How I Make Money Blogging – Ultimate Free Guide 2023
I’ve been a writer for a long time now. I’ve had my own startup businesses where I’ve had a blog as part of the marketing strategy, created online publishing spaces, written for other companies blogs, been a marketing consultant and now… I help other people quit their 9-5 and make money blogging. Let’s dive into how I make money blogging below!
If you’re in blogging as a business (or just want to make a side income) the one thing that matters most is that you know how you can monetise your blog – or – how you can make money as a blogger.
There’s a whole heap of ways you can make money blogging depending on your niche. Most of these can be grouped into one of three types of revenue generating activities. In this blog we’ll take you through three ways you can make money as a blogger and explain how to get started.
So, how do I make money blogging?
- Affiliate Marketing
- Products and Services
So, if you’re asking yourself, can blogging make you money? This post is for you!
Let’s dive in and take a closer look!
Disclaimer: This post contains links, that if clicked, and you make a purchase, or start a trial, I may make a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I 🧡
Can blogging make you money?
Blogging is a great way to make money! Blogging as a side hustle, or turning your interests into a full time career and quitting your 9-5 is the perfect way to both follow your passions and create a sustainable income. The best part? Once you are all set up, blogging is a great way to make passive income.
It’s not uncommon for beginner bloggers to be able to bring in $500 a month, with bloggers who have been doing it for longer to make a six figure income. But keep at it! Blogging is not for the faint hearted, nor is it a quick way to make cash.
The majority of bloggers start to see their income increase at closer to the 3 year mark. But if you stick at it, the rewards are worthwhile.
How much money can you make blogging?
Whether you’re creating a blog for a hobby, to share you passions, as a side hustle, or to ultimately create a full time income stream, blogging can both be lucrative and fun!
But, here’s the rub. Blogging is not an overnight success.
It’s hard work and takes time.
So, if you’re in it for the quick fix, there is no such thing.
But! If you put in the effort and don’t give up too early (which is what a lot of bloggers actually do) you CAN reap the rewards.
Pat Flynn, who writes the blog Smart Passive Income, is a great example of a really successful blogger. He earns his income from affiliate sales and courses (plus a book). His monthly income is in the six figures and climbing.
And Amy Porterfield is one of my favourite female bloggers. She makes over $5M a year with her courses, affiliates, sponsorships and other activities.
But, you might want to aim a little lower to start with! It is not uncommon for bloggers to make $2000-$3000 per month regularly once they are set up and posting regularly.
Just pick your niche well, write consistently and write what your audience is searching for.
Is Blogging a saturated market?
While there are now a number of people creating profitable blogs and making a decent living off of blogging, theres still a massive amount of potential left for you!
Making money blogging requires two things. The first is compelling content and the second is an audience that regularly searches for the type of content you’re writing and then hits your website.
While some niches are particularly saturated… like food for instance , theres always room for more. The number one thing to remember when starting a new blog, particularly in a saturated niche is to carve our a slice of that nice for yourself.
Make your blog unique. Think of a sub-topic off of the back of your primary nice, or, combine two or three niches together.
You might blog about recipes and food and that’s your passion. But what makes you’re passion unique? Do you use local ingredients? Are you catering to a specific dietary need? Can you combine your love of food with your love of travelling or visiting special palaces? or perhaps you have a passion for overall wellness?
The other thing you need to know when hitting a saturated market is the 10x rule.
Anyone can break into a saturated blogging niche if they follow this simple rule.
Create content that is 10x better than you competitors. It’s as simple as that.
Take a look at the type of keywords that your competitors are regularly using to gain top search engine positions. Check out their content. Then, create content that is 10x better than theirs. Go deeper into topics, create headers with long tail keywords, and create added value for your readers.
You can use an inexpensive, easy to use tool like UberSuggest to help you with your keyword and competitor research.
1. How I make money blogging with Advertising
One of the easiest ways to start making money online on your blog is to start offering ad space for brands and businesses that might be looking for your particular audience demographic.
But – if you pick your platform wisely, and if your are in a niche that drives a tonne of traffic, like fasion or food, advertising on your blog is a great way to make income.
Ads generally run on a CPC or a CPM basis.
What is CPC advertising?
CPC is cost per click advertising, and that simply means that whenever someone in your audience clicks on an add you’ll be paid a set amount. Google Adsense is a good example of CPC advertising.
