Blogging is an amazing way of expressing yourself, but why not make some money whilst you are doing something that you love? This guide will show you how to make money from a blogging site.
We’ll also throw in a few hints and tips to help speed up the process!!
Many people, just like you, have considered starting a blog or maybe you have already started your blog. But you’re sitting there wondering how exactly you make money from a blog. Then again, you might just be wondering why it isn’t currently working for you.
I know it can be frustrating, but I’m here to help!!
So, relax, grab yourself a cup of coffee and start reading this guide. It’ll fill in a lot of the blanks, but if you still have questions at the end, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments section. I’ll get back to you with an answer or a point in the right direction!
I do need to just point out that the biggest misconception there is about monetising a blog is the time it takes to get to that point.
Too many people believe you can start a blog this morning and by this afternoon see the money rolling in… (I wish it was that simple).
But you need to factor in that so many people are getting in on the whole blogging scene. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to make money, but it just shows that too many people don’t commit to the whole thing…
I mean you can have your website up and running in a few minutes, without any technical knowledge needed…
But then what? Well, you need the traffic to your blog to make any money. Traffic = Potential to Monetise.
So, the real key to how to make money from a blogging site is to understand how to get traffic to your website. If you can get traffic to your blog, then you are definitely on the right track to making money from it.
There are paid ways of getting traffic, which requires a budget. Or there are free methods, which is what I focus on (as it’s FREE). But you need to understand your target audience and what they want from your blog, and then you are good to go…
If you’re brand new and are looking for help building your passive income stream with a blog, then you might benefit from our 7-Day Passive Income Bootcamp where we take you through every step of building a blog in a passion you have, and getting it to the point of making money…
Blogging is a great way of making money online, but like I said you need to think about this as the long game. Whether it is a hobby blog or a business blog, you’ll need to invest time and effort into it to get the right target audience to come to your blog, so that you can use some of the monetisation methods we will discuss in this blog post.
Our guide will show you the ways you can monetise your blog, but then we will also throw in some tips that will help you build up the traffic you need. Offer them value, offer them help, and they will come to your blog.
Table of Contents
How to Make Money from a Blogging Site
Now, there are many different types of blogs. Some are just for sharing their story, others are business blogs, and then some blogs are there to promote a product or a service. So, the monetisation method will typically depend on the type of blog you are about to start.
So, you will need to consider what niche you are targeting and who your target audience is…
If you don’t know those couple of things, you will need to take a few moments to think about it. As it will make a big difference to the traffic generation you need, and the method you use for monetising it.
For example, a food blogger will be sharing loads of recipes and ideas about food preparation instead of specific products. So, they will go for display ads over promoting products as an affiliate.
Not exclusively as they could utilise both, but it is more likely they would go down the ads route.
Whereas a tech blog, all about the latest tech, would typically be an affiliate marketer who is promoting those products. But if their traffic is decent enough, they would also maybe be having display ads too.
We’re going to go through the different options anyway, so you can go down the route that fits your blog, niche, and target audience. If you’re not sure, don’t worry, drop us a note in the comments and we’ll see what we can do to help you out.
#1 Monetise Your Blog with CPC/CPA Ads
A common way of making money as a blogger is by placing display ads onto your website. This is where you will earn money when one of your readers completes a specific task or action.
Display ads can be placed in several places on your website, like your sidebar. Others place them at the footer of their site, and then there are ads that go throughout your content.
Ad Networks like AdSense will typically automatically place ads in relevant places. But if you want more control, you can also select certain places, through placing code in specific places (although, that is a little more advanced).
Here’s a list of the different types of ads that you could go with…
- CPC/PPC Ads: CPC stands for Cost per Click, usually referred to as Pay Per Click (PPC). These are ads where you earn money when a reader clicks on the ad.
- CPM Ads: This stands for Cost per (1000) Impressions. For every 1,000 views of the ad, you will earn money.
