There are several options for monetizing a blog today. For example, bloggers can make money with memberships, affiliate marketing, and by selling products. Many bloggers earn $30,000 to $90,000 a year, while elite bloggers earn millions.The most important tip for how to monetize a blog is to serve your audience’s needs.
One of the best ways to monetize your blog is through an online store with Shopify. Monetizing a blog is super-simple with Shopify. You can build a Shopify store and add a blog, or you can integrate your current blog with Shopify. Visit Shopify for more details.
Here are the nine best ways to monetize a blog:
1. How to Monetize a Blog with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when a blogger makes a deal with a company to advertise that company’s products or services in exchange for a fee. Instead of negotiating affiliate relationships with bloggers one-on-one, most companies launch their own affiliate program or join an affiliate network where all affiliate relationships and payout transactions are managed.
One of the fastest ways to monetize your blog is to join affiliate programs and networks that are aligned with your blog’s topics and audience. You can get started with affiliate marketing even with a small following.
Income Potential with Affiliate Marketing
You may not become a millionaire overnight, but affiliate marketing is a terrific way to start monetizing a blog. Some bloggers make only a few dollars a month at first, but soon scale up to hundreds or even thousands. Full-time bloggers can earn $2,000 to $8,000 per month blogging, and top bloggers bring in $20,000 to $100,000 per month or more through affiliate marketing.
Top Affiliate Networks & Programs
Some companies such as Target create and manage their own affiliate programs. Other businesses offer affiliate marketing opportunities to bloggers through affiliate networks.
Here are a handful of popular affiliate networks and programs that represent thousands of merchants and brands and are appropriate for all bloggers, large and small alike:
- CJ Affiliate
- Rakuten Marketing
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Partner Network
There are also affiliate programs that are niche-specific. For example, if you’re a fashion or beauty blogger, you might want to join the H&M or Sephora affiliate programs. Travel bloggers should check out the Travelpayouts or Hotels.com affiliate programs. If you blog about the great outdoors, you could join REI’s or Cabela’s affiliate programs.
The bottom line is that if you want to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing, the sites just mentioned are a great place to start. Whatever your niche, you’ll also find many more affiliate programs available that align with your audience’s wants and needs.
“Affiliate marketing can be an excellent way to monetize your blog, but you have to make it personal. If someone is reading a review on your site, you know they already have an intent to buy. But your goal, of course, is to have the reader click-through and make the purchase. Your review needs to be genuine. Today’s internet population is savvy and has become adept at weeding out fake reviews.
Also, only endorse products or services that you use yourself. Your writing will reflect that. You will build trust with your readers by backing up your endorsement with your own experiences. The best part is that you can feel confident that you are promoting something you believe in.”
—Nermeen Ghneim, Owner & Blogger, SavvyDollar
2. How to Monetize a Blog with Advertisements
Many bloggers mistakenly believe that placing advertisements on their sites will yield high returns. While you can make money joining ad networks like Google AdSense, the amount of money you’ll make as a beginning blogger won’t be as significant as you can earn through other blog monetization strategies.
Income Potential with Advertisements
If you want to make around $100,000 through Google AdSense, you’ll need about 100,000 visitors to your blog with a 1% click-through rate (CTR) every day for a year. Most bloggers don’t get anywhere near that traffic. That’s why most bloggers earn only a few cents to a few dollars each day using Google AdSense ads.
Example of How to Make $100,000+ Through Google AdSense
Daily Visitors 100,000
Average CTR* 1%
Total Number of Daily
Visitors Who Click On Ads 100,000 * 1% = 1,000
Per Click** $0.275
Total Daily Earnings 1,000 * $0.275 = $275
Annual Earnings $275 * 365 = $100,375
*In this example, your click-through rate (CTR) is the total number of people who visit your website and click on a Google AdSense ad. CTRs vary by website, but 1% is typical.
**Average earnings per click varies by website; $0.15 to $0.50 is average, though some ads can earn twice that.
The more traffic you drive to your site, and the more popular your niche is, the more money you can make with advertising. Also, not all advertising networks are created equal; some pay significantly more.
Top Advertising Networks & Programs
When you join an ad network, you enter an agreement wherein you commit to promoting other merchants’ goods and services on your site in exchange for a standard fee whenever someone either clicks on those ads or makes a purchase from one of those ads. The terms of the arrangement vary by ad network, as do the fees you’ll earn.
Here are a few of the most popular advertising networks you can join:
- AdSense: The most popular network for bloggers, this is a relatively easy network to join, even for new bloggers.
- Media.net: This Yahoo! Bing network is a popular alternative to Google AdSense. Both new and experienced bloggers can join Media.net and expect to earn roughly the same as Google AdSense pays.
