Blogging is one of the most popular ways to earn side income as well as pursue a full-time career. The income potential depends on your blog’s topic, industry, and audience. When learning how to get paid to blog, be aware of all your options, and then focus on one or two when you get started.
Here are 15 ways you can start blogging for money.
1. Get Paid to Write Reviews
If you have an opinion on products and services related to your chosen niche, you might want to consider writing reviews. You’ll evaluate businesses’ products based on your own experience observing and/or testing them. The best review writers are experts or passionate in their field and are always ready to provide valuable information for their audience.
Whether you’re writing reviews for your own blog or someone else’s website, you must provide clear, value-added, and practical information. The more you can simplify your information, the more readers will know how knowledgeable you are on the topic. To get started, join websites like PayPerPost to help connect you with businesses that may be interested.
2. Sell Sponsored Blog Posts
Sponsored blogs posts are articles that companies commission for bloggers to write in exchange for compensation. This happens when business owners notice a blog’s popularity and influence over an audience that’s similar to their target market. While this can be a lucrative strategy, some bloggers are hesitant to work with brands for fear that the partnership may not work out.
Here are some things you should do when writing sponsored posts:
- Disclose that the article is sponsored content at the beginning of your post
- Provide accurate content, so you don’t lose credibility
- Always charge for your sponsored blog post, even if it’s just a small amount
- Write only for products and service that you genuinely like
- Evaluate your success on every sponsorship project, so you can improve on your next one
Get started by putting together a one-page media kit that details your traffic statistics, social media following, and audience demographics. Once you start receiving offers to write a sponsored blog post, you’ll know that your blog is gaining traction.
3. Sell Ads Directly From Your Blog
Aside from getting to keep all income, selling ads directly from your blog gives you more control over pricing for each ad. You have a direct line of communication with your advertisers, which makes negotiation easier. Using an ad management plugin like AdSanity can make the process easier. It allows you to manage Google AdSense as well as your own ads
Finding advertisers isn’t as complicated as it seems. You can start by reaching out to your email subscribers and giving them a good deal on ad rates. Remember that the people on your email list are already your followers, so you don’t have to spend time building a relationship with new leads. You can also add a press kit or an advertisement page where you can share traffic and other demographic information about your website.
4. Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
With affiliate marketing, you earn a commission from every sale of an affiliate product that originates from your website. There are many affiliate programs for every industry and niche, and all you need to do is join one that matches your blog. Also, if you’re already mentioning products on your blog posts, you can sign up for affiliate marketing opportunities with that brand.
These are some of the popular affiliate marketing programs you can join:
Affiliate marketing can take time until you can earn significant income, but once you do the upfront work, you’ll start earning money while you sleep. Your best chance is to promote a variety of products or services related to the passion or field of expertise focused on your blog
5. Display Google AdSense on Your Blog
AdSense is Google’s program for hosting and distributing member advertisements to its users. It’s one of the easiest ways to start earning money from your blog. Sign up to the AdSense program, and copy a script from Google on to your website. This will allow Google to begin displaying member ads on your blog. What’s great about Google AdSense is that it will usually display ads that are relevant to your content.
Google AdSense will pay you every time someone clicks on their ad on your website. So, to get significant income from this strategy, you need a reliable website to host your blog. DreamHost is a very low-cost web hosting service that offers managed WordPress hosting services and website builder features to get your blog going. It provides unlimited bandwidth, a domain name, and a one-click web apps installer to help you start your blog in no time for as little as $4.95 a month. Visit DreamHost today and take advantage of its discounts.
6. Create Restricted Members-only Content
The beauty of a members-only area is that you can provide premium content directly through your blog. You can share more in-depth blog posts, downloads, videos, and audio content. You can also give your readers exclusive access to privileges. They can only get straight from you like a short consultation or even an interview.
Here’s what you’ll need to start:
- Membership plugin like WPForms for WordPress blogs
- Established membership levels
- Payment method
- Sign up and login forms
- Customized email templates
Adding a members-only area for your most loyal members will make your readers wonder what they are missing. When you start advertising for membership, share a sneak preview of what goes on using your social media platforms. Keep in mind, however, that membership sites can be a big-time investment since you must continually create premium content for your paying members.
7. Earn Money by Flipping Websites
Website flipping is an income strategy with which you buy a dormant website and resell it for a profit. This is possible after optimizing the website for various search engines and improving its traffic by starting a blog. Some individuals prefer buying an existing website instead of building from scratch, and anyone with basic writing and search engine optimization (SEO) skills can do this easily.
Here are some strategies for flipping websites:
- Buy an active website for a targeted product you already sell so that you can establish a consumer base easily.
- Buy a site to generate advertising revenue for some time before selling.
- Buy a website mainly for its domain name quality, irrespective of what the website is about or what it sells.
Once you’re ready to sell the website, you can start looking for buyers by advertising or auctioning it on online marketplaces like Flippa. Transfer the domain to the buyer once you agree to a selling price.
8. Add a Private Forum to Your Blog
Forums are a great way for your audience to get one-on-one advice from you and the rest of your community that has come together with the same interest. Members can get advice from a group of experts instead of just one. This is why adding a paid membership forum can be a great way to earn money from your blog. As the owner, your main role will be to moderate and guide members through discussions.
There are free and paid tools for adding a forum to blogs:
- Simple Press: A free WordPress plugin for self-hosted WordPress.org blogs or websites.
- XenForo: Offers easy styling, Facebook integration, and built-in SEO for $140 per year.
- Vanilla Forums: Allows you to create a skeleton forum just by copying a line of code on your website.