- CPA Ads: This stands for Cost Per Action. Similar to CPC, but it typically requires them to complete an action, like sign up to an email list or fill out a form, or sign up to a membership, etc. You can check out this guide for more information.
The most common starting place for new bloggers is with Google AdSense. It’s the easiest ad network to get started with, especially as you won’t have a very large audience yet
But it’s not really the best ad network, but better networks like MediaVine, require much more traffic to your blog before you will be accepted into their network. MediaVine requires 25,000 page views a month to be accepted when you apply.
But it also shows how much traffic is a good incentive to strive for, as the pay-out rates are much better at places like MediaVine.
That amount of pageviews will also mean you are earning a good level of income from ads too.
Like I said, this isn’t about getting rich quick (that doesn’t exist), but put the effort in and you will be earning a good income from ads if you can get to that level of pageviews…
When you apply to join a network, like Google AdSense, once accepted (learn more here), then you will link your blog. Then they will choose relevant ads to display to your audience (trying) to stay relevant to your content. Although, there are some settings you want to consider setting up, i.e., age relevant. You don’t want them showing inappropriate content that will put your readers off coming back to your blog.
If Google AdSense isn’t for you, there are others that are good for those starting out like Infolinks, and Media.net.
But you know you’re in a good place, when you can apply for networks like MediaVine.
Things to Consider...
- There will be an application process to go through, where they consider whether your blog is ready for ads or not. They want to be able to make money too, so they will usually reject a new blog that doesn’t have any content on it. Or, if you have questionable content on there too. A good threshold to consider is whether you have at least 40 posts on your site. That way you are showing the ad network that you are creating content and that you are trying to attract visitors. Think about this – if you have no visitors or content, neither you nor the ad network will be making money. That makes it an easy no for the ad network
- Make sure you check and then double check the settings, especially the content settings as this can affect the trust factor of your audience. If they are seeing inappropriate ads or ads that are nothing to do with your blog, this could put them off coming back
- Control how many ads are displaying on your blog at any given time. We’ve all seen sites where they have just too many ads, or ads that get in the way of the content. This puts them off and they leave and may not come back. Yes, they need to see the ads or interact with your ads to make you money, but too many will have the opposite effect. One relevant ad on your blog that resonates with your audience will earn you more money, than ten irrelevant ads that put people off
- The last point to consider is that you will require high levels of traffic for this to have a decent return, so patience is key
#2 Sell Private Ads
Ad Networks are great, especially when you are just starting out. But they are not the only option you have when it comes to selling display ads. If you have the right traffic levels, you might actually have advertisers cutting out the middleman and coming straight to you.
Of course, there is also the fact that you can start contacting advertisers yourself. If you have the right levels of traffic to make this worthwhile.
The advantage of this option is that you can decide your own rates, and you can also control what is advertised on your blog.
An example would be a sports blog that contacts an advertiser that is promoting sportswear. That way, anyone coming onto that blog will see ads that are relevant to them. They are looking to learn more about basketball, and they see basketball sportswear ads on the blog.
It’s totally relevant, doesn’t put the reader off, and it might interest them enough for them to click on it… Bingo, that’s what you’re after!!
Selling Private Ads can come as banners, buttons, links, etc. You can also earn money writing sponsored posts where you write about the advertisers’ products or services.
Making money will vary depending on the route. For example, a sponsored post will be a one-time fee and hosting banner ads will be a monthly charge.
Another way of earning money is by selling sponsorship space in your email newsletters too.
#3 Incorporate Affiliate Marketing
This is the route we took when it comes to making money with a blog. It isn’t particularly a choice between display ads or affiliate marketing. To be honest, the ideal solution is to use both. Affiliate Marketing is more of a long-game strategy. But can earn you a lot more money than ads but supplementing that income with ads is a great choice too.
Affiliate Marketing is the perfect partner for a blogger, it’s also the route most people use to get started with making money online.