- Infolinks: Open to bloggers large and small, Infolinks uses contextual ads to show highly relevant content to your blog visitors. Ad payouts are similar to Adsense.
- MediaVine: If your site has at least 25,000 sessions per month, as verified by Google Analytics, and you’re in good standing with Google AdSense, you can join this premium network. Bloggers report earning two to three times as much on MediaVine as Google AdSense.
- Adbuff: You’ll need 2,000 unique visitors per day to join this premium network. If your blog hits this level of traffic, you’ll likely earn at least double from Adbuff that you could earn on Google AdSense with the same size audience.
The most successful bloggers don’t monetize their sites exclusively through advertisements. Instead, they use advertising to supplement their income.
3. How to Monetize a Blog Selling Physical Products
You can make a generous income finding or creating in-demand physical products to sell to your blog visitors. One of the best ways to do this is to set up a Shopify store and let Shopify handle all the selling details for you.
Income Potential with Physical Products
To make a healthy income selling physical products you’ll need to align the types of products you promote to your blog audience and their interests. Selling cosmetics on a hiking blog doesn’t make sense; selling camping gear does.
Bloggers who focus on selling physical products can earn anywhere from a few extra dollars each month to a six-figure income. If you want to make money over the long-run, it’s important that you stand behind the quality of the products you represent. Promoting shoddy products will damage your credibility over time.
How to Sell Physical Products Online
You don’t have to clear out your garage and start building products yourself to sell physical products on your blog—though some people have been effective at doing that. There are many types of physical products you can sell and many ways to source those products.
Some bloggers monetize their blogs through products that are created on-demand such as coffee mugs, hats, and posters. On sites like Printful and Zazzle, all you have to do is create print-on-demand products with your own logo or original design. Selling print-on-demand products is a smart way to avoid being stuck with excess costly inventory.
You can sell private label products on your blog. You can also negotiate directly with product manufacturers to represent their products.
If you’ve ever thought of creating your own T-shirt business to promote on your blog, now might be the right time. Total sales for original T-shirts in the U.S. are projected to be $562 million in 2019. Bloggers have been known to make thousands developing innovative T-shirt designs with catchy phrases.
One of the most popular ways to sell physical products online is to create a dropshipping business. You work through a product supplier like Alibaba to select products that would appeal to your blog audience. Then, you set up an online store through a provider like Shopify to sell your products. You promote your products through appropriate blog posts and pages on your site.
4. How to Monetize a Blog Selling Digital Products
Digital products are growing in popularity among bloggers, often because they are easy to produce quickly and demand is skyrocketing. The best thing about digital products is that new bloggers can develop and make money selling them, even if their blog traffic is still modest.
Types of digital products you can sell include:
- Audio content
- Meal prep plans
- How to guides
- Graphics and digital art
- Recipe collections
- Training guides
- Design templates
- Woodworking instructions
- Writing templates
- Video stock
- Digital journals
- Knitting and crocheting patterns
- Financial planning and budgeting worksheets
- Meditation programs
If you need help creating your digital products, then consider hiring a freelancer on Fiverr. With Fiverr you have access to thousands of quality yet affordable freelancers, including artists, graphic designers, photographers, website developers, and writers.
Income Potential with Digital Products
The income you can earn with digital products varies significantly according to the type of product you produce and the perceived value to the intended audience. For example, some e-books bring only 99 cents while others that are rarer can yield $19 to $49.
Blogger Ashleigh Kiser of Sewrella Handmade Home makes over $1,700 per month selling patterns on her blog and through Etsy. Blogger Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog makes over $2,500 per month selling digital products, much of which comes from her downloadable digital planners.
Many bloggers earn $15,000 to $40,000 per year selling digital products. The highest-earning bloggers that sell digital products make multiple six figures each year.
How to Sell Digital Products Online
You can sell digital projects through your Shopify store, or through your WordPress blog using a plugin like Easy Digital Downloads. You can also sell e-books anywhere digital books are sold, though perhaps the most popular platform is Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform where you have access to an audience of millions.
“I like selling an item that I created. It’s better if this item is related to the topic of your blog. For example, if your blog is about losing weight, you don’t want to sell lawn mower parts on there. Selling your own item is better than advertising other people’s products or services through Google Adwords or whatever other ad programs that you find. If you’re selling your own product, you are building something. You will get referral traffic. You get to keep 100% of profits with no middlemen.”
—Jesse Harrison, CEO & Founder, HopeTree Legal Funding
5. How to Monetize a Blog with Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is blog content that a company pays you to write in exchange for a pre-negotiated fee. Many bloggers with large audiences use sponsored posts as their primary source of income; others with smaller followings use sponsored content as one piece of their overall blog monetization strategy.
