Blogging can be an extremely fulfilling hobby and creative outlet. But for many, the dream is turning their passion into a source of income. While monetizing a blog takes time and effort, implementing the right strategies can help you start earning revenue and turn blogging into a profitable side business or even full-time career. This guide covers proven methods, best practices, helpful tools and key considerations for beginners looking to start making money from a blog.
Table of Contents
1. Join Affiliate Programs
- Promote relevant products – Add affiliate links to products mentioned in your posts readers may want to purchase.
- Drive traffic and sales – Readers who click your links and complete qualifying purchases provide commissions.
- Earn steady passive income – Continue generating affiliate revenue from old links as your audience and traffic grows.
Affiliate marketing is relatively simple to implement. After joining programs like Amazon Associates, ShareASale, or Rakuten, you can start adding affiliate links immediately with plugins like Pretty Links. This makes affiliate marketing a quick way for beginners to see their first earnings.
2. Sell Ad Space Through Display Ads
Selling advertising space through contextual display ads placed on your site offers a steady revenue stream scaled to your site’s traffic volume. Popular ad networks include:
- Google AdSense – The most widely used blog ad network. Automatically serves text, image and video ads tailored to site content.
- Media.net – Contextual ad network focused on text ads. Offers competitive payouts and reliable payments.
- Ezoic – Ad platform that optimizes ad placement using artificial intelligence to maximize earnings.
- AdThrive – Specializes in serving premium brand ads on high-traffic sites. Provides dedicated account managers.
Display ads require little effort to manage once implemented, making them an easy “set and forget” monetization method. Just be sure ads don’t overwhelm your content or harm the user experience.
3. Charge for Email Newsletter Access
If you grow an engaged email subscriber list that looks forward to your newsletter content, consider charging a subscription fee to monetize it. Benifits include:
- Generate predictable recurring revenue – Monthly or annual subscription fees provide income you can count on.
- Offer exclusive value – Give paying subscribers access to exclusive content to make the investment worthwhile.
- Leverage your audience – Providing a way for your most loyal audience to support your work directly.
- Use intelligent pricing – For wide accessibility, keep price points affordable – between $5-$20 monthly.
4. Sell Online Courses or Ebooks
Creating and selling online courses, ebooks, or other premium digital products is a lucrative way to generate sales from your expertise. Potential benefits include:
- Earn with every sale – Continuously earn 100% of profits minus small transaction fees. Income scales directly with sales.
- Automated delivery – Products are fulfilled instantly. No manual work required after initial creation.
- Establish authority – Having in-depth products positions you as an expert in your niche, building trust.
- Market passively – Sell products in your sleep through your website. No need to actively promote after launch.
Platforms like Teachable, Kajabi, and Thinkific make creating and marketing professional online courses simple. Deliver incredible value and students will eagerly invest in your premium educational products.
5. Sell Your Own Physical/Digital Products
In addition to information products like courses, create tangible products like merchandise, artwork, tools, apps, themes, plugins, and more to sell. Potential advantages:
- Leverage existing content – Repurpose blog posts into a compilation book or collect key images into a calendar.
- Creativity outlet – Design useful resources, art prints, shirts, journals, or other items related to your niche.
- 100% profit – Keep profits on self-created products minus production and selling costs.
- Build an audience – Physical/digital goods strengthen reader loyalty and provide built-in promos for your brand.
- Passive sales – List items once in your online shop and continue earning from ongoing purchases.
6. Monetize Through YouTube Ad Revenue
Publishing videos on YouTube provides two key money making opportunities – ad revenue shares and affiliate link potential.
- Earn a cut of ad revenue – Enroll in the YouTube Partner Program to start earning a share of ad dollars from Google.
- Maximize views – YouTube suggests videos to millions of viewers, enabling truly passive income at scale once your channel takes off.
- Share affiliate links – Promote relevant products verbally or with screen overlays added using a tool like TubeBuddy.
- Repurpose content – Reuse successful blog posts as narrated videos or creates companion content to publish on both platforms.
YouTube ad payouts begin modestly but can scale to thousands per month for popular channels. Combined with affiliate promotions, video content done right drives income through multiple channels.