You need traffic for either route, affiliate marketing or display ads, but like I said the income potential of affiliate marketing is much more if you can get it right (Relax, my 7-Day Online Passive Income Bootcamp teaches the same methods I used to get started).
If you want to learn more about how affiliate marketing works, here’s my complete guide. But for a quick overview, the image below describes the steps:
But I’ve found the easiest way to describe affiliate marketing is that it is like a refer-a-friend scheme…
You sign up with an affiliate program, let’s say Amazon’s affiliate program. That gives you the ability to promote any product that Amazon sells.
You write a relevant blog post or a review and include an (affiliate) link to that product in the blog post and if your reader clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you get a cut of the sale price.
So, if you were to have a tech blog and were writing reviews about laptops. You include affiliate links in those reviews that take the reader to Amazon.
I’m searching the web for the best laptop to buy and then I click on your blog. I find I like the sound of the one you have reviewed and see a “go to Amazon” button. I click on it and decide I’m going to buy it. You’ve just made a sale, and Amazon rewards you with a percentage of the laptop price.
It doesn’t matter what type of blog you have; the idea is the same for any niche. But the beauty is that you can have ads on that same blog too. So, if someone doesn’t click on your link to buy the laptop, they might click on a relevant ad they see on your website.
The only issue, from your point of view, is that you will earn a lot less if they do that. But there doesn’t need to be a happy medium too.
Affiliate Marketing is my favourite way of earning money online. It allows you to make money from something you enjoy. You can start a blog in the subject or niche that you want to get started in.
You have to create a lot of content to get the levels of traffic you need for either ads or affiliate marketing. So, why not write about something you can learn more about?
If you choose a hobby, which you already enjoy talking about and learning more about, you are more likely to be able to commit to the year it requires to get that blog making you money. Don’t get me wrong, you can sometimes start earning money earlier, but you need to commit.
Too many people choose a topic as they think it is profitable, over something they know or enjoy. But they get it wrong, as they run out of topic ideas. No new content, no traffic. Which means no income.
I know that there is money in arts and crafts, but I have no interest in it. I don’t want to research it or write content about it, and I’m sure I’ll get bored of it within a week. Poor choice for a niche.
Now, tech, I love tech and am always checking out the latest. That’s a much better option.
You have to choose what is right for you. Be that pets, sports, health, fitness, etc. Choose what you feel is right for you.
Affiliate Marketing has unlimited potential if you can commit the time and effort to see the results. Again, this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme and will require some dedication from you.
But I can also say that I know other affiliate marketers that are earning 6 figure incomes a month from affiliate marketing. That’s the potential!!
Don’t think that you only have Amazon as an option, there are thousands of affiliate programs out there.
Affiliate networks, like Awin, also offer you an option where you only need one login to have access to plenty of affiliate programs.
If you would like to learn how to be successful in Affiliate Marketing, we highly recommend the Wealthy Affiliate training platform. It offers training, tools and expert support to ensure you get started in the right way with affiliate marketing.
If you would like to learn more, read our Wealthy Affiliate review.
#4 Sell Digital Products
There is always the option where you make money without having to advertise products that are owned by someone else. So, a good alternative is to create your own digital product to sell.
You could consider selling digital products, including:
- Online Course or Workshops
- Images/Videos/Music (for other bloggers to buy and use on their own blog)
- WordPress plugins
- WordPress Themes
A couple of these options don’t actually need a blog, as you could create images and add them to a stock image site like iStock Images.
You could also create an eBook that you sell via your blog, but then also sell it via online book places.
A key thing many get wrong when it comes to selling digital products is making sure it is relevant to your readers.
There is little point writing eBooks about making money online if your blog is about photography. It is often best to listen to what your readers are after before investing the time in creating a digital product.
