Are you thinking of monetising your blog?
You, like many other bloggers, have been on that same path, deciding if it is possible to earn money online.
And if so, how could you make money blogging?
The answer is yes, it is possible to make money online through blogging.
This post will tell you 7 ways you can earn from your blog.
Learning about this topic is vital, especially if you’re considering turning your blog into a creative business.
But let me share with you, that if you had asked me this ten years ago, I would not have thought it was possible to earn a salary from blogging.
Like so many other bloggers, I had started a blog as a hobby, but later on, I realised that there were so many things you needed to know to start a blog and set it up strategically.
And yet, there are many professional bloggers out there today who make thousands of dollars each month.
It’s an inspiration, isn’t it?
While you won’t make thousands of dollars in your first month of monetising your blog, a crucial step you can take is to just start.
The next is cultivating a business mindset.
When you think of making money blogging, I bet you’re thinking of advertisements and sponsored posts.
These are not the only ways to make money.
Those two are the widely-known ways of earning, but there are so many more options for you out there.
And so many ways you can make money online.
Now before I get into the specific ways you can earn money, I want to share with you a tip on how you can protect yourself from zero income months.
Let’s say you rely heavily on sponsored posts, and so far you’ve had a good two months of landing sponsored post after sponsored post, but all of a sudden this particular month, you haven’t secured any collaborations at all.
And no collaborations means zero income.
While some bloggers can land long-term sponsored post collaborations, that is not always the case.
Especially if you’re just starting out, you are still building your name, your portfolio and experience.
What you need to focus on no matter where you are in terms of monetisation is to have a smart monetisation strategy.
A smart monetisation strategy is an essential element of a successful and profitable blog.
I discuss the other elements of a profitable blog in my The Blogging Business Plan workbook, which helps you set your foundation to turn your blog into a biz.
So what is a smart monetisation strategy?
In short, this means that you should have multiple sources of income.
The more sources you have, the more chances you have of earning income.
If you’re ready to find out what are the 7 ways you can make money blogging, then look no further.
7 ways to make money blogging and earn online
Many blogs monetise through this method.
You can do this in several ways:
The first is if you sign up with advertising networks like Google Adsense or Mediavine.
I’ve tried Google Adsense in my previous blog, but I’ve also heard good things about Mediavine.
I have not yet tried it out, but once I qualify for the minimum number of page views, then I will definitely try it out and let you know how it goes.
Another way you can do advertisements is to approach brands, people or organisations personally.
For example, you run a food blog and you’re close friends with the owner of a local grocery shop.
You’ve been going to that grocery for years, so you could offer your ad space to this friend of yours.
You know it’s a good fit with your blog and would be something your community would also be interested in.
With advertisements, keep in mind that you could do this by linking to their website or products through text, photo or even video.
And you can place these ads wherever you want in your blog, but the most common places are at the header or sidebar.
If you’re linking through text, you could insert in your post or even at the footer of your blog.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to put these ads in places where people really see them or click them, especially if you earn through pay-per-click.
Affiliate marketing is one of the first ways I made money with this blog next to sponsored posts.
Affiliate marketing happens when you earn a commission (at no cost to the buyer) from recommending a product to someone.
An example of a product that you can become an affiliate for is your blog host.
If you’re super happy with your blog host provider and you already recommend them whenever someone asks you for recommendations, then why not become an affiliate for them and earn a referral every time someone purchases using your link?
Whatever you sign up as an affiliate for, make sure you believe in the product and really use it.
You don’t want to recommend a product that you don’t use just to earn a commission because you will lose the trust of your readers.
You can read this if you’re interested in learning more about how I made my first affiliate sale.
I also want to point out that whenever you are about to share an affiliate link, you are legally required to tell people that it is an affiliate link and that you earn from it.
Here is my disclaimer:
Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in this post. This means that if you purchase a product I’ve linked, I earn from the referral. However, you don’t get charged extra. Click here to read the full disclosure.
And then after that disclaimer, I can include the affiliate link.
I don’t include the link per se, but it is linked to a word.
If you need help with setting up these legal pages, you can check out these legal templates I use crafted by a lawyer who is also a blogger.
So take a look at the products you already love and recommend, and check if these brands have an option for you to become an affiliate.
And before you become an affiliate, be sure to read the terms & conditions and payout schemes because each affiliate program is different.
One program may offer you a high payout to be paid once a month, while others may pay you once you reach a specific number of clicks.
Remember to do your due diligence and proper research.
Digital Products and Services
One of my favourite ways to monetise is to create a digital product.
This is because you control how much you earn, and you don’t have to rely on third-party organisations for payout.
If you sell something and someone buys from you today, you get that money today.
You have the freedom to price your product the way you want to.
Want to offer a discount every season?
Want to raise your price because you uploaded an updated version of your product?
