this isn’t money in the bank, the offset is that you are providing value to higher domain authority (DA) sites with much more traffic. By placing a link to your website in a guest post, people will find your courses, click on your affiliate links, and sign up to your email list, increasing your blog revenue.
Starting a blog has never been easier than now, so if you know a lot about anything and want to share your knowledge with others, you can become a blogger. Blogging can become an excellent tool for self-expression and a good source of income. However, you should be able to choose the right monetization strategy.
Bloggers from different niches can benefit from different monetization approaches. Therefore, knowing your niche and your audience is essential to offer something valuable. This article considers some of the most popular and lucrative blog monetizing strategies. We hope our tips will help you make your blog more profitable and enjoy blogging even more.