Can I really make money with my blog?
Short answer, YES! The idea that you can make a living out of blogging isn’t anything new. There are countless ways to monetize a blog for profit. In fact, it’s one of the benefits of owning a blog.
Not all money making blogging schemes are effective, however. So in this guide, I’ll be showing you methods that do work.
But I don’t own a physical store. How can I monetize my blog?
It’s a common misconception that unless you have a physical store, you can’t make money with a blog. And let me tell you, this isn’t true at all!
You can use a blog as an online store and an alternative to a physical shop. Think of it as a digital catalog that people can access anywhere on the internet. There, you can have your full range of products on display. Customers simply have to add them to a shopping cart and pay for their orders online.
What if I don’t have any products to sell?
We’ve got you covered as well. There are different ways to monetize a blog, and many of them don’t require you to have products. You can offer services, get paid to blog, or earn money from blog ads or affiliate marketing among countless other strategies.
How to Earn Passive Income with Blog Ads
Who’s this for? Bloggers looking for easy ways to earn money online but either have limited business experience or don’t have any products or services.
Placing ads on your blog doesn’t earn as much as it used to. Still, it is the easiest way to make money online for free. Blog ads are suitable for people who want to focus on creating content but have little time or concern for the money-making side of blogging.
1. Get ads on your blog with Google AdSense
Google AdSense is one of the quickest ways to earn money from blog ads. After signing up, your blog will start displaying “cost per click” or CPC ads. You will get paid each time someone clicks on them. How much you make depends on what ads are being displayed. Every click will earn you a different amount since advertisers determine the cost per click.
Setting up Google AdSense is easy, although it does take a while to get approved. It also doesn’t earn as much as directly putting ads on your blog. In spite of these, it’s a good way to monetize your blog if you’re still starting out and want to make extra money.
Tip: Learn how to sign up and set up AdSense on your blog with this Google AdSense tutorial.
2. Get blog ads from other ad networks
There are more lucrative ways to monetize a blog using ads. For instance, you can sign up with other ad networks. Unlike Google AdSense, they do not limit you to CPC ads. You can opt to display “cost per thousand” or CPM ads on your blog. CPM pays for every 1,000 impressions or views.
The top ad networks are…
Before you can get ads on your blog, there’s a set of criteria you have to meet. Each ad network will have its own standards. Generally, you’ll need a popular blog with thousands of monthly page views to be approved.
The payout varies based on the ad network or advertiser. But the rates are better compared to Google AdSense. Ad networks like BlogHer and Popsugar also pay for sponsored posts, which earn more than CPC or CPM ads.
Tip: Read our simple guide to what is an ad network – and how bloggers make money with it.
3. Sell blog ads to make money
Ad networks take a large cut from your ad earnings and leave you with little income. So why not cut the middleman and directly sell ads to advertisers? Selling ad spaces is one of the best ways to monetize a blog. You can charge a flat rate or negotiate terms and prices with an advertiser. Once you reach an agreement, you’ll receive the full payment for placing ads on your blog.
Tip: For WordPress blog owners, I highly recommend installing an ad manager. This will make it easier for you to sell ad spaces on your blog. You can take your pick from these Top 20 WordPress ad management plugins.
How to Monetize Your Blog Content
Who’s this for? Bloggers who want to get paid to blog but don’t necessarily have products, services, or a brick-and-mortar store.
Your content is more valuable than you think. It gives you the leverage to make money online, even when you don’t have anything to sell. The following techniques in blog monetization will enable you to market your content and writing skills.
4. Sell sponsored blog posts
A sponsored post is one that is paid for by a brand or company called a sponsor. Basically, you are paid to blog and share it on social media. In most cases, you will be asked to write about a product or service, or feature a campaign associated with the sponsor. Similar to ad networks, your blog must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for sponsored posts.
