7 Ways to Monetize a Blog (5/5 WHSR Blogging Guide)


This article runs down some of the better ideas you can implement today to start monetizing your blog and make money online. To me, the beauty of blogging as a business is that you can one, make a living anywhere with an internet connection and two, There’s no cap to your income.

We have seen established bloggers making tens of thousands of dollars every month but still, many people struggle to make money online and earn a living wage from it.

So in this part of my Blogging 101 Guide, we will look at some practical ways to monetize your blog traffic. For those new to blogging – we hope this will encourage you to get started with blogging; for experienced bloggers, we hope you can use our list to generate new ideas. Just as it’s important to diversify your investments, it’s important to diversify your revenue.

Let’s get started:

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing
How affiliate marketing works.

Affiliate Marketing is a performance based business where companies pay people who promote their products. Most affiliate companies pay affiliates through Cost Per Action (CPA). This means the affiliate earns money whenever an action takes place. This usually takes the form of a sale (when someone buys something) or a lead (when someone signs up to something ie. newsletter, free trial, registration etc.).

How to begin?

As new bloggers, the best way to get your foot in the affiliate marketing door is by signing up with affiliate networks. Sites like CJ Affiliate or ShareASale represent a range of products from multiple vendors. They also offer useful tools for new bloggers that can help you track sales and act as intermediaries to ensure you get paid fairly.

Which affiliate product to promote?

Choosing which affiliate product to promote is a little bit of ‘the chicken or egg’ question. It depends on which direction you’d rather go. Many bloggers often create content about topics they are passionate about – and look for related affiliate products to support their content creation. Alternatively, you can also target a specific niche that you think might fit well for you and build your content geared towards those products.

Do take into consideration that different types of products often come with very widely varying degrees of affiliate commission. Retail products tend to be very low commission and your earnings rely heavily on you being able to push large quantities of those products. Big ticket commissions are normally for services or digital goods such as subscriptions and software.

To get a better idea of how well some products may do, you can make use of the data from your affiliate network as a guide. Alternatively, an estimate of interest can also be gotten from web tools like Google Trends.

ShareASale merchant info
Example: Merchant details – including 30-days average sales and commission paid, are published on ShareASale.

To learn more, check out my other articles where I explained affiliate marketing in detail, discussed the logical steps to get started in affiliate marketing, and showcased high paying web hosting affiliate programs.

2. Make and Sell Your Own Products

If you aren’t comfortable selling other people’s products, consider creating products of your own to offer. Whether it is a new software that helps business owners, a cooking utensil or a how-to guide, there are many different items you can create and offer on your website.

You already have people coming to your blog, interested in what you have to say – so why not capitalize on that and sell them directly as one of your services?

eBooks, print-on-demand merchandises, and art crafts are some common products bloggers sell.

Book - I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Example – Remit Sethi, founder of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and one of the foremost experts in online business, sold his first ebook for $4.95. That ebook led to a New York Times Best Seller and 14 different premium products that made him into a very rich person — all completely online and primarily sold through his blog.

3. Selling Advertising Space

Selling ad space is a classic way to monetize almost any type of website. Have you been to big news sites lately, like the New York Times or Business Week? They are packed with ads and they get a ton of revenue from them.

You can sell ad space on your blog in many ways, but two of the easiest are Direct Advertising and CPC Ads.

Common layouts for banner advertisements.
Common layouts for banner advertisements.

Direct Advertising

In Direct Advertising, you make space available on your blog for external companies to advertise, for a monthly, quarterly or yearly fee. You get to choose what companies you allow to advertise, where the adverts go, and how much space they take up on your blog.

Learn More – Gina has been running a mommy blog for more than 15 years, learn how she attract and work directly with her blog advertisers.

Pay Per Click Advertisement

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertisement involves selling advertising space for secondary marketing services, with added revenue every time someone clicks and follows one of the links. PPC Ads, ie. Google Adsense, is easy to start and offers huge earning potential. However, it can provide fairly random adverts and mixed user experience to your blog if not managed well.

4. Paid Membership / Newsletter

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Paid-content is a monetization strategy that many large blogs offer. It is similar to what newspaper sites offer – supply some of your content for free, but allow your members to buy into more in-depth articles, special site areas or greater discussion via subscription.

Whether it is a new software that helps business owners, a cooking utensil or a how-to guide, there are many different content you can create and sell on your website.

Some keys that will help make your membership area more successful include:

  • Keep membership fairly reasonable. Think $5/month instead of $5/day
  • Update your content regularly – No one wants to pay for a membership to something that is never updated
  • Make payments frictionless – Use payment solutions like PayPal or Stripe to implement recurring billing model so that membership payments and cancellations are automated
STM
Example – StackThatMoney is a popular paid member site. They charge $99/month.
Example – Marie Haynes runs a paid weekly SEO newsletter at the price of $18 per month (visit online).

5. Blog Flipping

Blog flipping involves starting or buying up cheap blogs and selling them on like a real estate investor sells on development. By adding your own unique content and sprucing up the blog designs and functions – you turn your skills into profit.

I have discussed about flipping a website and showing real life examples (some goes up to $100,000) in another post – please check out the article if you wish to learn more.

GarageGymPro 
Example – GarageGymPro is a info site / blog that focuses on body building
bodybuilders. It was sold for $110,000 on Flippa in 2020.

6. Job Boards

Job boards match job seekers with employers. They can offer full time gigs, part time, or contractual work.

For example, Problogger Job Board matches bloggers with companies looking to hire someone to create content for them.

If you’ve got authority in your space and you can match job seekers with employers, you can host a job board and make money each time an employer wants to post a job opening.

Problogger job board
Example – Problogger Job Board.

7. Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a great way to ‘take the next step’ with your writing. You have already proven that you can write by attracting visitors to your site and keeping them there. To learn more, check out this guide by mom blogger Gina Badalaty where she will take you through her personal journey from blogger to freelance writer.

Final Thoughts: Grow and Diversify

Blogging 101 Guide

This article is part of my Blogging 101 Series. For those who are serious about starting a successful blog. If you are new, do also check out:

How to start a blog from scratch
Finding the right niche for your blog
How to grow your blog traffic
Things you can do to improve your blog

I hope some of the mentioned monetization tactics will help you start making money via your blog and grow your income. Another crucial point not to miss is to diversify your revenue. Once you’ve got one stream coming in, start working on the next one. When that one is set up, work on the next one.

This will help your blogging income grow exponentially and hedge your bets in case one fails.

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