Okay, we have finally come to the part of the “How to Blog” series that everyone wants to know, exactly how do bloggers make money blogging?
I had no idea how to make money blogging when I first started started out. I just knew I wanted to blog and I wanted to make an impact, and I’d figure the rest out later.
I have categorized how to make money blogging into four main categories. You’ll find that making money blogging is actually quite simple. However, the tricky part is learning and implementing the skills required to do each of these methods properly. And then of course maintaining the pageviews/followers/email subscribers to sustain those methods for the long-term. With determination, education, and hard work, anyone can achieve this. Let’s dive in!
How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners
1. Display Advertising
Yes, ads ads ads. People have differing opinions about display advertising. My personal opinion is somewhere in the middle – but I’ll give you both sides so you can form your own opinion on the subject.
1. Display Ads are Bad
When I first started researching how to monetize my blog, I realized that many people frown upon display ads. They consider them annoying, distracting, and they clutter up your blog. On top of that, you work so hard to gain readers to your website just to immediately encourage them to leave again by clicking on a display ad.
I totally understand this argument and I think it is valid.
2. Display Ads are GREAT
This argument is that as long as you don’t go overboard, display ads are perfectly fine. They are done so well nowadays that usually the ads show the reader something they are most likely already interested in. Furthermore, blogging is A LOT of work, (even more so in the beginning stages) so there is no shame in wanting to be compensated for your hard work. Display ads are usually the fastest and easiest way to start monetize your blog, so it’s a great place to start.
My opinion? Well, if you can’t already tell, I definitely use display ads on my website. I agree with opinion #1 that they’re not my favorite thing to have plastered all over my website, and it’s true that they do take people away from my blog.
However, ads are a great way to monetize your blog, especially when you’re first starting out (and even if you’re not just starting out).
For me personally, I have no problem with display ads, however as I learn to more successfully monetize my blog with the other strategies mentioned below, I plan on cutting back a bit on display advertising (not all the way) so my website doesn’t look as cluttered or distracting. But that’s just me. 🙂
However just a side note: Display advertising used to pay A LOT, but now, they don’t pay out nearly as much. You typically have to have a lot of traffic and pageviews to make a substantial amount of money off of display advertising.
Display Advertising Networks
- Google Adsense – This is probably the ad network you have heard of the most. This is typically the first ad network you will use since there’s no monthly pageview requirement to join. However, you will make the least amount of money with Google Adsense. Definitely try to build your way up so you can work with the other ad networks mentioned below.
- MediaVine –MediaVine is a GREAT ad network, and one of the best out there. Their requirements for approval are 25,000 sessions per month, and I highly recommend making the switch from Google Adsense to MediaVine when you meet the criteria. 🙂
- AdThrive – AdThrive is another amazing ad network. Their requirement is 100,000 monthly pageviews in order to work with them. Just because AdThrive requires a higher number of readers in order to work with them, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are better than MediaVine. If you meet the criteria, do your own research on which ad network you would like to join. I know people who have way more than 100,000 monthly pageviews, but still choose to go with MediaVine. 🙂
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you are rewarded a commission when you sell other people’s (or company’s) products. When people click on your affiliate link and make a purchase, you then receive a part of the sale at no additional cost to the reader. So, it’s actually a really cool way to make money since you’re being compensated to promote products that you already love.
However, you HAVE to be honest when recommending products. It kind of saddened me when I first started reading advise from other bloggers on “how to blog”. When other bloggers highly recommend a blogging product I thought, “OMG everyone’s recommend this course, it must be really valuable”. Only later did I discover that the course was just average, and people were only recommending it because they would earn a commission back when someone bought it.
Don’t do that. It’ll make people lose trust in you.
Only recommend things that you really believe in.
I work with a BUNCH of different affiliates companies, however here are some of my favorites:
- Amazon Associates – Amazon is great because everyone knows and trusts the brand, and they sell almost everything under the sun. The only downside is they don’t pay a lot in commission.
- ShareASale – They are one of my favs and are great for any niche. I use them a lot for my travel products such as tours through Viator.
- CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction) – They are really really great and have a handy browser extension that I personally love. J I use them a lot for travel products since I can work with hotels, car rentals, TripAdvisor, and lots more through this platform. Try to get approved for the CJ Content Certified Program since that will open doors to more companies that you’re automatically approved for.
