If you tell me that blogging is your hobby and passion, and you don’t intend to make money out of it, YOU ARE LYING! Trust me, when it comes to blogging, spending hours every day writing on a topic and optimizing it for search engines is way too much of a work for a simple hobby!
If you are into blogging, you want to earn money. Be honest! And guess what? You are reading this article right now. That means you want to make money blogging. Caught you – RED HANDED! Okay, don’t feel bad. It is normal for anyone in today’s world to actually think of ways to make money through blogging.
Some bloggers have become so successful that they make millions of dollars. Some others struggle to get even meager earnings. I am not going to teach you how to succeed. I am here to tell you the different methods you can use to earn from your blog.
Success is elusive. Everyone wants to get it, but only a few succeed. Whether you succeed or not is dependent on a number of things including your dedication and commitment, the nature of your blog, the quality of your content, your SEO skills, and your ability to market yourself to the target audience.
That’s a very dynamic thing and that’s why I will deliberately leave it out of discussion. If you are getting into blogging, I am pretty sure you are aware of the challenges you will face, or at least, you can do some research and learn about the hurdles in great details.
So, let’s focus on the money-making part.
How to Make Money Blogging?
Honestly, there aren’t many choices when it comes to monetizing your blog, but whatever means you have can make you rich, really rich. There is a teeny tiny problem. You have to be exceptionally good at what you do.
Assuming that you are really that good, and you created a blog that provides real value to your readers, you are going to get numerous visitors. When you traffic starts increasing, you can cash in on that traffic and make some significant money.
But here is one piece of advice for you – never rush! In fact, my experience tells me that you need to have a significant amount of valuable content on your blog before you start monetizing it.
So, I will suggest that you spend the first three to four months creating content that people will love to read. Once you have a significant reader base, you can start monetizing your blog.
The problem of monetizing your blog before establishing yourself as an authority in your niche will send negative impressions. This will hurt your online reputation as a blogger.
Thus, first focus on building a reputation and a reader base. Monetization can take place anytime.
Assuming that you are ready for monetizing your blog, here are six time-tested methods that you can use:
Display Ads and Link Ads
Display Ads are arguably the easiest way of monetizing a blog. You need to copy some codes from an ad network and paste the codes in your website. The usual places where you place these codes are:
- Your blog’s sidebar.
- Your blog’s header and footer.
- Before and after the content.
- Inside the content.
Display ads are something similar to billboards that you see or ads you see in a magazine. The beauty of display ads is that they are dependent on the content type. For instance, if your blog is about fashion clothing, you are most likely to see display ads from companies that are engaged in selling clothes, inner wears, etc. You may even see related ads like shoes, perfumes, winter wear, jewelry, etc.
To use display ads, you have to get associated with ad network. Google AdSense is the most popular option you will have. They don’t have any specific traffic requirement. Anyone with blog can apply for AdSense. However, you have to ensure that your content doesn’t violate their terms and that you have sufficient content in all categories on your blog.
Ideally, you should have at least two articles per category to get approved by AdSense. The approval process may take up to seven days. However, once approved, you can instantly set up ads on your blog.
If you have sufficient traffic (50,000 unique visitors a month or above), you can look for better ad networks like Mediavine. There are other options like Monumetric, Sulvo, etc. Some ad networks promise to give way more RPM or CPM than what Google AdSense gives.
Link ads are similar to display ads with a major difference being that while display ads are banner ads and have rich media in them, link ads are purely text-based ads. The most popular ad network to support link ads is AdSense. There may be a few more ad networks who support link ads, but honestly, display ads perform way better than link ads.
The golden rule of thumb you need to follow while using display ads is that you should never overdo! Too many ads on a web page can:
- Slow down the web page significantly.
- Lead to poor user experience.
Put yourself in the place of a reader. Will you like read a blog post that takes about a minute to load or there are more ads that content? Not really! So, while using display ads, put yourself in a user’s place and think from their perspective.
