Years ago, I was in trouble. I’d crashed out of my PhD program due to mental illness (rapid cycling bipolar disorder I, if you’re wondering), the relationship I had been in had ended quite horrifically, and I was homeless, jobless, and desperate. Fortunately for me, my mum let me live in her box room, and from there, I set about creating a new life for myself.
Making money blogging may seem like one of those fabled get rich quick schemes that can’t possibly be true. And it isn’t true, not if you think it’s going to rapidly earn you money. It’s not quick. It takes time, work, and a lot of creativity and effort. But if you’re willing to do that, you can make money blogging.
You can make a lot of money.
And while you can do that by using your blog to promote and grow a successful business (as I did), you can also do it by monetising your blog content and earning money from your blog itself. If you’re doing the former and you’re really smart, you’ll do both (as I did!).
While there is an awful lot to learn and know about blogging and content marketing itself, there is a practical aspect of earning money from your blog that’s often overlooked – or at least, skipped over quickly as if everyone knows just how to do it. I know that for many, the practicality of getting it setup can be mysterious, daunting, and put you off from trying.
So, here’s exactly how to get your website setup for success and make money blogging. Be sure to bookmark this page and return occasionally, as I’ll keep updating it with more options (trust me, there are far more than you realise!).
Websites can generate revenue from advertising through various methods. Here are some common ways websites make money from advertising:
Display Advertising: Place banner ads, text ads, or multimedia ads on your web pages. These ads are typically provided by ad networks or ad exchanges that connect advertisers with website publishers. Advertisers pay you based on the number of impressions (number of times the ad is displayed) or clicks the ads receive. The revenue generated depends on factors such as ad placement, ad size, website traffic, and user engagement.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: With PPC advertising, websites display ads provided by advertising networks, and website owners earn money when users click on those ads. Advertisers bid on keywords relevant to their products or services, and when a user searches for those keywords, ads related to the search query appear. You earn revenue each time a user clicks on the ad.
Sponsored Content: Websites can collaborate with advertisers to publish sponsored articles or content. These pieces are typically labelled as sponsored or branded content and are designed to match your editorial style. Advertisers pay you to promote their products, services, or brands through this content.
Video Advertising: Incorporate video content on your blog that is monetized through video advertising. You can display video ads before, during, or after the main video content. Video ads can be sold on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis or on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis, where you earn revenue when users view or interact with the ad.
Native Advertising: Native advertising involves integrating promotional content seamlessly into your website’s editorial flow, making it appear as part of the regular content. These ads match the look and feel of your website, providing a less intrusive advertising experience. Native ads can be in the form of articles, sponsored recommendations, or product placements.
Ad Space Rental: Websites with high traffic or niche audiences can rent out ad space directly to advertisers. Instead of using ad networks or exchanges, advertisers pay you directly for ad placement. The cost can be based on a fixed rate, a CPM model, or other negotiated terms.
It’s common for websites to use a combination of these methods to maximise their advertising revenue. The specific approach chosen depends on factors such as website traffic, target audience, content type, and industry trends.
A Great Example: Timothy Sykes
Blogs can make money from affiliate marketing by partnering with companies and promoting their products or services. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how it works:
Join an Affiliate Program: Sign up for an affiliate program offered by a company, such as Amazon, or an affiliate network. This program provides them with a unique affiliate ID or tracking code.
Choose Relevant Products/Services: The website owner selects the products or services they want to promote. Ideally, they choose items that are relevant to their website’s content and audience to increase the likelihood of conversions.
Promote Affiliate Links: Incorporate affiliate links into your content. These links are unique URLs that contain the affiliate ID or tracking code. They can be placed in text, banners, product reviews, or other types of promotional content.
Drive Traffic to the Affiliate Links: Focus on driving traffic to their website and specifically to the pages containing the affiliate links. This can be done through various marketing channels such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, or paid advertising.
