If there is one key lesson you should take away from any advice I have given blogger to blogger, it’s this: diversify your income. If you’re wondering how, here are a few different ways to make money as a blogger.
How to Make Money as a Blogger
This post contains affiliate links.
I’ll never forget the first time I found out a blogger was actually making money. Do you want to know something funny? It was my business partner and co-founder of Click Start Club, Stacie. I followed Stacie’s blog from the beginning and I’ll never forget one of her older posts stating that she was making money. I couldn’t freaking believe it, all I was doing at the time was a few product reviews. I was curious and eager to turn The Bewitchin’ Kitchen into a full fledged business. It took a few years, some hiccups, and a lot of lessons but I’m here to share with you some tips on how to make money as a blogger.
1. Sponsored Posts
In the beginning, this was one of the only ways I thought was possible for monetizing your blog. I took any offer that was thrown at me too (even the $2.50 – $5 opps that Social Spark offered me), I gasp at that now but during that time it was really exciting. Humble beginnings my friends! I didn’t know any better, and let’s just say they got what they paid for. The posts themselves didn’t resonate with my readers, they were slapped together in 5-10 minutes and there weren’t any images. Truth be told the quality was pure crap and I’m embarrassed to have them on my blog.
Today if I write a sponsored post, it’s going to be something that I believe in. A brand or a topic that I can truly get behind and weave into the direction that I know my readers would like. Gone are the days where I write just to write something (anything), I take the time and try to turn the topic into something that could help someone. I enjoy sponsored posts, but only if I love what I’m writing about. I’ve learned that over the last two years: if it makes you miserable thinking about it, don’t accept the opportunity.
What should you charge for sponsored posts?
This is a blog topic in itself but I urge you all to know your worth and to not do what I did back in 2009/2010 and take the slap in your face offers. What do you have to make in order to make blogging worth it? What do you need to pay your host, your blog bills, and yourself? Start with that. If there is an exclusivity clause, double it (at least), if the client wants to buy the rights that’s another charge. Do you take beautiful photos? Do you have a strong engagement on your blog? Large social following? Take it all into consideration when providing a quote. We’ll do more on this topic another time.
2. Ad Networks
My ad network (AdThrive) is my biggest source of income. It took me a few years to get my ads to work for me but it was truly worth the frustration and going through a few other networks to find the right one for me. Stacie and I both recommend either AdThrive or Mediavine. AdThrive does have a pre-requisite of 100,000 page views and Mediavine is 30,000 sessions (I believe, don’t quote me on that). The best part? It’s passive income. I don’t have to do a thing and it brings my blog (roughly) an extra $3000 a month.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is somewhat new to me. I’ve been a member of affiliate organizations for a since the beginning but it wasn’t until the last few years that I started to implement them. 2017 is the year that I put more of a focus and effort into it. The great thing about affiliate marketing is it’s another source of passive income! Put in the links when you write the post and then it’s done. As long as that link is still active and someone clicks and then buys: you get a commission. There are many people who make a huge chunk of change this way (some people make over $100,000 a month with affiliate marketing on their blog). If you want to get started with affiliate marketing but you’re not sure how, I recommend Michelle’s course: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (she’s one of those affiliate marketing rock stars I just mentioned). Anything you love, whether it’s a course, a brand, or a service – there is probably an affiliate for that. Simply scroll to the bottom of the company’s webpage and look for affiliate or partners.
Tools and affiliate networks we use for affiliate marketing:
- Amazon Associates
- Commission Junction
- Pretty Link (I love this plugin, it takes ugly links that are difficult to remember and turns them into something easy.
Important: When you are monetizing your blog with affiliate links or sponsored posts, it’s important to let your readers know that and disclose.
4. Digital Products
Another way to make additional passive income is to have a digital product. A digital product could be an eBook, a course, or something else that you offer that can be purchased and downloaded.
Click Start Club offers the following digital products:
- Editing in Photoshop & Lightroom eCourse
- Clean Food Edit Photoshop Action
5. Provide a Service
Everyone has something to offer. You are good at something, you just have to figure it out. You don’t have to be the best to offer a service, just one step ahead of your ideal customer. Every day we learn new things that allow us to put our new skills to what we offer. We are always learning! You don’t have to be an expert to provide a service.
Other Ways to Make Money Blogging
Those are my favorite five ways to make money as a blogger. I chose these five ways because the have something to do directly with your blog. Other options include:
I didn’t dive deep into them because the work doesn’t stay on your blog, but they are options to look at to make money as a blogger.
- Freelancing (not a huge money maker but you can freelance for magazines, online publishings, other blogs, etc).
- Virtual Assisting
- Recipe development (developing a recipe for a brand for their website for their ownership).
- Recipe photography (licensing a photo taken by you and selling it to a brand or blogger).