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So you have been thinking about starting a blog to make some money from home, but you have no idea how bloggers actually make money. Not everyone is out there selling courses or physical products, so there has to be another way.
When I first started blogging, I knew that people were linking to Amazon and plastering ads all over their websites, but I didn’t realize just how many options there are for monetizing your blog.
Don’t have a blog yet? Check out my Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Blog in 2019!
Here are 7 common ways to monetize your blog so that you can make money blogging from the start.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the easiest way to get started monetizing your blog, because you can place links into your very first blog post. To get started, you join affiliate programs and networks that appeal to you and your niche and you blog about products. When someone clicks on your affiliate link, you receive a commission for the sale.
My biggest suggestion is to only share about products that you actually use and believe in. The quickest way to lose blog readers and fans is to link to things that don’t relate to their interests or that you don’t actually use. Be authentic in everything you do to build the trust of your readers.
Most people are familiar with the Amazon Affiliate program. It’s a great place to start with affiliate marketing, but the commissions are pretty low. Some recommended affiliate networks that I use include:
Shareasale- Once you are a member, you can join the affiliate program for thousands of brands. It makes tracking your affiliate income really easy. They also have a great tool to build collections of products that you can add to your blog as well.
CJ Affiliate- Similar to Shareasale, becoming a member of CJ Affiliate gives you access to thousands of brands. You can search for brands within your niche and apply to their affiliate programs.
Awin- It costs $5 to sign up as an affiliate, but you get this money back once you are approved. Once approved, you join affiliate programs, work with brands, and get paid.
FlexOffers- FlexOffers is similar to Shareasale, but what makes FlexOffers special is that you earn a commission from every sale made by the members that you refer. There are a lot of big brands using this network, but you don’t have to be a big blogger to make money. You can find brands that fit with so many niches.
Ultimate Bundles- Ultimate Bundles puts together a curated bundle of digital products from various popular bloggers in a niche. This bundle is then sold for a short period of time at a deep discount. There are currently 13 different bundles that come out throughout the year, and it is an amazing way to make affiliate income if you find a bundle that works within your niche.
Another way that many bloggers make money is from placing ads on their site. Most bloggers get started with Google Adsense since anyone can join. There are no page minimum requirements to get started with Google Adsense. You probably won’t make a ton of money in the beginning, but it’s a great way to get your readers used to seeing ads on your page and to test out ad placement.
Once you start increasing your page views, you can apply to ad networks like Mediavine, Media.net, or adThrive.
As a word of caution as you get started with ads on your site, don’t over do it with ads and ruin the reader experience. If ads are slowing down your site speed, blocking the ability to read content, or just a general eye sore, you’ll lose out on income in the long run since no one will want to stay on your blog to see what you’re all about.
3. Digital Products
If you want to dip your toe into selling your own products, but you don’t want to deal with inventory or shipping, digital products are a great way to make money with your blog. Once you create your digital product, your income becomes fairly passive other than marketing.
The most common digital products are:
- Ebooks- You can create your own ebooks on platforms like Canva or Google Slides
- Printables- Create printable that are useful to your niche such as planner pages, checklists, motivational quotes, etc.
- Online Courses- Selling courses is an extremely profitable form of passive income. Once you create the course, you can make money from it over and over again if marketed appropriately. You can sell your courses on platforms like Teachable or Thinkific.
- Membership Sites- Offer a monthly membership where you offer ongoing value to your customers. These take a lot of work, but they are a great way to build more consistent income.
- Stock Photos- If you’re a skilled photographer and photo editor, you can sell stock photos on your site.
4. Physical Products
Selling physical products is another amazing way to make money through your blog, but it can be more work intensive than digital products. Selling your own products can be as simple as opening up a Shopify store and then blogging about what you have to offer or sharing about your products on social media.
Another common way to make money through a blog is to sell your services. Services can include:
- Social Media Marketing
- Virtual Assistant
- One-on-One Coaching and Consultation
- Freelance Writing
- Website Design
Once you decide what type of service you want to offer, you just have to get your contracts set up and figure out how you’ll receive payment.
6. Sponsored Posts
Bloggers who have a highly engaged social media following are often called ‘influencers,’ and they are able to earn money from sponsored posts. For a sponsored post, brands pay you to post to your blog and social media platforms about their products, and you receive compensation for these posts. Compensation varies based on things like the size of your following, engagement stats, and the number of posts that you do.
Sponsored posts are not something you will typically do when you first get started, but it is something that can earn you quite a bit of money once you build an engaged and loyal following.
Joining an influencer network such as Linqia is a great to earn money as an influencer. Linqia is an influencer and micro-influencer agency that connects bloggers with brands for paid blogging opportunities and Instagram sponsorships.
They accept bloggers who have 2,500+ monthly visitors or followers, and it is by invitation only.
Other influencer networks to look into are Izea, Influenster, Rewardstyle. You’ll need to be accepted into all of these networks, so I recommend applying once you have your blog completely finished and have some decent stats to share with your application.
7. Direct Sales/MLM
Another way to monetize your blog that many people don’t talk about is by incorporating a direct sales (aka MLM business onto your blog) business into your blog. Direct sales is an amazing way to grow a passive income stream, but it’s important to choose a company that fits within your blog’s niche.
There has been a huge increase in the number of bloggers who are including direct sales into their monetization strategy.
When choosing a direct sales company to incorporate into your blog, make sure you consider a few things:
- Get to know the compensation plan and HOW you actually make money.
- Choose a consumable product that people use up and have to buy again (this is how you achieve passive income).
- Make sure it fits into your niche so that the readers you attract to your blog are interested and you are able to speak about the products authentically.
- Use and enjoy the product yourself so that you can share about your own experiences with it.
I incorporate direct sales into my income strategy, because it fits into what I talk about here: working from home, saving money with DIYs, and motherhood.
I also wrote an entire post on the Dos and Don’ts of Direct Sales to be successful. I talk about the ways I’ve run my own direct sales business without bugging my friends and family.
Now Take Action
Regardless of your blog niche or area of expertise, there are numerous ways that you can make money through your blog. Affiliate marketing is a great place to start, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try your hand at other monetization strategies.
Remember, you have an audience that is coming to you seeking out your expertise and personal experiences. Turn that knowledge and experience into income every month.
Just remember to keep everything you do relevant to your existing audience, remain authentic, and make it easy for them to buy with clear calls to action. Before you know it, you’ll have a steady income you an count on month after month.
Other Posts You May Like:
- How to Start a Money Making Blog
- My Favorite Free and Inexpensive Blogging Tools and Resources
- 7 Things You Need to do Before Launching Your Blog
- 7 Things to do to Every Blog Post Before You Hit Publish