Educating yourself on how to do affiliate marketing is key. It’s not as simple as just throwing some links inside your post. The only course I have taken on Affiliate Marketing is Michelle’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. She is a leader in the blogging world and makes around $50,000 per month from affiliate marketing alone. So, not too shabby. Learn more about the course here. 🙂
3. Sponsored Posts
A sponsored post is when a company will pay you to write a blog post about their product or service. This is typically a flat fee, and there’s no requirement or dependency on the reader to make a purchase (like there is for affiliate marketing).
If you also have other social media networks (such as Instagram) you can also leverage your following on those platforms as well for a higher fee.
How to land sponsorship opportunities?
This could (and might!) be a whole blog post all to itself. To be honest, the majority of the sponsorship opportunities I have gotten have been companies that reach out to me. Once you start growing this will happen naturally, however, it will most likely be companies you don’t want to work with, or they may not want to compensate you for your time and hard work.
In the beginning you will find a lot of companies will want to do a product for post collaboration, where the company gifts you a product in compensation for the post.
I’m not going to lie, free things are fun and exciting, however they don’t pay the bills. Once you start growing it will become imperative to request compensation for your work. Many companies take advantage of bloggers/influencers and that is just not okay.
Like I mentioned before, putting together blog content takes a lot of time and energy, and it makes complete sense to be compensated for your time.
A quick story from my humble beginnings:
An L.A.-based company approached me wanting me to promote their outdoor equipment. I loved the product and gladly accepted. I was truly just honored they wanted to work with me and no compensation was even asked. They wanted to work with me since I live near the Canadian Rockies, and I could easily create content for them in this beautiful, epic landscape.
I spent a weekend in the mountains, and handed over to them around 30 beautiful photos for them to use, as well as 2 Instagram posts and a blog post. I had no idea just how much FREE content and exposure I was giving them.
Later a blogger friend explained to me how I absolutely should have paid for this type of work. For them to achieve the same photoshoot they would have had to hire a photographer, book a plane ticket, and pay for lodging, rental car, etc. in the Canadian Rockies. Instead, I did all of this for them for free.
I cannot stress this enough, bloggers should definitely be bolder and request compensation. Only take free items if you truly just love the product, and for whatever reason they don’t have the funds to compensate you.
If you don’t want to rely on companies reaching out to you in order to gain sponsorship opportunities, put together a media kit and email them! I’ve also landed a few sponsorship deals this way. It takes more time and effort but it’s worth it. And hey, not everything can just fall in your lap, can it? 🙂
There are also Media Networks you can apply for to gain sponsorship opportunities. A few that I’m apart of are:
4. Sell Your Own Products or Services
Creating and selling your own products or services is the BEST way to monetize your blog. The easiest way is to sell digital products such as eBooks, eCourses, Webinars, Lightroom presets, and printable downloads (just to name a few).
You can of course offer physical products and other services such as blog mentorship, photography services, virtual assistant, web design, travel planning, and more!
Whatever unique skill you have, you can create a product or service and monetize it.
I have mentioned this before in my previous posts, however it must be said again. The best way to learn all of these “blogging things” under one roof is to take the Billionaire Blog Club course. This course goes over everything you need to know about the basics of blogging, gaining pageviews, listing building, email marketing, and ultimately monetizing your blog successfully.
To gain an understanding of everything that the course entails, take the free 12-day blogging bootcamp and chat with Paul (the course creator) yourself. 🙂
Alrighty guys, that is a wrap! I hope you now have a solid understanding of how to make money blogging. Now you can go out and do the same.
Do you have a blog? What’s your favorite way to make money blogging? Love to know below!
Did you miss part of the “How to Blog” series? Read more:
- Are you Feeling Called to Blog? (read the intro to this series!)
- How to Start a Blog: The Ridiculously Easy Step-by-Step Guide
- The Blogging Essentials: The 5 Things Your Blog NEEDS to Have
- 8 (Sneaky!) Tips for Writing GREAT Blog Posts, Every Time
- How to Increase Your Blog Traffic with Pinterest
- How to Get More Blog Traffic – Let’s Get You Some Pageviews!
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