It's so simple for anyone to create a website that you'd think it'd be difficult for all those people to make money through it. If anyone can do it, the value drops, right? Well, not really. It's still really easy to make money from your blog, even if you don't have much traffic coming in.
Obviously the ones who make the big bucks have been at it for years. Blogging isn't any kind of get rich quick scheme. But if you're willing to put in the work it takes, over time you could make a rather impressive living for yourself! And support your family through it, which is usually the important part. Here are 9 simple ways to make money from your blog!
Let's assume you have access to customize your website. Google Adsense makes it very easy to place customizable ads on your website. All you have to do is create an Adsense account, choose which size ad to use, and place that code wherever you want on your website. Google's analytics and reporting are also top notch, which makes things simple for you.
- You can start creating passive income almost immediately
- This generally takes very little effort
- It might not be very much income, depending on how many visitors see and click on those ads
- Ads generally create a poor user experience, though they aren't bad if they're out of the way
Your blog is where you showcase your work and what you're capable of doing. Why not prompt visitors (who are always part of their own brand) to work with you? Begin with contact forms and prompts to connect with you. It might take some time, but those who need content are always looking for someone to create that content for them.
When starting, you might only charge $0.10 per word or, say, $50 per post. As you grow and build your portfolio, you'll learn what you're worth and how to make the most of it. Here's a great resource for starting out as a freelance writer.
- Generally doesn't take any extra skill or up-front work
- Can be quick money, and potentially lucrative
- Is often a gateway to bigger opportunities
- It's not scalable: You can always charge more, but you can't always work more
- You have to create for someone else, on their timetable
You don't have to set up and manage a full online store to benefit from ecommerce (though you certainly could if you wanted). Options like Shopify make it really simple to add ecommerce to your blog.
It could be a single product within a post, a whole page of offerings, or whatever you want! All you need to do is figure out what to sell, and find a supplier. Of course, how much you can earn will depend on how much web traffic you get and what your profit margins on products are.
- Can be very lucrative and very steady
- Is surprisingly easy to manage
- Scales well
- Can feel tedious or overbearing to find a good supplier
- Works better at scale than with a small, low traffic site
4. Product Reviews / Influencer Marketing
All of this is basically saying, "I used this, you should too!" If you have any kind of leverage (a good-looking site, published content on bigger media sites, higher traffic, etc.), then brands are willing to pay you for product reviews. Sites like Tomoson, IZEA, and TapInfluence can be great portals if you have a good following (1,000+ unique monthly visitors).
Other times, you can reach directly out to brands, or vice versa, to get paid in exchange for flouting their product and providing a link for viewers to purchase that product. Product reviews and influencer marketing generally earn flat fees per review, though sometimes you'll earn a commission off of purchases through your review link.
- You don't need high traffic volume to start earning
- Can become a significant and reliable source of income over time
- Might take some time to find your first brand or two
- If used too often, your blog could get a reputation for being salesy
Ebooks can be a thousand words or tens of thousands of words, flash fiction or in depth guides. It's a very flexible medium, and one that you can use solely on your own. All you need to do is create a PDF and add a purchase option to your blog.
People will commonly upload ebooks to Amazon for purchase and start promoting those links. Others will keep it to their website only, and just add an ecommerce function. Either way, you're look to gross between, say, $0.99 and $4.00 per sale. However you choose to do it, offering ebooks can be a great way to earn clout from your readers, and to make money from your blog.
- Flexible enough to include whatever you want
- Creates clout for you and your brand
- Low earnings ceiling without high traffic
6. Sponsored Posts
This is another one where you very well may need to reach out to brands you'd like to represent. A sponsored post is exactly what it sounds like, where brands pay you to write about something related to what they do in exchange for saying "This post was sponsored by [Company], [Company Description]."
Here's a great guide for approaching sponsored blog posts. This typically becomes an option as you gain clout, but even with low traffic, you could make a few hundred bucks a post.
- Get paid to write about what you would write about anyway
- Provides a good combination of quality work, enjoyable viewing experience, and income
- You might be limited depending on your niche
- Brands might have stringent criteria for who and what they sponsor
7. Virtual Assistant / Life Coaching
Yes, you can do this even if you're fairly new to the whole blogging for an income thing. You have value to offer! There will always be others on the same level as you, and others who haven't built up to your level yet. These people are your targets, and you can offer your expertise through paid one-on-one sessions.
Any value you offer is going to be worth more than what you charge in the long run, and people who are serious about growth tend to recognize that. Pick your niche, offer personal help, and make a living.
- Everyone has an audience for this
- Will likely provide the best initial hourly rate of all options
- Difficult to manage around a 9-5
8. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you get paid to bring other brands new leads, customers, and users, typically through relevant links in your blog content. For instance, I work in tech, so Toptal, who helps entrepreneurs and established companies hire the world's top freelance developers, is a natural fit.
What they do and what I write about naturally overlap. And through their affiliate program, I get compensation for referrals. Do a Google search for, say, "top 10 affiliate programs for [tech, lifestyle bloggers, retail, etc.]" to find a good brand to work with. Or use an affiliate network like ShareASale.
- Affiliates usually pay relatively well, and many offer compensation for the lifetime of an account
- Success depends, to an extent, on traffic
- It's not always easy to find affiliates you want to work with
9. Paid Subscriptions
This is the one you're likely most familiar with. It's very common with photographers (but works great with writers, too), where viewers will get some content for free, but then will have to pay a small monthly fee to access the good stuff.
Some will argue that all of your content should be free, but paid subscriptions are a great way to make money from your blog. Nobody would do it if it didn't work! How you set up a subscription service will differ based on your blog's platform, here's a great guide to help you get started.
- Start making money without changing any of your current processes
- Build a subscriber base (email list) who you can promote other offerings to at any time in the future
- Difficult to do for free
- Possibly receive some initial pushback from viewers
Well, there you go! There are 9 simple ways to make money from your blog! I'd recommend you first pick the one that you can do most easily, or that most closely fits with your branding.
Pick one, like Google Ads, and then move on to the next only after you're comfortable with it. Repeat. Before long, you'll be running your own very profitable blog!
Published by Kenneth Burke