There are many digital products and services you can offer, but here are a few: online courses, worksheets, templates, e-books, photos, graphics, copywriting, branding, and audits.
Personally, I’ve launched two digital products.
One is an online course about How to Start a Money-Making Blog (Your Creative Business).
The other is The Blogging Business Plan workbook which is designed to help you set the foundation of your blog and turn it into a business.
Before you launch a product, you have to review if this indeed is something your community needs and would pay for.
Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time if your product doesn’t align with their needs.
For example, I noticed how a lot of people signed up for my freebie, “A Successful Content Creator’s Start a Blog Checklist” versus my other freebie, which was The Ultimate Blogging Process Checklist.
This gave me an insight on how people were more interested in how to start a blog and set it up, which led me to do more research, and that’s how both my products were born.
When you sell digital products, you can sell them in your blog or through a third-party site like Etsy, Shopify or Skillshare.
If you’re not sure if you should focus on monetising your blog via ads or digital products, this article explains the pros and cons of each.
Since we talked about digital products, naturally, the next would be to discuss physical products.
You can create products such as physical books, t-shirts, caps, planners or journals.
Again, you want to make sure that you produce a product that your community is interested in and needs.
This was one of the biggest mistakes that I made in my previous blog.
I created a concert journal and a concert diary thinking just cause it was something I needed as a concert lover that other concert lovers would invest in it.
I priced it super affordable and even joined bazaars, but the sales were stagnant.
I created the product without doing any market research whatsoever to check if there indeed was a demand because my focus was on creating a super unique product.
You also have to take into account how much it costs to produce a product and how shipping costs will affect the price.
While it takes more energy to figure these things out, if you can deliver a physical product that is just what your community needs, then it will be worth it.
One of my favourite physical products created by a creative entrepreneur is The Content Planner.
Kat Gaskin is a graphic designer by profession, and she sells only one physical product which is The Content Planner. Every year, there are different colour combinations which keep the product exciting and fresh.
It’s time we talked about how many bloggers aim to monetise their blogs and social media platforms: sponsored posts or collaborations.
Sponsored posts happen when you create content in exchange for something.
This can be in the form of an ex-deal, which means you are compensated in coupons, gift certificates or products.
Or this can be through monetary exchange.
And really, what you want to aim for is to be compensated with money.
I saw this in my timeline once, and while I can’t remember who said it, the saying went something like this “Charge for the years you spent honing your skill to be able to deliver a quality piece of content in a short time.”
I don’t recommend that you do ex-deals unless you think it’s really worth it, you really love the brand and want to use that first time working with them via ex-deal to build a relationship with them so that eventually you can start charging the next time you collaborate with them.
That’s my take on ex-deals.
If you want to be a full-time blogger, you can’t live off free products, exposure (no way), or gift certificates.
I know that it’s tempting especially in the beginning to agree to ex-deals, but please realise that your content is of value.
Don’t be afraid to charge for your time & energy. And all that experience in honing your skills.
So how do you find sponsored posts?
You can join online networks that specialise in connecting brands with creators, or you can reach out to the brand directly.
If you do reach out to them, focus on how you can add value to them and let them know what is in it for them.
You’ll also want to have a contract like this when working with brands to protect yourself, i.e. you will get paid and that you are delivering only what they asked for.
And just like affiliate links, whenever you have a collaboration with a brand, you have to disclose that you are working with that brand and include hashtags like #sponsored #ad. If a product was gifted, you have to also let your readers know.
Check out the Sponsored Post Contract to ensure you get paid when working with brands!
If you enjoy working one-on-one or with a group of people to help them achieve a specific goal, then you might want to get into coaching.
You can give people personalised advice based on your skills, experiences, and if you’re a certified coach, then all the better.
I won’t get into this too much. Still, I wanted to let you know that it’s an option for you to offer coaching services if you enjoy guiding people and helping them achieve a specific transformation that you have successfully been able to do.
If you do become a coach, again, I recommend having a contract to protect yourself.
Memberships are an extension of digital products/services. The difference is that a person locks in their monthly/quarterly/yearly membership to receive a new product or service each month.
While this is a more tedious thing to do, one great thing about doing memberships is that you are guaranteed monthly income if you can lock in even just one member a month.
For example, if you’re a photographer, you can create a membership wherein every month, you release stock photos for your members to use.
Another example of memberships is themed subscription boxes that feature different items monthly.
You can make money as a blogger in many ways. But no matter what you choose, I want to emphasise another point, that is the importance of having a self-hosted blog when you monetise.
When you have a self-hosted blog, you have complete control and ownership of your content.
This means that you can post whatever you wish. Also, you don’t have to worry about any limitations when it comes to monetising because some organisations prefer working with bloggers who have a self-hosted blog.
To recap, these are the seven ways you can make money blogging:
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital products & services
- Physical products
- Sponsored Posts