Even if you have fewer ads on a blog post, the likelihood of earning more is way higher because people will tend to stay longer on your blog. They will not be disturbed by the ads and they will simply love a fast website.
This income stream will not open up immediately. You will need a good reputation and a significant traffic before you can start earning from sponsored posts. What exactly are sponsored posts? They are basically blog posts, but someone pays you to post their article on your website or blog.
If you have a popular blog, people from other companies and blogs will approach you to place a blog post on your site. In return they will ask for a do-follow link from you and even agree to pay you for that placement.
However, you should be careful about what you do. Ideally, you shouldn’t be giving a do-follow link. Providing a do-follow link will mean that you will allow transfer of some link juice from your blog post to a different website.
You may consider giving a do-follow link to a reputed business or website, but providing a do-follow link to any and every website or business is not advisable. You have to decide whether a blog or a business or a website is worthy of getting a do-follow link from you or not.
If you are popular enough, you will have an upper hand and you can negotiate for a no-follow link and still get paid for placing third-party blog posts on your site.
Just keep in mind a few things:
- The post should not be promotional or should not directly promote a business. Google will not like it. You will get a warning from Google today or tomorrow.
- The post should be a good fit to the overall content theme of your website. For example, if your blog is all about motherhood and someone wants to place an article related to ant traps, that’s not going to give a good impression to your readers. So, make sure that if you are accepting sponsored posts, you are extremely particular about the type of content you will accept.
- Finally, make sure that the third-party willing to post an article on your site is following the rules you follow to write content for your blog. The sponsored post should have the same tone and same quality as you maintain on your blog.
When done right, sponsored posts can become a great income source. You can earn thousands of dollars for a single sponsored post. But to reach that level, you need to be extremely popular in your niche.
You will get offers from as little as $30 per post to something as high as $5000 per post depending on how popular you are. If you are an authority in your niche, you can dictate the terms and price!
Direct adverts are very similar to display ads. These are also known as private ads. The only difference is that you will not be using an ad network and there will be no middleman. A company willing to advertise on your blog will contact you directly and negotiate a placement and price for a particular ad size.
The most desired location is always the header or the sidebar because they are easily visible and universally accessible across your blog irrespective of which page or post a visitor reads or accesses.
Now, these opportunities will come only when you are popular enough to be considered for direct advertisement by a company. How much you earn from private ads or direct advertisements will depend on two factors:
- Your domain authority (which will tell potential advertisers how much traffic you get and how popular you are).
- Your negotiation skills.
You need to do some research to find out the ideal rate for a website with a domain authority same as yours.
If your blog is popular and you have a strong reader base, you can consider creating digital products like e-books, courses, workshops etc. and sell them to your already existing readers. This is a long shot, but if done correctly, generate a passive income source.
You have to invest a significant amount of time in creating those digital assets that you want to sell. However, you need to keep in mind that not every asset you create will be sold or will have the same purchase rate.
You also need to enable certain features on your blog to accept payment and allow people to download the digital products. If you are organizing online workshops, you will have to find ways for live streaming.
All these things will incur extra cost and time investment. You should be ready for all that!
Reviews and Giveaways
This may sound a bit weird and that’s natural. The question that generally comes to mind is that if you are giving away something to your readers, how can you earn.
The thing is, if your blog or website is popular enough, companies will reach out to you and send their products for reviews and giveaways. There are many popular blogs who not only review their products but also charge the companies for such reviews.
This will not only help you earn money, but you can either keep the product for yourself or give it away.
Again, for companies to approach you, your blog needs to be popular. You cannot achieve that from day one. You have to spend months, may be years, to establish a position and only then companies may find your blog worthy enough.
This is my favorite. It is the most difficult of all, but also the most rewarding of all. If done right, you can make millions each year. And trust me, as you are reading this, there are blogs that are doing exactly that.
The concept is simple. You need to promote the products or services of someone else to your readers. If your readers make a purchase through your promotional link, you get a commission for the sale.
The more you sell, the more commission you earn!