#5 Sell Memberships
Another option to making money on your blog is by selling memberships to exclusive areas of your website. Consider a career blog might charge $10 per month, this gives users access to their job board. Or a start-up business blog, might sell memberships to their forum for people to get personalised advice about their business.
But this will only work if you are offering a membership that is more valuable than anything someone could find for free elsewhere. People will only pay if it is going to be a benefit to them. Make sure it is valuable and it is a reasonable price.
Also consider how you are going to keep on offering value, otherwise you might not keep them past month one. Think about how you are going to keep them wanting to come back for more…
There are 5 ways that you could use to make money from a blogging site. You could choose to use one method or build a plan to incorporate all five of them in your blog.
But no matter which one you choose; you’re going to need to be able to get traffic to your blog. So, we have some advice to offer to help you get that traffic to your blog.
Turn Your Passion into Profits
Building an Authority Blog - Top Tips
Let’s face it, traffic is what makes any blog successful. Whatever your goals for your blog are, if you don’t know how to get traffic, then monetisation is the least of your worries.
Build Credibility with Your Target Audience
To get traffic, you need to identify who your target audience is and provide high-quality content that helps them get the answer they are looking for. Do that consistently, and then the search engines will start noticing you and go “Yeh, I like what they are doing… I’m going to bump them up the search engines!”.
Page one of Google is your target within your relevant niche. If you can get your site to be the top result for your chosen search term, then you will start to see traffic coming to your site.
The more visitors you get, and the more they interact with your blog (as in writing comments on your blog post or signing up to your email list), then the more Google will trust you.
Build up that trust with your readers and with Google, then bang! You’re starting to look like an authority blog. Show them all that you know what you’re talking about within your chosen niche and the rest will come.
Monetisation of your blog is typically the last step, so get that traffic flowing to your blog and then start introducing the monetisation steps. Start putting relevant ads onto your blog, include affiliate links in your reviews. Start a membership on your blog or sell an eBook or use a free eBook as a funnel to something.
But without the credibility of your readers, then none of this is possible.
But there are also other opportunities when you have built up that credibility and authority, especially if you become a recognised figure in that industry.
Imagine someone who starts a blog in the finance industry and becomes an authority in that industry. It can lead to people approaching you to co-author a book on debt management or speak at conferences or even run training days for employees of companies.
Becoming a credible authority in your niche opens many possibilities when it comes to making money. There is no reason why you could not start a blog and after time, utilise all the ways we have gone through in this post. I know that is one of my goals with this blog.
There are also opportunities to sell a profitable blog for a considerable amount of money too.
Top Tips to Ensure Your Blog Is On The Right Track
So, I promised you some tips and here they are. These steps will make sure that your blog is on the right track to getting that traffic, which in turn will earn you money…
#1 Creating High Quality Content That Helps
This is the most common thing you will see, but what does high-quality content mean? Well, for a start, it needs to have a purpose.
Why is someone going to click on your blog post in all of the search results? Well, you have to think about what your target audience will be searching for and then offer them a blog post that fits that search term effectively.
They will go to Google to ask a question… What they are looking for is a result that answers the question properly.
What they don’t want is to click on a result that looks great (because of the title), but then find it doesn’t answer the question at all. That will annoy them, and they will have to try again.
You don’t want to be that first one…
So, a high-quality post that helps get that person an answer to their question is what you want on your blog.
Imagine if this blog post, which is supposed to show you how to make money from a blogging site, didn’t do that. I bet you wouldn’t still be here if it did.
There is very little patience online, people want an answer, and they want it the first time. Be specific, be concise, but don’t be afraid to be in-depth. Remember you are trying to come across as an authority on the subject.
Think about the typical questions – How, What, Why, When, Where…
If you’re not sure what people are searching for, you can always use the alphabet soup technique… Type your search term into Google and Google gives you suggestions as to what your actual question might be.
Start adding an a, b, or c in front or behind the term and more suggestions will come up. Target one that you are going to use, and then ensure you don’t leave any answers on the table for that term.
