Going by the search data provided by Google, the most asked blogging questions still are:
- How do bloggers make money?
- How to make money blogging?
- Do bloggers really make money?
The answer to those 3 questions is still yes. There are so many successful bloggers out there that started with nothing such as Pat Flynn, Darren Rowse, and Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. I understand why this question is so popular though, video content has been dominating. However, video content has a few disadvantages such as not being unwatchable at some jobs, lack of captions, and the fact that many people rather read about it then watch it. Back to the original question of how do bloggers make money. There are dozens of ways for bloggers to make money these days. I have compiled a list of methods that bloggers use to make money.
These Bloggers Make Money Selling Others’ Content
Affiliate marketing income is one of the most popular ways bloggers make money these days. There are many bloggers making great money with affiliate marketing. The funny thing about affiliate marketing is the build up to it. Bloggers will go months without any sales and then see $50 revenue months, $500 revenue months, and eventually $5,000+ revenue months. It’s crazy how it works but that’s the power of having so much content and traffic after months of writing and good SEO. Affiliate marketing income works by signing up for different affiliate marketing programs, using a special affiliate link, and placing that affiliate link within your blog posts to get people to purchase the product. The new wave of affiliate marketing has allowed bloggers to make great money while being totally transparent with their audience. And people actually enjoy supporting their favorite bloggers and their relevant products.
A study shows that affiliate marketing is going to increase by $6.8 billion by 2020. So yeah, it’s best to only sign up for affiliate programs with products that you love and use so that it’s easy to write the content to support those products. The affiliate program will usually give you an ugly link to the product you want to market, you’ll probably want to use something like the Pretty Links plugin to keep links short and organized (below is a banner to my Pretty Links affiliate).
Three of the major affiliate marketing companies are Amazon Associates, Rakuten Linkshare, and CJ Affiliate.
These Bloggers Make Money Using Their Organic Traffic
Display advertising is simple and relies on good traffic numbers. Display advertising places ads on all over your blog. The ads can be in the sidebar, header, footer, or blog post. Every time a visitor sees your ads, you’ll earn a few cents. If they click on the ads, you’ll earn additional revenue. This is a simple way that bloggers make money but to really make money using display advertising, you need a lot of traffic (hundreds of thousands of impressions daily).
Two of the major display ad companies available is Google Adsense and AdThrive.
These Bloggers Make Money By Working With Companies
Sponsored posts, sponsored reviews, and sponsored products placed throughout the blog is another way for bloggers to make money. Once you have some traffic, you can either reach out to the advertisers yourself or wait for advertisers to find you and offer you a deal.
From my research, if you plan to go the sponsorship route, you’ll want to work on a media kit to outline everything about you and your blog. The media kit will include information such as your monthly traffic/reach, your social media influence, your blog target audience, and your interests. You’ll also throw in some high-quality pictures and logos that you want to share.
Two of the major sponsorship media companies available is TapInfluence and IZEA.
These Bloggers Make Money Through Educating Others
Many bloggers like to share their knowledge in the form of ebooks or courses. This is great money for knowledgeable bloggers. Bloggers really make money when they get people to sign up for their courses. Bloggers may offer courses through sites like Udemy or they’ll do scheduled online sessions.
Bloggers going the ebook route will either offer the ebook for free and have links to other good affiliate deals. Another tactic is to create an elaborate ebook and sell it at a premium price through the blog directly or using a service such as GumRoad.
These Bloggers Make Money By Selling Their Own Stuff
This is definitely one blogger money making method that I totally support. Bloggers should have their own product to sell as an additional income stream. Of course, having products related to your blog niche is the best way to handle this money making method. Bloggers can sell anything these days besides the traditional ebooks and courses (as long as the product doesn’t suck). These days bloggers are making money by selling their own artwork, t-shirts, WordPress themes, toys, and music.
There are a few annoyances with selling your own products through your blog. If you are not using a 3rd party payment vendor such as PayPal then you’ll need a secure site (the SSL certificate that gives your website that green security lock) and use a plugin that has a payment system/gateway. You’ll also need to manage most of the process and the usual customer service questions. However, if you don’t mind losing a few dollars each sale, then using a 3rd party payment vendor is your best option.
You can see my general t-shirt store on Amazon. Soon I plan to sell tech related t-shirts on my blog and then I’ll try to outsource my own tech products.
These Bloggers Make Money By Writing
Once you have an audience, you can start charging to write on other people blogs. You’ll be able to charge a premium rate depending on your audience size, as an influencer. Bloggers can charge by the hour or by the words.
These are a few of the ways bloggers make money. Getting started, it’s probably best to start off with the affiliate marketing and then move to other income streams. Selling a digital product is great and easier for bloggers but there are many opportunities for bloggers to sell their own physical products as well. Remember you can combine all of these income streams if you want. Just try to find what works for you and your audience without annoying them.