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Are you looking for legitimate ways to make money blogging? If you have a blog or plan to start a blog, you can use it to generate income online. In this post, we’re going to show you how you can make money blogging.
Before you can start making money on your blog, you must choose a profitable niche. The niche you choose should be something that you are passionate about. Remember that you will be:
- Creating content about your niche.
- Engaging with others about niche-related topics.
- Selling products and services in that niche.
In addition, the niche should have:
- Decent search volume to ensure that you can attract traffic to your website via search and social media.
- People who are successfully selling products or services in the niche. Competition signals a profitable niche.
For example, let’s say that you are passionate about three things: tennis, iPhones, and horses. Here is a good way to evaluate which one would be the best to make money blogging with.
- Which niche can you brainstorm the most ideas about?
- Which niche would you enjoy learning more about on a daily basis?
- Who are the top bloggers in your niche? Can you visualize becoming like them?
- What products and services do they offer? Can you think of similar products and services you could offer? Can you promote their products?
To determine the online popularity of your niche, try a keyword research tool like Semrush.
Their keyword research tool will tell you:
- How many estimated searches the query receives each month from Google users.
- The keyword trend for the last 12 months, which will tell you if a keyword is increasing or decreasing in popularity.
- The amount you would pay in cost per click for Google Ads targeting that keyword.
- What featured snippets or search engine results page features appear for the keyword.
In addition to helping you choose your niche based on how often related keywords are searched, you can use it to come up with blog topics. By creating blog post topics around popular keywords, you increase the likelihood that more people will find your content in search results.
You can also research social media groups, forums, Q&A networks, and other discussion platforms to determine what verticals people are reading about and investing in. Chances are, with enough research, you will find lots of great ideas for content and monetization opportunities.
In this section, we’ll introduce the top way to make money blogging. As you read about them, see which of your niches offer the most income-generating options.
One of the quickest ways off the ground into monetizing your blog is via display advertising. Google AdSense is one of the top platforms bloggers often choose to earn revenue from display advertising.
Google’s platform allows publishers with high-quality content the opportunity to generate revenue by publishing ad content throughout their website. These ads may include text links, image banners, and videos.
Once you have placed Google AdSense blocks on your website, ads will begin to display to your website visitors. When visitors click upon one of those ads, you will earn a small percentage of revenue based on the amount the advertiser paid for the ad click (the CPC – cost per click).
To get a feel for how much revenue you could earn from Google AdSense, they offer a revenue calculator that estimates your earning potential based on website topic and monthly traffic.
For example, a website in Arts & Entertainment targeting a North American audience with 50,000 visitors per month could earn $3,372 per year from Google AdSense clicks. Change the category to Law & Government (with legal keywords typically having a high CPC), and the earnings estimate jumps to $7,698 per year.
Google AdSense is an easy way for bloggers with great content and a high volume of traffic to earn an income. If you want to monetize with other methods, it’s important to consider the value of a click on an AdSense ad versus the other monetization tactics you choose.
For example, let’s say that you want to do affiliate marketing, which we will discuss next. You wouldn’t want an AdSense ad to distract your visitors from clicking on an affiliate link that has the potential to generate more revenue. Or from purchasing an expensive digital product or course you’ve created.
Hence, you should use Google AdSense if you are interested in a simple way to monetize a large amount of traffic. Or you could choose from other dozens of other display advertising networks like Media.net or RevContent that will allow you to generate revenue from ad clicks.
But if you want monetization options with more revenue generation potential, continue reading.
In addition to display advertising, some advertisers may want custom content created on their behalf. This is generally known as sponsored content.
Sponsored content can work in a number of ways. Some sponsors may pay a fee to sponsor one or more blog posts on your website. This would allow them to include a sponsored message within the blog content itself, such as an introduction to the sponsor and their product at the beginning of the post.
Some sponsors may want an entire blog post that they have crafted about their product published on your blog. On one hand, this can be simple because the sponsor is providing the content and you get paid to publish it. On the other hand, you may go through multiple rounds of edits to ensure the sponsored content aligns with the quality of the rest of your blog content.
