Updated: May 31, 2017
This is what it is all about.
If you're starting a blog as a hobby then there was no point in you reading this guide. Just go out and have fun.
However, if you started a blog with the intention of making money then this is the chapter you've been waiting for.
You've read the success stories about how people have quit their jobs, travel the world, and retire early from the money they make with their blogs and you want in on the action.
However, when you look at their blogs it seems like a complete mystery on how they make money.
Well, I have some good news for you. If you read the chapters before this then you understand the basic principles that you need to start making money with your blog.
The reality is that if you can't build an audience then you can't make money with your blog.
Forget about the different revenue streams a blog can have. Without an audience, there is no way to make money.
That's why this isn't the first chapter of the guide. Before you worry about money, worry about your audience.
With that being said, let's explore some of the different ways that you can make money with your blog.
Ways to Make Money Blogging
What's great about making money with a blog is that you don't have to stick with just one way.
Ideally, you want to have multiple revenue streams set up just in case something goes wrong.
You don't want all of your eggs in one basket as they say.
Each the methods I talk about below have potential to be used on your blog. Don't just pick one and think you are good to go. The more diverse your income is the safer you will be.
Even though I have ads on some of my blogs I am not the biggest fan of this method for making money for a number of reasons:
- They are ugly
- They send people away from your site when you are trying to keep them on
- You have to get a massive amount of traffic (100k+ pageviews) before seeing decent results
With that being said, if you're in the right niche and can scale your pageviews up quickly then ads are a great starter revenue stream.
If your goal is to quit your job and to do that you need to make $3,000 a month, then there is nothing wrong with getting $3,000 from ads to allow that to happen.
The approach I take now with my blogs is that I look at the niche and determine if ads are a good fit and then I work to build the traffic up to 100,000 pageviews and apply for an ad network.
Anything less than 100,000 pageviews just isn't worth my time to get ads up. It's better that I focus on building my mailing list up to that point.
With 100,000 pageviews and the right ad network, I can start to make $600 - $1100 a month. If I'm able to keep traffic consistent or even better, grow it, then I have a steady revenue stream coming in that will allow me to focus on other revenue streams.
The Right Ad Network
If you want to make money with ads then don't go with Google Adsense. You want to find an ad network that will work directly with you and get you the best rates possible.
For my blogs I like to use AdThrive because they produce the best results.
To apply to AdThrive your blog must be doing 100,000 pageviews a month so the standard is set pretty high.
2. Sponsored Posts
This is when a brand pays you to write a post of their liking to help promote their brand.
You determine how much to charge and you can either go looking for brands or they will come to you once you reach a certain size.
The pro with this type of revenue is that you can make a decent amount of money from a single blog post.
The cons with this type of revenue are that you have to disclose to your audience that it is a sponsored post so it might not be as effective as the brand likes and the post is on your blog permanently.
Think about that: a brand pays a one-time fee to have advertising set up on your blog for the rest of its existence. Pretty crazy, but if you need to get paid, then you need to get paid.
If you want to learn more about sponsored posts then check out this post on A Beautiful Exchange.
3. Affiliate Marketing
One of my favorite ways to make money blogging is with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is where you simply post a link to a product or service. If a reader clicks on the link and then purchases the product or service you get a commission.
In the blogosphere, you see this all over the place wit web hosting companies. Bloggers write a post on how to start a blog and they use a web host as an example. Every time someone clicks on the web host link and purchases web hosting, the blogger gets a commission.
What's great about affiliate marketing is that you don't have to create a product or worry about customer service. All you are doing is sending your audience to a site and hoping that the site does a good job of converting.
The cons with affiliate marketing are that you don't control the experience after someone clicks a link and you have no idea who is purchasing through your affiliate links.
However, for me, the pros outweigh the cons and I'm always looking for ways to integrate affiliate marketing into all of my blogs.
If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing then check out Affiliate Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Passive Income.
4. eBooks and Courses
Anybody that makes a healthy amount of money from a blog will tell you that the best thing you can do is create your own products.
This is a scary proposition for a lot of people.
Maybe you've never written a book or recorded a course but everybody starts at zero.
So why is creating your own products one of the best ways to make money blogging?
It comes down to relationships.
With affiliate marketing, you can spend time developing a connection with your audience but at the end of the day you are sending them somewhere else and hoping that affiliate partner does a good job establishing a relationship.
With your own products, you have a relationship that you can continue to come back to over and over again.
For example, by you going through this guide I'm hopefully building a relationship with you where you feel that I provide you with great value.
From this value, I can then talk to you about the Billionaire Blog Club and why you should join.
Having your own products also means you get to keep most of the money.
Ads you only get a small percentage.
Sponsored posts don't offer a huge long term revenue stream on your part.
Affiliate marketing has varying percentages and you are dependent on someone else paying you.
With your own products you control the price, delivery, and payment.
If you think this is the route you want to go I would suggest looking into ads and affiliate marketing first (both or just one depending on your niche) and then once you get to understand your audience better figure out a great product to make.
Other Ways to Make Money
There are of course other ways to make money like paid webinars or consulting.
I simply covered the 4 main ways in this guide but if you're interested in other methods then check out How to Make Money Blogging: A Beginner’s Guide to Working at Home.