learn the business of blogging – always free
Have you ever wondered how bloggers make money? Maybe you run a blog and are searching for easy ways to make money from it? Well, you’re in the right place if you’re looking to monetize a blog because in this post, I’m going to share seven easy ways to make money blogging.
First things first. I have a question for you:
What Problem Can You Solve?
The first step to monetizing a blog is to think about a problem you can solve for your audience. The truth is: People are selfish!
Most people read blogs to improve their life. Maybe they want to learn how to cook healthy meals so they can lose weight, maybe they want to travel affordably to escape their 9-5, or maybe they need help getting out of credit card debt.
Figure out a problem your audience has and how you can solve it.
Now that you’ve got the right mindset, think about whether one of the following popular blog monetization strategies could work for you:
Ads are often the first way that bloggers generate income from their blogs. You can sign up for free with a company like Google AdSense or Media.net and insert a code snippet into your blog’s theme files to run ads throughout the content.
Once you start getting considerable traffic on a monthly basis, you might consider applying to an ad network like Mediavine or AdThrive which negotiates higher RPMs for creative bloggers.
RPM is an ad industry abbreviation and stands for Rate Per Mille (Thousand) and implies the rate you are paid per thousand visits to your site.
Some ad networks pay by impression and other pay per click (visitors who actually click on an ad placed on your blog).
To learn more about display ads, be sure to read our guide to making money with display ads!
Bloggers who Monetize with Display Ads
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a slightly more profitable way to generate income from a blog. Bloggers who write about products they use and love stand to earn a commission from any sales they refer to the creator of that product. Pretty much anything that can be bought online can be monetized using affiliate marketing.
You can make money with affiliate marketing in many different ways:
- Write an in-depth review of a specific product (GHD Hair Straightener Review)
- Write a round-up post of several types of the same product (10 Cozy Fall Sweaters)
- Write a list of products you’re using that particular day (Latest Beauty Buys, Outfit of the Day)
If you read fashion or beauty blogs, you may have noticed some will have a “Shop the Post” section within each post. These are likely affiliate marketing links that have been placed in the post to highlight the products mentioned. This makes it convenient for the reader to purchase those products, while at the same time, earning the blogger a small commission.
To learn more about affiliate marketing, be sure to read our beginner’s guide as well as our list of smart ways to make money with affiliate marketing.
Bloggers who Monetize with Affiliate Marketing
Many fashion and beauty bloggers promote lists of fashion and beauty products using affiliate links, like in this post about 10 Skincare Products Under $15.
3. Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are great publicity for companies who want to get reviews of their products or business services out in the world. Sponsored posts are typically a single blog posts that review or talk about a specific product or company.
Usually the company reaches out to the blogger asking them to review the product, and the blogger charges a set fee for doing this work and featuring it on their blog. Some sponsored posts have affiliate links which adds another layer to monetization, and others require social media promotion as well.
Bloggers can also pitch sponsored posts to a company if they feel their audience is a good target for the company.
The best sponsored posts are the ones that blend in with the blog’s normal content. You don’t want to turn off your readers by promoting a product that looks out of place, so keeping the sponsored post on-brand is key, here!
Bloggers who Monetize with Sponsored Posts
Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies does a good amount of sponsored posts, as she’s a blogger that is well known for her high-converting readership. Recently, she wrote a sponsored post for the beauty brand Vichy about a Vitamin-C Serum.
4. Offer Services
Being a blogger means positioning yourself as an expert in the field you write about. This puts you in a great position to offer services based around your knowledge. If you’re great at Pinterest Marketing, you could offer VA (Virtual Assistant) services to bloggers who want to up their Pinterest reach. If you’ve gotten a certain visa that’s difficult to attain, then you might offer consulting to other people who are applying for the same visa.
Bloggers who Monetize by Offering Services
5. Freelance Writing
Blogging establishes credibility and shows off your writing skills to the world. Proving that your writing is popular can help when applying to freelance writing gigs. Many bloggers supplement their blogging income with freelance writing for other online publications, or even print magazines!
Bloggers who Monetize with Freelance Writing
Carin Olsson of Paris in Four Months was a Condé Nast Traveler contributor as recently as 2017, a gig she likely secured due to the success and popularity of her blog about Paris.
6. Sell Products
Many people think you need to have a large and established blog to sell products successfully to your audience. But selling products through your blog is actually pretty easy if you establish yourself as knowledgeable about solving a particular problem.
Bloggers can sell products in a few different ways:
- Ebooks: Writing a short downloadable book about a topic relevant to your blog
- Courses: Selling a course that teaches your audience how to do something
- Digital Products: Creating digital products like WordPress Themes or Printable Wall Art is a great way to start selling products without dealing with physical inventory
- Ecommerce: Lastly, if you do want to get into ecommerce, a blog is a great way to have a built-in audience ready to go!
Bloggers who Monetize by Selling Products
Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess do a fantastic job of selling their own products within the context of their blog. At the top of their site, you’ll see links to their Courses as well as their Ecommerce shop, Oui Fresh.
7. Run a Membership Site
If you’ve created a community around a certain topic, then why not launch a membership site to your readers? Running a membership site provides you with income and your readers a place to ask questions and discuss a certain topic they are passionate about.
With tools like MemberPress and BuddyPress, it’s actually pretty easy to launch a Membership site through the comfort of your WordPress blog! Even if you don’t charge your visitors to access the member’s area, forums and membership pages can have a big impact on the trust of your brand, as well as increase pageviews!
Bloggers who Monetize with Membership Sites and Forums
Kristin from The Blonde Abroad added a “Forum” section to her website where her readers can discuss all things travel. She could easily add a paywall and monetize this forum if she wanted. Even more impressive is OGT Plus, the members-only version of Jill Nystul’s helpful home tips website: One Good Thing by Jillee. With OGT Plus, Nystul created a new monetization stream that removed ads for paying readers, gave them a place to save their favorite posts, and included her collection of eBooks for free!
There you have it, folks! These are the seven easiest ways for bloggers to turn a profit from their blogs. I hope you discovered a new way to monetize a blog by reading this post! How do you prefer to make money from your blog?