How to monetize a blog

Just like some of us became yeast masters, home jungle managers, or headstand experts over this crazy last year, maybe you have become a successful blogger. And now you are wondering how to take it to the next level and make a profit from it.

No surprise – people love blogs. They love writing them, reading them, sharing them, and commenting on them. People just love to spread their knowledge and opinions.

So maybe you happen to be running such a blog – loved, read, and shared, and now your valid question is: can you make money blogging?

Of course, we have some tips for you on how to make money being a blogger, but first things first. Before we dive into monetization methods, let’s just quickly recap how to start and run a successful blog.

Blogging 101

Let’s review some fundamental rules of blogging that will help you to create and maintain a popular blog with high traffic.

Because, you know – the higher traffic the higher potential revenue. But unlike navigating the city traffic, this might actually be fun! So, how to start a blog to make money?

First, try this:

– Choose a valuable focus

Finding a valuable niche or topic which is interesting not only for you but also for others is the very first step.

What are you an expert at? Are you able to help people understand or figure something out? Is there any void in the blogosphere you can fill?

Also, don’t forget to check the competition you have in this field. It might come in handy.

Create for a specific audience

Know your readers (not necessarily in person) and write specifically for them.

Who are those people you want to target (again, metaphorically speaking), their demographics, and interests? What will you offer them? What kind of voice will you use to engage them?

Create amazing quality content

This is the most important part when building a great blog.

Blogging is not just about producing a huge amount of content three times a day or just because it’s Wednesday. Also, another good piece of news, you don’t need to be a writing machine fueled by a keyword generator.

A thorough, well-written and engaging piece of content is read and shared naturally. Do not underestimate the power of great writing. Your posts can be practical, informative, detailed, easy to follow, reliable, entertaining, and unique.

Use quality pictures, videos or even memes to help yourself out. You can do it!

Make a professional website

Create a website that complements your content and writing abilities. Use a template to start with and tweak it with the perfect colors, font types, and pictures that will make your blog memorable. Make it wholesome.

Webnode blog templates

Webnode blog templates

Nurture and grow engagement

Does your blog encourage visitors to spend a lot of time reading, watching your videos, or to share their opinions? Great!

The next step is – enable your visitors to talk with each other. Offer a community forum or field for comments. The more engagement, the more fun (and higher revenue)!

Become an authority in your niche

Be an expert on what you are writing about. Take it seriously. People will come to hear your expert opinions and advice. They will trust you, take you seriously, and gradually you will become even more popular and read.

Cultivate fidelity

Offer your readers subscribing perks, giveaways, extra content in email lists, etc. Encourage them stick around forever.

Without further ado, let’s check those monetization methods you came here for.

8 best ways to monetize a blog

Now that you managed to create a successful blog let’s take a look at the most common and proven direct strategies of blog monetization.

1. Advertising banners and ads

You can probably guess how banners and ads monetize your blog: you get paid for every click a visitor makes on these ads, or for every 1,000 page views.

The amount of money that you make depends directly on your blog’s traffic, and on how many of your readers don’t use AdBlock and are willing to click on your ads.

Once you sign up with a provider, they will check your web and provide you with a code to be placed on your website. The provider will then send relevant ads to your website, either images or text. The most famous provider is Google AdSense, but there are also many other alternatives.

Keep in mind that ads could be a distraction and worsen your audience’s experience on your website, so don’t overdo it. You can set them so they blend in with the natural content of your website.

This monetization method is perfect for blogs with really high traffic.

Website advertisement layout - example

Website advertisement layout – example

2. Affiliate programs

Even if you don’t have products or services to sell, it’s not a problem. You can promote someone else’s products and get a commission for any sale (or another action) made via your affiliate link.

The key is to create some content that will be in harmony with whatever you plan to promote. Ideally, promote the products you personally use and love (but not necessarily), because they come most natural and easy for you.

You can subscribe to an outside partner’s affiliate program to become an affiliate. You will then be given custom links to their products that can track customers referred by your blog. These can be added as banners, text links, or any kind of recommendation to facilitate sales.

If someone clicks and buys the product, you will get a commission. For example, if you promote Webnode, you will get $100 for the first purchase made by any user you refer.

