Passion drives most bloggers to share their experiences, expertise, and insider secrets on a topic. But passion alone won’t pay the bills. In order to make money blogging, you need to tie all your written content to an income source.
There are several ways to monetize a blog, but all of them require some investment of time to get started. Those success stories about bloggers getting rich overnight? Not true. You’ll need to start a blog, find an audience, and drive traffic regularly before you can start blogging for money. The good news is that if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll reap the reward.
But how do you blog for money once you’ve got some traffic on your site? In this post, we’ll break down how to make money blogging whether you’re a beginner or an experienced blogger looking to find another income stream.
Start selling online now with ShopifyStart your free trial
How do Bloggers Make Money?
Most bloggers start making money by offering services through their blogs. But after their traffic levels increase, they adopt methods like ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing to increase their blog income. The bloggers who are most successful leverage a diversified approach to monetizing their blogs.
How to Make Money Blogging: 10 Ways
If you’re new to this whole blogging for money thing, you’re probably wondering where to start. Below, we’ve listed 10 popular ways to make money blogging.
1. Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are blog posts that brands or people pay you to create. They’re basically an advertorial as they’re a paid ad written in an editorial style. Whether you’re blogging about the latest products for new moms or personal finance, brands can reach out to you to create sponsored posts on your blog.
You can promote your sponsored posts by having a pricing list available on your website on your contact page. In the beginning, though, you might choose to do some outreach to local businesses (and brands that other bloggers in your niche have partnered with) and ask them if they’d be interested in a sponsored post on your blog. Make sure to mention how much traffic your blog brings and how many followers you have.
On The Brunette Salad’s blog, Vanessa Cesario shares collaborations with brands. Check out this sponsored post with Diesel. The photo blog captures pictures of Cesario wearing Diesel clothing in Italy with links to the jeans.
If you want to make money selling products through your blog, adding an online store to your website can be a life-changer. You can list products that are relevant to your blog’s niche. Plus, you can use dropshipping to start selling items worldwide without needing to stock them.
If you’re a fashion blogger, you can find the latest men’s and women’s fashion items on Oberlo. Heck, if you’re a blogger in beauty, home decor, maternity, children, DIY, photography, or any other niche, you can find products to sell from Oberlo.
The magic of dropshipping lies in your ability to sell products without having to buy bulk inventory – so you only buy what you’ve already sold. And with your website already set up, you can add hundreds of products (for free).
Make Vancouver is an online retailer with a blog. They have a combo of dropshipping products and print on demand. Their blog includes gift guides, product finds, and other product type posts to help promote the items on their store.
3. Create a T-Shirt Business
the best bet. However, if you want to create your own product instead of selling someone else’s, the t-shirt business model is a popular method that’ll help you make money blogging.
While t-shirt business sounds like it’s limited to just t-shirts, most t-shirt manufacturers have begun to expand their product lines to allow you to create print on demand leggings, dresses, bodysuits, hats, backpacks, phone cases, canvases, pillows, and this list can still go a heck of a lot longer.
By searching for print on demand companies, you’ll find a range of vendors that allow you to add your own text and designs to products. Like the dropshipping model, you only pay for products that have been ordered by your customers. And so after your design is complete, you can literally start selling your own t-shirt the same day.
Think Pup’s blog is possibly the best dog blog around. They feature articles dog lovers would enjoy, share product lists for holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, and funny video content too. But this blog is actually monetized with a print on demand t-shirt business. In their store, they have graphic t-shirts about specific dog breeds and dogs in general.
4. Affiliate Marketing
One of the most common ways bloggers make money is with affiliate marketing. Once accepted into an affiliate program, you can earn commissions each time someone buys from your affiliate link.
Some bloggers choose to create listicles with affiliate links throughout. For example, “10 Best Amazon Products for Your Wedding” with Amazon affiliate links added throughout. Others choose to create articles with several different affiliate programs such as “10 Best Ecommerce Platforms” with links to several different competing programs so that readers feel like they have more options.
The only downside to monetizing with affiliate marketing is that you’re only paid commissions and prices are outside your control. You’ll never make as much as a blogger with an online store who also has the luxury of setting his or her own prices.
Abby is a popular blogger who makes money blogging with affiliate marketing. In an article she published last year, Abby shared her list of the 20+ Books for Moms to read in 2021. Each of the books recommended link out to Amazon where she earns a commission of purchases made by someone who clicks one of the links in the article. She discloses that the post contains affiliate links to be transparent with her readers.
5. Freelance Writing
For some, blogging isn’t a way to make passive income, so instead, they focus on earning active income. Such bloggers trade their time for money by writing blog posts for other brands and entrepreneurs.
A blogger may use his or her own blog as a portfolio for new clients. In this case, your blog content might be around your area of expertise. You might also have a portfolio in your navigation that showcases all the blog content you’ve written for other clients.
Sharon Hurley Hall has a blog and freelance writing business. One of her recent blog posts highlights her latest freelance writing gigs. There is a list of clients and articles written for those clients. This helps her land more opportunities because it allows people to find her portfolio with ease. Her website’s navigation also includes a section for services and rates so potential customers know whether they can afford to hire her as a writer.
Giveaways are another way to make money blogging. While it seems like you’d be spending money giving away a prize, there are ways to monetize the audience.