What is CPM?
CPM means cost per 1000 impressions. Impressions are basically views of an ad. So, whenever a company’s ad is presented to your audience you’ll get paid on a per 1000 impression basis.
Fixed Price Advertising
Fixed price ads are also an option. This is where an advertiser pays a fixed price for a set period to place an ad on your site. This may work well for bloggers who have awesome relationships with certain brands that are well aligned with their blogs subject matter and audience.
I’ve used this method expensively in some of my other businesses and it works well to keep a good degree of control over your site’s content.
There are a number of great ad networks available for bloggers, but the top three would be:
- Google AdSense
Mediavine is the cream of the crop for bloggers. They offer a great user experience with their ads and give bloggers an awesome commission rate.
It’s a great network for all types of bloggers and in fact they don’t even call themselves and ad network, prefering to be known as offering a full service ad management solution. Ahhh thats so nice right!
You need to have 50,000 sessions power month minimum to be accepted, which is quite high for newbies. But the payoff is worth it as they are one of the best paying ad networks around.
Mediavine pays you, the blogger, a 75% share of all ad revenue with no hidden fees or anything else skimmed off the top. Wosers. Thats high. If your site is mega mega successful they even go as high as 85%.
Mediavine was started by content creators – they get you. Aim for this platform if you can!
A close second to Mediavine… but requires less traffic. You need a minimum of 10,000 page views in the past 30 days in order to be accepted.
Monumetric (formerly, The Blogger Network), while with a lower threshold for acceptance does require a $99 set up free. You will, however, make this back pretty quick if you have decent traffic. Their commission rates vary depending on your site and other factors, but the minimum seems to be around 70%!
Monumetric is a great middle ground between Mediavine and Google Adsense with great support and onboarding. You must be blogging on either a WordPress or a Blogger platform to be a part of Monumetric.
Google AdSense has a low threshold for joining… but also pays pretty poorly. The user experience is also poor on your site. So be careful! Not a totally terrible option for newbies. But just watch how your readers respond.
2. How I make money blogging with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money on your blog. Best of all, once you have it all set up, you are mostly making PASSIVE INCOME!
And we all know that passive income is the best type of income right! It even sounds relaxing ha ha ha …
So, what is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is simply when you sell someone else’s product.
As a blogger there may be dozens of amazing products that you use and would potentially highly recommend to your audience. So, why not make some cash out of making these recommendations?
Affiliate marketing works by you, the blogger placing affiliate links for products or services on your blog articles, in your newsletters and on your social channels.
When a reader clicks on a link to that product or service the company who owns it sees that you are the referrer of that click. You then receive a commission on any purchase made.
There are varying commission rates depending on the product or service promoted. But in general, many products aimed at bloggers and small business owners are extremely lucrative in terms of the affiliate commissions they pay
Depending on your niche there are some great affiliate programs available for you as a blogger.
You can either join an affiliate program directly with the brand or company, or you can promote a company’s products via an affiliate network.
Amazon Associates, ShareASale and Awin are some of the most widely recognised affiliate networks.
5 Best Affiliate Programs For Business Bloggers
5 Best Affiliate Programs for Blogging Bloggers
5 Best Affiliate Programs for Food Bloggers
- Food Blogger Pro
- Snake River Farms
- Pinch of Yum
- Art of Tea
5 Best Affiliate Programs for Travel Bloggers
5 Best Affiliate Programs for Beauty Bloggers
- Violet grey
- Madison Reed
How to make the most out of affiliate marketing on your blog
1. Make sure the product is a good fit for your niche
Your audience values your opinion. They come to your blog for a reason and usually for a specific topic. So, don’t go trying to sell Whisky on a Fitness and Health blog 🤣
2. Promote 1 product per category
The second is that you want to try to rep only one product per category. For instance, you don’t want to be promoting 3 different kinds of plant based protein powder… pick your fave…know what you love and why then rep it.
3. Only promote products you LOVE
Your readers trust you. They know you’re the expert in your field. So make sure you’re only promoting products that are a fit with your values and brand ethos.
You’ve handpicked your brands and are pumped to get the money flowing, now what?
Now you have to find ways to promote your favourite products and services to your audience.
There are a couple of ways you can do this but by far the best is through your content marketing efforts on your blog.