Sponsor-friendly blogs have…
- High traffic
- A significant social media following
- And demographics that fit a sponsors’ target audience
Here are examples of sponsored post networks you can join:
- Best Buy Blogger Network
- Blog Meets Brand
- Find Your Influence
- Ignite Social Media
- Social Fabric
- Valued Voice
If you want to opt for sponsored posts as ways to monetize a blog, be aware of the laws in your area concerning disclosure. In the United States, bloggers are expected to comply with FTC’s Endorsement Guidelines.
Tip: Learn more about sponsored posts article so that you’ll know exactly how to get blog sponsorship opportunities and where to find them!
5. Write guest posts
Among the most popular ways to monetize a blog is to write guest posts for company-owned blogs or websites. Not only will this earn you considerable income. Since bloggers are usually allowed to link back to their site, it’s also a great strategy for blog traffic generation.
You still need to share them on social media. But unlike sponsored posts which appear on your blog, guest posts are published on the blog or website of the advertising company.
Most companies are willing to pay for guest posts. Some might ask you to write one for free in exchange for a link to your site. You should only consider writing free guest posts if you can benefit from online exposure and increased blog traffic.
Tip: Read our article on the benefits of guest blogging on your traffic, SEO, and more!
6. Write paid reviews
In a way, paid reviews are a type of sponsored post. You are still paid to blog. Except for this time, you can make money with online reviews of products you’ve personally tried out.
Companies will send you their products for free. However, you have to be careful with the types of products you review. Only review products which are relevant to your niche, and make sure that your audience would be interested in them.
Tip: Read our in-depth article, Get Paid To Review Products On Your Blog for more information.
7. Get paid to post on social media
Yet another type of sponsored post, this is when a brand or company requests you to write a blog or gives you pre-made content to post on your blog. You will then be paid to share this post on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Naturally, you need a huge social following for this blog monetization strategy.
Tip: Make it easy for your readers to share content from your blog. These 32 Best Social Media Plugins can help with that.
8. Get paid to blog about an event
Maybe you haven’t heard of it, but it’s one of the latest ways to monetize a blog for profit. You will be hired to attend an event and write about it on your blog. Additionally, an events organizer might pay you to promote an upcoming event, share related blog posts, or talk about it live on your social media.
Tip: This useful guide on How to Create an Event Marketing Strategy will entice clients to book you for a paid event coverage.
Ways to Monetize a Blog with Physical Products
Who’s this for? Bloggers who want to market their own products or sell retail products.
Selling physical products may be challenging, but there’s nothing quite like it. For self-made entrepreneurs and small businesses, it’s one of the most rewarding ways to get money online.
9. Launch an eCommerce blog
Do you have products of your own? Then you should start an eCommerce blog. It acts as a virtual store where people can shop and pay you directly through online transactions. Admittedly, setting up an online store requires plenty of hard work. You have to take care of back end processes like shipment and inventory.
Tip: Setting up an eCommerce store doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You can effortlessly build eCommerce websites with WordPress using the Best Free eCommerce WordPress Plugins.
10. Set up a drop shipping service
Dropshipping is an increasingly popular approach towards monetizing your blog. You still need to build an eCommerce site, but you won’t have to worry about inventory, shipment, or selling your own products.
How bloggers make money with drop shipping
With drop shipping, you serve as the intermediary between customers and your supplier. Your responsibility is to build and manage an online store, as well as handle customer service. When people find something they like, they will place orders on your shop and pay for their purchases.
Customers pay for the retail price of products. You won’t actually have them in your inventory. And so, you need to forward orders to a supplier and pay for them at a discounted wholesale price. Once orders are processed, your supplier will take care of packaging and shipping items to your customers. How much a blog can make depends on the difference between the wholesale and retail price.
The top drop shipping suppliers are…
Tip: To learn more, check out this beginner-friendly guide on How to Build a Dropshipping Site on WordPress.
11. Link your blog to third-party eCommerce sites
One of the easiest ways to monetize a blog is to link it to other eCommerce sites. There’s no need to turn your blog into an online store. Instead, you’ll be using it to promote products and publish related content.