7. Provide Paid Coaching/Consulting
Monetize your expertise directly by offering personal coaching or consulting services to readers seeking more in-depth help. Advantages include:
- Earn attractive hourly rates – Experienced coaches easily charge $100 to $250+ per hour for calls booked through a site like Sidetrain.
- Deliver real impact – Directly help clients improve their lives and businesses with your knowledge. Extremely rewarding work.
- Flexible schedule – Arrange calls at times convenient for you without needing to stick to rigid hours.
- Demonstrate expertise – Working privately with clients showcases your wealth of knowledge on engaging directly with readers.
- Build loyalty – Providing personalized support fosters deeper loyalty and engagement with fans.
Use your blog content to showcase your expertise, then sell access to your knowledge 1-on-1 to command lucrative rates only you can offer through private coaching.
8. Participate In Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Partner with relevant brands who pay bloggers with sizable engaged audiences to create sponsored content and promote products. Popular platforms to connect with sponsors include:
Ensure sponsored content aligns closely with your brand and audience to avoid compromising trust. But working with complementary brands provides a lucrative way to monetize your audience size and influence.
9. Build Diversified Streams of Passive Income
The most effective strategy is diversifying your monetization methods to create multiple streams of revenue. This provides stability and leverages your content across platforms. Consider:
- Email subscriptions – Generate recurring revenue with premium newsletter offerings.
- Digital products – Sell online courses, guides, and other info products 24/7 through your site.
- Affiliate promotions – Earn commissions promoting relevant brands through links.
- YouTube channel – Monetize video content through in-stream ads and affiliate links.
- Online store – Sell useful merchandise and tools designed for your target audience.
Building several income channels around high-value blog content provides more stability and upside than relying on just one or two methods.
10. Don’t Overlook the Power of Organic Growth
While monetization strategies are important, never lose sight of the foundational goal – creating high-quality content that attracts and engages readers. This organic growth unlocks other money making methods.
- Provide exceptional value – Blog primarily to solve problems and improve lives rather than make money. The income will follow.
- Focus on building traffic – Growing your readership is essential to scale income. Promote your content and brand.
- Build genuine connections – Foster real relationships with readers. Engaged audiences voluntarily support creators they love.
- Gain loyalty and trust – Develop authority and goodwill with excellent content over months and years. Monetize from a position of trust.
- Keep improving – Consistently get better at understanding your audience and creating content that resonates.
Monetization works best after you’ve built an audience that knows, likes and trusts you through top-notch free content focused purely on delivering value.
Top Mistakes to Avoid as a New Blogger
As a beginner, you can waste months or years making easily avoidable mistakes. Be sure to:
Go narrow, not broad – Avoid trying to create general content on huge topics. Establish expertise in a tight niche with dedicated readers craving specialized knowledge.
Understand SEO essentials – Mastering basics like keyword research and optimization will ensure people can find your content.
Don’t ignore social media – Promoting your posts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is required for discoverability.
Be consistent – Post frequently and reliably, at least 1-2 times per week, so readers come to expect and look forward to new content.
Provide genuine value – Don’t blog primarily for money. Focus first on serving your audience exceptionally through useful posts and building relationships.
Avoiding these common missteps from the start sets you up for organic, sustainable success rather than ineffective strategies providing only short-term gains. Patience and playing the long game pays off.
Blogging Tools Useful for Monetization Efforts
Reputable software tools can streamline implementing many money-generating strategies:
- Mediavine – Premium ad management platform maximizing earnings from display ads
- SEM Rush – SEO and keyword research tool for optimizing discoverability
- Buffer – Makes scheduling social media promotion seamless
- ConvertKit – Email marketing and newsletter platform with sales focus
- Teachable – Enables creating/selling online courses and digital products
- Elegant Themes – WordPress themes and plugins for building functional sites
Integrating the right tools makes executing monetization and growth strategies significantly simpler as a beginner learning the ropes.
Key Takeaways for Monetizing Your Blog
Some core best practices to remember include:
- Build an engaged audience first through phenomenal free content.
- Add income streams gradually once established, like ads or affiliates. Don’t rush it.
- Produce premium paid offerings that enhance your free content, like courses or coaching.
- Write about what you’re passionate about. Passion attracts readers and makes monetization feel right.