Earn Affiliate Commissions: When a referred visitor completes a purchase or desired action after clicking one of your links, you will earn a commission. The commission rate is predetermined by the company or affiliate program and is typically a percentage of the sale or a fixed amount.
Receive Payouts: Depending on the affiliate program’s payout schedule, you will receive payouts regularly, often on a monthly basis, for the commissions earned. Payout methods vary, including direct bank transfers, PayPal, or checks.
It’s important to note that affiliate marketing success relies on building trust with your audience. If you provide valuable content, genuine recommendations, and transparent disclosures about affiliate relationships you will have higher conversion rates and maintain a loyal audience. Take a look at the footer on this website, it clearly states I earn affiliate income from relevant links, as an Amazon Affiliate. I also write blogs like this one, talking about making money as an affiliate.
Sponsored Posts And Reviews
You can make money from sponsored posts and reviews by partnering with companies that are interested in promoting their products or services. Here’s an overview of how this monetization method typically works:
Partnership with Companies: Establish a partnership or collaboration with companies that want to increase their brand exposure or generate sales. This can be done directly with the company or through specialised platforms that connect publishers with advertisers.
Sponsored Post or Review Agreement: You will need to agree with the company on the terms and conditions of the sponsored post or review. This includes details such as the content format, specific products or services to be featured, compensation, disclosure requirements, and any other relevant guidelines.
Create Engaging Content: Based on the agreement, create engaging and informative content that promotes the company’s product or service. This can take the form of a dedicated blog post, article, video, and social media posts, or all of the above.
Incorporate Affiliate Links or Promo Codes: In many cases, sponsored posts or reviews also include affiliate links or promo codes. Promo codes work just like affiliate links, allowing you to earn a commission or receive additional compensation when readers make a purchase using those links or codes.
Publish and Promote the Content: Once the content is created, publish it on your website and other platforms. Promote the sponsored post or review through various channels, such as social media, email newsletters, or paid advertising, to maximise its reach and visibility.
Provide Honest and Transparent Reviews: It is crucial for up to maintain transparency and provide honest reviews of the sponsored products or services. This helps build trust with the audience and ensures the credibility of the website. Dishonest or misleading reviews can damage the website’s reputation and audience trust in the long run.
Receive Compensation: You will receive compensation from the company for publishing the sponsored post or review. The payment can be a fixed fee, a commission based on conversions, or a combination of both, depending on the agreement. Payment terms and schedules are usually discussed and agreed upon beforehand.
A Great Example: Homegrounds
Selling Digital Products
Selling digital products by creating and offering your own digital goods or by acting as a marketplace for digital products created by others is a great way to monetise your blog. Here’s a breakdown of how this monetization method typically works:
Create Digital Products: Create digital products such as e-books, online courses, software, stock photos, graphics, music, templates, or any other type of downloadable or online-accessible content. Alternatively, you can collaborate with creators or purchase resale rights for existing digital products to sell on their website.
Set Up An E-commerce Platform: Add an e-commerce platform such as WooCommerce to your website to facilitate the purchase and delivery of digital products. This involves integrating a secure payment gateway, such as PayPal or Stripe, to handle transactions.
Create Product Listings: List each digital product on your website with a detailed description, pricing, and any additional information that may be relevant to potential buyers. High-quality visuals, samples, or previews of the digital products can also be included to entice customers.
Drive Traffic and Marketing: To attract customers to your website and increase sales, focus on driving targeted traffic through various marketing efforts. This can include search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, advertising campaigns, or partnerships with influencers.
Secure and Streamline Purchases: When a customer decides to purchase a digital product, they add it to their cart and proceed to checkout. Your e-commerce platform securely handles the payment process, ensuring customer data protection and providing a smooth buying experience.
Deliver the Digital Products: After a successful purchase, the customer receives immediate access to the purchased digital product. This can be facilitated through a download link, access to an online portal, or email delivery. You can ensure that the digital products are delivered efficiently and securely.