Thanks to affiliate programs, you can create an automated stream of passive income. Nowadays this might be the most popular monetization method.

Webnode Affiliate

Webnode Affliate Program

3. Advertorials and Sponsored Content

Pursue sponsorship and give a bit of space to sponsored content. For example, some agencies or companies could contact you to post about their products. If you like what they do and sell, why not make a deal with them?

It’s worth being transparent and frank about labeling this content as sponsored. Most readers don’t mind seeing an ad here or there, but you might still encounter some reputation problems if you have too many ads on your website.

Therefore, try to find a perfect fit for your blog. Publish ads that complement your content and are valuable for your visitors. Make sure they are not purely commercial.

Don’t forget that people came to your blog to learn something new from you or entertain themselves, not to buy your favorite shampoo.

Well, unless you are Jennifer Anniston.

4. Sell physical products

And now: how to monetize a blog without ads?

Bloggers can also make income from selling physical products, based on what their blog is about. You can produce these items yourself or wholesale them from someone else.

Are you a photography blogger / fashion blogger / travel blogger / lifestyle blogger or illustration blogger? What about creating an online store and selling cameras / handmade clothes / secret pocket travel scarves / organic tea or handmade vegetable soaps / painting books illustrated by you?

Physical products indeed require storage and shipment, but the advantage is that sometimes it can be easier to sell them than digital products. Also, you can try dropshipping and not worry about the physical world at all.

With deep planning and passion, it could turn out to be a big thing.

Homemade marmalades made and sold by a food blogger

Homemade marmalades made and sold by a food blogger

5. Digital products and downloads – Ebooks

Another popular monetization strategy is to offer your valuable knowledge in the form of an epic ebook.

If you want your readers to pay for your masterpiece, the content should go above and beyond what you provide for free in your blog (greater length, more details or examples, better design, etc.).

It could take some time and effort to put together a book. On the other hand, you can use the e-book as a free download to encourage people to subscribe to your premium email list or you can even sell advertising within the ebook.

Moreover, every time you promote your ebook, you will be promoting your blog and personal brand as well.

Sell digital products

Sell digital products: ebooks, videos, podcasts

6. Online courses and workshops

The format of an ebook is not enough as you have much more to offer? Not a problem!

Formalize your knowledge, tips, and tricks in an online course, webinar or workshop. The point is to create a step-by-step guide, ideally interactive and captivating, to guide your clients to help them reach a goal within your field.

Consider offering an online course for a one-time or monthly fee. A downside of this strategy is that it requires a little more upfront work than a downloadable product. On the other hand, if you put in the effort, you could strike gold.

Online learning is becoming more and more popular

Online learning is becoming more and more popular

7. Coaching and consulting

Once you attract visitors with your blog and gradually become an expert in your niche, you can try to offer your readers one-on-one sessions for a fee.

Coaching and consulting take that education you provide on your blog to the next level. This strategy has a high revenue potential: it is you who will be setting the rates.

A consulting career will demand some time for preparation and continuous learning. We’re not exactly talking about passive income anymore, but about an additional income generator.

Would you prefer to read about an expert or meet the expert?

Would you prefer to read about an expert or meet the expert?

8. Donations

Are you providing your community with useful and entertaining content? If people enjoy your content for free, why not ask them to contribute to help you keep things running?

Do you remember coming across some “Buy a cup of coffee” buttons on websites? That’s a form of donation. You can use PayPal or Stripe buttons, provide details of your bank account, bitcoin key, etc.

Ask your faithful readers for spontaneous one-time or recurring donations to support your work. Don’t be ashamed. As Amanda Palmer stated in her book Art of Asking: Asking for help with gratitude says: We have the power to help each other.

BrainPicking - donation

There are so many websites we use every day for free. Buy a coffee to say thank you.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Remember, if you don’t see immediate results, it does not necessarily mean you’re doing it wrong. Often it means you need to continue to persevere. Big players didn’t get there overnight, they just didn’t quit when they were almost there!

Are you only planning to start blogging? We’ve got you covered. Try the step-by-step guide and check out these beautiful templates we have ready for you. Happy blogging!