5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog

MonetizeYourBlog

Imagine spending a few minutes a day sharing your thoughts on a blog… and then the money pouring into your PayPal account…

*smack*

Dream over.  Wake up!

Sorry but that’s just not the way blogging works.  It takes EFFORT and TIME to make money with a blog.  If you’re looking for a “get rich quick” opportunity scheme, or a “make money while you’re sleeping–tomorrow!” type thing, then blogging isn’t for you.

But if you’re looking for a way to build an income or a business and are willing to put your energy into creating something awesome, then blogging can be one of the tools you use to make that reality.

The bloggers I know who are making money at this are some of the busiest, and most dedicated, focused, goal-oriented people I know.  We wouldn’t invest the time in blogging if it wasn’t paying off.

Now that we’ve made sure you aren’t in dreamland, and you and I are on the same page, here are 5 simple ways that you can monetize your blog.  Some depend more than others on the traffic and audience you’ve built, so be aware of that and consciously focus on building your blog every day.

1. Your Services

One of the simplest ways to begin making money from your blog is to offer a related service.  After all, if you weren’t an expert, or at least somewhat knowledgeable on the topic you’re writing about you wouldn’t be writing about it, right?

So what service can you offer your readers?  Think about how you can be of more help to them and what help they’d be willing to pay for.

2. Your Own Products

Creating a webinar training, ebook, or other instantly downloadable resource as a virtual product is a great way to share some of your knowledge with your readers and make some money.

With sites like E-Junkie and plugins like WP E-Store you can easily and securely sell your own products on your blog.

3. Affiliate Promotions

Another option is to promote things as an affiliate.  This means you share a product or service with your reader using a coded referral link and when someone purchases after clicking your link, you’ll get a % of the sale.

There are programs through big sites like Amazon where you make a very small percentage, as well as affiliate programs with smaller companies and entrepreneurs where you can earn as much as 50% for referrals.

Here are some strategies for promoting affiliate products:

  • Write a review post
  • Create a resource list blog post or page
  • Write and giveaway a free report you can include a link in
  • Ad a link or add to your sidebar
  • Do a webinar or teleseminar (you promote on your blog and social media to get people there, the presenter gets to make an offer after they deliver valuable info and then you get a cut of any sales)

The best way to decide who or what to promote is to look at what you’re already using that you love and what your readers already know they want or need.  For example, you frequently see me promote things like WordPress themes, blog plugins, and programs for entrepreneurs because they’re a good fit for this blog.

For a detailed look at how I’ve promoted affiliate offers to win contests, check out this post: How I Won the CommentLuv Affiliate Contest

4. Advertising

This one requires an engaged community or more traffic for it to work well.

You can sell advertising spots on your blog.  Ads in your side bar, header, footer, etc.

There are two major options for selling ads:

  1. You can join a large network like BuySellAds, AdEngage, CrankyAds, or here’s a list of blog ad networks.
  2. You can create a page on your website offer ads and accepting payment, then find your own advertisers and add them to your website.  Check out a plugin like WP125 to help you manage this option.

5. Sponsored Posts

Many businesses are looking for bloggers to help get the word out about their products and services.  One strategy they use is to sponsor posts by paying a blogger to write about a specific topic, then link to their business.

Reputable companies may ask to review your post and ask for minor changes before it goes live but they won’t pressure you to say anything specific about them–in other words, if you’re approached by someone who requires you write a glowing review of a company or product you’ve never seen, RUN (or hit that “Delete” key).

Want more?

Want more nitty-gritty about how to put these ideas into action? Join me and 100+ bloggers by grabbing your “Behind the Scenes” All-Access Pass as I launch a brand new blog and let you see every step of the journey.

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28 Comments

  1. One would only hope. I continually wonder (no, I won’t run ads on my blog for anything but my employer) how this will be…
    Thanks for the advice.
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted… Breastfeeding has even more benefits for childrenMy Profile

    1. Hey Roy, for most bloggers, 1 & 2 really are our best options. :) Use the blog to build our authority/credibility and capture leads.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 10 Creative Ideas for Your Next Blog PostMy Profile

  2. Hey Michelle,

    1. Your Services
    2. Your Own Products
    3. Affiliate Promotions

    I think these 3 ways the best methods to make money from specially internet marketing related blogs :-) Generally, Adsense is not really work for internet marketing related blogs. But many newbie bloggers think adsense is the only way to make money from a blog.
    Raplus recently posted… Blogger Interview #5 – Amal RafeeqMy Profile

    1. Yep, a lot of bloggers put up a blog, add AdSense, and get frustrated when they’re not making money. But that’s not the best option and it’s DEFINITELY not the only one! :)

  3. great tips, Michelle. I’ve noticed on several blogs the ‘blogging for Visa Small Business’ alert. Would that go under the ‘Sponsored Posts’ category? And how would you go about getting sponsors for your posts?
    Sarah recently posted… Why Nobody Subscribes to Your NewsletterMy Profile

    1. Yep, those are sponsored posts. Visa Small Business is great about reaching out to bloggers. If you shoot an email to anyone whose done those posts they could put you in touch with the right people. ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways to Monetize Your BlogMy Profile

  4. Hi Michelle,
    This is classic I believe. Many will say some method are easier than the other but I like to say that each method has its own challenge. I personally like to combine all the method. One thing to keep in mind … don’t overdo the advertising. Make it smooth so we can build authority and advertising opportunity at the same time.

    One of the most FAQ that come to my mail was “how to get sponsor ads on my blog?”. If you don’t mind I would like to share my personal experience.
    1. Advertiser attracted with “engaging blog”. This mean a blog that has activity from its audience. This can mean a lot, not limited to comment.
    2. To get advertiser we have to make ourselves found by them. Join the advertising network, apply as publisher.
    3. Offer direct advertising opportunities.