To convince your readers that paying to join a private forum is worth their money, you need to show value. For example, if you post a blog to talk about recently published white papers on your niche, make sure your post is engaging and informative. In the end, let your readers know that you are opening a discussion on the topic in your private forum to share more ideas. If you have finished an in-depth research project, share part of your findings in a blog post and the rest in the forum.
9. Write E-books
E-books are a great way for bloggers to monetize their blogs. They are also relatively simple to write and produce. For some bloggers, it’s as easy as compiling their old blog posts and repurposing them as chapters for their book. Other bloggers choose a topic on their blog with the most responses and write extensively about it. Once you have that down, you can proceed to complete an outline for your e-book.
Here are some quick tips to help you create an effective e-book plan:
- Pick a title that describes your topic well in the least number of words.
- Choose a prevailing problem that your audience always raises and make sure to solve them in your e-book.
- List and organize your topic into chapters.
- Decide on how you present the content. Will you be using images or purely text?
Finally, based on your plan, convert your digital manuscript into the best e-book format. ePub is good for text-rich e-books and platforms like Kindle while PDF is ideal if you want to keep a certain form in mind. For distribution, use tools like Easy Digital Downloads that will allow buyers to download your e-book.
10. Add a Shop Page to Your Blog
A shop page is usually a grid of product images with a title and a “buy now” button. It’s a great option for an ecommerce store designed to monetize your blog. Bloggers use shop pages to create a catalog of affiliate merchandise and along with their own. This gives the audience a visual of the products that are endorsed in blog posts.
WooCommerce is an ecommerce WordPress plugin that lets you turn your WordPress site into an online store. It offers an easy guide that walks you through the entire setup process, including how to set up payments, shipping, tax settings, and adding your products to sell. The basic WooCommerce plugin is free and already offers an extensive list of features, but you also have the option of adding extensions for an even more customized online store.
11. Sell Online Courses
Bloggers should think about creating and selling their own online courses. This is a terrific way to charge a premium for your expertise. Your blog’s audience consists of qualified leads, so all you need to do is look into your forums and discussions to find out which topics are in demand. You can then create lessons and supporting materials like slides, checklists, templates, and downloadable formats.
Try implementing the following strategies when creating your online course:
- Offer a basic and premium version of your course, like giving email support to premium tier buyers.
- Introduce your courses on your blog posts.
- Add your sales page to your navigation bar.
- Share a link to your course on social media.
Online courses are evergreen, which means you can keep selling the course and just update sections of it when necessary. You don’t have to worry about reaching out to brands constantly or plugging new products on your blog.
12. Start Your Own Consulting Business
Bloggers are considered an authority in their industry, and their readers follow them because their views are valued. This is why bloggers can easily earn from offering a consultancy or coaching service. With today’s technology, it’s easy to communicate in real-time with anyone in the world. Bloggers can use this to hold remote sessions; all you need is to create a page with a form using tools like WPForms, so users can request more information.
What’s great about bloggers offering their services as consultants is that they don’t have to pitch to potential clients. Their blog posts will speak on their behalf, which makes every post a well-prepared pitch.
13. Sell License for Your Photos
One way to earn passive income from your blog is to sell licenses for your photos. Showcase your photos on your blog posts and include a link that takes readers to your image hosting website. While you typically only get paid a small amount for each person who purchases your photo, you do have a better chance of reaching a wider audience by joining photo sharing marketplaces. Remind readers in all your posts that your photos are available for purchase.
Here are several websites to which you can sell your stock photography:
- Adobe Stock: Largest photo selling platform and lets you make 20%-60% for each sale
- Alamy: Gives you 50% of each sale
- Shutterstock: Allows you to have 20% to 30% sale and protects your copyrights
- Dreamstime: Sells high-quality photos and offers a 25% to 50% royalty for each sale
- iStockphoto: Earns you up to 45% share for each sale
- Getty Images: Has a huge customer base to which you can sell and offers a 20% commission to photographers
These websites offer a variety of perks and payments for contributors, so it’s always a good idea to read their terms and conditions. Bloggers looking for residual or passive income to augment their major income stream should try this strategy.
14. Offer Freelance Writing Services
Writing as a service is a natural side gig for bloggers. Those who are now successful have, in some form, used their writing skills to augment their income along the way. Beginner blogs that don’t have much traffic should take advantage of freelance writing to market their new blog. Having an online blog will also serve as proof of your writing skills when you pitch to clients in your niche.
There is a huge list of websites that will pay for each article you write. Most of them can be found in online marketplaces like Fiverr looking for project-based hires. Fiverr is the perfect freelancing solution for one-off jobs when building up your blog. You can earn anywhere from $5 to $995 from businesses that use blogging to generate brand awareness and expand their online reach. Sign up as a Fiverr professional today.
15. Create a Business Directory
Expect your readers to ask for recommendations on certain products and services frequently. This is a natural effect of gaining followers on your blog site who consider you as an expert in your chosen industry. This is why compiling a list of relevant businesses and creating a directory makes sense. Blogger experts who already have a wide reach will find that many businesses would be willing to sign up for a fee to have their name on your list.
For beginner bloggers, the key is convincing businesses to sign up for your directory. The most natural way to do this is to make sure that you have well written and well-optimized content and website. Even if your blog is new, having some of your posts rank in search results will impress potential clients. Consider creating a media page as well. Using tools like the Business Directory Plugin makes it easy to get started.
Blogging for money can be a roller coaster experience, even for experts. In one month, you’ll earn more than you expect and, the next month, you may not receive any income at all. However, apart from wanting a lucrative source of income, blogging for money can also be a rewarding experience. Try our list of ways to get paid blogging, and with enough focus and patience, you’ll be on your way to a successful blogging career.
Got more tips on how to get paid to blog? Share them with us in the comments.