How to Monetize a Blog: Methods + Tips

Do you want to make money online and work whenever and wherever? You should learn how you can monetize a blog.

That way, you’ll have control over the content you create. And you’ll (in theory) have an unlimited earning potential.

Before we get into it, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

Ways to Monetize a Blog

If you want to make money online, you should start a blog. Your blog can be a great way to build an online business, and you can earn money in a variety of ways.

Display Ads

One of the simplest ways to monetize a blog is to use display ads. For better or worse, you’ll need to have plenty of content on your site before applying to an ad network.

Some ad networks also require you have a certain amount of traffic each month. That means you may not be able to use ads as soon as you start your blog.

However, once you can place ads on your site, you’re basically done. All you have to do is get people to your content, and you can make money from ad clicks and impressions.

Large blogs can earn thousands of dollars per month with display ads. But some bloggers find the ads detract from their own brands, so it’s up to you whether you use them or not.

Affiliate Marketing

One of the best ways to monetize a blog as a beginner is with affiliate marketing. This is where you partner with brands to get trackable links.

When someone clicks on your special link and makes a purchase, the brand pays you a commission for that sale. Some affiliate programs pay as little as 1%, but others offer over 50%.

You can find programs and products that you love and that are related to your niche. Join those programs to get your trackable links, and add them to your blog posts.

The next time someone reads your blog, they can click on the links for the products they want. And when they buy, you’ll get a cut of the sale, so it’s a relatively easy way to make money.

Sponsored Posts

You’ve had your blog for a while, and you want to monetize it a little more. Once you’ve established an audience, you can start to do sponsored posts.

This is where you work directly with a brand for one blog article. You agree on the topic and the outline, and you create the content.

The blog post will include a shoutout of the brand in question. And in exchange for the mention, the brand pays you a flat fee.

Some bloggers will even combine sponsored posts and affiliate marketing. So you can get the one-time fee, but you can make more money for each sale you generate.

Sponsored post rates start at $100, give or take depending on your blog traffic and the content. As your blog grows even more, you can raise your rates for sponsored posts.

Digital Products

Probably one of the most popular ways to monetize a blog is by creating your own digital products. This can range from something as small as a printable to a full online course.

You can then use your blog as the main marketing channel for your new product. Link to it naturally within your blog posts and as a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.

If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin like Easy Digital Downloads to host your products. The plugin handles payments, so you upload the file, write a sales page, and publish it for the world.

Of course, you can also promote your digital products on social media and in emails. That way, you can get even more traffic.

Physical Products

You can also monetize a blog by selling physical goods. Maybe you enjoy crafting, so you sell handmade knit or crochet goods.

Or perhaps you’ve had your blog, and your readers always complain of the same problem. You can create a product that solves that issue, and you can sell it.

Like with digital goods, you can use your blog to promote your physical items. You can then sell them with a plugin like WooCommerce.

If you want to make physical products a more passive income stream, you can do drop shipping. Or you could hire a company that takes care of the manufacturing and shipping.

Donations

It never hurts to add a donation button using something like Buy Me a Coffee. That makes it easy for your readers to support you and thank you for your content.

You don’t have to do anything extra other than mention your donation button. Add it to the bottom of each of your blog posts to increase the chances of earning money.

Now, earning from donations takes time because you have to build a sense of loyalty. But if you can do that, you may be able to earn a nice supplemental income.

If you get donations frequently, you can then pivot to something like a Patreon. In exchange for recurring donations, people will get extra content or other exclusive perks.

Services

Maybe you need to monetize your blog fast due to losing your job or some other financial hardship. As great as it is to build passive income streams, don’t be afraid to offer a service.

Many blog niches lend themselves to related services. For example, if you blog about pets, you could offer a pet-sitting service.

Or if you blog about food, you could offer online cooking lessons. Then, you can get paid for your time and earn more money even when your blog is small.

I’ve worked as a freelance blogger, and I still offer that service to clients. So think about what your blog is about and what you’re good at to find the perfect service to offer.

How to Actually Make Money

It’s great to know the ways in which you can monetize a blog. However, you still have to consider the steps you need to take to turn those methods into cash.

