How To Monetize Your Blog, 21 Ways To Make Money!

Posted on 31 July, 2016 by Joe Elliott

Your blog will never make you money, it’s just not possible!

Your blog is just a platform to provide content, nothing more and nothing less.

I want to show you how to monetize a blog, though, this way you can start to earn money from your content.

If you employ any of the strategies I am about to show you on to your own blog, you can start to earn money from your traffic right away. However, don’t think that you can set up a new blog, introduce one of these methods and you will be rich tomorrow.

Most make money online methods don’t work like that, if you do have traffic then you may get a little return tomorrow.  At the start, though, I would highly doubt it will be screw your day job material.

So let’s look at ways that you can start earning some revenue from your blog.

Ways To Monetize A Blog

#1 Banner Ads (The Worst Way To Monetize Your Blog)

Are you Huffington Post?

No, I didn’t think so…

To make any sort of a decent income from banner ads you need to have a huge amount of traffic. This isn’t just for Google Adsense, it’s the same for self-hosted banner ads too. Can you easily provide 1000 impressions or 100+ clicks to a specified banner?

People want to pay for results and if you are sending them crap traffic they will not be happy with your Banner Advertising service.

As for Google Adsense, you will be lucky if you make $50 a month unless you are a site like Huffington Post.

I would always say screw banner ads, they make your blog look nasty,  it’s too unpredictable and requires a lot of traffic nowadays.

If you are gonna go down this route then you will need another strategy in place to bump up your earnings…

#2 Write A Sponsored Posts

Mashable use this method a lot, they have a huge audience for their customers. I kind of think like banner ads you need high traffic as you have a paying customer… you want to overdeliver to keep them a customer.

Sue Anne DunleviewA sponsored blog post is a blog post which you are paid to publish on your blog. It may be written by you or by the advertisers.

Even if you are not legally bound to disclose that you’ve been paid to publish a post, you should.” – Sue Anne Dunlevie

It might sound like a great idea, I mean you love writing new content for your readers, right?

This is kind of like pretty Banner Ads, it seamlessly blends in with the rest of your content. It is a blog post after all!

To stay in line with FTC regulations, though, you must declare that it is a sponsored post. I would like to think you would anyway!

If you are doing something that you have to hide from your readers, you probably shouldn’t do it in the first place.

Remember if your goal is to make money then you need to build trust. Lying is not going to do that!

If I were you I would use other strategies till you have a large reach. Then you don’t have to worry about delivering results.

Get Paid To Review A Product

#3 Paid Reviews

When it comes to reviews my number one tip is that you are honest and don’t just write crap because you want to earn money.

If your reader’s think that you are just selling to them all the time you will get nowhere.

Remember trust equals more sales!

If you are interested and you have decent traffic then paid reviews are an ok short term monetization method. Just like sponsored posts, though, you are required to state that you have been paid to publish (FTC regulations).

It’s a very easy method to start getting some cash flow, if you have no offers yet you can try, this is a marketplace for paid content. I think it’s better when you have an offer as you can charge a rate stipulated by you.

The downside is that your readers may become annoyed seeing sponsored posts all over the place and it could harm your relationship with them if you do it too much.

If you have poor traffic then you aren’t providing much value so you probably won’t earn the best until you have a larger audience.

#4 Paid Guest Blog

I think this is a great way to make some extra cash, it will get your writing out into the big bad world.

Getting paid for it just sweetens the deal for you that little bit more.

The problem with paid guest posting is that it doesn’t really do much for your blog. It made this list because it’s a viable way to make money and build that initial cash flow.

It is very time-consuming, these blogs are paying for a top class article, so you really do want to go above and beyond.

Learn How To Monetize A Blog

If you want to give it a try check out this great list of sites that pay for guest posts, they are not the only resources but it’s a good start.

#5 Your Own eBook

Are you ready to really start making money?