- Diversify income through multiple streams – ads, affiliates, products, services, etc.
- Maintain integrity and trust. Never compromise quality for quick money.
With the right mindset focused on delivering value plus implementation of proven monetization strategies, you can build a successful money-generating blog over time that aligns with your passion.
Frequently Asked Questions About Making Money Blogging
How much money can you make blogging?
Income potential blogging varies widely based on factors like niche, site traffic, business model, work level, and monetization methods. While difficult to predict, monthly earnings typically range from:
- $500-$2,000 – Part-time bloggers treating blogging as a profitable side hobby.
- $2,000-$5,000 – Semi-pro bloggers able to do blogging full-time as a primary job.
- $5,000-$20,000+ – Professional bloggers earning 6-figures through diverse monetization streams.
With persistence growing an engaged audience plus multiple income streams, bloggers can realistically turn their passion into a healthy full-time income. But it requires regular effort over months and years, not overnight success.
How long does it take to make money blogging?
Most bloggers don’t start earning until 6-12 months of consistent posting and traffic growth. Reasons it takes time include:
- Writing enough quality content to establish expertise and organic reach – 30+ posts ideal.
- Growing meaningful traffic, email lists, and social media – Requires steady effort over months or longer.
- Building trust and credibility so readers are receptive to monetization.
- Testing and optimizing digital products, paid offerings, and ad placements.
Blogging is often not a quick path to riches. But treating it as a long-term business and providing consistent value without haste can yield steady income over years.
What blog topics are most profitable?
Some blog topics with strong monetization potential include:
- Personal finance – Credit cards, loans, budgeting, investing, taxes, insurance, etc.
- Career and education – Job resources, training programs, higher ed, skills development.
- Health and fitness – Exercise, nutrition, supplements, wellness gear, mental health, etc.
- Software and tech tutorials – Coding, tools, data, AI, apps, SaaS products.
- Travel adventures – Outdoor gear, tips, guides, experiences, destinations, reviews.
- Cooking and recipes – Nutrition, ingredients, appliances, specialty diets, courses.
Look for niches where people crave specialized knowledge they’re willing to pay for, or topics aligned to buyer interests with affiliate potential.
What should you not blog about?
Topics best avoided when just starting out include:
- Overly broad subjects too hard to establish expertise in like “news” or “politics”.
- Controversial issues that alienate portions of readers and limit income potential.
- Subjects with minimal market potential for products/services or too little search volume.
- Areas you have no natural passion or interest in just for money – you’ll quickly burn out.
Blogging works best when you deeply enjoy the niche and subject matter. Choose wisely from the start so you stay motivated. Don’t chase trends that lack longevity or aren’t a good match for your interests.
How much does it cost to start a money-making blog?
The great news is starting a blog capable of making money can cost less than $200 in most cases. You’ll need:
- Domain registration – $10 to $20 annually
- Web hosting – $5 to $10 monthly
- Premium WordPress theme – $50 one-time purchase
- Basic email service – Free up to $10 monthly
- Site analytics – Free options like Google Analytics
Optional costs might include premium plugins, stock images, advertising, and email marketing software. But with free tools and remaining lean, blogs can launch affordably.
Can you make a living blogging?
Yes, it is possible to fully replace your 9 to 5 income from corporate jobs or other traditional work by successfully monetizing a blog, with the right factors in place:
- A tightly focused niche and engaged readership providing large reachable audience.
- Diverse income streams based on leveraging high-value content – courses, affiliates, ads, coaching, etc.
- A professional approach treating your blog like a media property and business.
- Top-notch content providing tremendous value to readers.
- A persistent multi-year commitment to keep growing the blog.
While achieving full-time blogger income is challenging, consistency and persistence in providing huge value around a subject you’re passionate about can make it attainable.
Final Thoughts on Monetizing Your Blog
Implementing the strategies explored above takes time and effort, but monetizing your passion for blogging is absolutely achievable for those willing put in the work. Just stay focused on building an audience through incredible content, and the income opportunities will follow.
Keep learning, stay adaptable to what works for your unique readership, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches. The bloggers achieving the greatest success today started out making all the same mistakes beginners do.
Stick with it through the ups and downs, and your blog can ultimately become a source of both outstanding creative fulfillment and healthy income.