Then, when you are writing the content, remember you are only writing it for one person. Write it like you are talking to a friend.
#2 Is Your Niche Too Broad?
Choosing a niche and your target audience is an important first step. This is so you know who you are targeting. But it also gives you the best chance of carving up a piece of the market.
Too many people start with a broad subject, instead of narrowing it down to a specific niche. Bloggers think this will allow them to branch out when they get big, but you need to get there first. So, always start as targeted as you can.
To get free organic traffic to your blog, you are going to need to start small so you can have a chance of competing against the authority sites that are already there.
Those authority sites will already be broad, so that gives you the ability to become a specialist in a sliver of the market. That gives you the edge in Google.
Let’s say you choose a niche in the health and wellness sector (Here’s a list of 50 niches, if you’re struggling to find one for you). The overall sector is huge, with hundreds of thousands of blogs. If you are targeting losing weight, again you would come up against thousands of competing blogs.
But if you were to target something specific like “men looking to lose belly fat”. You’ll find it much easier to build an authority in how to lose belly fat for men.
You have a target audience and a subject to focus on. That is what will get you up the rankings and eventually become an authority in that niche. It then gives you the opportunity to start introducing other elements of fitness.
But you have a great starting point and can focus on, fitness programs, health drinks, exercises, and your own story.
You could introduce relevant ads and affiliate links to related health drinks and there is your monetisation route.
Naturally as people are following your advice and losing that belly fat, you could then start to introduce other elements like those that want to get a six pack.
#3 Be a Social Butterfly!
I know what you might be thinking… But I’m not on social media!!! I’m introverted and shy, I don’t want people to know me…
I do get it, but social media does have it’s benefits for a blogger. Even one who wants to hide behind the screen.
But it also needs to be done in a way that doesn’t get in the way of your goals. Sharing your content on social media can be beneficial. You can grow a following and get people interested in your niche. They can also then decide to visit your blog.
But it can also be said that the results aren’t always the best. But still, you do need it these days.
Pinterest is probably the best for getting people to come and read your blog. It’s designed to bring people to your blog from it.
Other platforms, like Facebook, are designed to keep people on it. With them monetising their platform so much, it makes sense they want you to stay on it. So they can earn more money…
But what I’m referring to here is to build up a social presence and start reaching out to others in your industry.
Build relationships with sponsors, affiliate partners and other bloggers. Spend time on forums related to your niche, or a community like Wealthy Affiliate, where you can build a relationship with other bloggers, affiliate marketers, and mentors.
But it can also help build up your knowledge and ensure you are in the best place to offer high-quality content and monetise your blog.
#4 Manage Your Expectations
The best advice I can give you about making money with your blog site is to be realistic with your expectations. This is going to require time, effort, and a lot of patience.
Most bloggers come into this knowing that it will take time, but that doesn’t mean they realise just how long it can take to make money with a blog.
The problem is that there is no hard rule on how long it will take…
Some can start earning money in a couple of months. Others have seen it happen after a year. The important thing is, if your traffic is growing, the money will come.
You cannot have one without the other.
The main reason why so many bloggers don’t earn money is that they aren’t patient enough. They work hard for a month and think that should yield results, but they don’t see it. So, they walk away.
But that could have been the moment that it was going to turn around. But they didn’t give it enough time.
That is why I would always recommend you give it a year of hard work. That is a good yardstick to use.
This isn’t like a typical job where you earn an hourly wage. You are working for the future; you will earn money from it but further down the line.
If you want to get the best start on your blogging journey or want to see how you can get it back on track, my recommendation would always be the training at Wealthy Affiliate.
But any training is irrelevant if you don’t commit to putting the time and effort into achieving your goals and becoming that authority in that niche!
Turn Your Passion into Profits
Do You Need Help & Support?
