5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog & resources for a successful blog income.
Ever since I began blogging I have had a hard time explaining what I do. If I have time to explain I don’t do too bad, but usually someone will ask me in passing (like at the grocery store) & expect a 1-2 sentence answer. And somehow I fail with my explanation the majority of the time. I end up fumbling over my words as I try to explain that I blog (not to share my feelings about life but) to create valuable content for my readers & clients for an income while trying not to be too crass on the subject of money in the process.
Over the last year, I think/hope I have been getting better as I have started to explain that I am a blogger who does freelance work to create content for a variety of brands & businesses. And even more recently (like the last month or two) I have started labeling my job & myself as a professional blogger. I know that might sound a little silly, but it’s the truth, I’m not a hobby blogger, but a professional blogger.
So here is what I am trying to remember to say on those awkward occasions I try to explain my job to someone in passing:
I am a professional blogger & I create quality content for brands & businesses like (name drop a few big brands I have worked with directly & indirectly) that my readers will enjoy.
The name dropping might sound like I’m bragging, but after 3 years of blogging I know people don’t take my job seriously & they think it’s just a hobby that I do in my free time. And then those same people expect new free content, ideas, tips, & inspiration to magically appear on Pinterest for them. Ha! If only!!
Oops! I’m going a little off topic & down a different rabbit hole…
When I first started blogging I thought I needed to have a large following before I started monetizing my blog. When the reality is, you can start making money on your blog in your very first month! So instead of setting up my blog for success from the beginning (aka affiliate links), I worked to grow my following before I started researching how to make money blogging. BIG MISTAKE!
Crazy BIG MISTAKE, right?
I don’t want to even think of the opportunities & revenue I missed out on because I thought I needed to reach some magical number in page views, subscribers, & social media followers.
And even though I made that mistake, you definitely don’t have to, & I’d love to help you start monetizing your blog right now!!
So today I am going to share with you 5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog so that you can start making a blogging income today!
1. Ad Revenue
There are two main ways to monetize your blog through ads, one is through a network (like AdSense, BlogHer, GourmetAds, MediaVine, or AdThrive) & the second is by selling individual spots on your sidebar, header, or even within your post.
One of the benefits of working with a network is that they do the hard work for you, finding the clients to fill your ad spots. Although the downside can be that many networks have exclusive contracts, which means you won’t be able to work with other networks &/or sell individual spots to brands & businesses.
One of the pros to selling individual spots is that you get to work one-on-one with a brand & form a working relationship that can be beneficial to both of you. However, the con is that it takes more time & energy that you could be using somewhere else.
In the past, when I wasn’t in an exclusive contract, I sold individual spots on my sidebar in package deals. For example, the higher the ad on my sidebar the more it cost. I also had options available for those who were interested in having their brand promoted on my social media channels.
2. Affiliate Income
Affiliate income is a great way to start making money on your blog during your first month of blogging. I did a little bit of affiliate marketing when I first started blogging, mainly Amazon Affiliates, but then I started to slack off & I didn’t put in the time & energy to learn more about how to make affiliate income a success on my blog until the end of last year. And boy was that a very bad idea!!
I have lost so much time going back into my old posts & bringing them up to the level they should be to create a successful affiliate income. And the sad thing is I haven’t even fixed half of my posts yet!
So last summer I decided to stop the trial & error process of blogging & start learning from the experts so that I could skip the more messy & confusing parts of blogging & work towards success quicker & more efficiently! And since I was eager to jump start my income I decided to take a course on affiliate marketing.
This was one of the best blogging decisions I have ever made! I learned so much & was able to immediately take what I learned & put it to good use. I wish I had found a course like Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing when I first started blogging (this course just became available last summer), because I wouldn’t have had to (& be having to) go back through my old posts to correct them & I wouldn’t have missed out on income opportunities my first few years of blogging.
And a couple of the extra things that I love about this course is that you get access to a private Facebook group where you can get help & advice & that the course is open to you for forever! So if you ever need to go back for a refresher you can, & if any additional information or chapters are added to the course you will have instant access to it!
Here are a few of the affiliate programs I use on my blog:
And you can find more on my Resources & Recommendations page.
3. Sponsored Content
Another way to diversify your blogging income is through creating sponsored content, which you can do by working through an agency or by working directly with a brand or business.
The majority of my sponsored content is through a variety of agencies, but occasionally I do work with different businesses directly. And of the handful of times I have worked directly with businesses, the majority of the time I have reached out to the business & only once has a brand contacted me to create specific content for them for monetary compensation.
Now I should note, that when you work directly with a brand it is important to know your worth. It can be really easy when you are a new blogger & someone offers a free product in exchange for a post to just jump on it. I get a half dozen emails a day from brands who want to work with me, but do not offer quality compensation. Don’t let them take advantage of you. You, your time, & your blog are valuable!
I will admit that I did this a few times when I was new to blogging & I quickly realized that, even though some of the products I got were really nice, if you are creating quality content you deserve quality payment. One easy way to find the value of your blog posts & social media channels is through Social Bluebook.
Some of the agencies I work with for sponsored posts include Social Fabric by Collective Bias, IZEA (one of my favorites because you can set your rate), Real Clever, & Linqia (another personal favorite because you have the opportunity to earn a higher commission for future sponsored posts).
4. Selling Products
There are many bloggers who use their blog as a platform to sell their products. Some sell their products directly through their blog & others link up their Etsy store to their blog.
While this works great for many people, I’m going to be honest, selling a physical item didn’t work for me. I feel that the saying, “Those who can’t do, teach.” applies specifically to me because I never feel like my work is good enough to sell.
During my last semester of college, I had to make a decision. Do I go for my masters & spend even more money while my husband is in dental school or do I take those two years I would have been working towards my masters & learn a different skill. My three sister-in-laws have Etsy shops & while I thought about opening one for a split second, I decided that my talents weren’t in creating objects to sell, but rather showing people how they themselves can create in their own home.
Although I should admit that at one point a couple of years ago I did open an Etsy shop because I was really frustrated about my income. However, I quickly remembered why I had not begun one in the beginning & have since then taken many good blogging courses that have helped boost my blog’s success & income. You can read about a few of my favorites on my Resources & Recommendations page.
Someday I do hope to offer a product on my blog, but one that is geared more towards teaching & helping. I have started & stopped several eBooks & maybe someday I will create an eBook or eCourse & use my blog as a platform to promote them. I’m thinking I might need to have a set date to achieve this goal by in order to turn this dream into a reality!
Here is a mini collection of inspiring shops by some amazing bloggers:
5. Services, Coaching, & Consulting
And finally, you can also earn an income through your blog by offering to help & guide others with your expert abilities! Everyone is an expert at something & there are always people looking for help & guidance in the field you know best.
Some people offer their services by helping you with the technical side of blogging, others coach beginner photographers, & some become blogging consultants to help you grow your blog.
And if you are looking for more ways to earn an income, check out how this couple makes money on their date nights!
What are your favorite tips for earning a blogging income?
I’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter.
With love, G
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.