Lastly, some sponsors may want you to write an entire post highlighting their product or service.
While sponsored content can be a great addition to your blog revenue, be sure to balance the number of sponsored posts you do with non-sponsored posts. You don’t want your readers to lose interest because they think your blog offers too little educational content and too much sales content.
Affiliate marketing allows you to make money on your blog by promoting products and services related to your niche. An easy way to research the best affiliate products in your niche is to search through top affiliate marketplaces like ShareASale, Commission Junction, and PartnerStack.
How it works: you will sign up for one or more affiliate marketplaces and search for products in your niche. When you find products that match your niche, you can apply for the affiliate program.
Once your application is approved, you will receive a unique URL to share when promoting the product. If someone clicks on that URL and purchases the product, you will receive a percentage of the sale.
For example, you can sign up for Tennis Boom, a retailer of tennis racquets, apparel, and accessories on ShareASale. When people start clicking on your unique affiliate URL and making purchases, you will earn an 8% commission on each qualified sale.
Sales can happen 24/7/365 online, which means you can be earning passive income. Passive income simply means you set it up (like affiliate links) and you can earn money hands-off from there.
That 8% commission is posted to your ShareASale account. You can get your ShareASale balance direct deposited into your bank account each month that you make the minimum withdrawal amount.
In addition to products that are directly related to your niche, there are certain products that any blogger can promote. If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, in most cases you can become an affiliate for your hosting company, your paid WordPress theme, and your paid WordPress plugins.
Any tools you use while blogging can be promoted as well. Grammarly, for example, is an AI editing tool you can use to proofread your blog content for grammar, readability, and other errors. If you use it, you can promote it.
The revenue generation potential is going to be based on how well you can target the right audience for your content to reach people likely to purchase an affiliate product. Affiliate programs like GetResponse pay out $100 per sale and Kinsta pays out up to $500 per sale.
You can see how clicks to your affiliate links can be much higher in value than those to an AdSense link. Of course, promoting affiliate products takes more work than just placing banner codes on your website.
Here are some ways you can promote affiliate products on your blog that will help you generate affiliate marketing revenue.
One Product Focused Post
Write blog posts focused on the ease of use benefits you’ve experienced from having a specific affiliate product. Some example headlines would be as follows:
- 7 Ways I Use Grammarly for Business
- How to Optimize Your Blog for Search with Semrush
- Why I Chose Kinsta for WordPress Web Hosting
These types of posts can help you attract traffic from people who may be considering purchasing the mentioned product. Be sure to write in a way that quickly demonstrates that the value received from the product will be far more than the cost of the product itself.
For example, a common pain point when it comes to web hosting is reliability. If your web host is reliable, drive that point home in your post about your hosting company. Make sure that the reader knows their website would be in the best hands with your hosting company. That is the kind of emotional response you need to elicit from readers to convince them to make a purchase.
Comparison Shopping Post
Write blog posts comparing one or more affiliate products. For example, you can write a post about WordPress web hosting companies and link to several, all of which have affiliate programs.
With this approach, you may not have experience with all of the hosting companies out there. But there are plenty of trusted third-party reviews and review networks that you can use as a resource to determine which hosting companies would be best for your readers.
Once you have chosen the companies, sign up for their affiliate programs. As you wait for approval for each program, write an unbiased summary of each hosting company based on the information they provide, comparing their features and costs along with the general sentiment from reviews of the company.
If you can effectively prove that any of the options in your post would make a good choice, you’re likely to earn commissions from the post no matter what hosting company the reader ends up choosing. Hence, instead of putting all of your hope in the reader choosing one affiliate product, you can give them more options to choose from, increasing the likelihood that they’ll make a decision.
Most advertisers will offer image banners that you can use on your blog to promote related affiliate products. You can add banners to your blog’s header, sidebar, and footer.
Disney+ banner ad sample
You can also add banners to your blog post content. You can add them midway through the content and at the end of the post, especially if the post topic and product are related. For example, you could include banners for SEO software in a blog post on link building.
