Have you been wondering how to monetize a blog?
How do bloggers even make money?
And how hard or easy is it to make money blogging?
Today’s post is all about showing 6 fantastic ways to monetize your blog.
I’ve also included little symbols to tell you what the difficulty level might be, as well as the earnings potential.
Of course each website is unique, each niche has it’s own potential, and if you’ve been following my content you know STRATEGY IS KING!
But if you are ready to start creating a monetization strategy that makes sense for you then grab a notebook and let’s dive in!
LET’S MAKE YOU SOME MONEY
At the end of the day everything we are doing to grow our blogs, build a list, bring in traffic…it’s all for one thing, to make money.
And there is no shame in that. In order to be able to help our readers for free we need to sustain ourselves financially, that means making sales.
When I work with people who want to grow their blog one of the first questions is HOW do you plan to monetize?
Sadly there are a ton of bloggers who really don’t have any monetization strategy, and without a plan it’s going to be very hard to make money.
Sure you might stumble onto something that works, but wouldn’t you rather know exactly where you are headed instead of just hoping you’ll figure it out.
Here’s the thing, each monetization strategy requires it’s own unique strategy.
No two strategies are the same.
Making money with affiliates is a very different strategy than with ads, and both are completely different from selling courses, and all those differ from selling a service.
So if you feel like you are doing everything right but still not making any money you need to take a step back and look at your monetization strategy.
If you are just getting started then this is the BEST time to sit down and think about HOW all that hard work will earn you an income.
Here are six of the best and most common monetization strategies along with some key features to help you create a plan that makes sense for YOUR unique business.
#1 MONETIZE VIA ADS:
Best for: Niches with a lot of traffic (25,000+/mo.) who prefer to monetize passively.
- Higher income potential requires a substantial amount of traffic making this hard for new bloggers.
- Ads can make your website feel tacky if not done very carefully.
- Ads can be a competing call to action thus pulling readers away from your content and opt-ins.
Potential Revenue: $-$$
Key Things to Know: If you are generating a lot of traffic to your website each month you may be able to passively monetize via Ads.
That said don’t expect this to be a whopping amount, it takes a TON of traffic to make “good” money.
However, this may be ideal for multi-author blogs with a lot of content and traffic but no informational products to offer.
The ad strategy is often used with an affiliate strategy to multiply your revenue and so it quite passively.
You can either use a ad platform like Google Adsense (no minimum), MediaVine, (25,000 sessions/mo. min.), or AdThrive (100,000 pageviews/mo. min.), or you can work directly with advertisers to run their ads on your site.
If you are in a very tight sub-niche working directly with advertisers may be the best option.
In general the more traffic you have the more you’ll make from ad revenue. At a minimum you should aim for 25,000 sessions per month.
On the downside many readers hate ads, and ad blockers are becoming more common, so I wouldn’t recommend bombarding readers with ads. Keep it tasteful and niche focused.
- 8 Simple Tactics to Grow Your Mediavine Income, via Twins Mommy
- 6 Ways to Make Money with Advertising on Your Blog and the Websites to Help You, via Jeff Bullas
- Mediavine Income Reports from Customers
- I Made $30k+ in My First Year with Mediavine: Here’s How You Can Too, via a Passion and a Passport
#2 MONETIZE VIA SPONSORSHIPS:
Best for: Focused niches with either an established audience and/or a solid social media presence that are willing to put in a bit of work.
- Usually requires a larger social media presence or a well established blog audience, and you’ll need to create the content for the promotion (video, post, campaigns, etc.).
- Can seem inauthentic if you are constantly pushing sponsored posts.
- Income potential varies wildly depending on your niche and audience.
Potential Revenue: $-$$
Key Things to Know: With this strategy you’ll likely be promoting a specific product through your blog via a sponsored blog posts and via various social media channels.
This option can work well if you have a substantial social media presence and/or an established blog audience.
This is also great for bloggers who don’t want to create info products or sell services but still want a higher income potential. Plus you usually get a lot some nice free goodies in exchange for your promotion or reviews.
But don’t expect this to be a passive venture, you’ll need to create the content for the sponsorship, just just be aware that you’ll need to put in a good amount of work for each gig.