I love blogging, it’s such a great of way of expressing yourself and if you can make some money from it at the same time, it’s got to be a great way of making passive income. So, before I leave you, and I hope you’re still here, but I’d like to offer you some help and support.
If you’re just getting started and want to know how to monetise your new blog, then you might find our 7-Day Online Passive Income Success Bootcamp, where you’ll be guided through how to start your own blog in just 7 days… It will include all the steps needed, to start you on the right path…
But if you’ve already got a blog up and running and still feel like you need some guidance, drop us a note in the comments and we’ll get back to you with some help and guidance…
You have covered quite a few of the ways to make money from a blog. I think most people have the idea that all they need to do is write a few articles, and the banner ads will make a ton of money. Wouldn’t that be nice.
But, if it were that simple, everyone would be blogging. I remember having google AdSense for awhile, but the pennies I earned weren’t worth giving up the space on my site and driving people away. I have a few banner ads, and they produce more revenue than AdSense. What I really prefer is the text links within the articles. They work best for me.
But, if you eventually become a credible authority in your blog niche, you can then also do guest posts. It drives traffic, and creates more exposure for your niche, and results in more income after time.
Thanks for all the great ideas you presented here John. I look forward to reading more great posts.
thanks for checking out our guide… I know where you’re coming from regarding the ad revenue. It only really makes a difference when you have high levels of traffic, but I personally feel they distract from the content on your site. Everyone’s different, and again it depends on the niche. But there are always different approaches to these things…
Guest posts are a great way of bringing traffic back to your site, and I wouldn’t particularly wait until you felt like an authority. It’s all part of building up that authority…
All the best
Hi John, Love how you put this together. I have been blogging since January 2020 so just over 2 years I have kind of struggled with the whole thing to be honest. I have made commission here and there from affiliate marketing a bit from advertising and sold like 1 ebook. It definitely takes a lot of persistence. I am still publishing as soon as I can and my traffic does seem to be growing – I’m hoping I can make some sort of headway by the end of the year but we shall see. I probably have started off too broad but honestly, I think I just need to keep working and something will give eventually fingers crossed.
thanks for checking out my guide… If you’re a little broad with your topic, it can mean the path is a bit longer for you. It doesn’t mean that you won’t get there, but your expectations should be tempered by that. If you’re getting interaction, then you can start realising who is visiting your blog. That would be the first thing I’d look at. Check to see who is coming and then any new content you create, think about if it is resonating with them.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of just producing loads of reviews thinking it will bring loads of traffic, but experience tells me that isn’t always the case. If you can get to know who is coming to your blog, then you can think about what they would benefit from and add it to your list. Also, have you got an email list up and running? As that will help you with the analysis and building up a loyal audience.
If you need any help, I’m always here to help and you can contact me here…
Take care Alex,
An informative article helps people start a blog to make money online. I agree that it’s not an overnight success, but a marathon that people need to put hard work, patience, and persistence before positive results. It’s better to have the correct mindset before proceeding further.
I love affiliate marketing, and it’s one of the best ways to monetize your blog. People can talk about things they love and turn them into real affiliate commissions. It’s like doing your hobbies to make money instead of work. I believe everyone interested in making money online should consider this route.
If people have 9-5 jobs, how many hours do you suggest people build their blogs after work?
thanks for checking out our guide. I love that people are able to earn money from something that love, who wouldn’t want to wake up and work on something they love…
For years I worked a regional role, where finding time to work on my site was hard to do. But it’s about being able to at least put some time aside each day to do something. Having a weekly plan that you keep to is important, but I would say you’ve got to be flexible with it all. Except for the publishing of the posts. A weekly blog post is ideal for a blog, so if you can put aside an hour (maybe 2) a day to do some research, writing or planning. Then, you’ll be able to keep to your publishing schedule, that should help a newbie get going online.
It does feel hard, and I know there were times when I was working once the wife and my son were asleep. But I was working towards a better future, so it was definitely worth it.
Thanks again Matt,