Banners can be effective at generating sales from website visitors who are already familiar with the affiliate products advertised. But they are unlikely to convert as well as an entire blog post about the affiliate product.
Another way to promote affiliate products is to simply send your email subscribers your latest blog posts via email, especially if those posts are promoting an affiliate product. This will ensure that more people read your post and have the chance to click on your affiliate links.
You can also send emails to promote specials and sales that you know your subscribers will be interested in. When emailing about a specific affiliate offer, be sure to include compelling reasons why people should click on the offer.
Effectively, this would be putting the main highlights of a blog post about an affiliate product in the body of the email itself. You stand a higher chance of making affiliate sales this way as people would go directly from your email to the product’s sales page.
In addition, if you have a newsletter template for your emails, you can add banners for affiliate products to the template. Or, if your email covers different topics, choose a banner for an affiliate product that matches the current email topic.
Again, this will only help you gain sales from people who are familiar with the product and have considered buying it already. If you are regularly writing content that mentions the affiliate product and its benefits, you can help familiarize your readers with the product and then convert them via the banners.
Regardless of whether you plan to promote affiliate products, an email list is something you cannot afford to ignore. Most monetization strategies can be bolstered by having a strong email list to promote your products and services. Hence, if you haven’t built an email list, now is the best time to start.
Earning commissions for selling affiliate products can help you generate more revenue than Google AdSense, when done effectively. But what about selling something where you can earn 100% of the income.
Creating your own digital products can be a great source of income generation. While it isn’t completely passive in the sense that you have to create your own product first, it can become a passive source of revenue. You don’t have to worry about product quantities running out or shipping and delivery issues. You can effectively sell to as many customers as you can support, 24/7/365.
You can also sign up as an advertiser on one of the top affiliate marketplaces (ShareASale, Commission Junction, and PartnerStack) and connect with publishers (bloggers) in your niche who want to promote your digital product for an affiliate commission.
The following are digital products that you can sell in unlimited quantities and get other bloggers to promote as your affiliate.
Ebooks are the simplest product to sell for bloggers. Especially those who already have a large library of content. In many cases, you can create ebooks by combining blog posts or transcribing audio and video content.
Alternatively, you can start by writing an ebook to sell. Then, to promote it, you can share chapters or insights from the book as blog posts.
In addition to selling your ebook on your own website, you can also sell it to audiences on Amazon and other online bookstores. This will allow you to generate more revenue and visibility for yourself as a content creator to new audiences.
Software / Apps
Have a good idea for a piece of software or a smartphone app? If you’re not a developer, you may need to invest in an app development service or a freelance developer to bring your idea to life. But once you get your idea developed, you can market and sell it on your blog.
Software and apps can be downloaded 24/7/365, making it another source of passive income. All you would need to do is support customers who have issues with your product and provide updates as needed.
Themes and Plugins
If you have graphic design or programming skills, you can create themes and plugins for other bloggers in your niche. For example, if you have a sports blog, you could create a WordPress theme for sports blogs, with a premium plugin that imports scores for the sporting events you cover.
There are multiple ways you could distribute your themes and plugins. You could start with free versions that can be downloaded through the WordPress website. You could sell premium versions of your themes and plugins on your website or through marketplaces like ThemeForest.
Would you like to sell something that can net a larger profit per sale? Consider adding a course to your blog. Bloggers who create in-depth content for their audiences can charge anywhere from $99 – $999 and upwards, based on the knowledge your students will come away with.
Courses are more than just a set of blog posts, although that can be the foundation of a good course. The best-selling courses typically include video instruction, quizzes, and resources that will help the student apply the knowledge from the course to their lives or business.
One of the easiest ways to determine what course to create is to look at the questions you are asked most often about your niche. If the majority of people are beginners and are looking to get started, you will know to create a beginners guide/type of course.
Alternatively, you can use platforms built for hosting best-selling courses like Thinkific. For only $39 per month, you can publish unlimited courses for an unlimited number of students.
To provide additional value for your students – and give them a reason to pay you a monthly subscription fee – offer a place where course members can continue discussing everything related to it.
