Yes, it's true. You can earn money from blogging.
Making a fulltime living from your blog is not a pipe dream. It's not easy, and it won't happen overnight, but it's totally possible.
Many bloggers earn thousands per month, others tens of thousands and some like Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com earn over a hundred thousand per month.
However, before you can make even $1, you first have to monetise your blog.
There are lots of ways you can monetise a blog. In this post, we will look at 7 of the more common methods used by bloggers.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people's products and services and receive a commission for any sales or leads (depending on the type of affiliate deal) that you generate.
To get started with affiliation, you have to join associate programs, either directly through brands and individuals or through affiliate networks like Amazon Associates, ShareaSale.com, and CommissionJunction.com.
Once accepted to a program you will receive affiliate links (URLs with unique tracking codes that record sales) for the products and services that you want to promote. You can place these links within posts, dedicated review articles or in emails that you send to blog subscribers.
Affiliate marketing as a monetisation method is a good fit for most blogs, but the amount you can earn depends on your niche. The best niches are those where people are actively buying products and services.
Membership blogs offer exclusive content through a private area where members pay a subscription fee to gain access. There are WordPress plugins that enable you to this.
Membership sites typically offer a wide range of content, eBooks, online courses, webinars, and premium blog posts. They are like mini-universities, where you can choose what you want to learn.
The cool thing with membership model is that you make recurring income, which means you are not continually chasing new sales. It also means that with only a small amount of members you can make a steady income.
Most membership sites I have subscribed to cost about $40 per month. If they only had 100 members, they make $4,000 per month. That's not too shabby at all!
This monetisation model is not for beginners (at least not straight off the bat) because you first need to create a large body of content. However, it is something that you can work towards.
Many bloggers create online courses and sell them through their blog, it can be a very profitable monetisation strategy. Depending on the depth and the quality of a course, you can charge anywhere from $40 to $1000 and up.
Online courses are perfect for niches that lend themselves to teaching, where people are looking to learn new skills.
There are all kinds of subjects that you can build a course around – Home Improvements, Arts & Crafts, Writing, Marketing, Photography, Cooking, and Fishing.
You name it, and there is probably a course for it.
If creating a course interests you, check out platforms like Udemy, SkillShare, and Lynda.com to see what types of courses are popular, to get ideas for your own.
Third Party Advertising
Third party advertising is when you display ads on your blog. You know the ones, banners advertisements on the sidebars of sites, and ad units within the content.
There are three typical ad types:
CPC (Cost per Click) – With CPC, you get paid when someone clicks an ad. The amount you receive per click varies, but it’s usually cents on the dollar.
CPM (Cost per Mile) – With CPM, you are paid– usually a few dollars – for every 1000 times (impressions) an ad displays on a webpage.
CPA (Cost per Action) – With CPA, you are paid when someone performs an action like sign-up to survey, or provide an email.
Many beginner bloggers use this monetisation method because it's easy to get started. However, it's not so easy to make money. The payouts are small, so you need thousands of daily visitors for it to be effective.
Private Advertising & Sponsorships
Private ads are similar to 3rd-party advertising, but instead of working through ad networks, you work directly with brands and individuals. Working directly with advertisers allows you to negotiate better payment rates while ensuring the brands you promote are a good fit for your audience.
Private ads usually take the form of banners, but they can also be other types of promotions such as sponsored posts, where you write paid reviews for products or services.
To start with private ads, you will first need to build an engaged audience. Advertisers will only work with you if you have a good following that fits their brand.
Of course, if your blog takes-off brands will come to you.
When contacting advertisers you will need a media-kit, this is a document with the type of advertising you offer, details of your audience demographics, and blog stats such as traffic, page views, and impressions. You can also create an advertisers page on your blog that provides information for advertisers a link to download your media-kit.
For lifestyle, news, and entertainment type blogs direct advertising can complement a third-party advertising strategy.
Have you ever dreamed of becoming an author? If so, selling eBooks could be a monetisation strategy to pursue.
Selling eBooks probably won't serve as a primary revenue stream (it depends on how many you write), but they can generate a nice side income.
If you do create one, it should be on a subject that helps your audience achieve something. It should solve a problem, educate, or inspire. An eBook about your musings on life probably won't fly off the digital shelf.
EBooks don't have to have to be lengthy tomes either, most of the ones I have purchased are between 50 and 200 pages.
With eBook publishing, there are two options for creating one. You can do it yourself, or hire a ghost-writer from Freelancer.com or Upwork.com.
Many bloggers monetise their blogs by selling services.
There are three main types of services that you can offer:
Freelancing: There are all kinds of freelancing opportunities – Content writing, web development, graphic design, virtual assistant, translations.
Coaching (Usually done via Skype): You can provide coaching services like business coaching, life-coaching, accountability coaching.
Consultancy: You can offer business consultancy, financial planning consultancy, tax consultancy, marketing, etc.
Selling services is a quick way to monetise your blog. To get started, all you need to do is create a "Work with Me" (or something similarly named) with the details of the services you offer and pricing information.
There is a downside to selling services though.
The nature of service gigs means that you trade time for money – time you could be using to grow and develop your blog. But, in saying that, some bloggers, create their blog for the sole purpose of building a service-based business.
Over to You..
I hope this post has helped you to gain a better understanding of the different ways you can make money blogging, and what methods might work best suited for your blog and audience.
Should you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line by email or chime in below in the comment section.