Customers won’t be able to purchase products on your blog. You have to redirect them to third-party eCommerce sites where they can perform transactions. You can sell your own products, or promote affiliate products from eCommerce sites.
Some of the best eCommerce platforms include…
Ways to Monetize a Blog with Digital Products
Who’s this for? Bloggers who are looking for easy ways to earn money online by selling digital products as an alternative.
Digital products are extremely marketable. From production to sales, they take less time and are simpler to work with. Selling digital products can be equally rewarding as physical products. The best thing about them is you don’t need to invest much besides time and skill.
12. Sell eBooks
eBooks are the most common digital product available. Because they’re electronic, you can easily create and sell them online. If you’ve been blogging for some time, you can repurpose old blog posts to create saleable eBooks. You could also start from scratch and write eBooks that are meaningful to your audience.
Tip: If you want to explore this blog monetization strategy, here is Everything You Need to Know About Selling eBooks. When you’re ready, you can sell eBooks on your WordPress blog with the help of eCommerce plugins.
13. Sell your blog photos and videos
Bloggers can also earn money online by selling high-quality photos and videos. You can market them on stock photo sites or include them in sponsored or social media posts as a paid package. Alternatively, you can use your blog to sell these digital products to other blog and website owners.
You don’t have to be a professional to make this work. Although it does pay (literally) to have a decent camera as well as skills in photography, videography, and editing.
14. Sell music and audio files
Audio files are typically overlooked as digital products. So what makes them great for monetizing your blog?
For starters, they’re the perfect alternative for busy consumers. People on-the-go won’t have time to read. But they can always listen to audio while working, traveling by commute, juggling chores, or pretty much anything else! Second of all, it’s a versatile format. Audio files can be used for entertainment or educational purposes.
You can sell…
- Cover versions
- Recorded lectures
- Educational lessons
- Relaxing background noises
- And more!
Tip: Music artists can grow their fan-base with the 14 Best WordPress Music Plugins.
15. Sell digital documents
Did you know? eBooks aren’t the only readable digital products you can make money from. Other ways to monetize a blog include selling documents such as:
- Industry reports
- Market statistics
- PowerPoint templates
- Manuals and guides
- Downloadable templates (i.e. resumé, project proposals)
Tip: If you have written industry-specific blog posts, you can repackage and sell them to leaders and influencers in your field. These Top 16 Plugins for Selling Digital Products are a must-have on any WordPress blog.
16. Sell graphics and digital art
Digital artists and graphic designers can use a personal blog to sell their work. Depending on your skill set, it could be anything from sketches and custom patterns, to personalized card designs and logos. Additionally, a blog is the ideal digital portfolio. You can use it to showcase your talent and offer your services.
Tip: Want to sell your art? Here are 16 Places Where You Sell Your Designs.
17. Sell online courses
eLearning is a newcomer in blog monetization. In spite of this, it’s quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to monetize a blog. These digital products are perfect for industry experts who want to market their knowledge and skills. Although time-consuming, online courses promise big returns in revenue.
You can offer online courses as…
- A downloadable one-part course
- A downloadable series of courses
- A web-based service accessible through paid subscription or membership
- Independent courses you can finish without supervision
- Interactive courses with teacher-student relationships
Tip: WordPress can be integrated with learning management systems (LMS), making it easy for blog owners to launch online courses. Simply install the Best LMS Plugins for WordPress and you’ll be selling online courses in no time!
18. Host a webinar
Webinars are often mistaken as online courses. However, unlike recorded online classes which you can access anytime, webinars are conducted live on a set schedule. Students are allowed to ask questions and are answered in real-time. You can monetize your blog by providing limited access to paying subscribers.
Tip: To host webinars on your WordPress blog, choose from the 9 Best Webinar Plugins.