Platforms like Thinkific offer members-only discussion areas. You can also use Facebook groups to create a members-only discussion group for your course or an open group to actually promote the group in.
You can also sell your course on marketplaces like Udemy. This would allow you to tap into a marketplace of students who are looking for courses just like yours. Udemy is also a great place to research your course idea to get a feel for how much interest there is in a particular topic and how well the topic has been covered by other course creators.
Another way to make money blogging is through paid webinars. Webinars can be used in two ways – you can host free webinars to promote affiliate products or your own products. The idea behind these webinars is to teach people something valuable, and follow it with a pitch for a relevant product.
The other way to use webinars is to sell them as one-off educational opportunities or a mini live event. With these webinars, the only thing you will sell is the content of the webinar itself – not another affiliate product or a product of your own.
While not quite as passive as other methods of generating revenue with your blog, selling services online can be a way to make money online. The blog becomes a platform to build your authority and help you demonstrate your expertise in a given vertical.
For example, let’s say that your blog focuses on the latest news, trends, features, and guides for businesses that want to gain visibility on Facebook. If your readers gain value from the advice you provide in your blog content, they would likely trust you for more personalized help in creating a Facebook strategy for their business.
And thus, you could start a Facebook/social media consulting service. You could begin by offering a few free consultations for people/businesses who are likely to give you a positive testimonial in exchange. You could also boost your credentials by passing the Facebook Certification exams on business marketing and advertising.
Once you have testimonials and credentials, you can create a page on your blog that describes your services and social proof that you are highly recommended. This will help you further build a base of service clients.
You can also expand your service offerings beyond your blog by signing up for gig and freelance marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork. They would allow you to sell your services on platforms that already attract service buyers.
The downside of offering services is that the income you can generate is limited to the actual amount of hours you can put into providing your services. This is why many service providers supplement their income with passive streams like affiliate marketing and digital products – so they don’t have to constantly work to earn money from their blogging.
If you become a popular enough authority in your industry through blogging, you may start to receive invitations for interviews and speaking engagements. Once you have built up your public speaking skills and a reputation for delivering great presentations, you can start charging for speaking engagements.
Based on your industry, level of expertise, and speaking skills, you could earn anywhere from $500 – $35,000 per event, according to HBR. While it could prove to be a huge investment in time between the research for your presentation and travel time, it can be a great way to generate a large amount of revenue.
A great way to get on the radar of events you want to speak at? See if the organization that runs the event has a blog and offer to blog for them. It’s a great way to demonstrate your expertise and reach a new audience, all while putting yourself in a great position to speak at their event.
Thanks to platforms like Patreon, Substack, and Medium, content consumers are becoming accustomed to paying for higher quality content.
Content creators can now offer exclusive, subscribers-only content for a premium to their top fans. For blogs, it’s similar to having gated content like the New York Times. Free readers would have access to your basic content, and paid subscribers would have access to more in-depth, advanced content.
#10. Repurposing Content
Another way to monetize your blog content is to repurpose it in other formats. This would allow you to distribute your content on channels that have monetization options of their own.
For example, if you could create videos to go alongside your top blog posts, you would be adding value for your website visitors as well as building your content library on YouTube.
With enough video viewers, you could begin to generate revenue from the ads displayed on your YouTube videos via the YouTube Partner Program. When video viewers watch long ads or click on popup banners, you would receive revenue.
You could also receive sponsors who want you to discuss their product during one of your videos. So instead of a YouTube-generated sponsored ad, it would just be an ad where you discussed the sponsored product at the beginning or middle of your standard video content.
Another way to generate revenue from your blog content would be to turn your blog posts into podcast episodes. If you could build up a large enough podcast audience, you would likely be able to receive sponsorship for each of your podcast episodes.
FAQs About How to Make Money Blogging
Blogging has proven to be an effective platform for many bloggers to make money online. It’s important to remember that there are many ways to generate revenue through blogging. The goal isn’t to throw all of your efforts into one method, but to experiment to see which channels drive the most income with the least effort.
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