- How to Work with Brands as a Blogger, via Melyssa Griffin
- Get Your First Sponsored Blog Post With These Tips, via Convertkit
- How I Got My First Sponsored Post on Instagram, via Plann
- How to Get Paid Working with Brands as a Blogger, via Root & Revel
#3 MONETIZE VIA AFFILIATES:
Best for: Focused niches with decent traffic (but can be used successfully by even small bloggers) who want to grow their income as the blog grows.
- Higher income potential requires a sizable amount of traffic in order to convert into meaningful sales (however revenue can be made even with a small blog).
- Affiliates can frequently change programs, payouts, and parameters making you vulnerable to someone else’s changes.
Potential Revenue: $-$$$
Key Things to Know: Personally I think the ability to make money with affiliates has been oversimplified.
While it’s true that you can make a solid side income with affiliate sales, you will need a substantial amount of monthly traffic, a great strategy, and a semi-large email list to make a decent to full-time income.
That said it is nice to be able to organically and honestly recommend products and services and make money while you do it.
The other nice thing is that you do not have to provide maintenance for the offer. The product is someone else’s so there are no course updates, no buyer emails, and no other maintenance tasks to take on. This can be a big benefit.
I think this strategy is best used when combined with a larger strategy and evergreen sales funnels.
Unfortunately, what I often see is brand new bloggers trying to make a full time income with affiliates with little strategy and then getting frustrated when that doesn’t happen.
So while you can expect to make a few hundred dollars and more for a newish blog using targeted affiliate strategies, I would NOT focus on this as a sole strategy if you need full-time income fast.
- Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers (How We Make Over $25,000/Month), via Create and Go
- How To Make Money Blogging With Affiliate Marketing via
- How to Make Money While You Sleep With Affiliate Marketing, via OptIn Monster
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing, via The Penny Hoarder
- How to Earn Money with Affiliate Links, via Blog Clarity
- Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Go from 0 to $1,000 In Passive Income, via Smart Blogger
#4 MONETIZE VIA INFORMATIONAL PRODUCTS
(COURSES, VIDEO TRAININGS, E-GUIDES):
Best for: Tightly focused niches where there’s a need for readily available targeted info (even if you only have modest traffic), perfect for the infopreneur who has big financial goals and is willing to put in the work.
- Requires a lot of work upfront.
- You may have a lot of competition depending on your niche.
- Lots of maintenance and updates for your product.
- There will likely be a LOT of tech you’ll need to master to make this work (especially for video based courses)
Potential Revenue: $-$$$$
Key Things to Know: It’s no secret that this is my FAVORITE way to generate revenue. With this method you can generate a decent to high income without having a boatload of traffic.
There are many different ways to monetize with info products, you can create e-books, video trainings, masterclasses, printables, courses, and more.
You can also sell these individually, as a bundle, or as part of a monthly membership. I’ll be writing a lot more content about HOW to create info products soon, so stay tuned.
The key to successful passive income is to be super targeted with your content and lead magnets, and employ a strategic sales funnel. This is pretty much my jam and what most of this blog is about.
Using this monetization model has allowed me to to monetize in a meaningful way from day one because my entire business model was centered around this strategy.
As my traffic grows, my revenue grows. Let me tell you, this is very motivating when I working long days and late nights on my blog based business.
Now on the down side, this method does require a LOT of work up front. You’ll need to create the offers and that means time and tech. You’ll also need to maintain the offers, like updating a course, answering emails, etc. So while this method isn’t right for everyone, I do believe it can lead to full-time income much faster if you’re interested in being an infopreneur.
Resources: My signature course, The Evergreen Funnel Blueprint will show you how to come up with info product ideas and use an evergreen funnel to sell them on autopilot.
#5 MONETIZE VIA SERVICES:
Best for: Focused niches where there’s a need for a done-for-you option (even if you only have modest traffic) and you are willing to trade dollars for hours. This has the ability to produce a decent income almost as soon as you launch as long as you are showcasing your work to the right audience.
- Trading dollars for hours can be demanding.
- You’ll likely have regular deadlines.
- You’ll need to be competent at something that can be offered as a service.
- Depending on your business model you may need to hustle new clients every month which can be time consuming and stressful.
- You may find yourself struggling to keep up with blogging for traffic and finishing your work orders.
