Most people think of blogging as a hobby, but did you know that many bloggers make a full-time income from their blog? In fact, it’s not uncommon for professional bloggers to make six-figure incomes. So how do these successful bloggers do it?
There are a number of different ways to make money blogging. However, some of the best ways are Affiliate Marketing, Display Ads, Sponsored Posts, and selling your own Digital Products and online courses.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll cover each of these methods; how they work, their advantages, earning potential, and how you too, can start making money with your own blog.
Affiliate marketing is by far the most popular way for new bloggers to make money blogging. You write a product review or even mention a product, and if somebody clicks on the affiliate link within your post and buys the product, you receive a commission.
For example, let’s say that you run an exercise blog. You write a blog post about how people can get stronger, and how to do it quickly. You link to a protein powder called MuscleExplosion. If somebody reads your blog post, clicks on your affiliate link, and buys the product, you would be paid a commission.
Affiliate Marketing works in all niches:
- Beauty blog – promote makeup, tools and accessories, vanity mirrors, face creams
- Tech blog – promote the latest laptops, phones, watches, gadgets
- Music blog – promote instruments, equipment, courses, books
- Fashion blog – promote clothes, sunglasses, swimsuits, makeup
- Fishing blog – promote fishing rods, reels, lures, clothes, tackle boxes
- Art blog – promote paints, brushes, easels, tarps, lights, kits
You get the point. Whether you’re a travel blogger or you run a personal finance blog, I assure you that there are plenty of products for you to promote to start earning money with your blog.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a popular way how people make money blogging because it’s easy to do, and you don’t have to spend any of your own money. As long as somebody buys the product from your affiliate link, you get paid! That’s why it’s usually the best fit for beginner blogs.
It’s also great when combined with email marketing. Have you ever wondered why every site wants your email address? It’s to give you that free product! And…. to promote their affiliate products.
How much can you earn?
The amount that you earn through affiliate marketing depends on how many people click on your ads and how many of them actually buy the product. An affiliate network usually pays between 4-10% commission for each sale they refer, depending on how big their market is, how big a commission they pay, how well you promote their affiliate products, etc.
But let’s just go ahead and say you’re promoting a product that costs 50 dollars. If you sold 30 of them in a month at a 10% commission, you could expect to make almost 150 dollars.
While this might not seem like a lot, it does accumulate to much more when you have an archive of blog posts. The more products you promote in your blog posts, the higher your affiliate income is going to be.
Just be sure not to be spammy. Your affiliate marketing should flow naturally with your blog posts.
How to get started with affiliate marketing
To make money blogging through affiliate marketing, you need some way to serve up relevant links on your blog. There are a number of different blogging platforms that can help you do this:
There are MANY affiliate programs out there. To find ones that are best suited for you and your blog, Google [ your blog’s niche ] affiliate programs.
As you can see, there is no shortage of affiliate programs. You might be fine just using one or two. Talk to bloggers in your niche and see which one is best for you.
Tips to making money with Affiliate Marketing
- Promote products that you’re personally familiar with. If you don’t know how to use a product, or how it works, how can you recommend it?
- Try to promote products and services which complement your blog and audience interests. For example: if you write about web design, try to promote web design products.
- Promote affiliate links that are relevant to your blog, or to how people can benefit from them in some way. For example: if you write about how to grow beautiful healthy hair, try promoting affiliate links related to growing beautiful healthy hair.
- Use search engine optimization to attract your target audience.
Advertising is another popular way to make money blogging. You place ads on your website, and each time somebody clicks on one of the links within the ad, you’re paid a small amount. The amount that you’re paid per click depends on how much the advertiser is willing to pay, how competitive the industry is, how many advertisers are competing for ads at that particular time, and how frequently your website visitors click on ads.
In the screenshot above you can clearly see that I’ve been looking at engagement rings. The website above, digitaltrends.com, monetizes its site using ads, so if I happen to click on the ad and purchase a ring, they would receive a commission.
Advantages of Display Ads
- You don’t need to create any products: All you need is a website, your affiliate links, and visitors to click and purchase your promoted products.
- It’s quick and easy: Set it up once, and you can sell ads for as long as you care to have them on your site.
How much can you earn with Display Ads?
This all depends on how popular your blog is, the amount of traffic, how often people click on the ads, how many clicks you can get within a certain amount of time, etc.
Ie. Google Adsense typically pays up to 10 bucks per 1000 page views. If your blog receives 10,000 page views a month, you could expect a return of about $100.
- Google Adsense – No minimum page views
- Ezoic – No minimum page views
- Monumetric – 10k page views
- Mediavine – 25k page views
- AdThrive – 100k pageviews
The more traffic your blog generates, the more money you’re going to make selling ad space.
How to get started with Display Ads
There are many different advertisers that place ads on blogs. You can start working with some of the more popular ad networks like Google AdSense, FlexOffers, Media.net, or any of the already-mentioned networks above.
Tips to making money with Ads
- Only promote ads that are relevant to your blog’s topic
- Try to make sure that you never have more than one ad out of four on the page being “sponsored by…”
- Don’t write anything negative or overly sales-y in your posts.
- Keep it natural. You don’t want to do anything that will make visitors feel like they’re being spammed
- Make sure the products you promote pay well, or else it doesn’t really benefit you very much.