Provide Customer Support: Offer customer support by addressing any questions, concerns, or technical issues that buyers may encounter with their digital products. This helps build customer satisfaction and can lead to positive reviews and repeat purchases.
Track and Optimise Sales: Track sales, analyses customer behaviour, and monitors the performance of different digital products. This data helps optimise pricing, marketing strategies, and product offerings to maximise revenue.
Selling digital products can be a profitable monetization strategy as it allows websites to leverage their expertise, creativity, and digital assets to generate income. Regularly updating and expanding your product catalogue, focusing on quality, and providing excellent customer service are key factors for success in this business model.
A Great Example: Denise Duffield Thomas
Membership Or Premium Content
Websites can make money from membership or premium content by offering exclusive access to valuable content or services for a recurring fee. This model allows websites to monetize their expertise, unique resources, or specialised content. Here’s how it generally works:
Identify Valuable Content: Identify content, services, or features that have high value and make them inaccessible to the general public. This can include in-depth articles, tutorials, videos, podcasts, webinars, exclusive forums, personalised consultations, tools, or any other type of content or services that cater to a specific audience’s needs.
Determine Membership Levels or Tiers: Decide on different membership levels or tiers that offer varying levels of access and benefits. For example, you may offer a basic membership with limited content and features and premium membership levels with more comprehensive access and exclusive perks.
Set Membership Fees: Determine the pricing structure for each membership level. The fees can be based on a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription model. The pricing should reflect the perceived value of the content or services being offered and be competitive within the market.
Create a Membership Area: Set up a dedicated membership area or a gated section on their website that can only be accessed by registered members. This area is password-protected or requires login credentials for entry.
Develop Exclusive Content and Features: Develop exclusive content and features specifically for the members. This can include premium articles, videos, tutorials, downloadable resources, interactive tools, community forums, member-only events, or any other value-added offerings that justify the membership fees.
Market and Promote the Membership: Promote the membership program to your target audience through various marketing channels, including using email marketing, social media promotion, content marketing, paid advertising, or collaborations with influencers or industry partners. Highlight the unique benefits and value of the membership is crucial to attract potential members.
Provide Ongoing Value and Engagement: Once members join, focus on providing ongoing value, regular updates, and engaging interactions within the membership community. This helps retain members and encourage them to continue their subscription.
Offer Excellent Member Support: Ensure prompt and helpful member support, addressing any inquiries or technical issues promptly. Good customer service fosters member satisfaction and increases the likelihood of member retention.
Manage Payments and Subscriptions: Manage the recurring payments and subscriptions for the members. This can be done using a payment gateway or membership management software that automates the billing process and handles subscription renewals.
Evolve and Improve: Continuously seek feedback from members and analyse their preferences to improve the membership program over time. Regularly updating and adding new content or features ensures ongoing value and keeps members engaged.
By offering exclusive and valuable content or services through membership or premium content models, websites can generate a reliable and recurring revenue stream while providing a unique and tailored experience to their dedicated audience.
A Great Example: The Female Entrepreneur Association
Final Thoughts On How To Make Money Blogging
When it comes to blogging there are many reasons to do it. You have passion for your subject. You find it therapeutic. You want to get a message out there. You’re searching for a community of like-minded people.
Maybe you’re dreaming of financial freedom and have been told blogging is a way to achieve it. You’re right, it is. But maybe you have no interest in making money from your blog, not really. The question though, is why not? Why not make money blogging since you’re blogging anyway. Why not earn enough to cover the cost of your website? Or the cost of a better website.
Whether you’re aiming for enough to cover costs, enough to boost your income, enough to allow you to quit your job, or enough to make you a millionaire, it doesn’t matter. The world is your oyster when you have your own blog and know how to use content marketing effectively. Part of that is monetising your blog. But there’s a lot more to it. If you want to learn all the ins and outs of blogging and content marketing, fill in the form below and I’ll send you a FREE advance reader copy of my new book, Divine Blogging…