Look out for opportunities to add in an affiliate link when you’re talking about solving a reader’s problems. Perhaps you have a favourite coffee maker that makes your life so much easier in the morning… If you’re a lifestyle blogger – then that’s a great fit for you.
Or, you might be blogging about email marketing for small businesses. Remember to place your recommendations along with your affiliate links to great products in the text of your article.
You can also add affiliate links to your newsletters, email workflows, social posts and even by adding banners to your blog posts and pages.
Just like with SEO and keywords, be superrrr mindful about affiliate link stuffing! Your audience and answering their pain points is your first priority. So only include links when they are helpful and highly relevant.
Keep these points in mind:
- Be helpful
- Provide added value
- Remember natural placement
- Don’t distract from the main message
- Don’t get repetitive
How do affiliates get paid?
Typically, you’ll get paid a commission every time someone signs up to a paid subscription for the product or service you are promoting. Some affiliates pay a commission for trials, but these are far and few between.
Most use affiliate platforms – like Impact or Commission Junction. That allow them to manage their affiliate programs efficiently.
A platform like Impact will usually pay out monthly or when your balance gets to a certain level. You cvan usually choose which period suits.
Payments are made using Paypal or bank direct deposit. Amazon pays out by cheque.
You can use affiliate links in two ways. The first in in your website or blog copy.
For instance, you might be writing a post about fall fashion, and you pop links to affiliates in your text of where to find that great handbag, or pair or shoes. That’s a plain text link.
Or, you can opt for affiliate banner ads or images. These typically come in various sizes. You can pop these strategically on your website or blog and drive people to your affiliate links through imagery.
Try to only place your links where they make sense.
Theres zero point in writing a post for the sake of a link only. You simply have to be providing value ot your readers first and foremost, then pop your affiliate links in where it makes sense.
- Don’t link stuff! No-one likes to read a post that is full of obvious sell tactics.
- Do write for value first and foremost. Give your readers exceptional value and steer them towards products and services that have worked well for you. I recommend products and services I use and love. It’s that simple. Be authentic in your recommendations and the rest will follow.
- Don’t recommend products or services outside of your niche. It doesn’t make sense. Is off brand for you, and will cause confusion to your readers.
- Do use real life examples and back up your recommendations with genuine and personal reviews or case studies.
3. How I Make Money Blogging With Products and services
This one’s a biggy! And very much depends on which niche you’re in.
Aside from the obvious, where you actually have a blog so you can sell a particular product or service, there are a number of ways you can make money by offering your audience additional value added products or services to make an income off your blog.
There are a tonne of great virtual and physical products you can offer your audience on your blog.
Printables & Downloads
These are one of the easiest things to make when it comes to online products. The barrier to entry is pretty low in terms of cost and the time it takes.
Keep in mind though that you want to make sure you’re adding exceptional value for money on anything that you create so your audience loves your products and keeps coming back for more.
It’s super easy to make printables in Canva, and download them as PDFs which you can then pop on your site or onto a storefront platform.
Easy printables ideas for your blog
- To do lists
- Colouring pages
- Budget planner
- Meal planner
Guides and ebooks
A step up from printables are guides and ebooks. When you have a bit more to say but don’t want to create an entire course on a subject, guides and ebooks are a great way to monetize your blog.
My recommendation is to outline your content in Google Docs (or Word) first – then use a platform like Canva to create your design. There’s a tonne of great ebook cover ideas in Canva and you can easily add text, photos and elements to make it attractive.
Again. Download as a PDF and sell on your blog or a dedicated platform – I use Podia as my platform of choice to sell my Guides, Templates and Courses.
Podia makes it super simple to sell your digital products without having to worry about all the techy side of things! They’re reasonably priced and super simple to use. Podia now also has a free plan which allows you to sell your digital products with no monthly fees. You simply pay a small transaction % when you sell, and only WHEN you sell. Check out Podia’s free plan here.
You can also use Convertkit to sell your ebooks and courses!
The holy grail of blogging products!
If you’re a blogger, then you are already an expert at a certain subject area. How can you leverage your audience and your expertise to create a course that teaches something that you know A LOT about?
Believe me, people WILL pay you for your knowledge.
We can sometimes get blindsided by the curse of knowledge… where we know a lot about a certain topic area… and forget that other people do not! We think that our knowledge is commonplace or that everyone has this knowledge. And they don’t!
Don’t sell yourself short.
