Are you interested in having your blog generate passive income? Knowing the different ways you can make money with a blog is key to achieving this. Learn about these monetization methods and start applying them now.
We constantly hear stories of successful bloggers and content creators who are making money with a blog, so if they can do it, why can’t we?
Can achieving success in this digital era simply be narrowed down into a magic three-step formula of (i) building a blog, (ii) choosing how to make money with a blog, and (iii) sitting back to reap the rewards?
No, and well… yes.
The answer to this question ultimately depends on one deciding factor — your ability to achieve sustainable monetization.
This is what makes or breaks your online earning potential.
Building Your Brand (And Revenue)
The amount of monetization you can earn is proportional to the success of your blog.
And by success I mean the amount of genuine traffic visiting and interacting with your site.
So can you earn a sizeable income from a new blog?
The answer is a definite “yes.” But it takes time for your blog to grow and mature.
Creating a blog is easy, but creating a high-quality blog and maintaining it — now that is challenging (or at least time-intensive).
Creating a high-quality blog equates to a lot of unpaid hours put into building up your site/brand and addressing the needs, wants, and desires of the audience you’re targeting — all of this is required before monetization can even begin to start to work its magic.
However, if you persevere through this initial ‘growth’ stage, build up your audience, and publish high-quality content regularly that your audience enjoys, then that's a recipe for success.
Once you’re at this point that's when you will truly start to see how to make money with a blog.
But that doesn’t mean you have to wait for your blog to be ranking number 1 on Google searches or attracting hundreds of thousands of visits before you can get started. No, instead, you can lay down the foundations of the infrastructure from the moment you create your blog. That way, as your website gradually becomes more successful, the foundations have already been set and you will see incremental increases in your earnings purely by continuing to do what you’ve already been doing — that is, adding value for your audience.
Ways To Make Money With A Blog
Building a blog and monetizing it is not a get-rich-quick scheme, in fact, it’s the opposite — you’re targeting the long game.
Not all monetization techniques, however, are suitable for every business. In fact, using the wrong monetization type, or failing to take your visitor's privacy concerns into account can actually result in a decline in traffic in the long term.
It’s therefore vital to know what will and won’t work for your blog.
Regardless of how popular a blog is, these are some of the most common blog monetization methods that can generate passive income.
- Advertisements & sponsorships
- Contextual Advertising
- Affiliate Marketing
Let’s look into each of these in more detail to see which type of monetization is right for you.
Advertisements & Sponsorships
This form of monetization is perhaps the easiest method to understand to make money with a blog, however, it is also probably the least effective for those with newly created blogs or who are just starting out.
Advertisements & sponsorships monetization is when you are either approached by or partner with, a company that sells a product or service, whereby you advertise, promote and display (think product reviews, tutorials, recommendations etc) the product on their behalf on your blog or social media accounts. In return, the company pays you directly for promoting its product.
The advantage of this method is that you are guaranteed a fixed amount of money (as agreed by the company) for promoting their product, regardless of whether or not any sales are made as a result of your promotion.
But the reason why this method is not suited for newbies starting out is that it relies on you already having a high traffic flow into your blog, such that you can promote a product or service to a large audience. Otherwise, it is unlikely that a company will approach you and offer to pay you to promote their product if you do not have a large audience to promote to in the first place.
Contextual, or ‘display’ advertising is the simplest method to make money with a blog, but may not earn you huge amounts, especially in the beginning.
This method works by adding adverts from other companies into your blog posts, usually in the form of images or banners with clickable links that direct visitors to an external website upon clicking.
The technology behind these adverts is quite intelligent since the adverts are generated to match the content of your blog. It does this because it is more likely that someone reading your article will click on an advert if it is of similar relevance to the topic that got them to your page in the first place.
The most popular contextual advertising platform is called Google AdSense. Even if you haven’t heard of Google AdSense, I am almost certain you’ve seen it first-hand when browsing the internet.
It’s essentially an image or banner that appears in a blog post that was not created by the author (see the image below for an example).
Google AdSense is just one of many platforms that provide contextual ads. All of these are easy to set up, and once you place the advertisement, there’s no more direct work to be done.
The ads are automatically added when you join an advertising network, and you do not need to manually add these ads to your blog, so it’s a set-and-forget approach.
Affiliate marketing is a monetization method that is similar to advertisements & sponsorships in the sense that it typically involves reviewing a product or service — but differs in that you only make an income if someone purchases the product through your unique ‘affiliate’ link.
The way it works is that these ‘affiliate’ links have tracking built into them. So if someone visits your blog, reads your review of a product, and clicks an ‘affiliate’ link that takes them through to the merchant site — if that visitor proceeds to purchase the product, you earn a commission on that sale for leading them there, essentially like a finders fee!
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make money with a blog, because if there is a product you really like or enjoy using, all you have to do is review the product and share your affiliate link with your audience, in the hope that they will purchase the product or service.
This can be a great way to create a long-term passive income since you can potentially earn an income from an affiliate link years later.
As long as you’re driving traffic to your blog where that affiliate link is located, there’s a likelihood someone will purchase the product based on your review, even if it was done years ago.
In fact, some affiliate programs offer commissions for the lifetime of the buyer. So for example, if someone purchases a product from a particular brand through your affiliate link, they become your customer, and every time they make future buys or repeat buys from that brand, you earn commissions on those sales also.
Pretty neat, huh?!
There are however some cautions to watch out for with affiliate marketing. It’s important to ensure you are working with reliable merchants/companies who have your best interests at heart, and who won’t try and take advantage of you.
Unfortunately, there is a history of merchants not tracking links properly and ripping their affiliates off.
But as long as you are working with high-quality products and brands, this should not be an issue. In fact, there are many affiliate networks out there now that handle the tracking of links for merchants (Clickbank, Amazon etc.). This puts the network in charge of controlling the affiliate programs and tracking technology, rather than the merchant.
That way the network is responsible for making sure the affiliate links work correctly and that affiliates are being paid fairly.
I’ve added the table below to clearly list the pros and cons for each of the contextual advertising and affiliate program monetization methods. That should hopefully help you in deciding which approach is best suited for you and your needs (or if a combination of all the methods is preferred).
Other Monetization Methods — Donation From Your Visitors
As an added bonus, I’ve added a fourth monetization method to talk about. Perhaps not as reliable as the other methods, donations are a potential way to make money with a blog without using advertising or affiliate marketing strategies. If you have created an audience that genuinely believes that your content adds value to their lives, then they may be more than happy to donate and support your work.
The actual process of setting up donations is incredibly easy, and basically just involves adding a donation button to your blog, which can be linked directly to platforms such as PayPal which handle all the payments and transactions.
Just remember, avoid taking advantage or trying to guilt-trip and coerce your audience into donating to you, otherwise, it may come across as a bit desperate and have a deterring effect away from your blog.
Start A Profitable Blog Today
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Thanks for taking the time to read through my post 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading through it and maybe even found some value in it!
Are you someone who is considering creating their own blog? Or do you already have your own blog? If so, I’d love to hear about how you plan to make money with a blog, or if you have already implemented some of these methods.
Let me know in the comments section!