Potential Revenue: $$-$$$$$
Key Things to Know: I’m also a big fan of targeted services, but only if you do it right. Avoid a race to the bottom by offering higher priced packages and targeted offers. This my friends will be key to NOT burning out.
I sell web design services to online brands and this has been a great way to grow my income and meet other amazing entrepreneurs.
Services allow you to trade dollars for hours and while this isn’t passive income it can allow you to quickly make a full-time income.
It also allows you to be known as an expert in your field while I simultaneously growing your knowledge base. There is no better way to learn something than by helping others succeed.
Finally, just like with infoproducts you can make a good income without much traffic as long as you are highly targeted and niche focused. For example I’m in the middle of rebranding my wellness site but despite a drop in traffic I can still use my website/blog to establish credibility when I meet potential clients. As long as you are willing to hustle you can probably make money the first month.
As for WHAT types of services, the sky is the limit, you could do niched VA services if you are just getting started, become a freelance writer and use your blog as a portfolio, offer targeted coaching in your area of expertise, or anything where people need help getting something done.
- The Right Way to Sell Services On Your Blog To Bring In Steady Income Each Month, via The Work At Home Woman
- Make Money from Home as a Virtual Assistant, via The Virtual Savvy
- How to Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant, via Horkey Handbook
- How To Become A Pinterest Virtual Assistant & Make Money, via Moms Make Cents
- The Complete Guide to Getting Started Freelance Writing From Scratch, via Elna Cain
- How to Make $5,000 a Month With Freelance Blog Writing, via Carol Tice’s Make a Living Writing (Her Writing Den Membership is fantastic)
#6 MONETIZE VIA PHYSICAL PRODUCTS:
Best for: Focused niches where there’s a need or desire for a physical offer and you have the ability to handle a physical inventory/shipping (or use third party fullfillers).
- Can require a lot of work upfront to create the products.
- You will likely need sizable traffic to your social media or website to make meaningful income.
- Depending on the business model you may be dedicating a lot of time to packing and shipping order (unless it’s a digital product or fulfilled by a third party)
Potential Revenue: $-$$$$
Key Things to Know: Physical products aren’t for the faint of heart. There is a lot of work involved in photographing, packing, and shipping a physical product. They can be very time consuming and usually end up being the main focus of the business.
That said if you enjoy creating or have a unique physical product that you can sell then A physical product might be a good option.
Another alternative is to use third party companies to fulfill order like Zazzle and TeeSpring.
Choosing a platform to sell on is itself a lot of work, Etsy, Shopify, or WooCommerce are all viable options depending on your needs. There are entire blogs dedicated to each of these topics. From there you’ll need to create or purchase your physical products, photograph them, and list them. And since you need traffic to sell anything this monetization strategy is best for websites with higher traffic.
- How I Made over $53,000 my First Year on Etsy (Jamie King’s Etsy membership site for sellers is Amazing)
- 5 Things I Wish I Knew as a New Etsy Seller (I love Fuzzy and Birch’s free Vault of Etsy Resources)
- Best Print on Demand Sites: The 2020 Ultimate Guide
- How to Make Money with Tee Spring
- How I Made Over $30,000 Selling Printables on Etsy, via Secret Owl Society
- How to create passive income on Etsy with digital downloads, via Paper & Oats
Phew! There you have it, a quick but detailed look at the different ways you can monetize your unique blog. There is no reason to blog for months or even years without turning a profit.
As you can see these options can work for any blogger in any niche, the key is being honest with yourself and be willing to do the work. Ask yourself…
- What are you good at?
- Is your blog targeted enough to attract the right buyers?
- How much time do you have to dedicate to learning how to get your offer going?
- How much time do you have to dedicate to your monetization strategy?
- How much money do you need to make?
- How fast do you need to turn a profit?
- Is there a market for your offer?
- Are you a risk taker or do you prefer to play it safe?
By taking stock of your unique situation you’ll be able to identify which strategy is best for you.
Even if you are a total newbie, you can still monetize your blog IF you have a solid strategy that revolves around serving your buyer.
Remember your offer is simply a solution to your ideal buyer’s problem. So ask yourself, what kind of solution can you offer?
So start brainstorming your strategy and start working on making that money!
Until next time!
Lots of love!
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