For many writers, starting a blog is a passion project. The opportunity to share interests, knowledge and ideas with people from all over the world is a beautiful way to build connections across communities. But as many of us have learned, passion alone does not pay the rent. The good news is, it’s possible to make money off a blog, whether you just want to make some extra spending money or turn blogging into a full-time career.
Essentially, there are three ways to monetize a blog: Sell a product or service, create gated content or promote external brands. This article discusses specific strategies, helps you decide which are best for your blog and offers tips for maximizing your monetization efforts.
How beginners can monetize a blog
Monetizing a blog can be a time consuming and challenging process, and it is not something that can be achieved overnight. However, there are a few ways that you can make money off your blog, even if it’s you are blogging as a beginner.
- Make money from online ads
- Ask for donations
- Become a freelance blogger
- Sell eBooks
- Do some affiliate marketing
- Write sponsored posts
- Get sponsored by a brand
01. Make money from online ads
One of the most reliable ways to make money blogging is to display advertisements throughout your site and collect revenue from each click. The advantage of this option is that it requires minimal effort from the blogger’s end. All you need to do is set up an account with an online ads platform and connect it to your website.
Using Google AdSense, you can define which fields, industries and categories of ads should be displayed on your blog to ensure that they’re a strong fit. In addition, you can design the look of the ads to match the overall design of your blog. When you make a website and create a blog on Wix, you can add Google AdSense ads to your blog and generate income anytime those ads are viewed or clicked.
For the ads on your blog to be profitable, make sure that they relate to your audience’s interests. If your blog is a type of website which deals with health and wellness, your target audience probably won’t feel tempted to click on real estate ads. Instead, you’d want to choose ads that promote wellness solutions or health products.
02. Ask for donations
You can also monetize your blog by asking for donations. While you shouldn’t be pushy, you can leave a friendly, transparent note to fans expressing your appreciation for their readership and welcoming their support. Your audience will be especially inclined to support you if you’re blogging about a good cause, whether your goal is to promote social justice or support nonprofit work.
The principle behind donations is that they enable your audience to thank you for providing them with free, valuable content. For this reason, it’s not advisable to ask for donations if you already charge for access to it.
03. Become a freelance blogger
Another effective blog monetization strategy is to become a freelance writer for widely read online publications within your niche. Even if your own blog isn’t drawing in much traffic yet, your posts serve as a valuable portfolio of your writing that you can leverage to become a freelance writer for other blogs. By using your own content to establish authority and expertise, you can get hired to write for other blogs and might even be able to make it a full-time job.
To find these opportunities, you can research dedicated freelance writing job boards or reach out to brands directly. Whichever route you take, be sure to provide a link to your own blog to highlight your writing skills and experience.
04. Sell eBooks
As you build your readership, offer your fans an in-depth, comprehensive angle on your content in the form of an eBook. Your eBook can be an elaboration on topics covered on your blog, or it can introduce a new theme or question that’s highly relevant to your target audience. For instance, if you’re a photography blogger, your eBook could explore the most fascinating locations you have ever worked in and what they taught you about photography.
When you create an eBook, draw lessons and stories from your own knowledge and experience. Teach readers something new, and show them how they can put this knowledge into action in their own lives.
05. Do some affiliate marketing
When considering how to monetize a blog, some people opt to engage in affiliate marketig. As an affiliate, you partner with a brand to promote their products, earning a commission for every product sale that originated from your blog. From the perspective of both bloggers and brands, affiliate marketing is a win-win situation.
This performance-based revenue works best when both parties involved share the same target audience. You’ll need to find a company that your readers are actually interested in to increase the chances of driving leads and sales. Having this affinity for the brand also means that you’ll be more successful in promoting it.r. By finding ways to connect the product’s value with your blog’s organic content, you’ll make a stronger sales pitch to your audience.
While there are a variety of affiliate programs to choose from, one of the most popular choices for beginners is Amazon Associates. As an Associate, you’ll include links to Amazon products within your blog content and receive a commission for every purchase that comes through your site.
06. Write sponsored posts
Another option is to create sponsored content that highlights a specific product or service. This is often an effective form of advertising for brands, and it’s also a powerful way to monetize a blog.
Your first step is to find a brand to partner with. While businesses will sometimes reach out to bloggers directly, you should also take the initiative to email brands yourself and inquire about partnership opportunities.
Sponsored posts usually include a product review or demonstrate how the writer uses the product for professional or creative purposes. It’s a great way to earn reliable income through your blog, since (unlike with ads and affiliate programs) you know exactly how much you’ll be making.
If you choose to write sponsored posts, keep in mind the following tips:
- Look for a brand partnership that enables you to create a series of sponsored posts spread across several weeks or months. This way, you have a recurring and fixed source of revenue.
- When you reach out to brands, show them how sponsoring your posts would benefit their business. Tell them about your website traffic, show them how the interests of your fans align with their brand and offer ideas for how you’d include their products in your content.
- Don’t try to hide sponsored posts. Be honest with your audience and clarify it with a short disclaimer.
- Don’t compromise your integrity as a blogger. Only recommend products that you believe in and that you think would offer genuine value to your readers.
07. Get sponsored by a brand
In addition to creating sponsored posts, another benefit of establishing paid partnerships is to get your blog, or even your entire online presence, sponsored by a brand. With this approach, you don’t necessarily need to devote entire posts to product reviews or recommendations. Instead, you might choose to feature the sponsoring brand in your blog’s website header, with a note in your articles and social media content thanking them for their support.
This type of sponsorship can be especially helpful if you find a brand that you genuinely appreciate and is highly relevant to your niche. When you negotiate your agreement, make sure that both sides are clear about expectations so you don’t end up compromising your work.