Welcome to the Blog Plan Day 2: How Blogs Make Money

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Let’s dive into the big question, how do blogs actually make money?

The good news is that there are multiple ways and you can dive into the method that works best for you!

5 Main Ways Blogs Make Money

There are five main ways how blogs make money – Ads, Affiliates, Sponsored Posts, Products and Services.

  • Most bloggers start with affiliates, they are the easiest ways to make money, but you do need good traffic.
  • If you have skills to offer, you can use your blog as a way to get paying clients.
  • If you know what your audience likes, you can create a small digital product to sell on your blog.
  • Sponsored posts come a bit later, when you’ve established a good sized audience.
  • You can have display ads on your website, but you’ll only make a good income with them once you have steady traffic.

Below is a quick overview of the five main ways to make money with a blog.

There are 5 main ways blogs make money:

  • Display Ads
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sponsored Posts & Promotions
  • Selling Products
  • Offering Services

Affiliate Marketing

The definition of an affiliate is “to bring or receive into close connection as a member.” You can ‘be a member’ of any company that offers an affiliate. Just Google the company or product you like ‘+ affiliate’ to see if they offer an affiliate program.

How does it work?

If you’re an affiliate for a company or product, you get a special affiliate link that you can use on your blog. And every time somebody purchases the product by going through your link, you receive a commission.

The percentage commission have wide ranges, from a few percent to over 50%. Many affiliate companies offer links that stay active days after the reader clicks through your blog. Being an affiliate for a product does not increase the cost to your reader. The affiliate company or person is sharing their profits with you as a reward for you bringing them another sale.

You can easily make a full time income by just using affiliate marketing if you have good traffic to your blog.

Affiliate Marketing Pros
  • Super easy to get started with
  • Very passive income
  • Easy to scale
Affiliate Marketing Cons
  • You’ll need lots of traffic (or highly targeted traffic)
  • Can take a little while to build up to a full-time income

Ads are probably the method of making money from a blog that you are most familiar with. It is also the most intrusive and distracting way to your readers.

How does it work?

You’ll receive code to add to your blog. This code will show advertisements to visitors on your website. The more visitors you get, the higher your payout will be. There are many display ad companies and they all have different requirements and pay terms.

If you do it correctly, and the ads are not intrusive to your reader, you are welcome to add them to your site when you launch. But the money will be small if your page views are low.

Ads are most profitable with high page views. You can either manage the ads yourself, or have a company do it for you, but most of the time they have a minimum page view requirement.

High traffic blogs like food, lifestyle and crafts do very well with advertisements.

Display Ads Pros
  • Easy to add to a website
  • Very passive income
  • Easy to understand
Display Ads Cons
  • You’ll need lots of traffic to make a full-time income
  • Can be a bit annoying to your readers

Sell Digital Products

This is definitely one of my favorite methods of making money with a blog. Providing your readers with something you created that provides real value to them.

How does it work?

You can create a digital product like a planner or ebook and sell it directly from your blog.

Products you could offer:

  • Sell an ebook
  • Printables
  • Stock photos or graphics
  • Offer an online course
  • Audio files or audiobooks
  • Special training videos
  • Live workshops
  • Premium member services – open up a part of your blog only to those that subscribe. This is a great option after you have a strong following and have exclusive content to share.

Of course you can use your blog to sell physical products too, but they do require a bit more work. So I recommend starting off with digital products since they’re simpler to create and you don’t need inventory or shipping.

My students have made full time incomes just from selling their own products. Liesel made $20,000 in one month through a pregnancy course. Varpu made $5,000 in a week with a Finnish language course. Jodi makes a full time income with her art blog. It’s super possible!

Digital Products Pros
  • You have complete control over the price
  • You get 100% of the profits
  • You can create your own affiliate program to get more people to sell your products
  • You aren’t dependent on another company for your revenue
  • You can scale!
Digital Products Cons
  • If you don’t know your audience well, it may not sell (hm… that rhymes!)
  • It takes skill to create and sell a digital product successfully

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are similar to affiliate marketing, but instead of receiving commission only when someone makes a purchase through your link, you’ll get an upfront payment to do a sponsored post.

How does it work?

A sponsored post is a blog post that you write for a company or product and publish on your own blog. The sponsor company can either pay you or send you free product. You could setup a reoccurring contract and publish multiple pieces of content for the sponsor company over time to receive more consistent payment.

Sponsored posts can range from $50 – $5,000+ depending on the size of your following.

Sponsored Post Pros
  • You can work with great companies and get paid well.
Sponsored Post Cons
  • You need a large audience to get paid well for a sponsored post

Offer Virtual Services

When you’re just starting your blog, you can use it as an online portfolio to showcase your work and attract clients. There are countless services you can offer and make money quickly.

How does it work?

Create a “Work with me” page on your blog. Share your skills and your rates. Write blog posts that relate and show off your skills. The visitors on your blog can then become paying clients.

Here are a few ideas of services you can offer on your blog:

  • Email Management
  • Calendar Management
  • Customer Service (email or phone)
  • Content Creation (blog posts)
  • Email Newsletters
  • Video Editing
  • Sales Funnels
  • Facebook Ads
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Custom Sales Page Creation
  • Social Media Management
  • Community Management
  • SEO Services
  • Webinar Setup and Assistance
  • Proofreading

A blog makes you look so much more professional and gives testimony to your expertise.

Virtual Services Pros
  • You can make money quickly and do not need a lot of traffic.
Virtual Services Cons
  • It’s harder to scale and you’ll be trading your time for dollars.

Wrap up

This quick overview should give you lots of confidence that there are many ways to make money with a blog! I suggest starting with 1-2 methods and growing from there.