Now, promoting a product or a service is not easy! Promotion can be done in many ways. For example, you can insert banners and links of the product or service you are promoting. You can mention the product or service in your blog posts. You can even review the products.
The problem is, that if you are trying to promote something without using it yourself, you are out of luck! You have to use each product and then promote it.
My favorite strategy is always to write a thorough review after using the product. The review contains everything that people consider important and everything else they consider trivial. You never know! What’s trivial to someone may be important to someone else.
And, most important thing in that review is my opinion segment where I slate the verdict as why I choose to either use it or discard it.
Trust me, you need to be very honest. If a product or a service is giving you high commission rates for each sale but the product or service is horrible, you may be inclined towards promoting it for the potential earnings. DON’T DO THAT! It will break the trust you build with your readers.
If a product is bad, reject it no matter how high the commission rates are! That will evoke a sense of trust among your readers. They will look upon you as someone honest and trustworthy. When that trust is born, they will buy everything you recommend.
For instance, I have seen people recommending iPage web hosting despite the fact that it is one of the worst web hosting companies you can come across. They promote it because of the high commission rates. In return of high earnings, what they get is broken trust and soon their popularity declines.
If you are to earn big from affiliate programs, you have to be honest. It is not difficult to find affiliate programs. Every web hosting company, almost every SaaS company, almost every company that sells physical products has an affiliate program. One of the most well-known programs is that of Amazon Affiliates.
Participating in an affiliate program and creating an affiliate website is not difficult. This blog that you are reading right now (Cloudzat) is an affiliate blog. What’s difficult is maintaining the quality and building trust.
It can take months before you see some income flowing in. Patience is one of the several key factors. Another most important key factor is to provide authentic and thorough reviews with brutally honest opinions.
Your presentation and your aggressiveness will also determine a lot of things. I will show you an affiliate page from one of my client’s websites (I used to write for that website) and give you a summary of the problems on that page.
Take a look…
Notice carefully! The problems are:
- The formatting looks bad.
- One product has two CTA (call to action) buttons (ideally, there should be one).
- The product in question is not reviewed. It is just rehashing the features of the product you see on Amazon.
- Since I wrote the article (and it contained a list of five products), I know what I did! I just researched from the Internet and wrote it. I never used a single product and I have absolutely no idea of how these things work.
You don’t have to read this review to get the information. You can get all the information on Amazon’s product page!
Essentially, I didn’t add any value. I never spoke about the nitty-gritties of the product. I never showed a proof of me using it in real life. Why on Earth will someone believe this?
The problem was that I wrote the way I was asked to write. The client was fine with me having absolutely zero knowledge of the products. He was even reluctant to buy each product and test it.
Because of that approach, the website isn’t performing well!
If you want to earn from affiliate programs, you have to be dead serious about using each product you are reviewing and then give your personal opinion.
It doesn’t matter if your opinion differs from the opinions of other reviewers. As long as you are giving proofs of all that you are claiming and as long as you are honest, it will work out.
Affiliate marketing is difficult and may require a lot of investment in terms of both money and time before you can start making significant affiliate earnings.
Get into this method of making money only and only when you know you can deliver what people actually want instead of creating some run-off-the-mill content. Such content is not going to work!
Blogging is interesting and it can open doors for massive income streams. However, the whole process is not simple. For some people, it may take only a few months to generate a sizeable income. That happens because they play the right cards at the right time. For others, it may take years to reach that position.
You have to have interest and patience. You need to commit to your blog and deliver whatever your readers want, and you have to do that consistently.
The six methods mentioned in this post are time-tested methods and they have worked for thousands of bloggers across the world. The problem is there are millions of bloggers! So, not everyone gets success. I told in the beginning that success is elusive. It will come to you if you deserve it. If you don’t deserve it, no matter how much you run after it, it will always dodge you and land on someone else’s lap.
If you think there are other methods to make money blogging, don’t shy away from dropping a comment. I will gladly append your method to this article, provided your method works!