19. Sell tickets online
Selling digital tickets is one of those least known ways to monetize a blog. You can sell tickets to flights, tours, concerts, conferences, and other events – including online experiences such as webinars and eCourses. Customers can use these tickets by printing them out or presenting their bar code from a hand-held device.
Tip: Check out this list of Free and Paid Plugins for Selling Tickets on your WordPress blog.
Monetizing Your Blog With Paid Services
Who’s this for? Skilled experts who want to make fast money online by selling their services.
There’s never been an easier way to monetize your blog than offering your services. You don’t have to invest time and money to create a product or set up an inventory. Essentially, you are the product – and the only thing left to do is to market yourself.
20. Set up an online consulting business
If you’re a professional, offering consultations is one of the best ways to monetize a blog. You can start providing this service with little investment. Simply create a blog page where people can request information about your services. Almost immediately, you can make money by giving expert advice in your industry.
Depending on what you’re comfortable with, you can offer one-on-one consultations to companies or individuals at a fixed hourly rate. You can also provide online training to a small group for discounted prices.
Tip: Make sure to have a ‘Request a Quote’ form on your blog. For WordPress users, here’s a quick instructional on How to Create a Request Quote Form. WordPress plugins like WPForms make it easier for clients to ask for a quote.
21. Offer freelance services
Apart from giving consultations, niche experts can make fast money online through freelancing. It’s a great way to earn money considering that the only investment you’ll need is skill and effort.
Freelancing service include:
- Web Design Services
- Graphic Art
- Social Media Management
- Copywriting Services
- Digital Marketing
Ways To Get Money Through Affiliate Marketing
Who’s it for? Bloggers who don’t have products or services of their own, but would like to monetize their blog through affiliate programs.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a blog monetization strategy that generates commission-based income. But first, you’ll have to sign up for an affiliate program. These programs are managed by brands or companies with a roster of products or services or have the desired outcome – such as signing up for a newsletter. As an affiliate, your job is to promote them on your blog.
How can I monetize my blog through affiliate marketing?
There are two ways to monetize a blog. Depending on your affiliate program, you will earn on a “cost per action” or “cost per lead” basis:
- Cost Per Action (CPA) pays for every completed action, such as when a customer buys a product or avails a service.
- Cost Per Lead (CPL) pays for every lead you generate. A lead is a prospect with the potential to purchase in the future.
Affiliate networks will provide you special links which they can track for user activity. This enables them to monitor whether they’ve sold products and services, or gotten leads with the help of your blog.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how affiliate marketing works, let’s proceed with the best ways to monetize a blog using this strategy.
22. Promote affiliate products or services
Companies with affiliate programs can get you paid to blog. With both products and services, the goal is to drive sales to affiliate networks since they pay per action. You can promote either digital or physical products on your blog. Whichever you choose, just remember to stick close to your niche.
You can encourage readers to purchase products by writing lengthy and honest reviews about them, or explaining how they can be useful. You can also talk about the services they offer, or any personal experiences you may have had so people would be enticed to avail them.
Here are examples of affiliate networks you can join:
Tip: To get started, read this Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing.
23. Get leads
Some affiliate programs pay per lead. Leads do not generate instant income for affiliate networks, but they have huge potential to become profitable conversions.
Coupon codes, trial registrations, and free downloads are a few examples of affiliate leads you could promote on your blog for profit. Many of these programs will require leads to provide their email or phone number, allowing companies to contact them for offers and promotions.
Tip: Pay per lead programs are perfect for blogs that get good traffic and have a large following on social media. Sign up with these Top Paying Pay Per Lead Affiliate Programs to start making money blogging.
Monetizing your Blog Through Paid Membership
Who’s this for? People who want more ways to monetize a blog by offering premium content.
Professionals and industry experts are best suited for this blog monetization strategy. It focuses on providing high-quality content containing expert advice. Access will be limited to readers who are willing to pay, which gives you more ways to monetize a blog.
24. Build a membership site
We all know that providing free content is a great way to attract readers and potential customers. But if you really want to earn money with a blog, you should set up a membership site and provide limited access to content.