In that brain of yours is a course waiting to erupt!
Set yourself up on a reasonably priced platform like Podia where you can host all your downloads, guides and courses.
Then get to creating!
Your course format is entirely up to you! Video is a super popular medium and people really love this delivery mechanism. But, you can also create a course with just text based modules.
My course – Blog Grow for Success is a text based course with additional downloads and a designated Trello Board template so subscribers can easily follow and track their own progress.
Podia makes it super simple to add your course content and also create amazing landing pages for your products.
This post is a super useful, in- depth walk through on How to Create and Launch your first Course or Ebook.
So many people are looking for ways to streamline their workflows! And you just might have the one thing they are looking for!
Are you a spreadsheet wizard? Perhaps Trello is your jam? Or maybe you are a design genius? Anything that can be duplicated and can make people’s lives way easier is up for grabs here.
I have a super cute set of Canva Pin Templates for people who struggle with churning out new Pin designs all the time… It’s super cheap, so not a high ticket product for people and if you’re the designy type it’s super easy to create something like this for your audience.
Template ideas for bloggers
- Social Media Covers
- Trello Boards
- Financial spreadsheets
- Content planners
Aside from creating actual products out of your skills and knowledge, you can also sell your services in varying ways. This is a pretty easy way to get established and start bringing in an income on your blog pretty quickly.
You can offer your services as a designer. To help your clients produce things like logos, social media banners, Pins, blog graphics and even websites.
Virtual assistants are becoming BIG business, especially since the Pandemic hit! More and more businesses are directing their products and services online and the need for companies to rapidly scale in the online space means that the services of virtual assistants are in high demand.
The job descriptions of VA’s vary but some of the things you can offer are community management, social media management, Groups admin, graphic creation, blog editing, emails, calendar scheduling and general admin functions.
If you’re an expert in your field you can offer your audience the opportunity to take advantage of your skills and experience by providing coaching services.
You can do this hourly, or some coches provide programs which may last 1- 3 months and the client gets a certain number of sessions per program.
Coaching can also be done in a group setting, like on a Facebook group- where you can offer a paid membership option to clients.
Copywriting, editing and proofreading
These types of services are in hot demand! You can charge an hourly rate as a copywriter, editor or proofreader or by the word is more common. Some businesses (and bloggers) also want writers who can help supplement their blogging efforts with actual complete posts.
Copywriting, proofreading and editing jobs can be found on sites like UpWork or Fiverr.
What type of blog niche is most popular?
When choosing your niche, if you want to make money blogging, make sure that you choose a niche that both has a large audience and an audience that will spend money. Theres zero point in writing about a topic that is super interesting… to you… and 10 other people on the planet. It simply wont generate enough traffic to make you a decent amount of money.
Lifestyle blogs are by far the most popular type of blog when it comes to making money blogging.
There’s a tonne of different topics that lifestyle blogs cover from fashion to food, tech, nutrition, home decor and fitness. Some even aim to mix two or three topics together and create a blog that covers multiple topics.
A lifestyle blog is not just a place for a blogger to share their personal thoughts on a subject. Lifestyle blogs always try to answer the types of questions people have on a particular topic.
the more questions people have with regards to your topic or niche, the more keywords there will be that you can potentially rank for. Once you rank for high volume keywords, you’re half way there!
Typically, my audience is looking for insights into how they can make money blogging, how they can best market their business or blog, and how they can use tools and platforms to their advantage. That equates to software, courses and training materials, and marketing materials.
Remember though, that while you might choose a niche that has potentially a large traffic volume. You are also choosing a niche that will no doubt have a LOT of competition.
There are more than 600 Million blogs on the internet. And, over 30 million active bloggers. thats a lot of competition, no matter which niche you are in.
You need to be 10x better than your competitors in order to rank. Which means… not only do you need a large audience for any particular niche you plan to write about, but you also need to deliver expectational content time and again in that niche in order to outrank your competition.
Can blogging make you money? Yes! Hopefully this post has helped you to find out how and inspired you to keep going! There is so much great info to talk about when it comes to creating income from your blog, maximising your revenue from blogging and creating a passive income!
Blogging is a great way to make money doing something you love! It’s really all about selling something of value to your audience. There’s really nothing more to it! Simple, right!
The main takeaways – if you remember only two things… are to build your active audience, and sell products and services that you know and love.