When you have your own product the potential income you can make can be explosive. An eBook is the best way to start, with hardly any overheads unless you pay for a writer, there is definitely money to be made.

You can craft your own eBook easily by picking your best blog posts and then put them in order, that’s really all an eBook is…  a collection of blog posts,  that have a running order.

Now packaging your blog posts sounds too easy to be true and that is why I would suggest you aim to push the content further. Don’t leave one part untouched, you need to expand the content of each blog post.

Remember deliver value, now it’s worth something… right?

Get a professional ebook cover designed to continue your branding and make it stand out and look professional. You can get these on Fiverr, 99 Designs, or Upwork.

Simply add a shopping cart like woo commerce and you are good to go. When you only have one product you can actually use the Paypal button and just integrate it.

Find out more about writing and selling your eBook

Darren RowseThe simplest way to explain affiliate marketing is that it is a way of making money online whereby you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or site. In most cases they involve you as a publisher earning a commission when someone follows a link on your blog to another site where they then buy something.” – Darren Rowse

Affiliate Product Reviews Will Make You Money

#6 Review Affiliate Products

Reviewing Affiliate Products can turn out to be really profitable, but unlike days gone by, I would not suggest you don’t focus on this method on its own.

People expect more value from your blog nowadays and reviews for a few products will not cut it anymore.

If you are interested in reviewing a product on Clickbank, I would suggest you make sure you can write at least 2 blog posts regarding topics that are covered within the product.

As well as this I would advise you write one content style email, you don’t want your list to feel spammed.

Now it’s not just about dropping links and hoping for the best. In your content style pieces just place the link when you mention the product. When you do it like this it seems more natural.

However when you write your product review think more strategically about link placement.

Here are a few affiliate networks where you will find products to review to get you started…

Yaro StarakAs I learned with my first affiliate promotion, once is never enough. If you really want to make money from affiliate marketing you need to promote many products, many times.” –  Yaro Starak

Affiliate marketing is by far the easiest way to get started making money online.

#7 Recommend Affiliate Products Within Your Posts

I love to use this method as I feel like it provides more value to my reader. Instead of directly selling the product or service through a review, we would provide a tutorial or some form of content and recommend the product as a tool to complete.

Kind of like a case study, readers love these because they see how the tool or product works from someone other than the creators team.

It’s simple to do, just drop the links in when you mention the product if you want to increase your chances maybe be a bit more aggressive at the bottom…

“Click here to learn more”

Or, if you don’t want to be too aggressive simply forward them to your review…

“If you are interested in adding a squeeze page to your blog then LeadPages is great for the job, click here to see my review.”

#8 How To Monetize Your Blog With Dropshipping

This is where your blog turns into an eCommerce store but don’t worry you do not need to buy any inventory.

Dropshipping is a great method to start your very own online store.

Basically, you register with a supplier, host their products on your store. When the customer buys from you…  you place the order with the supplier and the supplier ships the product to your customer for you.

Now, your supplier will charge you a lower rate and you set the selling price, the difference between the two is the profit you make.

As you can see it is a very easy method to start, but it’s very easy to scale up to a bigger business also.

#9 Start A Membership Site To Monetize Your Blog

When you provide content people love you but you are not making any money from that. You can create a members area to your site and provide exclusive content.

It’s not that hard to maintain, you simply put together some content that teaches your readers the whole process.

Over at Blog Marketing Academy, David Risley has his Blog Monetization Lab area where he shares action plans that take you through the process of creating a blog through to making money.

His training is second to none!

David Risleys Blog Monetization Lab

Now the Lab area is his member’s area. The great thing about this model is that you will receive a membership fee every month/quarter/annually which is great for you in the long term. I recommend you look into this model if you want to make some decent money online.

I would highly recommend you check out Member Mouse (this is an affiliate link), it is a very low-cost solution to start your membership site and its is very easy to get started with.

Member Mouse

#10 Be Sponsored

This is an easy way to make money if you are worth your salt. However, if your blog is crap or your content is poor, this method won’t work for you.

