Many bloggers have lucrative businesses where they create content, grow their audience and provide products or services. Learn is how they do it.
About 10 years ago, we all started blogging as a fun hobby. But as the internet grew and large brands started recognizing the value of bloggers as “influencers,” we started receiving opportunities to actually make money blogging. Which is great because blogging can be expensive to simply maintain as a hobby. Especially the larger your audience becomes.
Which led some of us to create fully fledged business plans, expense sheets, and income reports. Establishing a blog as a full-time business and becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur is now a legit game plan for those who have a careerist mindset but still prefer a lot of flexibility and freedom. Many bloggers have lucrative businesses where they create content, grow their audience and make money blogging all while traveling and living a nomad lifestyle.
This blog post is specially geared towards those who have been blogging for a minute, who are already creating quality content consistently and who have grown their audience both in blog traffic, social media and email list.
But for those who are ready to start generating income through their content, below are a few of the most popular ways to make money blogging.
Google Adsense Display Banners
Google Adsense is an easy way to make money blogging. All you need to do is add a script from Google to your website and start displaying ads. You will get paid for every time a user clicks on the ad.
Google Adsense is a good way to start earning money online when you are first starting out.
Then figure out where you want to display the banner ads on your site. Typically you can do your sidebar, or above or below your blog posts. As long as it’s in an area that’s not intrusive to your readers while still being visible.
The more site traffic you have, the more money you can earn from advertisers through Google.
Affiliate marketing is probably one of the quickest and cheapest (but not necessarily the easiest) ways to make money blogging.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting products or services. A content publisher (blogger, vlogger, Instagrammer) earns a commission when someone follows a link on their blog, website or social media platform to another site where they then buy something.
If you’re an Instagrammer, you might include links in the bio section. If you’re a blogger with a dedicated blog site, you might include display banners in the sidebar and/or text links in your posts.
How to Get Started: A few popular affiliate marketing programs include Amazon Associates, ShareAsale.com, CJ Affiliate, Skimlinks, and for fashion and lifestyle bloggers, there’s Shopstyle Collective.
Sponsored Posts & Social Media Amplification
Writing sponsored post is another great way to make money blogging. The key to making sponsored posts work for your blog though is to make sure the brand you’re writing about fits organically with the rest of your content.
For example, I’ve been approached to write about teeth whiteners, bed linen, and drapery. Products that have absolutely nothing to do with my content or the kinds of topics that my readers have come to expect from me.
Sponsored posts work best when you can offer your readers value and still represent the brand well.
There are a couple different ways to start generating income for your blog through sponsored posts.
Another approach is to contact the brand directly. Draft a pitch email with your blogger media kit attached and suggest some ideas on how you can support their marketing and promotional strategy with your content.
If you’re blogging at a high level though, brands will most likely find you and make the first contact. Ensure your contact info is easy to locate on your blog, your social media, and your LinkedIn profile.
Hosting Events or Workshops
Once you start climbing the influencer ladder, you can create special events or in-person programming for your audience in order to make money through blogging.
You can create ticketed events on your own and pitch brands for sponsorship. If you have a great platform, a robust social media following, and a committed audience, sponsors are likely to contribute a sizeable cheque in order to speak with your audience.
But again—anytime you deal with brands, it’s important to remember that you have to illustrate the value that you’re offering them.
It won’t be enough to say, “yeah, I’m doing an event, can you give me some money?” You really have to show how your brand values as a content creator align with theirs as a brand, as well as, what’s in it for them.
How to Get Started: Make a list of your favorite brands or brands that would naturally fit your content or that your audience will love. Scour LinkedIn or their website for a contact name and email. If you can’t find a contact name through those methods, send a DM through Twitter or Instagram and ask for a contact email.
Then use Canva, Creative Market or hire a graphic designer to create a sponsorship deck. Include information in your sponsorship deck about your blog content, your social media reach, your audience or traffic statistics, an overview of the event, the location, the date and time, and how many people you expect to attend the event.
Toward the end of your deck include ways that you’d like the brand to be involved. Show them how their brand will be a great fit for your audience.
Stay away from using terms like “packages” or “bundles.” From experience, brands hate those terms and will always want to negotiate something that’s more customized and gets them real value.
Developing your own events and workshops requires a lot of planning, promoting and vision. You really have to keep your budget in mind as well. You want to create a great experience for your audience, while also keeping your profit margin in check.
Online Courses & Digital Products
If you’ve focused on a specific niche and have built a brand in it, selling online course and digital products can be a great way to make money blogging. In fact, becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur can be incredibly lucrative.
You can build a solid business that’s location independent and works all year round and around the clock. Even when you don’t. All you need is a laptop and connection to the Internet to manage your business.
You can plan a series of courses that have a straightforward progression and take your students on a learning journey.
How to Get Started: There are a number of online course platforms that will help you create, host and promote your online courses.
The two that I’m most familiar with are Teachable and Skillshare. Depending on your topic, area of expertise, preferred teaching style, student learners and income objectives, you should do some research to decide the platform that’s right for you.
You can also host your course on your own blog or website, but with platforms like Teachablemaking it so easy, I wouldn’t bother re-inventing the wheel.
These online platforms allow you to not worry about the technical side of online teaching so you can focus on creating the best content for your learners.
Consulting or Coaching to Make Money Blogging
When you’ve been blogging successfully for a bunch of years, you eventually start being regarded as an “expert.” This status means others may start to look to you as a teacher, mentor or coach of sorts.
Successful bloggers have embraced this distinction by becoming consultants or coaches. This allows them to teach others how to achieve the same kind of success that they have for a fee.
I’ve really enjoyed the process of helping people with their blog content and social media growth strategies, so this was an opportunity I decided to take advantage of myself.
We provide blog consultation services to help you brand, curate and grow your content business. From strategy stuff to technical stuff, I provide my blog coaching clients with actionable, specific help so they can grow your blog.
How to Get Started: Identify your audience and research their pain points. How can your expertise help them?
This will most likely be related to the content that your blog is related to so scour comments and feedback from your readers to identify how you can be helpful. You can even survey them or ask them via your social media platforms.
The next step is to define your services and set up a page on your blog to outline your offerings. Create pricing that’s inline with your audience demographic. You want your readers to be able to afford what you’re selling but you also allow you to make a bit of a profit.
Create Multiple Income Streams
It’s also important to note that you don’t have to choose just one method of making money through blogging. In fact, it’s best practice to have multiple income streams.
Depending on the quality of your audience, you could easily do all of the income ideas I’ve mentioned above. But again—you have to be willing to put in the work as each income stream involves a lot of planning and organization.
The Take Away
The key to earning income from your blog is to have an audience that’s dialed into you and your content.
For some of these methods, you don’t necessarily need a gigantic audience (such as selling online course), but no matter how you choose to make money blogging, you’ll definitely need a community that trusts you and the information that you’re providing.
Don’t try to cheat the game by buying social media followers or blog traffic. Metrics are easily bought but you can’t buy real engagement and you can’t buy a community. These are things that need to be earned.
The Internet has made starting and growing a business within reach and possible for many of us. But you still have to do the work. Create quality content, build an authentic community and grow a profit.
For more coaching or blog consultation, check out my services page.