One of the things you need to know about sponsored content is that the FTC has strict guidelines that require you to prominently reveal any product endorsement deals you make with companies. You must include a sponsored-post disclaimer above any blog post for which you receive compensation.
Income Potential with Sponsored Content
Alexis, the owner of the Financials blog, earns between $1,000 and $3,000 per month through sponsored posts. Bloggers Esther and Jacob of Local Adventurer made over $11,000 in March 2019 alone from sponsored product posts. The income your blog can make with sponsored posts is tied to your overall traffic numbers, your niche, and the price of the products you promote.
Monetize Your Blog Using Sponsored Content Networks
Bloggers are often known as influencers, which means you have the power to influence readers’ buying decisions. To make money blogging, you’ll want to capitalize on your influence.
Monetizing a blog through sponsorships starts with announcing that you’re open to sponsored post opportunities. It’s a good idea to create a press kit or media kit on your blog that details your overall traffic statistics, audience demographics, types of topics you write about, and what you charge for sponsored posts and advertising.
You don’t want to just wait for potential sponsors to find you, though. You want to be proactive in listing your availability on influencer networks that specialize in connecting bloggers to companies that are willing to pay for sponsored posts.
Here are a few popular influencer networks you might want to explore:
- Influence Central
- Pollinate Media Group
- Real Clever
- Tap Influence
- Blog Meets Brand
Influencer networks have different rules about the types of bloggers with whom they’ll work. Most networks want to work with blogging influencers who have significant followings of 25,000 unique users or more a month. Yet, even if you’re a niche blogger who is just starting out, you can still find sponsorship opportunities, you just might have to work harder to land them.
6. Monetizing a Blog with Online Courses
With the popularity of online learning skyrocketing, more and more bloggers are monetizing their blogs by selling online courses. If you’re an expert in your area with a penchant for helping people learn, this could be a good way for you to make money, too.
Income Potential with Online Courses
Top bloggers like Sabrinna Phillips of the Intentional Entrepreneur, Darren Rouse of Problogger, and Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Cents of Affiliate Marketing earn multiple six figures each year from their online courses. Even beginning bloggers can earn $2,000 to $10,000 from a course launch, while more advanced online course developers earn $40,000 to $100,000 each year from their online courses.
Best Online Course Platforms for Blog Monetization
With more and better online course development tools coming to the market each year, it’s never been easier for bloggers to create and launch an online course. You can create an email only course, where lessons are emailed on a schedule. You can create an online course on your website with a WordPress plug-in,such as LearnDash or LifterLMS. Or, you can create your course using one of the powerful online course platforms that help you take online education to the next level.
Top online course development platforms include:
Prices for online course development platforms range from free to $319 per month. If you’re new to online course development, you may want to start with Teachable or Thinkific as they both offer free plans.
“Online course creators must recognize that there is a ton of competition on virtually every subject, and most of it is free. This means that, in order to monetize a course, you must offer high-quality content, support, and resources which make the value of your course clear. It is important to utilize your expertise to create a great course and then employ the appropriate technology to make the student experience superior to any of the competition.”
—Steve Childs, Owner, Virtual Voice Lessons
7. Monetize a Blog with Premium Content & Memberships
Some bloggers monetize their sites through premium content or memberships. The basic premise for premium content, also known as paid gated content, and memberships is similar. Site visitors who are willing to pay a premium fee are given access to content that non-paying readers cannot access. Membership programs often include a community or networking component as well.
Premium content needs to have a perceived value that’s higher than content offered to the general public. Many bloggers include video tutorials, mini-courses, how-to guidebooks, substantial discounts on other products, and step-by-step instructional pieces in their premium or membership site content. Getting people to subscribe monthly to paid-access programs is a great way to earn recurring income on your blog.
Income Potential with Premium Content & Memberships
Premium content and membership options can earn bloggers anywhere from a few hundred dollars each month to thousands. The more traffic you have, and the better you are at marketing your premium content, the more money you’ll make.
Leo Babauta, founder of the popular blog Zen Habits, offers his Sea Change membership program for $15 per month. Bekah Fit offers fitness membership programs starting at just $9.99 per month.
How to Get Started Selling Premium Content & Memberships
Many online course platforms such as Podia also offer membership services. You can also create a subscription program on your blog with a WordPress plugin, such as WooCommerce memberships or MemberPress. Last but not least, you can purchase membership management software such as SubHub or Memberful.
8. Monetize a Blog by Promoting Coaching & Consulting Services
Many coaches start blogs to support their coaching and consulting businesses. Sometimes it happens the other way around, where bloggers gain so much expertise in their chosen blog niche that they become in-demand coaches and consultants.