Draft a Business Plan

When you start to monetize a blog, you’re turning it into a business. If you want to take it extra seriously, you may want to write a business plan.

This is a document that outlines how you plan to make money. It can include market research, financial projections, and competitor analysis.

You’ll need a business plan if you want to get investors. However, it also helps to have for your records so that you know what you need to do.

Keep a copy on your computer, and refer to it whenever you need to. That way, you’ll remember your initial goals before you start to do something that may waste your time.

Choose a Profitable Niche

One of my biggest mistakes as a new blogger was choosing the wrong niche. I settled on music because it’s what I studied in college.

While my music blog eventually earned a few hundred a month, it took years. And it never earned more than that, so it wasn’t a viable niche for a full-time income.

This time around, I’m focusing on earning money online. That has been proven to be a profitable niche for a lot of people.

But it’s profitable for some because of their experience (or mine). If you’re new to earning money online, it may not be the right niche for you.

A combination of passion and profit potential is key.

Start With One or Two Income Streams

As you can see, there are many ways to monetize a blog. It can be easy to get distracted by “shiny object syndrome” and try everything at once.

Don’t do that. Instead, choose one or maybe two methods you want to use to make money from your blog right now.

The methods I’m currently using and that I would recommend for beginners is to offer a freelance service and to use affiliate marketing.

With a freelance service, you can get a lot of money right away in exchange for your time. And with affiliate marketing, you can build that stream slowly to make a ton of money later.

Create Content Consistently

Once you nail down how you’ll make money, you need to publish new blog posts. Create a posting schedule that works for you and your life.

If you have a full-time job, you may only be able to post once or twice per week. But if you’re out of a job, you can post daily to build more momentum and start making money.

Whatever your schedule is, keep up with it as best as you can. Over time, you’ll have more content where you can share affiliate links, and you can get more blog traffic.

This consistency will help you eventually start to make money from your blog. Eventually, you can spend more time creating content to earn even more money.

Promote Your Content

It’s great if you can create content every day. However, you need to spend just as much time promoting your blog as you do writing for it (if not more time).

Share your blog posts wherever you can, such as Pinterest and other social platforms. Set up an email list, and share your latest posts with your subscribers.

You can also use Facebook groups and forums to share your links. Answer questions in your niche, and link to a post that offers more details to someone’s question.

Search engine optimization is a great way to get traffic for free from Google or Bing. If you have the budget, you can also try using ads on social media.

Follow the Data

Remember, when you monetize a blog, you run a business. Good business owners pay attention to the data and follow the numbers.

This can be in relation to a lot of things. For example, maybe you get a lot of traffic from Pinterest, so you spend more of your time sharing your blog posts there.

Or maybe you get a lot of sales of a particular digital product but not another. You can scale back on the promotion of the less successful product.

You want to make sure you’re spending your time where it counts to increase your earning potential. That way, you won’t waste time on things that aren’t driving traffic or revenue.

Pitch Prospective Clients

If you want to monetize a blog with a service, you need to reach out to potential clients. Unless you’re already famous in your niche, they won’t come to you.

You can find clients with a Google search, on social media, or on freelance platforms. Think about who might need your service, and find their contact information.

Draft a pitch email that’s unique to them and how you can help them. Do this for as many potential clients as you can.

The more you can personalize the pitch, the better. It will make the potential client feel like you care, and they’ll be more likely to respond to your pitch and even to hire you.

Invest When You Can

You can monetize a blog on a small budget. As long as you have a domain name and a good host, like SiteGround, you’ll be able to market yourself and earn money.

However, it can take a long time to make money that way. You have to learn different business skills on your own, and you’ll make a lot of mistakes.

If possible, I’d recommend enrolling in at least a couple of courses. That way, you’ll learn the skills you need to succeed, and you can reach your goals much faster.

You can find some courses for $100 or less, so you don’t need a massive budget. Learn what you can, and implement that in your business, and invest your newfound profits into the next course or coach.

Final Thoughts

If you want to monetize a blog, you have plenty of options. But you shouldn’t just pick something and roll with it.

You need to be strategic about the monetization methods and how you promote your business.

Want affiliate marketing to be part of that? Enroll in Affiliate Marketing Superstars to learn everything you need to know.

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