Blogging is a great way to earn extra money or make a full-time living. Blogs have been around for a long time and written content is still in demand online. But how can you cash in on the blogging craze? Is it too late? And how do you get started? If you’re looking to learn how to earn money from blogging, we’ve got your back. We’ll show you how to start a blog and make money in a few simple steps in this beginner’s guide.
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Think about how often you use Google or any search engine of your choice to look up things. Need a cooking recipe? You probably looked that up and visited a blog or authority site.
Researching a product or service before making a buying decision? Chances are that you’ll conduct a Google search and end up on a blog.
A huge portion of the content we consume on a daily basis is written content. And whether we realize it or not, the place we consume the content is usually a blog or authority site.
A blog is a website that usually consists of one author that publishes written articles.
Companies use blogs to attract website visitors, educate their followers and keep customers up to date with important changes and developments regarding the business.
But individuals use blogs as well. Some people use blogs to share personal stories from their lives. For them, blogging is like keeping an online journal.
Others create blogs as a side hustle or to make a full-time living. Rather than sharing stories from their own lives, they publish content that people might find helpful.
Pro Tip: Want to known how to make money from blogging? The most important thing is to write great content that people are searching for.
Authority sites are websites that publish content from multiple authors. They usually have a higher volume of new articles than blogs.
Authority sites are like blogs on steroids. They’re more complex and usually have entire teams of in-house writers or external contributors that provide content.
Some authority sites publish dozens of articles per day. Blogs that are maintained by a single person or company usually post 1-5 articles a week at most.
Whether you decide to start a blog or an authority site, publishing written content online is one of the best businesses to start.
There are several ways you can make money from blogging or by running an authority site.
Want to known how to earn money from blogging? It’s simple. There are four main streams of income you can tap into when running your own blog.
Here are the four main ways to monetize blogs:
We’ll dig into each income stream in detail in this article.
But before we talk about how to earn money from blogging, should you start a blog or an authority site? What is better?
It’s best to start with a regular blog.
The reason for this is because blogs are less complex than authority sites. They’re easier to set up and maintain.
Once your blog gains traction, you can always expand it by getting other contributors on board. Turning a blog into an authority site is easy. It’ll be a natural step once the time is right and you’re making money from your blog.
Now that you known the difference between blogs and authority sites, let’s talk about how to earn money from blogging.
The first way you can earn money from a blog is by signing up for Google AdSense and showing Google display ads on your blog.
This is relatively straight forward. You can sign up for AdSense for free and place relevant ads on your blog by embedding the AdSense code.
Whenever someone visits your blog, Google ads are shown to the visitor. If you have enough visitors and your ads are shown many times, you can earn money from your blog.
However, to make good money from display advertising you need a lot of page views.
You can estimate your potential annual revenue using Google’s calculator.
A blog that gets 499,935 monthly page views in the pets and animals category is expected to earn around $50,453 a year from display advertising.
That’s a lot of monthly page views. To make this much money with a blog about pets, you’d need to be one of the top blogs in the industry.
Even if you were one of the top blogs in the industry, you’d only make a five-figure income. The good news is that once you get a decent amount of monthly page views, you can apply to other advertising networks.
Google AdSense is just one of the advertising networks available. There are others like Mediavine that pay a lot more.
It’s more difficult to get approved by these advertising networks.
This is why you shouldn’t expect to many any significant amount of money from display advertising when you’re starting your blog.
Keep display advertising as the ace up your sleeve for when your blog has grown to the point where you’re getting hundreds of thousands of monthly page views.
Luckily, by this point you’ll probably not even need display advertising anymore to monetize your blog.
Want to know how to earn money from blogging without display advertising? Let’s talk about the other three ways to make money from blogging.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money from a blog. And it’s probably the fastest way to make money blogging.
Affiliate marketing is simple. You sign up for a company’s affiliate program. They give you a special affiliate link. And all you have to do is embed these links in your blog posts.
Whenever someone clicks on your affiliate links and makes a purchase, you get a small commission.
Affiliate marketing allows you to recommend products and services that you personally use or believe in. Just mention them in your blog where you see fit. Whenever you link to a product or company, include your affiliate link instead of a generic link.
Affiliate marketing is the main way blogs and authority sites make money these days. There are stories of blogs that have 50,000 monthly page views and are making $20,000 a month from blogging.
Compare this to display advertising where you needed 500,000 monthly page views to make around $4,000 a month from your blog.
There are several benefits to monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing. First of all, you’re not cluttering your blog with visual ads that stick out like a sore thumb.
Affiliate marketing allows you to make money from your blog in a less distracting and noisy way. Another benefit is that you don’t have to deal with customer support, refunds or product delivery yourself.