Selling sponsored posts is another popular method to make money blogging.
Many companies will pay you to publish sponsored posts on your blog. This means that you write a blog post about how awesome their product or service is and how it can benefit your readers.
Advantages of selling sponsored posts
- It’s free to start
- You get paid upfront
- There are no long term contracts
- All payments are processed automatically
How much can you earn with Sponsored Posts?
You can sell sponsored posts on your blog for between $50 and $2,000 per post. You may be able to charge more if you’re a big-name blogger with thousands of dedicated readers.
Your payment will depend on your number of monthly page views, how competitive the industry is, how well you promote the product, how many clicks you get on your links, how many of your readers actually buy the product after reading your post, etc.
How to get started with sponsored posts
The first step to getting started with sponsored posts is to join an influencer marketing platform such as:
If there is a specific product you would like to promote, contact the company and propose to write a review or promotion about one of their products. If they like your idea, you can get paid to publish the post on your website. This can be done by emailing advertisers on sites like SponsoredReviews.com.
Tips to making money with Sponsored Posts
- Don’t just write how great the product is, write how it will benefit your readers too
- It’s a good idea to let your personality shine through
- Make it easy for readers to take action, like signing up for an e-mail list or buying the product
- Don’t be afraid to mention if you got the product for free
- Promote your sponsored post through your email list, social media followers, and on other websites
Digital Products and Courses
Selling digital products is also a great way to monetize your blog. And very exciting too because this is when you start creating and selling your own products.
Many bloggers sell digital products and courses that teach people how to do something related to their blog.
For example, if you have a cooking blog, you might sell an eBook or online video course that shows people how to cook certain types of meals.
If you’ve never created a digital product before, start with an eBook. It’s super easy and kinda fun. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular or over complicated. An eBook is basically a blog post in PDF format with a cover image.
If you’re a more experienced blogger, you might want to try creating an online course using Teachable.
Advantages of selling digital products and courses
- You don’t need to create any physical products
- It’s very easy to set up
- You can start immediately for free
- You make money for each sale
- There are no commissions or fees
- The best thing about it is your products can be sold anywhere in the world
How much can you earn by selling digital products and courses?
Similar to the other monetization strategies, how much money bloggers earn from selling digital products depends on how much it costs, how many people visit your site each month, how much effort you put into the sales copy, and how well you promote it.
But to give you an idea of how much you could potentially make:
If you created an eBook, ‘From Dying to Thriving‘, a small 7-page guide on how to take care of your house plants, and sold 25 of them a month, you could earn an extra $675 every month. If you sold 150 of them at the same price, you would earn $4,050. Of course minus the cost of product delivery, which is only about $30 a month.
Want another example?
Let’s say you want to take your sales to the next level. Using teachable, you decide to create an online course version of ‘From Dying to Thriving’, a video course that teaches people how to take care of their houseplants. You charge $47. If you sold 12 a month, you could make a profit of about $564.
After months of listening to the feedback from all of your customers, you improve your course, add additional modules, more tips, better quality video, whatever else, you decide to increase the cost of your course to $97.
At the new price of $97, if 5 people a month bought your course, you would earn approximately $485. If you promote your product well and 40 people purchased your course, you could expect to see a return of about $3,880.
It all depends on how much you promote your blog content. If you have good helpful content and you drive traffic to your blog, the sky is the limit.
Creating and selling digital products is often the most lucrative strategy and one definitely worth trying out. Especially if you’ve already started to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing.
How to get started with digital products and courses
In order to make money blogging by selling your own digital products and courses, you need to develop the product itself. While creating your own digital product requires an investment of time and energy, it’s also how many bloggers make the bulk of their earnings.
The easiest way to get started selling digital products and courses is through trial and error. Try different things, see what works, make changes as you go along, etc.
Tips to making money by selling Digital Products or Courses
- Make the product a digital version of something that already exists.
- Differentiate yourself from your competition.
- Give more value for higher prices. For example, if you’re selling a digital course priced at $197, create bonus content with extra tips and information to make your customer feel they got more than their money’s worth.
- Create a bonus product that sellers can only get by buying your main product
- Use different price points (e.g., $29, $47, etc.)
Frequently Asked Questions
The last thing you need to know about how to make money blogging
There are all kinds of ways to earn money with your online business. These are 4 of the most common ways bloggers are turning their side hustle into their main source of income.
- Affiliate marketing – is a great place to start because it’s very simple to do.
- Display ads – is the fastest way but don’t expect to make anything significant until you have a decent amount of traffic.
- Sponsored posts – are great if you enjoy promoting products that you love. Similar to display ads, the real money doesn’t show up until your audience does.
- Digital products – should be a must for any blogger wanting to boost their blogging revenue. Before creating an eBook or course, be sure to listen to what your audience needs. Create a product around them and you’ll see positive results.
Keep in mind that most people don’t become full-time bloggers overnight; it takes time, hard work, and consistent effort.
However, with the right focus and strategies (e.g., affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, selling digital products, etc.), there’s nothing stopping you from making a full-time income and eventually, quitting your day job.
Have any experience with blog monetization? I’d love to hear your opinion.
How long did it take before you made your first dollar? Feel free to post any other monetization tips that you found helpful.
Even if you haven’t started making money with your blog yet but still have some questions, ask away!
Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.