You can create articles, videos, recorded audio, downloadables, online courses, training material, and other types of content. The trick is to:
- Showcase your industry knowledge
- Highlight your experience in the field
- Give extremely valuable insight to your readers
Done right, your most loyal readers will be more than willing to pay for exclusive content. You can offer a one-time subscription where readers only have to pay once to access your members-only blog. Or you can offer monthly and annual subscriptions to generate constant blogging income.
Tip: Do you want to learn how to set up a membership site with WordPress? You might find these 13 Best WordPress Membership Plugins incredibly useful.
25. Build a forum
One of the best ways to monetize a blog is to create a forum. There, you can offer exclusive content to your readers. But you can also use it to provide one-on-one advice to forum members. Depending on your approach, you can charge for a one-time, monthly, or annual membership fee.
Tip: Did you know that setting up a forum on WordPress is easy? Just install one of the 12 Best WordPress Forum Plugins and you’ll be all set.
Ways to Monetize A Blog with Advertised Listings
Who’s this for? Bloggers who want to earn money from a directory site.
It’s no secret that blog ads won’t earn you as much. Thankfully, listings are a form of direct advertising so they generate higher revenue for blog owners.
How bloggers make money from advertised listings
An online directory is a type of blog or website which contains lists of people or businesses. There are three kinds:
- Business directory
- Job boards
- Events board
Many businesses and individuals are willing to pay so they can be included on online directories. We call these advertised listings. You can charge monthly or yearly, and earn hundreds to thousands of dollars from paid listings. Below are three more ways to monetize a blog with an online directory.
26. Create a business directory
A business directory contains lists of businesses. Here, businesses can provide details such as their address, contact information, and links to their website and social networks.
When creating a business directory, you should limit its scope. Target a specific location, such as a city or a state; or profitable niches like health and beauty. These can help you attract high-quality traffic, which is exactly what advertisers are looking for when opting for paid listings.
Tip: You can choose to advertise online businesses, brick-and-mortar establishments, or a combination of both. It all depends on how you want to monetize your blog. Create your own with this step by step guide on How to Build an Online Directory with WordPress.
27. Create a job board
A job board is a place where companies can advertise job openings, and where people can find such opportunities. Again, you need to be specific when creating a job board. Targeting a specific location or industry is going to attract the right crowds.
For example, if your blog provides tips for bloggers and content writers, you can set up a job board for them. Companies that need to hire professionals from these fields won’t hesitate to approach you for advertised listings.
Tip: With WordPress, you can quickly build a job board. Simply take your pick from the 20 Best Job Board Themes and Plugins and install them on your WordPress blog.
28. Create an events calendar
An events calendar is a place where businesses can advertise upcoming events. To monetize your blog for this strategy, you have to target niche industries or local businesses. You can advertise conferences, conventions, product launches, store openings, webinars, and live stream events, just to name a few.
Tip: Add an events calendar to your WordPress blog! Choose from the 9 Best Event Calendar Plugins and you can earn by advertising events.
Things to Consider Before Monetizing Your Blog
We’ve finally come to the end of our list. Now that we’ve explored 28 different ways to monetize a blog, let’s get a few things straight.
The strategies covered in this post are legit ways to earn money online. They’re effective and have been proven to work by thousands of bloggers, but they will not get you instant cash.
Blog monetization is a long-term investment. If you want to make money with a blog, there are two important things to consider:
- Your blogging platform
- Your blog design
Throughout this post, I’ve shown you how WordPress makes it easy to integrate ways to monetize your blog. There is no doubt that WordPress is the best money-making blogging platform, and it’s something I would recommend even for beginners.
However, you also have to make sure you have a fast, mobile-friendly blog with a reliable web host and a beautiful design. That way, you can give blog visitors the best possible experience as well as improve your chances of earning.
Want to get up and running quickly with your WordPress blog without the hassle of picking a hosting company and installing WordPress and essential features?
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