Nobody will want their name next to a poor blog and they most certainly won’t want to put their money besides it either.

The good thing about getting sponsored is that the control is in your hands.

You can select who you want to sponsor you if they are happy to work with you, you can decide what the sponsorship entails, and even if you are not quite there yet some sponsors will work with you to help bring your blog up to scratch and enhance your reader’s experience.

They want a great result from sponsoring you, don’t they?

They won’t pay to sponsor you if you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

If you want to learn more about this method I suggest you read this great article from Mack Collier.

#11 Get Paid To Tweet

This is a great pocket money strategy to add to your business because it is so easy to do with a decent following but like paid blog posts, I wouldn’t do too much of it.

If people are seeing the same thing time after time because you are being paid to do it you will just piss them off.

However, if you do once or twice a day I am sure you will get away with it.

If you want to add this into your tool box check out Paid Per Tweet. Just remember it’s pocket money not your main source of income.

Get Paid to Tweet

#12 One On One Coaching

If you know your niche really well, which you should if you are giving advice on a topic, then you can offer one on one coaching to your members/subscribers. This is where we start getting into the higher streams of income.

Offering an hours coaching (e.g. $125 per session) can make you a significant amount of cash and when it becomes regular and secure… you will be able to say, “Screw you, day job!”

One thing you need to be aware of is what you are actually giving away! You need to be clear in your offering. If you don’t want your customers to contact you before 12pm you need to state that. If they only get 30 mins with you, then tell them this before they sign up.

If you don’t have a plan in place your new customers will assume anything goes and it can become really time-consuming and draining.

If you set limits, your customers will know what to expect!

#13 Small Group Coaching

In the fitness world, we have personal training but we also have group exercise classes. This is totally possible in any niche, whether in person or online, offering group training can bring in a decent income for your service.

Let’s say you have prepared a really cool video on how to rank for any keyword in Google. Your plan was to offer this to your subscribers. Well, you could add this to a membership area and offer an hour presentation as an upsell. This is higher value because they can actually interact with you.

I don’t want you to think of this as a webinar as they will normally end with a pitch. This is one hour of premium content, actually, help people to rank for their actual keywords. Not just general training information.

Cap the numbers at say 10-20 people and you can drive scarcity in your promotions. People are always afraid they will miss out so scarcity really helps drive sales.

#14 How To Monetize Your Blog With A Service

What are you good at?

Are you a great writer, web designer, fitness coach etc…?

If you are then I would make your service your niche and provide lots of valuable content that you feel would benefit a future customer.

Sell A Service

So, if you are a web designer you could do a case study of the process and the results you have provided your previous clients with. This shows your prospective clients what they can expect when working with you.

When you offer a service you can set your own price, what do you want to earn an hour? Just remember to factor in what you need to live comfortably too.

Once you have decided this you can simply just bill your client per hour.

I always suggest creating packages, it’s a lot easier to sell these as the benefits will be clearer to your customers. Plus it sets outs your rules/guidelines of working with you!

This is the easiest way to start making money and you can start straight away without many overheads.

#15 Make Your Service Into A Product

Services are great but sometimes to make life easier turning them into a product can actually be better for your business. Joe what you talking about you lunatic?

If you are a graphic designer you could offer logo design as a quick service, if you are a writer then you could offer product descriptions. These can be quick jobs and if the customer needs more than what you can offer you tell them to ask for a custom quote.

Refine your process so you can take more orders.

This is how you can scale your business, just never take on more than you can handle. You could even outsource these to take the pressure off you.

#16 Webinar (Pitch Your Product)

These have to be the best ever platforms to make money, now the actual webinar will not make you money but these are a great way to pitch a product/affiliate offer to a new audience.

I don’t do nearly enough of these, I need to get onto it as I love them, did I say that already?