    Going to look forward your “behind the scenes” ;) All the best
    Okto recently posted… Save Time & Manage Your Blogging Schedule EasilyMy Profile

    1. Great suggestions, Okto, thanks for sharing what’s working for you.

      I use a combination of several, too. It’s smart to not put our eggs in one basket, as the saying goes. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 3 Ways to Stand Out and Be an Awesome Guest BloggerMy Profile

  5. Thank you for your time and effort to summarize everything for the audience…
    Amelia Joe recently posted… Backlinks; Drive Traffic To Your Site!My Profile

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Amelia. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Woo Your Readers with These 5 “Fall in Love” Types of ContentMy Profile

  6. The biggest block for many bloggers Michelle is people just do not see their blog as valuable digital real estate. I do….after years of struggle lol…..but after working my tail off, creating content like a mad man and building my network I post ads and also monetize by offering my ghostwriting services.

    Be willing to make money and of course remember that your content is the #1 money making feature of your blog.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted… Make Money Blogging: 3 Tips to Attract Quality ReadersMy Profile

    1. That’s a great point, Ryan. Sometimes we forget that we ARE building a VERY valuable asset over time with our blogs. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Woo Your Readers with These 5 “Fall in Love” Types of ContentMy Profile

  7. I like 1, 2, and 3. I actually find that when working with affiliates, many peeps like to first listen to a webinar with juicy tips & pointers vs. getting a promotional post. Then, they feel they’re better equipped to make a buying decision because they got some valuable pointers/tips that they can implement.

    Thanks!
    ~Debra
    Debra Jason recently posted… How To Awaken The Copywriter Within YouMy Profile

    1. Hey Debra, thanks for sharing what’s working for you. Pointing people to a free resource (like a webinar) with an offer after is a great way to promote affiliate products/services.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Woo Your Readers with These 5 “Fall in Love” Types of ContentMy Profile

  8. Michelle, another great post. So many people run a blog without even knowing what they want out of it or why they do it so it’s refreshing to read this post about how to actually monetize it and use it as a money making opportunity.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Alex Navas recently posted… How To Get The Most Out Of The Question – What Do You Do?My Profile

    1. You’re right. We hear “hey you need to be blogging!” so we do it. And we don’t have a real PLAN for how it builds our business or adds to the bottom line. That’s a pretty key piece! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Woo Your Readers with These 5 “Fall in Love” Types of ContentMy Profile

  9. Thanks for #1 and #2 – they reminded me how behind I am in putting those together and making some tweaks to my existing Services pages.

    1. Hey Delia, you’re right where you’re supposed to be. :) And now you know where you want to focus next. ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 10 Creative Ideas for Your Next Blog PostMy Profile

  10. Nice post Michelle. The sooner people get away from quick fix mentality, the sooner they will start to make money. You have highlighted some great ways to monetize your blog here. Readers must just be patient.
    Neil Butterfield recently posted… Alkaline: Keeping the alkaline balance in your bodyMy Profile

    1. Reminds me of this quote, Neil:

      “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

      Start now and keep building!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Woo Your Readers with These 5 “Fall in Love” Types of ContentMy Profile

  11. Michelle,

    It’s always good to get a refresher on these, I think sometimes we can focus too much on a particular monetization tactic, that we take our eyes off the ball and miss opportunities for some of the others.

    One of the projects I’ve got on the go at the moment is my own product.

    I love what you did with the Comment Luv promotions, I know you’ve talked about this before but – very nicely done!
    Adam Connell recently posted… 8 of the Best Membership Plugins available for WordPressMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Adam, that was a fun project. :)

      And I agree – the best option is a combination of these tactics!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Woo Your Readers with These 5 “Fall in Love” Types of ContentMy Profile

  12. Thanks for the suggestions, very informative. I still am exploring what works best for me in my blog.

  13. Hey Michelle,
    Great Article i also would like to point out to everyone that when you chose to do some affiliate promotions,
    write a free review post or a feedback, most of the programs they give you free tools to use for lifetime!
    or at least some samples.
    and most affiliates already have their company name established in it’s field but they likely need more exposure, so in a way their promotion will benefit them and you too as they use to promote links on their social media vice-versa.
    so this approach can benefit your blog in different ways, monetizing a blog is not just always about making money!
    Many thanks and Best Wishes!
    Mitch recently posted… Free CV Builder, Free Resume Builder, cv templatesMy Profile

  14. Hi Michelle, I’m still exploring ways to monetize my blog, but I like your first idea the best: spend a few minutes a day sharing my thoughts and wait for the money to roll in. Too bad that isn’t a reality, right?

    I like the other ways you suggested too, including the helpful links to resources. I think it’s important to build a readership first before trying to sell anything. Too many people rush in expecting lots of money in return!
    Carolyn recently posted… Chrome Passwords Revealed – Helpful Tool or Hackers’ Delight?My Profile

  15. Hi Michelle,

    There are hundreds of ways to monetize our blog in my personal experience. I agree with you, instead of a affiliate marketing and promoting others’ products for a little commission, it is better to market our own products.

  16. This seems to be the very first thing that bloggers sign up the moment they decide to monetize their blogs, primarily because it is the easiest thing to do. All you have to do is sign up for a Google Adsense account and the service will walk you through on how to put up their ads on your blog.

  17. I’m a fan of Affiliate Marketing. They’re very easy to find and that makes it possible to work with companies that offer products that appeal to you and your readers. I’ve enjoyed reading your post and it’s given me food for thought. Awesome!
    Jeanne Melanson recently posted… Facts About Alzheimers | What is Alzheimers | Living With AlzheimersMy Profile

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