The best thing about monetizing a blog with coaching and consulting services is that, regardless of your niche, you’re likely to find someone who is already seeking the services you’re qualified to offer. Popular categories for coaches and consultants include health and wellness, personal growth, business startup and development, marketing, finance, sales, career, life skills, productivity, and leadership.
Income Potential from Selling Coaching & Consulting Services
You can earn $75 to $300 per hour by offering one-on-one coaching and consulting services. Premium coaches and consultants charge even more. The most successful coaches earn thousands per hour through group coaching sessions.
A profitable strategy for many experts is to offer consulting and coaching services in multi-session packages, thereby driving up the average sale. For example, you may list that your hourly fee is $300 but then offer a 12-week, 12-session coaching package for $2,900, which is $700 below your stated hourly rate. This gives clients the perceived value of a $700 savings. It’s a good deal for most coaches, too, since customers seldom buy 12 sessions if it’s not offered as a package deal.
Group coaching is also a popular strategy for bloggers. For example, you can offer a group coaching program over that same 12-week period for $1,900, which is $1,700 lower than your $300 hourly rate. If you get 20 people to sign up, you make 20 times $1,900, or $38,000 in that same 12-week period where your one-on-one coaching would have only produced $2,900. It’s clear to see why monetizing a blog through coaching and consulting is a popular strategy.
How to Get Started Selling Coaching & Consulting Services
To get started offering coaching and consulting services, you need a blog page that advertises your services and offers a way for clients to sign up for coaching or consulting sessions. You also want a way to accept payment for your services, which you can do by setting up a PayPal or Square account. If you conduct sessions via video, you’ll need an online meeting solution such as Zoom or Zoho Meeting.
If you plan to schedule one-on-one sessions, you should provide a way for clients to schedule appointments with you. With Acuity Scheduling’s growing business plan, you can add an open appointments calendar to your website and clients can schedule and pay for their coaching or consulting sessions directly through Acuity.
9. How to Monetize a Blog with Freelance Services
Your life experiences and education have helped you develop expertise in a number of areas. Monetizing your expertise is one of the most logical ways to earn a significant income through your blog. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to start making money, even if you’re a new blogger.
The most in-demand freelance services include:
- Graphic design
- Customer service
- Software development
- Administrative support
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media management
- Voice-over work
- Data entry
- Project management
- Website development
- Sales and marketing
- Video editing
While this list seems thorough, it just barely touches the surface of the many types of freelancing opportunities available nowadays. If you have an expertise in a certain field, chances are you can turn that expertise into a money-making freelancing business through your blog.
Income Potential from Selling Freelance Services
In today’s growing gig economy, opportunities to monetize your expertise abound. What you’ll earn depends on the services you offer. For example, social media managers can make $30 to $75 per hour while voice-over artists typically earn anywhere from $20 to $150 per hour. Freelance writers average $15 to $125 per hour.
Programming and IT experts are among the highest-paid freelancers. These computer experts routinely charge $100 to $200 per hour for their freelancing services.
How to Get Started Selling Freelance Services
You only need two things to get started freelancing: a blog to advertise your services and a way to invoice your clients. PayPal is the most popular way to invoice clients online, but Square also offers invoicing services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About How to Monetize a Blog
We’ve gathered our answers to the most-asked questions about how to monetize a blog below. If you have additional questions, be sure to visit the FSB Forum where experts are ready to answer all your questions.
What does it mean to monetize a blog?
You invest in your blog in many ways such as buying hosting, design services, and email services, plus you put in both time and effort. Most bloggers want to get a return on that investment. That’s what monetizing a blog means: earning money from your investments. You can turn your blog into a money-making machine.
How do bloggers make money?
The most popular way bloggers make money is through affiliate marketing, selling products and services, and developing sponsored posts. Bloggers also make money by selling digital products such as e-books, online courses, and paid advertisements. Many bloggers also earn money by offering coaching, consulting, or freelance services.
When should I start to monetize a blog?
You can start monetizing a blog from day one, but most bloggers start after they have at least 5 blog posts created. The best way for beginning bloggers to make money is through affiliate marketing and freelancing services, which require little investment and can yield monthly revenues from $100 to $3,000 for new bloggers.
Bottom Line – How to Monetize a Blog
Monetizing a blog involves finding a way to make money that works best for you. Affiliate marketing is an easy way to start earning money quickly. Each of the nine ways to monetize a blog listed above can be effective. Successful bloggers typically use a mix of money-making strategies to achieve their monetization goals.
If you want to monetize your blog, you’ll need an ecommerce platform that can handle sales for you. Shopify is the most popular ecommerce platform used today. Shopify offers everything you need to start selling products on your blog. Visit Shopify and starting making money now.