Some giveaways have entry options where people are required to visit a webpage to get a point. You can add an affiliate link to that page, earning a commission in the process and covering the cost of the prize. Another way to earn a commission or payment is by promoting the giveaway of another brand, making it a sponsored giveaway..
For bloggers with an online store, the best way to monetize giveaways is to send a runner-up prize to all the people who’ve lost the giveaway. The prize? A discount on your products. This way, you’d get people excited about participating in your giveaway without much expense.
Contest Canada is a popular contest and giveaway blog that earns affiliate commissions by promoting giveaways on their blogs. You can view their homepage to find out how to make money by hosting giveaways on their blog. They also monetize with ads and sponsored posts.
7. Brand Partnerships
You can also make money blogging through brand partnerships. Some may directly compensate you or offer you an affiliate link. Others, while not paid, may help elevate your exposure to a greater audience, which helps you gain more visibility and gain new opportunities.
When it comes to brand partnerships, the effort will come from your side while starting out. So don’t be afraid to network with other bloggers in your area to find out what opportunities you might also be able to jump on. And you can also reach out to brands yourself to let them know you have an existing audience and are available for any opportunities they may have.
SoSasha, a lifestyle blog, partnered with Joe Fresh and Flare Magazine for a fall fashion collection with several other notable women. The blogger, Sasha, modeled Joe Fresh’s clothing and was part of their “Fashion for All” campaign that revolved around diversity and inclusion.
Want to know how bloggers actually make money? Well, if you’re an expert on a topic, ebooks tend to be a popular route for many bloggers.
When it comes to writing an ebook, you don’t necessarily need to create it on a topic from scratch. To save time, you could always take the most popular blog topics and order them in a way that makes sense. Most blog readers don’t have time to dig through every blog post. So don’t be afraid to take the content you’ve already created and repurpose it into a different method.
Let’s take a look at the Frugalwoods blog. The personal finance blog has crafted a ton of advice on financial independence and living within your means. However, to make money blogging, they created an ebook called, “Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living.” The ebook has over 507 reviews on Amazon, so the promotion from their blog post on the topic clearly helped generate some extra sales.
9. Online Courses
Another way to make money blogging is by creating and selling online courses. If you prefer creating content as a money-making strategy but don’t like writing, this might be a good alternative for you.
You can choose to sell your online course on your website or through an online course platform like Udemy. By hosting it on Udemy, you gain access to potential new buyers but are restricted by Udemy’s Terms of Service. However, if you host on your own, you’ll need to heavily promote your course or have a sizable audience to make money.
You can also take a look at other courses in your niche, either free or paid, to compile the best content and minimize the weaknesses of competitors. So be sure to look at competitor course reviews to help you determine what kind of content people really want to see in a course.
The Smart Passive Income blog uses online courses to help generate additional blog income. They currently offer seven courses that range from $0 to $999. They have courses on how to find a business idea, how to create a podcast, and how to become an affiliate marketer. All these courses are relevant to the blog topic of making passive income without directly being about the topic itself.
Success story: How I Make $5,000 Every Month With Online Courses
10. Membership Content
Some big bloggers focus on making money blogging by gating content. What does that mean? Some of their content is available to members only, meaning you need to pay to read the exclusive content on their blog.
You’ll see this a lot with prominent newspaper brands or long-time bloggers with big audiences. Some of their blog posts may be available to read but an email membership opt-in form blocks the rest of the article as the article starts to get good enticing you to sign up.
Olive Knits is an example of a blog that offers exclusive membership. The site’s owner, Marie Greene, provides members with twelve new patterns per year, including live webinars, in-depth tutorials, tips and hacks, and access to her blog’s online community. With the membership priced at US$24.95 a month, Marie is able to generate a healthy income through her blog.
So now you know how blogs make money. And there’s still a lot more you can do – like adding ads to your website, selling services, using your blog to book speaking gigs, and much more.
Whether you experiment with one of these ideas or a combination of them, you’ll improve your chances of turning your blog into a money machine. It’s time to turn a profit with your passion.
Summary: How to Make Money with a Blog in 2021
- Offer sponsored posts
- Add an online store to your blog
- Sell t-shirts featuring your blog’s theme
- Put affiliate links on your blog
- Write blog posts for others
- Host a giveaway for your blog’s audience
- Look for brand partnerships
- Create and sell an ebook
- Offer paid online courses
- Sell memberships to exclusive content
Frequently Asked Questions About Blogging For Money
How much money can you make from blogging?
It depends. With the right monetization strategy and decent traffic, you can make between US$1,000 to US$5,000 per month. If you run a high-traffic blog that gets millions of page views every month, it’s not impossible to achieve US$20,000 or above in monthly recurring income. Successful bloggers can make over US$100,000/month.
How do beginner bloggers make money?
For those just getting started, the easiest way to make money is to offer a service. For instance, if you’re blogging about marketing, consider offering marketing consultancy services to startups and small businesses (P.S. this tactic can be applied to any niche). Once you build a reputation and traffic levels increase, you can include ads, digital products, and affiliate links in your blog.
Start selling online now with ShopifyStart your free trial
Want to Learn More?
- Blog Design Inspiration: 20 Designs to Help You Start Your Blog
- 10 Blogging Statistics You Need to Know in 2021 [Infographic]
- How to Create a Content Strategy That Gets You Traffic
- 10 Powerful YouTube Analytics to Help You Grow Your Channel