Basically, your group of customers shows up to your webinar at a pre-set time. The first part is normally getting to know you and then your content, I would say aim for 80-90% content and the rest pitch. You can never give too much value!

Amy PorterfieldA truly effective webinar strategy involves 5 Key Stages (planning, pre, live, post, automated), all of which MUST be executed in perfect harmony in order for cash to change hands at the end of your presentation.” – Amy Porterfield

I have seen my best results in sales of an affiliate product after a webinar… you read right it wasn’t even my product.

The webinar showed me using the product and explaining it and then at the end I gave them the link… boom!

Here is a screenshot of my account after the webinar…

Webinar Proof Clickbank

#17 Speaking At Events

Again this is not directly related to your blog but public speaking can be a great way to earn money. Look at your blog as a way to launch your public speaking career.

For this to work you really need to prove yourself as an authority in your niche, if you don’t then why would people want to listen to you… or pay to listen to you.

They won’t!

If you get to this level you could really start to feel the dot com lifestyle (if you are any good at it), traveling and making some nice cash.

#18 Your Own Software (SAAS)

SAAS stands for Software As A Service, if you have a great software idea in your head then this business model is a great one to choose.

It brings a recurring income to you and in most cases this will be for a lengthy time if they like your software and you keep it fresh.

Your customer doesn’t need to install the software on their phone or computer so they rent the software and use it from your server (no compatibility issues). This also gives them access to your service anytime they have the internet and a computer.

This model of monetization also makes it easier to hook your customers in as the signup cost can be reasonably low, it’s a recurring model so you will earn money month after month from each customer.

Remember, you should always think long term and SAAS adds great long term value.

#19 Your Own Online Course

Education and training will always be a hit when it comes to creating a product, as people, we are always wanting to learn new skills.

If you have the knowledge to share and you know there is an audience that needs your knowledge then you are onto a winner.

The downside is that there is a lot of competition, but remember, when people sign up to your course… it’s you they are signing up  for, you are your own USP (unique selling point).

Zippy Courses Derek Halpern

Creating online courses is a breeze with the cool software from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. Zippy Courses is a platform for WordPress that makes course creation a piece of cake. It can be set up in no time and is simple to populate with content.

If you are interested in this model I highly recommend you check out Zippy Courses.

#20 Employ Affiliates To Promote Your Product Or Service

Ok, so by now you have a huge amount of monetization ideas and if product creation is one of them, it’s time to scale it up and employ the help of eager affiliates.

This is not an easy task as you need to show the affiliates what is in it for them. If your product is a flop, you have little to no sales or results, or you haven’t tested it with your own audience then you have no chance of getting affiliates on board.

Take the time to make sure what you are offering actually converts and then think about how you can launch it to the affiliates. They want to make sure they will make money from your product, it’s your job to show them they will.

So before you reach out to them get the facts in place first!

#21 Sell Your Blog

This might never have crossed your mind but there are people who actually make money from building sites, getting them earning and then flip them (sell them). It’s a lot of work but the amount of money you can generate is life changing.

When you list a website for sale or you get a valuation the price you can sell your website for is usually 20 times your average monthly profit. So if you are earning $1k per month consistently you can sell your blog for $20K.

There is a lot of work that goes into this and it isn’t a matter of hosting for sale and tomorrow $20K will hit your bank account.

You need to provide copious amounts of value in the form of stats and proof. If you can’t put your prospective client at ease about spending that kind of money, well, you have no chance.

Sell Your Website

Wrap It Up

You have no excuses now, go out and look at how you can introduce some of these strategies into your own business. If you stick with them and TEST like there is no tomorrow you could turn that little hobby blog into a decent business.

I suggest you pick one of the methods and stick with it till you have results, give it at least a few months to deliver and continuously monitor its performance. The reason most bloggers don’t make money is because they pull the plug far too soon and with no testing to see if it’s actually worth pulling the plug.

Don’t let that be you…

What is your favorite monetization method and why? Let me know in the comments below…

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