You are getting paid whenever someone purchases through your link. Once the customer has placed the order, the company you are recommending takes care of everything else.
How awesome is that? Write articles about topics you are passionate about. Recommend products and companies you like and believe in. And get paid handsomely.
Amazon has an affiliate program. This means, you can sign up for the Amazon partner program and make money whenever someone purchases something from Amazon through your link.
The downside is that Amazon and most other affiliate programs only pay around 5-15% commissions. However, there are affiliate programs that pay upwards of 30% commissions.
Do some research in your niche. Whenever you write an article, ask yourself if there is a relevant product or service you can recommend that would add value to your readers.
Then search for “(Company Name) affiliate” on Google to find out if they have an affiliate program.
If they do, you can sign up for it for free. Some companies require you to apply for their affiliate programs. If you don’t have enough page views yet, they might decline your application to become an affiliate.
But there are plenty of affiliate programs that have a quick or instant approval process. Fiverr, for example, allows you to sign up as an affiliate and start promoting immediately.
Pro Tip: Look for high-paying affiliate programs that pay lifetime, recurring commissions.
For example, we love ClickFunnels and use it in our business all the time. We’ve used it since 2014. It’s our go-to business tool for building websites, sales funnels and other things.
If we got rid of everything in our business and only kept one tool, it would be ClickFunnels.
Luckily, ClickFunnels also has one of the greatest affiliate programs that exists. They pay 40% recurring commissions. Anyone can sign up for ClickFunnels and become an affiliate without a lengthy application process.
If your blog doesn’t lend itself to promoting something like ClickFunnels, search for other high-paying affiliate programs in your niche.
Programs that pay 30% a month and are subscription-based are preferable since you can use them to make residual income from your blog.
Make sure you only recommend and promote products you use yourself, believe in or known will add value to your readers. Keeping your visitors’ best interest in mind at all times is important when monetizing a blog.
This means sometimes recommending products that don’t have an affiliate program at all. Or choosing a product that pays less commissions because it’s genuinely better.
Never get consumed by greed. Your blog is about providing value and publishing free content. Affiliate marketing should just be a natural way of making money from your blog by recommending products you love.
Want to known how to earn money from blogging without display advertising or affiliate marketing? Let’s talk about two other ways to make money from a blog.
Sponsorships can take on various forms. For example, a company might pay you a flat fee for writing an article that mentions their product.
Let’s say a company sends you an email and offers to pay you $5,000 for an article. You agree, they wire you the money and you write an article that contains their product.
Depending on how big and famous your blog gets, you can charge a lot for sponsorships. Don’t expect many emails from brands, or any significant money from sponsorships as long as your blog is small.
But once your blog reaches a certain threshold and pops on the radar of companies in your industry, you should expect a good amount of emails from brands offering sponsorships.
Sponsorships are usually negotiable. Some companies will try to avoid a flat fee and attempt to recruit you as an affiliate.
If a brand reaches out to you, never just settle for an affiliate partnership. As you’ve seen already, becoming an affiliate for a brand is easy.
When a brand makes contact with you, it means they have a particular interest in you as a partner. This means they are usually willing to pay you an upfront fee to write an article.
You can negotiate the price and even combine an upfront payment with affiliate marketing.
A company could pay you $5,000 upfront for a sponsored article. And you could include an affiliate link in the article as well. This allows the company to track how many sales come from your article.
And it allows you to earn affiliate commissions on top of upfront payment you receive.
Another potential way to make money from sponsorships is by asking for a monthly payment. Instead of getting paid once, you could negotiate a fixed monthly payment from your sponsor in return for a certain amount of exposure and promotion.
Let’s say a sponsor agrees to pay you $2,000 a month. In return, you list them as sponsor on a dedicated sponsors section on your blog.
You also list them as sponsor at the bottom of your newsletters and write at least one article a month that mentions them.
See how this could add value to a brand? Again, sponsorships are flexible and negotiable. And as always, everything needs to be done in a way that feels aligned and genuine.
Don’t let a brand hijack your blog. If your blog stops being valuable or becomes biased, you missed the whole point of having a blog.
Always ask yourself how something like a sponsorship deal might impact your readers. If the result is negative, steer away from it even if the opportunity seems lucrative. Never let money or greed fundamentally change the way you run your blog.
There’s one final way you can earn money from blogging.
While it might seem a bit more daunting at first, selling your own products or services is a great way to monetize your blog.
You can sell physical products by setting up a print-on-demand store using a service like Printful.
This allows you to sell merchandise. Urban Dictionary found a creative way to monetize their website with print-on-demand mugs that contain funny and weird terms.
As one of the biggest sites on the internet, they of course also make money by partnering with advertisers.
Another great but often overlooked way to make money from blogging is by selling digital products or information products.
Let’s say you run a blog about knitting. Why not sell knitting patterns as digital downloads? Or if you blog about productivity, you could sell checklists and digital planners.
Information products are even more profitable because you can charge more for them. Information products include things like books, online courses, memberships, workshops, online live events and coaching programs.
If you run an educational blog that teaches people something and gives them tips, you could create and sell online courses.
Online courses are simply a set of videos that you upload and people have to pay for to access.
Returning to the knitting example, you could provide free tips and inspiration on your blog. And you could create a knitting course for beginners that teaches anyone how to start knitting from A-Z.
This could be a few different videos with demonstrations and step-by-step instructions students can follow along with.
A course like this could contain anywhere between 1-10 hours of video content and sell for $97-$2,997. Admittedly, $2,997 seems high for a knitting course. For a niche like this, you might want to pick a price point in the lower range.
Once you’ve created the videos, you can upload them to an online course platform like Kajabi.
All you have to do is upload the videos, write a description and set a price for your course. People can then purchase your online course. Checkout and payments are all handled by Kajabi.
Read more: How to Create Online Courses
Once someone has purchased your online course, they receive an email with their login details. They can then access the course content on a member-only website.
And you get paid however much you charged for the course. Given that courses can sell for $97-$2,997, you can make good money selling courses on your blog.
Let’s say your blog gets 50,000 visitors a month. If you sell a course for $297 and 30 people a month buy your course, you’d already be making almost $10,000 a month from blogging.
If you combine this income stream with affiliate marketing and the occasional sponsored article, you’re off to the races.
While building a blog to 50,000 monthly page views isn’t as easy as it seems, there are plenty of people that earn a six-figure and even seven-figure income from blogging.
It requires treating your blog as a business though. And as with every business, blogging requires work and isn’t as passive as people think.
Nevertheless, blogging is a great way to make money online. And once you start earning money from your blog, you can consider reinvesting some of the profits to get other contributors on board.
Once your blog generates a consistent stream of income, turning it into an authority site with multiple contributors gets easier.
You can research authors and offer them a fixed payment per article on your site.
Before you known it, you might be able to remove yourself from the article writing process all together. At this point, you pay your contributors for content but keep the rest of the income. Sounds like a pretty passive income stream right?
You might have to build a small team and get an editor-in-chief on board. But all of this is relativevly easy and straight forward.
Once your blog starts making good money, removing yourself from it gets easier.
If you’re intimidated by all this talk about treating your blog like it’s a business, just treat your blog as a side hustle or hobby at first.
You can even start a blog for free using a service like Blogger.com.
Just create an account, choose a name and template and you can start publishing content. The rules for making money with a free blog are the same as with a regular blog.
Your best bet is to focus on affiliate marketing first and then expand to other revenue methods as you grow.
Free blogs on platforms like Blogger are great to get your feet wet and get ussed to the idea of blogging.
But if you’re serious about turning blogging into a side hustle or a full-time income, we recommend creating your own self-hosted blog with WordPress.
While this includes some extra steps and a small monthly investment for a custom domain and hosting, it’s well worth setting up your own blog the right way from the beginning.
Switching from a platform like Blogger to your own blog isn’t that easy. And turning a free blog into an authority site is impossible.
If you’ve already decided that you want to start a blog, here are the first steps you have to take.
Setting up a self-hosted blog is easy. All you have to do is get a custom domain, sign up with a hosting provider and install WordPress on your new website.
WordPress is the content management system that is used by most bloggers on the internet. It’s completely free.
Go to Bluehost, then choose the basic web hosting plan and click “Select”. Check if your desired .com domain name is still available. Once you’ve found a domain that you like and is available, create your account.
Then install WordPress through the Bluehost dashboard once your account is created.
For just $3-$15 a month you can run your own blog with a custom domain and powered by the most popular blogging platform in the world.
It’ll give you everything you need to start a blog and make money. And you’ll have to flexibility to grow, improve your blog, get a custom template and turn your blog into an authority site anytime in the future.
How to earn money from blogging? Publish great content that people search for. Monetize with display ads, affiliate links, sponsorships or by selling your own products. Then get contributors and remove yourself.
That’s the blogging “business plan” in a nutshell.
Figuring out how to earn money from blogging isn’t that hard. Follow the plan outlined in this article and you should have everything you need to start monetizing any size blog.
The fastest way to make money blogging is affiliate marketing. The best way is by combining affiliate marketing, sponsorships and your own products.